11 Jan 2013
in 1934, Songbook, standard
Tags: Al Bowlly, Anita O'Day, Barney Kessel, Benny Goodman, Benny Goodman Octet, Benny Goodman Sextet, Catherine Russell, Charlie Christian, Cootie Williams, Cotton Club Parade, Count Basie, Dick Hyman, Gene Krupa, Harold Arlen, Horace Henderson, Jim Cullum Jazz Band, Kenny Burrell, Lena Horne, Leo Reisman, Lew Stone, Monseigneur Restaurant, Phil Neely, Red McKenzie, Spritis of Rhythm, Ted Koehler, Teddy Wilson
As Long as I Live (m. Harold Arlen, w. Ted Koehler)
As Long as I Live 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. The show opened on 23 March 1934. The song was introduced by Avon Long and Lena Horne. Another Arlen-Koehler jazz standard, Ill Wind, was also introduced in this show.
Benny Goodman and his Orchestra — 1934
Red McKenzie with The Spirits of Rhythm — recorded 11 September 1934
Leo Reisman and his Orchestra, vocal: Phil Neely — 1934
Lew Stone and His Band with vocal chorus by Al Bowlly — recorded 3 August 1934, at the Monseigneur Restaurant, London
It was issued as the B-side of Decca Records 78 rpm single Isle of Capri (Wilhelm Grosz, Jimmy Kennedy) (Decca F.5132), a 25 July 1934 recording by Lew Stone and His Band with vocal by trumpeter Nat Gonella.
09 Jan 2013
in 1933, Songbook, standard
Tags: Al Bowlly, Bernice Petkere, Comedian Harmonists, Elmer Feldkamp, Frank Chacksfield, Freddy Martin, Gösta Jonsson, Gene Ammons, Harry Frommermann, Jean Carson, Johnny Bode, Komm' im Traum, Kurt Elling, Lew Stone, Nancy Wilson, Nellie McKay, Peter Mintun, Ray Noble, Ruth Etting, Stjärnehär
Close Your Eyes (Bernice Petkere)
The profile of this popular 1933 standard at jazzstandards.com provides a good introduction, but note that, contrary to what Jazz Standards reports, there were at least three versions recorded prior to Ray Noble’s 7 December 1933 recording with vocalist Al Bowlly. Recordings by Freddy Martin and His Orchestra (vocal: Elmer Feldkamp), Ruth Etting, and Lew Stone and His Band (also with vocal by Al Bowlly) all preceded the Noble recording.
Wikipedia lists 21 recorded versions, while the collection at Second Hand Songs encompasses 38 recordings under the original title, primarily from 1957 on. They’re missing a couple of 1933 English lyric recordings which I’ve included, those by Ruth Etting and Lew Stone. They’ve also yet to recognize the exquisite German lyric version recorded by The Comedian Harmonists, Komm’ im Traum (1934), which I was very pleased to find.
I’ve also included a Swedish lyric version, absent from the Second Hand Songs inventory. Titled Stjärnehär, it was recorded in 1934 by Gösta Jonsson Orkester, with the vocal by the legendary Swedish singer, composer and enfant terrible, Johnny Bode.
Bernice Petkere bios:
From the bio at IMDb by firstname.lastname@example.org (Yes, that Peter Mintun):
Bernice Petkere (pronounced “pet care”) was born in Chicago to Canadian parents. She began as a performer in vaudeville. In a 1998 interview she said: “My mother started my aunt and me (I was five) as an act called ‘Baby Dolls’…on the Pantages Circuit.” As a teenager, Petkere sang with a dance band and became a pianist for Waterson, Berlin & Snyder, an important publishing company. She started writing music in the 1920s.
“Starlight (Help Me Find The One I Love)” was her first published song (1931), and Bing Crosby recorded it for Brunswick. She wrote many radio themes when her second husband, Fred Berrens, was musical director at CBS. In the first years of the Great Depression, she created some lovely, haunting hits that were recorded and sung in America as well as abroad. One of her most successful numbers is “Lullaby of The Leaves.” It was through lyricist Joe Young that she was introduced to ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers), of which she was a member for over six decades.
In 1932 composer-publisher Irving Berlin, for whom she had worked as a pianist, invited her to write for his prestigious company. For Berlin she wrote “The Lady I Love,” which was popularized by Russ Columbo. Petkere declared, “I never was pals with the other women composers, or even the male ones. I had a private life in Manhattan. I lived at Hotel Pierre. My first husband, Eddie Conne and I lived elegantly…You had to be businesslike about music, and I was. Only a couple of music executives ever got what I call ‘fresh’ with me, and I let them have it, smack in the face like you never saw. I never smoked and I never drank, do you believe that?”
