Tagged: Golden Age of popular music Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Au Revoir, , , , , , Golden Age of popular music, , , Rodgers and Hart,   


    When I was writing about lyricist DOROTHY FIELDS and composer BERNICE PETKERE in my previous post (TWO TO GO), I had no thought of using it as a segue to this post ….but that was before I discovered that tomorrow is the birthday of a music man who sang at least a half dozen of Fields’ 1930s songs, including ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET (sung in the previous post by Diana Krall), not to mention the Petkere song CLOSE YOUR EYES (sung in the same post by that very man). They called him Al.

    The ‘another-world-ago’ Al is this world’s forgotten man, except by a relative handful of Golden Age music devotees around the world (primarily in America and Great Britain). His name was ALBERT ALICK BOWLLY (Jan 7, 1899-Apr. 17, 1941), heard here in a recording of a Dorothy Fields/Jerome Kern song from the film JOY OF LIVING:

    Did you notice from the above dates that Bowlly had his life taken from him at a relatively young age? This was the tragic result of a WW II German air raid (one of many) on London in the early 1940s. But while he lived, who was this troubadour they called Al?

    Away from the bandstand he was a vagabond. He was a jazz mad musical nomad who traveled from his childhood home, South Africa, to London and all stops between in search of musical perfection with whatever band would have him. He plied his trade as a guitarist, a banjo, concertina and ukulele player, a pianist and occasional singer of songs. He took America by storm. The story of his musical meanderings, highs and lows, could only have happened in the thirties. –Roy Hudd, British author, comedian, actor, and expert on the history of music hall entertainment

    Listening to Diana Krall in the previous post — as well as CLOSE YOUR EYES vocalist Al Bowlly — we are taken by their way with a song, their Joy of Living the songs they sang…. as further evidenced by this rendition of the Rodgers and Hart classic, BLUE MOON:

    Here is one of his few appearances on film:

    For those interested in learning more of the story of Bowlly’s nomadic life, there’s an excellent bio called THEY CALLED HIM AL, by Ray Pallett, with Forward by Roy Hudd. As for this go-around, we’ve come to the last dance — it’s time to call it a day. I bid you a reluctant Au Revoir.



    • Don Ostertag 1:11 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      He was so good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:44 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Some thought of him as the British Bing Crosby. I think he had a better feel for a song than Bing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:30 pm on January 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Early in his career (up to about the mid 1930s), Bing sang with a jazz feel and what you might call soul, but after that, he was a different and very ordinary singer, in my opinion. If you listen to his early 1930s recordings and then his 1940s (and later) recordings, you wouldn’t think it’s the same singer. Bowlly’s style didn’t change, and he was the better for it.

        Liked by 2 people

    • calmkate 2:46 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      good looking and talented, beats Bing hands down, no competition!

      Blue moon bought back some good memories … like these little meanders with you thanks MrM 🙂


      • mistermuse 7:40 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        In my opinion, no one has ever sung BLUE MOON better than Al Bowlly. I never tire of listening to it.

        Liked by 3 people

        • calmkate 5:35 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink

          oh I’ve heard a very heart wrenching version by four drunks in Broken Hill … that was very surreal 🙂


        • mistermuse 7:01 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink

          Well, that answers the riddle of how many drunks does it take to make a quartet, but not how many quarts does it take to make the four drunk. In Broken Hill, they probably drink their liquor by the gallon.


    • scifihammy 7:25 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely light voice. 🙂 I love how they could actually Sing in those days!! 😀


      • mistermuse 8:07 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Not only that, scifi, but for the most part, they had better songs to sing. In general, the music world of Fields, Kern, Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers and Hart, etc., has been largely replaced by a world of juvenile noise calling itself music — a culture without culture. A world that doesn’t know any better.

        Liked by 4 people

    • masercot 7:51 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      It’s a shame. He had a nice voice…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:12 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        A shame indeed. Makes one wonder whether, if he hadn’t been killed by one of Hitler’s bombs, his popularity would have continued after the war years (like Bing Crosby’s did) into the 1950s.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Wistful Nostalgic 1:05 am on July 20, 2020 Permalink

          Oh he sure would have! Think of the era of the singers in the 1940s. Al’s voice was perfect for all the standards that came after the 1930s.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Rivergirl 9:06 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I love those scratchy old recordings… never heard of Al though. Thanks for the introduction.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:34 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Maybe you can prevail upon husband to find and bring home to you some scratchy old records and an antique phonograph to play them on when he goes on his “treasure hunts,” Rg. It strikes me that he “owes you one” after all the old contraptions and doohickeys he buys for himself!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Rivergirl 1:09 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink

          As much as I appreciate the thought?
          No more old stuff!


