42nd Street 

American Songs and Musicals in the "Thirties"

1937 : a half-tone year

 

   1  The second term of President Franklin Roosevelt

began under the best auspices, but was it to last ?

With a declining joblessness rate and a significant

recovery of industrial production, the economic

crisis seems to be partially curbed. Social

tensions persist, however, between

employers and workers. If General

Motors have finally recognized the labor

unions in car industry, Ford goes on, in

contrast, replying to claims by sanctions

and brutalizing.

The worst is going to occur on May 

30, in Chicago when the police

deliberately fires on strike pickets, making

a dozen dead. Roosevelt spares no effort to

reassure the business community but this

one becomes however more radical and

his projectremain vain.

For their representatives, the country

goes away from the virtues of capitalism

to a creeping socialism and a collectivist society directly inspired by Moscow.

Indifferent to these comments, the American people on the other hand will never as much support their President.  The Supreme Court stays however very conservative and its systematic opposition to the politics of Washington ends with the cancellation of most of the measures of the New Deal, declared unconstitutional. 

Roosevelt tries well to change the functioning of the respectable institution by suggesting appointing additional judges but his project is very poorly received, including by some of his supporters who feel risky to lash out again an organ considered, more than anything else, as the guardian of the democracy against the hazards of the powers. This period of conflicts at the top of the State has consequences as disastrous as unexpected, causing a sudden crisis of confidence. After the relative failure of the first New Deal, the financial world did not miss to point at the digging of the deficits generated by the second part of the economic program. The Dow Jones loses in a few weeks 30 % of its value, the investments yield and consequently investors flee to less fussy heavens. Already uncertain, the industrial activity undergoes a sudden halt, making back the specter of unemployment. After the euphoria of the first months, the shadow of the Great Depression haunts the minds again.

 

Beyond the endless effects of the downturn which has lasted for seven years, the most striking image of this year is especially the one of the airship Hindenburg  disaster which  was not only deadly but also terribly spectacular. The tragedy occurs on May 6, on the landing runway of Lakehurst, New Jersey when a fire breaks out at the stern of the aircraft. The structure inflated with hydrogen flares up in a few seconds killing 35 persons on 97 present.












 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This accident could have been avoided if the engineers had chosen helium, a gas deemed non-flammable generally used for this type of structure. But it proved so costly because of the volume to fill (7 000 000 ft3) that it has been opted for hydrogen, despite the obvious risks. The many cameras present this day covered the event live and handed impressive images that quickly went around the world. The disaster was all the more keenly felt by Nazi Germany which used this airship manufactured by the Zeppelin factories as a real tool of propaganda, a symbol of power. Adorned with swastikas in the glory of the 3rd Reich, it had flown the previous year over the opening parade of the Berlin Olympics and performed since transatlantic links. The media coverage of the crash was effectively the death knell of this mode of transport.

 

Another terrible accident due to gas happened two months earlier in a school of New London, a small town in Texas. This was caused by a short circuit occurred in broad daylight, while 640 people were present in the establishment. The explosion was heard for miles around.

Nearly 400 victims were to be counted, mostly children. For such a disaster could never happen again, it was decided to add a mercaptan (odorant gas) to natural gas to quickly identify any dubious leak.

 

The Congress will have to renew by three times the Neutrality Act allowing the United States not to get directly involved in a war. It did not necessarily mean a selflessness towards the conflicts which disturbed the planet. President Roosevelt declared certainly outlaw sales of weapons to the warring parties in Spain but agreed, despite the reluctance of  isolationists, to continue to provide equipment to the Chinese army so much that Japan pursued its invasion without a formal war declaration. This policy leads at the end of the year to put in quarantine countries clearly identified as aggressors, i.e.  Japan, Germany and Italy, imposing a first form of embargo on weapons and planes. This half-heartedly commitment was interpreted in its way by the different parts.

 

December 12 occurred in particular that was called the USS Panay Incident. This American gunboat which patrolled at the mouth of the Yangtze was sunk by the Japanese Air Force. Was it about an error of appreciation or an act of war? Anyway, the attitude of Japan towards the Americans was revealing of its duplicity. The Japanese authorities did not indeed cease to officially apologize and agreed to pay off the ship but the most amazing was to see flocking to the U.S. embassy in Tokyo, a mass of mails and money sent by sorry Japanese citizens, including pupils. At the same time, their army was engaged away from the media to the methodical destruction of Nanjing, China's ancient capital and to the worst atrocities in its history.

