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78Man Podcast Number 23-Birds

The theme for the twenty third 78Man podcast is Birds. It can be found on Soundcloud Here and on itunes Here . Tracks heard on the podcast are :

  1. If I Were Only A Swallow by Gloria Jean (Originally released on Brunswick (2970) in 1940. Gloria Jean was born in Buffalo, New York in 1926. She began her career at an early age, making her radio debut at the age of three, and singing with Paul Whiteman’s band. At the age of 12 she became the youngest person to be engaged by an Opera Company, and at 13 was signed by Universal, and appeared in her first film, The Under-Pup. Further film roles followed, and she starred with Bing Crosby in “If I had my way” (1940), and WC Fields in “Never give a sucker an even break” (1941). By 1949 she had appeared in 23 films. During the ’50s she appeared more on TV and stage than in film, and by the early ’60s film work had dried up. She gave up acting and worked for a cosmetics firm until her retirement.
    2. The Blue Danube by Musical Dawson and his Famous Choir of Canaries (Released by Broadcast (910) in 1932).  Possibly the epitome of a novelty act, Musical Dawson’s Famous Choir of Canaries nevertheless managed a sustained career, appearing on stage, record and Pathe newsreels from the early ’30’s well into the ’40s. Their other records include “Bells across the meadow”, “Barcarolle”, Love’s old sweet song”, “Londonderry air” and “Liebestraume”. You can see Musical Dawson and his canaries from 1938 in a Pathe film Here
    3. The Parrot (On The Fortune Teller’s Hat) by Ethel Smith (Released by Brunswick (3632) in 1946.) Ethel Smith was born in 1902 and began her musical career early in life, becoming an accomplished organist. She travelled widely and while in South America learnt to play Latin music, for which she is best remembered. Her recordings include “Tico-Tico” (1945), “Toca Tu Samba” (1947), “Easter Parade” (1948), “The Harry Lime Theme” (1950), and “I’m walking right behind you” (1953). She died in 1996.
    4. The Woody Woodpecker by Anne Shelton (Released by Decca (F 8951) in 1948.) Anne Shelton was born in South London in November 1923, and began singing on the radio show “Monday night at eight” aged 12, gaining a recording contract 3 years later. During the war she appeared many times on the BBC’s forces radio service, often alongside Vera Lynn. After the war she had a regular BBC radio show with band leader Ambrose and then her popularity spread to America, and she toured the US in 1951. In 1956 she had a UK number one single with “Lay down your arms”. She made regular appearances on radio and TV all through the ’50s and ’60s; in 1961 she hosted her own TV show, “Ask Anne”. In 1978 she appeared on the Royal Variety Performance, and in 1984 presented a TV tribute to Glen Miller. She continued performing until her death in July 1994.
    5. Goosey Gander by Woody Herman and his Orchestra (Released by Parlophone (R 2990) in 1946). Woody Herman was born in 1913 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He began as a child performer, singing and tap dancing, before learning to play the clarinet and saxophone. He joined the Tom Gerun band as singer before fronting his own band which signed with Decca Records in 1936. It was, however, two and a half years before they scored their first hit with “Woodchopper’s Ball” in 1939. Other hits followed, such as “Blues in the night” (1942), “Do Nothing till you hear from me” (1943 ) ,and “The Music stopped” (1944). Although Herman’s heyday was in the ’40s and ’50s, he continued performing up to his death in 1987.
    6. The Ugly Duckling by Danny Kaye (Released by Brunswick (5031) in 1952) Danny Kaye was born (as David Daniel Kaminsky) in Brooklyn, New York in 1911. In his early 20s he joined a vaudeville dance act, The Three Terpsichoreans, with whom he toured America and Asia. In the mid to late ’30s, now a solo act, he worked on stage and appeared in a few short films. His growing success on Broadway led to his first feature film, “Up in arms” in 1944, which led to a series of successful films, including “The secret life of Walter Mitty” (1947), “On the Riviera” (1951), “Hans Christian Anderson” (1952), “White Christmas” (1954) and “Merry Andrew” (1958). At the same time he also had a successful radio and recording career, his records including “Tubby the Tuba” (1948), “I’ve got a lovely bunch of cocoanuts” (1949), “Love me or leave me” (1950), “Wonderful Copenhagen” (1952) and “I love you fair dinkum (Dinky di I do)” (1955). In the ’50s and ’60s he moved into television, including his own “Danny Kaye Show” (1963-1967), as well as appearing on “What’s my line?” and “Here’s Hollywood”. He died in 1987.
