Soft Speaker

Chicago, Illinois

Under duress from the USM (Unified Society of Milkmen), Joe Daley, Blair Douglass, Paul Foreman and Nick Rocchio shut down their independent milk delivery service in 1929. A smattering of unsuccessful business endeavors followed, until they discovered an undeniable chemistry blending raw fuzz guitars with lutes and clarinets. Although initially less lucrative than their previous endeavor, the band, who settled on the name Sanftsprecher (trans. “Soft Speaker”), were championed by Austria’s Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss in 1932 and subsequently enjoyed a period of massive popularity in their newly-adopted home country. The band split following Dollfuss’s assassination in 1934. Their only official recording, the 78rpm single,“I’ll Tend Your Garden,” is highly sought after by record collectors. In 2008, enthusiasts of the band purchased sheet music for a number of unrecorded Sanftsprecher songs that were discovered in Rocchio’s safe deposit box in UniCredit Bankengruppe. Five of these songs have been recorded by the Austrian Orchestra, The Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, and will be released in early 2010.