        • mistermuse 3:11 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink


          I hope you will make an exception for me, Rg, because even though I’m old stuff, what would you do without my puns to blighten — I mean BRIGHTEN — your day?


    • Ashley 12:23 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Goodness! Al Bowlly! How could anyone forget that wonderful voice. I wasn’t born until 1950 so it must have been in the b&w movies they showed on Sunday afternoons on the television that I heard him sing! The tunes and the voices have never left me! Thanks Mr. M. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:42 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Ashley. I’m beginning to believe that more people remember Al Bowlly than I thought. Maybe it’s like the song says: AU REVOIR, BUT NOT GOODBYE.

        Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 7:54 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I never heard of Al Bowlly so it was very enjoyable to read your post and listen to the music. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 5:27 pm on January 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      He was new to me, but I loved the film singing of “The Very Thought of You.” I imagine my grandfather, lover of all songs on records, probably listened to him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza 12:01 pm on January 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Happy new year! I hope this year brings good things your way…
      Love, light and glitter


    • mistermuse 10:49 pm on January 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Eliza, if you’ll Google “al bowlly looking on the bright side youtube”, there are several clips of the recording to choose from. That should take care of it, but if not, let me know. Thanks.


    • barkinginthedark 12:39 am on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      so wonderful MM…a joy. thanks. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 3:52 pm on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’d never hear of Al Bowlly before, but thanks to you I’m an instant fan! Loved the footage of him – he has a surprising amount of charisma on film.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:51 pm on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I appreciate your comment, SS, which leads me to believe that more Al Bowlly would be good for you — so here he is with the Ray Noble Orchestra, singing IT’S BAD FOR ME:

        Liked by 2 people

        • Silver Screenings 11:38 pm on January 19, 2020 Permalink

          Thank you for this. I’ve spent the past 40+ minutes listening to Al Bowlley, especially his rendition of “Heart & Soul”, which I listened to 3-4 times in a row. A wonderful way to end the weekend. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

        • Wistful Nostalgic 1:07 am on July 20, 2020 Permalink

          I love this song!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Wistful Nostalgic 1:14 am on July 20, 2020 Permalink

          There can never be too much Al! 😉 He’s a great way to start the day, and to end the day.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Wistful Nostalgic 1:06 am on July 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Oh he sure did! His magnetic charisma and charming personality just shines on the Pathe clip.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Wistful Nostalgic 1:13 am on July 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I love your post on Al. He is my favourite singer of all time. He was THE voice of the 20th century. I’m 52 , so he was from my Grandad’s era, but it feels my “true” era. Al was unique; nobody sounds like him; he’s got a voice of liquid gold. I especially love “Oh Mister Moon”, “Red Sails In The Sunset”, “Maybe It’s Because”, “My Woman”, and “You’re My Thrill”. But there are many more I love too. I listen to his music every day!

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:23 am on July 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. I have dozens of his albums, including those of bands (such as Ray Noble and Lew Stone) on which Al is the vocalist. Have you ever heard of Joey Nash? Some say he was the American Al Bowlly. Here he is in 1934 as a vocalist with Richard Himber’s Orchestra:

      P.S. Do you have a WordPress blog? As far as I can find, you’re only on Instagram, but I’m only on WordPress.


  • mistermuse 12:01 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: First day of Spring, Golden Age of popular music, , , , , , Robet Louis Stevenson, , , spring cleaning,   


    There’s something bad in everything good: when spring comes, can spring cleaning be far behind? — Evan Esar

    Spring has come, but in my sequestered domain, this doesn’t mean spring cleaning must follow. Though my closets be crammed and my drawers be loaded — make that cluttered — I’ll have no problem leaving spring cleaning far behind (even if others stink otherwise).

    Now, I’m not saying that spring cleaning doesn’t have its place. For example, it might be worth the bother if you’re young and in love:

    Speaking of “young love,” how old do you think the above song is? If you guessed it dates back to the ‘Golden Age’ of popular music (1920s, 30s, 40s), welcome to one of my happy places. If you’re thinking I’m clinging to the best of those romantic old songs out of naught but nostalgia, nothing could be further from the youth — my guileless youth that Father Time gradually re-placed. But suppose the mature me were unable to relate to the ever-young work of, say, Twain, Stevenson and Swift — it wouldn’t be that their writing has become outdated.  I would simply have lost the capacity to appreciate its timelessness.