    7. Cuckoo by Leslie Sarony (Released by His Master’s Voice (B. 2391) in 1927. Leslie Sarony was born in Surbiton, Surrey on 22 January 1897 and was Christened Leslie Legge Tate Frye. After serving in the first world war, he took his Mother’s maiden name as his surname and began a long career in entertainment, which took in radio appearances, appearances in films (the first being Hot Water and Vegetabuel in 1928), and recordings of mainly humourous songs, many of which he wrote himself. According to the sleeve notes of his 1980 album “Roy Hudd presents Leslie Sarony”, Leslie said “I recorded for every company in the country”, and there are a bewildering amount of 78s on a multitude of different labels to collect. The same sleeve notes state that there were over 350 Leslie Sarony recordings, but that he recorded many more under assumed names (including Layton and Victor Payne). Some of Leslie’s best known songs from this time include “Jollity farm” (later covered by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band), “Ain’t it grand to be bloomin’ well dead”, “I lift up my finger and say “Tweet Tweet”” (also recorded by Gracie Fields among others), “Fourteen Rollicking Sailors” and “Rhymes”. In 1934 he teamed up with Leslie Holmes to form The Two Leslies, a partnership which lasted until 1946. Apart from the previously mentioned Roy Hudd album, Leslie stopped recording in 1939 and later moved into acting, appearing in TV shows such as The Passing show (1951), Dial 999 (1959), Crossroads (1964), Steptoe and Son (1965), Z-Cars (1962 and 1969), Nearest and dearest (1969), The Sweeney (1975), I didn’t know you cared (1979), Minder (1982) and Victoria Wood as seen on TV (1985). He also appeared in the Monty Python short film “The Crimson Permanent Insurance” (1983). Throughout his life he had a lengthy stage career, lasting from around 1922 right up to his death, on February 12th 1985, aged 88.  Here he is in a British Pathe film from 1932 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ywR6IqaVcU
    8. Aint Nobody Here But Us Chickens by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five (Released by Brunswick (3778) in 1947). Louis Jordan was born in July 1908, in Arkansas, USA, into a musical family, his father being a music teacher. He learnt the clarinet at an early age, playing with his father’s band. In the early ’30s he began playing with the Clarence Williams band, and in 1936 joined the Savoy Ballroom Orchestra, where he became lead male singer (alongside Ella Fitzgerald). Two years later Jordan went solo with his own band, who were initially called the Elks Rendezvous band, before changing to the Tympany Five. They signed to Decca in the US, and over the next 15 years released many records, including “Mama Mama Blues” (1941), “G.I. Jive” (1944), “That chick’s too young to fry” (1946), “Pettin’ and Pokin'” (1947), “Saturday night fish fry” (1949), “Dad gum ya hide, boy” (1954), and “I want you to be my baby” (1955). After declining popularity in the early ’50s, he left Decca in 1954,and had a series of short lived recording contracts on smaller labels, never regaining his previous popularity. He died in 1975.
    9. When The Swallows Say Goodbye by The Stargazers (Released by Decca (F. 10696) in 1955). The Stargazers were formed in 1949 by Cliff Adams and Ronnie Milne. Dick James, later a solo singer and then music publisher for The Beatles, was also an original member. The group went on to big success in the UK-their first two hits were number 1s- “Broken Wings” in 1953 and “I see the moon” in 1954 and they also backed Dickie Valentine on the 1954 number 1 “The Finger of suspicion”. Other hits included “The Happy Wanderer” (1954), “Close the door” (1955), and “Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom” (1956). The group also served as backing singers on recordings by many artists including Petula Clark, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and Jo Stafford.

