Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Boston Music Company, my Great Aunt and Ted Kennedy.

My great aunt worked as a secretary for the Boston Music Company for years though she really wasn't much of a music fan herself. Catherine "Kay" McIntyre loved going to Symphony Hall, she loved seeing popular Broadway musicals but at heart, it wasn't the music so much that moved her as the social experience of going to a concert or seeing a play and being seen while doing either.

That said, for a person who wasn't all that interested in music she left behind an amazing collection of records and music related ephemara. I am going to try and post as much as I can in up coming posts but this was one of the more unique pieces and I thought posting this first was as good a place to start as any.

This is a link to a video I made of a record produced for the 1962 Edward M. Kennedy senate campaign:

(I am having some trouble adding a link to this page so I will post the url and it can be copied and pasted if you can't see the link while reading this)

I knew Kay must have had the record stashed away in the attic from her Boston Music Company days but more details about the recording itself were harder to find.
I currently work in a bookstore and we had some of the authors of a Ted Kennedy biography (Last Lion) in for a book signing and I asked them about it but they had never heard of it. I searched the internet and came up blank. I asked the guys at the record shop who generously lent my thier turntable to make the video and though they agreed it was a neat bit of history, they didn't know any more about it than I did.
Since the record seemed pretty rare at this point, I wrote to the currator of the Kennedy Library and offered it to them. I got a very nice letter back stating that they already had a copy of it and thus were not interested but that it was public domain so if I wanted to sell it, they had no objection to my doing so.
I didn't really want to sell it as much as know more about it so I kept asking around. Finally a co-worker at the bookstore took on the task and he found that it was a tune "borrowed" from a popular musical of the time and was re-written for the 1962 campaign.
We'll as peppy and hopeful this song is, we all now know how that campain turned out, which is probaly why finding info about this song was so hard to find.
I had my local record shop guys make a CD copy for me and then I did wind up selling the record itself to a collector who was very happy to have it.
All I could think was this thing survived so long in the attic in Roslindale that it would be a shame for it to wind up broken while residing at my house. (Which it surely would have knowing me as well I do...)
Far better that it be housed in a well cared for collection.

The photos in this post are prints that once belonged to my great aunt. She did not take the photos however, the back of each print is marked:
Vouge inc.
Commercial Photography
296 Columbus Ave.
Boston, Mass

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I figure the best place to start a blog is with introductions.

("Hi!" seems as good a place to start as any....)

My name is Laura, I am 39 years old and I have lived in the Boston area for most my life thus far. Experience bought with extensive US travel in my youth has taught me that as much as I enjoy new experinces and would love to have more of them, I get awfully cranky when I am away from home for more than a couple of weeks at a stretch.

(Home sickness, I think, is the medical term.)

I have come to terms with my homebody tendancies and the more I learn about my own history writing geneology blogs, the more interested I have become in the travelling tendencies of the ancestors that came before and thus collectively brought me here.

But this is not a geneology blog written for a limited audience of people with Pearson, Ricker, McIntyre, or Cummings genes, this is going to be a blog about Boston and my point of view of it.

The best place to start I think may be where it all began,
I took this out the attic window of a house in Roslindale originally purchaced by my Great Grandparents.
After all,
isn't the attic always where the greatest treasures are found?