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
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
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
We open with the yodelling cowboy from Chesterfield, Harry Torrani, and My Lancashire yodelling lass. What a tag line, great song too. For the first time of Forgotten Songs we have some Indian music. Manna Dey in Hindi on a 78 pressed in 1963. Next, Dajos Bela goes A round the Volga, Russian music from the late 1920s. Also up are Len Fillis, Len Brennan and the Winter Gardens Dance band, Leroy Anderson, George Guetary, Henri Rene, Earl Grant and the Band waggoners. Lovely track from Smith Ballew from 1930. Smith was an actor, singer and orchestra leader. He was one of the first singing cowboys in the talkies. Elizabeth Pollock was the first impressionist to appear on the BBC in 1933. Unfortunately her impressions here are largely of people who have faded into obscurity. Much better, as there are still some funny lines, is Albert before the means test Albert Burden and Co apply for unemployment benefit. A real time piece. French singer Lucienne Boyer brings definite Gallic charm to the proceedings with In the Smoke. The whole of human life is here, in one form or another!
published on June 24, 2020, by Miles
Three dance records to start us off. Two different takes on the accordian – Jimmy Shand with Scottish dance in strict tempo and the far from strict tempo Bob Skyles and his Sky Rockets with ‘Swinging with the accordian man.’ Then its authentic Canadian Square Dance with the Red River Boys on the Melotone label. Also up: Anne Shelton, Savoy Havana Band, Harry Roy and his Ragamuffins and Sid Philipps and his band and Lita Rosa (pictured). Phylis Robbins, Sheffield’s blonde bombshell, we’ve played her before doing a comedy song but this is a straight rendition of a love song- rather good too. Randolph Sutton from 1930 and ‘Put your troubles through the mangle.’ To our ears its more social history than comedy. A change of genre and country, two from France: Jean Sablon and Charles Trenet. Trenet sings the lovely ‘La Mer.’ To take us out we have both sides of a Mugsy Spanier record, ‘Someday sweetheart and That Da Da Strain. In between its the pared down simplicity of Jess Stacy, Gene Krupa and Israel Crosby and Barrel House. Top tunes, one and all, in their very own way.
published on June 17, 2020, by Miles
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 Miles
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 Miles
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 Miles