The Song of the Trolley

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 08, 2019 2:28 PM

From Mike Mike Mike re: Yonkers ( flip last and second last articles... my bad.. Miningman 

 

 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, September 08, 2019 3:40 PM

Wow, all of the above is incredible!  

Thanks Mike for finding it all, and Vince for passing it on!  

My late father-in-law, Lady Firestorm's dad, would have loved all this.  He was a Yonkers boy and a lifelong railfan, and any "Steel wheel on steel rail" goings on in Westchester County that he didn't know about never happened to begin with, his knowledge of the area was that good!

Kind of like Dave Klepper.  What David doesn't know about never happened either!

Found some Pelham trolley information myself...

https://historicpelham.blogspot.com/2016/06/where-did-trolleys-run-in-town-of-pelham.html  

I'm continually amazed by the old trolley systems, they seemed to go everywhere,  and then, to use a Lucius Beebe phrase, they "...vanished like the snows of yesteryear."

What a shame.  What a loss.

Aside from that. are we having fun here or what?   Smile, Wink & Grin

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Posted by NKP guy on Sunday, September 08, 2019 6:35 PM

Flintlock76
Aside from that. are we having fun here or what?   

We sure are!

   The Toonerville stuff is more than fascinating. The photo of the Pelham streetcar c. 1940 really captures my attention because it seems like such a beautiful neighborhood even on a crappy day.  How I'd enjoy being able to just "walk into" that scene.

   Does anyone else here recall a GM marketing campaign of only a few (10?) years ago claiming, in essence, before automobiles, no one in the USA could travel anywhere?  I continue to think that streetcars & interurbans (and cable cars!) were/are just so cool.

   Thank you Miningman for giving us such a trove of cartoons and information.

   

   

 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, September 08, 2019 10:46 PM

I never would have guessed that Pelham, hard on the city limits of New York City, would have been the inspiration for such a bucolic trolley line creation as Toonerville.

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Posted by NKP guy on Monday, September 09, 2019 12:44 PM

 

   As long as we're saying that "the Pelhams" (I love that sign on I-95) was a surprising setting for the bucolic Toonerville Trolley, let's add another NYC suburb to that list.  It seems that George M. Cohan found New Rochelle to be equally rural, full of "reubens" and "jays."  And only Forty-Five Minutes From Broadway!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0uW5ycJDoM

 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, September 09, 2019 2:41 PM

That was interesting.  I didn't know Cohan was referring to New Rochelle in the song, but then I've only heard the chorus up to now.

I always assumed "45 Minutes From Broadway" was somewhere up the New York Central's Hudson River Line.  

Then again, in 1905 there were still quite a few rural and semi-rural areas left in the greater New York City area.  The 'burbs were just a-borning at that time and things were starting to change. 

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Posted by 54light15 on Monday, September 09, 2019 3:02 PM

Wayne- Haven't you seen "Yankee Doodle Dandy?" New Rochelle is mentioned by Fay Templeton to George and then he whipped out the song on a piano. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qydYuLlHdkQ 

One of my all-time favourite movies, with my all-time favourite actor, James Cagney! 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, September 09, 2019 3:14 PM

I have. I forgot. Silly me.  Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!   

And I've seen that movie so often I can darn near do Cagney's numbers from "Little Johnny Jones" and "George Washington Junior" by heart!

Jimmy wasn't an actor in that film, he was a force of nature!  Best movie actor ever!


But continuing with my "Burbs a-borning" thought, I remembered that ten years after "45 Minutes" there'd be another song.  A commuter  song!

And here it is...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apDAqLcVXYw  

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Posted by 54light15 on Monday, September 09, 2019 3:53 PM

Good stuff! I don't need to mention Charlie on the MTA, do I? Besides that tune from Soupy Sales we discussed a few years ago, it's the only subway song I know about, unless you count the jingle about the world's fair in 1964. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, September 09, 2019 7:30 PM

That Soupy Sales topic was one of the best we ever had!  So much fun...

I've never been able to find "As The Subway Goes Rolling Along" on YouTube or anywhere else.  Since I'm sure everyone's heard "Charlie On The MTA" here's that 1964 New York World's Fair subway ad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkMHe0udrjQ  

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 9:30 AM

That guy in the commercial sure looks like Colonel Hogan! I wonder though, did they have special trains to the 1939 fair? Paging Mr. Klepper...

