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On jazz

Shipton, Alyn

"I began listening to music before I could walk. Our family gramophone was the old-fashioned kind that played a stack of 78 rpm records. The first ran for around three and a half minutes, then another dropped onto the turntable, and so on. Five discs gave my mother some uninterrupted time for housework, while I sat listening to the music. Then I was quite happy to do the same thing all over again. And again. When my father came home from his final wartime RAF posting in Hong Kong, he brought back a box of records. My parents were married in 1952, and this mix of music that had travelled halfway around the world with him started off our family collection. There was swing by Earl Hines and Fats Waller together with classical sounds from Walter Gieseking and Benno Moiseiwitsch. I was born in 1953, and apparently it wasn't too long before Fats Waller's records started making a big impression on me - mainly songs such as 'Your Feet's Too Big' and 'Twenty Four Robbers' rather than the instrumentals like 'Honeysuckle Rose'. In due course, I sang along to my favourites, and somewhere around the age of five, started picking out the melodies with one finger on the piano"--

Alyn Shipton.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 280-281) and index.

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