Music: Ring Dem Bells

One way to study American regional history is to listen to the music of Ferde Grofé. Among his nine schmalzy suites are musical chronicles of the Hudson River, the Mississippi, Death Valley and, most famed of all, the Grand Canyon. Last fortnight Memorialist Grofé. a vigorous 68, got around to San Francisco. Before an audience of proud local citizens, he conducted the première of his golden-gaited San Francisco Suite, tracing the fortunes of the city from gold-rush days to the present.

As always, Grofé's musical method was simple: if you want to evoke the idea of a gun fight in a...

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