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  • mistermuse 7:00 pm on August 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    LIAR, LIAR, ROMANCE ON FIRE 

    I’ve been browsing through a titillating tome titled THE ENCYCLOPEDIA of LIARS and DECEIVERS, published in 2014 – two years prior to Donald Trump becoming President (which may explain why he’s not in the book) of the United States of Autocracy. This got me thinking, not about the (in)famous liars in history depicted in the dramatis personae (which may inspire a subsequent post), but about love lies and liars in song….to wit:

    ….which brings us to this 1940 hit sung by a very young Frank Sinatra:

    We close on a most lachrymose note with this sad tale about a blackguard who burst Mildred Bailey’s bubble:

    Good night.

     
    • obbverse 9:17 pm on August 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Frankie was less than honest?- No! I’m shocked, and stunned!

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:34 pm on August 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      In the song, Frank admits he’s “not an angel.” If TRUMP were that honest, I’d be more than shocked and stunned!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 10:35 pm on August 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I didn’t know about this encyclopedia – interesting. Trump has earned an entire multiple-part encyclopedia of his own, let alone a single entry. The problem with that is that he would consider it to be good PR. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 11:16 pm on August 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Trump would probably consider such an encyclopedia not only good PR, but a feather in his cap….and it would undoubtedly be the only encyclopedia he has owned in his life!.

      Liked by 4 people

    • masercot 10:46 am on August 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Reminds me of the song “Liar” by Queen…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:14 pm on August 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        That one’s a little ‘after’ my time. My post title is a play on this mid-60s hit LIAR, LIAR (PANTS ON FIRE):

        Like

    • magickmermaid 11:38 am on August 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I love the video! Unfortunately, love and lies often go hand-in-hand.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:41 pm on August 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        That video is from the 1951 movie ROYAL WEDDING starring Astaire and Jane Powell, who (believe it or not) aren’t ‘lovers’ but are brother and sister in the film! It’s also the film in which Fred performs his famous “Dancing on the Ceiling” number.

        Like

    • rawgod 2:47 pm on August 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I guess it’s too modern for you, but for me this is a fabulous song of love and lies:
      Helen Reddy, Delta Dawn https://youtu.be/fzb7a1T4c1k

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:17 pm on August 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Believe i or not, I’ve actually heard of Helen Reddy….and I like Delta Dawn because it has that old time spiritual vibe (I dig “that old time religion” music even though I don’t dig that old time religion).

        Like

  • mistermuse 3:21 pm on July 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    LATTER-DAY SCAT-AWAY 

    In a recent series of Golden Age vocalists, my posts included such scat-singing greats as Louis Armstrong, Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards, The Boswell Sisters, and the First Lady of Song (and Scat), Ella Fitzgerald. But the post-Golden Age period (post-WW era) also recorded its share of scat-singing virtuosos, led by the multi-talented Mel Tormé. Here he pays tribute to Ella (whose career, like Mel’s, spans both eras) with this scintillating rendition of Gershwin’s OH, LADY BE GOOD!

    Next, we turn to “Sassy” Sarah Vaughan, whose scatting (in my opinion) takes second place to her singing….but you be the judge:

    We close with, at age 84, the only living (and undeservedly most obscure) of our three latter-day scatters, Carol Sloane. Take it away, Carol!

     
  • mistermuse 6:48 pm on July 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    MORE QUESTIONABLE QUOTES AND QUARRELSOME COMMENTARY 

    It is said that one can never get enough of a good thing….so you’ll be happy(?) to hear that I’m doing another post of “Questionable Quotes and [my] Quarrelsome Commentary.” Admittedly, it is also said that one should leave well enough alone — let sleeping dogs lie, as it were. But why should I rest on my quarrels, if many of my previous post readers voiced their opinion with Likes (unless they thought they were clicking Lies). Whatever.

    Heedless to say, my followers are definitely not dogs (sleeping or sentient). The only dogs in my life are my feet, which may bark but don’t lie — if they did, I’d smell a rat, and my dogs smell ratty enough without liars….or with outliers, for that matter. Let’s make no bones about it — it’s a dog’s life.

