The Platters — I’ll See You In My Dreams — 1963

Thanks to The Platters

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.

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Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum each take a solo piano turn on I’ll See You in My Dreams

Thanks to gullivior for the You Tube

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.

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Claude Thornhill and Orchestra “I’ll See You In My Dreams” — Late 1949

Thanks to Overjazz for the You Tube

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.

 

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In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town — Mrs. Mills

Thanks   TOTY  ITALY

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.

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The Pied Pipers — Dream — with the Paul Weston Orchestra in 1945

Thanks to retro45rpm

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.

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Doris Day — I’ll See You In My Dreams — The Biopic and the Song –1951– R.I.P.

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Thanks to sunryse111 for the You Tube

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.

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Mrs. Mills — We’ll Meet Again

Thanks Toty Italy

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.

Bless you and Best Wishes.

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Mills Brothers– I’ll See You In My Dreams” – Late 1940‘s

Thanks to Gonzalez Ggggonzalez for the You Tube

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.

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Mrs. Mills — Medley: Chicago, Avalon, and Who’s Sorry Now?

Thanks to TOTY  ITALY  for the You Tube

Now, for something entirely different.

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.

For more on Mrs. Mills see the link

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Remembering Don Brown and the Cobweb Corner

DonBrown

Don Brown

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:

Duke Ellington

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 Washboard  Wiggles:

Tiny Parham

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.

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