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Bille Holiday, capebillie-holiday-pearls-1a


Blue Skies

Irving Berlin_playing piano_overhead shot_1

Blue Skies (Irving Berlin) — 1926

Ziegfeld-Follies-1927-Cantor-Ziegfeld-Berlin-chorusgirlsFrom Wikipedia (excerpts):

The song was composed in 1926 as a last-minute addition to the Rodgers and Hart musical Betsy. Although the show ran for 39 performances only, “Blue Skies” was an instant success, with audiences on opening night demanding 24 encores of the piece from star Belle Baker.[1] During the final repetition, Ms. Baker forgot her lyrics, prompting Berlin to sing them from his seat in the front row.[2]

In 1927it became one of the first songs to be featured in a talkie, when Al Jolson performed it in The Jazz Singer. The song was recorded in all of the major and dime store labels of the time. Another version of the song was recorded by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra in 1935. 1946 was also a notable year for the song, with a Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire film taking its title along with two recorded versions by Count Basie and Benny Goodman reaching #8 and #9 on the pop charts, respectively. Crossing genres, Willie Nelson’s recording of “Blue Skies” was a #1 country music hit in 1978.

The image (above right) is from a photo taken during rehearsals of Ziegfeld Follies of 1927, which featured a number of Berlin compositions. Left to right, front, are Eddie Cantor, Florence Ziegfeld, and Irving Berlin.

Irving Kaufman (1)-f30t0

Irving Kaufman vocal with unidentified piano and guitar accompaniment — recorded on 6 January 1927; issued on Banner 1932, c/w “Pal of My Heart,” recorded by Charles Harrison



Vaughn De Leath — recorded on 11 January 1927*, issued on Okeh 40750, c/w “There Ain’t No Maybe in My Baby’s Eyes” (Donaldson, Kahn, Egan)


Josephine Baker_Murray Korman_1Josephine Baker_jewelry_1

Le Jacob’s Jazz featuring Josephine Baker recorded in Paris, France on 15 January 1927; issued on Odèon 166.042, c/w “I’m Leaving For Albany”


Ben Selvin and his Orchestra (as the Knickerbockers; see  –  recorded on 15 January 1927; issued on Columbia-860D, c/w “Tonight You Belong to Me” recorded by the Cavaliers (another Ben Selvin pseudonym)


1927 Blue Skies-George Olsen and Orchestra, Victor 20455-A

George Olsen and His Music; vocals by Bob Borger, Fran Frey & Bob Rice – recorded on 19 January 1927; issued as the A-side of Victor 20455, b/w “Where’s That Rainbow”


Irving Berlin: selected songs, 1926-1953

Selected Irving Berlin songs, individual feature pages


Other songs:

(More to come)

Irving Berlin plays as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance-1

Change Partners

Astaire and Rogers-Carefree (1938)-1

Change Partners (Irving Berlin) was introduced by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the 1938 RKO musical Carefree.

According to The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin, eds. Robert Kimball and Linda Emmet (2001), p. 317, on 5 July 1938 the head of RKO’s music Department, Dave Dreyer, wrote to Irving Berlin expressing high expectations for the success of three songs in the Carefree score:1938 Change Partners (Irving Berlin) Carefree-d50hx15 “The Yam,” “Change Partners,” and “The Night is Filled with Music.” With regard to “Change Partners” he wrote,

I thought you would be interested to know that we recorded the vocal on “Change Partners” Saturday. When Fred and [director] Mark [Sandrich] heard the orchestra play it the first time, they jumped up and hugged each other. I never saw them show so much enthusiasm about a number before. You will probably receive a wire or a call from Mark about it. They both seemed to think it is even better than “Cheek to Cheek.”

Astaire and Rogers-Change Partners-Carefree (1938) 1Astaire and Rogers-Change Partners-Carefree (1938) 3

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers — in Carefree (1938)

Astaire vocal sequence


(below) Astaire vocal sequence, and Astaire hypnotizing Rogers dance sequence


Fred Astaire with Ray Noble and his Orchestra — recorded on 24 March 1938; issued on Brunswick 8189, c/w “I Used to Be Color Blind” (Irving Berlin)


Jimmy Dorsey-3Bob Eberly 01

Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra, vocal: Bob Eberly– recorded on 29 July 1938; issued on the single Decca 2002, c/w “The Yam” (Irving Berlin)


Fred Astaire and Barrie Chase 1

Fred Astaire — from “An Evening with Fred Astaire,” originally aired on NBC TV on 17 October 1958 — sung by Fred Astaire, and danced by Fred Astaire, Barrie Chase, and an unknown male dancer


Sammy Davis, Jr. 1

Sammy Davis, Jr. — from the LP Sammy Awards, Decca DL 78921, released in 1960, according to and, though dates a UK release 1959


1961 Shall We Dance-Jack Jones, Kapp Records KS 3228 (Stereo)

Jack Jones — from the 1961 LP Shall We Dance, Kapp Records KL 1228 (Mono)/KS 3228 (Stereo)


Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most


Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most (m. Tommy Wolfe, w. Fran Landesman)

