Songs that Leslie Sarony taught us is a Various Artists compilation which features 20 tracks written (or co-written) by Leslie Sarony and covered by other artists. Although Sarony recorded his own versions of these songs it was common in the late ’20s and early ’30s for multiple versions of popular songs to be released. Tracks on the album are ;
- Why build a wall round a graveyard by Roy Leslie (originally released on Eclipse 620 in 1934).
- In these hard times by Leonard Henry (Sterno 993, 1932)
- Ain’t it grand to be bloomin’ well dead pt 1 & 2 by George Buck and The Roysterers (Edison Bell Winner 5474, 1932)
- Jollity Farm by Hal Swain and his band (Regal G 9440, 1929)
- Come in Mr Cummin by Clarkson Rose (Zonophone 5429, 1929)
- I’m a little prarie flower by Billy Cotton and his band (Rex 9180, 1937)
- I lift up my finger and I say “tweet tweet” by Gracie Fields (His Master’s Voice B 2999, 1929)
- Gorgonzola by The Two Gilberts (Regal MR 198, 1930)
- Bunkey doodle I doh by Harry Hudson’s Melody Men (Edison Bell Radio 1300, 1930)
- Wheezy Anna by Roy Leslie (Eclipse 374, 1933)
- Wheezy Anna’s wedding day by Billy Cotton and his band (Regal Zonophone MR 1141, 1934)
- More Rhymes, Pt 1 & 2 by White Star Syncopators (Piccadilly 893, 1931)
- Over the garden wall by Albert Whelan (Imperial 2272, 1929)
- Shut the gate by The Two Gilberts (MR 180, 1930)
- Forty Seven ginger headed sailors by Jack Hylton and his Orchestra (His Master’s Voice B 5542, 1928)
- Mucking about the garden by Clarkson Rose (Zonophone 5429, 1929)
- Topsy Turvy Talk by Albert Whelan (Imperial 2453, 1931)
- Let’s all sing the lard song by Harry Bidgood and his broadcasters (Broadcast 185, 1927)
- Don’t do that to the poor puss cat by Stanley Kirkby (Edison Bell Radio 862, 1928)
- Once aboard the lugger, Pt 1 & 2 by Randolph Sutton (Imperial 2644, 1932)
The album is available on streaming sites such as Spotify and downoad sites such as Itunes .
The 22nd 78Man Podcast features Blues records, and can be found on itunes Here or on Soundcloud Here . Tracks featured are :
- Birth of the blues by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra (Released by His Master’s Voice (B 5270) in 1927) Paul Whiteman was born in 1890 in Denver, Colorado and came to prominence in the early 1920s with his Ambassador Orchestra, releasing his first records on the US Victor label (His Master’s Voice in the UK). These early records included “Whispering”, “Anytime, Anyday, Anywhere”, and “Second hand Rose”. As the ’20s progressed his popularity increased, and he was often referred to as “The King of Jazz”. Over the next decade or so he worked with many now legendary artists, such as Bing Crosby, Paul Robeson, Bix Beiderbecke, George Gershwin, Mildred Bailey and Billie Holiday. He also made many radio, TV and film appearances. His popularity waned towards the end of the ’30s and he rarely recorded after 1942. He died in 1967.
- Careless Love Blues by Bessie Smith (Released by Parlophone (R 2479) in 1938, recorded in 1925). Bessie Smith was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1894. She was born to a poor family, and as a child she and her brother busked on the streets of their home town to earn money. She moved on to stage work, initially as a dancer, then singer during the 1910s but didn’t begin her recording career until 1923 when she began recording for the Columbia label. Her records were immediately successful and she toured America playing theatres throughout the country, and making numerous radio appearances. During this time she became known as “The Empress of the blues”. She made 160 recordings in total for Columbia, including “Aggravatin’ Papa” , “Nobody in town can bake a jelly roll like mine”, “Whoa, Tillie, Take your time” (1923), “Haunted House blues” (1924), “Sing Sing Prison blues” (1925), and “Spider Man blues” (1928). The great depression of 1929 halted Smith’s recording career but she carried on singing live. In 1933 she recorded four songs for the Okeh label, which were her last recordings. She died after being involved in a car crash in September 1937.