 

December 21, the Walt Disney studios released their first full-length animated cartoon based on a tale by the Grimm Brothers, a true masterpiece which belongs since to the cultural legacy of all the families of the world, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. The guests at the first night reserved it a standing ovation whereas 30 000 onlookers already queued up outside the theater. Could it be otherwise in this Christmas Eve to close with a happy end a year in the often disappointed expectations? Then, Whistle While You Work!

 

           2   Hollywood  Hotel

_________________________________________________________

 The movie credits

Direction: Busby Berkeley

Production: Samuel Bischoff, Bryan Foy

Screenplay: Jerry Wald

Score: Ray Heindorf, Heinz Roemheld

Actors: Dick Powell, Rosemary Lane, Lola Lane, Ted Hailey, Hugh Herbert, Glenda Farrell, Ronald Reagan, Mabel Todd, Benny Goodman, Frances Langford, Johnnie Scat Davies...

The movie tells the story of young actor (peformed by Dick Powell) who leaves his native Missouri for Hollywood where he is tipped to be the star of a feature film. After a series of new developments and some misadventures, the affair knows quite logically a happy end.






         










 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who would have predicted that Hooray for Hollywood, one of the songs written for this musical movie by Johnny Mercer and composed by Richard A. Whiting, was  to become the symbol of the annual Academy Awards and by extension that of the Hollywood film? It seems clear that it was not possible to store away in the attic such a piece of anthology.

Directed in 1937 by Busby Berkeley for  the Warner Company, the movie was released only at the beginning of the following year. It was praised for its energy and its vim but judged too exuberant, it took time before the recognition of its undeniable qualities in the approach of the characters and the rudeness of the dialogs.

Hooray for Hollywood is dedicated at first to Benny Goodman (recognizable by his Bearskin) and to his musicians. We notice by the way Gene Krupa on drums, trumpeter Harry James (making the pom-pom-pomp-pom!), actor Johnnie "Scat" Davis (a trumpet player too), actress and vocalist Frances Langford and Dick Powell who performs the leading part. The scene takes place at the airport alleged in St Louis (MO) when this last one (aka Ronnie Bowers) gets ready to fly to Hollywood where he was chosen to be the star of a movie. We shall see by the way the body of a DC3 in the colors of TWA. Advertising, already!

Anecdotally, the composer Richard A. Whiting did not have time to enjoy the success of his song. Already sick of heart, he died in March 1938, shortly after the release of the movie.


Johnnie « Scat » Davis (Brazil (IN) 1910 – Pecos (TX) 1983)

Born into a family of musicians, the young John plays, from the age of 13 years, the trumpet in his grandfather's orchestra, The Brazil Concert Band. He turns from the end of his studies to a professional career and occurs at first in Indiana with the orchestra of Leo Baxter. Left to New York in 1933 to join the band of Red Nichols, he leads then for a while his own musical trio before making friends with Fred Waring and becoming his official vocalist. Hollywood Hotel constitutes his first leading part in

movies and it is unquestionably the vigorousness of his performance which contributed to the wide success of its key song.

the year in music

    3   All things considered, 1937 will have been a great vintage in music. Rich in emotions and novelties, rich in achievements which will definitively mark the story of popular music, the year has also its share of sadness with the loss of two major figures of the show. This is first the death at the age 38 of George Gershwin, following a brain tumor. He leaves behind a series of masterpieces  including three major compositions, Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris and the opera Porgy and Bess. He had especially just signed the music of the last two movies of Fred Astaire, Shall We Dance with Ginger Rogers in which he summarized in fact all that made the originality of his style, combining a classic formulation with jazz sounds

and A Damsel in Distress, in which the young English actress Joan Fontaine plays her first leading role.

This is also another legend who dies out brutally in early fall. The singer Bessie Smith, known as the Empress of the Blues, is killed on September 26, 1937, during a terrible car crash which occurs in the town of Clarksdale, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. She was 43 years old.

Strangeness of fate, the three best songs of the year are only instrumental. This is first the legendary Caravan by Duke Ellington, then the not less mythical Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman (a track originally created by Louis Prima) and the famous Song of India by Tommy Dorsey (inspired by the composer Rimsky-Korsakov).

Then, if we really speak about songs, which would have been number one? 

