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NEWSLETTER #142
Jazz, Dance Bands & Vocalists
Bunk Johnson ->
Various Artists
 

 

 

NEW DVDS

 
NOTE: Unless otherwise noted all DVDs offered are in NTSC format which means that they will not play on a European DVD players unless you have a multiple format player.
   
VARIOUS ARTISTS Charly SDVD 001 Jazz On A Summer's Day ● DVD $24.98
DVD/ CD combination Legendary film made by Bert Stern at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. A dozen musical performances are featured along with commentary from artists and the audience. Includes performances Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Big Maybelle, Dinah washington, Mahalia Jackson, Gerry Mulligan, Chuck Berry and others. DVD also includes documentary on the making of the film and illustarted biographies of the artists featured. CD is the film soundtrack.

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
 
BUNK JOHNSON & HIS NEW ORLEANS BAND American Music 116 The Complete Decca Session ● CD $14.98
19 track CD featuring the complete recordings of the first sessions by this great trumpeter for a commercial label in November, 1945. Includes complete and incomplete alternate takes, false starts and studio chat. Bunk is accompanied by New Orleans greats Jim Robinson, George Lewis, Alton Purnell, Laurence Marrero, Alcide "Slow Drag" Pavageau and Warren "Baby" Dodds. Tunes includes Maryland, My Maryland/ Alexander's Ragtime Band/ Tishomingo Blues and You Always Hurt The One You Love

 
LANIN'S SOUTHERN SERENADERS Frog DGF 61 Shake It And Break It ● CD $17.98
24 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
Superb collection of hot dance band music recorded in 1921 by Lanin's Southern Serenaders - a group led by Sam Lanin - the most prolific and popular dance band leader of the 20s. Lanin led numerous groups and recorded hundreds of titles under a wide variety of names and on many labels. Most of these tracks were issued as Lanin's Southern Serenaders on labels like Hy-Tone, Pathe, RegalBanner, Connorized and others. Most tracks feature Phil Napoleon on trumpet, Doc Behrendson/ clarinet, Loring McMurray/ alto sax and others. A couple of tracks with slightly different line up were issued as Bailey's Lucky Seven (no one named Bailey was in the group!) and one as McPhail's Jazz Orchestra Of Chicago. Tunes include Memphis Blues/ Aunt hagar's Children Blues/ Mandy And Me/ Arkansas Blues/ Satanic Blues/ Good Morning/ Wimmin (I Got To have Them, That's All/ Zowie and others. Superb sound that to remastering by Ted Kendall. (FS)

 
PEGGY LEE Proper BOX 108 Miss Wonderful ● CD $24.98
Four CD, 103 track overview of the early career of this outstanding female vocalist who was held in such high esteem by the people she worked with that Duke Ellington called her "The Queen". This set follows her career from her early years as band singer with Benny Goodman to her ascendancy as a premiere song stylist with numerous hits in the 50s.

 
JAY MCSHANN Sackville 5012 Solos & Duets - Featuring Don Thompson ● CD $25.98
2 CDs, 27 tracks, 2 hours 22 min., very highly recommended
McShann's credentials go back to the late 1930s and early '40s when his big band (which included a young Charlie Parker and Walter Brown) was second only to Count Basie's. He scored on shellac with Confessin' The Blues and Hootie Blues, the latter featuring a hot Charlie Parker solo. In 1943 McShann had a Top 10 hit with Get Me On Your Mind for Decca. In 1955 he took Hands Off, cut for Vee Jay, to #1. In the 1970s McShann signed with the tiny Canadian label Sackville and cut several albums' worth of piano jazz. This very welcome release reissues three complete Sackville albums (A Tribute To Fats Waller, Tuxedo Junction, and Kansas City Hustle) from 1978 and 1980 and adds two previously unreleased tracks (Baby Won't You Please Come Home and Keep Your Hands Off Her with McShann on vocals. He covers Monk, Waller, Ellington, Ivory Joe Hunter, Mary Lou Williams, Erskine Hawkins, and Hoagy Carmichael, among others, as well as performing a half dozen of his own compositions. On seven songs he is joined by bassist Don Thompson. There and throughout, McShann's virtuosity and improvisational skill demand admiration. These recordings are impressive and instantly pleasing. (JC)

 
JIMMIE NOONE JSP JSPCD 926 Chicago Rhythm, Apex Blues - The REcordings Of Jimmie Noone ● CD $28.98
Four CD set with 100 tracks documenting the recording career of the great New Orleans clarinetist Jimmie Noone from his first session in 1923 with Ollie Power' Harmony Syncopators to his final session in 1943 with the Capitol Jazzmen but most of tracks are with his own groups including the landmark Apex Club Orchestra.

