Mayhew L. Lake Autobiography

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gentlemanfarmer

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Mayhew L. Lake Autobiography

PostTue May 03, 2011 10:32 am

Has anyone here read Lake's autobiography: Great Guys: Laughs and Gripes of Fifty Years of Show-Music Business (1983), does he discuss silent film scoring or writing incidental theater music in the book?

If he does, are there any insights worth considering?

Thanks
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Rodney

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Re: Mayhew L. Lake Autobiography

PostTue May 03, 2011 11:28 am

gentlemanfarmer wrote:Has anyone here read Lake's autobiography: Great Guys: Laughs and Gripes of Fifty Years of Show-Music Business (1983), does he discuss silent film scoring or writing incidental theater music in the book?

If he does, are there any insights worth considering?

Thanks


I'd never heard of it myself, and it seems to be rare (it was published by the Detroit Concert Band, which I can't imagine was a major publisher). Used copies are $96 at alibris and almost $60 at amazon.

M.L. Lake wrote some of the earliest compositions in the "photoplay music" genre in the early teens. While I don't think he's the greatest composer, he could write very interesting material when he gets jiggy -- the cool "I've got ants crawling on me" music from our Jekyll & Hyde score is his.

If he does write about his silent film days, it would be an interesting read.

I'll see if can be inter-library-loaned.
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
www.mont-alto.com
"Let the Music do the Talking!"
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gentlemanfarmer

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PostTue May 03, 2011 11:37 am

I have begun to catalog my collection of photoplay/incidental scores, and I realized he is the most numerous (and not the greatest) of the composer in my little collection, so I went looking for info., and found the autobiography, he also wrote a book entitled:

The American Band Arranger - which looks very interesting, which you can see at Google Books:

http://books.google.com/books?id=Ey8uAA ... &q&f=false

and another title:

All out for America! Marching son of the U.S.A. - in 1941 published by Sam Fox.

He was also the main editor of Carl Fischer's Orchestral and Band departments for 30 years or so, and played with or worked as an editor with an immense number of composers, band leaders, song writers, etc. Seems like an interesting and important man if not the greatest composer.
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gentlemanfarmer

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PostTue May 03, 2011 12:55 pm

Is that the Fourteen Fathoms Deep: an Undersea Tragedy (M.L. Lake, 1917) piece?
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Rodney

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PostTue May 03, 2011 1:00 pm

Yep, that's the one. Strange little piece, but useful when creepy is wanted...
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
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"Let the Music do the Talking!"
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gentlemanfarmer

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PostTue May 03, 2011 1:07 pm

I have a couple of his agitato's and what I like is that they are AB structure and often the B section has a nice, almost Eastern European sound to it - I have a feeling some Hungarian Rhapsody paraphrasing is going on, but havent's done a proper analysis to find out yet.
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Andrew Greene

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PostTue May 03, 2011 7:17 pm

Lake was extremely popular as an arranger back then. And he arranged/composed under several pseudonyms, such as Lester Brockton. I've got some of his compositions, and a bunch of arrangements by him.

He seems to fall into a similar category as people such as Harry L. Alford, who primarily arranged, but did write several very interesting compositions.
Andrew Greene
Founder & Director, Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra
http://www.peacherineragtime.com
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Rodney

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PostFri Jun 03, 2011 5:38 pm

I was dealing with my local inter-library loan people and found that according to WorldCat, ML Lake died in 1955. Since his autobiography wasn't published until 1983, it must have sat around for a while (or someone must have taken a while to finish it).

Anyway, I'll report back if it shows up.
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
www.mont-alto.com
"Let the Music do the Talking!"

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