Tag Archive: 1940s

Podcast 44: From Mel Torme to Archie Lewis and Bebe Daniels

We start with two versions  of the same song. Ted Heath and his music gives us an instrumental version of Mountain Greenery and then Mel Torme sings the definitive version of the song. Not forgotten Mel but is not celebrated enough. He was bizarrely known as The Velvet Frog.  Fantastic lyrics from Lorenz Hart- ‘How-how-how-how-how we love sequestering..’ What’s not to love there? Classics from Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, The Andrew Sisters and our old friend Leslie Hutchinson, Hutch. We have both sides of a Charlie Barnet record- Pumpton Turnpike and Swinging on Nothing. Charlie was one of the first band leaders to integrated his band. Massive fan of Basie and Ellington. Oscar Rabin plays a great version of Cherokee. He was a Latvian born English band leader. Sentimental Journey from Paul Fenoulhet, vocals Doreen Lundy Slightly mad track from Bill Snyder, Drifting Sands, vocals by Ralph Stirling. Our oldest track is Driftwood from Leo F Reisman from 1924. Bebe Daniels sings Imagination. She was an all round entertainer but is best remembered in Britain as being in the long running radio series Life with the Lyons, with husband Ben Lyon. Archie Lewis is a new discovery for me. Known as the Crosby of the Caribbean. He was one of the first black singers to front a big band in Britain, Geraldo’s band. A pioneer and very popular in the 1940s and yet forgotten now it would seem. We get romantic with our last two. Roy Fox with vocals by Denny Dennis On the beach at Bali Bali and Carroll Gibbons, vocals by Leslie Douglas gives us I don’t want to set the world on fire. Lovely version of a classic song. Stay safe out there.  

Thanks to Jessica Parkman for many of the records in this episode.

published on October 14, 2020, by

Podcast 43: Josh White to Tino Rossi via Eve Boswell & Peggy Dell

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

Podcast 38: Whispering Jack Smith to Effie Atherton

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

Podcast 37: Red Nelson via Fletcher Henderson and Nancy Whisky

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

Podcast 32: The Bell Sisters to Frances Langford via La Palma

We like Lorrae Desmond on Forgotten songs so we have a couple from her from the mid 50’s. Brilliant voice, unjustly neglected. Paula Green and her Orchestra from the late 40’s. Known primarily as a big band singer she recorded a few songs with her own orchestra at this time. Josephine Bradley plays ‘What do you think those Ruby red lips were made for’ in strict tempo. One of only a few British female band leaders she was a rival to Victor Sylvester. We are upping the tempo next with a crazy track from Winifred Atwill, ‘ Choo choo Samba. The Trinidadian born pianist was a prolific artist throughout the 50s. Jane Forrest sings her biggest hit ‘Malaguena.’ Great voice and song but who was Jane? Jill Day, singer and actress sings her biggest hit from 1957, ‘I dreamed.’ Frances Langford with the Jimmy Dorsey orchestra, ‘Rap, tap on wood. She originally trained as a opera singer but began as a big band singer at the age 17. Long career. The Bell Sisters sing ‘Bermuda, composed by one of the sisters Cynthia. As ever excellent orchestration from Henri Rene. Cabaret songs and singers, Lula Ziegler, from Denmark and from France, Lucienne Boyer and La Palma. Recorded between 1930 and 1933 in L’Empire theatre La Palma sings a Boyer composed song with an unusual brass accompaniment. ‘Wang, Wang Blues.’ I’m saying nothing! Its fun and sang with gusto by Terresa Brewer. Multi tracked Mary Ford sings ‘In a lonesome Town’ and Les Paul works his echoey guitar magic. What a finale!

published on July 15, 2020, by

Podcast 29: The Blues, Boogie and Jazz

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

Podcast 28: Harry Parry, Nat Gonella and Joe Daniels on 78rpm

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

Podcast 25: Al Dexter to Paula Green and Lulu Ziegler

You can’t go wrong with starting with Tex Beneke. We calm things down with a couple from Hutch – that rich, smooth voice – from 1938 and 1941. First time I’ve played Wurlitzer organ music and its from the 1937 BBC Radio’s top star, Reginald Foort. The foremost organist of his day. He developed and designed his own mobile organ, well mobile is questionable, it weighed 30 tons! Early Hammond organ from the Milt Herth Trio (1942) and Bob Hamiton Trio (1938). Bob is playing the marvellous ‘Dinner music for a pack of hungry cannibals.’ Sheer madness. We also have Don Bestor Orchestra, Paula Green and her Orchestra, Red River Dave and Bud Freeman and his Suma Cum Laude Orch. A cracker from Al Dexter, ‘When we go Honky Tonkin.’ Hot string, early country music. Two more firsts: A 1955 Japanese track on the Teichiku record label and in Danish, Lulu Zeigler. Great performance of a dark sounding, ‘At the docks.’ We finish, appropriately, with ‘On the Waterfront.’ An excellent vocal version by Lorrae Desmond. Love her voice and the lush orchestration of Bob Sharples. Back in the day Bob provided the music for Opportunity Knocks, a British TV talent show. I mean that most sincerely folks!

published on May 18, 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