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
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
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 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
The first of many bespoke podcast recordings to come. Its the usual eclectic mix of tunes. The mysterious Nino Rico orchestra play Rico Vacilon. Who were these fellas? Jane Forrest is another artist with no online biography. Glasgow born Tommy Watt had a long career as a band leader and arranger and is father to Ben Watt from Everything but the Girl. Joe Daniels and his Hot Shots, Winifred Atwell and The Light Crust Doughboys make another appearance. Short tributes to listeners in Virginia with Spring time in the Blue Ridge Mountains and California with The Californian Ramblers. Sadly both records are a little scratchy. Boogie Woogie Stomp from Albert Ammons, 1936. Great friend of Mead Lux Lewis, they were both taxi drivers in the 1920s. Imagine being picked up by them! Baritone Gilbert Austin sings a plaintive ‘Why can’t we be sweethearts.’ He sang under at least 12 other names. Suzette Tarr was a cockney stage and radio star from 1930s and 40s. She sings ‘Alf.’ Hildegarde was born Loretta Snell in Wisconsin in 1906. She was an international cabaret star and inspired other artists such as Miss Piggy and Liberace! We end going out in to the dark beyond with the theme from the 1950s BBC radio series ‘Journey into Space.’ Now that is spacey.
published on May 4, 2020, by Miles
Can’t resist starting off ‘Mountain Greenery,’ its those lyric, that delivery. Tennessee Ernie with the faintly rude sounding ‘Kiss me big.’ Patti Page, a massive selling artist in the 1950s, on a Trutone South African label record. George Hall and his Orch, vocals by Dolly Dawn. Ella Fitzgerald, no less, credits Dolly as an influence. Dolly eventually took over the orchestra and it become Dolly and her Dawn patrol. Also George Morgan, David Whitfield, Turner Layton, Owen Fallon and his Californians, McKenzie and Condon’s Chicagoans. Early music from Carl Dolmetch. Original Dixieland Jazz Band, 1918, and Scotlands first internation super star Harry Lauder from 1913. My personal favorite and new discovery, Australian Lorrae Desmond. A cracking, Stanley Black orchestrated, track. Delighted to say she’s still with us. There’s more of course.
published on April 27, 2020, by Miles
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 Miles
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 Miles
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 Miles
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 Miles