Lots of requests for more George Van Dusen and coincidentally found a 45 of "It's Party Time Again" on the Bri-Tone label that was released in the 70's ? ( no date on it ) today in a charity shop in Chester.
Little is known of George Van Dusen and despite extensive searches on the internet have failed to find anyone who knows anything about him except that he was a renowned yodeller held in high regard and a contemporary of Harry Torrani and Ronnie Ronalde in the 30's and 40's. His "Yodelling Chinaman" track is probably his most well known and popped up on several compilations of novelty songs over the years. These tracks are from 1937 and kindly supplied by Jim Benson who will doubtless phone me up to tell me I've got it all wrong and that infact George was a dutchman who died in 1929! I love this photo of him from the only one I could find.
Since this was last blogged I had some interesting comments to say that George was born Thomas Harrington , probably in the East End of London in the early 1900's and recorded for the Rex record label. He was still perfoming well into his 80's though confined to a wheel chair. He apparently had a minor hit in the 60's but I can find no record to confirm this.
An LP on EMI Starline label from 1963. A compilation of some of his hits and the B sides. Bernard is a fine actor and can currently be seen in the latest Dr.Who series on BBC.
"Born in 1928, in Lancashire, Bernard Cribbins is one of the best known children's entertainers in the UK. He has been an actor since the age of 14, when he became a student player with his local repertory company. By the 1950s, Cribbins had become a star of the London stage, featuring in his own revue. It wasn't until the 1960s, however, until he attained true public acclaim, appearing in a string of successful films and had musical success with a number of novelty records like Right Said Fred and Hole in the Ground. He is better known today for voice over work (The Wombles, as well as numerous advertisements) and his appearances on Noel's House Party on BBC1."
Another old favourite that I have neglected to upload here. Their second LP on EMI from 1963. Some great songs here including The Gas Man Cometh, Sounding Brass and In The Desert. Both sides of the LP for your listening pleasure without any breaks.
"Flanders and Swann both attended Westminster School — where in July and August 1940 they staged a revue called Go To It — and Christ Church, Oxford, two institutions which are linked by ancient tradition, but the pair went their separate ways during World War II. However, a chance meeting in 1948 led to a musical partnership writing songs and light opera, Flanders providing the words and Swann composing the music. Their songs have been sung by performers such as Ian Wallace and Joyce Grenfell.
In December 1956, Flanders and Swann hired the New Lindsey Theatre, Notting Hill, to perform their own two-man revue At the Drop of a Hat, which opened on New Year's Eve. Flanders sang a selection of the songs that they had written, interspersed with comic monologues, and accompanied by Swann on the piano. An unusual feature of their act was that, due to Flanders' having contracted poliomyelitis in 1943, both men remained seated for their shows: Swann remained behind his piano, and Flanders used a wheelchair. The show was successful and transferred the next month to the Fortune Theatre, where it ran for over two years, before touring in the UK, the United States, Canada and Switzerland.
In 1963 Flanders and Swann opened in a second revue, At the Drop of Another Hat. Over the next four years they toured a combination of the two shows in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the United States and Canada, before finishing up at the Booth Theatre on Broadway. On April 9, 1967 they performed their last live show together. Ten days later, they moved into a studio and recorded the show for television.
Over the course of 11 years, Flanders and Swann gave nearly 2,000 live performances. Although their performing partnership ended in 1967, they remained friends afterwards and collaborated on occasional projects."
I found this LP on the obscure Unit label at a car boot sale some time ago. I thought I had uploaded some tracks from it but looking through the archives I see that I haven't. Making ammends now.
"Tommy Burton was first and foremost an entertainer. His hero was Thomas “Fats” Waller, and he was best known for his remarkably accurate recreation of Waller’s vocal style and his command of stride piano. Burton was a popular performer at traditional jazz gatherings up and down the United Kingdom, where his ebullient presence was always a tonic.
He was born Thomas William Burton in Bilston, near Wolverhampton, on 10 January, 1935, and began to learn piano at the age of eight, then added clarinet and saxophone in his teens (he also played guitar). He played his first gigs on clarinet with band leader Pete Young in 1950, then became the pianist with Johnny Fenton and The Fentones until he was called up for national service in 1953.
He served in the RAF until 1958, and was active in leading several service bands. He also made his first radio broadcast during that period. It would be the first of many, and he was also featured in an extended engagement on BBC television’s Pebble Mill At One.
