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Palace of Nostalgia

thu 11 feb 2016 06:00 hrs

Jazz, blues and nostalgia. About the art of whistling.

In poorer times it was pre-eminently suited for those who wanted to become a musician but could not afford an instrument. In the first half of the last century, whistling has been immensely popular and whistlers like Ronnie Ronalde acquired an iconic popularity. Several orchestras had a whistler in their service – like the virtuoso Elmo Tanner in the band of Ted Weems – or have a vocalist at their disposal who could also whistle: Bing Crosby, Tex Beneke. With the rise of the beat music, the craft deteriorated. A final belch was the hit ‘I was Kaiser Bill’s Batman’ in 1967 by the mysterious Whistling Jack Smith. Nowadays of course it’s Geert Chatrou, multiple world champion whistling from the south of the Netherlands. 
Although whistling is usually an expression of happiness, it also has a dark, ominous side. It brings disaster on a ship, just like it does backstage. And who’s not familiar with whistling in the dark to ward off your fears? These days, there’s not much whistling going on anymore. Gone are the times where the butcher and the milkman did their rounds while whistling all the time. The Palace of Nostalgia shows you why this is such a pity… A programme including Muzzy Marcellino, the Sweet Potato Tooters, Adolphe DePrince, Spike Jones, the Comedian Harmonists and Ambrose.

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