Interlude Record : Nightingales recorded in Beatrice Harrison’s garden, Oxted.  (Released by HMV (B. 2469) in 1927). Beatrice Harrison was born to British parents in India in 1892. The family moved back to the UK and Beatrice studied at the Royal College of Music in London. She became an accomplished cellist, and became known for her performances of the works of Delius, being the first performer of his Cello Sonata in 1918, and his Cello Concerto in 1921. Her garden in Oxted was home to many nightingales, and she made radio broadcasts from her garden playing cello accompanied by birdsong. She died in 1965.

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78Man Podcast Number 22-Blues

The 22nd 78Man Podcast features Blues records, and can be found on itunes Here or on Soundcloud Here . Tracks featured are :

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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”.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

78Man Podcast Number 20-France

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 :

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

78Man Podcast Number 14-Scotland

In honour of Burns night, the 14th 78Man Podcast has Scotland as its theme. It can be heard on Itunes Here     and Soundcloud Here

Tracks on the podcast are :

1.We parted on the shore by Mr Harry Lauder   (Released by Zonophone (X-42582) c.1908). Harry Lauder was born in 1870 in Edinburgh. His Father died when he was 11, and by the age of 14 he was working in a colliery, where he used to sing to his fellow workers. This led to engagements in local music halls, and in 1894 he turned professional. In 1900 he moved down to London where he became immediately successful. Over the next few years his fame grew and he toured America for the first time in 1907. He made his first recordings in 1905 and he recorded prolifically up until the early 1930s.

2.Daft Willy by Sandy Rowan(Released by Broadcast (484) in 1929.) Sandy Rowan was a Scottish comedian active during the late ’20s. His other recordings for Broadcast include “Just A Wee Deoch-an-Doris”, “I love a lassie”, “The cosy corner”, “Wanderin’ Willie”, and “All Scotch”. He first appeared on BBC radio in 1927 and was featured regularly for the next 5 years. After this he only appeared sporadically, for the last time in 1949. Apart from these few records for Broadcast, he doesn’t seem to have made any other recordings.

3. I‘ve got a lover up in Scotland by Mr Billy Williams (Released by Homophon (6851) c. 1913)

4. Jean from Aberdeen by Mr Billy Williams (Released by Cinch (5041) c. 1913 but probably a re-issue of the Zonophone recording from 1908) (For more information on Billy Williams see Podcast 11 Blog, from November 2016)

5. Grandfather’s bagpipes by Gracie Fields (Released by Rex Records (8617) in 1915.) (For more info on Gracie Fields see Podcast 1 blog). “Grandfather’s Bagpipes” was written by Jimmy Harper and Will Haines, who wrote or co-wrote some of Gracie Fields’ biggest hits such as “The Biggest Aspidistra in the world”, “Sally” and “Walter, Walter (lead me to the altar)” as well as the George Formby hit “In my little snapshot album.”

6. The Campbells are coming by The Two Leslies (Released by Regal Zonophone (MR 2225) in 1936.) (For more info on The Two Leslies, see Podcast 3 blog.)

7. When I get back tae Bonnie Scotland by Sandy Macgregor (Released by Regal (G 6481) in 1914.) This was a song written by Harry Lauder. Little is known about Sandy Macgregor, this seems to be his only record.

8. I’m the monster of Loch Ness by Leslie Holmes (Released by Rex Records (8094) in 1934.) Leslie Holmes was born in December 1901 in Newcastle upon Tyne, and died in December 1960. He was often billed as “Leslie Holmes (and his smiling voice)” and as well as a successful comedy singing career in the ’30s and ’40s (solo under his own name and as Roy Leslie and as part of The Two Leslies), he appeared in a couple of films-“Aunt Sally” in 1934 and “When you come home” in 1948.