    In like manner, whether it be seen as ‘gilding the lily’ of youth or burnishing the harmony of maturity, I still think of the oldies as younger than springtime….and on that note, I’ll tune out:


    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 3:35 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      My happy place too . What every happened to harmony — and words you could understand – and “girl singers” who sang without belting out most of the song – dressed, even? But don’t think its because I’m growing old. I’ve said the same thing since I was in my 30s.

      But I’m with you – and Quentin Quisp – on spring cleaning, “There is no need to do any housework at all. After four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.”

      Another one from him (Naked Civil Servant):
      “Keeping up with the Joneses was a full-time job with my mother and father. It was not until many years later when I lived alone that I realized how much cheaper it was to drag the Joneses down to my level.”
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:53 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I like the quotes. As for “girl singers belting out most of the song” — that wasn’t unheard of (get it? — ha ha) in the ‘old days.’ Remember Ethel Merman, for example? She wasn’t one of my favs, but she was definitely loud (and dressed)! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 4:47 am on March 21, 2017 Permalink

          Good point. I guess I was thinking more of the singers who fronted the Big Bands. I never was sure if Merman was actually “singing” lol – but that voice was perfect for Broadway, and she could certainly sell a number like nobody else. And I do like some of the female performers today – just not as much as I loved the ones from the 30s-40s-50s (even as a teen in the 60s).

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 10:21 am on March 21, 2017 Permalink

          Merman may have been the loudest, but she wasn’t the earliest girl singer who belted out songs. One of the first (and probably most well known) pre-Merman belters was Sophie Tucker, heard here in in a 1926 recording of her most famous song:


    • Don Frankel 6:32 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Can I say The Girls From Mars, they send me? But Spring cleaning is in the same league as New Year’s Resolutions as it much talked about but seldom accomplished.

      Richard Rogers what a treasure.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:08 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I thought girls were supposed to be from Venus, men from Mars. But “supposed to be” is no longer in the stars — girls can be from wherever they want to be, and more power to them! And you’re right about Spring cleaning and New Year’s Resolutions.

        Richard Rodgers is indeed a treasure, and Oscar Hammerstein ain’t bad either (though I’m more partial to Rodgers’ original lyricist partner, Lorenz Hart).


    • Carmen 6:34 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great tunes, Mr. Muse! As soon as I started listening to the second one, I thought, “I’ve heard that guy before!” Sure enough, he does “Bring Him Home” (Les Mis)

      First day of spring here and – what do you know! – school is cancelled. (I think for the 13th day since December) Icy roads, apparently! Means I’m on my 3rd cup of coffee. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:19 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the heads up about Isaac Benelli. I couldn’t place him despite the fact he has such a beautiful voice that he must have been on Broadway. I need to start paying more attention to today’s (and not just yesterday’s) Broadway scene!


    • scifihammy 7:21 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You can’t beat these old well written and well sung songs. 🙂
      Enjoy your Springtime – the cleaning can wait! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:27 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. This must be the start of fall where you are in South Africa, so to return the favor, I’ll say Enjoy your autumn — the leaf raking can wait! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • scifihammy 11:04 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink

          Oh for sure the leaf raking can wait. And if I wait long enough, a good wind will blow it all away! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 11:22 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Living in the Golden State, as well as during my time in Hawaii, cleaning can be accomplished any time of year. When the filth and dreck of one’s home becomes too much to tolerate even when drunk, it is subject to scouring no matter the season.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carmen 11:33 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Geez, I’d love to see my husband THAT drunk. . . 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:55 pm on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Some might say your attitude lowers the standard in ‘standard of living,’ Ricardo, but as long as you can get to the beer in the fridge without undue difficulty, it seems like a workable concept to me.


    • D. Wallace Peach 10:10 am on March 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’m with you about leaving Spring cleaning in the dust! 🙂 Thanks for the tunes!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:27 am on March 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Diana. I like your “cleaning in the dust” pun so much that I can’t wipe the smile off my face! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • inesephoto 5:54 pm on March 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Something beautiful to brighten my day is always available on your blog 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:15 pm on March 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Any and all appreciation is always appreciated (and your blog will likewise have a brightening effect on any reader who wishes to check it out). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 9:33 pm on March 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Spring renewal! Yay!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Little Monster Girl 10:08 pm on March 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi mistermuse! Would you like to answer questions with me on my weekly Friendly Chat on my blog? I’m going to post it in a short while.I get the questions from Cee’s Share Your World and I share my answers every week with another blogger, and I’d like you to do it this week if you like! 😀 Here’s the questions for this week: https://ceenphotography.com/2017/03/20/share-your-world-march-20-2017/

