Stardust was my mother’s favorite song. Stardust was composed by Hoagy Carmichael in 1927 and lyric written by Mitchell Parish in 1929. This version is performed by Ella Fitzgerald with piano backing by Ellis Larkins on piano. What I like about this version done in the 1950’s is that Ella and Ellis recreate the atmosphere of the old 78 piano and vocal blues records, without the surface noise. Easy does it.
Numb Fumbling was one of two piano solos performed at the end of a group session on March 1, 1929. This was about the time that Fats started making more group and vocal recordings and fewer piano solos. I love the solos nonetheless.
By the way, in case you didn’t know, you don’t need an actual Kindle device to read my books. Amazon offers free reading apps for other platforms and devices. And, I want to thank all of those who have bought my books. For more information, please check it out here.
7-11-16: Most of The Big Shut Up came to me in various dreams. Dreams come from that part of the symphony of the mind that lies beyond our conscious control. As such, I claim no special powers, but the theme of the breakdown of law and values that came from the depths of my consciousness is now coming to a head almost one year later.
Update 8-23-17 I’m still experiencing some technical problems. The WordPress update will not install for some reason. Whether it’s at my end, You Tube, or WordPress, I don’t know yet. Thank you for your patience.
Update 10-2-17: I installed new equipment and changed my network. I installed the latest version of Ubuntu, but as usual in this business, they changed what was working fine and didn’t change what wasn’t working. The older version was better. I also got a nasty surprise in that Ad-Blocker was hacked. It doesn’t work anymore, but it shows its status as still fully installed. The only “ads” I have on this site were for my books, since those ads didn’t dance around or pop up, Ad Blocker wasn’t an issue. Where you might encounter ad blocker is at the beginning of the You Tube. I get no money from that and I have no control over it. You should be able to press a skip the ad button in the right lower corner. That’s the best I can do for now.
Update 04-18-2018: As of today, we now have over 7200 subscribers. Thank you all very much!
Harry Nilsson wrote Coconut back in 1972. When I heard this song, I thought it was written and performed by Jamaicans, but Harry Nilsson not only wrote the song, but sang and recorded all the voices on a multi-track recorder. This is one of several versions of the original song. He had one with the musicians dressed up as gorillas but I thought that one borrowed too heavily from Ernie Kovaks’s Nairobi Trio. I also thought it might scare younger children.
The Muppets as usual have the best version. I think the best thing I can do with Children’s music is to recommend the Muppets and leave it at that. Here’s the Muppets version of Coconut.
Where or When was composed and written by Rogers and Hart originally for the musical Babes in Arms. This version was recorded by Art Tatum for Norman Granz in 1953. I have it on the Art Tatum Pablo Solo Masterpieces Vol 3 track 2 on Compact Disc. Listening to the Tatum repertoire, I realize that he was the first one to put together a definitive Great American Song Book. His Solo Masterpieces reissued on Pablo are the Great American Song Book.
Thanks to Liltin’ Miss Tilton Fan for the You Tube
This performance was a television reunion of Martha Tilton with the Benny Goodman Orchestra and with the trumpet solo by Ziggy Elman. It was a kinescope copy of the broadcast on CBS television network from 1956, It commemorates the famous performance of the song at Carnegie Hall in the late 1930’s. I first saw Martha Tilton and I remember her from a short 15 minute musical program before the local news in Los Angeles that she did in the late 1950’s with Curt Massey and Country Washburn. Later, I heard the Carnegie Hall Concert and heard her famous performance. Martha Tilton replaced Helen Ward as female singer for Benny Goodman. Martha Tilton was a great singer.
Waiting At The End Of The Road was written and composed by Irving Berlin in 1929. Fats Waller performed this version on August 24, 1929. I believe this is the first Fats Waller piano solo I ever heard. A very serious performance for Fats.
Sometimes a lyric is too stupid to sing. I’m surprised Rudy Vallee made it as far into the song as he did before he started laughing. But, this record for the record company was a happy accident, because it outsold the record by Rudy Vallee without the hysterics. The A&R man who arranged the session is very lucky. Releasing it was nonetheless a stroke of genius. I don’t recall another record like it.
Rudy Vallee, was a fixture on Radio and phonograph records from the 1920’s to the 40’s, he was in motion pictures from the 1920’s through the 1970’s, although I only saw him in International House and The Palm Beach Story. He was on television from the 1950’s to the 1980’s.
I also remember he made the Los Angeles Area television news, when he wanted to rename the street next to his house Rue De Vallee. The L.A. City Council turned him down. My mother despised him, which came out during the street renaming episode. But, I would say he had a very impressive career.
Isn’t this a Lovely Day Written and Composed by Irving Berlin. Art Tatum recorded this in the Pablo Solo Masterpieces available on Compact Disc 3 track 11. The most famous version of this song was sung by Fred Astaire in the movie Top Hat where the song develops into a dance routine with Ginger Rogers. ( I watched a lot of movies on television in my childhood when I was home from school with various illnesses) I hope the video doesn’t get deleted.
Billie Holiday had one of the saddest stories in Jazz. Yet, she also left some
great records from her early years. I like the sides she recorded with Teddy Wilson playing piano, doing the musical arrangements, and organizing the personnel. She trusted Teddy Wilson, in a business where she trusted few others. On these records from the 1930’s, she attracted great musicians who played for Musician’s Union Scale Pay and played anonymously when they could command high salaries under their own names. Benny Goodman, who you hear in the early bars of the song on clarinet is one example.
The song posted here is What A Little Moonlight Can Do. It was recorded by Billie Holiday on July 2, 1935. The song was written by Harry Woods and first sung by Violet Lorraine in the British Movie, Road House, in 1934. Billie Holiday’s version made the charts and has been highly influential with vocalists over the years.