9. Hoots Mon by Gordon Franks and his Orchestra (Released by Embassy (WB 312) in 1958.) “Hoots Mon” was a number 1 hit for Lord Rockingham’s XI in late 1958. This version was a cover version on Woolworth’s budget label, Embassy. Franks recorded regularly for the Embassy label, releasing tribute albums to Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Tommy Dorsey. He went on to record for Parlophone in the early ’60s, releasing singles of the theme tunes to TV series “The Rag Trade” and “Outbreak of Murder”. Composing music for TV shows became Franks’ main activity in the ’60s and ’70s, his credits including “Sykes”, “Father dear Father” and “Citizen James”.

10. The end of the road by Sir Harry Lauder. (Released by Zonophone (G.O. 64) in 1925.) Following his first flush of success (in 1911 he became the highest paid entertainer in the world), Lauder spent much of the Great War raising money for the war effort, for which he was knighted in 1919. The war held personal tragedy for Lauder; his son John was killed in December 1916 at Pozieres. John’s death inspired Lauder to write “The end of the road” which became one of his best known songs. Despite retiring in 1935, Lauder also entertained the troops during World War 2. He died in February 1950.

78Man Podcast Number 11-The 1910s

The 11th 78Man Podcast showcases music from the 1910s. It is available on itunes HERE or on Soundcloud Here. Tracks heard on the Podcast are :

  1. I’m 21 Today by Jack Pleasants (Released by The Winner (2089) in 1912) Jack Pleasants was born in Bradford in 1874 and was a music hall star of the early 20th century, billed as “The Bashful Limit”. His other recordings include “Where do the flies go in Winter”, “Feeding the ducks on the pond”, “Watching the trains come in”, and “I deserve a good slapping”. He died in 1924.
  2. Always Jolly by Billy Whitlock (Released by Beka-Grand Record (203) in 1912) Billy Whilock was born Frederick Penna in 1874, in Cheltenham. He began his recording career in the early 1910s, and continued recording into the 1940s. Other recordings include “Chuckles” (1915),”Billy Whitlock’s Aeroplane” (1926), and “Scotch Hot” (1949). Whilock was, like Charles Penrose, a singer of “laughing” songs and he teamed up with Penrose for some recordings, including “The Yuletide Coach” (1925) and “Two old sports” (1920). Whitlock died in 1951.
  3. Squeeze her Ebeneezer by Billy Williams (Released by Zonophone (1012) in 1913) Billy Williams was born Richard Banks in Australia in 1878, but moved to the UK in 1899, becoming an entertainer and changing his name to Billy Williams. He made his first recordings in 1906 and over the next 9 years became a huge star and prolific recording artiste, making over 500 recordings. He died in March 1915 aged 37. Among his most famous records are “When Father papered the parlour”, “Little Willie’s Woodbines” and “John go and put your trousers on”.
  4. The Wibbly Wobbly Walk by Fred Elliott (Released by Scala (305) in 1913) Fred Elliott was actually a pseudonym for Jack Charman (see below). Other recordings under this name include “Hush! Here comes the dream man” and “You taught me how to love you”.
  5. Cohen on telephone deportment by Joe Hayman (Released in 1913) Joe Hayman was born Joseph Hyman in the US in 1876, and for a while partnered with a young Harry Houdini. After they split, Hyman added an a to his surname and shortened his first name to become Joe Hayman, and moved to the UK where he recorded “Cohen on the telephone” in 1913 for Regal Records. In the US it was released by Columbia and became the first record to sell a million copies. This success inevitably led to the recording of several sequels, including “Cohen calls his tailor on the phone” (1918), “Cohen ‘phones for a phone” (1923), and “Cohen phones the gas co.”. Hayman died in 1957.
  6. Hello, hello, who’s your lady friend by Jack Charman (Released by Coliseum (662) in 1914). Jack Charman was actively recording from around 1911-1924 and his other recordings include “He played on his fiddle-dee-dee”, “Hello old whats-a-name”, “Father went down to Southend”, and “Who were you with last night?”.
  7. Take me back to dear old Blighty by Florrie Forde (Released by Zonophone (1725) in 1916. For more information on Florrie Forde see blog for Podcast number 1 (March 2016).
  8. I had no mother to guide me by George Formby (Senior) (Released by Zonophone (1831) in 1917. For more information on George Formby Senior see blog for Podcast number 8 (September 2016).
  9. Sensation Rag by Original Dixieland Jazz Band.(Released by U.S. Victor 18483, 1918). The Original Dixieland Jass Band (as they were originally known) formed in 1916 and made their first recordings in 1917, when “Livery stable blues” became the first ever jazz record. Over the next few years the band made many recordings and were so successful they spawned a boom in jazz music. Other recordings include “Tiger Rag” (probably their best known record), “Skeleton Jangle”, “At the Jazz band ball”, and “I’m forever blowing bubbles”. The band broke up in the late ’20s but reformed in 1936 and carried on with varying line ups during the ’40s and ’50s.

