The 33rd 78Man Podcast features versions on 78 of songs later recorded by Nina Simone. It’s available on Itunes and Podbean (Here)
Tracks are :
1. Mood Indigo by The Delta Rhythm Boys (1955) (Released by Brunswick (05353) in 1953) The Delta Rhythm Boys formed in 1934, and originally comprised Lee Gaines, Elmaurice Miller, Traverse Crawford and Essie Joseph Adkins. They were formed at Langston University in Oklahoma, and remained active under various line ups until 1987. They found success in the US in the ’40s through appearances on radio, TV and in films, and during the ’50s they gained more success in Europe, leading them to relocate. They made many records, including “Georgia on my mind” (with Mildred Bailey, 1941), “It’s only a paper moon” (with Ella Fitzgerald, 1945), “Dry Bones” (1946), “Sweetheart of mine” (1949), “Sentimental Journey” (with Ruth Brown, 1950), “Oo wee baby” (1952) and “Trop Trop Trop” (1953).
2. He needs me by Les Brown and his Band of Renown (1955) (Released by Capitol (CL 14350) in 1955) Les Brown was born in Pennsylvania in 1912. He studied music at the Conway Military Band School and the New York Military Academy, before attending Duke University in North Carolina, where he formed his first band, Les Brown and his Blue Devils, who undertook their first extensive tour in 1936. Two years later the band became Les Brown and his band of Renown, and carried on until 2000. In 1945 they released “Sentimental journey” with vocals by Doris Day, which was her first major success. The association with Doris Day continued and Les Brown became the orchestra leader on her radio programme during the early ’50s. The band also performed extensively with Bob Hope for many years, and also performed with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald. The band’s records include “Turkey Hop” (1950), “Let it be” (1952), “Ramona” (1953), “The Gal from Joe’s” (1954), and “The Man that got away” (1955). Les Brown died in January 2001, but since then his son, Les Brown Jnr, has led his version of the Band of Renown.
3. Love me or leave me by Doris Day (Released by Philips (PB 479 in 1955) 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. Consequently Doris largely retired from the entertainment industry, with only occasional appearances and recordings. She became more involved with animal welfare charities, running the Doris Day Animal Foundation and the Doris Day Animal League. She died in May 2019, aged 97.
4. My Baby just cares for me by Somethin’ Smith and the Redheads (Released by Philips (PB 446) in 1955) A Three piece US group, Somethin’ Smith and The Redheads comprised Robert Robertson on vocals, banjo and guitar, Saul Striks on piano, and Major C Short on double bass. They had several US hits, including “It’s A Sin to tell a lie” (1955), “Red Head” (1955), “In a Shanty in old Shanty town” (1956) and “Heartaches” (1956). The band split in 1966.
5. You’ll never walk alone by Jane Froman (Released by Capitol (CL 14658) in 1956) Jane Froman was born in November 1907, in Missouri. She sang from an early age, playing at her college as a teenager, before studying at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. In 1929 she began appearing on local radio in Cincinnati, and made her national radio debut in 1931. Her radio career flourished and in 1934 she was voted the number one female singer on the radio. She appeared in three films during the 1930s but later screen appearances would be on Television, including her own TV show in the ’50s. In 1952, the film “With a song in my heart” was based on Froman’s life. She retired in the early ’60s and died in April 1980.
6. He’s Got the whole world in his hands by Laurie London (Released by Parlophone (R 4359) in 1959) Laurie London was born in East London in January 1944. He recorded “He’s Got the whole world in His Hands” as a 13 year old schoolboy for the UK Parlophone label (produced by George Martin). The record was picked up Capitol Records in the US and was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, but was his only big success. He retired from the music business at the age of 19, and went on to become a hotelier and restauranter.
7. Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday (Released by Commodore (7513) in 1944)
8. Fine and Mellow by Billie Holiday (Released by Commodore (7513) in 1944) Billie Holiday was born in April 1915 as Eleanora Fagan, in Philadelphia. Her parents were not married, and her Father, Clarence Holiday abandoned the family shortly after the birth. Eleanora was largely brought up by her Mother’s Half sister’s Mother in law, Martha Miller, in Baltimore. She had a difficult childhood, often playing truant and dropping out of school altogether by the age of 11. Shortly after leaving school she began work running errands in a brothel. Around this time she began taking an interest in music, having heard records by Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith. In early 1929, she moved to Harlem, joining her mother working in a brothel, which led to them both being imprisoned when the brothel was raided. After her release, she started singing in night clubs in Harlem, changing her name to Billie Holiday. In late 1932 she began singing at Covan’s night club and it was here she was spotted in early 1933 by record producer John Hammond, which led to her first recording session in November 1933, with Benny Goodman. In 1935 she signed to Brunswick where she recorded with pianist Teddy Wilson. Her recordings for Brunswick include “What a little moonlight can do”, “I Cried for you” and “Miss Brown to you”. In late 1937 she toured with Count Basie and was then taken on by Artie Shaw, with whom she toured and made radio broadcasts. In the late ’30s she began recording for Columbia and was attracting strong sales of her records. However, when she began singing “Strange Fruit” live in 1939, and wanted to record it, Columbia baulked at the song’s subject matter (the lynching of black men in the Southern states of the US) and she recorded it for the small Commodore label as a one off record. It became one of her biggest sellers. Her success continued in the 1940s, when she had hits with “God bless the child” (1941), “Lover Man” (1944) and “That ole devil called love” (1944). By this time she was addicted to heroin and the 1940s saw both huge success-in 1948 she broke box office records with a concert at Carnegie Hall-and several arrests for posession of narcotics. By the 1950s her drug use and drinking habits were affecting her health but she continued performing live and recording, as well as publishing her autobiography (ghost written by William Duffy) “Lady Sings the blues” in 1956. In early 1959 she was diagnosed as having cirrhosis of the liver, and died on July 17th of that year.
9. Nobody Knows you when you’re down and out by Graeme Bell and his Australian Jazz Band (Released by Esquire (10-016) in 1948) Graeme Bell was born in 1914, in Victoria, Australia, into a musical family-his Father was a music hall entertainer and his Mother a contralto recitalist in Dame Nelly Melba’s company. He learnt to play piano as a child, and in 1935 formed a band with his younger brother Roger, playing jazz locally. In 1941 he formed the Graeme Bell Jazz Gang, and made his first recordings in 1943. The band changed their name to Graeme Bell and his Dixieland Jazz Band (recording “Ugly Child” and “Tessa’s Blues” for Regal Zonophone in 1947 before becoming the Australian Jazz Band, under which name they made further records, including “Big Chief Battle Axe” (1948), “Chabby Gal Rag” (1949), “Irish Black Bottom” (1950), and “Muskat Ramble” (1951). Bell continued recording and touring throughout the 1960s and beyond (particularly in the UK during the trad jazz boom of the early ’60s) and was made an Ofiicer of the Order of Australia in 1990 for services to music. He died, aged 97, in 2012.
10. Falling in love again by Jack Payne and his BBC Dance Orchestra (Released by Columbia (CB 106) in 1930) Jack Payne was born on 22 August 1899 and began his musical career playing piano while serving in the Royal Air Force during World War One. During the ’20s he moved to London and joined a band which became the house band at London’s Hotel Cecil. Appearances on BBC Radio followed and in 1928 Payne became the BBC Director of Dance Music and the leader of the BBC’s first official dance band. They made many records for Columbia, including “Riding on a camel” (1929), “On her doorstep last night” (1929), “Sittin’ on a five barred gate” (1930) and “Goodnight sweetheart” (1931). After leaving the BBC, the band carried on as Jack Payne and his band, and moved to Imperial Records, where their releases included “Was that the Human thing to do?” (1932), “All over Italy” (1933), and “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?” (1933) before moving to Rex Records where their releases included “Tiger Rag” (1934), “An earful of music” (1935) and “When the poppies bloom again” (1936). In 1939 they moved to Decca records and then in the mid ’40s to His Master’s Voice. The band also appeared in the films “Say it with music” (1932) and “Sunshine ahead” (1936). Jack Payne died on 4 December 1969.