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:28 am on March 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Many thanks for thinking of me, but due to very limited time (not to mention computer skills), I don’t feel I can commit to such an undertaking for the foreseeable future. Please accept my regrets and apologies.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , EMBRACEABLE YOU, George Gershwin, Golden Age of popular music, , , , , , , Paul Whiteman, Rhapsody In Blue, Roaring 20s, theme songs, ,   


    As we have noted, out of the cacophony and babble of pre-WWI Tin Pan Alley came the Roaring Twenties and the Jazz Age (not to mention Prohibition, 1920-33). If any one song could be said to capture the pulse (and become the anthem) of this dynamic cultural shift, it has to be George Gershwin’s RHAPSODY IN BLUE, written in 1924 and heard (in part) here at the outset of Woody Allen’s paean of a movie to a place called MANHATTAN:

    RHAPSODY IN BLUE was commissioned by band leader Paul Whiteman and introduced to the world by his orchestra (with Gershwin himself at the piano) at NYC’s Aeolian Hall on Feb. 12, 1924. It subsequently served as Whiteman’s theme song — theme songs being a virtual prerequisite for big bands and dance bands of the 1930s. One ‘whiff’ of a familiar opening theme song immediately identified a band to radio listeners, and set the stage for a band’s performances at ballrooms, dance halls and other venues wherever they played.

    There were literally hundreds of bands big and small, sweet and swing, hot and not, in the decade leading up to WW II. Of these, I’ll list 40 whose theme songs were (in my opinion) well chosen or well known, followed by your match-the-band-with-the-theme-song quiz (just kidding; that would be like s’posin’* I could match today’s artists with their hit songs — forgeddabouddit!). So just rest easy and enjoy the clips of a few selections from the list.

    Gus Arnheim — SWEET AND LOVELY
    Count Basie — ONE O’CLOCK JUMP
    Bunny Berrigan — I CAN’T GET STARTED
    Billy Butterfield — WHAT’S NEW?
    Cab Calloway — MINNIE THE MOOCHER
    Sonny Dunham — MEMORIES OF YOU

    Duke Ellington — TAKE THE ‘A’ TRAIN
    Skinnay Ennis — GOT A DATE WITH AN ANGEL
    Ted Fio Rito — RIO RITA
    Benny Goodman — LET’S DANCE
    Glen Gray — SMOKE RINGS
    Johnny Green — HELLO, MY LOVER, GOODBYE
    Bobby Hackett — EMBRACEABLE YOU

    Lionel Hampton — FLYIN’ HOME
    Coleman Hawkins — BODY AND SOUL
    Ina Ray Hutton — GOTTA HAVE YOUR LOVE
    Jack Hylton — SHE SHALL HAVE MUSIC
    Harry James — CIRIBIRIBIN
    Little Jack Little — LITTLE BY LITTLE
    Guy Lombardo — AULD LANG SYNE
    Wingy Manone — ISLE OF CAPRI
    Johnny Messner — CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS
    Eddie Miller — LAZY MOOD (sung here by Johnny Mercer with Eddie Miller’s band)

    Lucky Millender — RIDE, RED, RIDE
    Vaughn Monroe — RACING WITH THE MOON
    Buddy Rogers — MY BUDDY
    Fred Waring — SLEEP

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    • S’POSIN’ was a 1929 hit song; it is, of course, a ‘traction (contraction) of SUPPOSING


    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 12:59 pm on November 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      A bittersweet stroll through the streets of MY town, no offense to Woody – no matter where I find myself subsequently.

      I fondly recall memories from so many of the places in the first video:
      the Empire Diner, Lincoln Center, the garment district, riding the tram to Roosevelt Island one particularly romantic date night, Radio City (especially their Christmas spectacular, complete with live camels and donkeys), Washington Square Park, the Fulton Fish Market (that turned into practically a lower Manhattan theme park for yuppies from the financial district), a million storefronts that made shopping almost a small town pleasure, the wonder of fireworks over the metropolis every 4th of July and New Year’s Eve — and views of the skyline that brought tears to my eyes.

      The Lester Lanin Orchestra was alive and kicking during my 20 years there, bringing back the golden days of an earlier time when folks danced to Big Bands non-stop and cheek to cheek – tho’ mostly to upper class events, debutante balls and fund-raising spectaculars like Night of a Thousand Stars.