My father always drove to the fair from our house on Long Island. He managed to get lost going home every single time. Once he drove over the median on one of the parkways and tore the muffler off our Pontiac. I knew he could curse, but wow, he sure put on a show that night! 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 10:40 AM

Special trains to the '39 Fair?  That's a good question.  My mother's a New York City girl, grew up in Manhattan, and she and her family were regular fair-goers while it was open in '39-'40.  She said you couldn't see it all in one day, but since they were locals there was no need to try.

Mom also said it was easy to get to just using regular NYC transit and didn't mention any special trains to the fair.  Maybe there were but she just doesn't remember?  A '39 World's Fair historian would have to answer that one.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 10:56 AM

Flintlock76
Mom also said it was easy to get to just using regular NYC transit and didn't mention any special trains to the fair. 

Hint: have Mike look up streamlined DD1s.

There were all kinds of special trains and services to New York for the Fair; it's just that the 'last mile' to Flushing involved a highly restrictive set of carriers and the demand for 'run-through' consists provided by other railroads would have been relatively low.

We had a rather sarcastic book on 'how to handle freeloader relatives wanting to see the Fair' in discussion a few months ago -- as I recall, some of the Fair promotions on connecting railroads were discussed there.  A search of contemporary railroad or 'social' advertising is likely to provide a good number of examples.  But they'd mostly involve ferry rides or transfers in stations, with subsequent transfers from H&M either to LIRR or the subways, which would very likely just increase service frequency or at most provide a 'train to the plane' coordinated service.  We certainly did see specially-painted new equipment for the later '64-'65 Fair, but that ran in general service as well as on the usual services or shuttle trains.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 6:00 PM

Well I knew  we had something here on the 1939 New York World's Fair, so I went deep into the archives of the "Fortress Flintlock," and sure enough, I found it!

The "Official Guide Book Of The New York World's Fair 1939," which Lady Firestorm purchased at a flea market several years ago.  Blew the dust off (Hack! Cough! Wheeze!) and went looking for transportation, and sure enough there it was on page 15, "How To Get To The Fair."  I'll quote directly...

The Fair is conveniently accessible by the great elevated subway lines which cover the greater part of the metropolitan area.  The I.R.T. and B.M.T. subways maintain a continuous express service from the center of the city to the new World's Fair Station at Willets Point where an overpass leads directly into the Fair grounds and onto Bowling Green Plaza.  The capacity of this station is 40,000 persons per hour.  The run is made from Times Square in 24 minutes and the fare is five cents.  The Independent Subway System, which brings you from points in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens, has a specially constructed station at the principal entrance to the Amusement Area;  this station can also handle 40,000 passengers an hour.  The travel time on both subways is approximately the same.

The slogan of the Pennsylvania Railroad,  "From the World of Today to the World of Tomorrow in ten minutes for ten cents,"  describes the service of the Long Island Railroad  which brings you swiftly to the Fair from the Pennsylvania Terminal in Manhattan.  Twelve-car shuttle trains operate on a two-minute headway.  The Long Island's World's Fair Station has a capacity of 20,000 persons an hour.

In addition to the Flushing-Ridgewood trolley which crosses the site on World's Fair Boulevard, buses are in operation from points in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Long Island, and facilities for the unloading and loading of passengers are found at the various terminals on the East and West sides of the Fair grounds.  

Everything after that concerns charter buses and automobiles.

That book's a great time capsule.  What a show it must have been!

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, September 12, 2019 6:46 PM
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Posted by 54light15 on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:48 PM
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Posted by NKP guy on Friday, September 13, 2019 8:18 AM

 

 

[/quote]

Miningman

The Trolley Car Swing 

 

   LOL    In my humble opinion, this is one of the worst songs I've ever heard!  No wonder no one today knows of Young & Grant!  What can be said about a piece of sheet music where the illustration is the best thing?

   Where on earth did you dredge this up, Miningman?

   (But make no mistake: I'm glad you posted it!)

 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 13, 2019 8:45 AM

NKP guy
No wonder no one today knows of Young ...

In his defense, he did have a somewhat lacking musical upbringing.

