The whole episode is from a charity/ thrift shop haul. Some familiar artists amongst them- Georgia Gibbs, Mugsy Spanier, Eve Boswell, Billy Banks and Teresa Brewer. Otherwise some great discoveries. Shirley Abicair sings the title song from the 1956 film, ‘Smiley.’ She was Australian, played the zither and came to Britain in 1952. Still with us at the age of 92. Harry James is hardly forgotten but this is a pared back sound from the trumpeter and band leader, Feet dragging blues. Josh White, folk singer and political activist sings I’m gonna move to the outskirts of town. Another of the recordings in did in London in 1950. Tino Rossi, despite his Italian sounding name was a hugely successful French singer of the 1940s and 50s and sold 30 million records world wide. Roberto Murolo, champion high diver, sings La Mogliera. He specialised in Neopolitan songs. Love this one. The Four bright sparks sing about dreaming in 1930. Orchestras and bands next. John Kirkby with Fifi’s Rhapsody from 1941. He was a double bass player and champion of the chamber jazz style. Early 1950s R&B big band sound from Earl Bostick, Lou Preager Orchestra, from the Hammersmith Palais. with The night the floor fell in. Vocals by Paul Rich. My record of the day is the Roy Fox band from The Kit Kat Restaurant, London in 1933. The Denver born bandleader directs Sid Buckman singing My Wild Oats and the vocals of Peggy Dell on We’re all riding riding on a rainbow. Peggy Dell was born in Ireland as Margaret Tisdall. Its an unusual voice for a British big band of the time. Happy listening. Stay safe.
published on October 7, 2020, by Miles
Bob Skyles and his Skyrockets and Tex Beneke start us off with a flourish. Sadly its the ‘last chance saloon’ for three of the records in this episode. Condition is a little far gone. Theses copies of Frank and James McCravy (Swinging on the golden gate), Leo Reisman (For my sweetheart) and Lucky Millinder (The spider and the fly) will not be joining us again. Mezzrow-Lardiner Quintet play: I ain’t gonna give you none of this jelly roll (1938). Brilliant title. Mezz Mezzrow was an American clarinettist and saxophonist. He was a bit of a character, well known for his cannabis habit and his love of black American culture. Lovely piece of 1930s music from the Henry King Orchestra and Breeze. Next up two artists born in the Bengal region of India – Juthika Roy and Satya Chowdhury. Both had long successful careers on record and film. Juthika Roy’s admirers included Gandhi and Nehru. We go out with the Bessie Smith: Muddy Water, a Mississippi Moan. Recorded in 1927 by The Empress of the Blues. Then the Murphys. Delia Murphy, collector of Irish traditional songs with Three lovely lassies and two from the extraordinary voice of Rose Murphy- The Chee Girl. Gee I wonder what the trouble can be and Busy line. Marvellous one and all.
published on September 23, 2020, by Miles
It’s a right old mix this time round. We start with the familiar and Bob Crosby and his Bob Cats from 1937. Then four from the 1920s. Hal Kemp, the purveyor of ‘soothing, sweet dance music,’ 1928. He sadly died at the age of 36. The Sunshine Boys from 1929. They were brothers Joe and Dan Mooney and they only recorded between 1929 and 1931. The Savoy (Hotel) Havana Band, led by Bert Ralton from 1923 and from1929 Ray Starita and his Ambassador Orchestra. Vocals by Betty Bolton. Bolton was an all round entertainer, actor, singer and a childhood star in World War One. She died at the age of 99 in 2005. Forgotten Songs is all about variety. So up next is Danish Folk Dance and Gujarati film music from 1950. The Barmy Brothers sing ‘Puss, Puss, Puss,’ 1933. Could find nothing out about them. Neither could I about Kirk Stevens and his very 1950s rendition of Forevermore. Emile Vacher was certainly well known. Deemed the creator of ‘Bas Musette.’ Very French accordion music. We go out with two Mugsy Spanier tracks- ‘At the jazz band ball’ and Lonesome Road. Both from 1939. Great and a great trumpet player.
