Music for Plants Weird Musical History #8

I recently came across an odd vinyl album on Hebden Bridge flea market called Music for Plants by the Baroque Bouquet (pictured above). The record’s back sleeve claims that playing it to your plants will keep your plants happy and healthy. What kind of music do plants like? Well, that was worth coughing up myContinue reading “Music for Plants Weird Musical History #8”

Uri Geller ~ The Album

Weird Musical History #7 In the early 1970s a young Israeli self-proclaimed psychic called Uri Geller made his first appearances in Britain, gaining tabloid headlines and demonstrating his supposedly supernatural powers on TV. The superpower that Geller became best known for was the rather prosaic one of bending spoons with the power of his mind,Continue reading “Uri Geller ~ The Album”

Splatter Platters – Top Ten Teen Tragedy Death Discs

Weird Musical History #6 One of the strangest sub-genres of pop music and one that I have a macabre affection for is the death disc – songs of teenage tragedy – that rode high in the charts of the early 1960s. These splatter platters told tragic stories of teenagers and their loved ones meeting stickyContinue reading Splatter Platters – Top Ten Teen Tragedy Death Discs

Mandolinquents – Weird Musical History #5

Among top musicians, claimed one newspaper in 1932, the mandolin is much maligned and seen as ‘a tinkling toy, fit only for people whose musical ambition, like their musical ability, is severely limited’.[i] Not true, of course. I’ve unearthed a couple of French stories that show that the mandolin has played a role in heinousContinue reading “Mandolinquents – Weird Musical History #5”

Weird Musical History #4 ~ The Cat Organ

In 1549, a huge pageant was held in Brussels in honour of the entry of King Phillip II of Spain into the city. The musical highlight of this spectacle was a moving float upon which a live bear played tunes on an organ. But it wasn’t just any organ. It was a cat organ, sometimesContinue reading “Weird Musical History #4 ~ The Cat Organ”

Weird Musical History #3 ~ The Elvis Presley Séance (1979)

Two years after Elvis Presley died, a seance was arranged in a North London Spiritualist Church. The aim was to contact the King of Rock and Roll from beyond the grave. The event was recorded and released as a vinyl LP by Shadow Records in 1979. The event is narrated by the softly spoken RadioContinue reading “Weird Musical History #3 ~ The Elvis Presley Séance (1979)”

Weird Musical History 2 ~ Musaire! Calderdale’s Unsung Pioneer of Electronic Music

In the spring of 1950, an unsung pioneer of electronic music and variety star returned to his native Calderdale for a series of concerts at the Drill Hall, Halifax as part of the Halifax Home and Industrial Exhibition.[i] His name was Joseph Forest Whiteley, but he was best known by his stage name Musaire becauseContinue reading “Weird Musical History 2 ~ Musaire! Calderdale’s Unsung Pioneer of Electronic Music”

Weird Musical History 1 ~The Cat Orchestra

It’s the middle of the eighteenth century and an expectant audience is crammed into an exhibition room in London’s Haymarket to witness a bizarre performance that is the talk of London. The audience settles and the show begins. Three cats sit ready to play their dulcimers, their sheet music on little music stands in frontContinue reading “Weird Musical History 1 ~The Cat Orchestra”