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, September 13, 2019 4:24 PM

From Mike:

Sometimes on Sunday, for that is my fun day, 
You'll find me in the park
Watching the spooners and stargazing mooners
Skylarking after dark.
But there is a pleasure, it's one that I treasure
On Sunday afternoon ...
Out with my pearlie, my steady young girlie,
This is the only tune:
 
When speeding along on the trolley,
I feel like a big millionaire;
A ride on the trolley is jolly -
Whatever you give up is fare.
The trolley's a hummer in summer
If you've got a girl at your side
To tease in the breeze while you're stealing a squeeze
On a good old five-cent trolley ride.
 
Some folks are wealthy and I'm only healthy,
But health is wealth to me.
Pity the party who isn't so hearty,
And can't stand jollity.
Keep all your wheeling and automobiling,
That's not the only thing;
When it is sunny, just give me my honey,
And then you'll hear me sing:
 
When speeding along on the trolley,
I feel like a big millionaire;
A ride on the trolley is jolly -
Whatever you give up is fare.
The trolley's a hummer in summer
If you've got a girl at your side
To tease in the breeze while you're stealing a squeeze
On a good old five-cent trolley ride.

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, September 13, 2019 4:45 PM

Ah, the classic!  

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Posted by NKP guy on Friday, September 13, 2019 7:26 PM

   "On a good old trolley ride" is a distinct improvement over "The Trolley car swing," but it's the definition of 1910 corny.  This Edison cylinder is a perfect example of why it's not a good idea to let a deaf man be be the person who selects which songs get recorded.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, September 13, 2019 9:00 PM

NKP guy

   "On a good old trolley ride" is a distinct improvement over "The Trolley car swing," but it's the definition of 1910 corny.  This Edison cylinder is a perfect example of why it's not a good idea to let a deaf man be be the person who selects which songs get recorded.

 

Now now, let's be kind.  "Trolley Ride" is typical of popular songs of the time.  Not all composers of popular songs in the early 1900's were of the caliber of George M. Cohan, which is why Cohan's songs have lasted as long as they have.

Not however, Cohan's musical comedies.  Many revivals of the same have fallen flat, the humor of the time just doesn't translate well to our own day and age.  

I think George M. would be happy enough his music has lasted, if not the shows.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 14, 2019 1:01 AM
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Posted by 54light15 on Saturday, September 14, 2019 11:00 AM

Thanks, Miningman- my old man used to sing that. Also, in 1973, my girlfriend had a friend who had an Edison cylinder phonograph. It worked but didn't have much of a sound as the "speaker" was a small disc that followed along with the needle. That girl was from a wealthy family and her father had at least 50 antique rifles in a long display case, a full size pool table, a pinball machine and a refrigerator full of Guinness. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, September 14, 2019 1:15 PM

A refrigerator full of Guiness sounds really good.  I assume that the pinball machine had first-rate artwork of a suitable sort.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 14, 2019 2:39 PM

From Mike:

Posted by NKP guy on Friday, September 13, 2019 8:18 AM

... this is one of the worst songs I've ever heard...

 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, September 14, 2019 4:48 PM

GROANNNNNN.....  

Oh yeah, that "I Told The Trolley..."  is pretty lame all right.

But on the other hand, it looks like the boys who wrote "Where Do You Work-a John?"  were a bit ahead of their time with "Delaware-Lackawanna!"

Check this out...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm2jC6qqH2w  

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Posted by 54light15 on Saturday, September 14, 2019 7:31 PM

Miningman- that was nails on a blackboard! Worse than Hotel California! That was awful! That guy's cookie duster looks like something out of a 1975 porn film! How do I know that? uhhh--just guessing. Yes, the fridge full of Guinness was pretty impressive, so were that chick's "appendages." She made Dolly look a bit undernourished. Impressive? I'll say! 

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Posted by NKP guy on Sunday, September 15, 2019 10:43 AM

   At least "I told it to the trolley" is a send-up, what in the 19-teens was called a novelty song.  But is doesn't hold a candle to "The trolley car swing" for "worst song."  54light15 was right when he compared the first song to nails on a blackboard.  I can't be the only one here who thinks that it's ironic to use footage of a cable car and refer to it as a trolley; another reason to dislike it!

   Some time back I implied that "Wild thing," by the Troggs was maybe the worst song ever.  However, "Hey Jude" is right up there, along with "Old time rock and roll" and about 90% of 1950's popular music.

   Hey, I'm jus' sayin'....

 

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