Category: Popular entertainment

Discover the Piano and Musicians for World Piano Day!

By , March 29, 2023 4:36 pm
Discover the Piano and Musicians for World Piano Day!

Happy World Piano Day! Piano Day is held on the 88th day of the year in celebration of and reference to the 88 keys on a standard piano. This idea was created by the German pianist and composer Nils Frahm in 2015 “because it doesn’t hurt to celebrate the piano and everything around it: performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and most important, the listener”.

Discover the Piano and Musicians for World Piano Day!

In celebration, here at the Recorded Sound Archives we wanted to share a few videos that we’ve created over the years that showcase the piano and all of its marvelous wonders along with pianists you should know. Enjoy!

Bob Berkman Explains How the Pianola Works

Learn more from one of our featured performers Bob Berkman about how the Pianola Works.

Ben Roth-Aroni Showcasing his Player Piano

Do you think player pianos are a thing of the past? Join Ben Roth-Aroni as he shares some new and old tunes on his player piano at home during National Piano month in September!

Ben Roth-Aroni Shares Piano Rolls

In this playlist, discover different piano rolls played by Ben Roth and learn a little bit of history.

Here are Seven Other Pianists You should Know

  1. Fats Waller
  2. Bob Zurke
  3. Sergei Rachmaninoff
  4. Irving Fields
  5. Duke Ellington
  6. Count Basie
  7. Pete Johnson

It’s National Hot Dog Month – Enjoy Some Songs!

By , July 28, 2020 3:24 pm


Did you know it’s National Hot Dog month? We had almost forgotten until a co-worker brought it up in conversation last week.

Here at the Recorded Sound Archives we’ve got a few songs about Hot Dogs that you can listen to from home that we wanted to share!

While digging around to share  Hot Dogs and Knishes with you we discovered a few more songs that were digitized. Enjoy these five songs about hot dogs.

Discover Five Songs About Hot Dogs!

  1. Hot Dogs and Knishes by Aaron Lebedeff
  2. Ooh! Hot Dog by Benny Goodman
  3. Hot Dog by Molly Picon
  4. Sam, the Hot Dog Man by Lil Johnson
  5. Hot Dog by Blind Lemon Jefferson


Please note, due to copyright some items may only be available as a 45 second snippet.

Are you a Researcher or Educator in need of full access to these recordings? Visit the Recorded Sound Archives website to apply for Research Station Access by click here.

How Did Eddy Duchin Become Reisman Orchestra’s Leader by 1932?

By , July 14, 2020 6:58 pm

eddy duchinEddy Duchin never pretended to be a great musician.

One of the members of Eddy Duchin’s orchestra once said “…Many people didn’t listen to him as much as they looked at him, he was the only musician I’ve ever known who could play a thirty-two-bar solo with thirty-two mistakes and get an ovation afterwards…

So how did Eddy Duchin become the Reisman Orchestra Leader by 1932? Well, While enrolled at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy near Cambridge at the age of nineteen Eddy Duchin auditioned for a part in Leo Reisman’s Orchestra as a pianist. Which he got enjoying tremendous popularity in New York’s Central Park Casino. His effortless technique and charming personality not only won him the job. But also made him stand out among the long list of those aspiring to join. Three years later, his personality and flashy style had captured customers and Duchin had himself taken over the engagement becoming the leader of the Reisman Orchestra.

Throughout the 1930s, Duchin’s Orchestra played primarily in hotels like the Waldorf-Astoria in New York and appeared on quite a few radio series along with in two films.

He went on to get married and have a son, named Peter who went on to follow in his father’s musical footsteps. During the war, Duchin joined a commission in the Navy where he paid little attention to music. By the end of the war his popularity had declined and so had his health. In 1951, he passed away from leukemia.

Discover more recordings at Recorded Sound Archives

Here at the Recorded Sound Archives, you can listen to recordings by both Eddy Duchin and Leo Reisman’s Orchestra.

Please note, due to copyright some items may only be available as a 45 second snippet.

Are you a Researcher or Educator in need of full access to these recordings? Visit the Recorded Sound Archives website to apply for Research Station Access by click here.

