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Biography Leroy Anderson and Arthur Fiedler in 1972
Leroy Anderson and Arthur Fiedler
in 1972
Evening at Pops with Leroy Anderson

In 1972 Leroy Anderson appeared as a guest on the PBS program Evening at Pops. This nationally broadcast program gave Anderson's music additional exposure and once again put the composer in the limelight. Here is a transcript of the program:

May, 1972 Leroy Anderson - Evening at Pops
 
Announcer: Once again the Symphony Hall doors are open for an Evening at Pops with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops orchestra. Tonight an all-American program, with special guest Leroy Anderson. Arthur Fiedler and his good friend Leroy Anderson together on stage for the first time in their many years of working together. You'll hear some of Anderson's most popular tunes: "Fiddle Faddle", "Blue Tango", "Bugler's Holiday", "Serenata" and others. Also on this evening's all-American program, selections from "Grand Canyon Suite" by Frede Grofe, "America Sings", a sing-along with the orchestra and Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever".
Announcer: Next one of Leroy Anderson's most popular pieces: "Blue Tango".
music plays : "Blue Tango".
Announcer: "Blue Tango" by Leroy Anderson, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra.
Arthur Fiedler: Ladies and Gentlemen, it's a great honor and pleasure for me to introduce a very good friend of mine, the composer of the "Blue Tango", Leroy Anderson.
(applause)
Leroy Anderson: I really appreciate Arthur Fiedler's invitation to be here this evening, because it brings back so many memories. My memories of the Pops go back a long way; in fact they go way back to the time when I was a high school student in Cambridge, and I used to pay 25 cents admission to sit in the rush seats that were way up there. They printed the personnel in the program; they would put the first initial and the last name of each of the players, together with his place in the orchestra, and I especially noticed one A. Fiedler, because while he was listed as being in the violas, he was all over the place; he spent as much time at the piano, or the celeste, or the bass drum, and when they had the Symphony Hall organ playing, there was A. Fiedler at the console. And in addition to all these musical accomplishments he was easily the handsomest man in the orchestra. (applause) As a matter of fact he still is. (chuckle) (applause) I little knew then of course that years later A. Fiedler would become Arthur Fiedler, the conductor of the Pops, and that I would be first an arranger and orchestrator for the concerts and then later the composer of some of the music on the program. And I'm especially glad that for old time's sake Arthur Fiedler has put on the program this evening, the very first piece that I wrote for these concerts. It's called "Jazz Pizzicato", just for the strings, they put down their bows and pluck the ... their instruments. And I just wrote it as an encore number, but Arthur Fiedler put it on the program for two years. And it became very popular, was published, was recorded by the Boston Pops, and that's how I started my career as a composer. So I'm very glad that you're playing "Jazz Pizzicato".
Arthur Fiedler: Thank you. (applause)
music: "Jazz Pizzicato".
Leroy Anderson: You know it's an interesting thing now that I think of it, the first numbers that I wrote for the Pops concerts featured the strings. Perhaps it's because I happen to be a string player myself. I used to play the double bass, and you might say that I never got over it, but of course strings are really wonderful instruments because they can play very rapid passages over a long period of time and never get tired, because they don't have to stop to take a breath, like the other instruments. Anyway, that's probably why Paganini and other composers wrote very fast numbers for the strings. They called them moto perpetuo, perpetual motion, or something, so that was the idea back of the number that I wrote for it, except of course that I didn't call it perpetual motion; since it was a modern piece, I gave it a modern title, "Fiddle-Faddle". The only trouble was that since Arthur Fiedler introduced it everyone started calling it Fiedler-Faddler. (laughter) Of course it really doesn't make any difference, if you'd prefer to call it Fiedler-Faddler that's perfectly all right with me.
Arthur Fiedler: Thank you
music: "Fiddle-Faddle"
Arthur Fiedler: Leroy, let's switch places -- (Leroy Anderson was shown standing with gourd and a stick for the carriage return sound in "The Typewriter") you conduct it, will you, I think you'd like it; I'll play this. (Fiedler takes Anderson's place with the percussion section which is located in front of the orchestra where the soloists are normally placed)
music: "Typewriter" (applause)
Leroy Anderson: Well that's the first time we've ever had a famous conductor play the carriage return. I think he did very well. (applause) You know it's an interesting thing, because I've written pieces like "The Typewriter" which you just heard, and about clocks, not the regular kind but the syncopated kind, a lot of people associated this, because they happen to know the number, with the music I write, and I've been told that people say, Oh, Anderson, he just writes these pieces for noises, you know, about clocks and that sort of thing, and of course this isn't true, actually most of the pieces I've written have been melodic, because I happen to like melodic music, and I'm very glad that Arthur Fiedler's favorite piece, he told me, happens to be "Serenata", which is a serenade, and because it's in Latin style I called it "Serenata".
Arthur Fiedler: Thank you.
music: "Serenata". (applause)
Leroy Anderson: Well, of course I do like the idea of writing, you know, about clocks and things like that too, but then I like to write about people who don't do the things that they should either. And I've often thought, what would 3 buglers do on their day off. They would probably kick up their heels and just have a good time all to themselves, so in the next piece, "Bugler's Holiday", you'll hear some bugle calls that may sound familiar, but you'll also probably realize that they are not played regulation and they wouldn't get away with it on the post. And now if I may I'd like to rejoin my wife and my friends at my table. Thank you.
Arthur Fiedler: Thank you very much for joining us. Thank you. (applause)
music: "Bugler's Holiday". (applause)
Announcer: "Bugler's Holiday", by tonight's special guest Leroy Anderson, a long-time friend of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra, and composer of many of the best-known tunes played at Pops.