Like many authors, Harry Turtledove and Laura Frankos reference the broad impact musicians and their work have (or have had) on society. Sometimes, these references can give a reader insight into how a particular timeline differs from OTL. Other times, they are more incidental and designed to invoke a specific era or culture. What follows is a list of such references which can be found in Turtledove's and/or Frankos' body of work, organized by the musician, song-writer, or performer.

Note: As many homages are subtle, they can easily escape the notice of any given reader. Therefore we strongly encourage anyone who has found, or believes he has found, an homage not already on this list, or by an author not represented, to add it.


The Andrews Sisters

The Andrews Sisters were a close harmony singing group, consisting of sisters LaVerne Sophie Andrews (contralto; 1911–1967), Maxene Angelyn Andrews (soprano; 1916–1995), and Patricia Marie "Patty" Andrews (mezzo-soprano; lead; 1918-2013).

In Worldwar: Tilting the Balance, Hank Vernon suggests that he and Jens Larssen listen to the Andrews Sisters during the journey aboard the Duluth Queen. Larssen prefers to listen to news, and Vernon complies.

Louis Armstrong

In addition to his direct appearances in Southern Victory, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong is occasionally referenced in stories with a more recent POD. In The Hot War: Fallout, minor character Freddy Cullenbine is defined primarily by his unsuccessful attempts to emulate Satchmo. In Days of Infamy, Jim Peterson is surprised when a Japanese bugler attempts to imitate Armstrong.[1]

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity.

Bach is referenced several times in Turtledove's work. In the novel In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Bach is one of the composers favored by the Nazi Party well into the 21st century.[2]

In the Colonization series, German spaceman Johannes Drucker, who stays in the Hotel Elephant, Weimar, where Bach had once stayed.[3] Exiled Fleetlord Straha has little use for Tosevite music, but he does find the patterns in Bach's work interesting.[4]

The Beatles

In addition to their banned status in The Gladiator, the Beatles are referenced directly or indirectly in numerous Turtledove and Frankos works.

The Beatles, not The Beetles

In St. Oswald's Niche, a team of linguists discover that Beatles lyrics translate very well into Old Norse.[5]

In Hitler's War Turtledove opens Sergei Yaroslavsky's scene where he returned from fighting in Czechoslovakia with a rephrasing of two lines from The Beatles "Back In The USSR" taking the lines:

  • "I'm back in the USSR / You don't know how lucky you are, boy."

and changing them to reflect the casualties the Soviet Air Force suffered to read:

  • "Back in the USSR. Sergei Yaroslavsky didn't realize how lucky he was ..."[6]

In Thessalonica, the soldier Menas kills a Slavic warrior in battle with a war hammer. Turtledove describes the scene thusly: "Bang! Bang! Menas' silvered hammer came down upon his head. The Slav writhed, than lay still. Menas hit him again, to make sure he was dead". This is an allusion to the Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", about a serial killer who beats people to death with his silver hammer. Later in the novel, a conversation between satyrs includes Ithys' wisdom for Ampelus: "All you need is love," the title of another Beatles song. It is likely not a coincidence that three of the novel's omnipresent city militiamen are named George, John, and Paul. This group noticeably lacks either Richard or Ringo, names which would not be credible in a 6th-century Greek setting, but Rufus may be seen as a reasonably phonetic substitute.

At least two Beatles references are found in the Worldwar franchise. In Aftershocks, Hal Walsh is fond of a popular British quartet called The Beetles. POV David Goldfarb, who thinks their music is just noise, speculates that the name comes from their insectoid shaven-headed appearance. In Homeward Bound, the busty showgirl on a violent TV game show is consistently referred to as Lovely Rita, the title of another Beatles song.

In "They'd Never--", Mort Pfeiffer assigns the names George, John, Paul, and Ringo to the green aliens who have abducted him.

In "The Mammyth", the three protagonists encounter a walrus named Paul. This is a reference to the song "Glass Onion", in which John Lennon sings "Here's another clue for you all/The Walrus was Paul", which is itself a reference to the song "I am the Walrus". Lennon admitted he'd done it to poke fun at fans who were convinced Paul McCartney was secretly dead.

Ludwig van Beethoven

In addition to his alternate posthumous role in The Two Georges, Ludwig van Beethoven is briefly referenced in other works.

In In the Presence of Mine Enemies, we learn that Beethoven is one of the musicians approved by the German Reich.[7]

In The War That Came Early The Big Switch, as she contemplates the state of the world and the resistance certain musicians met from their respective governments, Peggy Druce wonders if the music of people such as Dmitri Shostakovich would outlast politics, much as Beethoven's music had.[8]

Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin looks worried that Groucho Marx is singing one his lesser songs.

Irving Berlin (born Israel Beilin (Russian: Израиль Моисеевич Бейлин) May 23 [O.S. May 11] 1888 – September 22, 1989) was an American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. His music forms a great part of the Great American Songbook.

Berlin wrote an antiwar song called "Stay Down Here Where You Belong" before the United States entered World War I. The Devil tells his son to stay in Hell rather than enter the war in Europe. Groucho Marx liked to sing it, which drove Berlin crazy. Berlin even offered Marx money not to sing it, but Marx refused. In "Hail! Hail!", a fictionalized Groucho reflects on that anecdote.[9]

In Settling Accounts: The Grapple, the song "God Bless the Stars and Stripes" is sung in the 1940s by Kate Smith, who sang Berlin's "God Bless America" in the same decade in OTL. Berlin himself is not mentioned.

