Tuesday, August 14, 2007
More Merv--Coconuts, Screamin' Meemies, and more!
During the Fifties, Merv recorded for RCA Victor, Columbia, and Decca. His first solo sides--not counting his 1946 Panda label recordings or two other Forties sides this blogger knows off--were made in 1951 for RCA.
Did he have hits, and, if so, what were they? Mervelous you should ask!
With Freddy Martin, he made the Top 20 with I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts; My Truly, Truly Fair; Music, Music, Music; Third Man Theme (Steven's favorite); and Never Been Kissed. As a solo singer on the same label (RCA), he hit the Top 40 with Morningside of the Mountain and Twenty-three Starlets (both 1951). Much later, on the Carlton label, he hit the Top 100 with The Charanga and Banned in Boston (both 1961). Now you know.
We're going to hear four of these today. Imagine a brief but glorious period in which Merv rubbed chart shoulders with the big pop vocalists. ("Chart shoulders"?) Yes, it looked for a bit as if Merv might join the ranks of Perry, Rosie, and Guy. Unfortunately, he didn't. Fortunately, he kept on making records. Believe me, the man's discography is big. Huge, even. After all these years, I've managed to get maybe 85 percent of his stuff into my collection. When I first decided to collect Merv, I figured I'd have everything in a few months' time.
That was 25 years ago....
Anyway, here's More Merv. Merv with Freddy, Merv with Hugo Winterhalter, Merv with Sy Oliver (in rock and roll mode, no less!), and... more.
Oh, and a demo on the Fulton label that most likely dates back to 1944. When I wrote, a few years back, to "Ask Merv" at Griffin's website, it turned out that Merv himself didn't remember it.
Anyway... Time for More Merv!
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL--w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1949.
I'VE GOT A LOVELY BUNCH OF COCONUTS--w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1949.
THERE'S A BLUEBIRD ON YOUR WINDOWSILL--w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1949.
AT YOUR COMMAND--w. FM.
HEAVENLY SYMPHONY--w. FM.
THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT A HOME TOWN BAND--w. FM, 1949.
LET'S DANCE TONIGHT--w. FM.
TELL ME--w. FM.
KNEES UP, MOTHER BROWN--w. FM, 1950.
WILHELMINA--w. FM, 1950.
MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC!--w. FM, 1950.
HULLABALOO--w. FM, 1950.
POETRY--w. FM, 1950.
BEAUTIFUL MADNESS--w. FM, 1951.
YOU'RE THE PRETTIEST THING--w. Sy Oliver Orch., 1958.
INTRODUCE ME TO THE GAL--w. Sy Oliver Orch., 1958.
THE SCREAMIN' MEEMIES FROM PLANET X--w. Sid Bass Orch., 1961.
NEVER BEEN KISSED (Coben-Grean)--w. FM, 1951.
THE SUNSHINE OF YOUR SMILE--w. Hugo Winterhalter Orch., 1951.
THE MORNINGSIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN--w. Hugo Winterhalter Orch., 1951.
JO-ANN--w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1951.
Twenty-Three Starlets (Tom Glazer)--w. Hugo Winterhalter Orch., 1951.
I Don't Want a Thing to Remind Me of You--probably 1944.