Monday, July 22, 2013

Josh Mcrae

Lp on the Golden Guinea label from 1965 found at boot sale.  I have fond memories of "Messing About On The River" from the radio in the early 60's. That splish splosh beat was very unusual for the time.

Glasgwegian singer McRae was extremely influential in the early days of the Folk Revival. He was a member of the Reivers group, the foremost singer of the Glasgow Eskimos, and had Top Twenty success with several songs, including ‘Messing About On The River’ and ‘Talking Army Blues’. The latter song was satirically critical of conscription.

On the sleeve notes Josh writes -   " I was born in Glasgow in 1933 and apart from army service have lived there all my life. After leaving school I went to Glasgow School Of Art. It was at art school I learned to play the guitar and learn about folk songs.."

The songs featured are -  1. Messing About On The River  2. I've Got A Love  3. High Class Feelin'  4 Baron James Mc Phait  5. Let Ramensky Go  6. Sky High Joe  7. The Wee Ferry

Josh Mcrae  -  Side One

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Yma Sumac

The last of last weeks boot sale goodies. The extraordinary voice of Yma Sumac and  orchestra conducted by Les Baxter from 1956 of the Regal label.

Wikipedia says  -

"Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chávarri del Castillo was born on September 13, 1922, in Callao, a seacoast city in Peru.
Stories published in the 1950s claimed that she was an Incan princess, directly descended from Atahualpa. Her New York Times obituary reported that "the largest and most persistent fabrication about Ms. Sumac was that she was actually a housewife from Brooklyn named Amy Camus, her name spelled backward. The fact is that the government of Peru in 1946 formally supported her claim to be descended fromAtahualpa, the last Incan emperor".
Chávarri adopted the stage name of Imma Sumack (also spelled Ymma Sumack and Ima Sumack) before she left South America to go to the United States. The stage name was based on her mother's name, which was derived from Ima ShumaqQuechua for "how beautiful!" although in interviews she claimed it meant "beautiful flower" or "beautiful girl".

Yma Sumac first appeared on radio in 1942. Sumac and orchestra and bandleader Moisés Vivanco were married that year. She recorded at least 18 tracks of Peruvian folk songs inArgentina in 1943. These early recordings for the Odeon label featured Moisés Vivanco's group, Compañía Peruana de Arte, a group of 46 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 singingcontralto and dancing. She was signed by Capitol Records in 1950, at which time her stage name became Yma Sumac.
During the 1950s, Yma Sumac produced a series of 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.
Capitol Records, Sumac's label, recorded the show. Flahooley closed quickly, but the recording continues as a cult classic, in part because it also marked the Broadway debut of Barbara Cook. During the height of Sumac's popularity, she appeared in the films Secret of the Incas (1954) and Omar Khayyam (1957). She became a U.S. citizen on July 22, 1955. In 1959 she performed Jorge Bravo de Rueda's classic song "Vírgenes del Sol" on her album Fuego del Ande."

Tracks are -   1. Taita Inty  2. Ataypura!  3. Accla Taqui 4. Tumpa!

Yma Sumac  -  Side One

Jimmy Durante

More scratchy vinyl from the boot sale. I think I have featured Jimmy before but not sure what songs were on the blog post.  This LP has many of his hits and a few obscure numbers I'd not heard before like  I'll Do The Strut Away in My Cut Away.

