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.
This is perhaps an infamous song Fats wrote in 1927, his ode to marijuana. This recording took place in Hollywood, September 23, 1943. It was his final recording session before he got on the train to go back to New York City. Fats died as the train was pulling into Kansas City. He was only 39 years old.
This performance was taped November 26 1955 for broadcast on Radio Sweden. The composition was Someone To Watch Over Me, was composed and written by George and Ira Gershwin. As an added bonus, Art Tatum does his own announcing. Tatum talks! It’s also an appropriate song for Easter, as this is Easter Sunday in the U.S. so Happy Easter to all Christians.
Rosy Cheeks was composed and written by Seymour Simons, Richard Whiting, and Kenn Sisson. On this recording from 1927, she is well accompanied by Irving Brodsky on Piano.
Annette Hanshaw’s singing career on sound recordings and radio lasted from 1926 to 1937. She had several high points including in 1934 when she was named the most popular female singer on the radio (Bing Crosby was named most popular male that year.) She recorded 250 sides in her career. By 1934, she had sold 4 million records. She retired in 1937 when she married recording executive Wally Rose. She soon afterwards was largely forgotten until revivals came after she passed away.
In an interview given on Canadian Public Radio in 1978, she was asked her opinions on her career. She astonished nearly every one when she said that she hated all her records, thought they were all terrible, hated show business. Well, I thought her records were very well sung. When asked about her favorite singers, she mentioned Sophie Tucker among others. But, I would suggest that Annette Hanshaw’s softer and more intimate singing style was better suited for radio and phonograph records. For more about Annette Hanshaw, see this. Annette Hanshaw was one of a kind, and as she used to say at the end of her records, “That’s all.”
I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter was composed by Fred E. Ahlert with Lyrics by Joe Young. It was originally written for the Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin.’ Fats Waller recorded it in June 1935 with Herman Autrey, trumpet; Rudy Powell, reeds; Al Casey, guitar; Charles Turner, bass, Harry Dial, drums; and Fats on piano and vocal.
Fats’s piano solo on this tune is a subtle masterpiece; one of his best. He did it without any showboating. His vocal was so good that a who’s who of vocalists in various categories of music—pop, rock, R&B,—covered it For more on that see here.The song was recorded at a very high point in Fats’s career. It’s a great record; I’ve played it before and after awhile I’ll play it again.
Now, back to what we usually do here. This tune was Would You Like Take A Walk. It’s available in the U.S. from The Genius of Art Tatum, Vol. 9. The tune was composed by Mort Dixon, Billy Rose, and Harry Warren. This performance was from a session in 1952 accompanied by Slam Stewart, bass; and Everette Barksdale, guitar. Tatum took over Stewert and Barksdale as his backup group from Nat King Cole, when Cole went strictly vocal with orchestras and arrangers such as Gordon Jenkins and Nelson Riddle. Tatum listened and learned from other pianists even though he could play circles around them. A word for Slam Stewart here…I still don’t understand how he could sing through his bass bow. It’s amazing. The addition of the guitar and bass worked out well for Art Tatum.
Now for something quite different for this website. It’s a change of pace. That was You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd by Roger Miller. What brought that to mind were my recent thoughts about music for children. I think when my mother initially bought me 45 RPM records those were children’s records. The record I remember was Little Orley and the Pancake about a pancake that jumps out of a frying pan and rolls out the door and down the road. The pancake successfully challenges each of the animals along the road until he meets a pig who eats him. For children, the more absurd the story the better. The absurd has a great place and purpose in children’s music.
If you think about it, there is a lot of negative experience in childhood. Learning is sometimes painful. “You can’t do this, you can’t do that.” The most common word , especially, in a Mom’s vocabulary is “No!” It’s no, no no all day long. Below is a video on You Tube from a few years back, where a little Girl named Charlotte gets back at her parents by saying “No” to everything they ask. Notice how she loves it when it’s her turn to say that word.
Thanks to sencryr37220 for the You Tube
Of course, Moms usually say no because she has experience. And when little junior does something risky without asking Mom, and it doesn’t end well, he sometimes pays an extra price.
Roger Miller captures this paradox of childhood, the absurdity and clown comedy of childhood. That’s why children love it. The song was used in a Muppets show segment with their Jug Band in 1976.
Thanks to dorcm 1973 for the You Tube
I decided to post this topic because I was thinking about children and music.
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