International-Style Tango

By Richard S. Mason
Copyright © 2007

An all Tango CD without a traditional Tango melody, from the Klaus Hallen Ochestra of Germany! That is his TANGO COLLECTION, 14 of the staccato-type Tangos characteristic of International-Style Tango music, all of them at 33 MPM. The tunes are a combination of classical and popular numbers, nine of them instrumentals and five of them vocals.

Of the popular ones, I particularly enjoyed “What Now My Love”; it’s really stimulating and sung by a fine baritone. All in all there’s plenty of fine dancing here, with many of the tracks useful for exhibitions, although all but four may be too short for that pupose. Here are the tracks and their durations:

  1. Phantom of the Opera (Weber) 2:58
  2. Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky) 2:15
  3. Kalinka (traditional Russian melody) 2:29
  4. Turkischer Marsch (Mozart) 2:38
  5. Donna Diana (Reznicek) 3:16
  6. The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) 2:02
  7. Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White (3:04) Do you believe it? I’ve always danced cha cha to this tune!
  8. St. Louis Blues Tango (3:01) What a surprise! It’s good.
  9. Verano Porteno (2:36) Perhaps this is a Tango tune, as the composer is Malando, whose orchestra is famous for its Tangos.
  10. What Now My Love (2:28) Vocal
  11. Alice in Fashionland (2:52) Vocal
  12. Money, Money, Money (2:49) Vocal
  13. Part Time Love (3:25) Vocal
  14. Belle (2:39) Vocal
Published in: on March 31, 2007 at 11:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tango Music

By Richard S. Mason
Copyright © 2007

One of my favorite Tango records is the CD The Very Best of Tango, a collection of 16 international hits, all instrumentals ranging from 28-33 MPM, 12 of them 30 or 31 MPM, and performed by Luis Vinicio e la sus orchestra tipica argentina. The most popular Tango tunes are here. It is great for American-Style Tango, but, for the most part, not sharp enough or fast enough for International Style. I used it in the summer of 2006 to teach a beginners class of children 8-12, and they responded well to the music. Some of the tracks would be good for exhibitions. The CD is available at Here are the tracks:

  1. La Cumparsita, 30 MPM, 3:35
  2. Blue Tango, 30 MPM, 2:24
  3. Caminito, 32 MPM, 2:59
  4. Tango Delle Campinere, 31 MPM, 2:36
  5. Rodriguez Pena, 31 MPM, 2:07
  6. La Paloma, 30 MPM, 3:14
  7. Mi Jaca, 33 MPM, 3:14
  8. Uno, 30 MPM, 3:19
  9. Gelosia (Jealousy), 31 MPM, 3:22
  10. El Choclo, 32 MPM, 3:04
  11. Poema, 31 MPM, 2:35
  12. A Media Luz, 31 MPM, 2:37
  13. Un Giorno Ti Diro, 28 MPM, 2:17
  14. Violetta, 30 MPM, 3:57
  15. Canaro en Paris, 30 MPM, 2:50
  16. Adios Muchachos, 30 MPM, 2:39


Published in: on March 28, 2007 at 8:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Beautiful German Waltz

By Richard S. Mason
Copyright © 2007

Joan took the German CD IRGENDWANN to a children’s class, thinking that the waltz and the foxtrot would be suitable for teaching beginners. Later the director phoned, wanting the name of the waltz, which she loved.The waltz bore the same title “Irgendwann” as the CD and was sung in German by Anke Brochhausen. So back the CD goes to next week’s dance class, which also used “All I Ask of You” instrumental as a foxtrot. The CD is played by the Karl Schmidt orchestra, which has also recorded MOONLIGHT DANCING. Here are the tracks on IRGENDWANN:

  1. Heal the World, Rumba, 29 MPM, vocal by Claire
  2. On the Beach, Cha Cha, 32
  3. Something Happened on the Way to Heaven, Disco Fox, 32, vocal by Helli Gattung
  4. Love for Sale, Samba, 52
  5. Irgendwann, W, 29, vocal by Anke Brochhausen
  6. Tango T, 33, a rousing Intl.-style Tango
  7. Don’t Worry, Disco Fox, 30, vocal by Claire
  8. Hofball Tanze, Viennese Waltz, 60
  9. All I Ask of You, Foxtrot, 30
  10. Rock ‘n’ Roll Suzie, Jive, 44, vocal by Helli Gattung
  11. Park Avenue Strut, Slow Jive, 38
  12. El Bailador, Paso Doble, 62
  13. September, Cha Cha, 32, vocal by Bernd Markendorff
  14. Tanzende Schuhe, Quickstep, 52

Telemark Records (301-445-4366) still has a few of these left.

