Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: A Musiversicle -- Try It on Your Piano

Here's a really obscure entry from a fellow named H.H. Holden, distributed by the George Matthew Adams Service (in my book I say it was distributed by the New York Evening Mail, but it turns out they just purchased it from the Adams Service).

Musical comic strips (that is, strips in which a few lines of a song are offered) have been tried on occasion, rarely with any great success. Without a doubt, the longest-running strip of this type was Them Days is Gone Forever by Al Posen, but even that probably qualifies as a borderline obscurity.

This strip was first titled A Musiversicle -- Try It On Your Piano when it debuted on December 3 1914, but then changed titles to Five Columns of Musical Comedy -- Try It On Your Piano on December 14, then A Musical Comedy -- Sing It, Whistle It, Try It On Your Piano the next week. The series stuck with that last name until the end, less than two months in, on January 27 1915. (These dates all based on the Philadelphia Public Ledger, but there may be longer runs lurking out there somewhere).

I don't know if Mr. Holden counted himself primarily as a songwriter or a cartoonist, but I can say that as far as I know, this was his sole contribution to the world of newspaper strips. A pity, as he had a pretty appealing style.


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