Author Archives for Miles

FS67: Fats Waller to Tiny Bradshaw, Lulu Ziegler and Eartha Kitt.

No messing about this time round. Another back to back music episode.  Blues in my condition- Cootie Williams, Numbers Boogie- Sugar Chile Robinson, My Alf- Susette Tarri, Wang, Wang Blues- Teresa Brewer, To Menneker- Lulu Ziegler, Forever and ever- Dinah Shore, Bradshaw’s boogie- Tiny Bradshaw, Your feets too big, Dragging my heart around, Shortnin bread- Fats Waller, Down and out blues- Flanagan and Allen, Gin mill blues- Joe Sullivan, Swinging with the accordion man- Bob Skyles and Skyrockets, Prima second e tersza- Roberto Murolo, Earth Kitt- Monotonous, When the sun goes down- Lonnie Donegan and Hal McIntyre- South Bayou shuffle.  

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published on May 7, 2021, by

FS66: Anita O’Day to Lucky Thompson and Billy Banks

Very little chat this time round. Back to back great music. Tex Benneke- St Louis Blues March, Lionel Hampton- The Munson Street breakdown, Lucky Thompson- Just one more chance, Albert Ammons- Boogie Woogie Stomp, Anita O’Day- The lady is a tramp, Harry Parry- Mr five by five, Carl Barriteau- Primrose Hill, Hal McIntyre- Why don’t you fall in love with me, Harlan Lattimore- Chant of the weeds, Bob Crosby- Tin roof blues, Lorrae Desmond- On the waterfront, Harry Parry- Lonesome Road,  Les Paul and Mary Ford- In a lonesome old town, Mugsy Spanier- Lonesome road , Joe Sullivan and Joe Turner- I can’t give you anything but love, Andy Kirk and his clouds of joy- Take those blues away, Billy Banks- Oh Peter and Spider crawl.

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published on April 24, 2021, by

FS65: Nellie Lutcher, Delia Murphy and Carl Barriteau.

Cupid on the cake, from Jock McDermott and his New Calton Players starts us off. Cake in the title, perfect. Its on a lovely Piccadilly Record label, the label only ran from 1927 to 1931. Our oldest record for a long time is, By the light of the silvery moon.  A 1910 rendition of this classic song by Mr Jack Charman. He sang under at least 25 aliases and was the first artist to record Hinky, Pinky, Parlez vous in 1915. Its a John Bull record label. They sold their records via the ‘Tally man’ systems- they came to your door and tried to persuade to sign up to a contract to buy a series of records. Also up Leslie (Hutch) Hutchinson, an early recording from 1929, Delia Murphy, Frankie Laine, Nat King Cole,  Maurice J Gunsky , Max Bacon and three from the insane Red Ingles, particularly love one of the titles, Git up off the floor Hannah. Duo Norah Blaney and Gwen Farrar sing Ukulele Lady from 1922. They are LGBT icons. Nellie Lutcher is new to me. She influenced Nina Simone, sung, played piano and composed. A cracker of a track from her- He’s a real gone guy. Carl Barriteau was one of many black artists and singers who came to Britain between the wars. Born in Trinidad, raised in Venezuela, he came to London in 1937. He eventually joined Ken (Snake hips) Johnston’s west Indian band. He was playing with them at the Cafe Du Paris in 1941 when a bomb exploded. It killed Johnston and one other member of the the band. Carl went on to record for Decca and died in Australia in 1998. A local note of interest for Forgotten Songs, Carl was either in residence or played frequently at our local dancehall here in Edinburgh, Leith, The Eldorado- between 1949 and 1951. Two from him, vocals by Mae Cooper. Fascinating artists and lives. It’s what Forgotten Songs is all about.

 

 

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published on April 17, 2021, by

FS64: Clara Butt, Stanley Kirkby to Tennessee Ernie & Mantovani

A complete mix of tunes and some chat about 78rpm records. Dame Clara Butt from 1918. The top English contralto of her era. Three jolly tunes from eight inch budget record labels. Don Porto’s Novelty band(Harry Bidgood), Alfredo and his band and Billy Whitlock. Sandy Powell is on a Broadcast budget record too. A very successful northern English comedian from the 1920s to 1960s and a very astute business man. He sold over seven and half million records and refused to take a flat fee for recording, instead he earned a penny a side. That certainly all added up!  Also the prolific English baritone Stanley Kirkby, Turner and Layton, Lorrae Desmond, Roberto Inglez, Ron Goodwin, Tennessee Ernie and Mantovani. We finish with Bob Crosby and Looping the Loop from 1938.