published on September 9, 2020, by Miles
All records, apart from one, are from the Booth family collection. That one is Alma Cogan and the jolly but macabre Lizzie Borden. Leslie Holmes sings the cautionary tale of Annie doesn’t live here anymore. What a great title- I like pie, I like cake. A lovely Vocalion label from the Geoffrey Goodhart Orchestra (1926.) Goodhart only recorded for one year, so it’s a bit of a rarity. Next Roger Wolfe Kahn. The son of a wealthy banker family, he was a successful booking agent, musician, arranger, composer, band leader and aviator! The Midnight Minstrels perform Aren’t we all. Two version of Deep Purple. Billy Ward and his Dominoes (1957) and Kay Kyser (1939). Compare and contrast. Red Ingle and his Natural Seven from 1948: Cigareets, Whuskey and Wild Wild Women and Serutan Yob. Both sides are completely mad and sound strangely modern. Its a record with a chunk out of the start and a crack. Bear with it. Serutan was a laxative! Two from Whispering Jack Smith, billed as the Whispering Baritone. Lovely, subtle , soft delivery. He was very popular in the 20s and 30s but his style was probably out of fashion by the 1940s. Shame, two great song. Two comedy numbers next. Monty’s Meanderings from Milton Hayes. He wrote The yellow eye of the green god. Then Fred Gibson with Buying a stamp. Effie Atherton was a relative of the donor of these records and was born in Edinburgh in 1907. She sings- My young man is ever so nice and Dennis the Menace from Venice, mid 1930s. Certainly adopts two different singing styles. Effie was in a couple of films in the 30s and starred on stage and revues. She died in London in 2005. We finish with a Balalaika flourish and Pouree is Ukrainishe Pysen- Ukraine Potpourri. Which was recorded in New Jersey USA in 1925. Variety is spice of life!
published on August 26, 2020, by Miles
Its an imaginary train journey on my part. West to east across the USA, from San Francisco to Hagerstown in Washington County and this is some music to accompany the journey. Two Choo, choo songs to start: The Merry Macs with Choo Choo Polka and a crazy track from Winifred Atwell, Choo Choo Samba. A double sided train record from Michael Holliday, 10 Thousand Miles and The Run Away Train. Remember the latter from Junior Choice, a BBC radio children’s show in the 1960s. Hutch sings Over the hill. Okay its not about trains but you’ll understand the reason and it is Hutch! Trains in the title or train type music: Honky Tonk Train- Meade Lux Lewis (1935 recording), Munson Street Breakdown- Lionel Hampton, PDQ Blues- Fletcher Henderson and Red Nelson- Streamline Train. We take a break from the dusty travel to clean up. So its The Rhythm Maniacs and Singing in the bath tub. Back on the train and Sleepy Town Train from the Milt Herth Trio, some early Hammond Organ from 1942. George Chisholm next and another non train song but the title says it all- Lets go! Freight Train, Chas McDevitt and Nancy, excellent track and big hit from 1962. Wrongly credited and copyrighted to Williams and James for many years. It was in fact written by Elizabeth Cotton, around 1908. My favourite of the day, When the sun goes down. Lonnie Donegan at his best. Billed as Skiffle, it’s blues though. We finish with Ted Heath and his music and Grand Central Station. It’s not even about the station or trains!
