Monday, November 12, 2018

Veterans Day 2018

Happy Veterans Day!  Here are some 78s from my collection, newly ripped by me.  I've never been sure why the sound is so lousy on the Will Bradley/Ray McKinley/Freddie Slack sides, but that's how they were pressed, so....  Perry Como, my all-time favorite pop singer, hit it huge when he left the Ted Weems orchestra and joined RCA in 1943.  I've ripped Perry's first two RCA sides, Goodbye, Sue and There'll Soon Be a Rainbow, both featuring choral backings, since the 1942-1944 AFM recording ban was in effect.  There's a weird and, to my ears, charming sound to such sides.  Temptation and I'll Always Be With You, two of my favorite Como tracks, are post-ban (1945) and feature Ted Steele's orchestra.  Como seemed to be reaching into the Russ Columbo catalog, since he also recorded Prisoner of Love (great side, but not in this list).  Also taking us back to WWII--two highly un-PC 1942 Carl Hoff sides, You're a Sap, Mr. Jap; and We Did It Before (And We Can Do It Again).  Pop music history as it happened.  And three huge Will Bradley hits of the period, which I've already mentioned but haven't named yet.  They are Beat Me Daddy (Eight to the Bar) and Down the Road a Piece, neither of them the first pop-chart boogie-woogie numbers, but they did tons to establish the style as an official branch of swing and a song folio genre.  Both are from 1940, as is the third, Celery Stalks at Midnight, which sounds a little ahead of its time, stylistically, to my ears.  Maybe that's just because it follows two helpings of eight-to-the-bar.

Good Bye Dolly Gray goes back to the Second Boer War, and this 1902 recording by the Columbia Quartette is one of my favorite (and noisiest) 78s.  Of course Hugo Frey's charming One-step My Dough Boy is from WWI--it's played by the terrific Joseph C. Smith orchestra, Smith having been the Victor label's Paul Whiteman before it had Paul Whiteman.  And once again I'm featuring Raymond Newell and Ion Swinley's elaborate 1929 rendition (with sound effects and actors) of the 1904 anti-war art song, The Trumpeter (J. Francis Barron-J. Airlie Dix) in a brand new rip.  It remains a superb number and recording.  The side closes with the 1861 hymn, O God of Love, O King of Peace.

"It is our duty to make war, for all time, impossible."  True, but I think it'll be a while yet....

Click here to hear: Veterans Day 2018



PB W said...

Happy Veterans' Day, Lee. Thank you for your military service and, of course, thanks for all the great music.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Thank you!

Buster said...

Thanks, Lee - nice selection!

Buster said...

As always, superior transfers.

I've never decided whether I hate or love Ray McKinley, but "Down the Road a Piece" is a great record.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Thanks! One thing that really elevates "Down the Road" is the dialogue and the combination vocal/narrative, plus the subtle piano. It's such an indication of things to come. "Beat Me Daddy" is as innovative in its own way, mainly in its pounding 1-2-3-4 with all the syncopation happening around it. It's one of the big band sides which leaves zero doubt rock was a branch of jazz. Harry James' "Back Beat Boogie" of the same year was another swinging boogie. The older-style 2/4 boogie was about as rock as Lawrence Welk, despite what rock writers insist on believing.

I first heard "Down the Road" in the Rolling Stones' version. It's the usual British Invasion imitation of Chuck Berry. I was into such recycled R&B when I was in my 20s, but I've hopefully outgrown the stuff.

Buster said...

Yeah, that Stones record came out when I was 16, and I loved it.

I have it in mind to transfer some of McKinley's recordings when I get a chance.