On leaving the RAF, he formed the wonderfully named Thunderfoot Burton’s Celestial Three in Walsall, and hopped on the rumbling rock and roll bandwagon for a time with his own group, The Ravemen, in which he sang and played guitar. He formed another band, the Tommy Burton Combo, in the 1960s, this time playing tenor and soprano saxophones. His best known group, however, was his Sporting House Quartet, which featured the Waller-inspired repertoire most associated with him.
He formed the band at the end of the 1960s, and carried it on into the 1990s. It provided an excellent setting for his stylish piano playing, his quirky vocals, and his often risque humour. He also played solo piano gigs, and performed in a duo with guitarist and banjo player Spats Langham for a time in the mid-90s. He visited New Orleans as a performer on several occasions from the late 1980s onward, and performed both as a solo pianist and with the local musicians there.
He ran a pub in Wolverhampton for six years from 1972-78. He suffered a stroke in 1999, but had returned to playing, and performed at the Bude Jazz Festival shortly before his death."
A really odd record I bought today at a boot sale. It was released on the Happy House label ( Made In America ) in the 60's I imagine. One side a has a story and the other is all songs ,or rather, tunes- sub funk backing tracks that have percussive intruments like bells, marracas and squeakers layered over the top in a strange haphazard fashion. The resulting mess is quite alarming! I recognise a few tunes here including James Brown's "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag". Maybe you can spot some others? Goodness knows what children thought of this when it was played at their parties!
I've had many requests for this to be uploaded again with the story side of the record - so here it is.
A selection from the privately pressed? tape of old xmas songs and adverts cunningly cobbled together by Eddie Gorodetsky in 1997 that someone sent me a couple of years ago.
1. Christmas For Moderns - Maynard Ferguson 2. Jingle Bells - Jimmy McGriff 3. Frosty The Snowman - The Lizard Men 4. Cowboy Santa Claus - Bill Lacey & Group
"One of the all-time giants of the Hammond B-3, Jimmy McGriff sometimes gets lost amid all the great soul-jazz organists from his hometown of Philadelphia. He was almost certainly the bluesiest of the major soul-jazz pioneers, and indeed, he often insisted that he was more of a blues musician than a jazz artist; nonetheless, he remained eclectic enough to blur the lines of classification. His sound -- deep, down-to-earth grooves drenched in blues and gospel feeling -- made him quite popular with R&B audiences, even more so than some of his peers; what was more, he was able to condense those charms into concise, funky, jukebox-ready singles that often did surprisingly well on the R&B charts. His rearrangement of Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman" was a Top Five R&B hit in 1962, and further hits like "All About My Girl," "Kiko," and "The Worm" followed over the course of the '60s. McGriff spent much of the '70s trying to keep pace with the fusion movement, switching to various electric keyboards and adopting an increasingly smooth, polished style."
"Freddie Davies (born 21 July 1937) is a British comedian and actor. He is the grandson of Music Hall comedian Jack Herbert.
Freddie Davies was born on in Brixton, London. Evacuated in 1939 to Seend in Wiltshire and then to Torquay taken to Salford, Manchester in 1941. After National Service in the Royal Army Pay Corps. He became a stand-up comedian, after beginning his career in 1958 as a Butlins holiday camp Redcoat entertainer. He started on the cabaret circuit in 1964, when he turned professional, and he appeared on Opportunity Knocks. Sunday Night at the London Palladium. The Des O'Connor Show. The Tom Jones Show. The Bachelors Show. Blackpool Night Out. Plus many top rating Television shows in the 60s, 70s and 80s. His act featured jokes about budgies, and he eventually picked up the nickname "Parrot Face", partly due to the faces he pulled on stage. He became known as "Freddie "Parrotface" Davies", wore a Black Homburg hat and became very popular with both the young and old alike.
From 1968 to 1971, the long-running British children's comic Buster featured a comic strip Freddie "Parrot-Face" Davies, based upon the adventures of Freddie and his "boodgies". In 1974 he had a BBC children's television series, The Small World of Samuel Tweet. Mr. Tweet worked in a pet shop in Chumpton Green, appearing with many animals during the series. He also appeared in a commercial for Trill budgie seed, with the slogan, "Trill makes budgies bounce with health".
Freddie also recorded several children's albums and stories for children. The Last of the Summer Wine actor Bill Owen wrote the lyrics to a romantic ballad called "So Lucky" which Freddie recorded and it became a hit record in Brazil, the Philippines and South America and Freddie received a Gold Record for sales in Brazil.
After a spell touring th U.S.A. he returned to the U.K and began an acting career appearing in Heartbeat, Casualty, Last of the Summer Wine, Preston Front, 2 series of Harbour Lights (as George Blade), Born and Bred, Sensitive Skin and My Family.