Jackie and Roy (Jackie Cain and Roy Kral) — recorded in May 1955 and released on the 1955 LP Storyville Presents Jackie and Roy, Storyville STLP 904 (12″, Mono)

From Wikipedia:
Jackie and Roy was a jazz vocal team consisting of husband and wife singer Jackie Cain and singer/pianist Roy Kral. They first joined forces in 1946, and in 1996 they celebrated their 50th anniversary as a vocal duo. [read more]


Herbie Mann — recorded in NYC in March 1956 and released that year on the album Love and Weather, Bethlehem Records BCP 63

Herbie Mann (flute), Joe Puma (guitar), Milt Hinton (bass), Don Lamond (drums), Ralph Burns (director), unidentified large orchestra, including strings


1958-The Song is June-June Christy, Capitol T1114, ST1114

June Christy with orchestra conducted by Pete Rugolo – first track on the 1958 LP The Song is June!, Capitol Records T1114 (Mono), ST1114 (Stereo); arrangement by Pete Rugolo

The Song is June! – Wikipedia page


Barbra Streisand — live 1962 performance on the Tonight Show (TV), introduced by host Johnny Carson


1964 A Chip Off the Old Block, Stanley Turrentine, Blue Note 4150 (Mono)1964 A Chip Off the Old Block, Stanley Turrentine, Blue Note 4150 (Mono) back

Stanley Turrentine with Shirley Scott, Blue Mitchell, Earl May & Al Harewood — recorded on 21 October 1963; released on the 1964 LP A Chip Off the Old Block, Blue Note BLP 4150 (Mono), BST-84150 (Stereo)

  • Stanley Turrentine – tenor saxophone
  • Blue Mitchell – trumpet
  • Shirley Scott – organ
  • Earl May – bass
  • Al Harewood – drums


Carmen McRae and Sarah Vaughan-by Moneta Sleet, Jr., Stamford, Connecticut-1964 (2)Carmen McRae and Sarah Vaughan-by Moneta Sleet, Jr., Stamford, Connecticut-1964 (1)

(above) Carmen McRae and Sarah Vaughan, photographed by Moneta Sleet, Jr. during a benefit jazz concert held on the lawn of Jackie and Rachel Robinson’s home in North Stamford, Connecticut in 1964

Sarah Vaughan — from the 1964 album Snowbound, Roulette Records R 52091 (Mono), SR 52091 (Stereo)


Vivo Sonhando (Dreamer)

Tom Jobim_10Tom Jobim_composes-at-piano-1-t100

Vivo Sonhando (Dreamer) — music and original Portuguese lyric by Antônio Carlos Jobim; English lyric by Gene Lees


1963 Mais Bossa Com Os Cariocas, Philips P 632.177 L1963 Mais Bossa Com Os Cariocas, Philips P 632.177 L (back)

Os Cariocas — from the 1963 LP Mais Bossa Com Os Cariocas, Philips P 632.177 L


1963 Antonio Carlos Jobim-The Composer of Desafinado, Plays-Verve V6-85471963 Antonio Carlos Jobim-The Composer of Desafinado, Plays-Verve V6-8547, gatefold inside photo

Antonio Carlos Jobim — from 1963 album The Composer of Desafinado Plays, Verve V6 8547; album recorded in New York City on 9 and 10 May 1963, produced by Creed Taylor

Notes from the back cover (jacket):

This is the sound of Antonio Carlos Jobim. At 36 he is one of the leading figures in popular music in Brazil, and his initial work on “Bossa Nova” with Joao Gilberto and Luiz Bonfa has made this new music the world-wide favorite. He plays piano and guitar and composes such great melodies as Desafinado, One Note Samba, and Insensatez.


1964 Getz-Gilberto, Verve V6-8545, inside gatefold cover (2)

Stan Getz and João Gilberto, featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim — from the 1964 LP Getz/Gilberto, Verve V6- 8545


Sylvia Telles – from the 1964 LP Bossa Session, Elenco ME-13


Astrud Gilberto – from the 1965 LP The Astrud Gilberto Album, Verve V-8608 (mono), V6-8608 (stereo); album recorded at RCA Studios, Hollywood, California, on 27 & 28 January 1965


Rosa Passos — from the 1998 LP Rosa Passos Canta Antonio Carlos Jobim


Morelenbaum 2 (Jacques and Paula Morelenbaum) / Ryuichi Sakamoto — from the 2002 US version of the LP Morelenbaum 2 / Sakamoto: Casa, Sony Classical SK 89982 — The track doesn’t appear on the 2001 versions released in Brazil and Japan.

