Have your cake, and walk it too

July 6, 2016 at 10:15 am

What the hell is a cakewalk? Is it the long, hungry walk you have to take in order to get to the cake store, or is it the long walk you have to take after eating cake to burn off the calories?

Louis Gottschalk is another one of those American composers that you rarely hear about, because, like the Boston Six, he was before Ives and Jazz. However, unlike the Boston Six, I’m willing to agree that Gottschalk isn’t exactly a true blue ‘Murican. He was born in New Orleans, but when he was 13, he traveled to Europe to receive musical training. When he returned to the US, he mostly traveled abroad, and ultimately got himself kicked out of the country because of a little hanky-panky.

Enough about him – his music is remarkable. 100 years before Copland and Bernstein made the Latin American sound popular in the concert hall, Gottschalk was living and inventing the style.

And, for the record, a cakewalk is a dance that originated with the southern American slaves.