In Worldwar: Striking the Balance, a crowd of released POWs all sing "God Bless America."[10]

Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun is loosely based on the life of circus performer Annie Oakley. The number "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" is parodied in "Birdwitching" when the fanaticism of the Yule Bird Count turns into an example of "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do More Of."[11]

Red Blanchard

Richard Bogardus "Red" Blanchard, Jr. (June 11, 1920 – June 16, 2011) was an American radio show personality in California markets from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s whose shows were novelty- and comedy-oriented. He was also a musician and record producer and released a few novelty songs of his own in the early 1950s. Blanchard also added his voice to novelty songs written and performed by recording personality Nervous Norvus, and to radio commercials. In 1965 Blanchard became the technical director of the Los Angeles station KHJ-TV until he retired in 1978.

In "Hindsight," Pete Lundquist briefly talks to Michelle Gordian about Blanchard, including his popularizing of the slang term "zorch," which means strange and marvelous.[12]

Boublil and Schonberg

Alain Boublil (lyricist and librettist, born 5 March 1941) and Claude-Michel Schönberg (composer, born 6 July 1944) are French creators of rock operas and musicals, including La Révolution Française (1973), Les Misérables (1985), Miss Saigon (1989), Martin Guerre (1996), The Pirate Queen (2006), and Marguerite (2008). Popular in translation, Boublil and Schoenberg's style is often compared to American composer Stephen Sondheim and British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.

In "The Great White Way", CDs of Boublil and Schoenberg serve as a kind of neutral ground while Trina Hutchinson and Brent Birley are preparing for the Sondheim-Webber battle.

Ole Bull

Ole Bornemann Bull (5 February 1810 – 17 August 1880) was a Norwegian violinist and composer, who frequently toured the United States.

In The Man With the Iron Heart, Diana McGraw sees a statue of Bull in Loring Park, Minneapolis.[13]

Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was an American classical composer, composition teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music. He was instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, and is often referred to as "the Dean of American Composers". In the 1960s, however, Copland turned more to simply conducting rather than composing. In the 1950s, he became more outspokenly anti-Communist after years of Communist sympathies.

Copland died in 1990 of Alzheimer's and respiratory failure.

In The War That Came Early: The Big Switch, in the aftermath of the Hess Agreement, when Britain and France align with their former enemy Germany against the Soviet Union, Peggy Druce realizes she couldn't hear the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, or Aaron Copland for that matter, without thinking "Oh, yeah. He's a Red".[14]

Noel Coward

Sir Noël Peirce Coward (16 December 1899 – 26 March 1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time Magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".

Coward composed the song "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" (1931), whose refrain "Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun" has become a proverbial expression, and is referenced in numerous Turtledove works. In Homeward Bound, when arriving at the perpetually 130-degree Crimson Desert, which tour guide Trir takes in stride, Jonathan Yeager remembers that Coward (along with the rest of Tosev 3) had never heard of the Race when he wrote the song.[15]

The Crome Syrcus

The Crome Syrcus was an American rock band of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Originally founded in 1966 in Seattle, the band quickly moved to San Francisco and gained some minor success opening for more popular acts. Most of their recorded work was produced in 1968, including their only album. They officially broke up in 1973, but they hadn't recorded in some time.

The Crome Syrcus concert is pre-empted by an attack of shoggoths in "The Fillmore Shoggoth".

Celine Dion

Céline Marie Claudette Dion (born 30 March 1968) is a Canadian pop singer and businesswoman, who has won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Her hit songs include "My Heart Will Go On", written for the movie Titanic (1997).

In "Twenty-One, Counting Up," Justin Kloster finds that, while he generally can't stand Celine Dion, her Titanic song actually speaks to him about his own life.[16]

Tommy Dorsey

Thomas Francis "Tommy" Dorsey, Jr. (November 19, 1905 – November 26, 1956) was an American jazz trombonist, composer, conductor and bandleader of the Big Band era.

Dorsey is referenced in "Must and Shall". His reputation in that timeline seems to be the same as in OTL, even though history diverged 41 years before his birth.

Bob Dylan

In one alternate, Senators and Congressman did not heed the call, so the times were a-changed by a horror beyond their command.

Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American songsmith, actor, author, and winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. While his career has undergone numerous shifts and reinventions, he probably remains best known for his earliest phase, as a folk singer of protest songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964).

In The Valley-Westside War, where the pop culture of a post-apocalyptic alternate has been stagnated ever since the Fire fell in 1967, Colonel Morris of Westside uses the phrase "Times, they are a-changing" as fighting words in response to the Valley's protest against Westside's new treaty-breaking tollgate.[17]

Sherman Edwards

Sit down, John! Sit down, John! For God's sake, John, sit down!

Sherman Edwards wrote the music and lyrics for the musical comedy 1776. The book was written by Peter Stone. The play tells the story of the efforts of a small group of Founding Fathers, specifically Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, and especially John Adams to convince their colleagues in the Continental Congress to declare the 13 rebellious British colonies they represent to be an independent nation, the United States of America.

In the play's first scenes, Adams is portrayed as being engaged in a lonely battle to convince a hostile Congress of the necessity of declaring independence. In the show's opening number, Adams harangues his colleagues to "Vote for Independency!" but they interrupt their debate over whether to open the windows of Liberty Hall just long enough to tell him repeatedly "For God's sake, John, sit down!"

The play is invoked in The War Between the Provinces: Advance and Retreat. Turtledove portrays a sorcerous analog of the American Civil War Battle of Franklin, at which half a dozen Confederate generals were killed in action, including a brigade commander named John Adams (no relation to President Adams). Turtledove creates a number of pun-named characters to stand in for the unfortunate rebel leaders. Adams's analog is named For Gods' Sake John, a line from Edwards' play.

