Author Archives for Miles

Podcast 21: Skiffle to Clooney and Dietrich

A third of the show is dedicated to Skiffle. Chas McDevitt and Nancy Whisky begin proceedings. Chas does some whistling during the song and Nancy wasn’t too happy about it apparently. Both artists were Glasgow born. Followed by The Vipers and then four from the ‘master’ of skiffle and so much more, Lonnie Donegan. In amongst that Morris and Mitch explain Skiffle in ‘What is a Skiffler?’ Also Hal McIntyre, Les Brown Orch (featuring Doris Day,) Favorites the McCravey Bros and Fats Waller. Bet they never thought they’d share the bill! Rosemary Clooney teams up with Marlene Dietrich for the wonderful ‘Too old to cut the mustard anymore.’ I like Rosemary alot but she is upstaged in this one. Red McKenzie and Tiny Bradshaw sees us out. Marvellous.

published on April 22, 2020, by

Podcast 20: Leake County Revelers to Helen Forest

Mel Torme starts us off with Mountain Greenery. Love the rhyme busting lyrics. Lonnie Donegan with Ham and Eggs. Early Country from Leake County Revelers, from 1928. They were Mississippi local. From 1930 Joe and Bud Billings, they were in fact Carson Robinson and Frank Luther and their fame was a little more wide spread. Luther toured Britain in 1927. We also have a B side from Eddie Calvert, Rock and Roll from Jack Scott. The Clevelanders, lead by Harry Reser, first cousin to the Wright Brothers. The 1949 Esquire All American award winners play Indiana Winter. Old favourite Hal McIntyre. Kitty Kallen and Helen Forest sing with Harry James. Anita O’Day stands alone with her band. Della Murphy sings the Irish ballad Three Lovely Lasses. She collected of old Irish songs and had her fascinating story. There’s more of course.

published on April 15, 2020, by

Podcast 19: Mary Ford to Hot Lips Page

Yes I start with Eartha again. I’ve no shame! Couple of Western Swing tracks, Light Crust Dough Boys, billed as a hot string band and Bob Skyles and his Skyrockets from 1937. Dinah Shore, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Harry Parry, Hal McIntyre, Leslie (Hutch) Hutchinson and Fats Waller. Early Jazz from Friar Society Orchestra from around 1922. Mead Lux Lewis and a 1935 recording of ‘Honky Tonk Train Blues’. Red Nelson on the Brunswick Sepia Series label and more trains with ‘Stream Line Train.’ Nelson is looked upon as one of the pioneers of R&B. Two brilliant tracks from The Hot Lips Page Trio. The rather bitter lament, ‘Just Another Woman.’ Then as an antidote ‘My Fightin’ Gal.’ What a woman she is.  There’s more of course.

published on April 8, 2020, by

Podcast 18

Its not all 78s this time round. Two vinyl pieces of magic from Eatha Kitt from the splendid 1956 LP, ‘That bad Eartha.’ Freddy Randall, part of the post war trad jazz revival in Britain. Illinois Jacquet and his honking and screeching sax. Light classics from Bill Snyder, actually its rather good and laid back ‘Chicago Blue.’ Roy Fox and his band from 1934. Very brief vocals for Al Bowlly. A cheesey three, notable for the Walter Huston’s September Song. Raymond Dance, Hal McIntyre and the banjo of Len Fillis from 1928. Record of the episode the rather naughty and suggestive Tiny Bradshaw. There’s more of course.

published on April 1, 2020, by

Podcast 17: Paul Small, Hal Kemp to Dinah Shore and Hutch (bonus)

A bonus episode as we begin this strange time in semi lock down in Edinburgh and around the world. Recorded last year. I bill it as an episode with jolly music back then – perfect for these extarordinary times. Stay safe. We have Tennessee Ernie and Sixteen Ton- yes I need a better copy of this much played 78. Paul Small Orch on a Diva label, produced for WT Grant store in the US from 1925 to 32. Layton and Johnson, Leslie (Hutch) Hutchinson, Dinah Shore, Hal Kemp- sadly died young in a car crash. Claude Hopkins, Lucky Millinder. Frank Ferrara with some spaced out Hawaiian music. They say between 1915 to 1930 Ferrara produced a quarter of all Hawaiian records. More up to date from the late 1950s Australian singer Jimmy Parkinson. We finish with a couple from Harry Parry.