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published on April 10, 2021, by

FS63 Pine Top Smith to Marion Mann and Red Nichols

A particularly upbeat selection of music this time round. Two from Bob Crosby and two Shakespeare sonnets, fabulous vocals from Marion Mann. Two from Bob Skyles and the Skyrockets- Lets play love and My darling Texas cow girl. Elias and his zig zag jive flutes with Tom Hark, the original and a massive world wide hit. Its in the Kwela style, South African penny whistle with a skiffle type beat. Two from Red Nichols. Nat Gonella and Lionel Hampton. Fab 1920s music from The High Hatter, vocals by Frank Luther and Maestro Paul Laval and his Woodmindy Ten. Pioneering jazz guitar and violin from Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti. Fletcher Henderson masquerading as Duke of Harlam and his Flunkies. Talking of maestros- we have the three boogie woogie pianos of Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons. If that wasn’t enough we have the man who produced the first commercial record with the term Boogie Woogie on it, Pine Top Smith. Flipping the side of this Brunswick reissue of a 1928 recording we have Pine Top Smith’s Blues. Smith was a real pioneer but sadly died of gunshot wounds at the age of 25 in 1929. Harry Parry sees us out with the superb Softly as in a morning sunrise. Joyous stuff.

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published on April 3, 2021, by

FS62: Female artists. Gogi Grant to Nina Rae and Ivy Benson

Two from the 1950s to start us off. Australian Lorrae Desmond and from the U.S Gogi Grant. She was named after the RCA A&R man’s favourite restaurant. Lesser known British band singers Majorie Kingsley, Jean Farrar, Mae Cooper and my favourite Doreen Villiers. Jazz vocal and guitar from Mary Osborn, with her trio. Two tradition Scottish songs with female vocals, Esther Yunson with On the bonny banks of Loch Lomond and NIna Rae with Hame of mine. Madeline Green, was the first black female vocalist to be signed by Benny Goodman, she sings here with Earl Hines. Ivy Benson and her girl band were hugely popular during WW2 and into the 1950s. Ivy plays the sax but no credit to the vocalist. 

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published on March 27, 2021, by

FS61: Way out west: Hoosiers Hot Shots to Johnny Denis

Three from Harry Torrani: Sitting in a jailhouse, The Prairie Yodel and Mockingbird Yodel. All self penned. His voice is incredible of the last track and he accompanies himself on the English concertina. Both sides of a Hoosier Hot Shots: Sentimental gentleman from Georgia and Meet me by the icehouse Lizzie. Unusually its on the English Rex label. They are billed as America’s Hill Billy Aces. Another English exponent of cowboy music was Johnny Denis. Popular in the 1940s and 50s, he gives us My, my ain’t that something. He even whistles. Hardly forgotten but Hank Williams gives us Howling at the moon. Hank Snow: Down the trail of aching hearts. What a great C&W title. Lonnie Donegan is back with Dead or alive. Les Allen was, I think, Canadian born and sang for Geraldo in the 1930s. He sings Empty saddles. I love Peter Lind Hayes version of the Carson Robinson song Life gits teejus don’t it. If you’ve been in a ‘lockdown’ situation the lyrics will certainly ring true!  

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published on March 20, 2021, by

FS60: Ernest Tubb to Edythe Baker and Ruby Wright.