Celebrating Black Blues Artists for Black History Month!

By , February 7, 2020 12:46 pm

2020-February-celebrating-black-blues-musiciansIn celebration of Black History Month, the Recorded Sound Archives has curated a collection of Black Blues Artists some of which are currently on display on the 1st floor of the FAU Wimberly Library for the month of February.

Click to discover 14 Blues Artists such as the voices of Huddie Leadbelly, Ethel Waters, Bessie Smith and more in this collection!

In celebration, FAU Libraries and the Recorded Sound Archives have put together a Spotify playlist Celebrating Black Blues Artists coinciding with the exhibit currently on display. Click to listen to 12 recordings and discover who these Blues Artists influenced from Nirvana to The Weavers and more down below. Enjoy!


6 Vintage Songs Made Infinitely Creepier by Horror Movies

By , October 31, 2019 8:05 am

6 Vintage Songs Made Infinitely Creepier by Horror MoviesWhile some horror films feature blood-curdling scores (Jaws, Halloween, The Exorcist), there are certain songs that will forever be associated with the movies they helped make all the more terrifying. Just in time for Halloween, here are six vintage songs made infinitely creepier by horror movies, four of which you can find here at the Recorded Sound Archives.

First up, is the Jeepers Creepers franchise which features the song Jeepers Creepers playing through the radio prior to the creature approaching and can be found playing on an old-timey radio as the movie progresses.



Jeepers Creepers by Ethel Waters Record LabelHere at the Recorded Sound Archives, you can listen to a few versions of the song by artists such as Larry Clinton and his orchestra , Jack Teagarden and the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.

But our personal favorite here in the sound archive is Ethel Water’s version of Jeepers Creepers.



Next up is a classic from the 90s, while not necessarily a horror movie we’ve included it in honor of all things spooky. Hocus Pocus features three witches that come back to life after being accidentally summoned. In the movie, Winifred Sanderson along with her sisters sing the tune I Put a Spell on You at the town’s Halloween Party which was originally released in 1956 and sung by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.


Watch the clip below to see Screamin’ Jay Hawkins perform I Put a Spell On You back in 1989 on the Arsenio Hall Show.


Tip-toe thru the Tulips With Me record label

Another haunting tune that can be found in the Recorded Sound Archives, is Tip-Toe Thru the Tulips by Johnny Marvin who originally sang the song prior to Tiny Tim which is featured in the movie Insidious.

Tip-Toe Thru the Tulips starts to play as the Demon who is terrorizing this family uses a victrola-like device to sharpen its nails while the song plays on with marionettes and puppets moving about.



You can listen to the original by Johnny Marvin in the sound archive by clicking here.

Next up is the movie Misery which features Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes an obsessed fan who kidnaps her favorite writer forcing him to rewrite his novel.


At one point, she exclaims with happiness that she’ll play her favorite song in the movie which just so happens to be Liberace’s Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 along with I’ll be seeing you both of which can be found here at the Recorded Sound Archives on the album Liberace by Candlelight.

Liberace by Candlelight as Heard in Misery 3-823-03












And finally, we have Halloween II with the song Mr. Sandman by the Chordettes which can be heard playing at the beginning of the movie’s opening credits and as the film comes to an end.


click here to watch the opening scenes from the movie to listen to the song.

While we only feature six songs, there are tons out there to be discovered four of which you can listen to here at the Recorded Sound Archives.

Please note, due to copyright some items may only be available as a 45 second snippet.

If you are a Researcher or Educator in need of full access to these recordings, click here.





Discover the voice of Graciela Párraga this Hispanic Heritage Month

By , September 27, 2019 12:17 pm

2019-hispanic-heritage-month-graciela-paraga-mainIn celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, we wanted to share one of several recordings within our hispanic/latin american collection of recordings. Last year we highlighted Xavier Cugat, as an important artist who shaped the world of Latin music into what it is today.

This year we’d like to highlight the voice of Graciela Párraga and composer Vicente Gómez. Both of whom are featured on the album Blood and Sand within the Recorded Sound Archives Hispanic/Latin American collection.

