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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Sunday, March 30, 2014

strauss' dog serves in the cause of fame

In which Johann Strauss the younger relies on his pet retriever to help keep the fanbase happy.
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When Strauss visited America the "Blue Danube " waltzes were as well known in the States as "Yankee Doodle," and thus, when the composer was found to be a handsome, dapper little man, with lovely eyes, and a mass of wavy black hair, almost as extravagantly long as Paderewski's, the musical women went almost wild over him. The musician at the time was a great dog-fancier, and was accompanied by a magnificent black retriever. Towards the end of the concert season, a young lady conceived the idea of securing a lock of Strauss's hair for her locket. The fad became the fashion, and the "king of waltz music" promised every fair applicant a memento; and in due course the locks were distributed—many hundreds of them, too, each one accompanied with the compliments of the composer.
Sufficient hair had been cut off and distributed to make Strauss look as though he had been sand-papered; yet, when he left the States his locks were as abundant as before —but—when the beautiful black-haired retriever took its departure, the poor animal looked like a shorn poodle.

--  From Frederick James Crowest, Musicians' Wit, Humour, & Anecdote (Walter Scott, 1902) pp. 7-8.


Laura Brown said...

I'm pretty sure I've heard this story told about other celebrities (and their dogs). Could it be an early urban legend?

curator said...

Hi Laura! It's certainly possible. I should look into those other stories.