- Hootin’ Blues by The Sonny Terry Trio (Released by Parlophone (R 3598) in 1952). Sonny Terry was born in Greensboro, Georgia in 1911. He started losing his sight as a teenager, going completely blind by the age of 16. He was taught to play blues harp by his father, and he started performing in public as the only way to make some money. Initially he played with Blind Boy Fuller, then Brownie McGhee, and made his first commercial recordings in 1940. His recordings include “Harmonica Stomp” (1940), “Whoopin’ the blues” (1947), “Lonesome Room” (1951) and “Carolina Blues” (1952). In later years he appeared in several films, including “The Jerk” (1979), “The Color Purple” (1985), and “Crossroads” (1986). He died in March 1986.
- Forgotten Woman’s Blues by Humphrey Lyttleton and his Band (Released by Parlophone (R 3513) in 1952). Humphrey Lyttleton was born in May 1921 at Eton College in Berkshire, UK, where his father was a house master. As a result, he himself was educated at Eton. It was at Eton that he developed his love for jazz music, and taught himself to play the trumpet. After serving in the second world war, Lyttleton earned a living as both a musician and cartoonist for the Daily Mail. He made his first recordings in the late ’40s for small labels such as Tempo, London Jazz and Melodisc (the latter with Sidney Bechet). In 1950 he signed to Parlophone, where he remained for most of the next decade. His recordings for the label include “Snake Rag” (1950), “Trog’s blues” (1951), “East Coast Trot” (1954), “Fish seller” (1955) and probably his best remembered song “Bad Penny Blues” (1956), an instrumental produced by Joe Meek, and an inspiration to Paul McCartney on The Beatles song “Lady Madonna”. In later years Lyttleton became a radio personality, presenting “The Best of Jazz” on BBC Radio 2 from 1967 to 2007, and the comedy panel show “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue” on BBC Radio 4 from 1972 until his death in April 2008.
- The Bluebottle Blues by The Goons (Released by Decca (F 10756) in 1956). The Goon Show was broadcast by the BBC throughout the 1950s, the first series (which was called “Crazy People”) aired in 1951, and the last series (the tenth) began on 24 December 1959 and ended on 28th January 1960. The Goons comprised Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and (for the first two series only) Michael Bentine. The earlier series were not recorded, and only a handful of episodes exist from the first four series. From series five onwards all episodes survive, although some were edited. The Radio series was wildly successful and led to spin off records and films. In 1956 two records- “I’m walking backwards for Christmas” (with “Bluebottle blues” on the B side), and “Bloodnok’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Call”/”The Ying Tong Song” made the UK top 10 singles chart (the latter was also a hit on re-issue in 1973). In 1951 Sellers, Milligan and Secombe appeared in the film “Penny Points to Paradise” and the following year they appeared (along with Bentine) in the film “Down among the Z men”. Although the radio series ended in January 1960, there was further Goon activity-in 1963/4 a puppet TV series, The Telegoons, featured the voices of the three Goons, running to 26 episodes. In 1968 Thames TV made a one off TV re-enactment of the radio episode “Tales of Men’s shirts”, and in 1972 the BBC televised another one off, called “The last Goon show of all”. In 1978, the three Goons made a final one off record, “The Raspberry song”/”Rhymes”.
- Hamp’s Salty Blues by Lionel Hampton and his Quartet (Released by Brunswick (03732) in 1946). Lionel Hampton was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1908. As a teenager he learned to play xylophone and drums. His first recordings were made with Paul Howard’s Quality Serenaders in the late ’20s. By this time he was also playing vibraphone, and played on two recordings by Louis Armstrong in 1930. In the ensuing years he performed and recorded with Bing Crosby, Benny Goodman and Nat Shilkret, while also developing his own Lionel Hampton Orchestra. In 1937 he began recording for the US Victor label (released by His Master’s Voice in the UK), and over the following years his popularity increased rapidly with the release of such records as “Stompology” (1937), “Dinah” (1940), “Blue” (1941) and “Bouncing at the Beacon” (1944). In the mid ’40s he moved to Decca in the US (Brunswick in the UK) and his success continued throughout the 1950s, only going into decline during the ’60s. In the late ’70s he founded his own “Who’s who in Jazz” label and made his own recordings. In 1984 he played the University of Idaho’s annual jazz festival for the first time, and the following year the festival was renamed The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. He carried on performing regularly until 1991, when he suffered a stroke. After this he only performed sporadically, but was still active musically until 2001, a year before his death in September 2002.