Freddie's films include the cult comedy classic Funny Bones, and 2004's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
He now runs the "Sheep Shop" on Atholl Road in Pitlochry, Scotland, selling wool, knitting needles and Shaun The Sheep memorabelia."
"Max Miller, Britain's top comedian in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, was born in Brighton, on the south coast of England in 1894. He excelled as a stand-up comic playing to large audiences in variety theatres, where his skill was such that he could hold an audience in the palm of his hand. He was master of the double entendre. He was mischievous, brash and quick-witted; he dressed over the top and he certainly lived up to the name the Cheeky Chappie. Even the poorest jokes got a laugh; his timing and delivery were legendary.
Max Miller left school at 12 and, after drifting from job to job, was called up by the army to serve in the First World War. During the war he acquired a taste of entertaining whilst performing to his fellow soldiers and, after the war, he pursued his show-business ambition starting with the occasional gig in pubs and halls. His first break came about when he joined a concert party on the Brighton sea front as a song and dance man. It was good training for the future and, from time to time, he would get the chance to tell a gag or two. The occasional booking in a London theatre followed this. His talent developed and soon he excelled as a solo performer writing his own material and composing his own songs. He rose to fame and, in the 1930s, reached the top of the bill playing all the major variety theatres including the most famous of them all, the London Palladium."
Find out more about Max Miller at this website dedicated to him HERE.
Found this EP the other day in a charity shop for a few pence. Released in 1964 on the cheapo Bravo label. Nothing much to be found out about him sadly - on the sleeve it says -
"Johnny Pineapple is a genuine Hawaiian and played in America's Stork Club for many years. The growing popularity of Hawaiian music can be attributed to the exotic flavour of its rhythms, it's drums, it's split bamboo, and it's gourds."
Unfortunately the music is at the MOR end of the exotica spectrum sounding more like the Mike Sammes Singers and Sing Something Simple version of genuine authentic hawaiian music.
Found in Brick Lane I think some years ago this "African" label LP from 1970 is called L'Afrique Danse No.10 and one assumes there were 9 other amazingly good albums released before this one! It's by Dr. Nico & L'Orchestre African Fiesta Sukisa and here is what Wikipedia has to say about him-
"Nicolas Kasanda wa Mikalay (1939 – 1985), popularly known as Dr. Nico was a guitarist, composer and one of the pioneers of soukous music. He was born in Mikalayi, Kasai province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He graduated in 1957 as a technical teacher, but inspired by his musical family, he took up the guitar and in time became a virtuoso soloist. At the age of 14 he started playing with the seminal group African Jazz, led by Joseph "Grand Kalle" Kabaselle. He became an influential guitarist (Jimi Hendrix once payed him a personal visit while on tour in Paris), and the originator of the ubiquitous Congolese guitar style, acquiring nickname "Dr Nico". African Jazz split up 1963 when Dr Nico and singer Tabu Ley Rochereau left to form L'Orchestra African Fiesta, which became one of the most popular in Africa. He withdrew from the music scene mid 1970s following the collapse of his Belgian record label, and made a few final recordings in Togo, not long before he died in a hospital in Brussels, Belgium in 1985."
Here is one I uploaded before, back in 2008. It's from Colombia and dated 1980. It certainly looks very xmassy but my guess would be that it's "Hits Of The Year" and these are some of the favourites in Colombia in 1980. It makes a change from the usual Christmassy music thats churned out at the is time of year.
"Modern Colombian music is a mixture of African, native Indigenous and European (especially Spanish) influences, as well as more modern American and Caribbean musical forms, such as Trinidadian, Cuban, and Jamaican. The national music of Colombia is said to be cumbia. Cumbia is a mixture of Spanish and African music, the latter brought by slaves. In the 19th century, slavery was abolished and Africans, Indians and other ethnic groups mixed more fully. Styles like bambuco, vallenato and porro was especially influential. When the waltz became popular in the 19th century, a Colombian version called pasillo was invented. International Latin, a type of pop ballad, and salsa music are best-represented by Charlie Zaa and Joe Arroyo, respectively."
Another LP found yesterday for a few pence in a charity shop. I was attracted to the list of songs on the LP ranging from Colonel Bogey to Inka Dinka Doo - the old Schnozzle Durante number. This version is the most excruciating I have ever heard and worth the price of the LP alone! Hard to find out much about her career except that she was born in the Phillipines and her father (who plays on the record) is a pianist too. She came to the notice of the Ed Sullivan Show around 1959 and played on that and was such a sensation she was a regular on many TV shows in the 60's including Perry Como and Danny Thomas. She also appeared with her sister in the Elvis Presley film "Girls, Girls, Girls". She now plays piano in many of the hotels in Hawaii.
