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.
During the summer of 1969, I began listening to the Cobweb Corner, Don Brown’s radio program, on LA FM station KRHM. He was the guide to my journey into the past through his radio program and his record store, The Jazz Man Record Shop.
Shortly after I first heard his radio show, I began a monthly trek out to Don Brown’s Jazz Man Record Shop. I bought some 78 RPM records but mostly LP reissues.
In 1971, I went to tune in the program on KRHM but instead I got the Beatles “Hey Jude” and several other then current rock hits on an endless loop. The station had been sold, rebranded, and renamed.
But, Don soon reemerged on KCRW, FM Public Radio broadcasting from Santa Monica City College. Don’s show was broadcast there on Sunday nights until his death. It was time for the Cobweb Corner when you heard Don’s theme music, Duke Ellington’s Harlemania:
Thanks to DutchBluesFan for the You Tube
Don had the most complete collection of Duke Ellington records in the world. Duke Ellington was Don’s favorite and arguably the greatest jazz and swing band leader. My view is that the Duke was always a couple of years ahead of everyone else. Don really knew this music.
Another of Don’s favorites, as I remember and Cary Ginell confirms, was Tiny Parham’s WashboardWiggles:
Thanks to JazzGirl1920’s for the You Tube
Tiny Parham was a much more obscure band leader. He was born, in of all places, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada…my father’s hometown. He now has a hard core of fans all over the world on You Tube.
I doubt that I would have ever heard of Tiny Parham were it not for Don Brown. His knowledge of the music of the 1920’s and 30’s was incredible.Don also introduced me to the many other obscure artists. Don would have been 92 years old today. For more on the Jazz Man Record Shop, see my post on Cary Ginell’s book.
Don Brown photo credit: Darlene Brown via Cary Ginell.
The Pied Pipers were a vocal group and they got their break from Tommy Dorsey where they were vocal backup for Frank Sinatra. After a quarrel with Dorsey, they struck out on their own and here they recorded with the Paul Weston Orchestra. Chuck Cecil played their records and recorded interviews with them for his long running Swingin’ Years radio program. The biggest hit for the Pied Pipers was Dream.
In late April, You Tube took down the website MusicProf78 for copyright violations. A British Company has asserted (possibly bogus) copyright claims to his record postings. I don’t know. Many of us doubt the validity of many these claims for the following reasons: First, traditionally the copyright belongs to the writers of a song’s music or lyrics, not to the actual records. Works by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and many others were covered under copyright which lasted for a fixed period of time and was renewable up to the point that it fell into the public domain. Second, it was not in the interest of the composer, lyricist, or publisher to restrict performance or recording to a single performing artist. As long as record company paid the percentage royalty per record, everyone was happy. Eventually, radio play was seen as an advantage rather than a disadvantage. Of course, the actual pressing at that time of a record without a payment agreement with copyright holder, say, Jimmy Dorsey’s Tangerine, would have been a copyright violation. Third, in some cases involving blues and country artists, they were conned out of royalties by alleged “co authors.” In reality, these “co-authors” were con men who stole their money.
In the early days of the 78 records sold in record shops, radio play was specifically forbidden on the label. It took a while for the record industry to wake up to the idea that if you couldn’t play the records on the radio, how were people supposed to know the records existed? They were using their own lawyers to insure that their business was penny wise and pound foolish.
The same thing applies here. The people who know and love this music have been targeted here with the only likely result is acrimony and no records sold.
In any event, I am not a copyright lawyer . Most of the recordings I play are pre-1950. The actual compositions are usually much older. Most of the performers and songwriters are deceased. I like to think that I am keeping their memory alive. I have a number of posts scheduled but I might have to shut down. Thanks for your support. Yours truly, Richard Rollo
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Ella sings this song with that wonderful lilt in her voice. Others on this cut were not listed except for Eddie Heywood, piano; Charlie Shavers, trumpet; Cozy Cole, drums. I can’t find the exact session date either. Ella’s wonderful singing overcomes some the faults of the recording session. I think they should have probably done a second take. Some of the horn players, should have used their mute with her vocal. Still, it’s a valuable piece of postwar jazz history. Whether as a vocal or instrumental, I’ll See You In My Dreams is very popular with recording artists.
This Charlie Chaplin movie clip is from The Adventurer, written and directed by Chaplin for the Mutual Film Company, in 1917. IMDB says that the movie was shot in Venice Beach, California. But these scenes look more likely to have been shot in Santa Monica, Topanga Beach, or Malibu because of the hills and terrain. Venice is flatter than the terrain in this movie.
The Song Time On My Hands was recorded by the Ray Noble Orchestra on February 19, 1931. This posting has remarkably good sound for that early of a date. No doubt Al Bowlly was using the new microphone and intimate “crooner” vocal technique that he and Bing Crosby pioneered. The music was written by Vincent Youmans lyric by Harold Adamson and Mark Gordon in 1930.
Django was a giant; he influenced jazz, country, and pop music. But, that came later. Don Brown told me when Django’s records first appeared in record stores in the U.S., the store owners thought it was “hillbilly” music. Later, Django made I’ll See You In My Dreams a guitar favorite among musicians. Here he plays it with Pierre Ferret, rhythm guitar and Emmanuel Soudieux, bass.
According to one of the You Tube commentators, this recording was from 1960 with Andre Previn, piano; Red Mitchell, bass; and Frank Capp on drums. 1960 seems right for the sound quality, the block chords, and the piano riffs. I’ll trust him with the rest. Yes, the picture of Dinah was earlier from the 1940‘s from the look of the hairdo. She also later went blonde.
Dinah Shore was a huge star in the 1950‘s with a network television show sponsored by Chevrolet with Dinah singing the advertising jingle “See the U.S.A in your Chevrolet…” She had a golden personality with warmth and spunk. She always seemed to be a very happy lady. For more on Dinah Shore see here.
The song It Had To Be You was another collaboration of Isham Jones and Gus Kahn. It was written in that same year of 1924 that I’ll See You In My Dreams was written.
Bob Wills was asked what type of music he played and he called it Western Swing. He said what made it different was he mixed up old country music along with New Orleans Jazz. The Grand Old Opry would not permit bands to use drums, trumpets, and saxophones in those days. But, Bob Wills was playing primarily for dances, which were also broadcast on the radio. This recording of I’ll See You In My Dreams might have been too jazzy even for the A&R producers in the 1930‘s. It wasn’t released until the LP era, in the 1950‘s. The vocal is by Tommy Duncan. Bob Wills is still the King.