Very little can be found about Graciela Párraga other than what can be found on the jacket of this album. Graciela Párraga was born in Havana, Cuba.  Although it is mentioned that she gained noterity and fame by singing to a large group of women prisoners within a dentention center inside Cuba where she received tons of offers to sing professionally, all of which she refused. It goes on to say her professional singing career began shortly back in 1937 with her arrival in New York.

She went on to sing at several hotels also working at the East Side night club La Rue for two years. Appearing in radio, Miss Párraga went on to sing on the Rudy Vallee Show of which several transcriptions were made and were broadcast throughout all 21 Latin American Republics at the time. In the 1938 issue of Stage Magazine, Miss Párraga was one of the Palm Award winners for her work while at La Rue.

She went on to perform at Hotel Berkeley in London and during her stay in England, where she performed twice weekly for Television by the British Broadcasting Company.  She was even invited to sign for her Royal Highness and the Ex-Queen of Spain at a garden party given by the Duke of Alba.

Upon returning to the United States, Miss Párraga was invited to sing at a Reception Ball given by the Cuban Embassy in honor of Colonel Fugencia Batista, during his good-will visit to the United States. And on one of her return trips to Cuba, Miss Párraga  was appointed Chancellor to the Consulate General of Cuba in New York and Honorary Artistic delegate for the promotion and appreciation of Cuban music in the United States and Europe.

In this position she went on to give a series of concerts throughout the United States in leading colleges such as Vassar, Columbia University, Princeton and more.

You can hear the voice of Graciela Párraga by clicking here along with Vicente Gómez playing guitar on the Blood and Sand soundtrack he composed himself prior to retiring to compose and teach.

This is just one of over over 180 Latin American recordings for you to listen to. Click here to view collection.

Please note, due to copyright some items may only be available as a 45 second snippet.

If you are a Researcher or Educator in need of full access to these recordings, click here.

Lucrezia Bori Saved the Metropolitan Opera during the Great Depression

By , March 7, 2018 7:20 pm

opera saved-1933-brooklyn-ny-daily-eagleDid you know that in 1933, Lucrezia Bori began a career as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Opera during the Great Depression on top of performing?

Retiring, later that she wanted at age 48, Lucrezia Bori helped save the Metropolitan Opera. While the Metropolitan continued to sell tickets to performances with no difficulty despite the Great Depression. The contributions of its stockholders fell off dramatically and by the end of 1932 the board of directors found that a great deal of money would be needed if the next season were to be held.

Bori agreed to work with the Opera’s managers to obtain the funds and in 1933, she headed an organization called the Committee to Save the Metropolitan Opera House. Where Lucrezia made appeals by flyer, letter, and in personal contacts with potential benefactors to help save the Met. She traveled widely and participated in numerous benefits, at which she performed.

During this period of fundraising, Lucrezia also continued to carry out an exhausting schedule of performance at the Met.

To help raise the final funds needed,  a masquerade ball was held to raise financial support for the opera house.  Over 3,000 of the city’s aristocracy attended paying $10 each admission, contributing the final $30,000 towards the $300,000 fund needed to save the opera along with $10,000 to cover the cost of the ball.

Here at the Recorded Sound Archives we are celebrating Women’s History month through music by highlighting the voice of Lucrezia Bori and her accomplishment of saving the Metropolitan Opera.

To listen to recordings by Lucrezia Bori, click here.




Ethel Waters – First African American to be Nominated for an Emmy in 1962

By , February 2, 2018 6:24 pm

Did you know that Ethel Waters was the first African American to be nominated for an Emmy Award? In 1962, the legendary jazz and blues singer received the nomination for her performance in a “Route 66” episode, “Good Night, Sweet Blues.”

Ethel Waters in "Route 66", episode “Good Night, Sweet Blues.”

Ethel Waters in “Route 66”, episode “Good Night, Sweet Blues.”

In the episode, “Good Night, Swee Blues”, Ethel Waters plays Jenny Henderson, a retired singer in failing health who commissions Tod and Buzz to find and bring her the members of the Memphis Naturals, the band she performed and recorded with thirty years earlier.