After saying I don't find much in the way of records these days lo and behold a great little EP on the Capitol label by the undoubted Queen Of Exotica Yma Sumac which I found today for 49p in a charity shop.
Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chávarri del Castillo was born on September 13, 1922 in Ichocán, Cajamarca, Peru. Although she claimed to have been born on September 10, "her personal assistant, who claimed to have seen her birth certificate, gave her date of birth as September 13 1922." Other dates mentioned in her various biographies range from 1921 to 1929. Some sources claim that she was not born in Ichocán, but in a nearby village or possibly, in Lima, and that her family owned a ranch in Ichocán where she spent most of her early life. Stories published in the 1950s claimed that she was an Incan princess, directly descended from Atahualpa. A story claiming that she was born Amy Camus—Yma Sumac backwards—in Brooklyn or Canada was fabricated while she was performing in New York City in the early 1950s.
Chávarri adopted the stage name of Imma Sumack (also spelled Ymma Sumack and Ima Sumack) before she left South America to go to the U.S. The stage name was based on her mother's name which was derived from Ima Shumaq, Quechua for "how beautiful!" although in interviews she claimed it meant "beautiful flower" or "beautiful girl".
Imma Sumack first appeared on radio in 1942 and married composer and bandleader, Moisés Vivanco, on June 6 of the same year. She recorded at least eighteen tracks of Peruvian folk songs in Argentina in 1943. These early recordings for the Odeon label featured Moisés Vivanco's group, Compañía Peruana de Arte, a group of forty-six Indian dancers, singers, and musicians.
In 1946, Sumack and Vivanco moved to New York City, where they performed as the Inka Taky Trio, Sumack singing soprano, Vivanco on guitar, and her cousin Cholita Rivero singing contralto and dancing. Sumack bore a son, Charles, in 1949, and was signed by Capitol Records in 1950, at which time her stage name became Yma Sumac.
The cover of Yma Sumac's debut album, Voice of the Xtabay (1950).During the 1950s, Yma Sumac produced a series of legendary lounge music recordings featuring Hollywood-style versions of Incan and South American folk songs, working with the likes of Les Baxter and Billy May. The combination of her extraordinary voice, exotic looks, and stage personality made her a hit with American audiences. Sumac appeared in a Broadway musical, Flahooley, in 1951, as a foreign princess who brings Aladdin's lamp to an American toy factory to have it repaired. The show's score was by Sammy Fain and E. Y. "Yip" Harburg, but Sumac's three numbers were the work of Vivanco with one co-written by Vivanco and Fain."
Historic recordings dubbed from 78's to tape from a great compilation on Windyridge Records that is still available I think. I've mentioned Bobbie Comber before but happy to upload these novelty songs from the 20's and the 30's. Not much gleaned about Bobbie Comber on the interweb. He was born in 1890 and died in 1942. and was most successful with songs of a nautical nature like "Barnacle Bill The Sailor" during the 30's. He also acted in many films.
"Born: Bulee Gaillard, January 4, 1916, Detroit, Michigan - Died February 26, 1991 - England Other sources including Gaillard himself have claimed he was born on 1 January 1916 in Santa Clara, Cuba. Gaillard led an adventurous childhood. On one occasion, while traveling on board a ship on which his father was steward, he was left behind in Crete when the ship sailed. His adventures became more exciting every time he recounted his tales and include activities such as professional boxer, mortician and truck driver for bootleggers. Originally based in Detroit, Gaillard entered vaudeville in the early 30s with an act during which he played the guitar while tap-dancing. Later in the decade he moved to New York and formed a duo with bassist Slam Stewart in which Gaillard mostly played guitar and sang. Much of their repertoire was original material with lyrics conceived in Gaillard's personal version of the currently popular 'jive talk', which on his lips developed extraordinary surrealist overtones. Gaillard's language, which he named 'Vout' or 'Vout Oreenie', helped the duo achieve a number of hit records, including 'Flat Foot Floogie'. Their success led to a long running radio series and an appearance in the film Hellzapoppin."
Cosmotheka sing a few old favourites from the days of music hall on their 1992 BBC radio show "Cosmotheka's Comedy Songbook" live from the Palace Theatre , Redditch in the West Midlands.
