Tagged: Duke Ellington Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 12:03 am on December 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Bob Crosby, Cozy Cole, Duke Ellington, , Johnny Hodges, Jonah Jones, , , Tot Seymour, Vee Lawnhurst   

    WHAT VEE/TOT BEGOT, BE WHAT WE GOT (AND THEN SOME) 

    In a comment to my last post (on composer Kay Swift), a certain mister mused that more posts should follow devoted to women songwriters of the 1920s-30s, of whom there were too few. I’ve since found that two of those few got together to form what was the era’s only successful female songwriting partnership: VEE LAWNHURST (composer) and TOT SEYMOUR (lyricist). We shall proceed accordingly forthwith….or forthwith accordingly. Whatever.

    Let’s start with their biggest hit, a #1 bestseller for 11 weeks in 1935, AND THEN SOME:

    VEE LAWNHURST (1905-92), born in NYC, was a pianist, singer, teacher, and a pioneer in radio broadcasting. She worked with several lyricists before teaming with Tot to write a lot of hits in the mid to late 1930s, including the title song from the 1935 film ACCENT ON YOUTH, played here by the DUKE ELLINGTON Orchestra (Johnny Hodges on alto sax):

    TOT SEYMOUR (1889-1966), also born in NYC, was a multi-talented writer, including special material for such stars of the day as Fannie Brice and Mae West, then turning to popular song writing in 1930, working with various composers until teaming with Vee Lawnhurst. Among their many fine songs is this 1937 Billie Holiday classic featuring such jazz greats as Jonah Jones, Ben Webster, Teddy Wilson and Cozy Cole:

    Apparently Vee and Tot wrote no Christmas songs, which is just as well because you’ve probably already had more than your fill. So I’ll just close by wishing you a Happy Humbug….and then some.

     

     
    • obbverse 1:52 am on December 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      So over the bellowing carols and mindless Merry Christmases, roll on blessed silence and boxing day sales!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:02 am on December 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        ….and then some!

        Thanks for the comment, o.b., and may I be the last to wish you a mindless Merry Christmas..

        Liked by 1 person

    • calmkate 4:01 am on December 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      do enjoy your posts … is it my hearing, I didn’t catch any words in #2?

      Happy Humbug keep on toe tappin 🙂

      Like

      • mistermuse 11:19 am on December 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Your hearing isn’t failing you, Kate. I posted the Ellington instrumental version because I dig Duke and Johnny Hodges’ gorgeous alto sax solo late in the recording. But never fear –you can hear the words here, in this non-jazz record:

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 5:23 pm on December 22, 2019 Permalink

          who doesn’t love the Duke, but as you were talking about her song writing … appreciate the link!

          Like

      • mistermuse 8:19 pm on December 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Kate, I placed the Duke Ellington instrumental to go with the Vee Lawnhurst paragraph because she wasn’t the lyricist half of the team It fit there better there because the other two links had vocals.

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 11:04 pm on December 22, 2019 Permalink

          lol no need to defend yourself, your post!
          But I had expected lyrics so probably didn’t absorb the magic music as much as I should have, my fault entirely 🙂

          Like

    • Elizabeth 6:35 pm on December 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I love their ambiguous first names which may have allowed them more success.

      Like

      • mistermuse 9:44 pm on December 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        That’s possible, Elizabeth, but I’d like to think that their intelligence and talent had more to do with it. For example, there’s the common name of Dorothy Parker, the famed wit and writer in the 1920s & 30s (who, btw, also wrote the lyrics to a few good songs, such as I WISHED ON THE MOON) .

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 3:01 pm on December 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I had never heard of Bob Crosby and when I looked him up I see that he had many children one of them called Harry, better known as Bing. (Wow! When I was first reading your post my dear wife was looking over my shoulder and later said something like “that looks very like a young Bing Crosby!” You see we work as a team and usually sort most things out). Have a wonderful Yuletide yourself.