Certainly Tommy Dorsey who, with his regular vocalist Edythe Wright, never stops occupying the top-positions by signing this time a song together original, catchy and festive, The Big Apple.

 

 

 


 Make no mistake, however, the instrumentalists are still far from disarming even if the singers learn to be better showcased, because if big bands continue to print their trademark, the songwriters of Tin Pan Alley get involved in more balanced compositions between lyrics and music. Musicals indeed never were so numerous, both in theater as on screen. The duo Lorenz Hart-Richard Rodgers wins fame in particular with Babes in Arms, a musical presented on Broadway in September at the Majestic Theatre. Certain songs such as My Funny Valentine and The Lady is a Tramp get with time a lasting success. Judy Garland immortalizes You made me love me, a song released in 1913 through her performance in The Broadway Melody 1938





And do not forget, of course, Hollywood Hotel, not for the movie itself but for the iconic Hooray for Hollywood written by Johnny Mercer and Richard A. Whiting where one finds Benny Goodman and his musicians beside a simply unchained Johnnie “Scat” Davis and Frances Langford, very comfortable.

 

 

 

 

In addition to mature values that include Bing Crosby, Cab Calloway, Connie Boswell or Billie Holiday, new talents come to hatch as the crooners Perry Como or Frankie Laine but it is mostly on the side of the swinging Andrews Sisters that lies the event. They make a deafening entry with a certain Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen.

Since the Rhythm Brothers in the late 20s and The Mills Brothers in the early 30s, the male vocal groups had a certain evil to reach the front of the stage but it seems that a new trend makes its appearance, inspired by both gospel and jazz. This is the case of the Ink Spots and the Four Aces.

 

There remains the Glenn Miller case. He is one of the few talented musicians of his generation who fails to impose his style at the head of a big band. His attempts are up there badly completed : lukewarm welcome of the public, repeatedly money troubles. And yet, what he does is already remarkable. His time will come, it’s on.

            Shall We Dance (RKO)

 

  4      The movie credits

Direction: Mark Sandrich

Screenplay : Allen Scott, Ernest Pagano

Production: Pedro S. Berman

Score: George & Ira Gershwin

Actors: Fred Astaire, Gingers Rogers,  Edward Everett Horton

Shall We Dance starts as a relatively classic plot during which an American dancer (Fred Astaire) hired in a Russian ballet met, during a tour in Paris, a tap dancer (Ginger Rogers) with whom he falls in love. After new developments and hesitations, they will find themselves married and finally happy to be. Once again, the story is a pretext to songs and dance routines of exception. George Gershwin signed his last musical creation there and knew how to give it the full measure of his genius. All songs have a differentiated style and are staged so as to introduce every time a new dance often parodying the ballet but also capable of a real originality as the sequence of tap-dancing on roller skates in Let's call the All things off or Slap That Bass with its amazing solo number in the engine room. It seems, however, that despite its qualities, the movie lacks sometimes spontaneity and that the charm operates to a lesser degree.



Tommy Dorsey & Edythe Wright - The Big Apple

 
 
 

Judy Garland - You made me love me

Benny Goodman - Hooray for Hollywood

Shall we dance (George & Ira Gershwin)

The final choreography highlights once more Fred Astaire's extraordinary talent, actor, singer and of course dancer in a sequence which also shows that he knows how to occupy alone the space. 

   5   The essential hits of the year (1)

 

01 – Tommy Dorsey (Shenandoah (PA) 1905 – Greenwich (CT) 1956)  feat. Edythe Wright The Big Apple  (Bob Emmerich, Buddy Bernier) 3:09

02 – Benny Goodman (Chicago (IL) 1906 – New York (NY))  feat. Johnnie “Scat” Davis (Brazil (IN) 1910 – Pecos (TX) 1983)  & Frances Langford (Frances Newbern – Lakeland (FL) 1913 – Jensen Beach (FL) 2005)  – Hooray for Hollywood  (Johnny Mercer, Richard A. Whiting) 3:09

Song introduced in Hollywood Hotel (Warner) a movie directed by Busby Berkeley

03 – Fred Astaire (Frederick Austerlitz – Omaha (NE) 1899 – Los Angeles (CA) 1987)Shall we dance 2:33 (George & Ira Gershwin)

04 – Billie Holiday (Eleonora Fagan Gough – Baltimore (MD) 1915 – New York (NY) 1959)I must have that man 2:49 (Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh)

Remarkable version of a song introduced by Duke Ellington in 1928 which was also a hit for Annette Hanshaw.

