Entries by Peter Cates


by Peter Cates Lyndon B. Johnson The 36th President Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) was, for good and bad, one formidable leader during his five years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. During October/November 1960, I vividly remember the two individuals and their running mates in the battle for the White House – Repub­licans Richard Nixon (1913-1994) and […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Musician: Carl Stevens; The Lotus Club

by Peter Cates Carl Stevens Carl Stevens was the professional name of trumpeter Charles H. Sagle (1927-2015). A 1959 Mercury LP, Muted Memories, featured him with a group of four outstanding session players performing a dozen pop classics. They include Cole Porter’s I Concent­rate on You, Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer’s Jeeper Creepers, Cy Coleman’s […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Authur: James Thurber

by Peter Cates James Thurber James Thurber (1894-1961) achieved a much deserved hilarious notoriety for his writings and cartoons via the New Yorker. With respect to his cartoons, Maine’s own E.B. White, while still working at the magazine’s Manhattan office as an assistant editor, found some of Thurber’s sketches in the wastebasket and published them, […]


by Peter Cates John F. Kennedy The 35th President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963) was a most vivid, vibrantly alive presence on the family Philco TV set from when I first saw him debate Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994) during October 1960, it being a very cold Friday night, to the assassination in Dallas; I remember Kennedy’s […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Elsie Baker & Frederick Wheeler

by Peter Cates Elsie Baker Frederick Wheeler A ten-inch acoustic Victor shellac disc presented the duet of contralto Elsie Baker (1883-1971) and baritone Frederick Wheeler (1877-1951) performing There Is Nothing, Dear, I Wouldn’t Do for You from a vaudeville musical revue, All Aboard, produced by comedian Lew Fields who was part of the early 1900s […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

by Peter Cates Henry Wadsworth Longfellow One of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s finest poems is My Lost Youth, originally published in his 1858 volume, The Courtship of Miles Standish. Having been raised in Portland, the poet wrote some verses that evoked what must have been for him the then unspoiled beauty of the Pine Tree State’s […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: The President’s favorite music

by Peter Cates The President’s favorite music RCA Victor released a one lp anthology during the mid-1950s entitled The President’s Favorite Music; I purchased a copy of it for $2 at a record store in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1966, when Lyndon Johnson was president. Of course, the center of attraction on that record was the […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Sopranos Rosa Ponselle & Barbara Maurel; Composer Serge Prokofiev; Conductor Eugene Ormandy; Singer Gene Pitney; Remington

by Peter Cates Rosa Ponselle Barbara Maurel A 1919 Columbia ten inch acoustic 78 rpm shellac has a very lovely duet of sopranos Rosa Ponselle (1897-1981) and Barbara Maurel (1889-?) performing the very well-known funeral hymn Abide With Me, which was often sung as a special number on non-funeral church Sundays by my father and […]


by Peter Cates Frederic Chopin Polish-born Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) composed his incredibly beautiful two Piano Concertos when he was 20. The first one was my favorite of the two for decades while the second didn’t particularly thrill me until more recent years. As usual with my favorite pieces, I have collected duplicates of the two […]


by Peter Cates Harry S. Truman The 33rd President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), upon being sworn in as FDR’s vice-president, was told by his mother, “Now you behave yourself.” Like every other president since George Washington, Truman was, warts and all, a character. A highly controversial 1974 book, Plain Speaking, by Merle Miller (1919-1986) has […]