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

Episode 7

The rather forgotten racked Mary Ford track. There is more of course. Harry Parry and his Radio Rhythm Club Sextet, George Shearing on piano. Dinah Shore, The McCravy Brothers with some folky, country gospel from the early 1930s. Izzy Bonn, a Jewish singer from London, famous for My Yiddishe Mama Cootie Williams with the brilliant track ‘ Blues in my condition’. Another great title ‘How I love Bulgarians’ is followed by Donald the Dub from F.

published on March 2, 2020, by

Episode 6

Western Swing from the great Bob Skyles and his Sky Rockets on Birdbird from 1938. The Chee, Chee Girl herself, Rose Murphy. Connie Boswell, who influenced Ellie Fitzgerald. Frank Crumit sings about Prunes. Not too many song about that shrivelled up fruit! A local record from 1934, ‘Tam O Shanter,’ recorded live in George Street Edinburgh. Billy Cotton, Ossie Nelson and their bands. We finish with a superb version of Frankie and Johnnie from Jimmie Rodgers. There are others of course.

published on March 2, 2020, by

Episode 5

We have a theme in this episode and a mix of 78, 45 and 33 rpm records. My favorite love song: Frankie Froba and Love song in 32 bars. We aren’t talking about musical bars here, it’s pubs… what a woman! Otherwise we have beer Barrel Polka, Hop Scotch Polka, Phil Harris and Wine, Women and Song. A Scottish tongue twister in McGinty’s Meal and Ale, Val Donigan with The juice of the barley. Pet Clark sobers us up with Black Coffee but Dorothy Squires is So Tired. Unusually for me in visit the 1970s with Thin Lizzie and the brilliant Whiskey in a Jar.

published on February 23, 2020, by

Episode 4

Largely a local charity/ thrift shop haul. Its a crackerly start. Early country from the Carson Robinson Trio, on lovely brown shellac. Leake County Revellers from 1925. Early jazz from Husk O’Hara and The Friars Society Orch and New Orleans Rhythm Kings. Flanaghan and Allen. The Street Singer- Arthur Tracey, born in Ukraine in 1899 as Abba Avrom Tracovusky. Died at the ripe old age of 98 Jean Goldkette and his orch, featuring vocals by Hoagy Carmichael. Mildred Bailey, Queen of Swing. Joe Masala Septet with Adele Girard on harp. She taught Harpo Marks the harp. La Palma, French singer. First play on a new favorite- Bob Skyles and his Sky rockets. Fabulous western swing. There are others too!

published on February 23, 2020, by