Thursday, September 28, 2017

Regional Airplay and National Charts in 1966

The front page of the July 2, 1966 issue of Billboard magazine featured an article entitled "Detroit & L.A. Sales 'Happening Places'."  This article detailed the various the contributions of various regional markets to the national hit charts -- Detroit came on top owing to the song "Cool Jerk" by Capitols, though it's hard to imagine that the Motown label didn't play a role in its prominence.


San Francisco placed third with 7 chart lists.  The article makes special note of the San Jose-based Syndicate of Sound's song "Little Girl" "moving up the charts."

Indeed the song is shown in the 11th position on the weekly charts with a red star given to "sides registering proportionate upward progress" for the week.  (By the way, harkening back to an older era, Frank Sinatra topped that week's chart with "Strangers In The Night."  Representing the new era, The Beatles charted at no. 2 with "Paperback Writer.")

According to Joel Whitburn Presents Top 10 Singles Charts, "Little Girl" peaked at #8 during the week of July 9, 1966, squeezed between "Cool Jerk" by the Capitols at #7 and "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones at #9.  It repeated at #8 the following week of July 16 and then faded away.


According to the Billboard Book of One Hit Wonders, the Syndicate of Sound recorded "Little Girl" on January 9, 1966 at Golden Gate Recorders in San Francisco at 665 Harrison Street.  Leo de Gar Kulka opened Golden State Recorders in 1964 after moving north from Los Angeles and soon began recording many of the bands of the "San Francisco Sound."  In If These Halls Could Talk, Heather Johnson describes it as "one of the few music recording studios in town with a recording room comparable in size to established L.A. and New York facilities."


The KFRC Weekly Music Charts 1966-1970 show "Little Girl" charting earlier in the Bay Area.  On May 25, 1966 it was ranked #11, June 1, 1966 at #9 and on June 8, 1966 at #14 on the station's "Big 30."  After that it did appear in the Top 30 again.  It achieved its peak of popularity in the Bay Area a month before its national success. 

This is an interesting time because radio stations were programmed locally and their record charts still reflected local tastes.  That same week "Don't Bring Me Down" by The Animals reached #3 on KFRC, but it never reached Billboard's Top Ten.

 The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders has a brief chapter describing the band's history and the creation of their hit song.  The lead singer recalled: "I had no idea how I would interpret it vocally.  It didn't really work putting melody on top ... so we agreed I'd do it, without a melody, but with attitude."

A black and white video from that time captures that attitude.


The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders by Wayne Jancik (Billboard Books, 1998).

Hall, Claude, "Detroit & L.A. Sales 'Happening Places'." Billboard (July 2, 1966), 1; 26.

If These Halls Could Talk: A Historical Tour Through San Francisco Recording Studios by Heather Johnson (Thomson Course Technology, 2006).

Joel Whitburn Presents Top 10 Singles Charts: Chart Data Compiled from Billboard's Best Sellers in Stores and Hot 100 charts, 1955-2000 (Record Research, 2001).

KFRC Weekly Music Charts. 1966-1970 by Frank W. Hoffmann (Paw Paw Press, 2015).

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

50 Poison Pieces: a chess puzzle book for beginners
A book talk with nationally ranked chess player Lauren Goodkind
             Event detail

Nationally ranked chess player, author, and instructor, Lauren Goodkind, will discuss her new book 50 Poison Pieces: solve 50 puzzles where the unprotected piece is toxic and talk about her life in chess. Lauren will facilitate chess puzzles from her book and chess boards will be set up for free play and Q&A after the discussion. Books will be available for purchase at this event.

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Learning Studio (5th Floor) - Main Library



Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My Words, My Music - Sunday, August 27

The Art, Music and Recreation Center is please to present My Words, My Music, a family concert presented by Composing Together in the Koret Auditorium at 2 PM, Sunday, August 27.  Composing Together is an organization that has been bringing applied learning music composition into Bay Area middle and high school classrooms for nearly a decade.

My Words, My Music is a fun concert for all ages with a string trio of professional composers accompanying readings of favorite new and old children’s books and original poetry by Composing Together’s Poet in Residence. The grand finale will be a words-and-music "composition” created with the audience members.