      OH how I miss it! Thanks for bringing this post to my attention. I added a link here in my response to your comment, so that others might easily jump over to read. If you write other posts related to my content, I will approve your link – so leave us one, okay?
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
      – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse 5:23 pm on November 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for taking time to share your Manhattan memories. I’ve never been a big fan of society orchestras, but I believe Lester Lanin was considered the most successful of yesteryear’s society bandleaders. His brother, Howard Lanin, also led a band which played top society dates. Another popular society orchestra was that of Emil Coleman, who played at the Waldorf-Astoria for years.

      Thanks also for the link to my post and the invitation to post future links if related to your content. I will try to keep that offer in my “Memories of You.” 🙂


    • linnetmoss 7:10 am on November 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I had forgotten about that ravishing beginning to the Woody Allen film “Manhattan.” I’ve got a compilation CD set of music from his films- some of the best music you’ll ever hear! Including a few of these “sweet” bands.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:16 am on November 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I think of sweet bands apart from the society orchestras I mentioned in my previous comment, although I suppose it could be considered a distinction without a difference, as they say. Actually I have a fair number of 78 rpm records of sweet bands in my collection, including Guy Lombardo and Jan Garber. Some of the old sweet bands started out on the hot side but evolved into sweet bands in order to survive.

      As for the music from Woody Allen films, I couldn’t agree more!


    • arekhill1 12:54 pm on November 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I heard a story about Minnie the Moocher once. To the best of my recollection, she was a low-down hootchie-coocher.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:01 pm on November 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      ….and she had to take a Cab to get anywhere. And where did she go? She went thataway, Calloway! But enough of my pun-nonsense — here’s Minnie:

      Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 7:56 am on November 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      The first one I thought of was Bob Hope and thanks for the memories but everyone used to have a theme song. And, who doesn’t want one?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:48 am on November 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I definitely would’ve included Bob Hope and his theme song in the list if he had a band….but your question got me to thinking what I would choose for a theme song, and I think this one pretty much says it for me:


    • literaryeyes 4:57 pm on November 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Manhattan memories come back to me often. When I lived near Broadway and Times Square, I’d walk through and think of the Roaring 20s and Damon Runyon, Mae West, Lindy’s, and feel that vibe. I’d sense the notes of that time were still there, echoing down Shubert and Tin Pan Alley.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:00 pm on November 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for that evocative comment. Your “Manhattan memories” suggest to me another Gershwin tune for YOUR theme song: “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.” 🙂


    • moorezart 8:21 am on November 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:17 pm on November 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. I attempted to reblog your latest post from your ART OF QUOTATION blog, but my computer/internet skills are woefully inadequate, and after doing the best I could, it didn’t appear the way I intended. Since I’m not up to the task of getting it right, I will delete the reblog of your post with my apologies.

        Liked by 1 person

        • moorezart 12:30 am on November 30, 2016 Permalink

          No problem and I understand. Sorry for the technical difficulties. I’ve actually had similar issues at times. when reblogged from ArtofQuotation it SHOULD have worked. But I think the reblog feature on my personal artist blog Moorezart.Wordpress is turned off. In any event I’m glad you liked the post. Also I just wanted to let you know I greatly enjoy reading your blog! – Douglas

          Liked by 1 person

    • moorezart 8:26 am on November 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Cherries on Top of a Hot Fudge Sundae – That’s What Your Post Titles Are. As Usual a Real Treat

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:12 pm on November 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for that delicious compliment. This calls for a song which complements your comment:


    • quirkywritingcorner 8:45 pm on December 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
      I’ve always loved Rhapsody in Blue!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:03 pm on December 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you!
      Rhapsody in Blue?
      Me too.


    • geo. raymond 11:20 pm on August 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      “When it’s sleepy-time down south” has been on my playlist these past couple weeks. “I can’t get started” is one of my all time favorites. Brilliant Berrigan solo.

      Liked by 1 person

    • geo. raymond 11:25 pm on August 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Rhapsody In Blue is like nothing else in the world. Gershwin left us way too soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:18 am on August 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Absolutely right on both counts (and I don’t mean Basie)!

        Gershwin and Bunny Berrigan both left us way too soon — as did another B.B., Bix Beiderbecke, who (next to Louis Armstrong) was the greatest cornet player of the 1920s. Like Berrigan, Bix was an alcoholic and left a legacy of classic jazz recordings before he died in 1931 at the age of 28.

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 1:01 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Eddie Cantor, Golden Age of popular music, , , , Margaret Whiting. Bob Hope, , , , records, Richard Whiting, , World War I, World War II   


    Now that the madness of America’s interminable election season is over, it’s time to get back to the saner things in life. It has been a while since I devoted an entire post to a subject which is right down my (Tin Pan) Alley, namely the Golden Age of Popular Music (between WWI and WWII). I assume that, unlike me, few (if any) of you were alive during that era….but, since I feel reasonably certain you wouldn’t miss that opportunity again if you had the chance, I forgive you for such a lamentable shortcoming.

