An Appreciation, Humor
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Happy Birthday…

Today is the day of the year on which we remember a man known for the beauty of the music he wrote… if not exactly for his conciseness…

Richard Wagner was born on this day in 1813 – by all accounts a handsome child, if not a long-winded one.
In fact, little Richard’s 6th birthday cake was ruined, because when instructed to make a wish and then blow out the candles, he took so long to say he wanted a pony that the candles melted all over the icing of the cake.

According to one family friend, little Richard was never any good at children’s games, such as baseball, because he took so long to run the bases that even the slowest opposition player could run him down and apply a tag.

Wagner was, however, one of the premier grass-growing watchers in Leipzig, as well as a promising observer of paint drying, before he gave it all up to pursue a somewhat fanciful life as an opera composer.

There are, of course, all those problematic little sayings and beliefs attributed to our little Richard… ideas that quite appealed to a somewhat insane individual to come along not quite a half century after little Richard died.

But quite honestly, to judge a composer by what someone different thinks of him, long after the composer has died, is to lay open the entirety of history to ridicule and revisionist thinking…

What’s that you say?
Little Richard actually believed all those things Hitler said of him…?


On the plus side, scaled-down versions of little Richard’s music – because (really!) who’s got that kind of time these days – I say, shortened excerpts have managed to bring joy to generations of people in other artistic milieus.

Such as the following…


In fact, little Richard’s full scale music grew to be such a problem to him, he decided to skip town, move to the USA and try his luck in a completely different genre.

One of his big successes in this new venture was his ode to the instrument belonging to one of his new-found friends, BB King.

All of these facts about the life of our little Richard are, of course, meticulously researched in all of the latest scientifical and musicological journals I could find in the thirty seconds I spent looking on Google.

Any discrepancies you might find in my educated guessing are the work of conspiracy theorists and the lunatic fringe, and should be dismissed out of hand… which is a rather old-fashioned way to say mic drop…



I do find it somewhat ironic that we remember the birth of a composer on the same day we are told of the death of one of that composer’s more prominent biographers.

Robert Gutman’s obituary can be found here:




Image found here.



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