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  • mistermuse 4:42 pm on July 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Don't Blame Me, , I'm In The Mood For Love, , , , Mitchell Parish,   


    Yes, music lovers, it’s time for another birthday salute to a great songwriter from the Stardust Age of popular music. Actually, two such greats were born this day (in 1900 & 1894), but I already dusted off the star of the youngest of them (Mitchell Parish) a year ago.
    The other is Jimmy McHugh — if you’ve never heard of him, Don’t Blame Me ….and don’t blame his collaborator, Dorothy Fields, who wrote lyrics to the 1933 hit song of that title, as well as I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, I’m In The Mood For Love, and many others.

    Rather than detail McHugh’s songwriting career in this post, I’m going to cut right to the Happy Times (another (McHugh/Fields composition) and invite you to join me in enjoying the music, beginning with  vocal (Mills Bros.) and instrumental (tenor sax legend Coleman Hawkins) versions of Don’t Blame Me:

    The last clip is the all-time standard I Can’t Believe You’re In Love With Me (written by McHugh in 1927 before his collaboration with Dorothy Fields), vocal by Billie Holiday. It doesn’t get any better than this:

    • BroadBlogs 4:51 pm on July 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It’s great being introduced to all these oldies. I’ve heard of them, but never heard them (that I know of).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 1:56 pm on July 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Great stuff Muse. Another guy I don’t think I ever heard of. I know his music but I didn’t know it was his.


    • Joseph Nebus 6:53 pm on July 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, that’s wonderful. Thanks.


    • mistermuse 9:12 pm on July 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, guys (and gal)….and btw, I’ve switched to a different Billie Holiday clip of the same recording because the first one gave the wrong recording date (1933). It was actually recorded Jan 1938.


  • mistermuse 12:16 am on July 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Jack Teagarden, Mitchell Parish, songs of America's Golden Age of popular music, Star Dust, Stars Fell On Alabama   


    Devotees of the Golden Age of American popular music are aware that most of the best songwriters of the 1920s, 30s and 40s were Jewish (Gershwin, Berlin, Arlen, Rodgers, Hart, Hammerstein, Kern, etc.) — a subject worthy of a treatise in itself. But this article is about a great lyricist of that period who even this muse of a music devotee didn’t know was Jewish, until doing research to recognize his birthday today (born July 10, 1900).

    I refer to the man who (quoting jazz historian Warren Vache) “wrote the lyrics to so many great songs that the list reads like an all-time hit parade”,  Michael Hyman Pashelinsky — you may know him better as Mitchell Parish. Composers who were his collaborators included the likes of Hoagy Carmichael (Star Dust), Duke Ellington (Sophisticated Lady), Peter DeRose (Deep Purple) and Ray Perkins (Stars Fell On Alabama).

    Again quoting Vache, Mitchell Parish “had the gift of creating precise imagery in the listener’s mind of romantic scenes, gorgeous girls, and sometimes delicious melancholy, songs often as well remembered for the words as for the melody.”

    Parish was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. Here are two of the reasons why, as played and sung by the greatest trumpet man and the greatest trombone man in jazz history:



    • Don Frankel 4:17 am on July 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Muse I never heard of this guy. This is why the world needs you. He wrote the lyrics to those songs? Damn, that is amazing.

      And, to find out he’s Jewish! Well that makes me quell. I don’t know if I spelled that even remotely right as I’m basically a Jew in name only but that would never stop me from pointing to all the other great Jews like Einstein. We all love to do this. A Priest pointed out though we blew it with Jesus. I say we should claim him too. Now some people will argue that he wasn’t really Jewish but I counter with Mary was definitely Jewish and a nice Jewish girl too.


    • mistermuse 8:39 am on July 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t think of a thing to add to your comment, Don, so I’m just going to sit back and listen again to the amazing renditions of the two songs I linked.


    • arekhill1 10:35 am on July 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      My girl is Jewish and it just pisses her off when I point out that Jesus was, too. Gracias, Sr. Muse, for the edification; prior to reading this, i thought all the great songwriters were gay.


    • mistermuse 12:29 pm on July 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Some were both, Ricardo, but great songwriters didn’t have to be Jewish to be gay (Cole Porter and Noel Coward come to mind). Not that I’m prejudiced – gay or sad, I am gracias-ful for ’em all.