      Like

      • mistermuse 4:31 pm on December 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Ashley, the Bob Crosby in my first clip was actually Bing’s younger brother. There may have been another Bob somewhere in the Crosby family tree, but this Bob was born in 1913 and looked and sounded somewhat like his older brother. In 1935, he became the front man and vocalist for the band which recorded AND THEN SOME, and which went on to become one the best big bands in the business until 1942, when it disbanded, and Bob served in the military in WW II

        Like

    • magickmermaid 12:22 pm on December 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve always loved 20s and 30s tunes! And old films!

      Like

      • mistermuse 9:24 pm on December 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        You got that right, mm….and speaking of 1930s tunes, here’s a Christmas tune from 1934. Enjoy!

        Like

  • mistermuse 1:46 pm on July 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Duke Ellington, FLYING HOME, , , , Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, REMEMBER, vibraphone, , xylophone   

    GOOD VIBES 

    They’ve used jazz xylophones as an aid in diagnosing depressives: If a subject is listening to more than a few minutes of jazz xylophone a day, there’s a better than fifty percent chance that he’s about to step in front of a train. –from THOUGHTS ON JAZZ, a tongue-in-cheek post on the surfeit-of-potatoes blog of our friend MASERCOT: https://morepotatoes.com/2019/07/19/thoughts-on-jazz/

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Well, I suppose every potato is entitled to its own opinion, but (though I dig potatoes as much as the next yam) I can’t let this riposte pass without defending the jazz xylophone, regret though I may that this puts non-diggers of ‘jazz x’ on track for a depressing end. But why step in front of a train when you can Take the “A Plane” and  go Flying Home….

    If you recognized that “A Plane” was a play on words on Duke Ellington’s “Take The A Train,” give yourself an A+.  Here’s vibraphonist Milt Jackson’s take (the main dif between xylophone and vibraphone: the former has wooden bars, the latter has aluminum bars):

    And, so you’ll have something beautiful to remember when you get home, here is (to quote jazz critic George Simon) “a magnificent xylophonist of exquisite taste,” Red Norvo and His Orchestra with their “smoldering version” of Irving Berlin’s REMEMBER (Red’s solo begins at the 1:16 mark):

    So there you have it: three jazz xylophone/vibraphone masters at their best, bar none.

     

     
    • masercot 2:04 pm on July 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, it’s on, now!

      Wait a minute… no it isn’t…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 3:02 pm on July 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Liked by 1 person

        • masercot 4:58 am on July 22, 2019 Permalink

          Being a Cab Calloway fan, I LOVE that big band sound in the back… How many great vocalists started with vocalist for a big band? I can only think of several…

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 9:05 am on July 22, 2019 Permalink

          The big band in the back is Benny Goodman’s, and the date of the recording is actually 11/22/39, not 1940 as stated on the clip. Bailey’s first gig as a “big band” vocalist was in 1929 with, of all people, Paul Whiteman! Other great “girl” vocalists who started with big bands include Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney and many more. And you probably know that Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, was a big band singer with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey before he went out on his own.

          Liked by 2 people

        • masercot 9:17 am on July 22, 2019 Permalink

          Plus, one of my favorite actresses: Doris Day…

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 12:18 pm on July 22, 2019 Permalink

          My favorite Doris Day film was her first, the all-but-forgotten ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS (1948). If you’ve never seen it, you might want to check TCM’s movie schedule — I last saw it on TCM a few months ago, and it reappears periodically.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 5:27 pm on July 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      • sits back and enjoys the show…*

      Liked by 2 people

    • calmkate 6:41 pm on July 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      what absolutely divine music, loved every clip, thanks heaps Mr M 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:57 pm on July 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Kate. I ‘ll reward your comment with a bit of trivia: The “Peace, Brother!” vocalist in the above clip is Mildred Bailey, who was the wife of Red Norvo of the “Remember” clip (the last clip in my post). Both can be seen in that clip’s photos.

        Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse 6:41 pm on July 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      It’s a close call for me, R.g.,
      but I think I’d just as soon be….

      ….watching all the girls go by
      & giving them the evil – I mean eagle – eye.

      Liked by 4 people

    • blindzanygirl 6:53 pm on July 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for all these mistermuse.