Three Harrys in this episode. Two from Harry Roy and two from Harry Parry. Our old yodelling friend Harry Torrani sings- Yodelling all day and A yodellers dream girl. I love Torrani’s voice and lone guitar accompaniment. Self indulgence it maybe but we have two Tubbs in this episode. Ernest Tubb, the Texan Troubadour and country music pioneer, with the very C&W title- Lets say goodbye like we said hello. Our other Tubb is Carrie. Popular English soprano from the first quarter of the 20th century. Its on a rather warped HMV 12in record. So not able to play it all, maybe just as well! Musical theatre artist, Grace Moore give us- One night of love, actor Wayne Naughton does an amusing monologue- Nonchalant Nonsense, Lew Stone- Shades of Hades and Thompson’s old grey mule, Ruby Wright- Boy you got yourself a girl and Nat Gonella- Georgia’s gorgeous girl. Edythe Baker was an American pianist who recorded 22 pieces while in England in the late 20s. Here she plays Birth of the blues on a 12in Columbia record from 1927.  Ernest Butcher sings I limp as I go along. A very British tramp or hobo song from a 1937 film, The song of the road. In amongst it all is Lenny Carson and whizz kids with Hug me, kiss me, love me from 1950. But who was he and the whizz kids? The only reference to him online is this record. Enjoy and stay safe.   

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published on February 24, 2021, by

FS59: Hoosiers Hot Shots to Molly Picon and Mindy Carson.

An energetic start from Hoosiers Hot Shot and Ella Lou Robertson. Master Joe Peterson, Rex records own boy singer, or as described on the label: The phenomenal boy singer. Not entirely true as ‘he’ was Mary O’ Rourke. Dressed as a boy for the majority of her career, she was still performing as a boy soprano in her 50’s. Also Vic Lewis, Harry Gold and his Pieces of Eight, Harry Parry, Jimmy Bylthe’s Ragamuffins and Flannagan and Allen. I have another Durium card record in the collection. Auf Wiedersehen my dear and Rain on the roof from 1934. Its Lew Stone, Al Bowlly and, I think, Nat Gonella on the second track. See if you agree. Thorley Waters was a British character actor and he sort of sings and talks his way through a song from a musical show from the 1950s called Gay’s the word.’ It was an Ivor Novello show and very successful at the time. Two from female US singers who didn’t make it big. Don’t know why. Mindy Carson gives us Barrels and barrels of roses and Cathy Carr, Please, please believe me.  Both excellent tracks. A great song from Ben Malone, I don’t work for a living. From the early 30s, it was recorded by Hobo Jack, Carson Robinson and Frank Crumit. Who was Frank Malone though? He’s described as a light vocalist on the Decca label. I can nothing out about him. A mystery. A forgotten artist, perfect for us here. Our oldest record is,  A paradise for two from 1917. It plays surprisingly well and is by the Royal Cremona Orchestra. There were a few Cremona groups and bands around at this time. I’ve learnt some thing new here. Not previously knowing that Cremona are a prestigious Italian maker of stringed instruments. Molly Picon career is certainly well documented. A child star in the Yiddish theatres of New York she went on to make Yiddish films in Europe and also performed back in the US on radio, Broadway and TV. Her last film role was as Roger Moore’s mother in the Cannonball Run. On Forgotten Songs variety is the spice of life. Hope this episode is a good example of that. Stay safe, stay positive. 

 

   

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published on February 17, 2021, by

A three record special for Valentines day

Three romantic favourites at Forgotten Songs. Frankie Froba was an American jazz pianist, active from the 1920s until the 50s. Here he plays with the Jimmy Atkins Trio.  Always makes me chuckle- Love song in 34 bars. We get properly soppy with our other two tracks. Nat King Cole with My Flaming Heart and Eartha Kitt singing Lazy afternoon. Both superb vocalists obviously, but I think these rank among their finest performances. Cole sang My Flaming Heart in the film Small Town Girl. The song was nominated for an 0scar in 1953 but lost out to Doris Day and Secret Love. The Nat King Cole Trio and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra accompany. Written by Albert Schubert, Barry Abbot and Ruby Toomb . Ruby was actually Rudolph Toombs, a prolific doo wop and R and B song writer. Lazy afternoon was written by John La Touche and Jerome Moross and was originally performed in the 1954 musical Golden Apple by Kay Ballad. Barbra Streisand covered it in the mid 70s. This song belongs to Eartha though. There is none of her characteristic playfulness here. This is languid, sensuous, serious and superb. Henri Rene provides silky, smooth orchestration. It certainly makes you yearn for a lazy afternoon. Enjoy, these are songs not just for valentines day after all. 

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published on February 14, 2021, by