1927 selected standards and hits

Ain’t She Sweet (Milton Ager, Jack Yellen)
Me and My Shadow (Dave Dreyer, Billy Rose, Al Jolson)
Black and Tan Fantasy (Duke Ellington, Bubber Miley)
My Blue Heaven (m. Walter Donaldson, w. George Whiting)
‘S Wonderful (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin)
Funny Face (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin)
Side By Side (Harry Woods, Gus Kahn)
I’m Coming Virginia (Donald Heywood, Will Marion Cook)
My Heart Stood Still (Rodgers and Hart)
The Best Things in Life Are Free (m. Ray Henderson, w. B. G. DeSylva, Lew Brown)
Varsity Drag (Henderson, DeSylva, Brown)
Strike Up the Band (m. George Gershwin, w. Ira Gershwin)

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1927--Ain't She Sweet-Ager-YellenAin’t She Sweet (Milton Ager, Jack Yellen) became popular in the first half of the twentieth century, one of the smash hit songs that typified the Roaring Twenties. Like [another song by this pair] “Happy Days Are Here Again” (1929), it became a Tin Pan Alley standard. Both Ager and Yellen were elected to membership in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Milton Ager wrote “Ain’t She Sweet” for his daughter Shana Ager, who later grew up and became Shana Alexander, a political commentator. –Wikipedia

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Ben Bernie and his Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra – 1927

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Gene Austin – 1927

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The Jazzmania Quintet – from the short film The Jazzmania Quintette (1928) — Georgie Stoll is the violinist. I don’t know the names of the other band members. Two names, Stoll and actress Edythe Flynn, are credited on the title page. Flynn doesn’t appear in this clip.

After the introduction, during a brief transition to the chorus, Stoll quickly adjusts his bow so that he can play the fiddle with the bow’s stick beneath the neck, and the hair above the neck of the instrument. The percussionist plays nothing but a hi-hat throughout.

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Jimmie-Lunceford-and-his-Orchestra-1

Jimmie Lunceford and his Orchestra – 1939

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Bunny Berigan and his Orchestra – 1940. Isn’t that a photo of Benny Goodman and his Orchestra?

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Paul McCartney and George Harrison,  with Ringo Starr1994

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Me-And-My-Shadow-1927

(above, left) Sheet music cover for a recording by The Keller Sisters and Brother Lynch; (right) “Whispering” Jack Smith

Me and My Shadow – (Dave Dreyer, Billy Rose, Al Jolson)

Recordings

Nat Shilkret and his Orchestra with vocals by Johnny Marvin, recorded 12 May 1927

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Whispering Jack Smith – 1927

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Judy Garland- with orchestra conducted by Gordon Jenkins, February 6, 1957.  released on LP Alone, May 6, 1957 (recording date info from jgdb.com)

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Judy Garland, live during her 1957 British tour – slide show of pictures spanning most of her career

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The Mills Brothers – 1958

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Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. – recorded 22 Oct 1962 with Orchestra arranged by Billy May

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Black and Tan Fantasy(Duke Ellington, Bubber Miley)

the first from 1927, the second a later copy

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Live, 1959. The Ellington Orchestra plays three songs in this segment: Black and Tan Fantasy, Creole Love Call, and The Mooche.

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My-Blue-Heaven-1927My Blue Heaven (Walter Donaldson, George Whiting) – Gene Austin introduced the song in 1927 with his recording which became a big hit. Later popular covers include those by Jimmie Lunceford in 1935 and Fats Domino in 1956. The list at wikipedia of recorded versions is one of the longest I’ve seen. Following Austin’s hit many popular orchestras of the late 20s and of the 1930s and 40s recorded versions of the song including those of Paul Whiteman, Nat Shilkret (The Victor Salon Orchestra) , Don Vorhees, Jimmie Lunceford, Woody Herman, Glen Miller, Ted Heath and numerous others. It has remained a popular tune for vocalists.