      Liked by 2 people

    • arekhill1 11:28 am on July 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Really enjoyed the MJQ back in the 70’s. If I had stepped in front of a train back then, it was because I was generally baked out of my mind in those days, not depressed.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:35 pm on July 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Hope this brings back some of those good MJQ vibes, Ricardo:

        That’s Milt Hinton, of course, on vibes.

        Like

    • Eliza 4:33 pm on July 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      How can people be so pretentious??
      Enjoy your music 🙂
      Love, light and glitter

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 5:18 pm on July 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Now I am singing “Good Vibrations” even though that was not what you had written. My mind is a jukebox as I said.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Christie 1:46 pm on July 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for the good vibes!! Right back to you, too🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:48 pm on July 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for commenting, Christie. Love, light, glitter, and vibes, coming and going — it’s all good!

        Liked by 1 person

    • mlrover 3:53 pm on July 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Love the Paris gig. It’s always a treat to hear Lionel! After reading through the comments, here’s one of my BB singer favorites, M. Whiting. They all had that amazing, smooth vocal line.

      https://www.bing.com/search?q=margaret+whiting+time+after+time&qs=RI&pq=time+after+time+whiting&sk=AS1&sc=3-23&cvid=B3729409374B474397EB328C2BD88184&FORM=QBLH&sp=2

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:22 pm on July 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the Margaret Whiting clip. She was another of those big band “girl singers” I spoke of in a previous comment — her first hit record was THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC with the Freddie Slack Orchestra in the early 1940s. As you may know, she was one of two daughters of Richard Whiting, one of the best composers of the 1920s-30s, whose song MY IDEAL was Margaret’s second big hit

        There’s another reason I’m glad you commented, as it gives me a chance to refer you to a very funny clip of Randy Rainbow, who you’ve said you like a lot. You will find it among the comments to my next post THINK NOTHING OF IT. Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

        • mlrover 8:31 am on July 29, 2019 Permalink

          My favorite rendition of Old Black Magic is Keely Smith with her husband dancing around her to get a reaction. They were a pair.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 9:30 am on July 29, 2019 Permalink

          I remember that. What a great (and one-of-a-kind) pair!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 5:37 am on August 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Just brilliant! ALL of this! Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:56 am on August 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Never heard of the Proms in London, but the Warner Bros movie music and Duke Ellington evening are ‘right down my alley.’

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ashley 12:25 pm on August 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        It’s mostly “Classical” but they do mix in some others. The Duke Ellington is “sacred” music? That will be something new for me!

        Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 10:24 pm on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      love Norvo’s phrasing. thanks. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 5:16 am on August 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Lionel is awesome and a Quincy admiration!

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Duke Ellington, Irwin Shaw, , , , , silence, whispering   

    THE DEAD HAVE SPOKEN…. 

    There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough. –Irwin Shaw, playwright, screenwriter, novelist and author of Bury The Dead

    The dead have spoken….
    but the living have moved on.
    Hear their voices left in your mind,
    keep their memories in the images
    that are reborn in shared solitude.
    Who among us has not known the haunting fear,
    whispering we might not survive the silence?

     
    • Garfield Hug 12:18 am on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Good share Mistermuse!

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 12:37 am on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Well said Mr. Shaw.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:23 am on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      The living have also spoken — thank you both.

      I started this post without the well-said Shaw quote, then decided it complemented my poem reasonably well, so I welcomed the ‘help’ — especially since I didn’t have to pay for it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry 2:39 am on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Who among us has not known the haunting fear,
      whispering we might not survive the silence?

      *shivers*

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:18 am on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        The warmth and reborn life of approaching spring offer the hope of an alternative to winter’s shivers. At least, that’s what I’d say if I were an optimist (and even sometimes as a poet).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa R. Palmer 11:27 am on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful… compelling… and oddly comforting, knowing we are not alone in grief, sorrow, fear or healing.

      Bravo, mistermuse!! Bravo!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:08 pm on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Lisa, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I say a bravo (or two) can be worth a thousand pictures. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 2:49 pm on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      “The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
      No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
      And makes us rather bear those ills we have
      Than fly to others that we know not of?
      Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,”

      And you thought I’d send you this as the quintessential recording of In My Solitude.