    If a dog could talk, he wouldn’t long remain man’s best friend.” –Evan Esar

    True. He would soon become woman’s best friend.

    That woman speaks eighteen languages and can’t say “No’ in any of them.” –Dorothy Parker

    Maybe she learned them all under cover.

    Those who write clearly, have readers; those who write obscurely have commentators.” –Albert Camus

    Clearly right. Beyond that, I have no comment.

    As an American, I naturally spend most of my time laughing.” –H. L. Mencken

    My dear sir, that was B D T (Before Donald Trump). If H L M lived today, I C U (him) singing a different hymn:

    The whole duty of a writer is to please and satisfy himself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one.” –E. B. White

    By all means, writer, satisfy yourself….but please don’t quit your day job unless you’re prepared to eat your words.

    A man marries one woman to escape from many others, and then chases many others to forget he’s married to one.” –Helen Rowland

    Well, you can’t blame a guy for trying.

    History is the sum total of the things that could have been avoided.” — Konrad Adenauer

    Not to mention, the story of my life.

    Life itself is a quotation.” –Jorge Luis Borges

    So, what is DEATH — the last word?

     
  • mistermuse 1:09 am on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    QUESTIONABLE QUOTES AND QUARRELSOME COMMENTARY 

    Man will become better when you show him what he is like..” –Anton Chekhov, Russian playwright/short-story writer

    Really? If you believe that, I have a magic mirror I want to sell you.

    In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap.” –Napoleon Bonaparte

    For the Trump faithful, an absurdity is blind belief in a nutshell.

    There’s only a step from the sublime to the ridiculous, but there’s no road leading back from the ridiculous to the sublime.” –Lion Feuchtwanger, Bavarian Jewish novelist who escaped from an internment camp at Les Milles, France, during WW II

    Pardon my French, but they say you can go back if you….

    Advertising may be described as the science of arresting human intelligence long enough to get money from it.” –Stephen Leacock, Canadian political scientist, writer and humorist

    Not unlike politics, which may be described as the art of arresting human intelligence long enough to get elected (and often re-elected and re-elected and re-elected) from it.

    Consult: to seek another’s advice on a course already decided upon.” –Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

    Of course, de devil is in de fails.

    I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t.” –Jules Renard, French author

    If God exists, I suspect He’s above all that.

    In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better show more affection than she feels.” –Jane Austen

    Just in case?

    I do not waste my time in answering abuse; I thrive under it like a field that benefits from manure.” –Henry Labouchere, British politician, writer and theatre owner

    I squish a squash, hear a raspberry, and think I smell a rad(ish). From my stool, I sit and assume I’m making the best of it.

    An artist never really finishes his work; he merely abandons it.” –Paul Valéry, French poet, essayist and philosopher
    Well, you can’t win them all.

     
    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 3:05 am on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I like your quotes and the quarrelsome commentary? I wouldn’t say that. Sometimes you just need to say it. I think your commentary was on point. I love Stephen Leacock’s work.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:24 am on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Lynette. As a reward for that kind comment, I give you another Stephen Leacock quote:
        “God takes care of fools, drunks, and the United States of America.”

        Liked by 2 people

    • rawgod 7:32 am on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      A good collection of quotes. But I am not really a quotations kind of guy. I prefer to use my own words to voice my own opinion about my own feelings. The care in scare is the error in terror!

      Liked by 2 people

      • rawgod 7:49 am on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry, I was asleep. That should have read: The error in terror is the care in scare. My addled brain got it all bassackwards.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Rivergirl 10:16 am on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      “There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous” has always been the tag line of my site…. but my research attributes it to Napoleon. Either way, ridiculous describes my life perfectly.
      😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:06 am on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Perhaps Napoleon said the first part of the quote (“There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous”), and Feuchtwanger added “but there’s no leading back from the ridiculous to the sublime” as a result of being imprisoned during WW II. In any case (speculation aside), that quote was part of the inspiration for including the French-dubbed “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” clip in my post.