Paula Morelenbaum – vocal
Jacques Morelenbaum – cello
Ryuichi Sakamoto – piano
Luiz Brasil – guitar (guest)
Zeca Assumpção – bass (guest)
Marcos Suzano – percussion (guest)


Karrin Allyson — from Imagina: Songs of Brasil, released on 25 March 2008


Tim Yehezkely, Postmarks (1)

The Postmarks — date unknown


Ill Wind


Harold Arlen sings1934 Ill Wind (Arlen-Koehler) 24th Cotton Club Parade-d50-s3-c1a

Ill Wind (m. Harold Arlen, w. Ted Koehler)

“Ill Wind (You’re Blowin’ Me No Good)” was written for the 24th Edition of the Cotton Club Parade, the last on which the songwriting team of Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler worked, where it was originally sung by Adelaide Hall. The show opened on 23 March 1934. Another Arlen-Koehler standard, “As Long As I Live,” was also introduced in the show.

Harold Arlen — solo, piano and vocal — recorded on 6 February 1934; issued as Victor 24569, c/w “As Long As I Live”


Eddy Duchin and his Orchestra-1

Eddy Duchin and his Orchestra, vocal: Harold Arlen — recorded on 28 February 1934; issued as Victor 24579-A, b/w “As Long As I Live”


Will Osborne 1Will Osborne 3

Will Osborne and his Orchestra, vocal: Will Osborne — recorded on 3 March 1934; issued on Perfect 15902, c/w “As Long As I Live”


Leo Reisman and his Orchestra, vocal: Phil Neely — recorded on 5 April 1934; issued on Brunswick 6789, c/w “As Long As I Live,” vocal by “SS” (probably Sally Singer)


Singer Maxine Sullivan of HOmestead at age 26 in 1938

Maxine Sullivan — recorded in NYC on 22 August 1939; issued on Victor 26344, c/w “Turtle Dove”


Lena Horne 2 (sm)Lena-Horne-dm-01

Lena Horne with Orchestra conducted by Lou Bring — recorded on 15 December 1941; originally issued on the 1942 album Moanin’ Low, Victor P 118 (set of four shellac 10″ 78 rpm discs)


Charlie Barnet--Capitol Big Band Sessions, 1998Trudy Richards 1

Charlie Barnet and his Orchestra : vocal: Trudy Richards – recorded on 16 August 1949; issued on Capitol 843, c/w “All the Things You Are”

audio file (Mp3) from


I’ll Never Be the Same


I’ll Never Be the Same (m. Frank Signorelli, Matty Malneck, w. Gus Kahn)

Eddie Lang performs with Gibson guitar, c.1928 in Chicago, Illinois“I’ll Never Be the Same” was adapted from an instrumental written by Frank Signorelli titled “Little Buttercup.” According to the Eddie Lang 1927-1932 issue of The Chronological Classics series, Lang recorded the number, accompanied by Signorelli on piano, at Okeh studios in New York on 27 September 1928. The next recording of “Little Buttercup” I’m aware of is that by Joe Venuti’s Blue Four, during a 10 June 1931 Okeh session. In 1932, Gus Kahn wrote a lyric for the tune and the resultant song was titled “I’ll Never Be the Same.” 1932 recordings of “I’ll Never Be the Same” include those made by Ruth Etting, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians (vocal: Carmen Lombardo), and Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra (vocal: Mildred Bailey).

Accounts disagree as to what part Matty Malneck played in the writing of the song. The Red Hot Jazz Archive and Second Hand Songs indicate that Signorelli alone wrote the original instrumental, “Little Buttercup,” while the latter site credits Matty Malneck and Gus Kahn together for the 1932 adaptation “I’ll Never Be the Same.” However,, Arthur Jackson, in a Malneck biography published at the Robert Farnon Society website, and others claim that Malneck co-wrote “Little Buttercup” with Signorelli.

Eddie Lang — guitar solo, accompanied by Frank Signorelli, piano — recorded, presumably as “Little Buttercup,” for Okeh Records on 27 September 1928, but apparently unreleased by Okeh. According to the Eddie Lang page at the Red Hot Jazz Archive, it was released on Parlophone R-1778. The Global Dog Productions 78 discography for the Parlophone Records (UK) 1000 series confirms that it was issued, under the title “I’ll Never Be the Same” and coupled with “Add a Little Wiggle,” on catalog number R-1778, but provides no clue as to the release date. Second Hand Songs says it was released c. 1934, which would explain the title change.


Tommy Rockwell (OKeh head of ops.), Eddie Lang, Frank Trumbauer, and Joe Venuti, 1929-d10-c1

(above, l. to r.) Tommy Rockwell (head of operations at Okeh Records), Eddie Lang, Frank Trumbauer, and Joe Venuti, 1929

Joe Venuti’s Blue Four — recorded as “Little Buttercup” on 10 June 1931, New York; issued on Okeh 41506 as the B-side of “Pardon Me Pretty Baby”


Recordings under the new title, I’ll Never Be the Same, following the 1932 adoption of a lyric written by Gus Kahn:

Ruth Etting — recorded on 26 July 1932; issued as Conqueror 7997-B, the flip side of “It Was So Beautiful”


Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, vocal: Carmen Lombardo — recorded on 27 July 1932; issued as the A-side of Brunswick 6350, b/w “We Just Couldn’t Say Good-bye” (Harry Woods)


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, vocal: Mildred Bailey — recorded on 11 August 1932; issued as Victor 24088-A, b/w “We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye” (Harry Woods)


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