05 – Chu Berry (Leon Berry – Wheeling (WV) 1910 – Conneaut (OH) 1941 ) Too marvelous for words 3:05 (Richard A. Whiting, Johnny Mercer)

This song composed for the movie Ready Willing and Able directed by Roy Enright was in fact posthumously performed by the actor Ross Alexander. Debt-ridden, this one was to end his days a few weeks before its release on screens.

06 – Judy Garland (Frances Gumm –Grand Rapids (MN) 1922 – Chelsea (London, UK) 1969) You made me love you 2:45 (Joseph McCarthy, James V. Monaco)

An up to date version of a song originally written in 1913 for the Broadway show The Honeymoon Express and performed at the time by Al Jolson. 

07 – Henry “Red”Allen (New Orleans (LA) 1908 – New York (NY) 1967) Here’s love in your eyes 3:10 (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)

Aside from his trumpeter's qualities, Henry Allen does not hesitate to take the singer's suit on with a certain success.

08 – Red Norvo (Kenneth Norville – Beardstown (IL) 1908 – Santa Monica (CA) 1999) with Mildred Bailey (Mildred Rinker – Tecoa (WA) 1907 – Poughkeepsie (NY) 1951)Tears in my heart 2:58 (Leonard Whitcup, Teddy Powell, Walter Samuels) 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

09 – Bing Crosby (Tacoma (WA) 1903 – Madrid (Esp.)1977)  and Connee Boswell

(Kansas City (MO) 1907 -  New York (NY) 1976) - Bob White 3:11 (Bernard Hanighen, Johnny Mercer)

Song from the movie Waikiki Wedding directed by Frank Tuttle for the Paramount.  It is introduced in the film by Shirley Ross.

10 – Wingy Manone (New Orleans (LA) 1900 – Las Vegas (NV) 1982)  You showed me the way 2:39 (Benny Green, Teddy McRae)

Cover of the song introduced the same year by Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald

11 – Chick Webb (Baltimore (MD) 1909 – Baltimore (MD) 1939) & Ella Fitzgerald (Newport News (VA) 1917 – Beverly Hills (CA) 19969)The Dipsy Doodle 3:21 (Traditional)

At 20, Ella Fitzgerald reveals in this song a new facet of her talent by engaging in a convincing 'scat'.

12 – Carol Gibbons (Clinton (MA) 1903 – London (UK) 1954) & His Orchestra feat. Anne Lenner (Aylestone (UK) 1912 – London (UK) 1997)& George Melanchrino (Tacoma (WA) 1903 6 Madrid (Esp.) 1977 – In the still of the night 3:16 (Cole Porter, Fred Parris)

Song introduced by Nelson Eddy in the musical Rosalie (MGM) directed by W.S. Van Dyke.

Carroll Gibbons had to carry out the main part of his career in London where he led during several years the the Savoy Hotel orchestra.

   On The Avenue

 

 6   Movie credits

Director: Roy Del Ruth

Production: Gene Markey, Darryl

Zanuck

Screenplay: Irving Berlin...

Actors: Dick Powell, Madeleine

Carroll, Alice Faye, George

Barbier, The Ritz Brothers

Distribution: 20th Century Fox

 

On the Avenue takes place in the

world of the Broadway show,

staging an unlikely threesome

within which mingle love,

jealousy and small calculations.

It is about the first really

ambitious musical produced by

20th Century Fox in a register

usually dominated by MGM and

Warner Bros. Dick Powell swapped his juvenile lead’s suit in favor of a more grown-up role beside two fair beauties, Madeleine Carroll whose aristocratic look confronts a twirling Alice Faye . 

A special mention to the comedian qualities of the Ritz Brothers whose talent has nothing to envy to that of their stage cousins, the Marx Brothers.

The score signed by Irving Berlin contains some treasures he has the secret including in particular the very famous I' ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm performed by Dick Powell and Alice Faye and He Ain' t got Rhythm that also sings Alice Faye. 

