The New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands in Ringwood State Park is the centerpiece of a property assembled by Francis Lynde Stetson (1846-1920) from pioneer farmsteads in the Ramapo Mountains. Stetson named his country estate “Skylands.” He maintained a stylish mansion of native granite, a working farm with more than thirty outbuildings, gardens and a vast lawn that included a nine-hole golf course. The gardens cover an extensive area on both sides of Maple Avenue. The Terrace Gardens behind the manor house and the flower gardens across Maple Avenue are an easy and delightful walk. Skylands was sold in 1922 to Clarence McKenzie Lewis (1877-1959), an investment banker and trustee of the New York Botanical Garden. Lewis wanted the property for a summer residence, but in the process decided to make Skylands a botanical showplace. The Stetson house was torn down and was replaced by an imposing Tudor mansion of native granite. Lewis engaged the most prominent landscape architects of his day to design the gardens. Most of the trees now framing the house were planted at that time, including the magnificent copper beeches. Lewis stressed symmetry, color, texture, form and fragrance in his gardens. For thirty years, Lewis collected plants from all over the world and from New Jersey roadsides. The result is one of the finest collections of plants in the state. In 1966, New Jersey purchased 1,117 acres of the Skylands property from Shelton College. The Skylands Garden was the first property purchased under the Green Acres program. In March 1984, Governor Thomas Kean designated the 96-acres surroundings the manor house as the State’s official botanical garden. Included among the Annual Garden are the Crab Apple Vista, the Perennial Border, the Lilac Garden, the Peony Garden, the Summer Garden, the Azaleas Garden, the Magnolia Walk, Octagonal Garden, & the Winter Garden.
Unfortunately, I found no information at all about the orchestra featured on this record. Nevertheless, it appears quite profusely in German catalogues, interpreting both classical and popular selections. This should certainly not prevent us from enjoying this outstanding version of a well-known standard. Vocal on this 1932 record is performed by the strictly unknown but excellent Miss Louise Gordan.
I would like to share these photos I have taken over the past few months in celebration of the beautiful full moon. I have always loved the moon and this video is dedicated to all those who love it too. It is full of mystery, beauty and romance. Love and Peace to you all. Gigi xoxo
Ennui-Lud Gluskin Orchestra-January 16, 1929. Goldkette pianist Paul Mertz composed Ennui based on Bix licks or phrases he had heard Bix play. Listen to the very modern sounding piano solo on the recording that is completely "Bixian". Also included is a photo of pianist Paul Mertz at his piano my husband took when we visited Paul Mertz at his home in 1983.
Atlanta-based Fulcher was a multi-instrumentalist and he can he heard on his records playing piano, clarinet, trombone and violin. He is best remembered for his composition "My Pretty Girl" presented here, which his band recorded but became famous through the Jean Goldkette Orchestra version, recorded for Victor (see record label of the latter in this video). Although the Goldkette version remained famous, totally eclipsing Fulcher's own recording, in my humble opinion the composer offers a notably catchier and neater interpretation than Goldkette, whose arrangement is too rushed and hence fuzzy. It was recorded several times after that by different bands, but usually based on the Goldkette version. None of these orchestras remained true to the original (e.g. full stops by the entire band, wonderfully arranged with plenty of fine solo work. very unusual coda exclusively featuring tuba and cymbal). Fulcher was ahead of his time, and as is often the case with pioneers, unlike Goldkette's record, Fulcher's sold badly. It was made in 1925.
Loyd was a pseudonym of Ed Kirkeby (1891-1978), who was a band leader, vocalist, manager, and salesman, best remembered as the manager of Fats Waller. He was one of the first recording managers at Columbia Records to record jazz and organized the California Ramblers to record it. Over the years he also managed the Pickens Sisters. As Fats Waller’s manager he also acted as his archivist building a collection which is held today by the Institute of Jazz Studies. After Waller’s death in 1943 Kirkeby remained active managing many other groups and musicians. This wonderful recording, with Elmer Feldkamp on vocal, was made in 1930.
My Ohio Home - Paul Whiteman and his orchestra with Bix Beiderbecke. This is the only known footage of Bix playing the cornet. A Fox Movietone Newsreel for the week of May 18, 1928, shows Paul Whiteman tearing up his old contract with Victor on the stroke of midnight. Paul now has a new contract with Columbia and leads his orchestra playing My Ohio Home. At one point, during a chorus by the brass section, we see Bix standing up and playing his part on the cornet. There are two transfers, one normal and a second one with somewhat more of a close-up.