      Ooops I guess I did.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:59 pm on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Don. Shakespeare couldn’t have said it better.

        I’m glad you sent the Billie Holiday recording of SOLITUDE, because I was torn between that one and Duke Ellington’s recording. I finally decided on Duke’s, mainly because he’s the composer.

        Like

    • tref 4:24 pm on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Two great songs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:19 pm on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Tref. WHISPERING is a real oldie dating back to 1920, when Paul Whiteman’s recording became hugely popular and propelled him and his orchestra to fame. The Comedian Harmonists (a German vocal group) rendition is typical of their very appealing style. Unfortunately several members of the group were Jewish, and after Hitler came into power….well, I highly recommend a 1997 film which tells their story. Here’s an excerpt from the movie:

        Liked by 1 person

    • tref 5:38 pm on February 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Moreover, I have just added the Comedians version to my playlist. Thanks, MM!

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on April 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Duke Ellington, , , , Sophisticated Lady   

    THE DUKE AND THE COUNT 

    Contrary to what the above title may suggest, this post is not a narrative of two nabobs of European nobility in medieval times. Rather, it’s about two giants of jazz royalty in Big Band-era America: one whose birthday, and the other whose expiration day, occurred last week. I refer to Duke Ellington (born 4/29/1899) and Count Basie (died 4/26/1984).

    If you’re of a certain age, no doubt you’ve heard of them, but unless you’re a pre-rock jazz buff, that’s probably the extent of it. Permit me, then, to introduce you to these musical titans of yesteryear, and to a sampling of their legacy.  After all, it’s not every day that you get to meet a Duke and a Count.

    I could get carried away with all there is to say about the former, but in the interest of not getting carried away, I will confine my remarks mainly to this quote:

    Ellington has often credited his sidemen with the success of his band. But those who knew Duke and his music best — and this includes those very sidemen — will invariably tell you that what set Ellington’s apart is just one thing: the brilliant conductor-composer-arranger-pianist-bon vivant and leader of men, Duke Ellington himself. –George Simon (from his book, THE BIG BANDS)

    Here are two of the Duke’s many compositions, the first from the 1930 film CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK, and the second from a European tour decades later:

    Let us now turn to that other distinguished composer-pianist-band leader, Count Basie, whose talents weren’t as multifaceted as the Duke, but whose orchestra likewise outlasted the end of the Big Band era. Quoting George Simon one more time:

    For several years [after] the days of the big bands, Basie didn’t do well, and he was forced to cut down his group to a sextet. But then he made a comeback and, aided greatly by support from Frank Sinatra, who helped him get lucrative bookings in Las Vegas and appeared with him in a series of successful concerts, the Basie band [again] rode high. 

     Let’s jump to a conclusion with this swinging rendition (especially the last seventy seconds) of Basie’s own composition and theme song:

     
    • calmkate 12:15 am on April 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      wow wow wow … two royal heroes of mine, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    • GP Cox 6:42 am on April 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      They help represent an era of outstanding music!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 9:39 am on April 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Had quite the jazz collection myself in my misspent youth, Sr. Muse, because it was my favorite music to listen to when I was completely baked on hashish. Nowadays not so much, but with cannabis legal here in CA, who knows? I may rebuild it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:28 pm on April 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I have so many records in my collection that I’m beginning to think I overdid it, Ricardo, so my advice (if you “rebuild”) is Don’t get carried away, or when they carry you away, you’ll leave your heirs to decide the collection’s fate (which will probably be the trash bin).

        Like

    • Carmen 3:42 pm on April 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Just lovely tunes!! You have exquisite taste in music! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:36 pm on April 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Carmen, if you think I have excellent taste in music, you should see my pet rock collection. It rocks! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:51 am on May 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’m pretty sure everyone whether they realize it or not everyone is very familiar with the music these men created, even if they don’t realize where it comes from. That’s how ingrained in our culture it is.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:12 am on May 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I hope you’re right, Don. We all need to know where we came from, if for no other reason than to realize that everything is built on a foundation of what was there before us.