        Liked by 2 people

    • D. Wallace Peach 10:59 am on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I’m especially fond of the Jules Renard quote. What a hoot. Our country is mired in the absurd and people are willing to die (and kill others) to perpetuate it. I live my days in a state of disorientation when I’m not stuck to my refrigerator and getting messages from outer space.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:44 pm on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I couldn’t agree more, Diana. Speaking of great quotes, Goethe said “We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disoriented minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe”….and our country seems bent on becoming the mental institution of our planet.

        Liked by 2 people

    • magickmermaid 11:57 am on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      “For some of the Trump faithful, an absurdity is blind belief in a nut who escaped from his nutshell.”
      Loved the film clip! One of the best films ever made!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:49 pm on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I was lucky to find that clip dubbed in French because it fit perfectly with my commentary I was trying to make at that point.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Rosaliene Bacchus 1:47 pm on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoyed your quibbles with famous quotes 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 2:28 pm on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. I must admit that, except for the first one, my “quibbles” were more squibble than quibble. Even the first quote would have been cool if it had said “Man will become better when HELL FREEZES OVER!” 😉

        Liked by 2 people

    • Richard A Cahill 6:58 pm on July 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Most abuse is just stupidity in a crabby mood.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:32 pm on July 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    BLIND SIGHTED VOICES 

    The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” — Helen Keller

    None so deaf as those who will not hear. None so blind as those who will not see.” –Matthew Henry

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The above quotes may be a bit ‘deep’ (and somewhat ‘strained’) as a lead-in to what follows; nonetheless, in looking back at my recent series of Golden Age vocalists, I see that I didn’t include three notable singers who happen(ed) to be blind. Two of them did not qualify for the series because they were not Golden Age vocalists; the third, I simply overlooked. I will get to the latter later.

    The youngest of the three wasn’t born until 1950, and the second youngest, though born (1930) during the Golden Age, didn’t record until the 1950s. If you guessed the second one, it is no Wonder….but the first one? If you saw it coming….well, you just made a Wonder-ful call.

    The second singer is the r & b soul of post-1950 vocalists, blind or sighted….a ‘blues-Ray’ of light in today’s musical (my opinion) blight:

    Last but not lost (thank the Lord), we turn to AL HIBBLER (born 8/16/1915), who sang for various local bands in Arkansas and Texas, mid-1930s to 1942. By 1943 he’d replaced Herb Jeffries as male vocalist in the orchestra of Duke Ellington, who described Hibbler’s way with a song as “tonal pantomime” — a style punctuated by a pronounced London Cockney accent in this clip. Fats Waller would love it. Can you dig it, matey?

    As you have seen, I’ve decided to end my break from blogging earlier than anticipated. I’m still dealing with a few unresolved issues, so posting may still be somewhat irregular — but then, I’ve never posted on a set schedule, so it is what it was, so to speak. I appreciate your ‘patronage.’

     
    • MELewis 1:44 pm on July 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Those are two brilliant quotes!

      Liked by 2 people

    • obbverse 4:42 pm on July 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I’d heard Al Hibbler, hadn’t heard he was blind. I’ve always liked Ray; his take on ‘Busted’ is perfect in its ‘woe-is-me-well, typical!’ tone. Welcome back, even if its intermittent.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 5:09 pm on July 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. I too have always liked Ray Charles. Al Hibbler is probably more of an acquired taste (for want of a better term),. I dig his “After The Lights Go Down Low,” but I can see how his exaggerated Cockney accent might wear thin with some if widely overdone.

        Liked by 2 people

    • magickmermaid 5:51 pm on July 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Great quotes and music! I hope you and your family are ok!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:17 pm on July 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, mm. I appreciate the “ok” wishes and may have more to say at a later date.

        Like

    • Don Ostertag 7:20 pm on July 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      glad you included Al Hibbler with Stevie and Ray. Hibbler is still one of my favortes

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 8:42 pm on July 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I need to listen to more Hibbler. My familiarity with him was limited, but the above clip has me eager to hear other recordings.