- Walkin’ and Whistlin’ Blues by Les Paul (Released by Capitol (CL 13568) in 1951). Les Paul was born as Lester William Polsfuss in Wisconsin, USA in 1915 and began his musical career while still a child-at 8 he learnt to play the harmonica before moving on to guitar (later inventing a harmonica holder which enabled him to play guitar and harmonica simultaneously). By the age of 13 he was working semi-professionally and at 17 dropped out of school to work full time as a musician. In the early thirties he was appearing regularly on radio and made his first record in 1936 under the name Rhubarb Red, shortly before adopting the name Les Paul. In the ensuing years he worked with stars such as Nat “King” Cole and Bing Crosby, while also designing and making his own electric guitar and experimenting with different sounds. His innovative guitar playing influenced many later guitar players. In the mid ’40s he built his own recording studio and began experimenting with multi track recording and over-dubbing, techniques hitherto largely unheard of in recording. It was at this time that Les Paul met and married Mary Ford (born Iris Summers in 1924) and they began recording together as a duo, scoring many hits during the first half of the 1950s, also having their own TV show. The marriage lasted until 1964. After their split, Paul carried on as a solo artist, recording the acclaimed album “Les Paul Now” in 1968. In the ’70s he teamed up with Chet Atkins for the albums “Chester and Lester” (1976) and “Guitar Monsters” (1978). He carried on recording sporadically up to 2008 (when he was well into his 90s!). Mary Ford died in 1977, and Les Paul in 2009.
- Graveyard Dream Blues by Ida Cox (First released by US Paramount (12044) in 1923). Ida Cox was born (as Ida Prather) in Toccoa, Georgia, but her year of birth is in dispute, given variously as 1888, 1894, or 1896. She began singing gospel music as a child in the choir of her local Methodist church, before leaving home to tour in Vaudeville at the age of 14. Her first husband, Adler Cox died in the First World War but she kept his surname as her stage name when she later married Eugene Williams in the early ’20s. This marriage didn’t last, and in 1927 she married pianist Jesse Crump, who became her manager and accompanist. In 1923 Cox was signed to the Paramount label, and recorded with them until 1929, releasing records such as “Fogyism”, “Bone orchard blues” and “Moanin’ Groanin’ blues”. After the depression of 1929 Cox continued stage performances but didn’t record again until 1939 when she recorded for Vocalion Records, before moving to Okeh in 1940. She continued performing and recording until 1945, when a stroke brought her singing career to a halt. She effectively retired until 1961, when she recorded the album “Blues for Rampart Street”, her last recording. She suffered another stroke in 1965, and died in November 1967.
- Bye Bye Blues by Bert Lown and his Orchestra (Released by Columbia (CB 139) in 1930). Bert Lown was born in New York in 1903. He learned to play violin and began his career in the Fred Hamm band, before becoming leader of his own dance band. “Bye bye blues” is his most famous composition, and he also wrote “You’re the one I care for” and “Tired”. His recordings include “The first girl I met”, “By my side”, “Were you sincere?” and “Now you’re in my arms”. He stopped leading his band in the mid ’30s and moved into management and worked as a booking agent, before moving into Television. He died in 1962.