      Like

    • milliethom 2:20 pm on May 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’m certainly of ‘a certain age’ (meaning getting a bit long in the tooth) Mr M, and had certainly heard of these two musicians and some of their pieces. But I hadn’t realised just how talented they both were, so it was interesting to find out a little more about them here. Great choice of videos.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:49 pm on May 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Millie. I think you can tell how much Duke Ellington loved his craft by the title of his autobiography: MUSIC IS MY MISTRESS. Count Basie’s autobio, on the other hand, bore the title of one of his hit records:

        Like

    • ComputerBook 5:50 am on May 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      ! I think you can tell how much Duke Ellington loved his craft by the title of his autobiography: MUSIC IS MY MISTRESS.

      Liked by 1 person

    • geo. raymond 1:46 am on May 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      In ’83 Count Basie did a show at my school & I didn’t go. That is something I will just have to live with.

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 12:35 am on May 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      2 giants! continue…

      Liked by 1 person

    • MG WELLS 6:13 pm on July 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Love the DUKE and your blog. Something for everyone. Enjoy and best wishes to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:50 pm on July 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, and all good wishes to you as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Charles de Gaulle, Duke Ellington, falsehoods, golf, , , , Julie Andrews, , , LOVE IS WHERE YOU FIND IT, Michelangelo, , , , , ,   

    02/20 VISION 

    In the tumult of men and events, solitude was my temptation; now it is my friend. What other satisfaction can be sought once you have confronted History? –Charles de Gaulle

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Indeed.  Where else but in my solitude can equilibrium’s vision be sought (much less found), if the following selection of February 20 events from “confronted History” is representative of “the tumult of men and events”:

    1513 Pope Julius II (aka The Fearsome Pope and The Warrior Pope) died and was laid to rest in a huge tomb sculptured by Michelangelo [In those days, Catholic artists regarded such Popes as ‘Patron’ Saints] 

    1839 U.S. Congress prohibits dueling in the District of Columbia [What a bad idea this turned out to be, given that since then, no one in D.C. has had a clue how to better resolve differences]

    1907 President Theodore Roosevelt signed an immigration act which excluded “idiots, imbeciles, feebleminded persons, epileptics, and insane  persons” from being admitted to the U.S. [Unfortunately, there has not been a comparable act excluding such persons from becoming politicians]

    1909 F.T. Marinetti, Italian poet, published the first Futurist Manifesto in the Paris newspaper Le Figaro and in Venice, including the statement “We want to glorify war – the only cure for the world.” [Evidently a utopian exception to “The cure is worse than the disease”]

    1927 Golfers in South Carolina were arrested for violating the Sabbath [Talk about playing a-round!]  

    1933 Congress completed action on an amendment to repeal Prohibition in the U.S. [and “I’ll drink to that!” rang out across the land]

    1942 Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, was born [Coincidentally, the cartoon character Pruneface premiered (in a Dick Tracy comic strip) the same year]

    1996 Gangsta rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg acquitted of murder in 1993 shooting of alleged gang member [Draw your own conclusions]

    2002 The Pentagon stated that its recently created “Office of Strategic Influence” would not spread falsehoods in the media to advance U.S. war goals. Office was shut down six days later (Feb. 26) [Apparently the bummed guy in this snapshot was the last to get the message]:

    Love’s labor lost. Lament in SOLITUDE. But despair not. It seems that Love, like the passions and madness of history, is where you — and a buoyantly young Julie Andrews — find it. So don’t be [Venetian] blind, it’s/all around you/everywhere.

     

     

     
    • scifihammy 5:45 am on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Very funny! 🙂
      And what a lovely old recording of Julie Andrews. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 10:29 am on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      For the foreseeable future, Sr, Muse, despite my wish to honor Snoop Dogg and the repeal of Prohibition, February 20th will be Not My President’s Day over here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:28 am on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Actually, I think all (not just two) of the enumerated events which occurred in history on Feb. 20 are too sacred to profane by celebrating President’s Day on the same day. But not to worry — I expect The Donald to prevail upon Congress to move President’s Day to June 14 (his birthday).

        Like

    • BroadBlogs 5:22 pm on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Indeed!!!