      Like

    • Mr. Ohh's Sideways View 10:19 pm on July 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Great stuff as always I love the stuff you bring back
      ;;
      ;;
      ;;Laugh! It just makes sense

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 2:28 am on July 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I like all three, but especially Ray Charles. 🙂
      Good to see you back again.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:19 am on July 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Many thanks, Lynette. Some might say they won’t consider me fully back again until I resume making bad puns….so here goes: Have you ever been accused of being a ‘Cross dresser’? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 11:12 am on July 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:10 pm on July 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the clip. Not every performer billed as “Blind” in the 1920s was actually blind. “Blind” Willie Dunn was actually (guitar great) Eddie Lang. Here he is with his “Gin Bottle Four,” including King Oliver on cornet and, would you believe, Hoagy Carmichael with the wordless vocal and on drums.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 12:24 pm on July 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Ray!😀 Stevie! 😀 Brilliant, my time! Stevie and I are the same age! Wow! Al Hibbler?🤔 Umm! Not sure!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:33 pm on July 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Though I liked his rendition of that song, Al Hibbler’s cockney accent may have turned you off….but he didn’t sing every song that way. Fats Waller had a lot of fun with his vocals, and I think Hibbler may have put on his “Fats face” when he did “After The Lights Go Down Low.”

        Liked by 1 person

    • annieasksyou 12:18 am on July 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I actually like Hibbler’s faux accent: it’s twinkly.

      Nice selections—as always.

      Hope things in mm world return to stasis so you can return to us regularly/irregularly—whatever.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:03 am on July 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Hmmm — “twinkly?” Not a word I’d use for Hibbler’s faux accent, but since you approve, I’m good. As for “things in mm world,” I’m hoping for a twinkly future in due course. Meanwhile, it’s bedtime for all good mm’s.

        Like

    • mlrover 8:42 am on July 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Liked Hibbler’s articulation and especially enjoyed Gin Bottle Four, since that was my mom’s favorite style of playing, either guitar, piano or banjo. Always loved Hoagy and think of him most often with his crooked grin in the movie The Best Years of Our Lives at the piano with Harold Russell. When I had a piano, enjoyed playing Old Buttermilk Sky.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:34 am on July 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        You have excellent taste, mirover! The Best Years of Our Lives is one of my all-time fav movies, and Hoagy was his usual (and wonderful) natural self in the film. They don’t make ’em like that anymore!

        Like

  • mistermuse 2:31 pm on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS BOSWELL 

    No Golden Age Vocalists series would be complete without including my favorite vocal groups, both male and female. To my mind, the greatest male group was The Mills Brothers, and the greatest of ALL vocal groups was The Boswell Sisters….an opinion in which I am not alone:

    “There were many sister vocal groups in the 1920s. Most, at best, featured appealing voices and little else, but the Boswell Sisters were on a completely different level altogether. Not only were they the finest of all the sisters groups of the past century, but they were arguably the most rewarding vocal ensemble [of either gender, or mixed gender].” –Scott Yanow, from his book Classic Jazz.

    Connie (1907-76), Martha (1908-58), and Helvetia “Vet” (1909-88) Boswell were born and raised in (where else?) New Orleans. They first recorded in 1925 but didn’t begin recording regularly until 1930. Connie came down with polio as an infant and was unable to walk, which is why she always appears seated….but what a voice! Martha and Vet retired in 1936, but Connie (name later changed to Connee), who always took the solo parts in the group, carried on as a solo for two more decades. She was cited by Ella Fitzgerald as her main vocal influence.

    Turning to The Mills Brothers (Herbert, Harry, Donald, and John, who died the same year The Boswell Sisters disbanded, and was replaced by their father, Herbert Sr.), their ages and early popularity roughly coincided with the Boswells. They excelled in vocally imitating musical instruments, though they actually used only a guitar, as in this great clip from the 1932 film, The Big Broadcast:

    We conclude this series as we started this post, because all’s well that ends Bos….well, you know:

    I plan to take a break from blogging for a few weeks — perhaps longer. In the meantime, may the spirit of harmony be your guide.

     
    • Rivergirl 2:51 pm on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I have to admit I’d never heard of Helvetia and her sisters. Enjoy your blogging hiatus…. but don’t forget us!
      😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:09 pm on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        How could I forget……who are you again? 😉

        P.S. Though I won’t be posting, I expect I’ll be checking in on my blogger friends’ blogs occasionally, just to make sure you’re behaving yourselves.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 3:31 pm on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, I think I’ve caught those heebie-jeebies, Mister M! What a cracking way to leave for your break. Get plenty of rest, keep well and we’ll see you later! Hooba-jooba, heebie-jeebie 😂🙃😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:16 pm on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Ashley. Now that I’ve got the Heebie Jeebies, it’ll be hard to get plenty of rest….but I’ll try.

        Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 4:43 pm on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I’m familiar with the Mills Brothers but not the Boswell Sisters so this was another great opportunity to learn something new and hear some great tunes! Have a wonderful break! Looking forward to your return. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rosaliene Bacchus 5:07 pm on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoy your break 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • annieasksyou 5:24 pm on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      What joyful music! Connee was right to disregard the critics: the trio knew exactly what they were doing. (Wonder whose idea the matching spitcurls were—quite quaint.)

      Hope you’re ok, mm. Enjoy your blog-batical.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:49 pm on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Annie — geezerdom seems to be catching up with me, but hopefully a “blog-batical” will rejuvenate these old bones and get me back close to my pre-Geritol self.

        As for the spitcurls, I assume they were in fashion then (believe it or not, that was before my time).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 7:46 pm on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I knew about the Mills Brothers but not the Boswell Sisters, so thanks for the heads up. 🙂 Have a good blog-break. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • JosieHolford 8:18 pm on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      It’s all in the family it seems. Could the Andrews Sisters be up next I wonder?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:49 am on July 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        This post marks the end of this series, Josie. I well remember the Andrews Sisters and may feature them some time, but I’m not even thinking about future posts until after my break..

        Liked by 1 person

    • obbverse 1:12 am on July 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoy your time away from the keyboard; Just make sure you’re only marking time though! It’s good to hear what you bring.

      Liked by 2 people

    • obbverse 9:50 am on July 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Hah!

      Liked by 1 person

    • snakesinthegrass2014 4:39 pm on July 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for introducing me to the Boswell Sisters. I’ve always loved the Mills Brothers, and in fact only recently was crushed to learn that a greatest hits compilation I had of them somehow didn’t survive all the moves I’ve made in recent years. Enjoy your blogging break. – Marty

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:55 pm on July 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Marty. You may be able to replace your lost Mills Brothers Greatest Hits . A quick Google search found some (CD & vinyl) for sale on eBay and elsewhere. Good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

    • joliesattic 10:59 am on July 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I’d heard the Heebie Jeebie song before but didn’t know the artists. Glad for reintroducing it to me. As those girls were going I kept thinking they sound much like some of the young rappers today! lol

      Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 7:10 am on July 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I do love that Tiger Rag and the Mills Brothers. I hope you enjoy your time away…

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 3:28 pm on July 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    ANY OLD TIME 

    Back on June 11, when I was closing in on the tenth of what was originally to be a ten-post series on Golden Age vocalists, I indicated that I’d probably extend the series because I hadn’t yet gotten to a number of singers who warrant an encore, notably Lady Day (Billie Holiday). Now, five posts later, and still no Billie. Mea culpa. On the other hand, I have no regrets — the best time to feature Lady Day is any day….and any old time:

    As a side note to the above clip, it’s the only time (July 24, 1938) she recorded with Artie Shaw (who wrote the song) and His Orchestra….though she did make a number of non-recorded appearances with his band around that time. And, speaking of no regrets….

    I close with a question many of us may have asked ourselves at one time or another….

    Have a great Holiday.

     
  • mistermuse 6:00 pm on June 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    WE INTERRUPT THIS SERIES…. 

    ….of Golden Age vocalists to note the birthday of one of the all-time great composers in American musical history, Richard Rodgers (6/28/1902-12/30/79). His pairings with lyricists Lorenz Hart and (later) Oscar Hammerstein II produced some of the most enduring Broadway shows ever to grace the Great White Way….and a list of recordings and performances of his all-time standards would stretch notably and lyrically from the South Pacific to Oklahoma! To mention but a few: MY HEART STOOD STILL, WITH A SONG IN MY HEART, BLUE MOON, THE LADY IS A TRAMP, PEOPLE WILL SAY WE’RE IN LOVE, SOME ENCHANTED EVENING….and this scorcher from-the-Hart collaboration:

    Rodgers famously disapproved of Lee’s scintillating rendition (as contrasted with this slow Cook-er):

    ….not to mention this rather bizarre rendition of a song from a Walt Disney production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical version of Cinderella, which probably had the old-school Rodgers turning over in his cremated ashes:

    We close with a rare treasure (for classic jazz fans): an unissued take of a Rodgers & Hart tune by legendary cornetist Bix Beiderbeck, of whom his friend, the slightly older (and much longer-lived) Louis Armstrong, once said, “Lots of cats tried to play like Bix; ain’t none of them play like him yet.” This is the unissued of two takes recorded in April 1928 for Okey Records. Classic jazz fans may be interested in jazz historian Harry Oakley’s additional info which follows the clip.

    “Two takes were mastered; take -C was issued on Okeh 41030 and a single test pressing of take -A (designated second choice by Okeh official Robert Stevens who signed it “RBS”) has also survived. This take has a great number of interesting differences from the issued one, especially in Bix’s clear lead all through the ensemble passages.
    The record is single-sided and on the back are embossed the name and logo of the Columbia Phonograph Company, who by that time owned the Okeh label.
    The history of this unique record is vague; rumour has it that it was found in a junkshop in New Jersey some 50 years ago, that it was later in Denver and that it travelled the world in a military trunk – this story was printed on the back of the only reissue LP in 1978.
    None of this has been proven though – there is actually evidence that the record originates in Davenport. What IS certain is that a friend of Don O’Dette (founder of the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society) from Davenport had the record and from him it went to a well known musician and Bix afficionado in 1977. The latter sold the record in 2008 on Ebay via a friend of mine.
    It was reissued on LP in 1978 after John R.T. Davies did a remastering in England.
    Alas, after this first re-issue the original record was never again made available and subsequent CD reissues all draw from John Davies’ old transfer with the result that the sound has always been rather dull and distorted.
    However, recently I have done a full audio restoration from the original disc, using the latest techniques, and although the record is worn and heavily damaged (see picture), the sound is now quite stunning if you have good loudspeakers connected to the computer; even though the file had to be translated to MP3 format in order to upload it on internet.
    Since the record turned up in Davenport it is possible that it originally belonged to Bix himself (rejected tests were often given to the artists). Moreover, after careful and extensive analysis, a highly reputable expert from Davenport who is familiar with Bix’s handwriting concluded that the writing in ink of the title and band name is probably by Bix himself. Interestingly, he has written 16-4-28 while the recording was actually done on the 17th.
    Could Bix have written this some time later and forgotten the exact date? Possibly. It’s unlikely that an Okeh official would write the wrong date.
    The other exciting aspect of the record is that the format is 11 inch, and a few test-grooves remain at the outer rim (alas heavily damaged by the engraved mx number which is right into these grooves – see picture) which contain some playing and talking by a few band members.
    After some clarinet, bassax and piano notes the words “Damn”, “I got it” and “Take it (from) the last four” and some laughter can be distinguished. In the last sentence there was a heavy distortion over the word “from” which I cut out as it could not be made understandable. What can therefore now be heard is “Take it the last four”.

     
  • mistermuse 7:21 pm on June 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    IT’S A LONG LONG WAY TO MARTINS FERRY 

    In my early boyhood in Cincinnati, we occasionally visited relatives clear across the state in Martins Ferry, Ohio (a small town through the woods and over the (Ohio) River from the larger town of Wheeling, West Virginia). Being between ages five to nine at the time, I don’t recall exactly how close the relatives were to us genetically, but back in those two-lane country roads days when interstate highways were just a gleam in father time’s eyes, they were distant relatives as far as I was concerned.

