Sugar Chile Robinson with Numbers Boogie and Bouncing Ball Boogie. We’re a big fan of Robinson here, that most grounded of child stars. Separating his two tracks is Harry Parry and his Radio Rhythm Club Sextet, vocals by Doreen Villiers. Why has Harry been forgotten? Beats me. Also up: Twelfth street rag- Count Basie, The Moose- Charlie Barnet, The Drummer’s band- Gene Krupa, The Caravan- Duke Ellington, I’m crazy about my baby- Fats Waller, Wouldn’t it be nice- Josephine Bradley and Bless you- Archie Lewis. Lovely 1920s track from Jefferies and his Rialto Orchestra. They played the famed Marine Gardens in Edinburgh in 1926. The Midnight Minstrels do a great version of If I had a talking picture of you. Two black artists who were hugely popular in Britain in the 1920s and 30s were US born Layton and Johnstone. I’ve come across so many of their records in my travels. Yet their contribution to entertainment here seems largely forgotten. We have two from them. A new pairing to Forgotten Songs are Johnny Marvin and Ed Smalle. They give us a lovely, low key rendition of Blue Skies. We make a dreamy exit with Lorrae Desmond and Far way and In a lonesome town with Les Paul and Mary Ford. Keep well and stay safe.
published on October 21, 2020, by Miles
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 Miles
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
Tennessee Ernie with Smokey Mountain Boogie start us off. Thrillingly it’s a shout out to the daughter and niece of the Kendrick Brothers- Bob Skyles and his Skyrockets- when I play their track, I’m gonna die with a broken heart. Jean Goldkette Orchestra with My pretty girl stomp and Harry Roy with You and I. Vocals on that are by Jean Farrar. Over the top piano from Carmen Cavallaro, Enlloro. Female vocalists next up. Kitty Kallen, who made a very successful transition from big band singer to a solo career. Kay Starr, who successfully sang Pop, Country and Jazz. Both women had long careers and lives, dying at 94. Les Paul with Mary Ford on multi track vocals and Eartha Kitt singing in Turkish. Jazzy blues from Bob Crosby and his Bob Cats (Tin Roof Blues) Mugsy Spanier (Hestitating Blues) Fats Waller (Shortin’ Bread) and Jelly Roll Morton (Oh didn’t he ramble). We end with Lonnie Donegan, I’m just a rolling stone. Another great travelling song. Hal McIntyre, who sadly died young, brings episode 42 to a close with the trippy South Bayou Shuffle.
published on September 30, 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
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
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
Yes I start with Eartha again. I’ve no shame! Couple of Western Swing tracks, Light Crust Dough Boys, billed as a hot string band and Bob Skyles and his Skyrockets from 1937. Dinah Shore, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Harry Parry, Hal McIntyre, Leslie (Hutch) Hutchinson and Fats Waller. Early Jazz from Friar Society Orchestra from around 1922. Mead Lux Lewis and a 1935 recording of ‘Honky Tonk Train Blues’. Red Nelson on the Brunswick Sepia Series label and more trains with ‘Stream Line Train.’ Nelson is looked upon as one of the pioneers of R&B. Two brilliant tracks from The Hot Lips Page Trio. The rather bitter lament, ‘Just Another Woman.’ Then as an antidote ‘My Fightin’ Gal.’ What a woman she is. There’s more of course.
published on April 8, 2020, by Miles
Its not all 78s this time round. Two vinyl pieces of magic from Eatha Kitt from the splendid 1956 LP, ‘That bad Eartha.’ Freddy Randall, part of the post war trad jazz revival in Britain. Illinois Jacquet and his honking and screeching sax. Light classics from Bill Snyder, actually its rather good and laid back ‘Chicago Blue.’ Roy Fox and his band from 1934. Very brief vocals for Al Bowlly. A cheesey three, notable for the Walter Huston’s September Song. Raymond Dance, Hal McIntyre and the banjo of Len Fillis from 1928. Record of the episode the rather naughty and suggestive Tiny Bradshaw. There’s more of course.
published on April 1, 2020, by Miles