      “1907 President Theodore Roosevelt signed an immigration act which excluded “idiots, imbeciles, feebleminded persons, epileptics, and insane persons” from being admitted to the U.S. [Unfortunately, there has not been a comparable act excluding such persons from becoming politicians]”

      Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 9:40 am on February 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As they would say on Game of Thrones Feb 20th was “a day of days”. I think that’s what they say. But I do feel for the guy who got fired there. I was a government employee and trust me no one cared and then you realize it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 2:43 pm on February 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I have no doubt that you could pick any day of the year at random, and that date in history would yield similar “bummer” examples — many even worse than Feb. 20 (by the same token, any date would have many examples of beneficial feats — not to mention hands and other body parts). I guess that helps explain what makes the world go ’round, and why the spin makes us dizzy.

      Like

    • D. Wallace Peach 2:49 pm on February 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I love your wry commentary, despite how depressing some of it is. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 3:29 pm on May 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Duke Ellington, , , ,   

    MAY 23 IS INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY 

    Although it is tempting to sum up the classic jazz era of 1917-32 with a few major names (Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Earl Hines, Duke Ellington, etc.), there were many other important contributors. The classic jazz era was one of dizzying innovation and breakthrough. –Scott Yanow, jazz writer

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I am a classic jazz lover, pure and simple — which does not mean I love classic jazz exclusively. On the contrary, I’ve enjoyed the best of various types of music over the decades. But, considering the noisome state of what has been popular of late, I’m glad I was born early enough to appreciate the difference between music and noise. Thus, these poems on this day:

    COUNTERFEIT NOTES

    The things that pass
    for music these days.

    OUTDATED

    I could tell you what it
    was like in those days,
    but you had to live it
    to appreciate it, and why
    should you give a damn?
    I wasn’t born yesterday.

    The destiny of every
    generation is to become
    irrelevant to the next.
    You may save its music for
    your collection of coming
    tomorrows, its sounds
    long died in the past, but
    when you go, so too
    goes the living ghost
    of the world you knew.

    WHEN JAZZ WAS JAZZ

    Listen —
    You can’t get
    there from here.

    May 23 also happens to be the birthday of all-time great clarinetist ARTIE SHAW, who was born in 1910 and played with many jazz/dance bands beginning in 1926. In 1936, he formed his own group, which evolved into one of the leading bands of the swing era. He also composed a number of fine songs, including LOVE OF MY LIFE (lyrics by Johnny Mercer) and ANY OLD TIME (which his band recorded in July 1938 with Billie Holiday as vocalist). That same recording session produced his biggest hit:

     
    • arekhill1 12:00 pm on May 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hope you enjoyed Jazz Day by playing your favorites, Sr. Muse.

      Like

    • mistermuse 4:13 pm on May 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Gracias, Ricardo. Artie Shaw’s rendition of “Begin the Beguine” IS one of my favorites, and I played it several times.

      Like

      • Michaeline Montezinos 8:26 pm on May 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        My husband and I may not be of your generation, mistermuse. However, we both enjoy listening to jazz and swing songs. Why? We were born just after World War II and we watched those movies on the television. “Begin the Beguine” with Artie Shaw is one of my favorites. too. Nothing can compare to the music of Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong to name a few. I have some CDs with some of these great songs on them. I play them when I am “In The Mood.”

        Like

    • mistermuse 9:45 pm on May 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Having been born in 1936, swing was the music I grew up listening to. Even though it went out of fashion by the late 1940s, it – and the classic jazz era it came from – remain unsurpassed….which is not to say there hasn’t been “a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on” since then.

      Like

    • MĂ©l@nie 9:54 am on May 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      it was celebrated in France, too… btw, have you ever been to New Orleans=Nouvelle OrlĂ©ans?… 🙂 we went there several times while in Houston, TX for 5 years… oh, speakin’ of ARTIE SHAW, the French would read it “artichaut” = artichoke… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:46 am on May 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve been to New Orleans as a child on one of my parent’s many trips, but I was too young to remember it. Unfortunately, I’ve never returned.