published on August 19, 2020, by Miles
Bob is back, three from him. Lovely 30s music and vocals ‘On a steamer coming over,’ 1933, from Billy Cotton. Eleven times married Charlie Barnet with another mode of transport ‘Sky liner.’ Think we need a new copy of that record! Also up The Dixie Marimba Players, The Casa Loma Orchestra, The Deep River Boys, Eddie Condon and Joe ‘Fingers’ Carr, who was in fact Lou Busch. The intriguing singer Billy Banks. Primarily known as a female impersonator on record- sounding male here with the jazz standard ‘Margie.’ Our oldest record is by GH Ghirgwin, ‘Asleep in the Deep,’ from 1912. Chirgwin act was ‘black face.’ An oddly popular style of entertainment until the 1970s. Remember the BBC series The Black and White Minstrel show? I don’t usually play the genre but Chirgwin’s vocal performance is a straight one and his story is interesting. As is George Price. Performing at the age of six he impressed the mighty Caruso. His stardom was brought to an abrupt halt when he fell out with Jacob Schubert, the theatre magnet. He did return to entertainment though and he shows a strong, unusual voice. Patti Page sings about Johnny Guitar, ‘My restless lover. Its another naughty ending with Ozzie Nelson and ‘The man who come around’.
published on August 5, 2020, by Miles
Some records from the back of the forgotten Songs shelves! The Happy Wanderer and my mash up pronouncing Oberkirkchen starts us off. Hopefully the tune doesn’t remain in your head for the rest of the day! Five bands/ big band records in a row. Ambrose, Frankie Carle, two from Lew Stone (vocals by Nat Gonella and an uncredited Al Bowlly,) from the Tower Blackpool Bertini and his band and Percival Mackay. What a back story he has. George Cates plays ‘Nightfall and Mayer Gordon some San Saene. Three singers who were on various BBC Scottish radio stations in the 1920s and 30s: Neil Mclean, Ian Ferguson and Alex MacGregor. Irving Gillette sings the Sankey hymn, ‘There were ninety and nine.’ Its a 1909 recording. Gillette’s real name was Harry Haley McClasky , he sang under numerous different names. Also up Teddy Johnson, Phil Cardrew and his Corn huskers and Jimmy Lurchford. Lester Ferguson sings us out with the lullaby ‘Sleepy Eyes.’ So all that remains for me to say is ‘goodnight.’
published on July 22, 2020, by Miles
Before starting Forgotten songs from the broom cupboard I was not particularly a Country and Western fan- certainly not of the Nashville sound. Listen to the genre on 78rpm and the back to basics sound of country from the 1920s and 30s has been a different matter though and has been an education. Here are 10 songs that bring a smile to my face or get my feet tapping. Bob Skyles and his Sky Rockets – I’m gonna die with a broken heart and Lets play love. Al Dexter- Wine women and song. Johnny Denis and his Ranchers- Ragtime time cowboy joe. Harry Torrani- Mississippi yodel. McCravy Bros- Sister Lucy. Bud Billings and Carson Robinson- Sleepy Rio Grande. Hoosiers Hot Shots- Take me to the ball game. Light Crust Dough Boys- Beer drinking mama. The wonderous Jimmie Rodgers with Frankie Johnny.
published on July 8, 2020, by Miles
Another more music, less chat episode. Ten 78rpm records from 1927 to 1951. Two from Tiny Rowland- Bradshaw Boogie and Walkin’ the chalk line. Cootie Williams – Blues in my condtion, Hot Lips Page – My fightin’ gal, Red Nelson – Streamline train, Mead Lux Lewis – Honky tonk train, Bessie Smith – Muddy waters, Fletcher Henderson – PDQ Blues, Jimmy Yancy – East St Louis blues and Mildred Bailey – So help me.
published on June 20, 2020, by Miles
This episode is all about the music. Some British jazz from the 1930s and 40s. Three lesser known bands that deserve more ‘air time.’ Harry Parry and his Radio Rhythm Club Sextet play: ‘I’ve found a new baby’, ‘It don’t count,’ ‘Parry Opus’, ‘Softly as in a morning sunrise’ and ‘Don’t be that way.’ Nat Gonella and ‘Blues upstairs and downstairs.’ Joe Daniels and his Hot Shots in Drumnastics play: ‘Blues in Boogie,’ ‘Dancing for a dime,’ Cuban Pete,’ ‘Drumnastics part two.’
published on June 19, 2020, by Miles