Benny Goodman

Benjamin David "Benny" Goodman (May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986) was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader, known as the "King of Swing".

In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in America. His concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City on January 16, 1938, is described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz's 'coming out' party to the world of 'respectable' music."

Goodman's bands launched the careers of many major names in jazz. During an era of segregation he also led one of the first well-known integrated jazz groups. Goodman continued to perform to nearly the end of his life, while exploring an interest in classical music.

Goodman is referenced in "Must and Shall". His reputation in that timeline seems to be the same as in OTL, even though history diverged 45 years before his birth.

George Frideric Handel

George Frideric Handel (5 March 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-born Baroque composer who is famous for his operas, oratorios, and concerti grossi. Handel spent most of his adult life in England. His most famous work is probably The Messiah, a musical commemoration of Jesus' life.

In In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Handel is one of several composers whose work is approved of by the Nazi Party. He is also one of several composers whose work Susanna Weiss actually enjoyed despite that fact.[18]

In The Two Georges, Handel's "Water Music" plays on a phonogram in the Independence Party headquarters in Boston.[19]

Joseph Haydn

Franz Joseph Haydn (31 March 1732 – 31 May 1809) was an Austrian composer. He was one of the most prominent composers of the classical period, and is called by some the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet".

In the novel In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Haydn is one of several composers whose work is approved of by the Nazi Party. He is also one of several composers whose work Susanna Weiss actually enjoyed despite that fact.[20]

Janis Ian

Janis Ian (born Janis Eddy Fink; April 7, 1951) is an American singer-songwriter, columnist, and author of science fiction. One song written by her, "God and the FBI", contains the line "Stalin was a Democrat", which influenced Harry Turtledove to write "Joe Steele". She is the dedicatee of both that story and its longer novelized form.

Iosif Kobzon

Iosif Davydovich Kobzon (Ио́сиф Давы́дович Кобзо́н) (b. 11 September 1937) is an iconic Ukrainian crooner, who was acclaimed as "the official voice of the Soviet Union".

In the short work "Black Tulip", POV Sergei, a Soviet soldier, finds the screams of wounded and dying Afghani Mujahideen to be sweeter than the voice of Iosif Kobzon.

Tom Lehrer

Thomas Andrew Lehrer (born April 9, 1928) is an American musician and mathematician, best known for the pithy, humorous songs he recorded in the 1950s and 1960s.

In A World of Difference, when the American space shuttle Athena lands on Minerva and the crew confirms that it had beaten the Soviet Tsiolkovsky by several minutes, Irv Levitt paraphrases one of Tom Lehrer's songs, declaring "In Baikonur our name is cursed, When they find out we landed first!"[21]

The Loading Zone

The Loading Zone was an American rock band of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Originally founded in 1966 by Paul Fauerso, the group gained some minor success opening for more popular acts. They produced one album in 1968 which was poorly received by critics. The band disbanded 1969. However, Fauerso reformed the band that same year. They released a second LP in 1970, but again broke up in 1971.

The Loading Zone scheduled performance is pre-empted by an attack of shoggoths in "The Fillmore Shoggoth".

Shorty Long

Frederick Earl "Shorty" Long (May 20, 1940 – June 29, 1969) was an American soul singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer for Motown's Soul Records imprint. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1980. Among his compositions is the 1964 song "Devil With a Blue Dress On".

In The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump, David Fisher encounters a large group of succubi who are staging a demon-stration for sex workers' rights, and is particularly impressed by one of them, whom he describes as a "little devil with a blue dress on."[22]

Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx

Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx are the composers of the musical Avenue Q. Its characters lament that as children, they were assured by their parents, and by children's television programs such as PBS's Sesame Street, that they were "special" and "could do anything"; but as adults, they have discovered to their surprise and dismay that in the real world their options are limited, and they are no more "special" than anyone else. The musical is notable for the use of puppets, animated by unconcealed puppeteers, alongside human actors. Avenue Q is nonetheless very adult, with frequent profanity, intercourse among puppets, and other themes not safe for children.

In "The Mammyth", Tundra Dawn, Cleveland, and Ptremendous Tarmigan are traveling on the subway of Metropolis. When the conductor announces they've passed Avenue Q, Cleveland starts doing something unspecified, prompting Tundra to tell him to stop, as they are in a family story. Cleveland responds he just suddenly felt like double-clicking. When they reach their stop, they are told they need to get off here. Cleveland responds he already got off. His behavior is certainly in keeping with the raunchy matter of Avenue Q.

Martin Luther

In addition to being a religious revolutionary, Martin Luther was also a prolific composer of hymns. The best known of these is arguably "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" (c. 1528), which has been adapted into English as "A Mighty Fortress is Our God". In The Great War, this seems to be Gordon McSweeney's favorite song. In The Valley-Westside War, the Army of the Valley has a marching song "A Mighty Fortress is Our King" (referring to King Zev of the Valley), although whether it uses Luther's melody is unclear.

Jerry McGeorge

Jerry McGeorge (born October 22, 1945) is an American rock guitarist and automobile manufacturing executive. In 1967, he played bass with the band H.P. Lovecraft on their debut album, but left the band before its second album. His place was taken by Jeffrey Boyan, with whom McGeorge had played in The Blackstones in 1965.

In "The Fillmore Shoggoth", Lovecraft member George Edwards reflects that the replacement of McGeorge by Boyan has improved the band.

Glenn Miller

Boy, the way Glenn Miller played, histories that Harry made...

Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – missing in action December 15, 1944) was an American jazz musician (trombone), arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known "Big Bands". While he was traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, the plane Miller was aboard disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel. No trace was ever found.

In The War That Came Early: The Big Switch, Peggy Druce listens to Glenn Miller on the radio. The music makes her happy briefly, as the Nazis hate jazz, and she hates the Nazis. [23]

Van Morrison

Sir George Ivan Morrison OBE (born 31 August 1945) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer whose recording career spans seven decades. He has won two Grammy Awards.

Morrison began performing as a teenager in the late 1950s. He played a variety of instruments such as guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for several Irish showbands, covering the popular hits of that time. Known as "Van the Man" to his fans, Morrison rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B and rock band Them. With Them, he recorded the garage band classic "Gloria".

Under the pop-oriented guidance of Bert Berns, Morrison's solo career began in 1967 with the release of the hit single "Brown Eyed Girl".

In "No Period", the unnamed narrator turns his attention to the Mongol Empire prefacing it by saying "cast your memory back there, Lord," a paraphrase of a lyric from Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl."

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir (officially The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square since October 5, 2018) is a 360-member choir. The choir is part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and is based at the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The choir was founded in August 1847, one month after the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. Prospective singers must be LDS Church members who are eligible for a temple recommend, be between 25 and 55 years of age at the start of choir service, and live within 100 miles of Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In Curious Notions, the Choir seems to still be active, 140 years after the United States lost a nuclear war. Charlie Woo uses the phrase "singing like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir" as a colorful metaphor of squealing to the secret police.[24]

Wolfgang Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 - 5 December 1791) was a prolific and influential Austrian composer of the Classical era. His more than 600 compositions include works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music, and he is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.

In In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Mozart is considered to be a great musician by the Nazi Party well into the 21st century.[25]


Oasis were a rock band formed in Manchester, England, United Kingdom, in 1991, and active until 2009. Brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher were the constant members in a rotating roster. Oasis won 17 NME Awards, nine Q Awards, four MTV Europe Music Awards and six Brit Awards.

In "Forty, Counting Down" and "Twenty-One, Counting Up," a running gag contrasts Megan Tricoupis' wildness for Oasis with Justin Kloster's preference for Pulp.

Tony Orlando and Dawn

Tony Orlando and Dawn is an American pop music group that was popular in the 1970s. Their signature hits include "Candida", "Knock Three Times", "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree", "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose", and "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)". "Yellow Ribbon" inspired a show of support for the hostages during the Iran Hostage Crisis by Americans tying yellow ribbons around the trunks of trees and other objects.

"Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" is alluded to in the title of the story "Tie a Yellow Ribbon", which is part of the State of Jefferson series. The song itself is referenced within the story, where it is played several times while a crowd of people await the arrival of Mark Gordon, a sasquatch, who was one of the hostages held in Iran from 1979 through 1981. Governor Bill Williamson didn't have a favorable opinion of Tony Orlando and Dawn or their song before, and the repeated playing of the song just reinforces that unfavorable opinion.

Cole Porter

Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter. Unlike many successful Broadway composers of the time, Porter wrote the lyrics, as well as the music, for his songs. Although disabled in horse-riding accident in 1937, Porter continued to work. Some of his best known plays are Anything Goes, Can-Can, Silk Stockings, and Kiss Me, Kate.

In The Man With the Iron Heart, Bernie Cobb contemplates the lyrics of Porter's song "Just One of Those Things," particularly the part about having gossamer wings.[26]

In Worldwar: In the Balance, Bobby Fiore, attempting to explain human love to Lizards, regrets that he does not have Cole Porter's way with words.[27] Presumably this refers to "Let's Fall in Love," a hit song from Anything Goes.

Elvis Presley

In addition to his banned status in The Gladiator, Elvis Presley is referenced in other Turtledove works.

In The Valley-Westside War, Elvis' "Hound Dog" has been adopted as a martial song by the Army of the Valley.[28]

In Rulers of the Darkness, Ealstan is told that "Ethelhelm has left the building," a play on the catchphrase "Elvis has left the building."[29]

Alla Pugacheva

Personally, I'd rather listen to Alla Pugacheva than dying men, but that's me.

Alla Borisovna Pugacheva (born 15 April 1949) is perhaps the best known musical performer in Russia, her career having started in 1965 (during the Soviet Union) and continuing to this day. She is the most successful Russian performer in terms of record sales and popularity.

In the short work "Black Tulip", POV character Sergei, a Soviet soldier fighting in Afghanistan, finds the screams of wounded and dying Mujahideen to be sweeter than the voice of Alla Pugacheva.


Pulp were an English rock band which were formed in Sheffield in 1978, but did not become prominent until the 1990s. Their best-known line-up from their heyday (1992–1997) consisted of Jarvis Cocker (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Candida Doyle (keyboards), Russell Senior (guitar, violin), Mark Webber (guitar, keyboards), Steve Mackey (bass) and Nick Banks (drums, percussion).

In "Forty, Counting Down" and "Twenty-One, Counting Up," a running gag contrasts Megan Tricoupis' wildness for Oasis with Justin Kloster's preference for Pulp.


R.E.M., an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, was formed in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry. The band's last performance was in 2011. Their 1987 hit song "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" provided the title of Turtledove's short story "It's the End of the World As We Know It, And We Feel Fine".