She often wrote the lyrics as well as the music. One of her most successful songs, “Close Your Eyes,” was an international sensation in 1933 and is considered a “standard.” The on-going play between major and minor chords gives this song a distinct personality. Several of Petkere’s songs have this melancholy minor feeling to them. When asked if she was reflecting the tenor of the Depression in her music, she said absolutely not — it was just her “thing” then.
Freddy Martin and His Orchestra, vocal by Elmer Feldkamp – recorded 25 July 1933
Ruth Etting — recorded in Los Angeles, California on 21 September 1933
Lew Stone and His Band, vocal: Al Bowlly — Decca F 3783, recorded in Chelsea, London on 1 December 1933
07 Jan 2013
Tags: Blonde Venus, Cary Grant, Josef von Sternberg, Lys Gauty, Marlene Dietrich, Ralph Rainger, Sam Coslow
That beat gives me a wicked sensation
My conscious wants to take a vacation
Got voodoo, head to toes
Hot voodoo, burn my clothes
I want to go dancing, just wearing a smile
Hot Voodoo (m. Ralph Rainger, w. Sam Coslow)
Marlene Dietrich and chorus — in the film Blonde Venus (1932), produced and directed for Paramount Pictures by Josef von Sternberg with a screenplay by Jules Furthman and S. K. Lauren adapted from a story by Furthman and von Sternberg.
It is sung by Marlene Dietrich, with dancing by a chorus of girls decked in sequined leotards with feather tutus, and otherwise equipped and adorned in pseudo-primitive-tribal style, carrying spears and painted shields, and wearing large Afros (hairstyle) and tribal face paint. Dietrich dons a blonde Afro-like wig after removing the head portion of her gorilla costume. IMDb indicates that the club at which the number is performed in the film is known as O’Connor’s*.
* I don’t know if O’Connor’s is a real or fictional club. Also at IMDb, the “Star Cafe”, and an unnamed “Paris nightclub,” are given as the locations of two other performances. There is no band identification for any of the five numbers in the film, other than “the orchestra” for Hot Voodoo.
Lys Gauty interprétait en 1932 cette version française
29 Dec 2012
Tags: Barret Strong, Barry McGuire, Bed-In, CSNY, Edwin Starr, Eve of Destruction, Find the Cost of Freedom, Give Peace a Chance, Harold Land, I Ain't Marching Anymore, John Lennon, Neil Young, Norman Whitfield, Ohio, One Tin Soldier, Original Caste, P. F. Sloan, Phil Ochs, Plastic Ono Band, Stephen Stills, Sweet Cherry Wine, Tommy James and the Shondells, YES, Yoko Ono
Be there, or be square:
19 Nov 2012
in 1965, Songbook, standard
Tags: Cass Elliot, Daydream, Duprees, Hangmen, John Sebastian, Julie Driscoll, Lovin' Spoonful, Ralfi Pagan, Rotary Connection, Rovin' Kind
Didn’t Want to Have to Do It (John Sebastian)
Lovin’ Spoonful with vocal by Cass Elliot – recorded during the Lovin’ Spoonful’s Daydream sessions, in 1965
From a comment, dated Mon 30 May 2011, in a thread at the Cass Elliot Community Forum:
In 1964 Alan Lorber developed a group called the Mugwumps, which consisted of Cass, Denny Doherty, Cass’s first husband Jim Hendricks and Zal Yanovsky, and recorded them for Warner Bros Records. The recording is historical because before they became Mamas & Papas and The Lovin’ Spoonful, they were the Mugwumps. The album was not released until 1967 after both successive groups hit. After cutting the album the Mugwumps broke up (it’s all told in “Creeque Alley”). Lorber then developed the Lovin’ Spoonful. During the “Do You Believe in Magic” session, John Sebastian asked if Cass who was leaving for L.A. could cut a recording of a new song he had written. The result is here in two versions, one with harmony, and the other without, both with Sebastian on guitar with guitar solos by him and Zal Yanofsky.
