- Old Mother Hubbard by The Blue Mountaineers (released by Broadcast Four-Tune (502) in 1933.) The Blue Mountaineers recorded quite a few records for the Broadcast labels from 1932-1934, and consisted mainly of musicians from Ambrose’s band, often with Nat Gonella or Sam Browne on vocals. Other Blue Mountaineers recordings include “Bahama Mama”, “Say to yourself I will be happy”, “Sweet Sixteen and never been kissed”, and “Is I in love? I Is!”.
- Dear Little Irish Mother by Harry Bidgood and his Broadcasters (released by Broadcast (138) in 1927). Harry Bidgood was born in London in 1898. He studied at The Royal College of Music, and began a lengthy recording career in the mid ’20s. Bidgood released records under his own name, as well as Primo Scala’s Accordion band, Nat Lewis, Rossini, Don Porto, Manhattan Melodymakers and Al Benny’s Broadway Boys. Records released under his own name include “Por Ti (Gor thee)” (1926), “Moonbeam I kiss her for thee” (1927), “Our bungalow of dreams” (1928), “Misery Farm” (1929), and “Sunnyside up” (1930). He was also musical director on several George Formby films. His most successful pseudonym was Primo Scala, and he was still broadcasting regularly as Primo Scala up to his death in November 1957. His Primo Scala releases include “The man on the flying trapeze”(1935), “Why did she fall for the leader of the band?”(1936), “Meet me down in Sun valley” (1938), “Waltzing Matilda” (1940), “Tica-Ti, Tica-Ta” (1942), “The echo told me a lie”(1949), “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer” (1950), and “Mockin’ Bird Hill”(1951).
- Hello Mom by Bing Crosby (released by Brunswick (03510) in 1944). Bing Crosby was born in May 1903, in Tacoma, Washington, US (originally named Harry, he was nicknamed Bing as a child and the name stuck). As a teenager he saw singers while working at his local auditorium, but it wasn’t until he was 20 that he started singing in a band himself, called The Musicaladers. Two years later this band split and he started singing with a vocal trio, The Three Harmony Aces. He then formed a duo with Al Rinker, with whom he made his first record, “I’ve got the girl” in 1926. The act then expanded to a trio again, with the addition of Harry Barris, and were rechristened The Rhythm Boys. Several successful records followed before Bing was offered a solo recording contract in 1931 with Brunswick records. Over the next decade he became one of the most successful American singers worldwide, with hits such as “Stardust” (1931), “Please” (1932), “Let me call you sweetheart” (1935), “Basin Street Blues” (1937) and “My melancholy baby” (1939). It was during the ’30s that Bing also started appearing in films, such as “College Humor” (1933), “She loves me not” (1934), “Anything goes” (1936), “Sing, you sinners” (1938) and “East side of heaven” (1939). As well as appearing in films and releasing records, Bing also had his own US radio series. In 1942 Bing released what would become his most famous recording, “White Christmas”, which was also used in the film “Holiday Inn”. He re-recorded the song in 1947 after the original master became damaged and the record still sells every Christmas. Bing continued recording, appearing in films, radio and TV into the 1970s, right until his death in October 1977 (he gave his last live performance 4 days before his death, and recorded his last radio session and interview the following day.)
- My Mother’s Eyes by Maurice Elwin (released by Zonophone (5397) in 1929). Maurice Elwin was born in 1898 in Glasgow, his real name being Norman MacPhaill Blair. He moved to London and regularly appeared with the Savoy Orpheans in the ’20s and ’30s. He recorded for Zonophone, Decca, Imperial and Rex during the late ’20s and first half of the ’30s, his records including “You’re in my heart” (1929), “It happened in Monterey” (1930), “I surrender, dear” (1931), “Lullaby of the leaves” (1932), “The Gold digger’s song (We’re in the money)” (1933), “Everything I have is yours” (1934) and “Gloomy Sunday (The Famous Hungarian Suicide Song)” (1936). He later became a music teacher in Hampstead, and died in 1975.
- Mother from the Train by The Beverley Sisters (released by Decca (10832) in 1956). The Beverley Sisters were a UK trio comprising sisters Joy (1924-2015) and twins Teddie and Babs (born 1927) Chinery. They came to prominence after successfully auditioning to sing in an advert for Ovaltine, and then for BBC Radio in 1944. They made many appearances on BBC Radio during the late ’40s an early ’50s, and signed to Columbia Records in 1951, then to Philips in 1953 and finally Decca in 1955. They scored their first UK hit with “I Saw mommy kissing Santa Claus” in 1953 and had several other hits over the following years including “Willie Can” (1956), “I Dreamed” (1957), “Little drummer boy” (1959) and “Green Fields” (1960). The group’s hits dried up in the early ’60s and they rarely recorded after then, although they continued to sing live and appear on TV. As late as 2009 they were still making occasional live appearances, before retiring.