    All this came back to me as I was thinking about how to introduce Ella Logan, a Scottish-born lass who came to the U.S. in 1932 and became a very popular singer on radio, Broadway, and records — many of which were upbeat versions of British Music Hall and Anglo-European folk songs, such as this pre-WW I era Irish air which has never died out:

    From Martins Ferry and Tipperary, we turn to an Okie from Muskogee, Lee Wiley, who left Oklahoma in her teens to become one of the premier jazz vocalists of the 1930s, 40s & 50s. To quote jazz writer Will Friedwald: “What Mildred Bailey, Connee Boswell, and Lee Wiley added to the jazz vocabulary would vastly outlive their own careers; though each was more than a torch singer, each died with the knowledge that the torch had been passed on.” Here, she sings a torch song with a purpose:

    Would it surprise you to learn that the above song was written by that most un-primitive of composers, Cole Porter? But Porter’s self-stated own favorite of his songs was LOVE FOR SALE, from his show THE NEW YORKERS, which opened on Broadway in December 1930. Because of critical objection to the song’s “taste,” the scene in which it was presented was changed from its original setting to Harlem’s Cotton Club, and the vocalist changed from a white vocalist to African-American singer Elisabeth Welch, who went on to a long career as an actress/recording artist, and died in 2003 at age 99.

    Long live the memory of all of the above.

     
    • nonovek9755901 5:51 pm on June 23, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Followed your blog

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 6:41 pm on June 23, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, Julie. I see that you’re a new blogger. Happy blogging (and blog following).

      Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 9:00 am on June 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I say, “Long live everyone who isn’t dead yet”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 4:01 pm on June 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      No love for sale downtown, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:01 pm on June 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I wouldn’t know about that, Elizabeth. I’d ask Cole Porter, but he ain’t talkin’ — probably because he’s dead (as if that’s an excuse)..

      Like

    • magickmermaid 7:03 pm on June 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I somehow missed this post. I wasn’t familiar with these singers but I have heard Love For Sale; not sure where though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:16 pm on June 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        You probably missed this post because I published it the day after the previous post, and I rarely publish two days in a row. In any case, glad you found it.

        As for Love For Sale, although I’ve been familiar with it for decades, I’d never heard it sung by Elisabeth Welch. She sings it well.

        Like

  • mistermuse 1:08 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    HOW YA DOING? 

    Funny you should ask, because I just happen to know a Gershwin song that answers that question, sung by none other than….

    Yes, I’ve had Ella as my ‘guest’ on this series before, but we can never get enough Ella, now, can we? Another vocalist I can’t get enough of is Mildred Bailey, who made many recordings during the swing era with Red Norvo and his band. I’ve had her here before as well, which brought a request from a reader for info on “Mr. & Mrs. Swing” (Mildred and Red). More on that after this Irving Berlin song in further answer to “How Ya Doing”:

    Jazz authority George Simon called Red Norvo “a magnificent xylophonist of exquisite taste. Of all the musicians in jazz, he has remained for me, through the years, the most satisfying of them all; in short, he remains my favorite of all jazz musicians.” Simon says that Norvo’s band, in the mid 1930s, “featured a very attractive young singer named Nancy Flake, who later married Red’s drummer. During a [gig] in Syracuse, Mildred Bailey, Red’s wife and one of the truly great singers of all time, came up to visit, and shortly thereafter she took Nancy’s place. From then on Red and Mildred were billed as “Mr. and Mrs. Swing.”

    Speaking of Irving Berlin songs and vocalists I can’t get enough of, how about a surprise choice to close this post: Fred Astaire. Yes, I said Fred Astaire, vocalist extraordinaire . As I get ready to call it a night, judge for yourself:

    I rest my case.

     
    • rawgod 1:35 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      A perfectly nice way to end.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:23 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. Were you struck, as was I, by the exquisite piano ‘bridge’ between Ella’s vocal refrains? It was so in the style of the ever-tasteful Teddy Wilson, I could’ve sworn it was him….but it was a virtually unknown young pianist named Teddy Fulford. He died in his 40s, which may account for his obscurity. It is discoveries like this which help make jazz ever-interesting for aficionados like me.

