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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Music, Mastro, Please - Sammy Kaye

Music, Maestro, Please
Swing And Sway With Sammy Kaye
Photo by Bottwin-Sommer Studio
Columbia CL 668

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the graphically dynamic cover art and note excerpts.

From the back cover: Sammy Kaye was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and had a childhood comparable to that of any other American boy. For a time, athletics became his primary interest, and he was a member of the state relay championship team and became state low hurdle champion. Winning a scholarship at Ohio University, he continued his athletic career while studying civil engineering, and turned to music as a means of implementing his income. He organized an orchestra for college proms and hops that became so popular he opened his own dance hall. This establishment flourished under his direction, and he decided to stay with the music business.

Embarking on a tour, the orchestra met with instant acceptance, and the now-famous "Swing and Sway" style was evolved. Then, in 1938, the orchestra opened at Hotel Commodore in New York and consolidated the success it had on tour. From that time on, Sammy Kaye and his orchestra have played a ceaseless round of dance halls, theaters and hotels with undiminished success, enjoying the favor of dancers and listeners of all ages with their ability to play sweet ballads or brisk novelties.

Music, Maestro, Please!
Blue Prelude
Just A Gigolo
Dream For Sale
Y (That's Why)
You've Got Me Crying Again
As Time Goes By
No Greater Love
You Oughta Be In Pictures
Till I Kiss You At The Altar
Sittin' And Waitin'

Door Of Dreams - Joe Reisman

Door Of Dreams
Joe Reisman And His Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-1519

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover.

From the back cover: Using a good blend of all the orchestral colors in these arrangements for a thirty-five piece band, Joe collected some of the finest musicians and soloists in New York, among whom can be heard Urbie Green, trombone; Eddie Mason, harmonica; Tony Mattola, guitar; Jimmy Maxwell, trumpet; and Stanley Webb, oboe.

Door Of Dreams
El Dorado
Covered Wagon
Mi Corazon
Sunday Afternoon
Mi Vida
Front Row Center
Cheryl's Dream
When Sunny Gets Blue
Day Dream
For My Love
Joey's Song

Monday, January 15, 2018

Lily Pons Gala - Lily Pons, Soprano

Bell Song
Lily Pons Gala
Lily Pons, Soprano
Columbia Masterworks Ml 5073

From the back cover: She was born in Cannes, the city of flowers, on the French Riviera. Her childhood was a period of happy wanderings in elementary piano music, which she began to pick out for herself from the age of five. At thirteen she enrolled in the Paris Conservatory and within two years had won a first prize. A piano career was confidently predicted for her.

During the first World War Lily Pons made her first public appearances, in Cannes. It is typical of her life that these were before the wounded veterans in the hospital at which her mother served as a volunteer nurse. These unfortunate, the first of many toward whose welfare Lily Pons has devoted large amounts of her time and energy, changed her career. They applauded the little piano pieces she played them – but they begged her for songs!

Little by little the songs became predominant and Miss Pons decided to train her voice. Within six weeks she had encompassed the teaching available in the voice at Cannes. She decided to try her luck as a singer in Paris, where she got an ingenue role in a new show almost at once. Then she sang an audition for the famous teacher Alberti di Gorositiaga, who immediately pronounced her voice phenomenal and made her a solemn promise – she would sing at the Met within five years.

After conquering a half dozen coloratura roles, she mad her debut in provincial opera houses in France. In the spring of 1930, after an exchange of letters between her teacher and the General Manager of the Metropolitan, she set sail for America. The crossing was stormy and, as she relates in her preface to the complete recording of Lucia, she lost four of her 109 pounds "in transit".

Nevertheless, after two days rest in her hotel room, she was ready for her audition, almost five years to the day from her first meeting with Gorositiaga. On the vast, empty stage of the Metropolitan that morning she experienced her first serious "butterflies" in one's tummy," a pre-performance condition she since has come to regard as standard equipment for Metropolitan appearances.

The audition she sang was a "killer," designed to demonstrate as forcibly as possible that she was not, as the Metropolitan's General Manager had feared on first sight, simply too small to be an opera singer. With that thought in mind that she had, after all, come 3000 miles for that moment, she decided to "shoot the coloratura works." I sang the Bell song from Lakme." she writes, "the Caro Nome, from Rigoletto, "Una voce poco fa' from The Barber, and – just for good measure... I ended up with the long Mad Scene."

Enough to exhaust the voice of many a vocalist for a week, the repertory had to be repeated that afternoon for the benefit of the president of the Metropolitan Opera Board. However, midway through, she was suddenly stopped and told: "We've heard enough." "Oh, mon Died," she thought; "I didn't concentrate. It's all over..."

But it wasn't. It was only the beginning. They had simply heard enough to know that she belonged among the stars. Her contract was signed that day.

The full story of her career since her debut could, obviously, be written entirely in box office statistics and the quotes of marveling critics. More importantly, it can also be written in terms of Lily Pons' service to others.

In June of 1938 Miss Pons received the first annual award of the National Bureau for Blind Artists for her work on behalf of the blind.

At the outbreak of World War II, she turned her back completely on footlight glamour and toured the globe singing to American G.I.s. Today millions of long-discharged soldiers and sailors still remember their petite friend from her plucky performances in the torrid sun of the Persian Gulf or the bitter cold of the Belgian front. She was the first woman performer to visit many a remote base, among them those in western China, which she could reach only by being flown over the perilous Assam "Hump" chained to a bucket seat in a B-29.

The countless decorations bestowed on her by dozens of countries, including the United States, of which she became a citizen in 1940, are a source of pride to Lily Pons. But they can be only a token of the esteem of a world to which she has brought so much pleasure and joy.

Delibes: Lakam – "Bell Song" - Orchestration conducted by Pietro Cimara

Verdi: Rigoletto – "Tutte Le Feste Al Tempio" Andre Kostelanetz conducting the Columbia Symphony Orchestra

Rossini: The Barber Of Seville "Una Voce Poco Fa" Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra

Thomas: Mignon – "Je Suis Titania" Andre Kostelanetz conducting the Columbia Symphony Orchestra

Meyerbeer: Dinorah – "Ombre Legere" (Shadow Song) Pietro Camara conducting the Columbia Symphony Orchestra

Delibes - De Musset: Les Filles De Cadiz Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra

Faure: Apres Un Reve, Op. 7, No. 1 Orchestra conducted by Maurice Abravanel

Ponce: Esterllita (Little Star) Andre Kostelanetz conducting and his Orchestra

Rachmaninoff: Oh, Cease Thy Singing, Maiden Fair Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra

Adenis-Bachelet: Chere Nuit Orchestra conducted by Maurice Abravanel

Strauss: Blue Danube Waltz, Op. 314 Andre Kostelanetz conducting his Orchestra

North And South Of The Border - Percy Faith

North And South Of The Border
Percy Faith And His Orchestra
Vocalion A Product Of Decca Records
VL 3600

From Billboard - June 23, 1958: Percy Faith's artistry of arrangement and presentation is extremely well represented here and should certainly make this one of the more popular of the low-priced entries. The resurrected Vocalion label has a winner in this album, in which the Faith touch is applied to half a dozen of the best known Latin favorites on one side, and six domestic standards on the other. An attractive cover also should help this move, in quantity.

La Cumparsita
Negra Consentida (My Pet Brunette)
Capullito De Aleli
Long Ago
I Love You
Star Dust
Embraceable You
Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year
If There Is Someone Lovelier That You

Let's Cha Cha Cha - Tito Morano

Ala Concord
Let's Cha Cha Cha
With Tito Morano And His Orchestra

From the back cover: Tito Morano and his orchestra are known in Puerto Rico as "the terrors of the Antilles." Here is a full thirteen piece surging musical aggregation with a sparkly and drive that won't quit. For dancing or listening, we are sure you will understand Tito's popularity.

His versatility as a song writer is evinced in the very powerful Concerto for Cha Cha and several of his other compositions in this album. Along with the well known standards contained, Tito's originals make this one of the finest latin dance albums ever produced.

Recorded in Puerto Rico under the direction of D. L. Miller

Having A Ball
Sweet And Gentle
La-La Cha Cha
Cha Cha With Bridget
See Of Se Cha Cha
Mambo #5
Ala Concord
Concerto For Cha Cha
Acapulco Cha Cha
Mambo Jambo
Cha Cha Felicidad

Sounds Of The Annual International Sports Car Grand Prix Of Watkins Glen NY

Sample from side 1
Sounds Of The Annual International Sports Car
Grand Prix Of Watkins Glen NY
The Schuyler - Carrera - Glen Trophy - Grand Prix
Folkways FX 6140
1956 (disc label date) 1959 (jacket date)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Music Of Jerome Ken And Irving Berlin - Stanley Black

Heat Wave
Music Of Jerome Kern And Irving Berlin
Stanley Black And His Orchestra
Richmond High Fidelity
A Product Of London Records
B 20011

A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody
Say It With Music
Simple Melody
No Strings
Heat Wave
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
The Touch Of Your Hand
I've Told Every Little Star
The Way You Look Tonight
The Night Was Made For Love

Ken Griffin At The Organ

The Continental
Ken Griffin At The Organ
Rondo Record Corporation

From the back cover: The finest and paradoxically, the most popular of all organists today is Ken Griffin. Griffin's popularity extends back some 30 years, although it was not until after World War Two, that the performer really came into his own. In the silent film days, Griffin, who originally was a violinist, decided he liked the organ better as an instrument and began to study without the benefit of a teacher. For four years prior to sound films, Griffin played the organ in film theaters in the Rocky Mountain States.

He then began to branch out into night clubs and theaters, initially in a supporting spot and then gradually as a soloist. During the war he played in military posts where his simple direct style without fancy ornamentation or excess fringes won instantaneous approval. At this time his initial records began to be popular favorites in roller skating and ice rinks.

Immediately after the war years, Griffin rocketed into national headlines when two songs, the Cuckoo Waltz and You Can't Be True Dear became national favorites overnight and catapulted the young, but already seasoned artist into the front rank of the nation's popular organists, a position which has increased in eminence and popularity as the years went by. More recently, Griffin has headed his own color TV series, known as 67 Melody Lane. Griffin's feet have been deeply bedded in show business for over three decades, and his phenomenal success is the result of understanding of what the public wants and the ability to give the American people just that.

Doll Dance
Deep Purple
Tango De Fire (back cover credit only, no track on the disk)
My Heart Stood Still
Canadian Capers
Lullaby Of Broadway
I'll See You Again (track on disc and disc label only)
All The Things You Are
She Didn't Say Yes
Blue Tango
Mood Indigo (back cover credit only, no track on the disk)
The Continental

Dorothy Donegan At The Embers

Dorothy Donegan
At The Embers
Forum SF 9003

Available from online vendors, so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the original cover and excerpt from the notes.

From the back cover: The Embers ("that night club-restaurant located on New York's East 54th Street)) reserves its space on the podium to no one but the best. And Dorothy Donegan is one of the best. So good is she and so much in demand, that The Embers drew up an unprecedented contract calling for her services for several weeks a year for the next ten years. She could probably stay on indefinitely but someone has to "mind the store" at her own jazz club in Los Angeles and Miss Donegan prefers to do it herself when she can tear away from The Embers

And even when she's not drawing the crowds into the popular East 54th Street hangout, she has a hard time staying put in her own L.A. Club. She's in demand all over the country. Jazz clubs want her. Smart supper clubs want her. Theaters and hotels want her. But what's more important, the public wants her and has wanted her since she began her professional career shortly before World War II.

In the ensuing years her style and her force have become the talk of the music circuit. Her ability to give an original twist to a classical composition, the inventiveness she applies to a boogie-woogie beat and the imagination and inventiveness she applies to a strictly jazz takeoff make up the qualities of a standout piano performer.

And it's all here in this package. All of the Donegan sound, that is. The sight, of course, cannot be duplicated. But one of the reasons that Dorothy Donegan constantly packs the tables at The Embers is that she's a joy to watch as well as hear. A writer for Time Magazine once put it this way: "Dorothy shuts her eyes. Her feet begin to pound the floor. Her face contorts as if she were in agony. What comes out is pure Donegan. It has the customers shagging in their seats".

That Old Black Magic
Over The Rainbow
Sweet Funny Valentine
This Can't Be Love
Just In Time
September Song
Donegan Walk
Autumn Leaves
Lullaby Of Birdland

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Many Moods Of Ethel Smith

Smithtown Special
The Many Moods Of Ethel Smith
Organ Solos With Rhythm Accompaniment
Decca Records DL 4145

Great space age set driven by inventive arrangements which nicely nest Smith's feature organ work with the studio group or orchestra.

I've Found A New Baby
Theme From "Carnival"
Honeysuckle Rose
Ethel Meets The Count (With Orchestra conducted by Don Sebesky)
Quizás, Quizás, Quizás
That Old Black Magic
Love For Sale
Brazil (Aquarela Do Brasil)
The Gypsy In My Soul
Smithtown Special (With Orchestra conducted by Don Sebesky)