Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Un-Super Heroes, the Epilogue : Apollo Theatre , February 17th 1956

Scene 1, Act I of Un-Super Heroes opens on October 16th 1940 with the arrival of patient Charles Aronson at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City just as the last scene of the last Act (V) is August 15th 1944 with Charlie's departure from that same hospital.

But every drama deserves an epilogue and Un-Super Heroes's epilogue is set onstage at New York City's Apollo Theatre, just a mile from the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, on the night of February 17th 1956.

Appearing as a headliner in New York City for the very first time is a Georgia-born black singer from a dead poor family , a singer born with a badly handicapped leg.

But if racism, poverty and his affliction have held him back , he could only echo the sentiments from one of the first of Dawson's SBE cures, Miriam Laskowitz .

Because, like her , regardless of what problems life has tossed him, his heart and lungs certainly weren't one of them.

No siree Bob - or should that be no siree

Because from the moment Little Richard opened his mouth, the whole world noticed that while almost all the original rock'n'roll greats ( white and black) were dead poor by American standards , their heart valves and lung capacity were definitely in great shape.

This then was penicillin's most lasting legacy.

Unlike Aaron Alston (also from Georgia like Little Richard, also poor talented and driven) Richard and other rock 'n' rollers did not have their talents die unused when some infectious disease tragically cut them down in young adulthood.

Dawson's cheap abundant penicillin-for-all benefited everyone for sure - but it benefited the poorest amongst us the most.

And they gave it back to us - in particular in voice, melody and dance.

I can't see Henry Dawson ever becoming a true fan of rock n roll - ragtime was the rock'n'roll of his teen years.

 But I feel sure even he'd smile a broad ironic grin to think of how much of that 'God-awful caterwauling noise 'was all down to his untiring efforts from 1940 to 1945 to secure some penicillin for the poor and the unwanted ....

No comments:

Post a Comment