- Song of the Emmenthaler Valley by The Alpine Yodelling Choir (Released by Regal (G 9429) in 1929). Yodelling can be traced back to the 16th century and was originally used in the central Alps by herders calling their stock and to communicate between Alpine villages. It became popular as entertainment in music halls and theatres during the 1830s, and peaked in popularity in the late 1920s after Jimmie Rodgers released “Blue Yodel number 1”. Since then there have been several famous yodellers-Bill Haley began his singing career as a yodeller before switching to Rock ‘n’ Roll, while Hank Snow began his career as “The Yodeling Ranger” before becoming a big country music star. Frank Ifield had a huge hit with “She taught me to yodel” in 1962 and “The Sound of Music”, one of the most successful films of the 1960s featured the yodelling song “The Lonely Goatherd”. Despite all this, “Song of the Emmenthaler Valley” appears to be The Alpine Yodelling Choir’s only record and very little is known about them!
- Captain Ginjah by Harry Fay Harry Fay began his recording career in 1909 and made many records over the next two and a half decades, mainly as a solo artist but also duets with Florrie Forde and Stanley Kirkby. Among the well known songs he recorded are “It’s a long way to Tipperary”, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, “Yes! We have no bananas”, “Bless ’em all”, “Hello! Here comes a jolly sailor”, “Gilbert the Filbert” and “I Do like an egg for my tea”. He also recorded under several pseudonyms, such as Charles Denton and Fred Vernon.
- On Her Doorstep Last Night by The Rhythmic Troubadours (with vocal chorus by Tom Barratt) (Released by Regal (G 9455) in 1929). Tom Barratt was active on the recording front from the mid ’20s to the early ’30s and sang with several bands on record-the Jay Wilbur Orchestra, the Nat Starr Orchestra and the Regent Orchestra among others, as well as recording under the pseudonym of Tom Bailey. The Rhythmic Trobadours other recordings included “Ali Baba’s Camel”, “Kiss me goodnight” and “Great Day”.
- All By Yourself in the Moonlight by Randolph Sutton (Released by Edison Bell Radio (895) in 1928) Randolph Sutton was born in 1888 in Bristol, and made his stage debut in 1913. He soon became a popular singer but only began recording in earnest in the late 1920s. His other recordings include “All by yourself in the moonlight”, “Oh! Arthur! (What have you done to Martha?)”, “Is Izzy Azzy Woz?”, “Drivin’ the geese to market” and “The sun has got his hat on (He’s coming out today)”. Sutton was a successful stage performer, appearing in many pantomimes and revues, as well as radio and TV appearances (he appeared on BBC TV’s “The Good old days” in 1954.) He continued working until his death, making his final stage appearance on 26th February 1969 in St. Albans, two days before he died. A month later, Radio 2 produced a tribute programme, introduced by George Martin. His influence was such that further tribute programmes were made by Radio 2 in 1980 and 1982.
- Banana Oil by Vaughn De Leath (Released by Columbia (3720) in 1925) Vaughn De Leath was born in 1894 in Illinois,USA, as Leonore Vonderlieth, moving to Los Angeles aged 12. She started singing during the 1910s and made her first radio broadcast in 1920 for New York’s 2XG station. The following year she began her recording career and over the next decade made records for Columbia, Brunswick, Okeh, Edison, Victor and others, both under her own name and using pseudonyms such as Sadie Green, Betty Brown and Gertrude Dwyer. Her recordings as Vaughn De Leath include “Are you lonesome tonight?”, “Under the moon” and “Looking at the world through rose coloured glasses”. She continued making radio appearances throughout the ’20s and ’30s but her career waned and she died in 1943, having suffered financial problems and alcohol addiction in later years.
- Bunkey-Doodle-I-Doh by Hal Swain and his Band (Released by Regal (G 9440) in 1929). Hal Swain was born on May 9th 1894 in Canada. He learned to play saxophone and formed a band which played in Toronto between 1921 and 1924 and was then offered a job in the UK. The band came over and played at the New Prince’s Restaurant in Piccadilly as The New Prince’s Toronto Band, also gaining a recording contract with Columbia, for whom they made records such as “Chick chick chicken”, “Ukulele Baby”, “Follow the swallow” and “Is Zat So?”. This band lasted until 1926, when Hal Swain left and formed Hal Swain’s New Toronto band and continued playing at the New Prince’s until 1928. During this time the BBC broadcast dozens of appearances by the band direct from the restaurant. He then made a series of records for various labels under the name Hal Swain and his band, including “Riding on a camel”, “Saxophobia”, “My baby just cares for me”, “Goodnight, Sweetheart”, and “Tango Lady”. Hal’s recording career dried up during the ’30s but in the late ’30s he teamed up with The Swing Sisters, three female accordion players, and this team lasted until the early ’50s. He died on September 1st 1966. You can see him in 1939 with The Swing sisters Here
- Umpa Umpa (Stick It Up Your Jumper) by The Two Leslies (Released by Regal Zonophone (MR 1920) in 1935.) The Two Leslies comprised Leslie Sarony (See Podcast 1 blog) and Leslie Holmes. Holmes, like Sarony, was a singer of novelty songs (and covered many of Sarony’s compositions) although not as prolific or successful. His solo recordings included “I’ve gone and lost my little Yo-Yo”,”The old kitchen kettle”,”Ask me another”(all 1932),”What do you give a nudist on her birthday?”(1934) and “Winter draws on”(1935). The pair joined forces in 1935 and performed as a duo until 1946. The Two Leslies records included “The New Sow”, “The Campbells are coming”, “I’m a little prairie flower” and “So ‘Andsome”. The phrase “Oompah oompah Stick it up your jumper” was used subsequently by comedian Jimmy Edwards and in several Carry on films, as well as appearing at the end of The Beatles’ song “I am the walrus”.
- Pass! Shoot! Goal! By Albert Whelan (Released by Imperial (2404) in 1930) Albert Whelan was born in Melbourne, Australia on 5 May 1875 and had some success in his homeland before emigrating to the UK. He started his recording career in 1905 and made many recordings right up to 1960, his recordings including “Over the garden wall”, “Barnacle Bill the sailor”, “We all go Oo, Ha ha! Together” and “Come and have a cuddle on the common”. He also made many appearances on BBC Radio from 1928 onwards, and during the 1950s introduced a regular programme on the home service called “Mutual Friends” on which he played records. As well as radio and recording work, he also appeared in many films, including “The Man from Chicago” (1930), “The girl in the Taxi” (1937), “Danny Boy” (1941) and “Candlelight in Algeria” (1944). He died on 19th February 1961.
- Sweet and Low by The Century Quartette (Released by Columbia (3278) in 1923). The music for “Sweet and Low” was written by Joseph Barnby with lyrics taken from a poem by Alfred Tennyson, in 1865. Barnby was born in 1838 in York, and became a chorister at the age of 7 before moving on to become an organist and conductor. He died in 1896. Tennyson was born in 1809 in Lincolnshire and after attending Grammar School in Louth began studying at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he published his first poems. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1850, a position he held up until his death in 1892. “Sweet and Low” was recorded on 78 by many artistes, including The Zonophone Glee Party (1911), Big City Four (1919), Mr. Robert Woodville (1921), and The Cloister Bells (1951)