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J. Alfred Tanner - JPop.com
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J. Alfred Tanner

J. Alfred Tanner

J. Alfred Tanner


Johan Alfred Tanner (1884-1927) was a Finnish vaudeville performer and pioneer of musical entertainment. He performed numerous translations and adaptations of folk songs and foreign popular music. Many of these have become ageless evergreens. In the early years of the 20th century, cinemas needed live performers in the intermissions while the film rolls were changed. Vaudeville singers and other artists were hired to keep the audience entertained, and their performances soon became the chief attraction. Read more on Last.fm
Johan Alfred Tanner (1884-1927) was a Finnish vaudeville performer and pioneer of musical entertainment. He performed numerous translations and adaptations of folk songs and foreign popular music. Many of these have become ageless evergreens. In the early years of the 20th century, cinemas needed live performers in the intermissions while the film rolls were changed. Vaudeville singers and other artists were hired to keep the audience entertained, and their performances soon became the chief attraction.

Tanner moved on from the cinema to theatre and restaurant stages, as his popularity grew. Tanner quickly caught the latest hit melodies from Europe and America, and adapted the lyrics to the Finnish taste. Often, the comic effect arose from the fact that the audience was familiar with the original text, and could appreciate Tanner's satirical changes in the lyrics. Tanner wrote over 100 lyrics and recorded 65 vaudeville songs between 1911 and 1926. Many songs include comical spoken parts, where Tanner acts out different roles with the appropriate dialects and speech patterns.

On stage, he wore costumes and makeup for this purpose, appearing as a caricatured policeman, a hobo, a washerwoman or various ethnic stereotypes. He was a popular travelling performer, and his songs were published as sheet music and sold well in the 1910's. Tanner also made two gigs in the United States in 1922 and 1924, but in the aftermath of the Finnish civil war the largely leftist Finnish-American audiences did not appreciate his satirical depictions of the working class. Many Finnish artists (such as Tauno Palo, Tapio Rautavaara, Olavi Virta and Kauko Röyhkä) have covered Tanner's greatest hits, such as Kulkurin valssi (The Vagabond's Walz). Read more on Last.fm.

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