Published in: on March 22, 2007 at 1:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Good CD for Teaching Classes

By Richard S. Mason
Copyright © 2007

Last summer I taught Ballroom dancing to a class of kids, 8-12 years of age and I found a very useful CD “American Opus” Vol. 2, produced by Sal Marino, long-time Fred Astaire franchisee, and Dr. Richard Goodwin of the music department at a university. Its 18 tracks contain almost every dance you can think of, all instrumentals, and in moderate tempos. I particularly benefited from the merengue, as that rhythm doesn’t often appear on mixed albums. Here are the tracks:

  1. In the Mood, Swing, 44
  2. I Won’t Dance, Foxtrot, 29
  3. My Girl, Shag/Slow Swing, 28
  4. Ran Kan Kan, Salsa/Mambo, 47
  5. Tenderly, Waltz, 28
  6. Tea for Two, Cha Cha, 28
  7. Moonlight Serenade, Slow Dance, 22
  8. The Breeze and I, Rumba, 34
  9. It Don’t Mean a Thing, Quickstep, 50
  10. Perfidia, Rumba, 34
  11. Blue Danube, Viennese Waltz, 54
  12. Tico Tico, Samba, 54
  13. Mr. Sandman, Peabody, 60
  14. At Last, (really) Slow Dance, 16
  15. Cachita, Merengue, 32
  16. Charleston, The Charleston, 56
  17. La Cumparsita, Tango, 30
  18. Turkey in the Straw, Hoe Down, 32

Issued in 2002, it is still available and is listed at

Published in: on March 16, 2007 at 5:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Beginnings of Telemark Dance Records

By Richard S. Mason
Copyright © 2007

It was in the 1960’s. Sheila Mason returned to our home in McLean, VA, from a trip to her native England. In London she had shopped at Army/Navy Stores and purchased some vinyl LP’s of dance music by Victor Silvester and his Orchestra and the Joe Loss Orchestra. She gave them to friends and took one to the Arthur Murray Studio in Arlington, VA, where we were taking lessons.

Up till that time, none of the dancers in the area had danced to the English dance orchestras. Everyone liked the recordings, particularly the dance teachers, and they wanted more. For a while, we kept ordering a few at a time, but then decided we should order them in wholesale quantities. We contacted EMI Records in London, and they agreed to supply us with some 45″s of the Victor Silvester Orchestra, at that time the most famous dance band in England.

With wholesale quantities arriving, we didn’t have that many dancing friends to give them to; so we took out a small ad in Dance Magazine, advertising some 5 of Silvester’s 45’s, including the famous “Singing Piano” waltz and “Paper Roses” foxtrot. The orders came in immediately starting in August 1962, and we were in business.

We called the firm “Dance Records”, but we soon found out that Danny Hoctor in New Jersey was producing records under the same firm name. We therefore decided to add the name of an International-Style turn in foxtrot and waltz called telemark. And it has been Telemark Dance Records ever since.

Published in: on March 15, 2007 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Checking In!

Just checked in to It’s an awesome and beautiful website designed some years ago by Donna Lucas, co-owner (with me) of Telemark Dance Records. If you wish to learn about Ballroom dance music, that’s the place to go. It lists most of the best dance music in the world on CDs and vinyl, and, on most of them, identifies the titles of each track. Instruction books on Ballroom dancing are also listed. Telemark Dance Records celebrates its 45th anniversary in August of 2007, and this website is a distillation of 45 years of supplying dancers with the music they need.

–Richard Mason

Published in: on March 13, 2007 at 10:09 pm  Comments (2)