Perry Como, the little barber become crooner

    Perry Como (Canonsburg (PA) 1912 - Jupiter Inlet Colony (FL) 2001)

 

This son of Italian immigrants had the ambition to become one day the best barber of his hometown when destiny decided otherwise. At home, the family spoke only Italian and the small Perry knew his first English words by going to the school. Early attracted by the music, he taught at first himself to play on the organ which one of his brothers had picked up for a few dollars and had the opportunity to follow the lessons of music theory which paid his parents when they could. He entered teenager the brass band of the city of which he became trombonist, also playing guitar and singing occasionally at weddings. Despite all these qualities, it was difficult to him to overcome a

certain shyness and it is almost under the threat of his father that he agreed to be hired as vocalist in the band of Freddy Carlone. Accompanied with his young wife Roselle, he lived the travelling life of the group until, aware of his talent, Carlone urges him to leave for Chicago to join Ted Weems who was at that time in search of a singer. He therefore attended the various radio programs of the band and made his first recordings in May, 1936. He had however difficulty in asserting himself because of his singing, considered by some too close to Bing Crosby. It is finally from 1937 that the unique timbre of his voice began to be appreciated as well as his crooning fit to make the audience turn upside down.

 

  7   The essential hits of 1937 (2)

 

01 – Benny Goodman (Chicago (IL) 1906 – New York (NY)1986) feat. Ella Fitzgerald

(Newport News (VA) 1917 – Beverly Hills (CA) 1996) – Good night my love  3:09 (Harry

Revel, Mark Gordon)

This song is a part of the small series of recordings which Ella Fitzgerald made with

Benny Goodman after his vocalist Helen Ward left the band, badly bearing that he ended

their affair, on behalf of professional reasons.

02 – Bing Crosby (Tacoma (WA) 1903 – Madrid (Esp.)1977)  – Sweet Leilani  (Harry

Owens) 3:18

Song from the Waikiki Wedding precisely composed on october 24, 1934, 

by Harry Owens in the honor of his daughter Leilani born  the day before. It perfectly

illustrates the interest of the moment for the Hawaiian sound and rhythm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


















03 – Teddy Wilson  (Austin (TX) 1912 – New Britain (CT) 1986) with Billie Holiday   (Eleonora Fagan Gough – Baltimore (MD) 1915 –

New York (NY) 1959)The mood that I’m In  3:05 (Abner Silver, Al Sherman)

04 – Fred Astaire (Frederick Austerlitz – Omaha (NE) 1899 – Los Angeles (CA) 1987) –  I’ve got a beginner’s luck  1:57 (George &

Ira Gershwin) - song from the musical movie Shall we dance.

05 – Cab Calloway & His Orchestra (Rochester (NY) 1907 –Hockessin (DE) 1994 )Swing, swing, swing 2:49 (Clarence Williams, Lewis

Raymond, Walter Bishop)

06 – Duke Ellington (Washington (DC) 1899 – New York (NY) 1974) ) feat. Ivie Anderson (Gilroy (CA) 1905 – Los Angeles (CA) 1949)

I let a song go out of my heart 3:02  (Duke Ellington, Henry Nemo, Irving Mills)

07 – Tommy Dorsey (Shenandoah (PA) 1905 – Greenwich (CT) 1956)  feat. Edythe Wright In my meditations 2:45 (Al Sherman, 

Nat Burton)

08 – The Three Spades (Formed in Indianopolis (IN) 1936) Pan Pan 1:57 () 

Consisting of singer Jerry Daniels and guitarists-vocalists Bill and Al Jennings, the trio occurred from 1936 in Indianopolis

then in Cincinnati before moving to New York..

09 – Artie Shaw (Arthur Arshawsky – New Haven (CT) 1910 – Newbury Park (CA) 2004)  feat. Tony Pastor All God 's chillun got rhythm 2:44 (Bronislaw Kaper, Gus Kahn, Walter)

Composed  for A Day At The Races, a movie starring the Marx Brothers, this song was introduced by Ivie Anderson and the Crinoline Choir. 

It was soon after covered by Judy Garland and Duke Ellington before Artie Shaw integrates

it into his repertoire. The song is none other than an updated wink to a spiritual performed

on Broadway in 1923, God's All Chillun Got Wings.

10 – Dolly Dawn (Teresa Maria Stabile – Newark (NJ) 1910 –Englewood (NJ) 2002) & George

Hall Orchestra  – There won’t be a shortage of love  2:49

(John Jacob Loeb, Carmen Lombardo)

11 – Count Basie (Red Bank (NJ) 1904 – Hollywood (CA) 1984)  & His Orchestra feat.