      Artie Shaw’s greatest clarinet rival back in the day was Benny Goodman, which I assume the French would read as Benny Bonhomme. 😩

      Like

      • MĂ©l@nie 7:56 am on May 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        they’re both appreciated and respected in France, just like Woody Allen… 🙂 Benny Goodman is correctly pronounced with a slight French intonation.

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 10:44 am on May 29, 2015 Permalink

          In America, we classic jazz/swing lovers appreciate and respect French guitarist Django Reinhardt, one of the great jazz instrumentalists of all time.

          Like

    • Don Frankel 3:59 pm on May 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Just remember Muse only the great stuff endures. If you listened to everything from any era there would be a lot of junk.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:17 pm on May 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Well, when it comes to classic jazz of 80-90 years ago, a lot of the great stuff only endures to a relative few of us, and some of it was never recorded and endures only in the witness of those who heard it at the time and testified to it. But I agree that every era produces its share of junk.

      Like

  • mistermuse 1:32 pm on May 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cyd Charisse, , Duke Ellington, , If I Didn't Care, , , Les Brown, , Modernaires, Nat King Cole Dorothy Dandridge, Ricardo Montalban, , , Stan Kenton   

    SOUNDIES — THE SEQUEL 

    For those who watched the Jukebox Saturday Night clip in my first SOUNDIES post and may not be familiar with The Ink Spots (the great 1930s-40s vocal quartet which was so humorously spoofed by the Modernaires in that clip), here is a clip of “the real thing”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvwfLe6sLis

    When the previously mentioned James Roosevelt became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1941, Tin Pan Alley great Sam Coslow (composer of many 1930s-40s hit songs) took charge of Soundies operations. As Coslow tells it in his autobiography COCKTAILS FOR TWO:

    “Panoram was a glorified juke box that ran films instead of records. Roosevelt decided to find someone who could produce a regular program of short musical films [and] decided that my background was right for the post. I had twelve years experience with musicals, writing songs and special material, recording and scoring, and, more recently, producing a feature film.”
    “Jimmy’s office was down the hall from mine in the Goldwyn studios, and we had a number of talks. He finally arranged for me to fly to Chicago to meet with [the] president of the Mills outfit. We agreed to set up a new production company called Roosevelt, Coslow and Mills, Inc., later shortened to R.C.M., Inc.”
    “I was named as production head….to turn out three shorts a week in Hollywood, plus another three a week at a studio in New York. One of the first things we did was a series with Louis Armstrong. At first I played it safe by using established musical names who happened to be around Hollywood or New York. Besides Armstrong, I hired Duke Ellington & his Orchestra, Spike Jones, and bands like Les Brown’s and Stan Kenton’s.”
    “What was more notable about the talent used in the Soundies, however, was an array of great performers who were destined to become top names in the entertainment world.  Like Doris Day, for instance….Nat King Cole….Cyd Charisse….Dorothy Dandridge….Gale Storm….Ricardo Montalban….Liberace.”
    “The concept of seeing as well as hearing popular performers had great novelty value for audiences of the day. Television was still in its experimental stage, and Soundies had the same kind of exotic appeal. The machine even makes a gag appearance in a Hollywood feature film, Hi Diddle Diddle (1943).”
    “But the machine was no joke to movie theater owners. People were spending their dimes in the Panoram, not at the box office. Theater operators banded together to combat the movie-machine menace. Several states proposed severe licensing and taxation measures to discourage the proliferation of film jukeboxes. Fortunately for Panoram owners, the proposed legislation was tabled upon the outbreak of World War II.”

    I could of course go on “Soundie-ing off,” but I need to wrap this up sooner or later, and found a clip that does so nicely:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeSlF2VDck8

     

     
    • Don Frankel 6:41 pm on May 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      When I started to read part one, I’m thinking James Roosevelt Marine Raider? Yup that was him.

      Now I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of Soundies. I know I’ve seen a lot of them but I never knew much about them. You’ve uncovered another gem. Great article.

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:35 pm on May 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Don.
      My large collection of old books often proves invaluable when writing on a subject such as Soundies, providing more material than I could ever find online. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love it when that happens, because I can pass along interesting, little known story-behind-the-story stuff to readers who might appreciate it, such as yourself.

      Like

c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel