Just a strange coincidence? It's eerily similar to the title of my blog.....
Various parts of the collection from my family archive still remain unexplored. One segment that I find a bit intimidating and haven't fully delved into yet are the reams of hand written sheet music I found in an antique hand painted chest hidden under my parent's piano. Even though I can visually appreciate this collection I lack the musical skills needed to read or play it. My Grandfather Harry wrote both music and lyrics for the Vaudeville stage, Musical Revue and Broadway. Certain pieces he wrote to be performed by himself, some he wrote for his sister Juliet and others he wrote for top performers of the era. I've been starting to familiarize myself with the sheet music and lyrics but haven't made much of a dent yet. The Family Album was a piece he performed as part of a Vaudeville routine. He wrote the lyrics for this piece but not the music. When I searched the title I found this article from a periodical called the New York Clipper dated May 23, 1917 under the header Fifth Avenue Vaudeville.
Harry Delf presents a single, in which he presents songs and patter of his own writing. After a song and some talk, he introduced a series of old-time characters from the family album.This is followed by another song and some more patter. He followed each song with soft shoe dancing which ranks with the best. For an encore he rendered another song. He is a capital all 'round entertainer and fully deserved the recognition accorded him.
Getting this opportunity to learn about my family history and the relatives I never got to meet through this unexpected discovery has been a gift. An additional benefit has been derived from getting the chance to explore and exhibit the personal collection of early 20th Century media using 21st Century tools and technology. It has been both enriching and rewarding getting to learn from the knowledge and experience of the various communities I've discovered around the Web. This wasn't my goal or interest when I first started Family Archive but as I become more familiar with the material and the technology the possibilities seem open ended .
I've been thinking about my Grandfather's Sheet Music. How can I use technology to showcase his music as I use JPG's to display photos? One suggestion that came from my downstairs neighbor was to put an ad on this site for a pianist, record some of these old tunes like The Family Album and play them with each post.