Music: Mr. Pops

Arthur Fiedler (1894-1979)

He brought serious music to millions of Americans. A snowy-haired, white-mustachioed figure, he would walk briskly onstage and lead his Boston Pops Orchestra in a program of show tunes and classics. His philosophy was simple and insouciant: "My aim has been to give audiences a good time. I'd have trained seals if people wanted them." That was one of Fiedler's exaggerations, though he was not above appearing on a record jacket dressed as Santa Claus or as a jaunty Yankee Doodle dandy. Such clowning caused some highbrows to sneer. But to Boston audiences and those he visited around the...

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