The Lovin’ Spoonful — Recorded in 1965. Released as track 2, side two of the Lovin’ Spoonful’s 1966 LP Daydream, in March 1966. It was also the B-side of the single You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice (Sebastian), issued on the Kama Sutra label as KA 209, in April 1966
24 Oct 2012
in 1960s, Songbook, standard
04 Oct 2012
in 1929, 1944, Songbook, standard
Tags: Alfonso Ortiz Tirado, Bathing Beauty (1944), Carlos Ramírez, Charles Pasquale, Esther Williams, Fernando de la Mora, Gloria Lasso, Jane Powell, Javier Solís, José Carreras, Los Índios Tabajaras, Los Panchos, Luciano Pavarotti, María Grever, Martin Denny, Muñequita linda, Nancy Goes to Rio (1950), Nat King Cole, Nemanja Bogunovic, Plácido Domingo, Raúl Shaw Moreno, Rosita Serrano, Three Tenors, Xavier Cugat, Xiomara Alfaro
Te quiero dijiste (María Grever) — aka Muñequita linda (cute little doll), from the lyric
IMDb dates the composition 1929. In 1944, the song was used with the original Spanish lyric in the Esther Williams film Bathing Beauty, performed by Carlos Ramírez with The Xavier Cugat Orchestra. With an English lyric written by Charles Pasquale, the song acquired the second title, Magic is the Moonlight. According to IMDb, in addition to the Cugat and Ramírez performance, the song was played during the opening credits, whistled by Red Skelton, and appeared often in the score. It’s not clear to me whether the English lyric was used in the film at all, though the sheet music cover below suggests that the English lyric was published or republished around the time the film was released.
Selected Te quiero dijiste / Magic is the Moonlight recordings and live performances:
Alfonso Ortiz Tirado — 1930
Rosita Serrano — The “Chilean Nightingale” – 1938
Excepts from the Wikipedia profile,
Rosita Serrano…was a Chilean singer who had her biggest success in Nazi Germany between the 1930s and the early 1940s. Because of her bell-like voice and pitch-perfect whistling she received the nickname Chilenische Nachtigall (Chilean Nightingale).
Her voice style was mainly operatic coloratura soprano with a deep, fast vibrato. She added frequent embellishments such as soaring arpeggiation and melisma. Some songs were recorded with a few words whispered or spoken, and she occasionally emphasized words with a gritty, growling jazz style reminiscent of African-American blues singer Ethel Waters. She was a pitch-perfect whistler in the manner of Bing Crosby. The songs she recorded in German and Spanish varied from folk to pop, including flamenco, rumba, tango and mambo. [read more]
Carlos Ramírez with The Xavier Cugat Orchestra — in the film Bathing Beauty (1944)
Jane Powell – Magic is the Moonlight (m. María Grever, w. Charles Pasquale) — from the musical comedy film Nancy Goes to Rio (1950)
Los Panchos with Raúl Shaw Moreno – c. 1951
Adapted from the Wikipedia article on Los Panchos (aka Trío Los Panchos):
Los Panchos first met in 1944 in New York City. The three original members were Alfredo Gil and Chucho Navarro, both from Mexico, and Hernándo Avilés from Puerto Rico. All three played guitar and contributed vocally. Los Panchos reached fame with their romantic songs, especially in Latin America where they are still regarded as one of the top trios of all time. They also appeared in around fifty movies mostly during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema.
Julito Rodríguez joined the group in 1952. [read more]
From the Wikipedia (Spanish) profile of Raúl Shaw Moreno, poorly translated:
In 1951, in Santiago de Chile, Hernando Aviles, first voice of Trio Los Panchos left the band in full continental tour due to his frequent disputes with Alfredo Gil. More
29 Sep 2012
in 1928, Songbook, standard
Tags: Artie Shaw, Bing Crosby, Chet Baker, Christopher Campbell, Eric Dolphy, Helen Merrill, John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker, Miles Davis, Milt Jackson Quartet, Modern Jazz Quartet, Oscar Hammerstein II, Philly Joe Jones, Ray Brown Tribute, Robert Shaw Chorale, Ron Carter, Shoji Suzuki & his Rhythm Aces, Sigmund Romberg, Sonny Clark Trio, Sonny Rollins Trio, The New Moon (operetta)
Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise (m. Sigmund Romberg, w. Oscar Hammerstein II) was written for and introduced in the 1928 operetta The New Moon.
One of the best-known numbers from the show, it is a song of bitterness and yearning for a lost love, sung in the show by Philippe (tenor), the best friend of the hero, Robert Mission (baritone).
The original song was composed as a tango, and features a dance as accompaniment to the choral reprise, but many versions of the song have changed the tempo completely….What some may consider the most ludicrous version is the one featured in the 1940 film version of the operetta, in which it is actually sung as a cheerful ditty by Nelson Eddy while he shines his shoes, despite the melancholy nature of the song’s lyric.