Gene Austin – 1927 – this recording was, according to wikipedia, a “huge hit” in 1928

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Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra – recorded 6 July 1927

Personnel:
Henry Busse, Red Nichols – trumpets
Wilbur Hall, trombone, Jack Fulton, Tommy Dorsey – Trombones
Max Farley, Chester Hazlett, Hal McLean, Jimmy Dorsey? – reeds
Charles Strickfaden – alto sax, baritone sax
Kurt Dieterle, Mischa Russell,Mario Perry, Matt Malneck – violins
Harry Perella – piano
Mike Pingitore – banjo
John Sperzel – tuba
Harold MacDonald – drums
Jack Fulton, Chester Gaylord, Austin Young, Bing Crosby*, Al Rinker* – vocals

*Note that two of the vocalists credited were members of Paul Whiteman’s Rhythm Boys

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Vaughn DeLeath – 1928

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Glenn Miller and his Orchestra – date unknown, live

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A Ferde Grofé arrangement performed by Gary Lawrence and His Sizzling Syncopators.

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1927-Funny-Face-musical-poster‘S Wonderful (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) The musical comedy Funny Face composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and book by Fred Thompson and Paul Gerard Smith, opened  at the Alvin Theatre on November 22, 1927.

Originally called Smarty, it opened in Philadelphia to poor reviews, and Robert Benchley, who had contributed to the script walked out. After a rewrite, it opened in New York, where it was a major hit. It later transferred to London. [1]wikipedia

“’S Wonderful!” was introduced on opening night by Adele Astaire and Allen Kearns. The Gershwin score also bore the hits “Funny Face,” “Let’s Kiss and Make Up,” “He Loves and She Loves,” and “My One and Only (What Am I Gonna Do?)”. -

Ernie Golden & His Orchestra with vocal by Vaughn De Leath – 1927(?)

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Funny Face (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin)

Adele and Fred Astaire – It is the sixth sound clip in this medley of recordings by the pair from the period 1923-28.

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Astaire-Adele&Fred-1-sepiaAdele Astaire (1896-1981) and Fred Astaire (1899-1987). A sibling pair from Omaha, Nebraska, who made good in vaudeville and in major musical revues and productions on Broadway and in London’s West End.

Song Excerpts:
1) Stage patter intro to “Oh, Gee! Oh, Gosh!”—recorded October 1923 in the United Kingdom.
2) “Hang On To Me”—recorded April 1926 in London, England.
3) “Fascinating Rhythm”—recorded April 1926 in London, England.
4) “I’d Rather Charleston”—recorded April 1926 in London, England.
5) “Swiss Miss”—recorded April 1926 in London, England.
6) “Funny Face”—recorded November 1928 in London, England.
7) “The Babbit and the Bromide”—recorded November 1928 in London, England.
–Selection numbers 2, 3, and 4 feature piano accompaniment by George Gershwin.- Information by the youtube provider

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Side By Side (Harry Woods, Gus Kahn)

Lee Morse – 1927.

Lee Morse was an American jazz and blues singer and songwriter whose most popular years were in the 1920s and early 1930s, although her career began around 1917 and continued until her death in 1954. Morse was known for her strong, deep singing voice and vocal range, which often belied the fact that she was merely five feet tall and weighed less than 100 pounds. Among her best known trademarks was her yodeling. Morse was also moderately successful as an actress on the Broadway stage. Her life and career, however, was marred by alcoholism.

lee morse-2She got her professional start in vaudeville on the west coast around 1920 and went on to perform in several plays and musical revues on Broadway. In 1924 she began to make records under her own name for the Pathé Actuelle company accompanying herself on guitar, ukulele and kazoo.
Morse’s voice was so deep and unusual that her early records were labeled Miss Lee Morse apparently so that the record buying public wouldn’t confuse her for a male singer. – excerpts from the Wiki profile

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Al Starita and the Kit-Kat Dance Band – 1927

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Nick Lucas – 1944. Lucas had a hit with the song in 1927. Here he performs the song in what appears to be a “Soundie” in 1944.

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Kay Starr – recorded c. 1952; Wikipedia says that this is probably the best known version. Is she impersonating Johnnie Ray, or is it the other way around?

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I’m Coming Virginia (Donald Heywood, Will Marion Cook) was introduced by Ethel Waters accompanied by Will Marion Cook’s Singing Orchestra. The recording took place on 18 September 1926. Perhaps the record wasn’t released until the following year which is the year of copyright.

