Lesser known American Composers this week – the music of Charles Vardell, as played by the NBC Studio Orchestra, conducted by Henri Nosco as part of the program Music Of The New World, as broadcast on October 28, 1943.
Born in 1893 and died in 1962, Vardell was very much a part of the Eastman School of Music in 1937-1938. He also studied at Juilliard as well as Princeton and eventually became Dean of Music at Flora MacDonald College in Red Springs North Carolina where he remained until his death.
This particular piece, Joe Clark Steps Out composed in 1937, has been recorded a few times, and is probably one of his best-known works. It was particularly popular during the years leading up to and including World War 2 as one of the notable examples of American Composers at the time. This studio broadcast version was presented on October 28, 1943 as part of the Music Of The New World series, primarily devoted to Americana and American influence. Although he composed a considerable amount of other orchestral as well as instrumental and choral works, most of his other compositions have been neglected over the years, as styles and tastes have changed.
But at a time when America was at war and needed a morale boost, Vardell and a veritable army of other composers at the time, contributed greatly to the War Effort.
Here is that broadcast performance of Joe Clark Steps Out, as performed by the NBC Studio Orchestra, conducted by Henri Nosco from October 28, 1943.
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