 
ARTHUR PRYOR & HIS BAND Archeophone 5008 Echoes From Asbury Park ● CD $14.98
25 recordings made between 1903 and 1913 by this important brass band led by trombonist Arthur Pryor who first came to prominence in the prestigious band of John Philip Sousa. The CD has been sequenced to simulate two early 20th century concerts, as vistors to New Jersey's Asbury Park might have witnessed them. Pryor was an important ragtime composer and there are several ragtime pieces here along with classical tunes, popular songs and a "tone poem". Includes Felsenmuhle OVerture/ After Sunset/ Home Sweet Home The World Over/ Louisa/ Auld Lang Syne with variations/ The Falcon Marcg/ Teddy After Africa/ Dance Of the Weasels and others. As always Archeophone mages to achieve remarkable sound quality from these century old recordings and set includes 24 page booklet with extensive notes, rare photos, label shots and more.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 1006 Monarchs Of Minstrelsy ● CD $14.98
Though the racist epithets and excessive caricatures of African-American dialect makes one wince the blackface minstrel show was an important and influential part of the American musical landscape in the 19th and early 20th century. By the time the recordings here were made in the early years of the 20th century the traditional minstrel show was on the wane giving way to vaudeville which was less reliant on racially derogatory material. This collection features some of the most popular artists that appeared in the minstrel shows. Only a handful of tracks are racially offensive - most of the material are popular songs and tunes along with harmless comedy sketches. Includes performances by the Victor Minstrel Companyt, Burt Shepard, James McCool, Harry Ellis, Al Bernard, Al Jolson, Lew Docstader (who led one of the leading minstrel shows), Williams Redmond, Billy Murray and others. It also includes a brief exceprt from 1954 of former minstrel performer Will Oakland reminsicing about minstrel days. Includes 24 page booklet with copious notes and illustrations.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Documents 223196 Battle Of Clarinets ● CD $25.98
Four CD set with 78 tracks surveying the history of the jazz clarinet staring with Lawrence Shield with The Original Dixieland Jazz Band doing Ostrich to a 1982 recording of Blue Rondo A La Turk by The dave Brubeck Quartet with Bill Smith on clarinet. The bulk of the recordings are from the period 1922 to 1956 and includes Johnny Dodds, Buster Bailey, Vance Dixon, Benny Goodman, Pee Wee Russell, Mezz Mezrow, Sidney Bechet, Artie Shaw, Jimmie Noone, Peanuts Hucko, Jimmy hamilton, Buddy DeFranco and others. Includes 20 page illustrated booklet in English and German with notes on the performers and discographical info.
SIDNEY ARDOIN: Tin Roof Blues/ BUSTER BAILEY: Dizzy Debutante/ Eccentric Rag/ Kentucky/ Lorna Doone Shorbread/ Royal Gardne Blues/ Santa Claus Blues/ Sensation/ Shanghai Shuffle/ Wild Party/ SIDNEY BECHET: Black Stick Blues/ Chant In The Night/ I've Found A New Baby/ Maple Leaf Rag/ Perdido Street Blues/ Sweetie Dear/ BARNEY BIGARD: Steps Steps Down/ BUDDY DEFRANCO: Buddy's Blues/ Cable Car/ Now's The Time/ VANCE DIXON: Crazy Quilt/ JOHNNY DODDS: Blue Clarinet Stomp/ Canal Street Blues/ Indigo Stomp/ Melancholy/ San/ Wild Man Blues/ JIMMY DORSEY: Shim-me-sha-wabble/ The Darktown Strutters' Ball/ BENNY GOODMAN: After You've Gone/ After You've Gone/ Avalon/ Boy Meets Goy/ Cherokee/ Clarinetitis/ I Got Rhythm/ Oh, Baby!/ Runnin' Wild/ Sing Sing Sing Part 1 & 2/ That's A Plenty/ Who?/ EDMOND HALL: A Shanty In Old Shanty Town/ I Want To Be Happy/ Show Piece/ JIMMY HAMILTON: Honeysuckle Rose/ Time On My Hands/ WOODY HERMAN: Blowin' Up A Storm/ Rose/ The Golden Wedding/ Yardbird Shuffle/ PEANUTS HUCKO: China Boy/ JIMMY LYTELL: Meanest Blues/ MEZZ MEZZROW: Apologies/ Blues In Disguise/ Ole Miss/ Swingin' With Mezz/ That's A Plenty/ JIMMIE NOONE: Tray'lin' All Alone/ Virginia Lee/ You Rascal, You/ LEON RAPPOLO: Tiger Rag/ PEE WEE RUSSELL: None Of My Jelly Roll/ Oh! Peter/ Original Dixieland One-step/ Riverboat Shuffle/ TONY SCOTT: A Blues Serenade/ Finger Poppin' Blues/ I'll Remember April/ ARTIE SHAW: Concerto For Clarinet/ Hop, Skip And Jump/ Sugar Foot Stomp/ Tea For Two/ The Gentle Grifter/ The Japanese Sandman/ The Skeleton In The Closet/ LAWRENCE SHIELDS: Ostrich Walk/ BILL SMITH: Blue Rondo A La Turk

