Category:
Music

Combined coat hanger and musical instrument

I wonder if Louis Jacobs thought he was going to strike it rich when he came up with his idea for a "combined hanger and musical instrument." From his 1918 patent:

Be it known that I, Louis Jacobs, a citizen of the United States, residing at San Francisco, in the county of San Francisco and State of California, have invented new and useful Improvements in Combined Hangers and Musical Instruments, of which the following is a specification.

The object of the present invention is to provide a device for hanging shoes and other articles, and which can also be used as a musical instrument.




But how did it work as a musical instrument? Again from his patent:

The device may also be used in the following manner as a musical instrument: Thin pieces of paper are placed on opposite sides of the wire screen frame, and the frame, after the paper has been thus placed, is brought up to the mouth and the performer sings, speaks, or hums through the paper. The sound of the voice is first split up through the fine pores in the paper, striking the front side of the wire screen and causing vibrations therein, then passing through the holes to the rear side of the wire screen, again causing vibrations therein, so that the sound of the voice is magnified. Any tone, or tune, or the sound of any instrument or the phonograph can be imitated thereby. The effect of these vibrations on the nerves is soothing and quieting. It is also useful in talking to deaf persons, as the sound can be heard by them much better than the ordinary voice.

I can just imagine Jacobs talking to deaf people through his musical coat hanger.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 17, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Music, Patents, 1910s

The Royal Teens, “Short Shorts”

What were those lyrics again?

Their Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Sep 17, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, Music, Public Indecency, Teenagers, 1950s

Woodstock X 3

A little late for the anniversary, but still, I hope, of interest.









Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 13, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, Parades and Festivals, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1960s, TV News

The Nine LaFalce Brothers

There have been any number of family singing groups. Many pop bands feature two brothers. The Beach Boys added cousins. Sister groups were popular in the forties and fifties. And finally, the famous Trapp Family featured ten children and two parents. But I do not believe any other act than the now-forgotten LaFalces had nine brothers onstage together.









Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 29, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Family, Music, Twentieth Century

The complexity of Brian Ferneyhough

Composer Brian Ferneyhough is known as the "Father of the New Complexity" movement in classical music. The movement, as its name implies, places a great value on complexity. Some details from The Guardian (Jan 21, 2003):

Composer Brian Ferneyhough is an infamous figure in contemporary music, regarded with the sort of bafflement and fear once reserved for Berg and Schoenberg. His works are notorious for their mind-boggling complexity. One solo cello piece is written on up to five musical staves – the cello usually requires only one – while the performer is surrounded by a constricting noose of electronic sound. And there is an orchestral piece notated on a 3ft-high schore, the pages dense forests of notes.

Critics complain that Ferneyhough's music is not only complex, but also unlistenable. Judge for yourself.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Aug 11, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Music

Nervous Norvus

Nervous Norvus (aka Jimmy Drake) was in his 40s when his first record was released in 1956. The record,'Transfusion,' reached #13 on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart.

According to Life magazine, he got his ideas for songs by "sitting in his California backyard, wearing dark glasses, going 'Ump, ump.'"

More info: wikipedia, songpoemmusic.com

Life - June 11, 1956



Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 08, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Music, 1950s

Medicine, Mind and Music

Player embedded below the Tracklist. Enjoy!







Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 06, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Medicine, Music, 1970s, Brain

Fake Violin Scam

Police are describing people pretending to play the violin for money as a "nationwide issue."

More info: The CW7

Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 02, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Frauds, Cons and Scams, Music

Ambrose (Part 5)

Linda Laurie was a 17-year-old high school student in 1958 when her first recording, "Ambrose (Part 5)", was released by Glory Records. It reached number 52 on the billboard charts.

It's a very odd record. For a start, why is it titled "part 5"? There were no parts 1,2,3, or 4.

Then there's the 'song' itself. Why is Ambrose walking her into a subway tunnel? Does he intend to kill her? We never find out. The song ends in mid-sentence. Incidentally, the voice of Ambrose ("Just keep walking") was done by Laurie herself.



Two years later, Laurie released a sequel, "Forever Ambrose," which showed a nicer side of Ambrose. Evidently he hadn't killed her in the tunnel. But this follow-up never made it onto the charts.



In 1962, Laurie released a final Ambrose song, "Return of Ambrose," which had Ambrose back in more menacing form ("keep digging"). Again, it didn't chart.



Laurie went on to have a fairly successful career as a songwriter. Her biggest hit was "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)," which reached #3 on the charts when it was covered by Helen Reddy.

More info: Wikipedia.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 01, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Music, 1950s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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