    Speaking of lament-able, I’ll start with a song written toward the end of the era by a 15 year old wunderkind, Mel TormĂ©, who went on to decades-long fame as a jazz vocalist:

    For those who are unfamiliar with the term TIN PAN ALLEY, I quote excerpts from a 1975 book of that title by researcher Ian Whitcomb about the beginnings of pop music:
    The name “Tin Pan Alley” applied to the railroad flats around 28th and Broadway in NYC where the music publishing houses were clustered. Around the 1890’s a canny bunch of businessmen, keenly aware of the new mass-market created by the Industrial Revolution, decided to manufacture songs. They fed theaters and parlors, cafes and dance halls with their wares. By 1910 The Alleymen had pushed hundreds of songs into million-selling sheets. These tall piano copies, fronted with colored art-work and spotted with ads for other songs, were the sole pop moneymakers until records, radio and talking pictures became the chief pop vehicles.

    This brings us to the period immediately following the end of WWI on Nov. 11, 1918, and to one of the biggest hits of the next year, when our doughboys were returning home by the hundreds of thousands from the battle fronts of Europe and the pleasure fronts of Paris. With un peu d’imagination, perhaps you can appreciate the question….

    Two years later (1921), song writers were still asking questions, including this one posed by its composer Richard Whiting (whose birthday was three days ago, Nov. 12, 1891), sung here by his daughter and Bob Hope:

    Of course, the above words and recordings have barely scratched the surface of  the sounds you would have savored had you been around in those days (and make no mistake, that music would have seduced you as much then as today’s music seduces you now). And so on that note….





    • scifihammy 1:20 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      What a lovely post. 🙂 They really don’t make music like this any more!

      Liked by 1 person

    • painkills2 2:26 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It’s all about electronic music now. Well, not all, but a lot. I feel like an old grandma complaining about young people’s music, but electronic music hurts my ears. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:04 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        It hurts your ears because it’s noise (at least, some of it). But, as an old song title says, “To Each His Own.”

        Liked by 1 person

    • eths 3:10 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great music!

      Liked by 1 person

    • GP Cox 8:00 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • linnetmoss 8:57 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I didn’t realize Mel TormĂ© was a songwriter on a bigger scale. I know he wrote “The Christmas Song.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:18 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Mel was multitalented: musician, vocalist, arranger, songwriter. He wrote THE CHRISTMAS SONG with lyricist Bob Wells in 1946, but previously wrote both words and music. Here is another example of his solo work from 1945:


    • Don Frankel 9:24 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I always like the way guys like Bob Hope who really can’t sing will talk their way through a song and really do a good job of it. Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady comes to mind. You can watch that movie and think he’s singing when he never does.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:23 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Excellent observation, Don. Another great example of someone who couldn’t really sing but put over a song better than most guys who could sing was Walter Huston (SEPTEMBER SONG).


    • L. T. Garvin, Author 10:25 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      What wonderful, wholesome songs. Love the instrumental background. It harkens back to a time when we didn’t have to have all these obscenities to have entertainment, I mean I don’t want to sound like a grandma either, but seriously, the verses of today’s “music.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:32 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        My sentiments exactly! It’s good to know I have readers like you who can appreciate, and don’t dismiss, songs like these simply because they’re old. Stay tuned for more of the same in my next post.

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 10:55 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Haven’t really paid much attention to music of any kind since I kicked a daily pot habit back in my early twenties. Now that weed is legal out here in CA, maybe I’ll start again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:46 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I have just the song for you, Ricardo, as you sleep on your “To weed or not to weed” question:


    • Cynthia Jobin 11:20 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Today’s music doesn’t seduce me at all…it’s mostly adolescent, barbaric noise. I really enjoyed listening to these. I know them well. Listening to them again is like a lovely visit with my dear grandparents.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:57 am on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I couldn’t agree more, but I’ll bet neither you nor your grandparents listened to (or even knew of) the song in my previous comment (actually there were many such songs in the 20s & 30s, though I doubt they got played on the radio in those days)!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Cynthia Jobin 12:02 pm on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right. I didn’t know that song, nor, I venture, did my grandparents. The underworld stayed under, in those days.

      Liked by 1 person

    • inesephoto 5:39 pm on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Such a delightful post, I always loved music of that era.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:10 pm on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Likewise. I also like some of the music of other eras, but “Golden Age” music remains #1 on my ‘hip parade.’