Wikipedia says -

"Durante was born on the Lower East Side of New York City. He was the youngest of four children born to Bartolomeo and Rosa Durante, both of whom were immigrants from Salerno, Italy. Bartolomeo was a barber, and his wife Rosa was the sister of a woman who lived in the same boarding house.Jimmy Durante served as an altar boy at Saint Malachy's Roman Catholic Church, known as the Actor's Chapel.
Durante dropped out of school in eighth grade to become a full-time ragtime pianist. He first played with his cousin, whose name was also "Jimmy Durante". It was a family act, but he was too professional for his cousin. He continued working the city's piano bar circuit and earned the nickname "Ragtime Jimmy", before he joined one of the first recognizable jazz bands in New York, the Original New Orleans Jazz Band. Durante was the only member not from New Orleans. His routine of breaking into a song to deliver a joke, with band or orchestra chord punctuation after each line, became a Durante trademark. In 1920, the group was renamed Jimmy Durante's Jazz Band.
Durante became a vaudeville star and radio personality by the mid-1920s, with a trio called Clayton, Jackson and Durante. Lou Clayton and Eddie Jackson, Durante's closest friends, often reunited professionally. Jackson and Durante appeared in the Cole Porter musical The New Yorkers, which opened on Broadway on December 8, 1930. Earlier that same year, the team had appeared in the movie Roadhouse Nights, ostensibly based on Dashiell Hammett's novel Red Harvest.
By 1934, he had a major record hit with his own novelty composition, "Inka Dinka Doo", with lyrics written by Ben Ryan to music that Durante himself composed. It became his theme song for the rest of his life. A year later, Durante starred on Broadway in the Billy Rose stage musical Jumbo, in which a police officer stopped him while leading a live elephant and asked him, "What are you doing with that elephant?" Durante's reply, "What elephant?" was a regular show-stopper. This comedy bit, also reprised in his role in Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962, based on the 1935 musical) likely contributed to the popularity of the idiom the elephant in the room. Durante also appeared on Broadway in Show Girl (1929), Strike Me Pink (1934) and Red, Hot and Blue (1936).
He began appearing in motion pictures in a comedy series pairing him with silent film legend Buster Keaton and continuing with The Wet Parade (1932), Broadway to Hollywood (1933),The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942, playing Banjo, a character based on Harpo Marx), Ziegfeld Follies (1946), Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962, based on the 1935 musical) and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963). In 1934 he starred in Hollywood Party, where he dreams he is 'Schnarzan', a character in parody of 'Tarzan', extremely popular at the time due to the Johnny Weissmuller films."

Tracks are as follows -   1. Bill Bailey  2. What You Goin' To Do When The Rent Comes 'Round?  3. A-Razz-A Ma-Tazz  4. I'm A Vulture For Horticulture  5. It's My Nose's Birthday  6. I'll Do The Strut Away In My Cut-Away

Jimmy Durante  -  Side One

Friday, July 05, 2013

Stan Freberg

Recent boot sale find on the cheapo Music For Pleasure label from 1963.  Many of his best songs and characters here. I'd forgotten just how funny he was.

Wikipedia says  -  "Freberg was born Stanley Friberg in Pasadena, California, the son of Evelyn Dorothy (née Conner), a housewife, and Victor Richard Friberg (later Freberg), a Baptist minister.He is of Swedish and Irish descent.
Freberg's work reflects both his gentle sensitivity (despite his liberal use of biting satire and parody) and his refusal to accept alcohol and tobacco manufacturers as sponsors—an impediment to his radio career when he took over for Jack Benny on CBS radio. As Freberg explained to Rusty Pipes:
After I replaced Jack Benny in 1957, they were unable to sell me with spot announcements in the show. That would mean that every three minutes I'd have to drop a commercial in. So I said, "Forget it. I want to be sponsored by one person", like Benny was, by American Tobacco or State Farm Insurance, except that I wouldn't let them sell me to American Tobacco. I refused to let them sell me to any cigarette company.
Stan Freberg's first wife, Donna, died in 2000. He has two children from that marriage, Donna Jean and Donavan. He married Betty Hunter in 2001, and she adopted the personal and family names Hunter Freberg."

Tracks are as follows  -   1,   The Yellow Rose Of Texas  2. John & Marsha  3. St. George & The Dragonet  4. C'est Si Bon  5. Trouble  6. Tele-Vee-Shun

Stan Freberg  -  Side One

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Big Ben Banjo Band

Last of the EP's you'll be glad to know!  This time a medley of old music hall tunes by the Big Ben Banjo Band on Columbia again from the 50's.

"The Big Ben Banjo Band were at the height of their popularity, from 1955 to 1958. They were formed towards the end of 1954 by Columbia A & R man Norrie Paramor and were purely intended as a recording unit. Basically they were a Dixieland-style outfit with banjos predominant. Norrie had the pick of the top session musicians, and his original line up included George Chisholm on trombone, Tommy McQuater (trumpet) and Bert Weedon (guitar). They continued to record prolifically, right through into the 1970s."

