Don Robertson's Musical Kaleidoscope

Show Examples - World One

Since 2017, the Rising World foundation has completed over 1,000 videos. Over 260 of them are shows, each averaging 1 hour in length. The following are seven example videos from our “World 1” section. So far, we have created 63 shows for World One.

The Great Popular and Folk Traditions of the USA

The USA has given birth to a rich variety of what are known as folk, or popular, traditions. These are the six traditions that we draw from in Musical Kaleidoscope:

  • Popular Music

  • Country Music

  • Jazz Music

  • Rhythm and Blues Music

  • Gospel Music

  • Native-American Music

Popular Music

We begin with a show called Back to the Early Fifties. Don Robertson, born in 1942, ran a neighborhood radio station from his bedroom in the early 1950s, providing music from his rapidly expanding record collection. This show that features live performances from TV clips featuring the hit artists of the time, music that was largely forgotten with the advent of rock and roll.

Example 1 - Back to the Early Fifties (1 hour)

    The show opens with a video sketch of life in California during the early 1950s backed by a popular instrumental called “Curtain Time” by Aquaviva from 1952. Instrumentals were very popular during this time period.
     Next, we take you to live performances of “Secret Love” by Doris Day (from the film Calamity Jane) and “Bauble, Bangles and Beads” by Peggy Lee… a song from the Broadway musical Kismet, its melody composed by 19th-century Russian composer Alexander Borodin. Next, we watch “I Wanna Say Hello” by the Four Knights (their 1954 hit, “I Get So Lonely When I Dream About You (Oh Baby Mine)” sold over one million copies), “Till the End of Time” by Perry Como, “Any Time” by Eddie Fisher, “Three Coins in the Fountain” by the Four Aces and “Little Things Mean a Lot” by Kitty Kallen.
     Next, we watch “The Clock”, a comedy sketch from the popular 1950’s American television show Your Show of Shows. Then follows, “How High the Moon” by Les Paul and Mary Ford, “Tennessee Waltz” by Patty Page, “Theme from A Summer Place” by Percy Faith and His Orchestra, “Mona Lisa” by the Nat “King” Cole Trio, “Autumn Leaves” by Les Baxter, “Malagueña” and “The Breeze and I” by Caterina Valente, “The Song from Moulin Rouge” by Percy Faith & His Orchestra, “Sugar time” by Perry Como and the McGuire Sisters, “Side by Side” performed by the combined Ames Brothers and McGuire Sisters, “The Banjo’s Back in Town” by Teresa Brewer, “The Little Shoemaker” by The Gaylords, “The Loveliest Night of the Year” by Ann Blyth (from the MGM film The Great Caruso) and “This Ole House”, a cross-over country-music hit, by Stuart Hamblen.

Example 2 - California Dreamin' - The Sixties (1 hour)

     The 1960s were a time of transformation in American popular music. In this show, we begin with performances of great songs from the sunshine-and-California-inspired pop music of the 1960s. The songs are the 1969 “Aquarius” by the 5th Dimension, “California Dreamin’” from 1966 by the Mamas and Papas, and then four songs from 1967: “If I Were a Carpenter” by Tim Hardin, “Sunday Will Never be the Same” by Spanky and Our Gang, “Happy Together” by The Turtles, and “Groovin’” by The Young Rascals.
     From 1966, we witness “Monday, Monday” by The Mamas and Papas followed by three songs from 1967: “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, “Alone Again Or” by the group called Love (featured in a live version from the year 2003) and “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys. The trio Crosby, Stills and Nash’s 1969 song “Guinevere” is next, performed by two members of the group in a 1991 video. This is followed by “You’re Gonna Miss Me” by the Thirteenth Floor Elevators – filmed in 1966 and “Ride, Captain, Ride” by Blues Image from 1970.
     Turning to San Francisco, we view three San Francisco signature songs: “Get Together” performed by The Young Bloods, “San Francisco” sung by Scott McKenzie – both from the 1967 “Summer of Love” – and the 1968 song “San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native)” performed by Fever Tree. Next is watch “Green Tambourine” by The Lemon Pipers, released in 1969.
     Finally, we witness the beautiful “White Bird” song by the group called It’s a Beautiful Day from 1968.

Folk, Country, and Western Music

Example 3 - Bluegrass America! (1 hour)

     This is a Musical Kaleidoscope show dedicated to exploring the greatness of the purely American music phenomenon called bluegrass. We begin with bluegrass classics filmed from the 1960s, then bring it forward to 21st-century bluegrass music performed by youthful bands with a new sound.
     We open with performances of “Rawhide” and “Wicked Path of Sin”, performed by bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe and his band in 1969. Next, an important 1966 rendition of “Worried-Man Blues” by the Stanley Brothers followed by “O Death” sung by Ralph Stanley and Joe Isaacs on the Cumberland Highlanders TV show in about 2013 and “Bluegrass Medley” by Joe’s family group called The Isaacs (featuring daughter Sonya Isaacs), from the 1992 Live in Atlanta VHS tape. The great Doyle Lawson and his band called Quicksilver is featured in “Knee Deep in Bluegrass” from the 2004 Through the Years DVD, then “A Face in the Crowd” is performed by the great bluegrass vocalist Larry Sparks with his band The Lonesome Ramblers in about 2009.
     We now turn to a youthful generation of bluegrass music beginning with “When You Come Back Down” by the California group called Nickel Creek: a song that reached the Top 50 Country Chart in 2001. The 2013 video “Prairie Spring” and the 2014 video “Grandpa’s Fiddle” are from Southern Raised: a young and talented family group from the Ozark Mountains. Dolly Parton’s song “Joline” is performed by The Loose Strings Band from Galax, Virginia in 2015.
     Next, we watch the song “Best Buy”, written and performed by 22-year-old Byrdstown, Tennessee singer and mandolinist Sierra Hull, who is featured in this 2014 video performance. From the mountains of Sylva, North Carolina, the group Mountain Faith perform their song “Each Passing Day” in a 2015 video. “Labor of Love” is sung by the talented central-Kentucky Lindsey Family in 2015. “Rawhide” is performed in 2013 by four sisters from Lancaster, South Carolina who call themselves the Hinson Girls. “Trim Castle” is presented by The Snyder Family Band from Lexington, North Carolina, featuring 14-year-old fiddle-player Samantha Snyder who composed the song. Last, but not least, “Where We’ll Never Grow Old” is performed by The Church Sisters, who are twin girls hailing from Southern Virginia, in 2015. 

