INTERESTING STUFF – 16 December 2017
Trump Administration Tries to Ban 7 Words

ELDER MUSIC: 1931

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.

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You must remember this…

Well, if you're like me, you'll remember Dooley Wilson performing the first song. However, it had been around for some time before Dooley made it a classic. It was first recorded by JACQUES RENARD and his orchestra with vocal by FRANK MUNN.

Jacques Renard & Frank Munn

After hearing this one I'm struck at how much better Dooley's version was. We are looking at 1931 though, and this is one of those from that year – Rudy Vallee was the other. As Time Goes By.

♫ Jacques Renard (Frank Munn vocal) - As Time Goes By


You knew that BING CROSBY would be present today, so I won't disappoint you.

Bing Crosby

I'm very familiar with this song as my dad was a fan of Bing. He had a five album set of the crooner (these were unusual back when I was a kid, it's really only in the era of CDs that multiple albums became common). I became very familiar with all the songs as we didn't have very many records back then. One of the songs on that collection was I Found a Million Dollar Baby.

♫ Bing Crosby - I Found a Million Dollar Baby


Far and away the most famous song of CAB CALLOWAY is Minnie the Moocher.

Cab Calloway

He pretty much had to perform it everywhere he went. 1931 was the year he recorded it for the first time. Here is what the original sounds like.

♫ Cab Calloway - Minnie The Moocher


There was a rather good British science fiction TV series in the nineties called Goodnight Sweetheart. It used the song of that name as its theme. It was performed by RAY NOBLE and his orchestra, with vocal refrain (that phrase was used a lot at the time) by AL BOWLLY.

Ray Noble & Al Bowlly

That's Ray in the white suit and Al on the left.

Although the series was not a comedy, it didn't take itself too seriously, unlike most of that genre, that's why I liked it. Anyway, here is that song.

♫ Ray Noble (Al Bowlly vocal) - Goodnight Sweetheart


Here is the finest blues singer in the first half of the century. You need no prompting from me to know that I'm talking about BESSIE SMITH.

Bessie Smith

It seems that she's in a bit of a quandary since her man done gone. Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl is that way she says it, and boy, does she say it well.

♫ Bessie Smith - Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl


Way back, indeed in 1931, WAYNE KING (with vocal refrain by ERNIE BURCHILL) performed Dream a Little Dream of Me.

Wayne King

People of a certain age will recall Mama Cass's version of the song. She did it much better than these folks, but she wasn't around in 1931 so we have to go with this other version.

♫ Wayne King (Ernie Burchill vocal) - Dream A Little Dream Of Me


THE MILLS BROTHERS are another group I would pretty much automatically include in a column. They perform the famous song Tiger Rag.

Mills Brothers

As it said on the label: “No musical instruments or mechanical devices were used in this recording other than one guitar”. So, all those things that sound like instruments are just them doing mouth noises. It's far from the best thing they ever did, but even lesser Mills Brothers is worthy of hearing.

♫ Mills Brothers - Tiger Rag


Here's another song that will be familiar to you, but perhaps not by FRANKIE TRUMBAUER with ART JARRETT and trio on vocals.

Frankie Trumbauer

I have no idea which is Frankie and which is Art. I'll leave it up to you to imagine.

The song has been recorded by hundreds of performers over the years, many of whom did it better than these folks. However, they are the ones we have for this year. The song is Georgia On My Mind.

♫ Frankie Trumbauer (Art Jarrett & trio vocal) - Georgia On My Mind


At last, we have LOUIS ARMSTRONG.

Louis Armstrong

Louis was having a fine old time with this one, nothing serious, not innovating or anything like that. He was just having a good time saying that I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You.

♫ Louis Armstrong - I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You


Is it just me, or does RUSS COLUMBO sound awfully like Bing? Could do worse, I suppose.

Russ Columbo

Russ really didn't give Bing a run for his money in the long term as he died at the ridiculously young age of 26 in a "shooting incident" when he was visiting a friend of his. Before that (of course, before that) Russ recorded You Call It Madness (But I Call It Love).

♫ Russ Columbo - You Call It Madness (But I Call It Love)


Comments

I've been looking for a copy of "Jeanine I dream of lilac time." When I was a kid we had the song on 78rpm -- my sister Jeanine died in 2009 -- the one we had was recorded by Louis Armstrong.

I would also like "Teresa" by Dick Haymes --that's for myself.

1931. Ah, yes, time has flown. Gulp.

The selection of Cab Calloway brought back a memory of a cold, snowy December in 1947-6--1947 ( can't remember the year) when I saw him in his signature white suit dancing across the stage singing Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hol He rally had a lot of energy.

Bing Crosby was my step-father's favorite male vocalist and when Frank Sinatra came on the scene there were arguments about whom was the better singer. I got in trouble for coming down on the side of Frankie. That's when I was young and foolish. I still prefer Frank as crooners are not my favorites.

I'm sorry, but I don't think Russ Columbo sounds like Bing Crosby, but then given the poor quality of the recording in those days it's really hard to tell.

Teresa, there are several versions of 'Jeannine' on YouTube. I think this is probably the record you knew: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucDVbwBlLBk
The other song is probably also on YouTube.

I wonder if Peter can tell me where that picture of Bing is from- it's inscribed to a Zipkin, the same last name of my grandmother.

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