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Alliteratin’ Artists


by Jerome Weeks 23 Feb 2009

Bruce Brubaker met Meredith Monk and was inspired to come up with a list of alliteratively-named artists such as Federico Fellini, Don DeLillo and Tommy Tune. Perhaps because I’m the son of William Weeks, five artists immediately popped into my head: Alvin Ailey, Stephen Spender, Countee Cullen, James Weldon Johnson and Max Morath (look him […]

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Bruce Brubaker met Meredith Monk and was inspired to come up with a list of alliteratively-named artists such as Federico Fellini, Don DeLillo and Tommy Tune. Perhaps because I’m the son of William Weeks, five artists immediately popped into my head: Alvin Ailey, Stephen Spender, Countee Cullen, James Weldon Johnson and Max Morath (look him up).

I wonder whether George Gershwin fits because, strictly speaking, he doesn’t actually alliterate (as a prosodic device, alliteration is based on the repeated sound, not the letter itself). But then I also started thinking of jazz and blues artists whose nicknames make them alliterate — Pinetop Perkins, Sunnyland  Slim and a rare triple case, Bobby “Bigmouth” Brown — and wondered whether these qualified, too. If so, Herbert “Blues Boy” Hubbard may be the only artist to double-alliterate in his name.

Have fun.

  • Later additions: Scott Spencer, Joe Jackson, Richard Russo
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  • Marie Martin

    And then of course there’s Bobby Blue Bland.
    Siouxsie Sioux may not count.

  • I can’t believe I didn’t think of Stephen Sondheim. Or Bobby Blue Bland, for that matter.

    So how about Daniel Defoe? Desmond Decker? Brendan Behan and William Wordsworth? I suppose Elizabeth Barrett Browning and F. Scott Fitzgerald would be cheating.

    Good lord!! James Joyce!

  • Paul Barnes

    Grahame Greene, Mickey Mouse, Kay Kyser, Dan Duryea, Lotte Lenya, Marilyn Monroe, Walt Whitman, and Bridget Bardot come to mind.

  • Anne

    Richard Wright, Ansel Adams, Wim Wenders, Roberto Rossellini, Tiny Tim, Marcel Marceau, Paula Poundstone, Sarah Silverman, Kurt Cobain, Hermann Hesse, Pablo Picasso, Aravind Adiga (author of “White Tiger”), Stephen Spielberg, Greta Garbo, Dick van Dyke

    Here in Texas we claim: Lyle Lovett, Jerry Jeff Walker, Brent Best, Billy Lee Brammer, Robert Rauschenberg, author Bryan Burrough (I’m reading “Big Rich”), and of course, Alibaster K. Abernabther.

    Another game: Art Blakey, Charles Dickens, Virginia Wolfe, Augusten Burroughs, Francisco Goya, Jeff Koons, Raphael Saadiq

    Or backward! :Charlotte Bronte, Velvet Underground, Darby Crash, our very own Krys Boyd, Tommy Stinson, Cartier-Bresson, Cate Blanchett

    Ahem…Back to work!

  • Yes, well, before I return to pulling on the collective oar to which we are chained, I note that the suspiciously convenient name “Anne Bothwell” certainly works in the alphabetical order game …

    • Ooh! Yet another game! So far, I’ve come up with only two names that fit: T. S. Elliot and Elmer Rice. They begin and end with the same letter.

      And some more for the alphabetical order game: Henrik Ibsen! Anne Bancroft! Angelo Badalamenti!

    • Paul Barnes

      And then there is HAL the IBM computer.

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