78Man Podcast No. 10 – The Beatles

The Tenth 78Man podcast features song related to The Beatles. It can be heard on itunes HERE or on Soundcloud HERE . Tracks featured are :

  1. Please by The Blue Mountaineers (Released in 1932 by Broadcast Four Tune). “Please” was a hit for Bing Crosby in 1932, and it’s a song which made a big impression on the young John Lennon over a decade later. The first line of the song goes “Oh Please, lend your little ears to my pleas”  and  John, a big reader and interested in words, was fascinated by the double meaning of the words please/pleas. This influenced him later when he came to write the song “Please Please Me”. 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!”.
  2. Ain’t she sweet by Eddie Sheldon (Released by Edison Bell Winner (4631) in 1927.) “Ain’t she sweet” was a popular song when it was first released in 1927, with multiple versions recorded. The song remained popular and was covered in 1956 by Gene Vincent, and it was this version that The Beatles covered in their early live sets, including when they played in Hamburg starting in 1960. In 1961 while still in Germany they scored a recording contract with Polydor, mainly as backing band for Tony Sheridan, but one of the songs recorded was their version of “Ain’t she sweet” with vocals by John Lennon. Unreleased at the time, it was released as a single in the UK in 1964, reaching number 29. Eddie Sheldon was active as a singer in the late ’20s but didn’t have a lasting career. Other recordings by him include “Let me call you sweetheart”,”Meet me at Twilight” and “Shepherd of the hills”.
  3. I wish I could shimmy like my sister Kate by Muggsy Spanier and his Ragtime Band (Released by His Master’s Voice (B 9047) in 1940). “I wish I could shimmy like my Sister Kate” was written in 1919 by Clarence Williams and Armand Piron. The song became a jazz standard and was revived in 1960 by The Olympics-it was probably this version that prompted The Beatles to start covering the song in their arduous Hamburg stage act, where they were expected to play for hours on end every night. They were still playing it when they were recorded live in Hamburg in December 1962, a recording subsequently released for the first time in 1977 (and many times since). Muggsy Spanier was born in Chicago in 1901 and went on to make his name as a cornet player in several Dixieland Jazz bands. During his career he worked with other legendary jazz musicians such as Earl Hines, Fats Waller, Sidney Bechet and Bob Crosby. He died in 1967.
  4. Falling in love again by Jack Leon’s Dance Band (Released by Piccadilly (617) in 1930. “Falling in love again” was written in 1930 by Friedrich Hollaender and originally had German lyrics. The English lyrics were written by Sammy Lerner. The song was famously sung by Marlene Dietrich in the film The Blue Angel, and became a standard. The Beatles played it in their Hamburg sets and it’s another song captured on their live Hamburg tape. Jack Leon made several records in the late ’20s and early ’30s, including “Pagan love song”, “On the sunny side of the street” and “I want to be bad”.
  5. Robin Hood by Dick James (Released by Parlophone (R 4117) in 1956). George Martin started working for EMI’s Parlophone label in 1950 and was responsible for producing many of the records released on the label from then on; in 1955 he was promoted to head of the label. One of his successes was this recording in 1956 by Dick James, born in 1920 and a professional singer since 1940. As his singing career petered out in the late ’50s, James turned to music publishing, starting his own Dick James Music publishing company in 1961.Through his friendship with Martin, he became involved with The Beatles’ publishing-their Northern Songs company was administered via Dick James Music, although the relationship soured towards the end of the ’60s. Dick James began his own record label (DJM) and had huge success with Elton John in the ’70s. He died in 1986.