- Grandmother’s Wedding Dress by Ronnie Ronalde (released by Columbia (DB 2852) in 1951). Ronnie Ronalde was born (as Ronald Waldron) in 1923 in London, growing up in Islington. His family was poor and as a child he earned money by entertaining people with his singing, mimicry, whistling and bird song.As a teenager he joined Arturo Steffani’s Silver Songsters, and Steffani later became his manager, steering his career to success from the late ’40s onwards. He signed to Columbia Records, his 78 releases including “In a monastery garden” (1949), “Let me sing in echo valley” (1950), “Down by the old zuyder zee” (1951), “The Skye Boat Song ” (1953), and “The Yodellin’ Rag” (1956). After his initial success in the ’50s he continued making live, radio and TV appearances but slowly withdrew from the limelight. He moved to Guernsey in the ’60s where he bought a hotel, then to the Isle of Man in the late ’80s and finally to New Zealand and Australia in the ’90s. He moved back to the UK a few years before his death in 2015.
- Grandma’s Ball by Johnny Dodds’ Chicago Footwarmers (released by Columbia (Swing series 144) in 1953, recorded 1927). Johnny Dodds was born in 1892 in Waveland, Mississippi, but moved to New Orleans in his teens and started learning to play the clarinet. After a move to Chicago he joined Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, with whom he made his first recordings in 1923. In the next couple of years he also recorded with Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers. In the late ’20s he recorded with his own bands, his records including “Oh Daddy”, “New St. Louis Blues”, “Clarinet wobble”, “Joe Turner blues”, “After you’ve gone” and “Wildman blues”. Ill health meant he only recorded twice during the 1930s, and he died in August 1940, aged 48.
- Your mother and mine by Doris Day and The Four Lads (released by Columbia (DB 3256) in 1953). Doris Day (born Doris Kappelhoff) was born in April 1922 in Cincinatti, Ohio. She began her entertainment career as a dancer while still a child, but a car accident at 15 injured her leg and curtailed her dancing career. While recuperating, Doris listened to the radio and sang along, which spurred her mother to pay for singing lessons. She began singing live locally and appeared on local radio which led to her singing with Barney Rapp, Bob Crosby, Jimmy James and Les Brown. It was with Les Brown that she scored her first hit record in 1945 with “Sentimental journey.” She went on to make dozens of records, including “Pretty Baby” (1948), “I Don’t Wanna Be Kissed By Anyone But You” (1950), “I Love The Way You Say Goodnight” (1951), “I’ll see you in my dreams” (1952), “Mister Tap Toe” (1953), “Love me or leave me” (1955), “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)” (1956) and “The Tunnel of love” (1959). During this period Doris also began appearing in films, including “Romance on the high seas” (1948), “Tea for two” (1950), “April in Paris” (1952), “Young at heart” (1954), “The Man who knew too much” (1956) and “Pillow Talk” (1959). Her film career flourished in the early ’60s but by the end of the decade her popularity was in decline, although she did host her own TV show between 1968 and 1973. Since then Doris has largely retired from the entertainment industry, with only occasional appearances and recordings. She is more involved with animal welfare charities, running the Doris Day Animal Foundation and the Doris Day Animal League. At the time of writing, Doris Day has recently celebrated her 96th birthday.
- Mama by David Whitfield (released by Decca (F 10515) in 1955). David Whitfield was born in Hull, UK, in 1925. As a child he sang in his church choir, then, while in the navy during World War 2, entertained his colleagues with his singing. After the war he entered Radio Luxembourg’s talent show “Opportunity knocks” which led to a recording contract with Decca Records. His records included “I Believe” (1953), “Answer Me” (1953), “Cara Mia” (1954), “Lady of Madrid” (1955), “My Son John” (1956), “The Adoration waltz” (1957), and “Love is a stranger” (1958). As well as having great success in the UK, he became the most successful British singer of the ’50s in the US, and his 1954 hit “Cara Mia” became the first record by a UK singer to top both the UK and US charts.Despite his huge popularity the hits had dried up by the end of the ’50s, although he carried on performing up to his death in 1980.