Jimmy Rushing (Oklahoma City (OK) 1901 – New York (NY) 1972)  

Pennies from Heaven 3:01(Arthur Johnston, Johnny Burke)

Cover of the song introduced the previous year by Bing Crosby in the movie of the same

name. Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Frances Langford and Louis

Prima recorded it at the same moment.

12 – The Andrews Sisters (Formed in Minneapolis (MN) 1925) Why talk about love 2:56

(Lew Pollack, S. Mitchell)

Their very first recording made in New York for Decca. Sales are poor and it is finally 

 the B side of their single which will launch the three sisters' career.

  10    Dolly Dawn (Teresa Maria Stabile – Newark (NJ) 1910 –Englewood (NJ) 2002)

The rumor claimed that she had been adopted by the bandleader George Hall when he was under contract with the Taft Hotel of New York but this one was denied. The young Dolly, whose real name is Teresa Maria has well always her parents. On the other hand, her talent did not wait for her 16 years to assert itself. With a very mature voice for her age, she wins indeed very fast the public'heart and records

from 1936 for Vitaphone the songs which confirm her qualities and place her at the level of singers like Mildred Bailey or Ella Fitzgerald.



Artie Shaw (Arthur Arshawsky – New Haven (CT) 1910 – Neury Park (CA) 2004)

Brought up in New Haven (CT), he will later confide that he had, during his childhood, to suffer from the local anti-Semitism. Having begun to learn the saxophone, he opts at the age 16 for clarinet and quickly leaves the family home to follow a band on tour. He then moved to New York where he played in various orchestras including that of Irving Aaronson, rather oriented to symphonic music. He will moreover know how to take advantage of this experience in many of his arrangements. Although

he became a renowned

studio musician, he decides in 1934 to cut short his musical career to write a book.

The project failed and pressed by financial concerns, Artie makes his comeback during a concert given in New York in May 1936 at the Imperial Theater. The audience delights his surprising association between a string quartet and a rhythm section.

Despite the originality of the concept and some good recordings, he however prefers to dissolve the group and to re-form from 1937 a more conventional big band with by his side the vocalist and saxophonist Tony Pastor (Middletown (CT) 1907 - Old Lyme (CT) 1969) whom he knows from his time at Irving Aaronson.

 

         The Broadway Melody of 1938

 

     9   The title is resolutely misleading because it is in August, 1937, that is released on screens this musical movie directed for the MGM by Roy Del Ruth, a regular of the genre. The interest of the movie lies less in the scenario built around the unforeseen encounter of an artistic agent and a talented unknown whose he is going to make a star that in the quality of the musical sequences.

The casting is obviously high-level, with in both main roles Robert Taylor and Eleanor Powell. Buddy Ebsen is there outstanding as usual by his nonchalance and his inimitable way of dancing whereas one can only be moved by attending the comeback of the legendary Sophie Tucker, one of the great heroines of the song of the 1910s in the role of Judy Garland's mother, the new face of the MGM that has already been dubbed "the little girl with a big voice." She performs an adaptation of a 1913 hit You made me love you, retitled for the occasion Dear Mr Gable. The song is conceived as a message sent by a young "fan" to his favorite actor. This is the most intense moment of the film and one that ensures to Judy Garland her star status.















 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Encouraged by this success,  MGM decides to make the young actress shoot in a series of musicals where, new fact, the main roles will be kept by teenagers on the background of students projects and love affairs. Generally considered as a handicap, her small size is going, in this perspective, to constitute for her a great asset, especially as her new partner Mickey Rooney seems, down from his 5 ft, no longer wish to grow. Aged 17, he has become known by successfully performing the young  Andy Hardy in A Family Affair. At the end of the year they released their first common movie, Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry. It is not yet a musical but rather a movie with dramatic character, MGM being at first anxious to  check how works the duo Rooney-Garland. As in The Broadway Melody, Sophie Tucker has the role of the mother of Judy Garland. The result is a complete satisfaction, the two actors seemed to have quickly acquired a frank complicity.

LaVerne  Andrews (Minneapolis (MN) 1911 – Brentwood (CA) 1967) – contralto


Maxene Andrews (Minneapolis (MN) 1916 – Hyannis (MA) 1995) – soprano


Patty Andrews

(Patricia Marie Andrews - Mound (MN) 1918 ) – mezzo-soprano, solist

    11    The Andrews Sisters,  the new voices of swing

No female vocal group certainly has influenced the popular music as the trio formed by the Sisters Andrews. Intimately related to the era of swing and bogie-woogie, Maxene, Patty and LaVerne not only managed to mark this period of their imprint but moreover appropriated the technique of close harmony singing to the point of being since totally identified with this style.