The 21st 78Man podcast features records from just one label-Durium Records, which was in existence for less than a year in 1932/3, and released one sided 2 track cardboard flexi discs. It can be heard on Itunes Here or Soundcloud Here . All the tracks on this podcast are by The Durium Dance Band and tracks heard are :
- Just Humming along (released as Track 2 on EN 13)
- One hour with you/What would you do (EN 14)
- Gipsy Moon (Track 2 on EN 16)
- Round the Marble Arch/It’s that little extra something (EN 17)
- It ain’t no fault of mine/The echo of a song (EN 19)
- Lovable/Foolish over you (EN 21)
- I do like a game of football/Underneath the arches (EN 36)
Durium Records was a short lived label, only releasing records between April 1932 and January 1933, on single sided cardboard flexi discs, with two songs per side. Released on a Friday (pay day for most UK workers), the records cost just 1 shilling (5p in new money, or around £3.20 in todays money when inflation is taken into account), and were usually sold at newspaper stands rather than conventional record shops. The name of the label came from a synthetic resin, invented in 1929 by an American professor, Dr. Hal Trueman Beans, which was used to cover the playing side of the record, making it possible to stamp the grooves onto the cardboard disc. Durium Records were based in Slough, and as well as releasing records in the UK, also exported to several European countries, such as Germany, Norway, and Denmark. The label ceased production in January 1933, the last release being EN 44, which comprised “Let’s all be fairies”/”Toasts”. Although the EN series was the main one, there were a few other catalogue series, such as BD, F and M, bringing the total number of UK releases to around 75. Although the majority of Durium’s releases were credited to the Durium Dance Band (a catch all name used by various artists), there were also a few releases by the American Jack Norman’s Orchestra, and Carson Robison & his Pioneers, and one-off releases by Tommy Handley, Terry’s Quick changers, Morton Downey and Orchestra, and the Cuvelier Accordion band.
The 20th 78Man Podcast has France as its theme. It can be heard on itunes Here or on Soundcloud Here . Tracks heard on the podcast are :
- Bells of Normandy by Harry Hudson’s Melody Men with Max Klein (Xylophonist) (Originally released by Edison Bell Radio (1493) in 1931.) Harry Hudson was born in 1898 and began his musical career as part of a double act with fellow singer Stanley Kirkby in 1915. Their association carried on until the mid ’20s. In 1928 Harry Hudson (with his band The Melody Men) started recording for the Edison Bell Radio label, and over the next few years released many records for the label, including “I want to be alone with Mary Brown”, “Misery Farm”, “Moscow”, “Mickey Mouse” and “One little raindrop”. He and his band also recorded under various pseudonyms-Rolando and his Blue Salon Orchestra, Radio Melody Boys, The Blue Jays, and Tanzoni and his Orchestra. Hudson remained active musically until the 1960s, and died in 1969.
- La Vie en rose (Take me to your heart again) by Gracie Fields (released by Decca (F. 9031) in 1948. Gracie Fields was born 9 January 1898 in Rochdale and christened Grace Stansfield. She made her first stage appearance at the age of 7 and made her first recordings for His Master’s Voice in 1928, recording one of her biggest hits, “Sally” for them in 1931. In 1935 she moved to Rex Records, her first release for the label being “When I grow too old to dream”/”Turn ‘Erbert’s face to the wall, Mother” on Rex 8557. She recorded for both Rex and Regal Zonophone until moving to Decca in 1941. During this time, of course, she also appeared in several films, including “Sally in our alley” (1931), “Sing as we go!” (1934), “Look up and laugh” (1935), “Queen of hearts” (1936), and “Shipyard Sally” (1939). Gracie spent most of her later life living on the Isle of Capri where she died on 27th September 1979. La Vie en rose was written in 1945 and became one of Edith Piaf’s best known songs. Other cover versions of the song have been recorded by Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Donna Summer and Grace Jones.
- Ecris Moi by Tino Rossi (released by Columbia (DF 2377) in 1938). Tino Rossi was born in Corsica in 1907 and went on to become one of France’s biggest ever selling singers, as well as appearing in over 20 films. He died in 1983.
- Passe by Jean Sablon (released by Brunswick (03872) in 1946). Jean Sablon was born on March 25 1906 to a musical family-his father was a composer and his siblings were also musicians. He started as a pianist but switched to become a vocalist, making his debut aged 17 in cabaret in Paris. During the ’20s and ’30s he toured extensively, achieving fame in Brazil and the USA, where he later had his own radio show in 1946/7. He also appeared in several films including “The story of Vernon and Irene Castle” (1939), “Miranda” (1948), and “Je connais une blonde” (1963). His popularity in both the UK and USA meant he recorded in both French and English, some of his English recordings including “Can I forget you” (1937), “Two sleepy people” (1939) and “My foolish heart” (1950). He died on February 24 1994.