        Like

        • rawgod 10:44 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink

          I am not an aficionado, per se, but I like what I like. I volunteered for years at jazz festivals in Winnipeg and Vancouver as a talent driver, and met so many great musicians. Most of them were great yet down-to-earth. Oscar Peterson was the most noteworthy, he was so calm in the face of ugly racism it was like he took no notice of the assholes around him.
          I cannot remember another fellow’s name, but when I picked him up to take him to his show, he refused to get in the car because his speaking might distract my driving, and his main concern was his acoustic guitar. It absolutely had to travel safely. He strapped it into my vehicle so it could not shuffle around even in a hurricane. He closed the door himself and asked me to wait for him to arrive at the site by taxi so that he could take it out of the car himself. When I heard him play that night, I understood why. It sang with the music of the spheres.
          The, shall we say, not so nice musicians, there were a number of them, all ego, I will not name. Big names from around the world, but with tiny hearts. Those people disappointed me, no matter how good their music was.
          Eventually I stopped volunteering. But I have more good memories than bad–they are the ones I hold onto.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 2:39 pm on June 21, 2021 Permalink

          Would that we all had more good memories than bad. Nowadays, they seem harder than ever to come by…..but at least we still have the music, whatever our musical tastes.

          Like

    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 3:41 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely choices! A little Ella and a little Fred? I’m doing fine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:30 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Lynette — I’m doing “all right’ too. Who wouldn’t be (if you love this kind of music), after listening to the likes of Ella, Mildred and Fred?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 5:38 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Ella and Fred! What a combo! And new to me, Mildred; wow! Happy summer solstice!

      Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 7:13 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I’m a big Ginger Rogers fan and I feel slighted.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:16 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Well, it must be you, because Rivergirl watched that clip and felt exhilarated! Ginger didn’t sing, but her voice isn’t as special as Fred’s anyway, so I refuse to apologize — though I still think you’re brilliant. 😉

        Like

      • Rivergirl 10:39 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        But Ginger is a vision in that dress. Did you know she designed it herself specifically for that routine… no slight.
        😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 12:52 pm on June 21, 2021 Permalink

          I didn’t know about the dress, but even so, I was and am a big fan of Ginger — I just don’t think there’s anything particularly special about her singing voice. She was more than a good dancer and actress in musicals — she was great in comedic roles in such fine films as BACHELOR MOTHER and THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR (the first film directed by Billy Wilder).

          Liked by 1 person

        • Rivergirl 1:25 pm on June 21, 2021 Permalink

          A very underrated comedienne, yes.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 7:24 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I never tire of watching that Astaire Rogers dance routine. So utterly smooth….
      ❣️

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:29 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Masercot and I agree….though I had to defend your honor in my previous comment. Why I’m so gallant, i don’t know. It must be my good breeding (though I’m sure you’re also better looking than him).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rivergirl 10:40 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink

          I appreciate you having my back…. which I’m guessing is also better looking than his.
          😉

          Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger 1:04 pm on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Have you seen The Band Wagon? It’s an excellent musical that stars Astaire.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:43 pm on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Yes. As I recall, Cyd Charisse was his co-star in that one. She was probably his sexiest dance partner.

        Liked by 1 person

    • annieasksyou 2:30 pm on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Fred Astaire’s singing here is heavenly—though he sang of only one arm about her and singular charm; I always thought both were plural.

      And Fred Astaire’s dancing anywhere with Ginger was also heavenly.

      And I can’t ever get enough of Ella either!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:11 pm on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        The Ella clip is from Jan. 1938 when she was only 19 years old. Even at that young age, to say she “Was Doing All Right” is a great understatement!

        Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 5:45 pm on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Three wonderful selections! Ella was only 19? Wow! Now I want to watch Top Hat 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Ohh's Sideways View 12:20 am on June 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      More great voices but Mildred is more obscure than the other two I love hearing from folks i don’t know about
      ;;
      ;;
      ;;
      Laughter Is great medicine and has no side effects

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:43 am on June 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Since I’m much more familiar with yesteryear’s obscure singers than today’s popular ones, i should be able to give you lots more of what you love.
        As for laughter having no side effects, many a child (or even sensitive adult) has been hurt by being laughed at…..but I’m sure that’s not the kind of laughter you meant.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mr. Ohh's Sideways View 1:08 am on June 29, 2021 Permalink

          Very true but that’s not true inner laughter. I have been laughed at and with and when I laugh it is for everyone not to exclude. Sorry but I don’t always see all sides. But I will keep laughing

          Liked by 1 person

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