  6. Raunchy by Billy Vaughan and his Orchestra (Released by London (HLD 8522) in 1957. “Raunchy” plays an important part in The Beatles story as it was the tune which George Harrison played to John Lennon when he was introduced to him by Paul McCartney. Despite George being more than 2 years younger than John he was invited to join the band because of how well he played this song. “Raunchy” was originally released by Bill Justus, who co-wrote the song with Sidney Manker.American Billy Vaughan was born in 1919 and learnt to play several instruments as a child but it was not until after the end of World War 2 that he decided to make a career as a musician. He had success in the early ’50s as a member of The Hilltoppers, then began working for Dot Records as music director and started his own orchestra, going on to have over 40 hits in the US, although he had little success in the UK. He died in 1991.
  7. In the middle of the house by Alma Cogan (Released by His Master’s Voice (POP 261) in 1956). Alma Cogan was born in 1932 in London. She began singing as a child, and at 14 was recommended by Vera Lynn for a variety show in Brighton. By the age of 20 she had been signed to HMV, and had her first hit with “Bell Bottom Blues” in 1954. Many UK hits followed, including the number 1 “Dreamboat” in 1955. “In the middle of the house” made number 20 in 1956. Her popularity began to wane in the UK in the early ’60s, although she remained popular overseas. Alma met The Beatles at a recording of the TV show “Ready Steady Go!” in 1964 and became friends with them, being especially close to John Lennon who it is alleged she had an affair with. Alma made her last recordings in 1965, which included a couple of Beatles covers, but failing health meant her career started to falter. She made a few public appearances in 1966 but died in October, aged just 34.
  8. I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter by Billy Williams. “I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter” was written in 1935 by Fred Ahlert and Joe Young and was an immediate hit when recorded by Fats Waller and again the following year when The Boswell Sisters recorded it. Later versions include those by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Dean Martin. The version by Billy Williams was a major hit in 1957, and became a favourite of the young Paul McCartney, although it doesn’t seem to have been performed by The Beatles/Quarrymen at the time. (Bill Haley & The Comets also recorded a version around this time). Decades later, Paul McCartney finally recorded a version of the song for his 2012 album “Kisses on the bottom” (a title taken from the lyrics to the song). Billy Williams (not to be confued with the Australian Billy Williams of “Little Willie’s Woodbines” fame) was born in Texas in 1910 and was the lead singer of The Charioteers between 1930 and 1950, when he formed his own band. Although he had some smaller hits in the US, “I’m gonna…” was his biggest, and his only hit in the UK. He died in 1972.
  9. That’ll be the day by The Crickets (Released by Coral (Q 72279) in 1957). Buddy Holly and The Crickets were a big influence on John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison and when, as the Quarrymen, they made their first studio recording in 1958, they chose “That’ll be the day” as one side of the two sided acetate they recorded. (Their version was finally released on the “Anthology 1” album in 1995.) The Crickets hit version of the song was released in 1957, although Holly had recorded a version in 1956 with The Three Tunes. The song was written by Holly and Jerry Allison, although the Crickets version also credits producer Norman Petty, despite him having no hand in writing the song. Buddy Holly was born in 1936 in Lubbock, Texas and had his first hit with “That’ll be the day” in 1957. His career was short as he was killed in an air crash on Feb 3 1959 but in that time he wrote and recorded many classics (“Rave on”, “Peggy Sue”, “It doesn’t matter any more”, “Oh Boy”, “Maybe baby” etc.) and left a legacy which still resonates today.

