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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

Episode 11

Rock Island Line the song that originated in the USA and came over to UK to be sung by Lonnie Donegan. We have a 45rpm sneaking in. A local song, not even Edinburgh, it’s Leith and from the 1980s, it’s certainly forgotten and it’s a mystery artist- J Sutcliffe. Wingy Manone and Mugsy Spanier. Great names, great tracks. Two from Eartha and one from Patti Page. On a bit of a toe curling note, Matty O’Neil sings ‘Don’t sell daddy anymore whiskey.’ A baby cries all the way through it! ‘Just wee deoch an’ doris,’ in Scots and celebrating the more cheery side of a wee dram. That’s from 1912. Sugar Chile Robinson. A child star that sang to two US presidents, 70 years apart. There’s more of course.

published on March 7, 2020, by

Episode 10

Bit of a naughty with start C’est si bon and Eartha. Fats Waller celebrates Rump Steak in a serenade. Harlan Lattimore and his spaced out ‘Chant of the weeds.’ Wonder what that’s about? Lucky Thompson, jazz sax pioneer, puts in an appearance and then it all goes down and dirty again with Red Ingle spitting out his Chew tobacco rag. Talking of dirty. Arthur (Guitar boogie) Smith plays Express Train Boogie. His ‘Feuding Banjos’ was adapted as ‘Duelling Banjos’ in the film Deliverance. Uncredited he took the film producers to court and won. Having seen the film he was disgusted with the content and wanted nothing to do with it. Still at least he got some money. Also The Star gazers with ‘I see the moon.’ Its in sane and was No1 in 1959. We finish with Artie Shaw. There are others too.

published on March 2, 2020, by

Episode 9

Fats Waller bewailing those big feet. The Tanner Sisters sell their toffee apples. They were a support act for Buddy Holly when he toured Britain. Stella went on to a successful career as an actor. The special effects dept have a ball with Ernest Butcher’s ‘Peaceful Street.’ The poor man can get no sleep for the sound of street vendors, road works, horses, factory sirens. All the sounds of a 1930s street. Hal McIntyre with KiIlle Killie, vocals by the Four Lyttle Sisters- their real family name was Gourley! We also have Burl Ives, Blue Baron, Les Paul and Bob Crosby does Shakespeare. Jazz to shakespearean sonnets. It works too. Way back in time we have Tom Foy from 1913, singing about a mill girl.

published on March 2, 2020, by

Episode 8

Heavens we start off with some 45rpms. The German, well Austrian, Freddy Quinn. Huge selling star in Germany in the 1950s and 60s. He’s going all South Seas and Elvis like. French star Sacha Distel also sings in German – not sure how successfully! Jean Campbell on an Embassy records’ Woolworth’s own brand. Jean was very much a jobbing singer. Its her voice in the TV adverts for Beanz Meanz Heinz in the 1960s. Also Eartha Kitt and Oggere from the 1956 album Thursday’s Child. Lush orchestration from Henri Rene. Early country from Al Dexter. Also Dinah Shore, Bob Crosby, Lionel Hampton and Frankie Laine.

published on March 2, 2020, by