In Supervolcano: Eruption, Kelly Birnbaum recalled "It's the End of the World ..." in Yellowstone National Park but didn't feel fine since she was anticipating the eruption of the supervolcano right under her at any minute.[30]

Django Reinhardt

Django Reinhardt (23 January 1910 – 16 May 1953) was a pioneering virtuoso jazz guitarist and composer. Born in Belgium of Romani ("Gypsy") descent, Reinhardt achieved his greatest fame in France in the years before and after World War II, inventing an entirely new style of jazz guitar technique (sometimes called 'hot' jazz guitar) that has since become a living musical tradition within French gypsy culture.

Reinhardt was actually able to continue to perform in France during the Nazi-occupation, despite the Nazis' disdain for both Gypsies and jazz. He continued to perform after the war, until he retired in 1951. He died of a brain hemorrhage in 1953.

In The Big Switch, in the aftermath of Hess Agreement of 1940, which sees France and Britain join with Germany against the Soviet Union, Peggy Druce wonders if the French government might decide to persecute the jazz-playing Gypsy guitarist Reinhardt as a sop to their new Nazi allies.[31]

Tim Rice

Sir Timothy Miles Bindon Rice (born 10 November 1944) is a British author and lyricist. He is best known for writing with stage and film composers including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alan Menken, and Elton John.

In "The Great White Way," Trina Hutchinson tells Brent Birley of her strongly-held opinion that the quality of Lloyd Webber's output went into an irreversible decline when Tim Rice left Webber's fellowship.

The Righteous Brothers

The Righteous Brothers are an American musical duo originally formed by Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield but now comprising Medley and Bucky Heard. Medley formed the group with Hatfield in 1963. They had first performed together in 1962 in the Los Angeles area as part of a five-member group called the Paramours, and adopted the name The Righteous Brothers when they became a duo. Their most active recording period was in the 1960s and '70s, and, after several years inactive as a duo, Hatfield and Medley reunited in 1981 and continued to perform until Hatfield's death in 2003. The music they performed is sometimes dubbed "blue-eyed soul"

In "No Period", the unnamed narrator turns his attention to the Mongol Empire prefacing it by saying "cast your memory back there, Lord," a paraphrase of a lyric from Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl." He further describes the Mongol Empire's peak as "a righteously long time ago, brother."

Rodgers and Hammerstein

Composer Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and lyricist-dramatist Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960) were an influential, innovative and successful American musical theatre writing team. They created a string of popular Broadway musicals in the 1940s and 1950s, initiating what is considered the "golden age" of musical theatre. Five of their Broadway shows, Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music, were outstanding successes, as was the television broadcast of Cinderella (1957). Of the other four that the team produced on Broadway during their lifetimes, Flower Drum Song was well-received, and none was an outright flop. Most of their shows have received frequent revivals around the world, both professional and amateur. Among the many accolades their shows (and film versions) garnered were 34 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and two Grammy Awards. Their musical theatre writing partnership has been called the greatest of the 20th century.

A poster for Oh--Sequoyah! with the title very badly misspelled.

In the Southern Victory timeline, Oklahoma! has an analog, Oh--Sequoyah!, referenced in The Grapple. Both plays premiered on Broadway in 1943.

In Laura Frankos' "Leg Irons, the Bitch and the Wardrobe," set in a fantasy analog of Broadway, the play Away We Go includes the songs "I'm Just a Maid Who Can't Say Nay" and another song about a carriage with a tasseled trim, referencing Oklahoma!'s numbers "I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say No" and "Surrey With a Fringe on the Top." In the same story, Prince Harrold recalls playing his own father in The King and Me, which was not appreciated by the real king. This may allude to the negative reaction to The King and I from Siamese people, who insist it grossly misrepresents Siamese culture and historical figures.

Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are a British rock band formed in London, England, in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Mick Jagger (lead vocals), Keith Richards (guitar, backing vocals), Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), and Ian Stewart (piano). With changes of personnel, the band has continued in other forms to this day, although the original line-up remains the best-known version.

In The Valley-Westside War, the Stones' 1965 hit "Satisfaction" has become a martial song for the Army of the Valley.[32]

Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (25 September 1906 – 9 August 1975) was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century.

Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union under the patronage of Leon Trotsky's chief of staff Mikhail Tukhachevsky, but later had a complex and difficult relationship with the Stalinist bureaucracy. His music was officially denounced twice, in 1936 and 1948, and was periodically banned. Despite this, he also received accolades and state awards and served in the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. Despite the official controversy, his works were popular and well received.

In The War That Came Early: The Big Switch, in the aftermath of the Hess Agreement, when Britain and France align with their former enemy Germany against the Soviet Union, Peggy Druce realizes she couldn't hear the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, or Aaron Copland for that matter, without thinking "Oh, yeah. He's a Red".[33]

Frank Sinatra

In addition to his anti-war stance role in "News From the Front", Frank Sinatra is also referenced in passing.

In Worldwar: Upsetting the Balance, Sam Yeager likens Ullhass and Ristin's reaction upon seeing Straha to a group of bobby-soxers' reaction to seeing Sinatra.[34]

In The War That Came Early: Coup d'Etat, during an idle period aboard the USS Boise, Pete McGill and Joe Orsatti discuss Sinatra after Orsatti reveals that one of his distant cousins had briefly dated one of Sinatra's distant cousins, but the relationship didn't work out. Orsatti also tells McGill that his parents are acquainted with Sinatra's parents.[35]

Steely Dan

The rock band Steely Dan released the single "Kid Charlemagne" in 1976. The song, written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, is very loosely based on the real Owsley Stanley, a chemist who came to be known for his high-quality LSD in 1960s San Francisco. While Stanley was never called "Kid Charlemagne", a character by that name with a reputation for producing high-quality LSD appears in the short work "The Fillmore Shoggoth", selling his product to the members of the band HPL.

