Down With Power Audiobook!

L. Neil Smith's

Number 858, February 7, 2016

A violent revolution is certainly a difficult thing
to control, a limited strategy for change, and is
unlikely to bring about overall good results.

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Annette Hansnaw

A Golden Oldie
by L. Neil Smith
Publisher and Senior Columnist

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Before I start this, I want to make one thing clear. The great Ayn Rand was not without her foibles. She used to entertain fleeting enthusiasms, it says here, which she attempted to integrate into her philosophical and political machinery, so that if you didn't like the tap-dancer of the month, say, you were somehow low and unworthy, a second-hander. I'm writing this simply to share something I've run across recently that I think is nifty. If you disagree, it's okay with me.

I have always liked girl singers, especially the pretty ones. I think everybody probably does, because there are a lot of them. No great philosophical significance to it, the universe is a cold, dark place, but it's warmed and lighted here and there by lovelies like my three favorites of the 20th century: Olivia Newton-John, Linda Ronstadt, and especially Maria Muldaur. By accident, I've just discovered the works of a "red hot jazz" canary from the late 1920s and early 1930s named Annette Hanshaw, who flourished in the brief window from 1927 to 1934, and just happened to be a very pretty and photogenic redhead, as a bonus.

Hanshaw, who was considered a "flapper" and also known as "the personality girl", sang in a nice, clear, bright voice at the high end of the alto range. Her elocution was excellent, and she handled the nuances of pitch and rhythm well. She generally avoided a lot of the studied and cloying baby-cuteness of some of the songs of the day, although she couldn't resist it with "I Wanna Be Loved By You" (who could?).

I stumbled upon this music on I Heart Radio (where I sometimes listen to Slim Dusty), but the really great news is that there's a 142-song playlist on Youtube and I can listen to her warble all afternoon long. It's glitchy as hell, however, and full of especially idiotic commercials. I plan next to check what has to offer.

I'm still trying to learn what all she recorded. I'd like to find "I'm Through With Love"; the last time I heard it, Alfalfa was singing it about Darla. The rest of Annette Hanshaw's story is odd, and a bit disappointing to her fans, but not exactly sad. Turns out she hated the record business. She hated making records, and she hated listening to herself. So after seven all-too-short years, she quit and got married. The lucky guy was a record company executive. Annette Hanshaw sang about practically nothing but love, so I sincerely hope she found it.

I also hope she lived happily ever after; she deserved to.

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