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South Rampart Street Parade (SRSP)

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  • Lloyd Erickson
    On October 2, 1981, I happened to videotape Steve Allen discussing the origin and style of SRSP, and then sitting at the piano and playing it. VERY
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 2, 2002
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      On October 2, 1981, I happened to videotape Steve Allen discussing the
      origin and style of SRSP, and then sitting at the piano and playing
      it. VERY INTERESTING!!! A somewhat different melody from the standard BBS
      arrangements I have heard and sung, slightly different lyrics, and (if I
      recall correctly) a somewhat slower tempo from what we usually sing.

      You can get a copy of the video of that show at

      http://www.johnnycarson.com/carson/indexflash.jsp

      (As an aside, David Letterman was the guest host for Johnny Carson that night.)

      Here are some of the notes from that show:

      ======================

      10-02-1981

      STEVE ALLEN - They discuss: Playing at Michael's Pub in New York as a
      pianist on the nights that Woody Allen isn't playing, Susan Atkins, falling
      down laughing over jokes, being punchy from jet lag, delays in New York
      travel departures, his idea for a snack food called Sum-a-dis, his new book
      'Talk Show Murders', other comedians, DICK CAVETT SHOW, Bob Einstein, and
      then sings 'South Rampart St. Parade'.

      ======================

      Steve wrote over 5000 songs! He would think of a melody, then write words
      to help him remember the melody because he could not read or write music (I
      have heard this from more than one source - tho it is hard to believe
      anyone that talented could not read music). He played piano very well and
      also the vibraphone. I saw him on more than one occasion play the vibes
      with a little short guy who was in the Tonight Show band, and supposedly
      one of the best vibraphonists around. Steve would play the treble part,
      then run around him to play the bass part, then stand behind him (Steve was
      quite tall) and play both the extreme bass and extreme treble parts while
      the other guy was playing in the middle. Of course both of them were using
      two sticks in each hand, and it was quite a tour de force!!!

      He was the author of several light mystery novels, wrote a series of TV
      shows that included 'interviews' with several historic figures (eg he might
      have Martin Luther, Albert Einstein, and Adolph Hitler on the same show -
      he would create the dialog based on the viewpoints of each of the
      "guests"), and wrote a number of more serious books about subjects in which
      he was interested. His final book was titled "Vulgarians at the Gate" and
      was a lament of the demise of creativity in entertainment and its
      replacement with cheap vulgarity. [A lament I share, by the way!]

      A few months before his untimely death, the Houston Tidelanders performed
      at a cancer survivors benefit show, and he was the featured guest speaker
      and was sitting at the table right in front of the chorus. What a role
      reversal to be performing for one of the finest performers of the 20th
      Century!!!

      Lloyd Erickson -- Houston Tidelanders, Innsiders




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ehink557@aol.com
      Has anyone actually seen the composer s original notes. I guarantee you they are different from what is usually sung. My chorus sang this in comp several years
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 2, 2002
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        Has anyone actually seen the composer's original notes. I guarantee you they
        are different from what is usually sung. My chorus sang this in comp several
        years ago and we were told at that time if we ever did it again we would be
        DQ'd. I subsequently went to the store and bought the sheet music. Boy, there
        sure were discrepancies in the melody.

        Ed Hinkley
      • Steve Shannon
        ... SRSP, ... somewhat slower ... And, then, in classic Erickson fashion, he added some notes from the show and a link to the Carson web site. Thanks Lloyd.
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 2, 2002
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          Lloyd Erickson wrote:

          > ...I happened to videotape Steve Allen discussing the origin and style of
          SRSP,
          > and then sitting at the piano and playing it. VERY INTERESTING!!! A
          > somewhat different melody from the standard BBS arrangements I have heard
          > and sung, slightly different lyrics, and (if I recall correctly) a
          somewhat slower
          > tempo from what we usually sing.
          And, then, in classic Erickson fashion, he added some notes from the
          show and a link to the Carson web site.
          Thanks Lloyd. You continue to be a remarkable source of valuable
          information on people and events that have shaped our art-form.

          Steve Shannon
          AHSOW - VP Education
        • kkbari
          ... you they ... comp several ... would be ... Boy, there ... Please note: This attitude no longer exists in the current judging system. First, on melodic
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 2, 2002
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            --- In bbshop@y..., Ehink557@a... wrote:
            >
            > Has anyone actually seen the composer's original notes. I guarantee
            you they
            > are different from what is usually sung. My chorus sang this in
            comp several
            > years ago and we were told at that time if we ever did it again we
            would be
            > DQ'd. I subsequently went to the store and bought the sheet music.
            Boy, there
            > sure were discrepancies in the melody.
            >
            > Ed Hinkley

            Please note: This attitude no longer exists in the current judging
            system. First, on melodic alteration, melodic changes that are
            accepted as "mainstream" are acceptable. So, SRSP as we know it is
            fine. Secondly, if there were stylistic issues (melodic changes or
            otherwise), it would be handled in a different manner. Finally, the
            likelihood of a 0 for melodic alteration is remote. The rules
            suggest a lower Music score, but not up to and including forfeiture
            (it says this sort of language in other passages).

            From the rules:
            6. The arranger is expected to use the composer's melody as the
            basis for his harmonization and embellishment. Melodic alterations
            might be distracting, especially when the melody is well known.
            Alterations that are made for the purpose of satisfying the standards
            of acceptable harmonic progressions and harmonic rhythm stated in
            II.C.6 are not permitted.

            Alterations are acceptable in the following circumstances:

            a. Minor melodic alterations may be made to enhance the
            potential for increased consonance and singability, as long as the
            notes that are changed are not essential to defining the character or
            shape of the melody.

            b. When an alteration of the melody is commonly known and
            accepted.

            c. When, in a repeated section (verse or chorus) of a song, the
            arrangement alters or stylizes the melody. Stylized segments may
            occur during repeats of a song section as long as the stylization
            results in a passage suggestive of the original.

            Alterations beyond these parameters will result in a lower Music
            score.

            Cheers!

            Kevin Keller
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