The Charlotte News

Friday, October 20, 1939


Site Ed. Note: "Ballet" reminds of a complaint Cash registered in The Mind of the South that the proprietor of the local record shop in a large city in the South, presumably Charlotte, had informed him that no one asked for classical recordings. Apparently by 1939, things had begun to change. Indeed, in 1933, Cash had carped in "Close View of a Calvinist Lhasa" in The American Mercury: "...[A] wandering Spanish fiddler, armed with all that capacity for faith which distinguishes his race, sat down in Charlotte a year or two ago to organize a 'symphony orchestra.' To say that his faith has been justified would be to exaggerate unduly; nevertheless, at the last hearing, his performances were enabling him to eat regularly and to wear a pair of sound pants--surely no mean success for a fiddler in Dixie." Mr. de Roxio had by 1939 obviously managed a couple more pairs of sound pants. Yet, in "Native Accent", see Cash's mild complaint about the performance which would ensue.


Symphony Orchestra Has Become An Institution

The News feels a sort of proprietary interest in the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, having cheered for it from the days when it was limping along on one cylinder and its demise at any moment seemed more than probable. Surely, it has had tough sailing. For it was born in the lowest ebb of the depression, and its advance has been achieved through the storm of that period that has never really quite receded. But advance it has all the same and soundly. It could, we surmise, do with a great deal more funds and support than it yet commands. Nevertheless, it is by now pretty firmly established among us as a permanent institution, and as the years go on, it will command a wider and wider interest and support.

Certainly, under the direction of Mr. G. S. de Roxio, it has already contributed not a little to the growth of musical appreciation in the town and surrounding country. And if you have any doubts of that, ask the dealers in phonograph records. Formerly, they sold a single Red Seal record occasionally; now, they report, they have a constant demand for albums of the longer and more serious works of the musical masters. Perhaps several factors have contributed to that, but de Roxio and his Orchestra are certainly one of them.

Tonight the ninth season opens with the 44th public performance of the Orchestra, presented with the Ballet Caravan, under the direction of Lincoln Kirstein, as guest artists. It promises to be an event. There is nothing more pleasing than music, save perhaps music combined with the dance.

Major Victory

Allies Score Mightily In Winning Over Turkey

The action of Turkey in refusing to accept Russian terms and turning toward the signing of a mutual assistance pact with Britain and France, constitute a major diplomatic victory for the Allies--the greatest achieved by either side since the war began.

It guarantees that the Dardanelles will remain open and that Britain will be able to go immediately to the aid of Rumania if Hitler or Stalin attempts to attack her and take over oil supplies--i.e., unless Italy comes in on the side of Germany. It also guarantees that the British Navy will have an open road to attack on the negligible Russian Navy in the Black Sea and then on the Russian Black Sea coast, which is very vulnerable, if it is Russia which assumes the offensive against Rumania or if she is a party to it--again barring Italian intervention.

As to the Italian case, it means of course that Hitler will now redouble his efforts to bring Mussolini in on his side. But at the same time it means that the chances of his succeeding are greatly reduced. For with Turkey against him, Mussolini would stand to be bottled up on every side. His island possessions off the coast of Asia Minor lie under the Turkish guns, and what with the French and British possessions in Africa and Asia Minor, with Turkey and Greece (Greece will do whatever Turkey does), the whole Mediterranean Sea will be ringed by Allied guns. With the British Navy station not only at Alexandria but in the Aegean, and with the French lying at Toulon, Corsica and Bizerte, he would hardly dare bring his navy out of the Adriatic, where it is entirely useless. His single chance to attack would be by land, against Greece or Yugoslavia, and in either case he would have to face the Turkish army, one of the most formidable for fighting qualities and equipment, and at the same time deal with the French hammering into Northern Italy through the Alps. The prospect is not likely to appeal to him. Chances are indeed that, though Italy and Turkey will not like to fight on the same side, that may eventually happen. More likely perhaps, the Allies may prefer Italy as a neutral, for everybody is suspicious of her fighting value.

All this means, again, that the Balkans will be enormously heartened--with the result that they will oppose a much stiffer front to German and Russian demands. If Hitler decides to strike them, he must draw off strong forces from the West to do it, and at the same time give England and France a chance (always provided Italy stays out) to strike Germany from the rear, which is precisely what they are praying for. To do without Rumanian oil or to take that chance--that will become his choice.

And finally, the move destroys the one real threat of Russia to England--that she might take advantage of a critical moment to hurl her troops against French Syria and English Mesopotamia--the chief sources of oil for these two nations. If Turkey had come in with Russia and Germany, that would have been easy, for both territories lie south of Turkey, and Russian territory adjoins her on the north. But if Russia has to fight the Turkish army before she can pass, it is not calculated to appeal to her. And in any case the Turks can certainly hold until the British and French can take the field.

That leaves Russia without any place to attack England by land, save through Afghanistan or China. And both routes require supply lines over thousands of miles of desert and the passage of the highest mountains on earth. Both, in short, are practically impossible.

A Bold Speech

Ambassador Grew Tells The Japs Exactly What's What

The nerviest speech since Zeb Vance went up into Pennsylvania after the Civil War and commemorated the Yankee holiday with eulogy of the late Confederacy, was delivered by Ambassador Grew in Tokyo yesterday. He left no doubt in the minds of the American-Japan Society audience, which included many Jap bigwigs and military men, that (1) the United States, its Government and its people, did not like a little bit what Japan was up to in China, and (2) he suspected that the Japanese people were beginning to feel a strong objection to as much as they knew of what was transpiring.

Ambassador Grew's listeners were described as "dumbfounded," "astounded," and "shocked." Well might they have been. For it is not the custom in diplomatic circles to stand up and tell a nation to its face that you heartily disapprove of its conduct. Unless, that is, you intend to say, in the language of the street-fighters, "Want to make something out of it?"

Apparently that is precisely the meaning Ambassador Grew wanted to convey. It is too early yet to conclude that it portends a stiffening of American policy towards Japan-in-China, but at least it presents a basis for such a policy, probably with the side-intent of deterring Japan from dispossessing the British and French while they are engaged in war on another front.

And in any case it was a very fine speech, exactly defining U.S. feeling. It may not have been enjoyable to the Japanese present, but it was thoroughly instructive.

Fans For Sale

Sally Rand Went All Right Till She Lost Her Copyright

"Virtue still pays," one feels like saying when informed that Sally Rand, the original fan dancer, has taken bankruptcy. In fact, one would like to ascribe the same sound investment qualities to modesty, were it not that a part of Miss Rand's debts are bills for clothing.

As a matter of cold reality, however (which is what Sally always gave the customers), high immodesty and the exploitation of the sensual streak in humanity proved to be marvelously profitable in Sally's case. As long as she stuck to her own fan and bubble dancing, she coined the dough faster than any proper maiden ever dreamed up. It was only when she branched out and became the entrepreneur of nudity that she found her assets exceeded by her liabilities. The take was still good--$40,000 income in 1938--but the overhead got her.

That and the competition that has sprung up since those first breathless days of the Chicago World's Fair when Sally showed all, almost, and showed a host of imitators that a girl could get away with it. She was a pioneer in her line, but since her stock in trade was only a passable figure, a genius for publicity and a bold perception that anything went, she soon found her trade swamped by imitators.

She contributed to the immodesty of our times, but in the end she stood exposed as the victim of ennui at nudity.


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