Monday, June 3, 2013

Stage Names and Other Musical Pseudonyms

June 3 marks the birthday of John Paul Jones. The Led Zeppelin bassist was born John Baldwin in 1946. His stage name, which he shares with an American hero of the American Revolution, doesn't call attention to itself in the way that Snoop Lion's or Lady Gaga's does.

It is easy enough to find out the real name of anyone with an obvious stage name, but to discover assumed identities, browse through Musical AKAs: Assumed Names and Sobriquets of Composers, Songwriters, Librettists, Lyricists, Hymnists, and Writers on Music by Jeanette Marie Drone(Reference ML105 .D76 2007). It cross-references both original and assumed names and identifies sources for nicknames such as Mr. Can-Can (Manual Gutierrez-Najera), Mr. Tin Pan Alley (Harold Gumm) and assorted other kings, queens, first ladies and godfathers.

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