Fats on Friday — Hallelujah

Thanks to Jazzgirl1920’s for the You Tube

According to jazzgirl1920s, this was a private acetate recording, September 1943. No information about who made the recording and for what purpose, but my guess is that it was a demo for use in a sales pitch for some project. It wasn’t until after World War II when US Army troops captured open reel tape recorders from German Radio Stations that home recording equipment was greatly improved.

This recording of Hallelujah was made three months before Fats died. Fats was in the midst of a very successful trip to Hollywood. But, alas, Fats was burning the candle at both ends.

He died on a train from Los Angeles to New York City, as he arrived in Kansas City. It was in the midst of a blizzard. Ed Kirkeby, his manager, was traveling with Fats, who had fallen asleep. Kirkeby thought he was sleeping and tried to wake him but couldn’t. The train was halted in Kansas City.  The Coroner in Kansas City ruled that Fats had died of bronchial pneumonia.

Hallelujah was composed by Vincent Youmans in 1927 for the musical Hit the Deck, which was a smash hit. A number of both vocal and Big Band instrumental versions were recorded in the late 1930’s and early 40’s.

About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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