The easy availability of image-editing software has opened the floodgates for lots of people with good imaginations. One specialty seems to be creating imaginary hybrid animals. In the slideshow below you can see some of those strange creatures. They’re all imaginary — I think — but some of them are still a little creepy.
Dominik Hauser – “All The Strange, Strange Creatures”
One of the most interesting acts of the early days of country music was a pair of sisters who called themselves the Girls of the Golden West. Rising to popularity via radio in the late 1920s and early 1930s, they found a lot of success on the broadcast waves and in record sales while dressing like cowgirls, singing Western songs and yodeling — but they were a little more sophisticated than fans thought.
Mildred and Dorothy (Dolly) Good were born near St. Louis and grew up entertaining family members with the popular music of the era, but when they began to work professionally they went for the twangy kind of music. They named themselves the Girls of the Golden West (possibly to connect to the success of a popular stage play of the era, Girl of the Golden West), adopted cowgirl outfits, and claimed to hail from Muleshow, Texas.
Dolly was just fourteen when they started (Mildred was two years older) but she was usually the lead singer and also played some guitar. People loved them and they soon became a popular radio attraction in St Louis and beyond. Eventually relocating to Chicago and receiving national coverage, they later became stars on the influential WLS National Barn Dance radio show and also made a lot of successful records.
Their popularity continued through the 1940s, but eventually began to lessen. The girls always had a preference for pop music anyway, and they began to mix more and more of it into their act. But they continued to fade, and by the early 1960s they’d pretty much become part of the history of country music.
Golden Girls Of The West – “When It’s Roundup Time In Texas”
During the big band era, one of the most popular ‘sweet’ bands around (as opposed to cutting-edge ‘hot’ bands) was the outfit whose motto was: ‘the music of yesterday and today, styled the Blue Barron way’. But the leader’s name wasn’t originally Blue Barron, and fronting a band — or performing in one, for that matter — wasn’t a part of his earlier professional career. He had instead been behind the scenes, a manager of bands.
Cleveland native Harry Friedland was a skilled violinist who played in a college band, but when he began pursuing a career in music in the early 1930s it was on the management side of things. He did well enough for a few years — rising star bandleader Sammy Kaye was one of his clients — but Friedland decided that his best bet for success lay in reinventing himself.
Now going by the name Blue Barron, he recruited a bunch of good musicians and decided to aim for the large number of conservative folks who loved their music sweet and straight. In keeping with what would become the band’s motto, the idea was that they’d play old songs and then follow with similar, but newer sounds. Fans seemed to like the idea, and for a period of several years leading up to World War II, the band headlined in New York and also sold a lot of records with songs like the one that would become its theme, “Sometimes I’m Happy,” featuring vocalist Russ Carlyle.
During the war years, Barron turned the leadership of the band over to others while he fulfilled his military obligation, but he returned to lead the group later. In fact, the band had its biggest selling record in 1949, hitting the top of the charts with “Cruisin’ Down the River.” But the big band era was beginning to wind down by then, and even though Barron kept things going for a few more years, he eventually left the music business and went into real estate. When he died in 2005, he was 91.
Blue Barron Orchestra w/ Russ Carlyle – “Sometimes I’m Happy”