Artie Shaw — 1938
Jazzstandards.com says, “Ten years after this tune was written, Shaw had Jerry Gray arrange the tune. (Within a few years Gray would be arranger for Glenn Miller). Shaw’s version was one of his best selling records.”
Milt Jackson Quartet — recorded in NYC, April 1952 — Milt Jackson (vib) John Lewis (p) Percy Heath (b) Kenny Clarke (d) — released on The Quartette (Savoy MG 12046)
Modern Jazz Quartet — recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, 2 July 1955 — Milt Jackson (vib) John Lewis (p) Percy Heath (b) Connie Kay (d); released on the 1955 album Concorde (Prestige PRLP 7005)
Bing Crosby with Buddy Cole and his Trio — recorded 14 March 1957; released on the LP New Tricks
22 Sep 2012
Tags: Ambassadors, Artic Records, Barbara Mason, Dave and the Imaginary Band, Heptones, Hesitations, Jeffrey Osborne, KC, Maria "Funkyflyy" Granditsky, Philadelphia Sound, Royalettes, Soul Summit, Teri Desario
Yes, I’m Ready (Barbara Mason)
Barbara Mason — Artic label single (105) b/w Keep Him (B. Mason), released April 1965. Peak singles chart positions, according to Wikipedia: #2, R&B; #5, Hot 100.
From the Barbara Mason artist profile at Twinn Promotions (punctuation modified):
Issued in August 1965, her self-penned Yes, I’m Ready blasted off to #3 on the R&B charts and #5 on the Pop charts. The song remained on the charts for some 35 weeks, jockeying with artists such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for number one. Engineering pioneer Joe Tarsia of Philadelphia’s legendary Sigma Studios credits “Yes, I’m Ready” as the song that originated the “Philly Sound.”
Asked about the common perception of Yes, I’m Ready as the first record to have “that distinct Philly-Sound” during an undated interview by Maria “Funkyflyy” Granditsky, Mason answered,
Yes, that’s what they say in some books I’ve seen too and I was awfully flattered when I read that I am the originator of the Philly-sound. Before me, there was no one that came out with that particular sound from Philadelphia. Everyone came after me; Brenda and The Tabulations, the Delfonics, The Stylistics, Blue Magic, we all used the same musicians. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who later formed Philadelphia International Records, sang on my songs. Kenny did backgrounds on “Yes, I’m Ready.” He was just nineteen years old then, this was long before he became who he is today. Some think that the Philly-sound is Philadelphia International because so many artists recorded there, but the original Philly-sound began with “Yes, I’m Ready”.
In her Barbara Mason bio page, Miss Funkyflyy adds,
Interesting to note is that a nineteen year old Kenny Gamble sang backgrounds and several musicians who later would become Philly Icons, such as Bobby Eli, Earl Young, Roland Chambers and Jack Faith, played on the song.
I’ve yet to find any information on the uncredited arrangement and production of the recording.
The Royalettes — track 5, side one of their 1965 LP It’s Gonna Take a Miracle (MGM 4332)
The Hesitations — B-side of GWP label single 504 Is This The Way To Treat A Girl (W. Hopson), 1969
16 Sep 2012
Tags: Buffalo Springfield, Jon Anderson, Kenny Burrell, Stephen Stills, YES
Everydays (Stephen Stills)
Buffalo Springfield – Recorded 15 March 1967, Gold Star Studios, Los Angeles, California — Stephen Stills: lead vocal, Jim Fielder: bass (replacing absent Bruce Palmer). Released 30 October 1967 on the LP Buffalo Springfield Again.
Buffalo Springfield band member credits for the album:
- Stephen Stills – organ, guitar, piano, rhythm guitar, keyboard, vocals
- Neil Young – guitar, harmonica, vocals
- Richie Furay – guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals
- Dewey Martin – drums, vocals
- Bruce Palmer – bass
Grocery store, tin clerks*
Just making change, plastic jerks**
Up in a tree, a jaybird
Yelling at me, no words
Everyone looks, can’t see
Can be ignored easily…
Kenny Burrell — recorded 12 February 1968, released on his album Blues – The Common Ground, 1968.
YES — Track 3, side one of their 1970 LP Time and a Word. The clip is from the 1970 Belgian television production also titled Time and a Word. The lyric is significantly altered from that sung in the 1967 Buffalo Springfield recording. Anderson made the lyric kinder, gentler, and safe as milk.