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Fremeaux 5128 Roots Of Mambo, 1930-1950 ● CD $25.98
Two CD set with 41 tracks featuring the union between Afro-Cuban music and jazz. Artists here include Manolo Castro, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Woody Herman, Noro Morales, Dizzy Gillespie, Machito, Erskine Hawkins and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Membran 22806 Stormy Weather ● CD $13.98
Soundtrack from 1943s "Stormy Weather" - one of the most important all black cast musicals featuring Lena Horne and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in both acting and singing roles - the latter also dances, of course. There are also musical performances from Fats Waller, Ada Brown, Mae Johnson and Cab Calloway and his Band. The backing group features Zutty Singleton and Coleman Hawkins. This CD also has several bonus tracks - one alternate take and four performances not used in the film including Cab Calloway doing Alfred The Moocher - a version of Minnie The Moocher dedicated to Twentieth Century Fox Musical Director Afred Newman.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Music & Arts 6003 That Devilin' Tune - A Jazz History, 1895-1950 - Vol. 1 ● CD $66.98
First in a a remarkable new series of nine CD box sets tracing the history of jazz from 1895 to 1950 based on the book of the same name by Alan Lowe. Lowe's book takes a new approach to looking at the history of the music, dismissing much of what has gone before. This first set of nine CD features 215 sides starting with The Standard Quartette's 1895 recording of Who Broke The Lock and ending with Louis Armstrong's 1927 recording of Hotter Than That. Along the way we hear sides by Len Spencer, Sophie Tucker, Irving berlin, Ciro's Coon Club Orchestra, Wilbur Sweatman, The Louisiana Five, Zez Confrey, Kid Ory, Sidney Bechet, Belle Baker, Jelly Roll Morton, Wendell Hall, Duke Ellington,Gulf Coast 7, Bessie Smith, The California Ramblers, Sammie Lewis, Jimmie Blythe and many, many more. The 96 page illustrated booklet is essentially the first quarter of Lowe's book. It's unfortunate that no discographical information is included for the recordings featured.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG: Hotter Than That/ LOVIE AUSTIN: Too Sweet For Words/ BELLE BAKER: Jubilee Blues/ FRANK BANTA: Calico Rag/ JOHNNY BAYERSDORFFER: I Wonder Where My Easy Rider's Riding Now/ NORA BAYES: Homesickness Blues/ You Can't Get Away From It/ SIDNEY BECHET: Wild Cat Blues/ LIONEL BELASCO: Bajan Girl/ IRVING BERLIN: Follow The Crowd/ AL BERNARD: Frankie And Johnny/ EUBIE BLAKE: Ma/ Sounds Of Africa/ BLUE RIBBON SYNCOPATORS: Scratch/ JIMMIE BLYTHE: Jimmies Blues/ Old Man Blues/ THE BOSWELL SISTERS: Nights When I'm Lonely/ PERLY BREED: Where's My Sweetie Hiding/ ADA BROWN: Panama City Ltd./ BROWNLEE'S ORCHESTRA OF NEW ORLEANS: Dirty Rag/ MERRITT BRUNIES & HIS FRIARS INN ORCHESTRA: Sugarfoot Stomp/ BUCKTOWN 5: Really A Pain/ THE CALIFORNIA RAMBLERS: Stockholm Stomp/ FRANCIS CARTER: Birth Of The Blues/ OSCAR CELESTIN'S ORIGINAL TUXEDO JAZZ ORCHESTR: Careless Love/ CIRO'S COON CLUB ORCHESTRA: St. Louis Blues/ SIR HERBERT CLARKE: Bride Of The Waves/ ARTHUR COLLINS: Bill Bailey/ Parson Jones Three Reasons/ COLLINS & HARLAN: Alexander's Ragtime Band/ That Funny Jas Band/ ZEZ CONFREY: Poor Buttermilk/ COON-SANDERS ORCHESTRA: High Fever/ THE COTTON PICKERS: I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate/ Those Panama Mamas/ You Tell Her, I Stutter/ CHARLIE CREATH: Grandpa's Spells/ Pleasure Mad/ JESSE CRUMP: Mr. Crump's Rag/ JOHNNY DEDROIT: Number 2 Blues/ THE DIXIELAND JUG BLOWERS: Southern Shout/ JOHNNY DUNN: Old Time Blues/ CLIFF EDWARDS: Hard Hearted Hannah/ ELGAR'S CREOLE ORCHESTRA: Brotherly Love/ DUKE ELLINGTON: Deacon Jazz/ Oh How I Love My Baby/ Rainy Nights/ JAMES REESE EUROPE: Castle House Rag/ Down Home Rag/ LOUIS FORBSTEIN'S ROYAL SYNCOPATORS: Down And Out Blues/ FRISCO JAZZ BAND: Canary Cottage/ Johnson Jass Blues/ CHARLES FULCHER: My Pretty Girl/ EARL FULLER: Jazz Deluxe/ Slippery Hank/ THE GEORGIANS: Loose Feet/ COOKIE'S GINGERSNAPS: Messin' Around/ BRAD GOWANS: I'll Fly To Hawaii/ GENE GREENE: King Of The Bungaloos/ Riff Johnson's Harmony Band/ GRUPO BAHIANAINHO: Bambino/ Destimido/ El Cavito/ GULF COAST SEVEN: Keep Your Temper/ GUSTAVE HAENSCHEN: Country Club Medley/ Sunset Medley/ HAGER'S ORCHESTRA: Rooster Dance/ WENDELL HALL: Comfortin' Gal/ W.C. HANDY: Fuzzy Wuzzy Rag/ BEN HARNEY: Wagon, The/ MARION HARRIS: Paradise Blues/ Take Me To The Land Of Jazz/ There'll Be Some Changes Made/ THE HEDGES BROTHERS & JACOBSON: San Francisco Bay/ FLETCHER HENDERSON: Copenbagen/ Hot Mustard/ Unknown Blues/ ROSA HENDERSON: Hard Hearted Hannah/ ART HICKMAN: Streets Of Cairo, The/ Wonderful Pal/ CHIPPIE HILL: Trouble In Mind/ HITCH'S HAPPY HARMONISTS: Cataract Rag/ Cruel Woman/ Nightingale Rag Blues/ MAY IRWIN: When You Ain't Got No Money/ JIMMIE'S JOYS: Wolverine Blues/ JAMES P. JOHNSON: Harlem Strut/ Scouting Around/ MARGARET JOHNSON: Grayson Street Blues/ AL JOLSON: Rockabye Your Baby/ That Lovin' Traumeri/ CLARENCE JONES: Hula Lu/ ISHAM JONES: Farewell Blues/ Wait'll You See/ When Shadows Fall I Hear You Calling/ MAGGIE JONES: Dallas Blues/ ELMER KAISER & HIS BALLROOM ORCHESTRA: Monkey Business/ FREDDIE KEPPARD: Stockyard Strut/ LADD'S BLACK ACES: Aunt Hagar's Children's Blues/ Shake It And Break It/ ART LANDRY & HIS ORCHESTRA: Rip Saw Blues/ SAMMIE LEWIS: East Arkansas Shout/ FRED LONGSHAW: Chili Pepper/ LOUISIANA FIVE: Clarinet Squawk/ I Ain't Got 'em No Time To Have The Blues/ Weeping Willow Blues/ FATE MARABLE: Frankie And Johnny/ CHARLES MATSON: I Just Want A Daddy/ STELLA MAYHEW: That Devilin' Time/ That Beautiful Rag/ METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA: Coon Town Capers/ MIDWAY DANCE ORCHESTRA: House Of David Blues/ Lots O' Mama/ LIZZIE MILES: She Walked Right Up And Took My Man Away/ MITCHELL'S JAZZ KINGS: Montmartre Rag/ Stumbling/ SAM MORGAN: Steppin' On The Gas/ THOMAS MORRIS: Lazy Drag/ TOM MORRIS: When The Jazz Band Starts To Play/ ED MORTON: Wild Cherries Rag/ JELLY ROLL MORTON: Big Fat Ham/ Grandpa's Spells/ London Blues/ New Orleans Joys/ Sweetheart O' Mine/ Wolverine Blues/ Wolverine Blues/ BENNIE MOTEN: Goofy Dust/ Kansas City Shout/ South/ Ill Natured Blues/ MOULIN ROUGE ORCHESTRA: Chicago/ MOUND CITY BLUE BLOWERS: Red Hot/ PHIL NAPOLEON: Go Joe Go/ NEW ORLEANS RHYTHM KINGS: Tim Roof Blues/ JIMMY O'BRYANT: Skoodlum Blues/ HUSK O'HARE: San/ OLD SOUTHERN JUG BAND: Hatchethead Blues/ KING OLIVER: Deep Henderson/ Jazzin' Babies Blues/ ORCH. DE PALAIS DE DANCE: Temptation Rag/ ORIGINAL CRESCENT CITY JAZZ BAND: Christine/ ORIGINAL DIXIELAND JAZZ BAND: At The Jazz Band Ball/ Dixieland Jass Band One Step/ ORIGINAL NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND: Jada Medley/ Ole Miss/ Why Cry Blues/ ORQUESTRA TYPICAS: La Patti Negra/ KID ORY: Ory's Creole Trombone/ Society Blues/ Gatemouth/ Too Tight Blues/ VESS OSSMAN: Buffalo Rag/ ARCADIA PEACOCK ORCHESTRA OF ST. LOUIS: Where's My Sweetie Hiding/ THE PEBBLES: Who's You Tellin'/ PEERLESS QUARTET: Alagazam/ PERRY'S HOT DOGS: Ain't No Flies On Auntie/ PIRON'S NEW ORLEANS ORCHESTRA: West Indies Blues/ BEN POLLACK: He's The Last Word/ OLLIE POWERS: Play That Thing/ PRINCE'S ORCHESTRA: Red Pepper Rag/ St. Louis Tickle/ PRYOR'S BAND: St. Louis Rag/ THE REDHEADS: Get With/ HARRY RESER: Sweet Like You/ ALEX ROGERS: I'm Done/ VINCENT ROSE ORCHESTRA: Helen Gone/ THE SAVOY BEARCATS: Sengalese Stomp/ JOAN SAWYER'S PERSIAN GARDEN ORCHESTRA: When You're A Long Way From Home/ BLOSSOM SEELY: Lazy/ Yes Sir That's My Baby/ ART SIMS & HIS CREOLE BAND: How Do You Like It Blues/ SIOUX CITY SIX: I'm Glad/ SISSLE'S SIZZLING SYNCOPATORS: Long Gone/ Low Down Blues/ DANNY SMALL & HIS UKULELE BOYS: Sweet Man/ BESSIE SMITH: Squeeze Me/ MAMIE SMITH: Lady Luck Blues/ Royal Garden Blues/ Q. ROSCOE SNOWDEN: Misery Blues/ SOUSA BAND: Whistlin' Rufus/ SOUTHERN NEGRO QUARTET: I'll Be Good But I'll Be Lonesome/ ROY SPANGLER: Red Onion Rag/ LEN SPENCER: Clime De Golden Fence/ On Emancipation Day/ You've Been A Good Old Wagon/ THE STANDARD QUARTETTE: Who Broke The Lock/ STOMP 6: Why Can't It Be Poor Little Me/ CHARLIE STRAIGHT: Deep Henderson/ Hempecked Blues/ THE SUNSET BAND: Wolverine Stomp/ WILBUR SWEATMAN: Everybody's Crazy About The Doggone Blues But I'm Happy/ Indianola/ Kansas City Blues/ ERSKINE TATE'S VENDOME ORCHESTRA: Chinaman's Blues/ THE TENNESSEE HAPPY BOYS: Sweet Georgia Brown/ SOPHIE TUCKER: Pick Me Up And Lay Me Down In Dear Old Dixieland/ Some Of These Days/ That Lovin' Rag/ SUGAR UNDERWOOD: Drew Drop Alley/ UNIDENTIFIED: Muscle Shoals Blues/ VAN & SCHENCK: Tackin' Em Down/ FRED VAN EPS: Raggin' The Scale/ VICTOR MILITARY ORCHESTRA: Blame It On The Blues/ VOSS' IST REGIMENT BAND: Aunt Dinah's Supper Party/ WADE'S MOULIN ROUGE ORCHESTRA: Mobile Blues/ FATS WALLER: Birmingham Blues/ ETHEL WATERS: I Found A New Baby/ There'll Be Some Changes Made/ PAUL WHITEMAN: If I Can't Have The Sweetie/ Wang Wang Blues/ BERT WILLIAMS: Brother Low Down/ Unlucky Blues/ You Can't Get Away From It/ CLARENCE WILLIAMS: Everygbody Loves My Baby/ WILLIAMS & WALKER: My Little Zulu Babe/ THE WILLIAMS SISTERS: Sam The Accordion Man/ CLARENCE WILLIAMS' BLUE FIVE: Shreveport Blues/ Squeeze Me/ THE WILSHIRE DANCE ORCHESTRA: Charleston Charlie/ THE WOLVERINES: Riverboat Shuffle

