Wm. L. Shirer and Segovia: Pioneers Cross Paths in 1930s


SKF NOTE: Reading last night, I found this intriguing account. In the 1930s, at the start of their legendary pioneering careers, reporter William L. Shirer, and musician Andres Segovia were each renting half of the same house. Their living room gatherings remind me of Yo Yo Ma‘s collaborations with his Silk Road Ensemble many decades later.

His mood improved by leaps and bounds when Andres Segovia, whom Shirer had first heard in Paris and later in Vienna, moved into the other half of the villa to spend a few summer weeks by the sea. Most afternoons Bill, Tess, and Segovia sat in their beach chairs by the water, reading and talking. Shirer had brought back musical recordings from India and Afghanistan, Iraq and Turkey, and some nights Segovia joined Bill and Tess in their large living room to listen to them. “The evening invariably wound up with Segovia playing some of the works he had been practicing,” Shirer wrote. He was astounded when Segovia played Bach and Mozart on his guitar. Before Segovia left the house for good, he gave Bill and Tess a Spanish edition of Cervantes’s Don Quixote.

Source: The Long Night: William L. Shirer and the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by Steve Wick (Palgrave Macmillan 2011)

Andres Segovia Photo Credit

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