        Liked by 1 person

    • Resa 6:17 pm on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      What a fab post this is!
      Thank you so much for the info re: Tin Pan Alley! I had no idea.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:05 pm on November 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Resa. I’ll have more to say about Tin Pan Alley in my next post.


    • Mark Scheel 1:15 am on November 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I remember hearing some of these songs played on the piano when as a little boy visiting relatives on my mother’s side–a fun bunch. Anyway, before you leave politics totally, suggest you read Bernie Goldberg on why New York media missed the boat so badly with the last election. Great analysis that I can relate to, living in the Midwest. Here’s the link:



      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:53 am on November 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I’d already heard similar analysis (in substance, if not in spirit) in the heathen liberal media, Mark, but I didn’t know that Goldberg has written a book called ARROGANCE, which I would’ve guessed to be the title of a Donald Trump biography….but then, we on the near-left (or am I on the FAR-left in the black-and-white world) are wrong about so many things.

        Anyway, I’m glad to hear that you can dig this music. There has been a piano in my house for most of my life, but after several years of piano lessons in my boyhood, I forgot what I learned and still can’t play it.


    • BroadBlogs 1:17 am on November 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’d thought I would feel better after the election. I don’t. Thanks for bringing some sanity back into my life. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:11 am on November 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Speaking of “sanity” reminds me (what with the Christmas shopping season already in full swing) of this bit of Marx Brothers insanity:


    • Carmen 12:42 pm on November 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Do you mean to say that Torme was 15 when he sang that song? If so, quite amazing!
      I have to say that listening to these tunes is a much better pursuit than reading political commentary of late . . . 🙂 I’m finding a station on my TV that plays ‘oldies’ now. Lovely sounds!! Thanks so much, mister muse!
      Were you subscribed to Lady sighs blog? Haven’t heard anything from her lately and was wondering if she’s ill. .

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:27 pm on November 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Actually, TormĂ© wrote the song when he was 15, but he didn’t sing it — at least not on that Columbia record. If you check the small print on the label, you’ll notice that the vocal is by Dick Haymes (see, that’s what happens when you don’t read the small print!). 🙂

        I didn’t subscribe to Ladysigh’s blog, but I was a regular reader and frequent ‘liker’ and commenter. As I recall, she took a rather lengthy hiatus due to illness a few years ago. Hopefully, she’ll come back again like before, but I don’t know the reason for her absence this time.


  • mistermuse 4:35 pm on October 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Golden Age of popular music, , , Love For Sale, The Complete Lyrics Of Cole Porter   


    Cole Porter died fifty years ago today. If you’re under age 50, chances are you don’t know Cole Porter from cole slaw….which is sad in a way, because if you don’t know what you don’t know, you may think what you know is all that’s worth knowing. You know?

    To those of us who are into America’s “Golden Age of popular music,” Cole Porter was one of a kind. In those days, few song writers wrote both words and music, and of those few, no one wrote lyrics with more wit and sophistication. Consider this refrain from YOU’RE THE TOP:

    You’re the top!
    You’re the Coloseum.
    You’re the top!
    You’re the Louvre Museum.
    You’re a melody from a symphony by Strauss,
    You’re a Bendel bonnet,
    A Shakespeare sonnet,
    You’re Mickey Mouse!

    ….about which John Updike wrote, “In the urbane, top-hat fantasy world wherein Fred Astaire and Cole Porter reign as quintessential performer and creator, love is wry, jokey, casual, and even weary but nonetheless ecstatic: you’re Mickey Mouse! He [Porter] brought to the traditional and somewhat standardized tasks of songsmithing a great verbal ingenuity, a brave flexibility and resourcefulness, a cosmopolitan’s wide experience in mundane matters including foreign lands and tongues, and a spirit that always kept something of collegiate innocence about it.”

    Porter wrote over eight hundred songs, more than half of which were never published. I will mention but a few of my favorites: BEGIN THE BEGUINE, LOVE FOR SALE, EASY TO LOVE, and practically the entire score of KISS ME KATE. Of these, perhaps this one best epitomizes the sole Cole Porter:

    • Don Frankel 4:58 pm on October 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Funny today because I used ‘My Way’, from the Main Event Concert, I listened to the whole concert and he sang my favorite Cole Porter.

      I had to find one with the Cocaine lyric. I hate when he and others sing around that.


    • mistermuse 7:21 pm on October 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Don….that’s another of my Porter favorites, as well as one of my favorite Sinatra vocals – both at their very best.


