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Society & Culture

Society & Culture

Music Morph – The Origins of Mack the Knife

Bertolt Brecht wasn’t much of a singer, but he could really roll his “r”s. This rare recording of the socialist playwright singing “Mack the Knife” was made in May of 1929, less than a year after the smash-hit premiere of The Threepenny Opera. The song, called in German “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer,” was written in a rush only a few days before the August 31, 1928 Berlin premiere, after the actor who played Macheath complained that his entrance wasn’t grand enough. Brecht wrote the words overnight and asked his collaborator, the composer Kurt Weill, to set them to music. The song is

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Tower? This is Flight 123. We Have This Guy up Here Sitting on a Park Bench. Uh, Did I Mention That He Has a Gun?

1982: Frustrated in his dream of becoming an Air Force pilot, a southern California truck driver gets himself airborne anyway with the help of a lawn chair and 42 helium-filled weather balloons. Airborne, as in 16,000 feet worth of airborne. Poor eyesight put the kibosh on Larry Walters’ top-gun dreams, but the man was determined to fly. You’d think he’d just go out and get himself a commercial pilot’s license, but, no…. Walters said later that he had nurtured the idea of flying using balloons for 20 years, ever since seeing helium balloons hanging from the ceiling of an Army-Navy

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