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Saga Jazz 66483 Jazz & Humour ● CD $13.98
22 tracks, 73 minutes, recommended
This is a great, mirth filled collection of Swing, Big Band and Be-bop jazz masters. Some feature little comedy bits, most are outstanding. The only glaring omission is Harry "the Hipster" Gibson, who was made for compilations like this. (JM)
LOUIS ARMSTRONG & HIS ORCH.: Laughin' Louie/ CAB CALLOWAY & HIS ORCH.: Chinese Rhythm/ I Beeped When I Shoulda Bopped/ HOAGY CARMICHAEL & HIS ORCH.: Barnacle Bill The Sailor/ JIMMY DORSEY & HIS ORCH.: What's The Reason (I'm Not Pleasin' You)/ TOMMY DORSEY ORCH.: Are All My Favorite Bands Playing Or Am I Dreaming?/ DUKE ELLINGTON & HIS ORCH.: Monologue (Pretty And The Wolff)/ BUD FREEMAN AND HIS V-DISC JUMPERS: The Latest Thing In Hot Jazz/ SLIM GAILLARD: Avocado Seed Soup Symphony/ DIZZY GILLESPIE QUINTET: Oo-Shoo-Be-Doo-Be/ WOODY HERMAN AND HIS ORCH.: Laughing Boy Blues/ THE HOLLYWWOD HUCKSTERS: Happy Blues/ SPIKE JONES & HIS CITY SLICKERS: Black Bottom/ LOUIS JORDAN & HIS TYMPANY FIVE: Barnyard Boogie/ STAN KENTON & HIS ORCH.: Blues In Burlesque/ I'm In The Mood For Love/ TED LEWIS & HIS BAND: When My Baby Smiles At Me/ JOHNNY MERCER AND THE KING COLE TRIO: Harmony/ THE RAYMONDE ORCH.: Taming The Tiger (Tiger Rag)/ FATS WALLER & HIS RHYTHM: Your Feet's Too Big/ PAUL WHITEMAN & HIS ORCH.: St. Louis Blues