Waters’ nomination for this role paved the way for women like Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson, Alfre Woodard, Halle Berry, Kerry Washington, Regina King, and Viola Davis, now the first Black woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Beyond acting, Waters’ also performed jazz, big band, and pop music on the Broadway stage and in concerts, although she began her career in the 1920s singing blues.

Her best-known recordings include Dinah,”Stormy Weather,” “Taking a Chance on Love,” “Heat Wave,” “Supper Time,” Am I Blue?and “Cabin in the Sky,” as well as her version of the spiritual “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”

Here at the Recorded Sound Archives we are celebrating Black History month through music by highlighting the voices of the past and their accomplishments.

To listen to recordings by Ethel Waters, click here.





Pianist Irving Fields Mixed Bagels and Bongos

By , August 2, 2017 9:52 am

Irving Fields-playing piano

Two weeks after his 101th birthday, pianist and composer Irving Fields passed away August 20, 2016 in Manhattan. He was perhaps the longest working musician in the world. At the age of hundred, he used to play the piano several nights a week at Nino’s Tuscany restaurant in Manhattan. Irving Fields became known by fusing Jewish tunes, jazz, and popular songs with Latin music.

Born as Isidore Schwartz in 1915 New York City to Jewish immigrants, Irving Fields started working as a pianist in the thirties during the years of the Great Depression. In this time of high unemployment, he started playing piano in resort hotels in the Catskills Mountains, and then he found work as a pianist on cruise ships sailing from New York to Havana, capital city of Cuba. In Havana, Irving Fields listened to the great Cuban orchestras, and developed his love for Latin music. Attracted by pictures from palm trees and beaches in travel magazines, Irving decided to settle in Miami Beach and performed in hotels playing dinner music, and did sessions with local orchestras.

After joining the army, he began the Irving Fields Trio, with a bass and a drummer, and started composing his own songs. In 1947, his song Miami Beach Rhumba became a big success by versions of Kay Kyser, Freddy Martin, Carmen Miranda, and even by the popular band leader Xavier Cugat. During the Latin craze trend in the 40s, Irving Fields was at the right time and place, and soon Miami Beach Rhumba was followed by the number one hit song Managua, Nicaragua (1947) recorded by big band leader Guy Lombardo, and ten years later by Chantez-Chantez (1957) by singer Dinah Shore.

Bagels and Bongos - Irving Fields TrioIn 1959, the Irving Fields Trio recorded the album Bagels and Bongos blending popular Jewish tunes with Latin rhythms such as Bei Mir Bist Du Schön as a mambo, Havannah Negila a paso doble, and I Love You Much Too Much a rhumba. The album became a big hit all over the world, and was followed by the albums More Bagels and Bongos (1960), Pizzas and Bongos (Italian traditionals), Champagne and Bongos (with French standards), and Bikinis and Bongos (with Hawaiian music). Every song was mixed with a Latin beat, which turned out to be a story of success.

After the success with his trio in the sixties, Irving Fields went back working as a solo pianist on cruise ships again, where he sailed the whole world, and finally settled as a music entertainer in restaurants, from 2004 six nights a week in Nino’s Tuscany, Manhattan. This would become the place, where he started his second career.

In the last decade, several films appeared about Fields playing piano on YouTube. These films form a good impression of his talent, wisdom, and humor. Although Irving Fields was not a user of a computer or the Internet, he did compose the YouTube theme song.


Regarding my research about the influence of Jewish tunes in American popular song, I contacted Irving Fields, and then I received several handwritten letters from him. At my birthday March 2010, I met Irving Fields and his lovely wife Ruth in person in Nino’s Tuscany restaurant, where he entertained the guests with his music. From my letters, he knew that I should visit him this special evening. To my surprise, he welcomed me with a newly composed personal anniversary song. When listening to his music and talking to him, I knew that I was close to one of the last persons, already in his nineties, who could tell me first-hand about the history of popular music in the Tin Pan Alley period before the second World War.