Al Stewart

In addition to his thinly disguised POV role in "Nine Drowned Churches," Al Stewart serves as an occasional Turtledove muse. In Supervolcano: Eruption, the song "Came Along Too Late" was one composed and performed by the fictional band Squirt Frog and the Evolving Tadpoles. In the "Author's Note" at the end of the volume, Turtledove mentions he wrote an earlier version of the song when his daughter Rebecca asked for songs on historical themes. He also indicated it can be sung to the tune of "Josephine Baker" on Stewart's album Last Days of the Century.[36] One band member of Squirt Frog even describes their music as somewhere between Frank Zappa and Al Stewart.[37]

In the introduction to the short story "Occupation Duty"[38], Turtledove quotes Al Stewart's song "Nostradamus": the more it changes, the more it stays the same. It refers to the story's theme that Palestine would still be war-torn even if the POD was 3000 years ago.

Justin Timberlake

Justin Randall Timberlake (born January 31, 1981) is an American pop singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer and actor. He has won six Grammy Awards as well as an Emmy Award.

In "Getting Real", set in 2117, only "oldsters" versed in the classics know who Justin Timberlake was.

Trash Can Sinatras

Trashcan Sinatras or Trash Can Sinatras are a band formed in Irvine, Scotland, United Kingdom, in 1986. The band's music makes frequent use of pop harmonies and the lyrics make frequent use of wordplay. Their name is a tribute to the American crooner Frank Sinatra.

In "Forty, Counting Down" and "Twenty-One, Counting Up," Justin Kloster, Megan Tricoupis, and a few other characters are fond of this band, which isn't very popular in the Los Angeles area at the time.

Robin Trower

Robin Leonard Trower (born 9 March 1945) is an English rock guitarist and vocalist who achieved success with Procol Harum during the 1960s, and then again as the bandleader of his own power trio.

In "Hindsight", time-traveler Michelle Gordian plays Robin Trower's album "Caravan to Midnight" for Pete Lundquist in 1953. Lundquist's response is mixed.[39]

Giuseppe Verdi

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (9 or 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was one of the most influential composers of Italian opera in the 19th century.

In the novel In the Presence of Mine Enemies, the works of Italians such as Verdi is seen as frivolous in the Greater German Reich. However, as Italy is an ally, listening to Verdi is not a crime against the state.[40]

Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741), was a Baroque music composer and Catholic priest, as well as a famous virtuoso violinist; he was born and raised in the Republic of Venice in what is now Italy. "The Four Seasons," a series of four violin concerti, is his best-known work and a highly popular Baroque piece.

In In the Presence of Mine Enemies, the works of Italians such as Vivaldi is seen as frivolous in the Greater German Reich. However, as Italy is an ally, listening to Verdi is not a crime against the state.[41]

In The Two Georges, the quartet of Brassman, Campbell, Cooper, and Jorkens, is playing Vivaldi in the Upper California Governor's Mansion on the evening The Two Georges is stolen.[42]

Barnabas von Geczy

Barnabas von Geczy (4 March 1897 - 2 July 1971) was a Hungarian violinist, composer, and bandleader. Born in Budapest when Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, he moved to Germany after World War I, where he would live for the rest of his life. In his lifetime, von Geczy was popular throughout Central Europe and even played with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the United States.

Von Geczy is rumored to have been Adolf Hitler's favorite band leader, a fact referenced in The War That Came Early: The Big Switch, when several characters listen to one of his performances on the radio.[43]

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner: Only the Nazis appreciate my work in Turtledove stories? And even then, not all of them either? Well Turtledove can **** **** **** ****!

Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, theater director and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas", as they were later called). Unlike most other great opera composers, Wagner wrote both the scenario and libretto for his works.

Wagner expressed extensive racist sentiments in his life. He wrote several tracts denouncing the influence of Jews on German music. A half-century after his death, the German Nazi Party appropriated Wagner's music, due in part to his simultaneous German nationalism and implied anti-Semitism. Due to Wagner's posthumous Nazi connections, there was a semi-official ban on his music in the State of Israel during that nation's early history.

Wagner used the medieval epic poem, the Nibelungenlied, as the basis of his own magnum opus, Der Ring des Nibelungen. In The Great War: American Front, Confederate art aficionado Alfred Forbes derisively dismisses the idea that the United States could be capable of any real cultural refinement. He suggests that the only foreign art that Americans import is German opera, and proceeds to give a decidedly un-complimentary stereotype of a generic scene from Der Ring.

A number of authors in the Chicks in Chainmail anthology series set their stories in the world of the Niebelunglied and incorporate its characters, including Turtledove in "The Catcher in the Rhine" and Laura Frankos in "The Old Grind". As both stories are short and simple spoofs (in keeping with the tongue-in-cheek nature of the Chicks), it is probably pointless to ask whether either author was parodying Wagner's version specifically.

In In the Presence of Mine Enemies, we finally encounter someone who remembers Wagner fondly: the Nazis. Wagner is held up as an example of an Aryan creative cultural force, and is celebrated in official cultural circles.

A great deal of Wagner bashing goes on in The War That Came Early. In West and East, Peggy Druce and Constantine Jenkins attend a performance of Wagner's Tannhäuser. Like non-Nazis in other Turtledove works, they are unimpressed by Wagner, but find this particular opera relatively inoffensive. Then, in The Big Switch, Willi Dernen expresses disapproval of Wagner to himself, though he does not do so publicly for fear of political consequences. In Coup d'Etat (in which Pete McGill makes a brief oblique reference to the Niebelunglied), appreciation of the beauty of some of Wagner's compositions, including Tristan und Isolde, is expressed - by Jewish characters, of all people!

