78s, CAT NEWS, MERV GRIFFIN RECORDS, INCISIVE POLITICAL AND SOCIAL COMMENTARY. PLEASE NOTE THAT, DUE TO LIMITED STORAGE BANDWIDTH, MY MP3s HAVE A LIMITED SHELF LIFE--GET THEM WHILE YOU CAN! I DON'T KEEP MY MP3s (I HAVE THE ORIGINALS)--HENCE, THEY'RE NOT AROUND TO RESTORE. I AM NOT, NOR HAVE I EVER BEEN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNET, PAID OR OTHERWISE.
The above image--a 1937 movie poster showing Freddie "Schnickelfritz" Fisher--was swiped from this excellent blog. A decent amount of information can be found on-line about Fisher. Besides a semi-intact website devoted to the bandleader, there is this 1937 TIME piece: Music: Schnickelfritz. I've always wanted to type "TIME piece." I'm sure it's really original.
And there are Fisher "soundies" to be seen and heard at Youtube. My job here is to demonstrate the extraordinary similarity between Fisher's style and that of Spike Jones, who came afterwards. I'd read that Fisher's sound was a forerunner of the Jones style, and I was anticipating something mildly connected--but these wacky gems are carbon copies before the fact. The seven titles in our playlist were recorded for Decca between 1938 and 1941, and the discs look better than they track, but I got decent sound anyway.
I always thought Spike was in a class by himself when it came to unbridled silliness and scary-good playing, but Fisher compares nicely in both areas. Jones' amazing lead trumpet player, Geroge Rock, was nabbed from Fisher's band. For instance.
I'm also impressed and surprised by how very much the 1940 Twelfth Street Rag sounds like the 1948 Pee Wee Hunt meg-hit.
Today's divine discography consists of three 12-inch 78s by the Victor Mixed Chorus (of the Victor label, natch) and a six-selection 10-inch 78 on the Blue Ribbon label, which I believe (but don't know for certain) was connected with, or owned by, 4 Star and/or Pickwick. Just a hunch, and a bold one. Okay, a cautious one. But a hunch, nonetheless.
The former are from 1916 and 1917, the latter from the 1950s. Studio gospel of the acoustical era/country gospel. You get both in today's playlist.
Note the Christmas selections included in two of the medleys, neither of which are holiday medleys. Unusual. And cool. To the sacred shellac:
HYMNS OF PRAISE--No. 1--Victor Mixed Chorus w. Orch., 1916. (Oh Come, All Ye Faithful; Lead Kindly Light; Rock of Ages; Holy, Holy, Holy; Onward Christian Soldiers) HYMNS OF PRAISE--No. 2--Same. (All Hail the Power of Jesus Name, Abide with Me, Jesus Lover of My Soul, Nearer My God to Thee, Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow) GOSPEL SONGS--No. 3--Victor Mixed Chorus w. Orch., 1917. (The Precious Name, Sweet Hour of Prayer, Throw Out the Life-Line, The Ninety and Nine, Safe in the Arms of Jesus) GOSPEL SONGS--No. 4--Same. (The Home Over There, Beautiful Isle of Somewhere, Shall We Gather at the River, Tell Mother I'll Be There, When the Road Leads Home) SACRED SONGS--No. 1--Victor Mixed Chorus w. Orch., 1917. (Holy Night, Face to Face, One Sweetly Solemn Thought, The Psalms, Hosanna) SACRED SONGS--No. 2--Same. (Babylon, Flee as a Bird, There Is a Green Hill Far Away, Holy City, Star of Bethlehem) HIDEAWAY--T. Texas Tyler (Blue Ribbon 35-60; 78 rpm EP) THERE'S A LIGHT GUIDING ME--The Maddox Bros. and Rose (Same) PRECIOUS MEMORIES--The Maddox Bros. and Rose (Same) I'M IN THE GLORY LAND--The Herrington Trio (Same) DEAR GOD--The Stewart Family (Same) WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS--T. Texas Tyler (Same)