Even though he was an accomplished actor and a host and music program supervisor of the General Electric Theater before going into politics and being elected into the US presidency, but is Ronald Reagan the “music-hating” US president?
By: Ringo Bones
Maybe it was that notorious Omnibus Regulation Acts of 1980 and 1981 that not only gave birth the “Ketchup is a Vegetable” controversy but also allowed the then US president Ronald Reagan to be put on trial for cutting the American public high-school music programs in favor of team sports. Maybe the powers-that-be of the Reagan Administration really decided to cut funding for the American public high-school music programs in favor of team sports in order to advance the US Republican Party’s political interests at the time, but does this action ultimately make Ronald Reagan the “music-hating” US president?
During his high school days, Ronald Reagan’s two main interests was his school’s football team and his school’s acting program before eventually cutting his acting chops in Hollywood; And then later on eventually becoming the host and music program supervisor of the General Electric Theater which was forever immortalized by Ronald Reagan’s collaboration with movie orchestra conductor Elmer Bernstein 20-years before Reagan being elected into the White House. Given his career track record before going into politics and then the US presidency, it is quite inexplicable that there is truth behind the claim that Ronald Reagan hates the 1980s era public high school music program funding schemes that he eventually decided to make serious cuts on the program – but is it? Or maybe Reagan got frustrated that his signature “bland baritone” is more suited for program hosting and B-Movie roles than a full-fledged theatrical or operatic Heldentenor.
Basing on his choice of inviting Ol ’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra to perform on his January 1981 presidential inauguration and to “romantically serenade” the then US First Lady Nancy Reagan, its quite hard to conclude that the then US President Ronald Reagan is a “music hating US president” given that this White House musical extravaganza is something only George W. Bush can dream of. But whether it is just unfortunate luck that some thermionic vacuum tubes of musical merit – like the 7591A vacuum tubes and the Mullard EL34 – became scarce during the Reagan Administration or Reagan choosing a strategic nuclear arsenal build-up instead of hosting a Classical Music showdown between the Soviet Union’s Leonid Kogan and Itzhak Perlman only fosters the speculation of Reagan’s Philistine outlook when it comes to the artistic aspects of music creation.