Big Ben Banjo Band  -  Medley

Flanagan & Allen

Another EP from the weekends record haul at the boot sale in Cheshire.  This time a sort of mini Greatest Hits by Flanagan & Allen on Columbia from the late 40's. says  -  "Bud Flanagan (b. Reuben Weintrop [Robert Winthrop], 14 October 1896, Whitechapel, London, England, d. 20 October 1968, Kingston, Surrey, England) and Chesney Allen (b. William Ernest Allen, 5 April 1896, London, England, d. 13 November 1982, Midhurst, Sussex, England). One of Britain’s best-loved comedy-singing duos during their heyday in the 30s and 40s. Allen was the straight man, with a neat, well tailored image complete with trilby, while comedian Flanagan wore a voluminous mangy fur coat and a battered straw hat. The son of Jewish refugees from Poland, Flanagan took a job as a call boy at the Cambridge Music Hall when he was 10, and made his first stage appearance at the London Music Hall - as conjuror Fargo, the Boy Wizard - in 1908. After winning singing competitions sponsored by the popular musical hall artist Dora Lyric, Flanagan made up his young mind to run away to America, and, at the age of 14, found himself washing dishes in the galley of the S.S. Majestic bound for New York. Once there, he worked as a Western Union messenger, newspaper vendor, and prizefighter (billed as ‘Luke McGlook from England’), before forming a vaudeville double act with Dale Burgess. They toured the USA, and appeared in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, before Flanagan returned to England just after the outbreak of World War I, and enlisted in the Royal Artillery. Posted to Northern France, where he first met Chesney Allen briefly, he took his future stage name from a particularly obnoxious, anti-Semitic Sergeant-Major Flanagan. After his release in 1919, he worked with various stage partners and was a taxi driver for a spell in the early 20s, before taking over from Stan Stanford as Chesney Allen’s partner in Florrie Forde’s revue and pantomime company in 1924.
Allen, whose father was a master builder, had been articled to a solicitor before opting for a stage career. As well as performing in Forde’s shows, he was also her manager. When Forde decided to retire, Flanagan and Allen’s first inclination was to follow their main interest and start up as bookmakers, but they accepted D.J. Clarke’s offer of a week in variety at the Argyle Theatre, Birkenhead, in January 1931. Their performances were so well received, especially their rendering of Flanagan’s composition, ‘Underneath The Arches’, that they were swiftly booked for the Holborn Empire and the London Palladium. Flanagan and Allen also appeared at the Palladium in their first Royal Variety Performance in 1932. Flanagan’s impulsive appeal for ‘three cheers’ for their majesties King George V and Queen Mary at the end of the show, marked the beginning of his long reign as an affectionately regarded ‘court jester’. Also on the bill that year were the comic duo, Nervo And Knox, and that pair’s subsequent appearances with Flanagan And Allen, Eddie Gray, Caryll And Mundy, and Naughton And Gold in the Palladium’s Crazy Month revues, saw the birth of the legendary Crazy Gang. The team was reduced to seven after Billy Caryll lost a leg and died. In the 30s, as well as touring in variety and appearing together in their own shows such as Give Me A Ring, Happy Returns, Life Begins At Oxford Circus, and Swing Is In The Air, Flanagan And Allen were part of the Crazy Gang (although in most cases the artists were each billed separately) in popular revues such as Round About Regent Street, O-Kay For Sound, London Rhapsody, These Foolish Things, and The Little Dog Laughed (1939). During World War II Flanagan And Allen entertained the troops with ENSA, and were seen in the revues Top Of The World, Black Vanities and Hi-Di-Hi. They also starred in a series of comedy films - sprinkled occasionally with songs - which had begun in the 30s with A Fire Has Been Arranged, Underneath The Arches, Okay For Sound, Alf’s Button Afloat, and The Frozen Limit, and continued in the early 40s with Gasbags, We’ll Smile Again, Theatre Royal, Here Comes The Sun, and Dreaming (1944)."

Flanagan & Allen  -  Hey Neighbour/ Umbrella Man

Monday, July 01, 2013

Felix Mendelssohn & His Hawaiian Serenaders

An interesting batch of EP's from a recent boot sale included this gem from Felix Mendelssohn on the Columbia label from the late 40's I would guess.

"Felix Bartholdy Mendelssohn, a direct decendent of the great composer, was born at Brondesbury Park, London. He worked for a while in the London Stock Exchange before joining the navy at the age of seventeen. On leaving the Navy he became an actor and opened Club Felix in London which became the haunt of stage personalities in the early 1930's. In 1938 he realised his long standing ambition, first kindled on a visit to the South Sea Islands, to form a Hawaiian band. He once said “I believe that soft music allied to glamour and showmanship is a sure recipe for success” as in these easy listening fusions of Celtic and Hula. Aloha Alloa?
“Gifted with a capacity for organisation and an appreciation of the value of publicity, it was his particular genius that helped to elevate Hawaiin music to heights of popularity in England during the late 1930's and through the 1940's that have never been equalled.”
His first recording for Parlophone was in November 1939.
In the early 1940's broadcasting and recording work was directed by George Elliott, a superb plectrum guitarist who also played steel guitar. Guitar was splayed by Kealoha Life, Ivor Mairants and Wally Chapman, among others. In 1944 the band were joined by steel guitarist Jimmy McCulloch of Ayr although he never recorded with the group."

Felix Mendelssohn  -  Hawaiian War Chant/ Aloha Oe