This program is supported by a Faculty Enrichment Grant from the San Francisco Community Center.  All programs at the San Francisco Public Library are free and open to the public.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Queen of the French New Wave

When we talk about one of the most enduring cinema movements, we think of the French New Wave. And when we think of the New Wave, we think of its five main directors – Chabrol, Truffaut, Godard, Rivette, and Rohmer – and of course the queen of the French New Wave, Jeanne Moreau, who passed away on July 31, 2017, at the age of 89.

Although she acted only in a handful of films directed by the New Wave Five, it was her film Les Amants by Louise Malle which critics credit with making the the French New Wave possible. Just as her role in Les Amants is a premonition of things to come with regards to the new sensibility about French women of the post-World War II, her performance in the Jules and Jim turned her into the iconic image of the wave.


In 2011, Académie Française introduced a new word into the French language, Attachiante, which refers to a woman one can't live with but also can't live without, as personified by the character Catherine, played by Jeanne Moreau, in François Truffaut's Jules et Jim. She carried the sensibility and essence of the wave beyond, to the roles in movies directed by other contemporary French directors, giving her audience countless memorable performances.


 
We have in our collection at San Francisco Public Library several books DVDs that deal with her life and performance. We recommends some of the following:

Books -

La Moreau : a biography of Jeanne Moreau / Marianne Gray
New York : Donald I. Fine Books
791.4302 M813g 1996

French cinema / by Roy Armes
New York : Oxford University Press, 1985
792.5944 Ar54f

The French cinema book / edited by Michael Temple and Michael Witt
London : BFI Pub.,
2004 791.4309 F887

French cinema since 1950 : personal histories / Emma Wilson
Lanham, Md. : Rowman and Littlefield, c1999
791.4309 W692f

Films –

The bride wore black / directed by Françoise Truffaut
DVD F BRID

La notte / directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
ITALIAN DVD F NOTT

Going places / directed by Bertrand Blier
FRENCH DVD F VALS

Jules et Jim / mise en scène, FrançoisTruffaut
FRENCH DVD F JULE

Les amants / directed by Louis Malle
FRENCH DVD F AMAN

The diary of a chambermaid / directed by Luis Bunuel
FRENCH DVD F JOUR 2001

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Emilia Musto Tojetti (1860-1920)

image source: San Francisco Call (April 6, 1910), 16.

The San Francisco Public Library established a Music Department with opening of the former Main Library building in 1917.  Emilia Musto Tojetti is credited with being a driving force behind the Department's creation.  It was Madame Tojetti (as she was often known) who first raised money to add musical scores to the Library's collection.

With the backing of the California Club, Madame Tojetti and others had  advocated for the addition of a "good musical library as an annex to the Free Library." Around 1902 the trustees of the San Francisco Public Library provided funds Madame Tojetti select $100 worth of printed music for the Library collection (this was equivalent to about $2,600 today).  Afterwards the Library appropriated $100 annually to build upon this.  Unfortunately this initial effort at building a score collection was destroyed in the Earthquake and Fire of 1906.

A September 28, 1912 article in the Pacific Coast Musical Review describes her early role:

It was in 1901 that Mme. Emilia Tojetti, of the California Club, first proposed the addition of music to the San Francisco Public Library. George T. Clark, who was then the librarian and the trustees, took up the matter with enthusiasm. Mme. Tojetti suggest the first purchase, and after that one hundred dollars a year was appropriated and Dr. Lisser was consulted in the selection of music.
Emilia Tojetti was the daughter of Joseph Musto who emigrated to San Francisco from Italy in 1851.  He was the patriarch of the family that founded Joseph Musto Sons-Keenan, a firm that imported the marble that went into many post-1906 government buildings, hotels, theatres, churches and mansions in the Bay Area.

Anne Bloomfield and Arthur Bloomfield note in Gables and Fables that "Joseph and Maria [Musto] had seven children, the first five of whom were girls."  The only one of the five to marry was Emilia who married the artist Eduardo Tojetti (1851-1930).  The match must not have been propitious because the Bloomfields also note that after marriage "she returned to the family roost."