A group culled from the Jean Goldkette Orchestra including Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer and Eddie Lang recorded an influential version in May 1927. In 1938 the song was performed as part of Benny Goodman’s legandary Carnegie Hall concert with Bobby Hackett taking the role of Beiderbecke.

Frankie Trumbauer Orchestra including Eddie Lang and Bix Beiderbecke – 1927

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Bing Crosby & the Rhythm Boys with Paul Whiteman & his Orchestra, 1927. Evidently one of the earliest recordings by Crosby and the Rhythm Boys. Neither Crosby nor the trio were credited on the label which merely indicates the contribution of an uncredited “vocal refrain,” despite the prominence of the solo and backing vocals.

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Fred Spinelly and his Lido Venice Band – recorded October 1927.

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My Heart Stood Still (Rodgers and Hart) – for the Broadway musical A Connecticut Yankee (1927) where it was introduced by Constance Carpenter and William Gaxton. This recording is by Jessie Matthews and Leslie “Hutch” Hutchinson (date unknown).

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Jessie-Matthews-2_468x444Jessie Matthews (1907-1981) was an English actress, dancer and singer of the 1930s, whose career continued into the post-war period. She was born in London in relative poverty, one of sixteen children. She debuted on stage on 29 December 1919, in Bluebell in Fairyland. Matthews was acclaimed in the United Kingdom as a dancer and as the first performer of numerous popular songs of the 1920s and 1930s. She developed a following in the USA, where she was dubbed “The Dancing Divinity”. – info from dailymotion provider kspm0220s.

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The following two songs where composed for the original 1927 Broadway production Good News which enjoyed one of the longest runs of the decade for a musical, 557 performances.

The Best Things in Life Are Free (Ray Henderson/B.G. DeSylva/Lew Brown)

George Olsen and his Orchestra – vocal: Bob Borger – 1927

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Whispering Jack Smith – 1927

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Jack Hylton – 1928

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Jo Stafford – 1947

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Varsity Drag (Hendrerson/DeSylva/Brown)

Frank Black Orchestra – 1927

The provider attaches this info:

Frank Black first was a musical director at New York’s Century Theater before leading orchestras on radio in the 1920’s. After establishing The Revelers singing group, he moved on to NBC Radio. Although his bands played classical and light-classical music, as back ground to radio theater, they also performed and recorded popular songs. The band’s recordings of, “It’s A Million To One,” “The Varsity Drag,” and “Beside A Lazy Stream” were among the first to have sales increases as a result of air time on radio. In later years he worked with NBC Symphony Orchestra, on radio and on records, for over twenty years.

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The Revelers – The video provider edmundusrex attaches the following information about this vocal quintet

The Revelers were an American quintet (four close harmony singers and a pianist) popular in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Revelers’ recordings of “Dinah,” “Old Man River”, “Valencia,” “Baby Face,” “Blue Room,” “Birth of the Blues,” “When Yuba Plays the Rumba on the Tuba,” and many more, became popular in the United States and then Europe in the late 1920s.

All of the members had recorded individually or in various combinations, and formed a group in 1925. The original Revelers were tenors Franklyn Baur and Lewis James, baritone Elliot Shaw, bass Wilfred Glenn, and pianist Ed Smalle. Smalle was replaced by Frank Black in 1926. The group (with Black at the piano) appeared in a short movie musical, The Revelers (1927), filmed in the sound-on-disc Vitaphone process. This one-reel short film, recently restored by “The Vitaphone Project,” shows the group performing “Mine,” “Dinah,” and “No Foolin’.” A second short, filmed the same day with another three songs, awaits restoration.

Baur was replaced by Frank Luther and then James Melton (later a Metropolitan Opera tenor).The Revelers were stars on radio and in vaudeville, as well as in the recording studio. On radio they were regulars on The Palmolive Hour (1927-31). Ring Lardner observed, “Under any name, they sound as sweet.” Lardner outlined his “perfect radio program” for The New Yorker magazine, and found a place for The Revelers along with Paul Whiteman and Fanny Brice.

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Strike Up the Band (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) was composed for the 1927 musical of the same name.

George Gershwin plays Strike Up the Band (0:35), filmed during a promotional event in December 1929 to kickoff a new production of the musical.

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The Man I Love (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) – see 1924 or George and Ira Gershwin, part 1: 1919-1927

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