    • Michaeline Montezinos 9:14 pm on July 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t wish to sound conceited but we Jews are very talented and intelligent for the most part. Thanks, mistermuse, for pointing out the fact that many songwriters were Jewish. Have you tried looking up famous Jewish athletes yet?


    • mistermuse 10:29 pm on July 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Famous Jewish athletes? Is that Jews who’ve won the Yiddishe Kup?

      I’d be more interested in writing about the fertile field of famous Jewish comedians – no shortage of material there. Thanks for planting the seed for that possible future post.


    • mistermuse 6:00 am on July 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Now that I think about it, Sandy Koufax was a famous pitcher for the Dodgers (and previously for the Univ. of Cincinnati), not to mention other famous Jewish players in baseball and other sports. Apologies for the wisecrack in my previous comment!


    • Don Frankel 7:11 am on July 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Mo Berg


      • mistermuse 8:38 am on July 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I think Mo was before my time, but I do recall Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg, who was still hammerin’ home runs when I was a boy growing up in the 1940s. I remember he had a lot of RBIs, so I looked it up – sure enough, he holds the AL record for most right-handed RBIs in a season (183 in 1937, when the season was only 154 games). He was also one of the few opposing players to welcome Jackie Robinson to the major leagues.


  • mistermuse 8:52 pm on November 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Best Years of Our Lives, , , , Heart and Soul, , , , Lazy River, , Mitchell Parish, , To Have and have Not, Young Man With A Horn   


    On this, the 114th birthday of Hoagy Carmichael (11/22/1899 – 12/26/1981), I daresay you could mention his name to 100 random people under age 60, and 99 (maybe all 100) would say, “Hoagy who?”  But why waste time lamenting the fate awaiting almost all “celebrities” sooner or later? Fame is indeed fleeting — perhaps now more than ever — and relative few are the songwriters, actors and singers (for Hoagy was all three) who will be remembered on their triple-digit birthdays by succeeding generations. So it is with Bloomington, Indiana’s Hoagy — but his star shines on, nonetheless, for those who appreciate the timelessness of creative magic.

    For this occasion, I have pulled from my bookshelves a 1999 Hoagy double-autobiography which is a republication of The Stardust Road (1946) and Sometimes I Wonder (1965), with a new introduction by John Edward Hasse. I’d read this volume a few years ago, and it’s as good a way as any to re-visit Hoagland Howard Carmichael, a man whose music and film roles I’d known since my youth in the 1940s. As Hasse puts it in his introduction:

    Hoagy Carmichael was a true American original. First of all, there was his name…. Then there was that singing voice–the flat, Hoosier cadences–and that laconic public persona, impossible to mistake for anyone else’s. And there was his unusual career path–from law student, lawyer, and Wall Street employee to hit songwriter and celebrity via records, motion pictures, radio and television.
    But most original of all were the songs Carmichael wrote, songs that typically sound like nobody else’s.

    I love the way Hoagy begins The Stardust Road:
    The phone rang and I picked it up. It was Wad Allen. “Bix died,” he said
     (referring to Hoagy’s close friend and legendary early jazz trumpeter, Bix Beiderbecke).
    Wad laughed a funny laugh. “I wonder if it will hurt old Gabriel’s feelings to play second trumpet?” Wad asked.
    I could hear Wad’s breathing, then suddenly, but gradually getting clearer, I heard something else.
    “I can hear him,” I said. “I can hear him fine from here.”
    Over and around the sound I heard Wad’s voice.
    “Sure,” he said shakily. “So can I.”
    “I guess he didn’t die, then.”
    And so it went back and forth, until Hoagy said, “Call me up again,” I told him, “when somebody else doesn’t die.”
    But Wad had hung up. I tilted back in the chair before my desk and felt tears behind my eyes.  

    These are the kind of personal reminiscences you can only get from those who experienced them. If you’re a true lover of classic jazz and the Golden Age of popular music, you will find Hoagy’s autobiographies irresistible. THE STARDUST ROAD/SOMETIMES I WONDER combo is available on Amazon.com, AbeBook.com and elsewhere.

    And speaking of combos, let’s close with two versions of Hoagy’s immortal Star Dust, the first by Louis Armstrong, whose incomparable 1931 rendition still sets the standard after all these years, and the second, by Hoagy himself:



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