Went into Starbuck's the other day and ordered my usual grande non-fat, no-foam latte, and lo and behold they had a CD on sale called "Speakeasy Times," a compilation of prohibition-era recordings that was there in the same rack with Barbra Streisand and other more contemporary Starbuck's music releases. I have to say, "Speakeasy Times" contains nothing I hadn't heard before, and in fact I already had all but one of the recordings (a French song by Josephine Baker) in one or more formats--but it is nice to have Ruth Etting, The Mills Brothers, Bix Beiderbecke, Bessie Smith, Bing Crosby and Ethel Waters all together on one disk. I plunked down $12.95 to encourage this noble experiment, and if you're so inclined I suggest you go thou and do likewise.
I treated myself to a mocha the other day at the Starbucks in very pricy Palo Alto just south of the Stanford campus. I pondered the irony as i heard pouring out of the speakers both The Andrews Sisters recording of "One Meatball" and shortly thereafter Bessie Smith's "Nobody knows you when you're down and out."