    • leggypeggy 11:55 pm on October 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love Cole Porter’s work. Glad your anniversary post led me back here.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:55 am on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      ….and I’m glad you took the time to go back here. Cole Porter lives on!

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:47 am on March 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , George Marion Jr., Golden Age of popular music, , , , , , lyricists, , , , Spring Is Here, spring songs, , There'll Be Another Spring   


    It’s spring again / And birds on the wing again / Start to sing again / The old melody.   from I LOVE YOU (lyrics and music by Cole Porter)

    Yes, fellow (and gal) music lovers, it’s spring again — the season which usually comes unusually late or early every year and seems to inspire the romantic poet in every song writer….or at least it did when the world was more melodic, and composers were Cole Porters at heart. It has been said of Porter that “even in the absence of his melodies, his words distill an unmistakable mixture of poignancy and wit that marks him as a genius of light verse.”*

    I think the same can be said, though not always to the same degree of genius, of many song writers from America’s Golden Age of popular music. No matter their individual personalities, their songs — not least, their “spring songs” — betray them as “rank sentimentalists” beneath the surface (in the manner of Captain Renault seeing through Rick in CASABLANCA).

    To the point, here’s a sampling of such songs (and their lyricists) from that lost world, followed by clips of recordings sung by voices which may sound strange to generational “foreign-ears,” but as Jimmy Stewart once said of his singing Porter’s EASY TO LOVE in the film BORN TO DANCE, the song’s so good, even he couldn’t mess it up:

    SPRING IS HERE (Lorenz Hart) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFiNQObPxEk

    THERE’LL BE ANOTHER SPRING (Peggy Lee) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1utcGFiXu8

    SPRING WILL BE A LITTLE LATE THIS YEAR (Frank Loesser) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbwRgQ-I_ms

    IT SEEMS TO BE SPRING (George Marion Jr.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Svi45srqhgM

    IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPRING (Oscar Hammerstein II) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-JLbac6EVE

    SPRING, SPRING, SPRING (Johnny Mercer) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT6RHkYViOc

    *quoted from the dust jacket of Cole Porter, selected lyrics, Robert Kimball, editor

    • Don Frankel 7:11 am on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Great music and the perfect day for it as it finally got warm in New York. I don’t mean to belabor the point but it is also…. “Springtime for Hitler” but we’ve already played that clip.


    • mistermuse 7:44 am on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Don. Of all those “spring songs” and lyricists, the least known (even to old music lovers) are undoubtedly IT SEEMS TO BE SPRING/George Marion Jr.
      Marion was primarily a screenwriter of such great films as LOVE ME TONIGHT (Maurice Chevalier & Jeanette MacDonald) and THE GAY DIVORCEE (Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers), but he also partnered with Richard Whiting (father of Margaret Whiting) to write the lyrics for some very good songs. Listen closely to IT SEEMS TO BE SPRING – in the words of one author, “the song is an ideal illustration of the high standard of popular songwriting of this era.”


    • Don Frankel 6:35 am on March 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Every once in awhile I’m forced to admit to someone of my generation that I don’t know very much about the Beatles. I mean they seem like 4 rather nice fellows. It’s not like I have anything against them. It’s just that I don’t own a single one of their albums.

      I often wonder just how much the song writers of this era influenced us? I mean the tight construction, the vivid images, the wit. It couldn’t not have done anything but aide us immensely.


    • mistermuse 10:10 am on March 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t agree more, Don, if by “us” you mean those of us of a certain age. I fear that the ability to appreciate the qualities you cite has been increasingly lost “as time goes by.” Few young people today understand that if they had grown up decades ago, they would’ve been as much “into” that era’s music as they are into today’s. In a sense, they are prisoners of their culture without realizing it.

      As for the Beatles, having already “fallen in love” with the work of the above songwriters and their contemporaries by the time the B-boys came along, they didn’t impress me originally, but I eventually came to appreciate some of their songs. Still, the combination of wit and romance in such oldies as IT SEEMS TO BE SPRING has never been surpassed.


    • Don Frankel 4:49 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right Muse. I don’t mean to say anything bad about the Beatles and there is always Sinatra singing ‘Something in the way she moves’.

      But then there is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJpGHR6ofus

      and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAdM7fEZ-zY

      I’m kind of glad we got born when we did.


    • mistermuse 6:22 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Likewise, Don.

      For those who don’t know, the songs you kindly provided clips for were written by Frank Loesser and Cole Porter (two of the few “Golden Age” composers who wrote both the lyrics and music of their songs).


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