This didn’t prevent Yes, and Tony Cox (orchestral arrangement), from creating an extraordinarily adventurous cover.
* tin clerks — The usual phrase given here at lyrics websites is ten bucks, which is what Jon Anderson of Yes sings on their 1970 recording (The lyric was heavily modified for the Yes version). Stills evidently sings tin clerks.
** plastic jerks — On the Yes version, Anderson sings “Just making change for plastic cherries.” Of the eight or ten different lyrics sites that I’ve checked, I have found only one that is even remotely accurate with respect to the original Stephen Stills lyric: http://www.davidredd.com/buffalo/againlyrics.html. Redd thinks the correct phrase here is “plastic jerks.” It rhymes, and this is probably what Stills sings in the original version, though the use of melisma and a slight fade of the vocal at this point makes it a bit difficult to identify the latter word with certainty, at least with the lo-fi equipment I’m using.
Interesting that in consecutive lines the same clerks are apparently described first as “tin,” and then “plastic.”
Among other changes by Anderson to the section quoted above are having the jaybird “looking at me” rather than “yelling at me,” and adding the indefinite pronoun subject “We” to the beginning of the sixth line, whereas the unstated subject of the original line is more ambiguous.
In a later section Anderson replaces Stills’ “Gettin’ it on in second gear,” with “Gettin’ it out of second gear.” Gosh, thanks Jon. Mustn’t have anybody “gettin’ it on” in a motor vehicle, now. Safety first! In the same section the lead singer and principle lyricist of Yes inverts Stills’ downer line “Many a place uptight” to the upbeat and oh so groovy “Many a place outta sight.”
04 Sep 2012
28 Aug 2012
in Songbook, standard
Tags: Bob Hilliard, Quinton Claunch, Charlie Feathers, Early in the Morning, Oscar Hammerstein II, Walter Donaldson, Carolina in the Morning, Early in the Mornin', In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, Gordon Lightfoot, Noel Paul Stookey, Louis Jordan, Sonny Boy Williamson I, Gus Kahn, Sigmund Romberg, Softly as in a Morning Sunrise, David Mann, Peter Paul and Mary, Early Morning Rain
The title links below are to Songbook pages large or small, except for those colored red, which are external links.
- 1922 – Carolina in the Morning (m. Walter Donaldson, w. Gus Kahn) — standard — “Strolling with my girlie, where the dew is pearly early in the morning”
- 1937 — Early in the Morning (Sonny Boy Williamson I)* aka “Bout the Break of Day” – blues standard, 1937 — The title is an external link to a Junior Wells recording
* Wikipedia suggests a 6 June 1929 cut of “Soon This Morning” by Charlie Spand as the earliest recorded antecedent. Spand’s song opened with the lines
It’s early in the mornin’ ’bout the break of day
My head on the pillow where my mama used to lay…
(below) “Morning Service” segment of the Charlie Chaplin film Sunnyside (1919), featuring wood nymphs
26 Aug 2012
in 1923, Songbook
Tags: Gertrude Lawrence, Jessie Matthews, Julie Andrews, London Calling!, Noël Coward, Parisian Pierrot, Texas
Parisian Pierrot (Noël Coward)
According to Richard Briers in Coward & Company, the playwright wrote “Parisian Pierrot” for his close friend Gertrude Lawrence in his review London Calling! but apparently she didn’t think much of it. The song was to be performed wearing a Pierrot costume, and Lawrence gave both to her understudy in André Charlot’s Revue of 1924, Jessie Matthews. In New York, she changed her mind and performed it herself, although she didn’t record it until November 3, 1931 – a pressing that was originally rejected. Coward recorded it in 1936.
According to the Noël Coward Society, Coward wrote the song in Berlin between December 9th and 18th, 1922. It was published in 1923 by Keith Prowse of London.
Coward himself said “The idea of it came to me in a night-club…a frowsy blonde, wearing a sequin chest-protector and a divided skirt, appeared in the course of the cabaret with a rag Pierrot doll dressed in black velvet. She placed it on a cushion where it sprawled in pathetic abandon while she pranced around it emitting gutteral [sic] noises. Her performance was unimpressive but the doll fascinated me”. The title came into his head in the taxi on his way back to the hotel.
Gertrude Lawrence died in 1952, and in 1968 Julie Andrews performed the song in her biopic Star!. (thanks, Alexander Baron – London, England, for all above)
Noël Coward – 1936
Julie Andrews in Star!, a Gertrude Lawrence biopic – 1968
Texas – Twentieth-Century Blues – The Songs Of Noël Coward (1998)