Sunday, 05 January 2014
ELDER MUSIC: 1942
This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.
What happened in 1942?
- Jerry Garcia was born
- Casablanca was released
- Everything else was grim
- Essendon were premiers
Cole Porter wrote the song Night and Day for the musical "Gay Divorce". This was Fred Astaire's last Broadway show. Later it was made into a film called The Gay Divorcee. Fred was in that one too.
You probably think you know who I've decided to play but you're wrong. I'm going with FRANK SINATRA's version of the song.
I had a couple of versions of Blues in the Night lined up as well. It was a matter of selecting which I wanted. Finally, after playing them a couple of times, I went with DINAH SHORE.
The song was written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, and has been recorded by just about everyone. Let's hear what Dinah does with it.
Even though it has been recorded by many others, A String of Pearls is pretty much associated with GLENN MILLER.
Glenn kept a bunch of arrangers on hand to write and arrange tunes for him. This is one such that was the brainchild of Jerry Gray.
T-BONE WALKER's style is an interesting mix of jazz and blues.
He was one of the most influential guitarists ever – blues, jazz and rock & roll players all acknowledge a debt to him. Here he plays Mean Ol' World.
Bands led by HARRY JAMES and Tommy Dorsey both recorded Manhattan Serenade around this time.
As you can see, I've gone with Harry's version. Helen Forrest sings on this one. Before Harry she sang with Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman.
This tune reminded me that I planned to do a column on citrus fruit – after all there are plenty of lemon songs, a few orange ones but I've only found one Tangerine. Lots of versions, but they're all the same song. That's what we have here today, and it's by JIMMY DORSEY.
The singers on this one are Bob Eberly and Helen O'Connell. The song was written by Johnny Mercer and Victor Schertzinger.
Ah, NAT KING COLE finally makes an appearance in these Years columns. I surprise myself that he hasn't popped up before. This won't be the last time, though.
Here he is with the trio, the way I like him best, and That Ain't Right.
BING CROSBY sang Be Careful It's My Heart in the film Holiday Inn.
That film was also the first time he performed White Christmas but we'll just skip over that one.
The tune of Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree was originally a ninth century folk song called Long, Long Ago. Then Sam Stept got to it, modified it a bit and produced the song, Anywhere the Bluebird Goes.
The folk process in action then allowed Lew Brown and Charles Tobias to write lyrics and the song we know appeared. This was recorded by Glenn Miller and became quite a hit for him.
Next, THE ANDREWS SISTERS turned their hands (and voices) to it and it was a hit all over again.
PEGGY LEE makes her first appearance here today with the Benny Goodman Orchestra.
This was also her first number one hit, Somebody Else Is Taking My Place, written by Russ Morgan.
1943 will appear in two weeks' time.