Also, in Supervolcano: Eruption, when Kelly Birnbaum (Jewish as well) is awaiting a desperate helicopter rescue in Yellowstone National Park before the supervolcano can erupt, she thinks of Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyries" from Apocalypse Now! and is half disappointed when she didn't hear his "fierce, churning music" play in real life.[44]

In "The Yorkshire Mammoth", brothers Wotan and Donner Rengaw are named for two of the Germanic deities Wagner incorporated in his work; Wotan even jokes that their mother was "frightened by an opera". Their surname "Rengaw" is "Wagner" spelled backwards.

In "Christmas Truce", we get Adolf Hitler's views of Wagner. As a Gefreiter in the German army during World War I, he thinks Wagner was a genius since his music was orchestrated war composed by someone who had not personally experienced it.[45]

Frank Zappa

Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist.

In Supervolcano: Eruption, the music of Squirt Frog and the Evolving Tadpoles is likened to a cross between Frank Zappa and Al Stewart.[46]


"California, Here I Come"

"California, Here I Come" is a song written for the 1921 Broadway musical Bombo, starring Al Jolson. The song was written by Buddy DeSylva and Joseph Meyer, with Jolson often listed as a co-author. Jolson recorded the song in 1924. It is often called the unofficial state song of California.

In Joe Steele, the title character uses "California, Here I Come" as his theme song at the 1932 Democratic Party Convention. Charlie Sullivan observes that the brass band does "terrible things" to the song.

"Der Führer's Face"

During the Race Invasion of Tosev 3, Spike Jones recorded "The Fleetlord's Face", a humorous swipe at Fleetlord Atvar. This is an analog of Jones' 1942 satirical song "Der Führer's Face".

End-of-school rhyme

"No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks," is supposedly a traditional jingle sung by American school children at the start of each summer vacation. There are many variations as to the precise wording of this jingle, which appears to date back to the 1920s if not earlier.

The traditional rhyme is quoted verbatim and in full in "Twenty-One, Counting Up," when Justin Kloster completes a semester at Cal State Northridge.[47]

In the Crosstime Traffic home timeline, an "updated" version is popular in 2095: "No more stylus, no more screens, no more teachers - they're obscene." In Gunpowder Empire, Jeremy Solters hears a crowd sing this while leaving Canoga Park High School, and supposes that, regardless of technology, the sentiment is as old as the Pyramids of Giza.[48]


"Heigh-Ho" is a song from Walt Disney's 1937 animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, written by Frank Churchill (music) and Larry Morey (lyrics). It is sung by the group of seven dwarfs as they work at a mine with diamonds and rubies, and is one of the best-known songs in the film. In The Hot War: Bombs Away, when Gustav Hozzel and Rolf Mehlen are escaping a burning building via a tunnel in the basement to another building, Rolf begins whistling the tune from "Heigh-Ho". This initially puzzles Gustav but he realizes the tunnel was much like the mine of the dwarfs in the film and digging it had been dwarf-like work.[49]

Kiss Me, Kate

Kiss Me, Kate is a musical play featuring Cole Porter songs. The story involves the production of a musical version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and the conflict on and off-stage between Fred Graham, the show's director, producer, and star, and his leading lady, his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi.

In Turtledove's "Father of the Groom", at the wedding of Archimedes Kidder and Kate, after the vows and before the minister can say anything else, Archimedes says "Kiss me, Kate!". She does so without understanding the reference which would be to either this musical or a direct quote of a line in Shakespeare's Shrew.[50]

McNamara's Band

"McNamara's Band" (originally "MacNamara's Band") is a popular song composed in 1889 by Shamus O'Connor (music) and John J. Stamford (lyrics). Stamford was then the manager of the Alhambra Theatre in Belfast, Ireland (now in Northern Ireland) and the song was written expressly for the theater's owner, the American music hall veteran Billy Ashcroft. The song was most frequently performed by Americans playing comical Irish characters, with the most famous version recorded by Bing Crosby in 1945.

In The Two Georges, Kathleen Flannery is quite conscious that her Irish heritage makes her an object of suspicion in the North American Union's tense political climate. At an eatery in Charleroi, Flannery sees that Thomas Bushell has ordered corned beef, cabbage, and Jameson ale. She very peevishly asks him to sing a few choruses of "McNamara's Band," and he realizes that his choice of cuisine grates on her for the same reason that Samuel Stanley had been irritated when offered a menu with hommony grits in Doshoweh.[51]

Mexican Hayride

Mexican Hayride is a 1944 Broadway musical with a script by Herbert & Dorothy Fields, and songs by Cole Porter. In the Southern Victory universe, there is a 1943 play called Jose's Hayride, which is not described in any detail, but would seem to be an analog of this play.

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins is a 1964 musical motion picture about an English nanny with magical powers, adapted by Walt Disney Studios from a novel by Australian author Pamela L. Travers. Brothers Richard & Robert Sherman wrote the songs. In The Gladiator, Eduardo Caruso tells Annarita Crosetti and Gianfranco Mazzilli that a popular song in the home timeline contains the line "a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down."

"Old MacDonald Had a Farm"

"Old MacDonald Had a Farm" is a children's song and nursery rhyme about a farmer named MacDonald and the various animals he keeps on his farm. Each verse of the song changes the name of the animal and its respective noise. The earliest attestation of the song is from the 1920s, but it is believed to date back to the 19th century.