published on March 27, 2020, by

Podcast 16

Melvin Jerome Blanc, the man of a thousands voices- Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Barney Rubble and Bugs. So many Looney Tunes favourites. Three from Bob Crosby, including a Shakespearian sonnet. Les Compagnons De La Chanson and The Three Bells. Lovely Gallic harmony. A ‘B’ side, In the Light of the Silvery Moon but what is the big hit on the other side? Nat King Cole and The Four Knights, more Winifred Atwell, Georgia Gibbs, Jean Goldkette and Gary Miller, the singing voice of Troy Tempest in Stingray. A pioneering Rock and Roll star, who last year was touring Britain at the age of 82, Charlie Gracie. Early country and Western Swing from The Hill Billies and Hoosiers Hot Shots. Two songs in Scots. The pre 1st World War, ‘We’ll hae just Anither.’ Its from Hector Gordon, he’s a bit of a mystery. More up to date and no mystery Joe Gordon and The Folk Four, A regular in The White Heather Club on TV in the 60s. In amongst all this the magnificent Harry Parry (pictured) and his Radio Rhyhm Sextet, vocals by Doreen Villiers. What a title ‘ Bounch me, brother, with a solid four.’

published on March 25, 2020, by

Podcast 15: Winifred Atwell to Arthur Godfrey

The first Forgotten Songs from the Broom Cupboard to be recorded as a podcast. Its the same format as ever, an eclectic mix of lesser known, forgotten and neglected artists and songs. Some ‘B’ sides too. All on good old 78rpm. Its a Scottish start –  the Trinidad born pianist Winifred Atwell launches us with Highland Boogie. Listen out for the mad bagpipes. A proper pipe band with The Bowhill Colliery Pipe Band next (pictured). They won the Pipe Band World Championship in 1947. Kay Starr, Kitty Kallen, Lonnie Donegan, Bill Haley – with more Boogie. Richard Tauber on a Parlophone Odeon Label is our oldest record – 1942. Otherwise its 1950s all the way. Teresa Brewer was one of the most prolific singers of the 1950s, covering all genres she is reckoned to have recorded over 600 tracks in the decade. Here she sings Wang, Wang Blues. Is it just me or is it rather naughty? Then we have a new discovery for me: Arthur Godfrey, U.S radio and TV broadcaster and entertainer. A troubled man by all accounts. It’s an entertaining record though. There’s more of course.

published on March 18, 2020, by

Episode 14

William Hannah (pictured) was the top Scottish accordian player in the 1920s and 30s and the rider of fast motorbikes. We have Georgia Gibb, Dorothy Squire and a Capitol, single sided promotional record from June Christy, ‘Not I.’ Its a cracker. A couple of Woolworth’s own brand labels Elipse and Embassy. Both evocative of their times. In the same vein Columbia’s own house band, The Denza Dance Band. Some pure cheese from The Hill Billies and Old Faithful. Its a raucous start with a Bill Haley ‘B’ side and Bob Crosby and his Bob Cats. Andy Kirk and his Clouds of Joy are Scratching in the Dust. Great band name and song title. It was written by Mary Lou William. Mentor and friend to such greats as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespsie and Thelonius Monk. There’s more of course.

published on March 8, 2020, by

Episode 13

Quite few British artists this time round. Billy Cotton celebrates The Festival of Britain in 1951. Jazz from long servicing musicians George Chisholm and Joe Daniels. George Formby sings In his little Wigan garden. No doubt it’s riddled with double entendre. Three unusual acts Phyllis Robins sings a real piece of Northern English social history, ‘In my little bottom drawer.’ All about gathering stuff together for your wedding. Phyllis was known as The sheffield Bombshell. Impressionist Florence Desmond does Jimmy Durante in her Hollywood Party. John Henry and Blossom (pictured) were a popular double in the 1920s and 30s. Made people laugh but theirs is a sorry tale. There’s more of course, including Western Swing.

published on March 8, 2020, by

Episode 12

It’s an odd but energetic start with Alma Cogan, the girl with a giggle in her voice. Here she sings about Lizzie Borden, the girl with an axe in her hand! Lena Horne, when she was still a big band vocalist, Connie Boswell and Barbara Lyon. She was the daughter of Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels, the US stars who made it big in Britain. Paula Green and her Orchestra. Paula sang with Joe Loss and Glenn Miller and was born in Blackpool, Lancashire. Also appeared on the WW2 show ITMA. French star Jean Sablon, you get variety here. Talking of which: Bob Hamilton Trio, ‘Dinner music for hungry canibals’ and Hobo Jack- real name Ernie Hare. He wasn’t a hobo but a very well paid radio star. The amazing voices of Paul Robeson and Josh White. Two men who weren’t just fine singers but activists. There’s more of course.

published on March 7, 2020, by