Jazz Music

Example 4 - The Swing Era (1 hour)

     This Musical Kaleidoscope showcase presents the great swing orchestras of the 1930s and 1940s, mostly from clips from motion pictures. The swing era was important in the history of both American popular and jazz music.
     We feature Louis Armstrong and His Harlem Hot Band performing “Dinah” and “Tiger Rag” (1933); Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra “You Can’t Pull The Wool Over My Eyes” (1936); Artie Shaw and His Orchestra “Begin the Beguine” (1938); Count Basie and His Orchestra with an excerpt from “Dance of the Gremlins” and “Swingin’ the Blues” (1941); From the 1942 Film Orchestra Wives the songs “Boom Shot” and “At Last” with Glen Miller and His Orchestra (1942); Will Bradley and His Orchestra featuring Ray McKinley on drums and Freddie Slack, the boogie-woogie pianist, performing “Boardwalk Boogie” (1941); Harry James and His Orchestra “Steppin’ Out Tonight” (1942); Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra “Tangerine” (1942); Benny Goodman and His Orchestra “Why Don’t You Do Right” (1943); Bob Crosby and His Orchestra “Big Noise From Winnetka” (1943); Cab Calloway and His Orchestra “Jumpin’ Jive” (1943); Kay Kyser and His Orchestra “I Never Knew I Could Love Anybody” (1943) ; “My Lost Horizon” with Les Brown and His Orchestra featuring Doris Day (1941); Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra “Marie” (1947); Stan Kenton and His Orchestra (1947) performing a medley of songs featuring June Christy and the vocal group called The Pastels. 

Rhythm and Blues Music

Example 5 - The Electric Blues Guitar Story (1 hour)

     This Musical Kaleidoscope show presents five electric blues guitar and vocalist greats, beginning with the pioneer of the genre, T-Bone Walker, who then influenced B.B. King, followed by two more (unrelated) kings: Freddie King and Albert King, and winding up with the great white electric-blues guitarist and singer Lonnie Mack. The performances are as follows: T-Bone Walker – “Hey Hey Baby” (1965), “Woman, You Must Be Crazy” (1966), and “Goin’ To Chicago Blues” (1966); B. B. King – “That’s Wrong, Little Mama” (1968), “To Know You is to Love You” (1974), and “Sweet Sixteen” (1974); Freddie King – “Key to the Highway”, “Woke up this Morning” (1975), “Hideaway” (1966), and “Funny Bone” (1966); Albert King – “Oh, Pretty Woman” (1970) and “Blues Power” (1970); and Lonnie Mack performing “Stop”.  

Gospel Music

Example 6 - Deep Mississippi Gospel (1 hour)

     The black gospel quartets of Mississippi represent some of the finest African American gospel music on the planet, yet they have been mostly unknown in other parts of the world. The show begins in Canton, Mississippi 1978 with the James Missionary Baptist Church of Canton singing “Wade in the Water”, a traditional African American spiritual, followed by a performance from the same year by the Heavenly Gospel Singers of Canton singing a variation of the river-baptismal spiritual “Stepped in the Water One Day”.
     We move to the 1990s to hear from the Canton Spirituals, a gospel group originally founded in Canton in 1943. Harvey Watkins Sr., the group’s founder, leads with “Ride This Train” and this is followed by his son, Harvey Jr., singing “I’m in Your Care”. Next, we move on to Byhalia, Mississippi where Rev. Andrew Cheairs and the Gospel Songbirds of Byhalia sing two gospel songs “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior” and “A Prayer for Times Like These”. Moving on to Tupelo, Mississippi, The Golden Wings Quartet perform “Leave it Here”. Finally, the late, great Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs, also from Tupelo, Mississippi, perform “God’s Got a Blessing”, “Tell the Angels”, and “On My Way”.

Example 7 - Dinner on the Ground (1 hour)

     Back through time, churches with rural congregations held “dinner on the ground” outside the church on Sunday, often in association with all-day gospel singing. The fare included fried chicken, barbecued pork, green beans and potatoes.
     Our show, a tribute to the Southern Gospel tradition, features live performances of Southern gospel music in a timeline beginning with the roots in the Mennonite communities of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and examples of singing from the Sacred Harp hymnal, the lining-out of hymns in the Old Regular Baptist Church, and convention-style singing from shape-note songbooks and the great “Redback” Church Hymnal. Performances by gospel quartets, mixed and family groups follow, beginning with a 1951 performance by the nationally recognized Blackwood Brothers, followed by performances by The Blue Ridge Quartet, The Chuck Wagon Gang, The Rangers Quartet, The Speer Family, The Statesmen Quartet, The Rebels Quartet, The Sons of Song, The Happy Goodman Family, The Hinsons, Squire Parsons, The McKameys, The Rambos, Gold City, and The Hoppers.