The Cornish Hotels of New York City – Part Two

  The Cornish Hotels of New York CityPart Two Research into the later life of the last two West Twenty-third Street incarnations of the Cornish Arms Hotel from 1914 until c.1973 yields evidence of the decline and the ultimate end of its distinctively Cornish character.  From the opening of its final home at 311-315 West Twenty-third Street in 1926 the Cornish Arms, both under the...

Major Wiley

Major Wiley In a number of the posts on this website I have referred to those who have died as having "gone under the wire".  I glommed this phrase from A.J. Liebling's friend and subject, J.A.S. Macdonald - a.k.a, Col. John R. Stingo, a.a.k.a., The Honest Rainmaker.  It is a horse racing term meaning those who have passed the finishing line....

Helstonia – The Cornish Hotels of New York City

THE CORNISH HOTELS OF NEW YORK CITYPART ONESome time ago, while researching in the Cornish Studies Library at Redruth into the history of an old Cornish public house, I encountered on microfilm copies of the West Briton newspaper’s shipping columns dating from the 1890s a series of advertisements connecting the area of Lower Manhattan where I spent my childhood and...

The Old Punter’s Cautionary Tale of a Ditty

The Old Punter’s Cautionary Tale of a Ditty - The History of "Dublin Lady"I might have followed the example of Noel Coward when he warned “Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage, Mrs. Worthington” in advising my children against becoming songwriters. As it is, in the case of my eldest son, the counsel would have come too late.  He’s already...

Seamus Ennis, Sketch of a Master

My admiration for Seamus Ennis – always fairly idolatrous – reached its peak one night in March 1971 at Thurso Folk Club.  Seamus, the Scotish folk singer/songwriter Archie Fisher and I had driven from Aberdeen; stopping only for a flat tyre in Dingwall, and making the last hundred miles in a slithery drizzle along a serpentine coast road, stretches of...

The Old Punter’s Advice…

THE OLD PUNTER’S ADVICETO YOUNG MUSICIANS & SINGERS1.)     Ditch the music stands and the lyric crib sheets.  Unless you are performing in the context of a recital room, a classical or jazz concert hall rather than a club or a pub, you ought to have some grasp of the tunes you’re playing.  As to words, if you have not managed...

Base Ball in Graceland

On March 15th, 1889, the first competitive game was played at the newly completed Gloucestershire County Cricket Ground at Ashley Down, Bishopston, in the historic English seaport city of Bristol.  The contest was not a cricket match but rather an exhibition game between two teams of American professional baseball players.  The press coverage given the event – including stories headlined...

Plum at the Polo Grounds

     In his admirable life of Wodehouse Robert McCrum observes that: “In old age, he had become a devoted baseball fan...

Electric Eden, The Old Punter’s Personal Reflections

Electric Eden – Unearthing Britain’s Visionary MusicRob YoungFaber & Faber 664p.The Old Punter's Personal Reflections:Traditional folk songs may be valued not least for the spare, uncluttered economy of their language.  Electric Eden cannot be said to share fully in this virtue.  At 607 pages of text plus 55 of notes and index the book offers the length of, say, The Gest...