Oh, for simpler times! President Eisenhower selected a playlist of some of his favorites on this LP, including a Verdi aria and overtures by Beethoven, Johannes Strauss and Mendelssohn. The album includes two American composers: Gershwin and Dmitri Tiomkin, who came to America in the 20s and lived much of his life in California. President Eisenhower’s notes (more than 140 words!) are the sort of thing we’d like to hear from political leaders today:
I Wish to salute musicians and the important part they play in the life of our people. American music has brought us pleasurable distinction at home and abroad.
Millions of Americans are engaged in the creation performance and active appreciation of music. Indeed it is a rare day when any one of us does not hear some form of music; it is hard to imagine our lives without it.
The enjoyment of music — speaking for myself, at least — has a moral and spiritual value which is unique and powerful. It reaches easily across lingual, racial and national boundaries. The development of American music, like the native development of any art, is therefore the development of a national treasure.