There is a record of the marriage of Eduardo Tojetti to Emilia Musto on August 12, 1875 in the Sacramento Daily Union. She would have been 15 years old.  Also known by the first names of Edward and Edwardo, her husband was a prominent artist of that time, in part owing to fame of his father Domenico Tojetti and elder brother Virgilio Tojetti. Eduardo Tojetti is mentioned in standard art references, but it seems that his best and most representative works were interior murals that were also destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

The Daily Alta California of January 18, 1889 shows Emilia Tojetti filing for divorce "on the grounds of violation of marital obligations." A month later, her divorce was granted on "grounds of adultery." ("Millie's Column" in about article about the Tojetti family in the  Chronicle of March 6, 1963 also mentioned her marriage to Eduardo Tojetti. The 1900 Census lists her as Amelia [sic] Tojetti and widowed).

Nevertheless, Emilia Tojetti had embarked on her concert career already by 1885.  In June of that year she presented lecture performance at her house at 807 Pine Street in a concert series for the Impromptu Club with her husband "Prof. E. Tojetti" among those in attendance.  The Club's March 9, 1886 event at their home was presented to "a very select number of friends [who] listened with delight to the brilliant execution of many talented young amateurs."

Madame Tojetti first achieved an independent listing in the 1889 Langley Directory as Emilia Tojetti, residing a 1236 Hyde Street - the Musto family home of that time.  The San Francisco Chronicle of March 4, 1889 concurrently noted that "Mrs. Emilia Tojetti is now residing at the home of her parents where she will receive her friends."  Soon she was active as a concert and performer and as the Secretary of the San Francisco Girls' Union.


She was later a force in the local branch of the California Federation of Women's Clubs, an organization formed in 1900 and devoted to such causes as child labor laws, conservation of redwood forests, earthquake relief and women's suffrage. She became their Chairman of Music and performed and gave lectures.  A history of the organization applauded a speech she gave at their 1914 convention were she gave "an able-bodied assault on ragtime as 'music'."  She told members of the club that they must work to "abolish this pernicious rhythm and melody which is having such a demoralizing effect not only upon children but upon the musicality and ethos of the entire nation."

On December 9, 1915 she joined a group of panelists as a representative of the Pacific Musical Society at a luncheon sponsored by the Recreation League of San Francisco on the topic "Music: Its Place In The Community Life."  She also became a patron of the League's San Francisco People's Orchestra, an organization that aimed to present "the best music at the lowest price" for the working people of the City.

Portrait of Emilia Tojetti from the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection


In addition to her work for music and social uplift, Emilia Tojetti was a member of the Vittoria Colonna Club, an Italian-American women's organization in San Francisco, and the Laurel Hall Club.  Both of these organizations offered musical tributes to her after her passing on December 21, 1920.  Her obituary described her as a graduate of San Francisco's Girls High School who learned her musical skills in the City.  She was praised "both as a concert singer and a promoter of good music."

Her will, found in Ancestry.com, directly bequeaths a sum of $500 (the equivalent of more than $6,000 today).

To the Public Library I give five hundred dollars to be used for music for the Music library.
Signed
Emilia Musto Tojetti

Emilia Tojetti's advocacy for a music collection in the San Francisco Public Library was a part of her wider belief in the power of music, specifically European art music, to be a force for the betterment of society.  If ordinary San Franciscans were given the benefit of studying the finest music of the world they would lose interest in the frivolous and harmful musical life then prevalent in the City's bars, theatres and dance halls.  Madame Tojetti would probably be scandalized to learn that today a search for the subject heading Ragtime Music brings up more than 200 results in the San Francisco Public Library catalog. But we are grateful that her vision helped establish an innovation in library service that could serve the musical needs of all.


Bibliography

Anthony, Walter, "La Boheme Will Start Repertoire," San Francisco Call (September 22, 1912), 29.

Anthony, Walter, "La Scala Artists Will Give Brief Season at Cort," San Francisco Chronicle (April 16, 1916), 24.

Anthony, Walter, "Music's Place in Community Life," San Francisco Chronicle (December 5, 1915), 24.

Beals, Elena, "San Francisco's Musical Life Thrives In Spite of the War," Musical America (October 19, 1918), 150-1.

