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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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Archive for June, 2015

June 2015 in Black Lamb

Volume 13, Number 6 — June 2015

June 1st, 2015

In June’s issue, Terry Ross discusses libraries in Pantheon of books. In Loess is more, John M. Daniel salutes songwriter/lyricist Frank Loesser. Toby Tompkins confesses a need to make himself invisible in Hidey holes. In Scaredy-cat girl, Elizabeth Fournier recalls an unsettling road trip. Karla Kruggel Powell makes a plea for the wild wolf in Reintroducing ourselves. Lorentz Lossius offers a sixteenth installment of his Turkey diary. In Don’t cry for me, Nicaragua, Rene Mendieta tells the story of his coming to America. M.A.Orthofer reviews Kamel Daoud’s fictional revisit of Camus’s L’Étranger. In The examined life, Brad Bigelow examines the writing career of Alice Koller.

Renaissance dramatist Ben Jonson and contemporary short story writer Tobias Wolff are this month’s Honorary Black Lambs. Bridge writer Trixie Barkis sets us more problems to solve. A Lamb-Rice Casserole is June’s yummy lamb recipe. Millicent Marshall again answers reader’s questions, and Professor Khan tries to stump us (again) with one of his fiendish word puzzles.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Month summaries | Link to this Entry

Loess is more

In praise of Frank Loesser

June 1st, 2015

BY JOHN M. DANIEL

When asked who they thought were the most important writers of “The Great American Songbook,” most Americans today might say, “Never heard of that book. Is it available from Amazon?” If you tell them it’s a term for an important part of their cultural heritage, namely the popular standards, songs written for Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood from 1920 to 1950 or thereabouts, their eyes will glaze over. For them, what we call the standards are as dead as vaudeville or barbershop harmony.

loesserTry again. When asked who they thought were the most important writers of “The Great American Songbook,” most somewhat older Americans, for whom standards make up the soundtrack of their lives, are likely to answer, “Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart and/or Hammerstein…” To name a few. I agree with those candidates, but would like to induct another into the Hall of Fame: Frank Loesser.

Frank Loesser, like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Johnny Mercer, wrote both music and lyrics to his songs, although, like Mercer, Loesser also wrote lyrics for melodies written by other composers. Loesser’s lyrics were as good as Mercer’s (that’s saying a lot), and his melodies were a lot better.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Daniel | Link to this Entry

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