In Colonization: Aftershocks, Colonel Edwin Webster improvises a version based on the invasive Tau Cetian fauna which has been spreading into the United States. In this song, the azwaca makes the sound "hiss-hiss."[52]

The Producers

The Producers is a musical adapted by Mel Brooks from his 1968 film of the same name. The story concerns two theatrical producers who scheme to get rich by overselling interests in a bad Broadway play, assured to be a flop, called Springtime for Hitler. In Turtledove's In the Presence of Mine Enemies where Hitler's Germany won the Second World War, there is a similar musical about a Berlin theatre owner who booked a terrible play about Churchill and Stalin, which becomes a smash hit against the producer's plans.[53]

Sir Patrick Spens

Sir Patrick Spens is an anonymous ballad about a ship which sinks en route from Scotland to Norway. In Ruled Britannia, William Shakespeare compares his lack of progress in writing Love's Labours Won to the sinking ship in the song.[54] In "We Haven't Got There Yet," Shakespeare uses the name of Sir Patrick Spens as a curse directed at a surly man in a crowd.

"This Land is Your Land"

"This Land Is Your Land" is a U.S. folk song. Its lyrics were written by American folk singer Woody Guthrie in 1940, based on an existing melody, a Carter Family tune called "When the World's on Fire". Guthrie's lyrics were a critical response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America."

In "Bonehunters", the brownskin king Red Cloud banishing the trespassing Trinka while paraphrasing "This Land is Your Land".

"Tom o' Bedlam"

"Tom o' Bedlam" is the name of an anonymous poem in the "mad song" genre, written in the voice of a homeless mad beggar. The poem has been dated to the beginning of the 17th century, but could conceivably be from the late 16th, and was probably set to music at some point.

In Ruled Britannia, William Shakespeare is already familiar with the poem (which he refers to as a song) in 1598, and realises that the madman's claim to have "an host of furious fancies whereof I am commander" could describe his style of play-writing. The "knights of ghosts and shadows" could describe the Cecil family, his secret benefactors.[55]

"Werewolves of London"

"Werewolves of London" is a rock song composed by LeRoy Marinell, Waddy Wachtel, and Warren Zevon and performed by Zevon, and included on Zevon's 1978 album Excitable Boy. The song's lyrics are a random jumble that alternate between describing werewolves engaging in stereotypical murders and other werewolves doing innocuous things like going to a Chinese restaurant or drinking at Trader Vic's.

The short story "Three Men and a Werewolf" describes Jerome K. Jerome's famous "Three Men" meeting a werewolf named Warren Z. Wolfe, a character named in honor of Warren Zevon. Moreover, the story bases its several of its plot points and characters on the lyrics of "Werewolves of London".


Madonna and Britney Spears Kiss

At the 2003 MTV Music Video Awards, singers Madonna (b. 1958) and Britney Spears (b. 1981) shared a prolonged kiss on stage. Images of that kiss gained substantial notoriety for a time.

In the short story "Bedfellows", when O and W kiss for the first time after they are married, an onlooker asks "Is that hotter than Madonna and Britney or what?"[56]


  1. Days of Infamy, p. 242.
  2. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, pg. 243.
  3. Down to Earth, p. 96.
  4. Second Contact, pg. 241.
  5. St. Oswald's Niche, p. 59.
  6. Hitler's War, pg 91.
  7. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, pg. 243.
  8. The Big Switch, pg. 345.
  9. "Hail! Hail!" loc. 739, ebook.
  10. Striking the Balance, p. 422, HC.
  11. Birdwitching, p. 133.
  12. Kaleidoscope, pg. 123-124, MPB.
  13. The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 282.
  14. The Big Switch, pg. 345.
  15. Homeward Bound, p. 342, HC.
  16. Counting Up, Counting Down, p. 398, trade paperback.
  17. The Valley-Westside War, p. 9.
  18. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, pg. 243.
  19. The Two Georges, p. 235.
  20. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, pg. 243.
  21. A World of Difference, p. 34.
  22. The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump, p. 185.
  23. The Big Switch, pg. 344
  24. Curious Notions, p. 71-72.
  25. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, pg. 243.
  26. The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 303.
  27. Worldwar: In the Balance, p. 461, HC.
  28. The Valley-Westside War, p. 37.
  29. Rulers of the Darkness, p. 237, HC.
  30. Eruption, pg. 144, HC.
  31. The Big Switch, pg. 345.
  32. The Valley-Westside War, p. 37.
  33. The Big Switch, pg. 345.
  34. Upsetting the Balance, pg. 84, PB.
  35. Coup d'Etat, pg. 410, HC.
  36. Eruption, pg 420, HC.
  37. Ibid, pg. 31.
  38. See, e.g.Atlantis and Other Places pg. 243.
  39. See, e.g., Kaleidoscope, pg. 123-124, MPB.
  40. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, pg. 243.
  41. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, pg. 243.
  42. The Two Georges, chapter 1.
  43. The Big Switch, chapter 7.
  44. Eruption, pg. 146.
  45. Asimov's Science Fiction, November/December, 2019, Vol. 43 Nos. 11 & 12, pg. 49.
  46. Eruption, pg. 31.
  47. Counting Up, Counting Down, p. 359, purple edition.
  48. Gunpowder Empire, p. 23.
  49. Bombs Away, pg. 415, HC.
  50. See, e.g., We Install and Other Stories, loc. 185-196, ebook.
  51. The Two Georges, p. 210, HC.
  52. Aftershocks, pgs. 376-377.
  53. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, pg. 139.
  54. Ruled Britannia, p. 76.
  55. Ruled Britannia, p. 204.
  56. See, e.g., Atlantis and Other Places, HC pg. 71.