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Take Two 504 Legendary Voices Of Vaudeville ● CD $27.98
2 CDs, 40 tracks, 121 min., recommended
Vaudeville's massive popularity began to wane as the motion picture industry came into its own and everybody else's. This collection concentrates on singers (and wisely goes sparingly on the comedy sketches, making repeated listening more likely) between 1911-33. Artists include George M. Cohan (Mr. Yankee Doodle Dandy), Sophie Tucker, Bert Williams, Elsie Janis, Ted Lewis, Nat Williams, Belle Baker, Baby Rose Marie, Harry Fox, The Duncan Sisters, and many others. One humorous recording belongs to the team of Gallagher and Shean (1922), and if Shean's vocal bring a Groucho Marx character to mind, it may well be because Shean was Groucho's uncle. A few songs are sung in the minstrel style, including Magnolia by Van & Schenck (and, of course, some of these performers, such as Mel Klee, regularly appeared in black face). Overall, this an immensely enjoyable collection with remarkably good sound, especially considering the inherent limitations of the source material. Compilers chose the tracks carefully, making the album fun to listen to and not at all like homework, as some "historically interesting" releases are. The thick booklet is full of informative notes and photos. The page edges have been yellowed in order to supply that old-time feel--a nice touch that demonstrates an overall attention to detail. (JC)

 

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