"For those of us that had the pleasure of witnessing the ‘act’ that was Cosmotheka (Dave & Al Sealey) should count ourselves lucky. I say this in the knowledge that I, along with countless others will recall with nostalgia the songs set before us for the first time on CD. So, congratulations to Graham Bradshaw at Folksound for issuing it. I won’t re-trace the history of the duo (Dave does that in the accompanying booklet) but needless to say a majority of the most popular numbers from their extensive repertoire appear here. To name-check a few, we have ‘Wot A Mouth’, ‘Don’t Do It Again, Matilda’, ‘Thuthie’ and ‘Wot I Want Is A Proper Cup Of Coffee’. Dave and Al’s tireless pursuit of the rich music hall heritage that was so much a part of Britain’s social structure is a testament to all song collectors. I reflect with fondness my particular association with the duo when I was asked to play a difficult banjo break on one of their recordings and all the encouragement they gave me in completing the task. Without the likes of Cosmotheka, the world of folk music (which they embraced as much as the music halls) would be a poorer scene. Sadly Al passed away in 1999 leaving a legacy of recordings that if they were to be released today would bring a smile to the sternest of critics. Perhaps now the ball has started rolling someone somewhere will re-issue all of Cosmotheka’s back catalogue."
Buy the CD of some of their best known songs HERE.
I already uploaded a couple of tracks from another great LP last year but had some requests for more. How could I refuse? These tracks are from a CD called "Mickey Katz Greatest Shticks" and full of some great yiddish flavoured novelty songs.
"Long before Allan Sherman and Woody Allen showered the public with Yiddish slang -- and decades before the klezmer revival breathed new life into a once-popular ethnic music -- a little clarinetist with a lot of chutzpah blazed the trail, exposing "crossover" audiences to the language and the melodies of his forebears with a series of English-Yiddish parody records.
Being Jewish "was always popular in my house," recalled Mickey Katz, who embraced his heritage from the early days of his career. "The only people it wasn't popular with were those who were frightened." Among those who were displeased with him for being open about his religious persuasion was the Jewish editor of Variety, who reprimanded Katz for "defiling" the legend of Davy Crockett when the bandleader's parody "Duvid Crockett" became a hit record.
Katz made a lot of people uncomfortable in the 1940s and '50s. He was too ethnic for many Jews of his generation who couldn't shed their Old World roots fast enough, and too much of a comedian for the purists -- a strange hybrid of Naftule Brandwein and Spike Jones they didn't quite dig."
Delving into the archives now in the run up to Crimble as the boot sales have fizzled out and the charity shops have less and less of tapes and vinyl to root through. Not sure where this originated but a fine compilation of cockney rock and novelty songs from the 70's and 80's including diverse "talents" such as Laurie Lingo & The Dipsticks, The Wurzels to Alfie Bass and Bernie Winters.
Not really a boot sale find but an excuse to upload some novelty songs by Fred Douglas who I know nothing about except he made lots of cover versions of hits on the cheap Regal label that sold in Woolworths I believe back in the 30's and 40's. Later they had the Embassy label which did a similar service - all the pop hits of the day by obscure singers who nobody had ever heard of! Fred Douglas went by many other nome de plumes, some say as many as 60 including the comedy duo The Two Gilberts.
Chris Gavin says of The Two Gilberts -
"Almost nothing is known about this comedy duo, but it can be surmised from their recordings that the people making up the pairing varied with time. The odd thing is that the Two Gilberts appear at a time when comedy duettists had just about died out in terms of popularity. Harry Cove & Billy Thompson had dominated the recording studios (along with the likes on Will Brockton, Jack Charman, Stanley Kirkby, Lionel Rothery etc) with their duet records from before WWI. People with a good ear claim that Fred Douglas, a prolific maker of records in his own name, is always one of the pair. Recently it has been claimed that the most regular duo were Fred Douglas and Leslie Rome.
Interestingly, both Cove and Thompson were mainstays of The Two Gilberts at different times. Thompson seems to be Douglas's first partner before Cove took over in mid-1924. Recordings by Tom Gilbert exist, usually paired with recordings of the Two Gilberts, these records issued as by Tom Gilbert are also by Fred Douglas; the Regal company obviously dreamt up the name as a tie-in with the duettists as well as issuing record under Douglas's own name.
It seems that about these artists: Douglas, Thompson & Cove, very little is known as they spent pretty well the whole of their careers as recording artists, generally looked down upon by collectors and researchers as "of no historical importance or interest"."
"Leslie Holmes showed signs of being musical as soon as he could toddle, and as a boy he could play on the piano a tune he heard whistled in the street. After the first world war, he joined Henry Hall's band and broadcast with them in 1925. He later became a composer."
Very little is known about Leslie Holmes but he did join up with Leslie Sarony (someone who will feature here later I'm sure) to form The Two Leslies who had a few hits back in the thirties. These two tracks though are from 78's transcribed to Cd by a friend of mine. They are over 70 years old so please forgive sound quality.