- The poor people of Paris by Winifred Atwell (released by Decca (F. 10681) in 1956). Winifred Atwell was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1914. She studied pharmacy as her parents were pharmacists, but also played piano, gaining popularity locally. In 1946 she moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. She soon started playing live dates, and made her first BBC Radio appearances in late 1946, although it wasn’t until 1951 that she was signed to Decca and started making records. Her first major hit came in late 1951 with her fourth release “The Black and White Rag”/”Cross hands boogie”, released before the UK singles chart started in 1952. During the rest of the ’50s she had 15 UK chart hits including two number ones-“Let’s have another party” (1954) and “The poor people of Paris” (1956). Other notable hits included “Britannia Rag”, “Flirtation Waltz” and “Port au Prince”. As well as her UK success, she was also hugely popular in Australia, and moved there in the 1970s, by which time her career in the UK had waned (although “The Black and White Rag” was heard regularly as the theme to TV show “Pot black”.) She also had a property in Trinidad where she often stayed . She died in 1983.
- Nuits de Paris by Georges Ulmer (released by Columbia (DF 3182) in 1947). Georges Ulmer was born in Denmark in 1919, but grew up in Spain before finding fame in France as a singer and song writer. His most famous song, Pigalle, has been covered by Bing Crosby, Petula Clark, Paul Anka and Jean Sablon, among others. He also appeared in around a dozen films during the ’50s and early ’60s. He died in 1989.
- Le barbier de Palermo by Jaques Helian et son Orchestre (released by Pathe (PG 359) in 1950.) Jacques Helian was born in 1912 in Paris. He began his musical career in the early ’30s as a saxophonist for Roland Dorsay’s Orchestra, but after being made a prisoner of war from 1940-1943, he formed his own orchestra. He initially recorded for Columbia, releasing dozens of records for them between 1945 and 1949, before moving to the Pathe label. His Orchestra disbanded in 1957, although Helian performed until the early ’80s. He died in 1986.
- The Sunshine of Marseilles by Cavan O’Connor (released by Regal (MR 44) in 1930). Cavan O’Connor was born (as Clarence O’Connor) in Ireland in 1899, but his family moved to England shortly after his birth. He served in the First World War but was injured and demobbed aged 16, and he began his singing career. By the mid ’20s he was appearing in minor roles on stage, in musical theatre and operas, and made his first radio appearance for the BBC in 1925. A couple of years later he began his recording career, first for the Broadcast label, then Regal, Regal Zonophone, Rex and Decca. His records include “Goodnight, Sweetheart” (1931), “My heart is always calling you” (1934), “Shannon River” (1940), and “Little town in the Ould County Down” (1948). He carried on performing until the ’80s, and died in 1997.
- Un Refraint Courait dans la rue by Edith Piaf (released by Columbia (4004 F) in 1950.) Edith Piaf was born on 19th December 1915 in Paris. Her father was a street performer of acrobatics, while her mother was a singer in cafes. She was abandoned by her mother soon after birth, and when her father enlisted in the army in 1916 he gave Edith to his mother, who ran a brothel in Normandy. In the late 1920s her father was again working as a street performer and she joined him, and began singing. In 1935 she started singing at Le Gerny’s club off the Champs- Elysees where she was given the nickname La Mome Piaf (The little sparrow). This led to her first recording contract. Over the next decade she became one of the biggest stars in France, and after the war ended in 1945 her fame spread internationally. Piaf had an eventful life, which has been dramatised in several films, most recently and successfully in 2007’s “La Vie en Rose”, named after one of her most famous songs. Piaf carried on working until her death in October 1963 and some of her most famous songs were from relatively late in her career-“Milord” in 1959, and “Non, Je ne regrette Rien” and “Exodus” in 1961.