Sunday, 02 March 2014
ELDER MUSIC: 1946
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 1946?
- Linda Ronstadt was born
- The League of Nations was dissolved (I didn't realize it was still around then)
- Tupperware was sold for the first time
- The bikini made its first appearance (in Paris)
- The Big Sleep was released
- America won the Davis Cup
- Essendon were premiers.
The song To Each His Own was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. It made the charts four times this year, the final time by THE INK SPOTS, easily the best version of them all.
Choo Choo Ch'Boogie is the epitome of jump blues but in spite of that, it was written by three songwriters who, before this one, had only written country songs (Vaughn Horton, Denver Darling, and Milt Gabler).
One of those songs was Mocking Bird Hill, so they knew how to come up with a decent tune. Choo Choo Ch'Boogie was LOUIS JORDAN's biggest hit – it stayed on top of the R&B charts for 18 weeks.
Les Trois Cloches is a Swiss song by Jean Gilles. It first became a hit when sung by ÉDITH PIAF et Les Compagnons de la Chanson.
Edith sang this extensively when she toured America that year and it was very popular. So much so that The Browns recorded it and had a big hit with English words written by Bert Reisfeld.
CHARLIE PARKER's tune is a sly joke about his nickname (Bird). He called it Ornithology.
The tune started out as How High the Moon but the jazz great turns that into something completely different. The trumpet player rather surprisingly isn't Dizzy Gillespie, but Miles Davis. The pianist is Dodo Marmarosa. The trumpeter Benny Harris is credited with co-writing the tune.
THE RAVENS were one of the first DooWop groups, or at least an early precursor of that style.
They were greatly influenced by The Mills Brothers and The Ink Spots. Hear what they do to Ol' Man River.
ARTHUR CRUDUP wrote and recorded the song That's All Right.
Later he added (Mama) to the title. It really is a bunch of lines from blues songs thrown together. It doesn't matter, they work. This song was also Elvis's very first hit.
Are you ready for your yearly dose of NAT KING COLE?
Well, even if you're not that's who's next. Nat and the trio are performing one of their famous songs, (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66, written by Bobby Troup who was married to another regular here, Julie London.
To keep the interesting musicians coming, I next present THELONIOUS MONK.
Monk was there with Diz and Bird developing BeBop. He has a style of playing the piano that's all his own although on this one he plays it pretty straight. He does tend to divide people's opinions. That's okay, there's plenty of music out there if you don't like it.
Monk had composed Round Midnight some years earlier and he wasn't the first to record it. His is still the definitive version though.
Here's something and someone to bring a smile to your faces, HOAGY CARMICHAEL.
The song is Ole Buttermilk Sky, one of his own. I really like the piano playing on this – that's Hoagy tinkling the ivories. He is underrated as a pianist. It really is a nice song (if that's not damning it).
From a piece of faux country to the real thing, although back then there were more instruments in the mix than is generally the case these days. This is MERLE TRAVIS with Divorce Me C.O.D.
1947 will appear in two weeks' time.