Saturday, October 20, 2007
Watched part of a fascinating profile of Al Bowlly on BBC 4 last night and this remined me of a couple of the novelty songs he sang before he became more well known as a "crooner".
"In the 1930s, he was to sign two contracts which were to change his fortunes - one in May 1931 with Roy Fox, singing in his live band for the Monseigneur Restaurant in London, the other a record contract with Ray Noble's orchestra in November 1930. During the next four years, he recorded over 500 songs. He also found time to occasionally record with other orchestras such as Lew Stone's ; however, he was inundated with demands in this period, and made the bulk of his recordings with Noble. There was considerable competition between Noble and Fox for Bowlly's time, as for much of the year, Bowlly would spend all day in the recording studio with Noble's band, rehearsing and recording, only to then spend the evening playing live at the Monseigneur with Fox's band. A visit to New York in 1934 with Noble resulted in more success and their recordings first achieved popularity in the USA; he appeared at the head of an orchestra hand-picked for him and Noble by Glenn Miller (the band included Claude Thornhill, Charlie Spivak, and Bud Freeman, among others).
During the early-mid 1930s, such songs as "Blue Moon", "Easy to Love", "I've Got You Under My Skin", and "My Melancholy Baby" were sizable American successes — so much so that Bowlly gained his own radio series on NBC and travelled to Hollywood to co-star in The Big Broadcast in 1936, which also starred one of his biggest competitors, Bing Crosby. Al Bowlly often worked with Ray Noble and His Orchestra.
In December 1931, Bowlly had married Freda Roberts, but the marriage proved a disaster, with Bowlly discovering his new wife in bed with another man on their wedding night. The couple separated after two weeks, and sought a rapid divorce. He remarried in December 1934, this time to Marjie Fairless, the marriage lasting until his death."
Discover more about Al Bowlly HERE.
Al Bowlly - Making Wickey Wackey
Al Bowlly - Pied Piper Of Hamelin
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