Irving Fields and Niels Falch at Nino's

Irving Fields and Niels Falch at Nino’s

Of course, I also asked him about his secret for longevity, and he replied with more than ten rules. The first three rules for longevity are; (1) Have a sense of humor (you’ll never get ulcers), (2) Think of these three magic letters before you make a decision: L.T.D. Look, Think and Do, and (3) Be the first to say “hello” with a smile on your face and a friendly glow. Following these rules during his life, Irving Fields became ultimately 101 years young.

Even U.S. President Donald J. Trump admired Irving Fields, and shared one of his secrets for longevity: “Irving has said that work is a blessing, especially when you like your work. He loves his work, and that love is evident in his music. Irving is a great pro.”

Irving Fields will be remembered as the pianist who blended bagels and bongos, although he never had a way to play a bagel…

You can listen to over 30 recordings by Irving Fields on the Recorded Sound Archives website by clicking here.


RSA Guest Blogger, Niels Falch, is a PhD candidate at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and is currently writing a dissertation on the influence of Jewish music in American popular songs.

Please note, due to copyright some of these recordings may only play for 45 second snippet to give the user a taste of what this music sounded like back in the day, if you are interested in full access considering applying for Research Station Access. Access to Research Station is limited to educators, students and serious researchers.

Recently Added to Research Station (Spring 2017)

By , May 11, 2017 3:23 pm

recentlyaddedmusic Did you know the Recorded Sound Archives at FAU Libraries has over 49,000 albums along with over 150,000 songs in its databases, which is growing everyday with the help of volunteers? With so many recordings to choose from, we have given Research Station users the ability to request items be digitized.

Below you’ll find a list of recordings that were recently added to the Research Station this Spring Semester from requests made by Research Station Users.

Please note, due to copyright some of these recordings may only play for 45 second snippet to give the user a taste of what this music sounded like back in the day, if you are interested in full access considering applying for Research Station Access. Access to Research Station is limited to educators, students and serious researchers.

Recently Added Music

Simcha L’artzecha by Dov Levine & Sherwood Goffin

The Fifth Chasidic Song Festival 1973 by Various Artists

Chabad – Songs of the Lubovitcher Chassidim volume 2 by Various Artists

Hold On Just a Little Bit Longer by Mordechai Ben David

613 Torah Avenue – Songs for Chumash B’reishis by Elie Goldberg

18 Years, Due Re’im by Various Artists

The Reim by Various Artists

Toronto Pirchei Choir by Various Artists

Shomoh Vatismach Zion by Gershon Sirota

Sh’ma Yisroel by David Kusevitsky

Concerto in E Minor – Finale by Jascha Heifetz

Autopsy on Schubert by Larry Wagner and his Rhythmasters

Get Out Those Old Records by Guy Lombardo

One Night Stand with Ziggy Elman – Hollywood Palladium August 1948 by Ziggy Elman

Echo’s of Cantorial Concert in Honour of Cantor Shmudel Vigoda by Ben-Zion Miller

Kalanit Israeli Folk Dances by Josef Milo and David Edery

Na’ Arah, Folk Dances of Israel by Shlomo Shai

Kibbutz Festival by Various Artists

Songs of David and Cantorial Prayers by Ray Roberts

Chasidance by Shmuel Goldman and Yaron Gershovsky

The Flames – Chasidic Pop Songs by Various Artists

Achdus by Various Artists

Shim Sholom by Shloimele Rothstein

Tutzi Mutzi by Aaron Lebedeff

Or Chodosh by Yossi Toiv

Samuel Sterner Choir by Samuel Sterner Concert Choir

The Songs of Rabbi Shalom Mirkin by Various Artists

Israeli Chassidic Song Festival 1982 – No. 14 by Various Artists

Mordechai Ben David Sings [V’kol Maaminim] And All Believe by Mordechai Ben David



See a recording that hasn’t been digitized?

As a research station user you can request it using the Music on Demand forms on the website.

Please note, due to copyright some of these recordings may only play for 45 second snippet to give the user a taste of what this music sounded like back in the day, if you are interested in full access considering applying for Research Station Access. Access to Research Station is limited to educators, students and serious researchers.

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