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Sunday, 16 February 2014

ELDER MUSIC: 1945

Tibbles1SM100x130This 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.


1945 was a significant year – the war ended and I was born (in that order). I was a "Dad's home from the war for Christmas" baby (the previous year, obviously) as I popped out in the middle of September.

This is the year where we really started getting some interesting music – BeBop, Rhythm & Blues and so on. My kind of music. There will be others featured as well for those who prefer the older style.

What happened in 1945?

  • Jessye Norman was born
  • United Nations founded in San Francisco
  • Franklin Roosevelt died with victory in sight
  • John Curtin (Australia's Prime Minister) died with victory in sight
  • Winston Churchill was defeated in general election
  • The Lost Weekend was released.
  • Carlton were premiers.

BeBop has begun and the two main purveyors of the style are DIZZY GILLESPIE and CHARLIE PARKER.

Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker

The tune, Salt Peanuts, was composed by Diz with a little help from drummer Kenny Clarke. That's Diz performing the "vocals" for want of a better word. Naturally, he plays the trumpet as well and Bird is on alto sax.

♫ Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker - Salt Peanuts

There's still some old style music around, in this case it's THE ANDREWS SISTERS.

The Andrews Sisters

The original music of Rum and Coca Cola was written by Lionel Belasco for a song called L'Année Passée. Later, Lord Invader (Rupert Grant to his folks) and Lionel Belasco wrote the new words and turned it into a calypso tune.

Morey Amsterdam copyrighted the song in America after he heard it on a visit to Trinidad. It became a huge hit for the Andrews. Later, the true credits were restored after a plagiarism lawsuit.

♫ The Andrews Sisters - Rum And Coca Cola

Caldonia Blues was written by LOUIS JORDAN.

Louis Jordan

However, Louis' wife at the time, Fleecie Moore, is credited with writing it. He did that so he could use a separate publishing house. Unfortunately, when the song became a big hit they had divorced and Louis was rather miffed as Fleecie was getting all the moulah.

♫ Louis Jordan - Caldonia Blues

It's Only a Paper Moon was written by Harold Arlen, E. Y. Harburg and Billy Rose. It was intended for a Broadway play called "The Great Magoo.” This play bombed, but the song lives on. The version today is by ELLA FITZGERALD.

Ella Fitzgerals

Ella is assisted by the Delta Rhythm Boys who were sort of Mills Brothers, Ink Spots clones. They don't do a bad job though.

♫ Ella Fitzgerald & Delta Rhythm Boys - It's Only A Paper Moon

JOE LIGGINS performs The Honeydripper Parts 1 & 2.

Joe Liggins

Back when it was released it had Parts 1 and 2 on either sides of the record. These days you can hear them both without going to the trouble of flipping it over.

Joe had written the song a couple of years earlier and it was so successful he named his group after the song (without the Parts 1 and 2, of course).

♫ Joe Liggins - The Honeydripper Parts 1 & 2

Nancy (With the Laughing Face) was written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Phil Silvers (yes, that Phil Silvers). It was originally called Bessie (With the Laughing Face) after a friend's wife who was having a birthday. They changed the name each time they sang it for different women's birthdays.

When they sang it for little Nancy Sinatra, Frank broke down as he thought it was written especially for her. They didn't correct him. Here is FRANK SINATRA with Nancy (With the Laughing Face).

Frank Sinatra

♫ Frank Sinatra - Nancy (With the Laughing Face)

Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?) was written especially for BILLIE HOLIDAY by Jimmy Davis, Ram Ramirez and James Sherman.

Billie Holiday

Others have performed it, of course, but no one has done it better.

♫ Billie Holiday - Lover Man

BIG MACEO MERRIWEATHER was a blues pianist and singer, although there are no vocals on the track we have today.

Big Maceo

Maceo was originally from Atlanta but moved to Detroit while quite young to play in the clubs there. Once established, he moved to Chicago so he could record and stayed there for the rest of his life which wasn't too long as he drank a bit.

Here he plays Chicago Breakdown.

♫ Big Maceo - Chicago Breakdown

You Belong to My Heart was written by Augustin Lara, a Mexican songwriter, and was originally called Solamente Una Vez. The English words were written by Ray Gilbert and we have BING CROSBY to sing it.

Bing Crosby

♫ Bing Crosby - You Belong To My Heart

To finish we have JAY MCSHANN and His Blues Men with Confessin' the Blues.

Jay McShann

Jay played both blues and BeBop jazz in the early forties. Several well known musicians played in his band, most notably Charlie Parker and Ben Webster. This track is more blues oriented and has Jimmy Witherspoon on vocals.

♫ Jay McShann & His Blues Men - Confessin' The Blues

1946 will appear in two weeks' time.


Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

When I was teenager my dad and I cleaned the basement when my mom wasn't home and we ended up tossing out her collection of Andrew Sister records and other WWII music. She gave us the cold shoulder for a week. To this day, seeing their picture makes me feel guilty but it took me decades to truly understand why my mother loved them so much. Thanks for the memory this fine Sunday morning.

Thanks for info on "Nancy with the laughing face". I always thought it was written for Frank.Also, strange alliance of Van Heusen and Phil Silvers on that one.

Thanks for more memories.


Oh, Peter, I'm so disappointed.. I always thought "Nancy With The Laughing Face" was written for ME!

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