Monday, 18 February 2013

Fascinating Rhythm 1924

Lowry refers to the above song in letter to Carol Brown dated May 1926; "every time I hear "Fascinating Rhythm" it reminds me of that evening by the gate" (Collected Letters Vol 1 Pg. 27)

The song is from the musical Lady, Be Good written by Guy Bolton, Fred Thompson, featured music by George and Ira Gershwin. It debuted at the Liberty Theatre on December 1, 1924.

It is a musical comedy about a brother and his sister who are out of money and each eager to sacrifice him- or herself to help the other. It originally starred brother and sister performers Fred Astaire and Adele Astaire. It ran for 330 performances in the original Broadway run.

What is difficult to gauge is how Lowry would have been aware of the song? Perhaps, he picked up the song via his elder brothers Stuart and Russell or did he hear it on a visit to Carol Brown's house Hilthorpe in Caldy or could he conceivably seen the musical at the Empire in London? The last premise is unlikely as he was writing to Carol in May 1926 and the musical only opened Prince of Wales Theatre, London on 14 April, 1926.

We must assume that Lowry's reference to "by the gate" refers to the gate outside Carol's home Hilthorpe in Caldy where Carol and Malc spent sometime together in 1925 or 26. We can only speculate the significance of the moment.

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