I’ll See You In My Dreams was more than “A little ditty” in their hands. It might have been Merle Travis who showed other country artists the guitar picking potential of this song. Chet Atkins was not only a talented guitarist but the producer and A&R executive of the Nashville division of RCA Records. He discovered and produced the top performers for RCA from the mid 1950‘s to the late 1980‘s. He practically was country music in those years. Merle Travis happened to be one of Chet Atkins inspirations on the guitar. Merle Travis was not only accomplished on the guitar but he wrote both the music and the lyric for one of the biggest records of the 1950‘s, Sixteen Tons. “Tennessee” Ernie Ford sang the hit record with his wonderful baritone voice, and afterwards when Merle Travis performed the song, he changed the lyric to, “and I owe my soul to Tennessee Ernie Ford.”
Posted inOld Music Made New|Comments Off on Chet Atkins and Merle Travis– I’ll See You In My Dreams — 1974
The Platters even did a Rock and Roll-Rhythm and Blues version of I’ll See You In My Dreams in 1963. They are on tour this year. Check their You Tube page for a date near you. Hurry. It appears that the live performances wrap up by the end June.
Posted inOld Music Made New|Comments Off on The Platters — I’ll See You In My Dreams — 1963
Teddy Wilson recorded his version of I’ll See You In My Dreams in 1938 and Art Tatum recorded his in 1953. These are also two very different concepts of jazz piano playing. Although Teddy Wilson is playing solo here, most of his fame was ensemble playing with small groups such as his years with Benny Goodman. He did a great job in that role, blending himself with the other musicians and yet still standing out. He was also great in recording sessions with Billie Holiday. You can hear some of that here, simple but deadly.
Art Tatum was a different piano player. Although he sometimes played in trios with bass and guitar, and a few times with larger groups with horns, his real legacy was in the solo performances he made live and on record. Accomplished Classical pianists such as Vladimir Horowitz would come to night clubs to hear him play. Art Tatum would, in effect, play impromptu sonatas based on Tin Pan Alley songs with staggering runs and other worldly chord harmonies. Horowitz said he was thankful that Tatum chose Jazz rather than classical music. There will never be another Art Tatum.
This was recorded in New York City, estimated in December 1949. It was reissued by Hep Records in England. He was described as “The Godfather of the Cool,” and you can hear it in this record. He was the forerunner of the Gil Evans and Miles Davis cool jazz of the late 1950‘s and early 1960‘s. That was when I first heard his name, but I don’t think I actually heard his records until I had You Tube. Long term followers of this site know that I am a big fan of Art Tatum’s dazzling piano playing, but as Tatum himself once said, “every piano player has his own story to tell.” and Thornhill’s story was soft and colorful.
Much of Mrs. Mills popularity stemed from performing “sing along” songs. In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town is a perfect example. Mrs. Mills chose songs with a simple lyric easy to sing and plays it at a slow tempo.
The song In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town sounds like a turn of the Century (1900-1910) song but it was actually written in 1932 by Ira Schuster, Jack Little (music), Joe Young (lyric.) It was a waltz, so it worked for slow dancing. Ted Lewis had the first recording in 1932; Johnny Long had the first #1 hit in 1946, and Doris Day sang it in the movie Lullaby of Broadway in 1951. For more see here.
I think among older audiences from the late 1940‘s to the early 1960‘s was a period of nostalgia. They had survived the Depression and World War II and the old songs revived memories from the past.
As I mentioned, I only recently discovered Mrs Mills. I remember a comparable popular act here in the United States around that time in the early sixties, “Sing Along with Mitch.” Mitch Miller had a lifelong career in the music industry as a classical musician, song writer, producer, television performer. His program came on in an early weekday evening. Mitch Miller had a long and very successful career in the music and entertainment industry in the U.S. But, I think Mrs. Mills had more charm as a performer.
This is the Pied Pipers’ biggest hit, Dream. The group later broke up with June Hutton going her separate way. This is original group with the original recording I heard numerous times on the Chuck Cecil “Swingin’ Years” radio program. Dream was written (both music and lyrics) by Johnny Mercer. Dream was the best selling of the Pied Pipers records. I assume the World War II artwork is original work from the You Tube poster. Thanks again.
Posted inChuck Cecil|Comments Off on The Pied Pipers — Dream — with the Paul Weston Orchestra in 1945
I’ll See You In My Dreams was the theme song of the movie biopic about lyricist Gus Kahn’s life. Doris Day and Danny Thomas starred in the movie. I’ll See You In My Dreams was sung by a chorus and Doris Day at the beginning and end of the movie. The title of the movie had the same name as the song. As usual she does a wonderful job of singing the song.
Doris Day is still alive, as of this writing, was in her 90‘s. She was a wonderful talent as a singer and actress back in her working days. Chuck Cecil played her hits, played his interviews with her on his long running radio program, and served as Master of Ceremonies for her charity events in Los Angeles in later years.
Update 5-13-19: It saddens me to write that Doris Day passed away on this day, May 13, 2019, at age 97. With all the posts of I’ll See You In My Dreams I wrote those back in January, and this one about Doris Day on January 29, 2019. I hoped that she had many more years to come, but she did live a long and full life. She personified the culture of America roughly from 1950 to 1968. She was a genuinely kind and good person. She will be missed. R.I.P.
Originally sung by Vera Lynn during World War II, this was Britain’s hopeful “stiff upper lip” theme song of World War II. It later became song of nostalgia for sing-alongs.
My goodness! I discovered that Dame Vera Lynn is, as of this writing, still with us at 102 years old. Well, we’ll just have to play this in her honor: Vera Lynn — We’ll Meet Again
Thanks to TheDayThemusicDidDie for the You Tube
English civilians paid a heavy price for the NAZI terror bombing. But, they fought back as best they could and this song was part of their resistance. In the end, Hitler had to give up his invasion plans when the tide turned.
I couldn’t find any listing of when this was recorded but my ears listening to the backup instrumentation says it was probably recorded in the late 1940‘s to early 1950‘s. They were wonderful singers with very mellow harmonies. Once again, Chuck Cecil played their records and played their recorded interviews on his Swingin’ Years Radio Program.
Who wouldn’t love that jolly smile? Mrs. Mills was also a fabulous pianist. There are few people who can play stride bass piano that well at that tempo. The piano may have seen better days, but it was perfect for her sing along act. That act was huge; to her English fans, the piano sounded like their Aunt Peggy’s parlor piano.
Before she became a successful act, she was the supervisor of a downtown London typing pool. She played private parties on the weekends. She came to the notice of Eric Easton around the same time as the Rolling Stones. He became her agent as well as theirs. She began performing professionally and cutting records in 1961.She shared her recording studio at Abbey Road with the Beatles.
I only discovered her recently and I understand she was very popular in the 1960‘s and 70‘s. She was especially popular with the British public and with the other musicians in London. She was wonderful and deservedly well loved. I’ll play a clip in the near future with her singing, playing piano, and doing a sing along. Mrs. Mills and sing along next week.