"California Club in Throes of Triangular Fight for President," San Francisco Call (April 6, 1910), 16.

"Divorce Proceedings," Daily Alta California (February 22, 1889), 4.

"The Divorce Record," Daily Alta California (January 18, 1889), 4.

Bloomfield, Anne and Arthur, Gables and Fables: A Portrait of San Francisco's Pacific Heights (Heyday Books, 2007).

Falk, Peter Hastings, Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975: 400 Years of Artists in America / Audrey Lewis, head of research (Sound View Press, 1999).

Gibbs, Jason, "'The Best Music at the Lowest Price': People's Music in San Francisco," MLA Northern California Chapter Newsletter Vol. 17, no. 1 (Fall 2002).

"Girls' Union: Annual Meeting Yesterday at the Home," San Francisco Chronicle (September 17, 1891), 7

Hughes, Edan Milton, Artists in California, 1786-1940 (Crocker Art Museum, 2002).

"The Impromptu Club," Daily Alta California (June 15, 1885), 7.

"The Impromptu Club," San Francisco Chronicle (March 9, 1886), 6.

Langley's San Francisco directory for the year commencing 1889 (Francis, Valentine & Co., 1880- ).

"Married," Sacramento Daily Union (August 17, 1875), 2.

"Miscellaneous," San Francisco Chronicle (March 4, 1889), 4.

"Mme. Tojetti, Art Patron and Singer Dies in Her Home," San Francisco Chronicle (December 22, 1920), 9.

Murray, Elizabeth, "California Women's Clubs," Sunset vol. 10, no. 4 (February 1903), 343-350.

"The Music Division in the Public Library," Argonaut (September 28, 1912), 207.

"Music in a Library," San Francisco Call (August 2, 1895), 14.

"Music in Public Library," Pacific Coast Musical Review vol. 22, no. 26 (September 28, 1912), 4.

A Record of Twenty-Five Years of the California Federation of Women's Clubs, 1900-1925, Volume 1, Handbook for Clubwomen, compiled by Mary S. Gibson (California Federation of Women's Clubs,|c1927).

Robbins, Millie, "The Boys Followed in Papa's Footsteps," San Francisco Chronicle (March 6, 1963), 20.

Robbins, Millie, "Building with Musto Gusto," San Francisco Chronicle (July 30, 1967), 19.

"Want a Music Library," San Francisco Chronicle (December 13, 1902), 14.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and the Impressionist Movement: A slide show and lecture by Marlene Aron


Event detail
It's Paris, 1874 and the world of art is about to change forever. View over eighty works of art by Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Cezanne, Lautrec, Morisot, Sisley, Degas, Van Gogh and Gauguin. Artists who experienced and expressed the world about them each in their own unique and personal way.

These artists gathered together in studios, cafes, bars, and on the streets to talk and argue about art, its meaning, and how and what to paint. Together they shaped the avant-garde world of Impressionism, and in turn opened the doors to the Modern Art Movement of the 20th Century and beyond.
Join Marlene Aron as she presents an in-depth slide lecture on the lives and art of the new, avant-garde artists of the 1800's.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Koret Auditorium, Main Library


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hit Parade: Inspired by the Musical Archives of the San Francisco Public Library



Public Knowledge is an ongoing project of the The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  It is an effort to bring art to the community and the community to art and to the museum.  Public Knowledge involves collaborations with scholars, artists and community members.  The current project is a collaboration with the San Francisco Public Library called Hit Parade.

This is our second time working with the Museum of Modern Art. During the summer of 2014 we hosted the Chimerenga Library in collaboration with them and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

The current project includes many components, including public rehearsals and performances - Mission Branch on July 11, 2017, Bayview / Linda Brooks Burton Library on July 12 and Western Additional Branch on July 13.  These same branches had "storytelling" sessions where members of the community spoke of the musical memories.


Another aspect of the project has been researching the library's archival resources for histories and sheet music.  They have created a lively blog that presents some of the treasures they have unearthed from the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection and the Art, Music and Recreation Center of the Library.


Keep returning to visit the Hit Parade blog to see what else the researchers turn up!