 

78Man Podcast No. 7

 

The seventh 78Man presents podcast features comic monologues and sketches recorded between 1915 and 1945. It can be found on Soundcloud HERE and on iTunes HERE Tracks heard are

  1. John Henry’s Wireless Elephant by John Henry Himself                                                                              (Released by Regal (G 8059) in 1923.) Now largely forgotten, John Henry recorded several records from the early ’20s to the early ’30s, often with his side-kick “Blossom”.
  2. Mrs ‘Iggins and the plumber (Parts 1&2) by Fred Beck and Frank Buck and Company (Released by Regal (MR 259) in 1931). Fred Beck and Frank Buck and their Mrs ‘Iggins character were popular on the stage and radio in the late ’20s and throughout the ’30s and released a series of “Mrs ‘Iggins ..” (at the picture palace, at a night club, goes shopping etc.)
  3. Casey at the dentists by Michael Casey                                                                        (Released by Regal (G 7115) in 1915). Michael Casey appeared on record as an Irish comedian but was in fact the alter-ego of American Russell Hunting, who started releasing recordings on wax cylinder in the mid 1890s. He made many recordings  including Casey “As a doctor”, “At the wake”, “At Home”, “As a Judge” “As the dude in a street car” and “Joins the masons”. Born in 1864, Hunting went on to be come a businessman in the record industry, working in both the UK and US, and died in 1943.
  4. Getting my temper up by Tom Foy                                                                                 (Released by Zonophone (1751) in 1917). Tom Foy was born in Manchester in 1879 and went on to become  a huge music hall star, being referred to as “The Lancashire lad”. He recorded many records for Zonophone from around 1910 onwards until his death in 1917 aged just 38. Other recordings include “My girl’s promised to marry me”, “I’ve been to America”, “All through T’Black Horse” and “In trouble again”.
  5. Sid Field plays golf (parts 1&2) by Sid Field and Company                                    (Released by Columbia (DB 2163) in 1945). Sid Field was born in 1904 in Birmingham (UK). He made his stage debut aged 12 but it was another 20+ years before he found national fame, becoming one of the most successful comedians of the ’40s mainly through stage and radio appearances but also in 3 (not very successful) films – “That’s the ticket” (1940), “London Town” (1946) and “Cardboard Cavalier” (1949). Although he is largely forgotten today, many comedians have cited him as an influence, including Tommy Cooper, Larry Grayson, Frankie Howerd, Eric Morecambe, Eric Sykes and Tony Hancock. He died aged 45 in 1950 after suffering a heart attack.
  6. Motoring without tears (parts 1&2) by Angela Baddeley and L. Du Garde Peach    (Released by His Master’s Voice (B.D. 2813) in 1928). Born in 1904 in West Ham, Baddeley was a child actor, making her stage debut at 8 and appearing in Richard III at the Old Vic by the time she was 11. At 18 she took a brief break from acting and married for the first time, before returning to the stage in the late 1920s. She appeared in two films in 1931, “The Speckled Band” and “The Ghost Train” and later appeared in such films as “The Citadel” (1938), “No time for tears” (1957) and “Tom Jones” as well as many TV appearances. She is now best remembered for her portrayal as Mrs Bridges in the classic TV Series “Upstairs Downstairs” from 1971-1975. She died shortly after the series ended, in February 1976. L. Du Garde Peach was born in 1890 and was an author and playwright, mainly remembered now for his children’s books. He wrote this sketch, as well as appearing as the male character. He died in 1974.
  7. My Maggie by Jack Lane, The Yorkshire rustic                                                            (Released by Regal (G 7324) in 1922). Popular on record during the ’20s (although he started his stage career in the 1900s), Jack Lane is another largely forgotten comedian. His other records for Regal included “Where does the Rhinososorus get its Rhino”/”Down in the dell, where the Cross-eyed Claras grow”
    and “When Callachan cooked the cock-a-doodle-do”/”Kruschen feeling”.
  8. Canoodling part 2 by Hal Jones.                                                                                      (Released by Regal (G 7948) in 1923). Another forgotten comedian of the ’20s and ’30s, Hal Jones appeared in a short film of “Canoodling” in 1928, and the following year appeared in the film “Splinters in the navy”.