They also imposed their exuberance and their energy even to evolve against the current trends of the  time, more inclined towards the romantic ballad. This resulted in a series of hits that still today do not cease to serve as reference. Aside from their incredible talent, the pictures also participated in their worldwide popularity, especially when they appear in the uniform of the U.S. Army.

Their name remains indeed for a whole generation inseparable from World War II and their contribution to entertain the G.I.s during the worst hardships.

Born in Minneapolis (MN) of a Greek father and a Norwegian mother, the three sisters had got noticed from the childhood for their various musical abilities. LaVerne, the eldest, born in 1911, played the piano in theaters, what enabled her to pay dancing lessons for her two young sisters.

By 1925, the group is made up and starts to occur in concert halls and local radio stations. Maxene is just 9 and Patty, the youngest, is only 7 but she has the most interesting voice. She wins moreover a song contest organized in 1930 in Minneapolis which will soon decide the career of the group. The three sisters leave then with their parents on tour with vaudeville theaters.

They start by travelling the Midwest before heading to New York, where they remain, however, regarded as imitators of the Dixieland style of the Boswell Sisters. They have to wait until 1937 and a radio show to be really pointed out. Their performance captures David Kapp’s attention, the director of Decca Records who seeks a vocal group to replace the Boswell Sisters now disbanded. Convinced of their talent, he immediately makes them sign a recording contract. Despite undeniable qualities, their first song Why Talk About Love is a disappointment. It does not get the expected success, but as it sometimes happens, it is actually the B-side with Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, inspired by a Yiddish song that will propel them to the end of the year at the top of sales.

            12   The Gold Diggers of 1937

 

movie credits

Production :  Jack L. Warner, Hal B. Wallis

Direction : Lloyd Bacon

Screenplay : Warren Duff, Tom Warren d'après la pièce Sweet Mystery of Life écrite par Richard Mailbaum, Michael Wallace & George Haidt

Music : Harold Arlen & E.Y. HarburgHarry Warren & Al Dubin

Actors : Victor Moore, Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Glenda Farrell, Lee Dixon

 

 

 

Released on December 28th, 1936 it was one of the major successes of the musical in 1937. It is well known that even the best veins will eventually run out and that the public grows tired of recipes which seem to have done their time but the fourth part of the series is not a simple remake of the preceding, it moves away from it even by the working-out of a scenario which, while having once more for background the creation of a show, leads the audience through a series of calculations and plots whose humor is matched only by the sometimes saucy character. Imagine for a moment a hypochondriac theater manager persuaded to be at the article of death and two shameless assistants who lost in stock exchange the money intended for the production of the musical. So why not subscribe to the so-called dying a life insurance and enjoy the hoard that will relate his death to fund the expected show. This is in short the plot of this story which between ploys and contrivances eventually falls into the trap of Cupid and sends the protagonists in the arms of each other.

 

We find in the leading roles Dick Powell and Joan Blondell,

just married in the real life as well as Glenda Farrell, more accustomed to the dramatic register but who is doing pleasantly well. 

 

In order to back up in a most effective way the work of Busby Berkeley, Warner Bros have secured the help  of Lloyd Bacon, director of 42nd Street and entrusts the score to the successful duet Harry Warren and Al Dubin in addition to Harold Arlen and Y.P. Harburg originally approached but obviously less inspired. Despite the resumption of a concept which might have been feared to fall in the stereotype, the magic operates once again. All is Fair in Love and War, the final song is in the genre almost perfect. The stage seems infinite, without outline, even without scenery (also a way for Busby Berkeley to answer those who blamed him for his stagings judged too expensive), just animated by the characters and their reflections, performing with the help of some unexpected accessories the most elegant or sophisticated. parade figures.

We find in this sequence all that made famous Busby Berkeley: mobility of the camera, confusion of benchmarks and scales, synchronization of the movements close to perfection (the flags twirling by being certainly the most accomplished example), exalting of the contrasts between  black and white, resolutely optimistic performance of the actors, highlight of woman beauty  by teasing close-ups as well as by daring outfits, or the off-the-wall character of certain scenes as this trench warfare during which men and women are face to face and where these last ones make their opponents succumb to shots of perfume spray concluding the assault by a hastened exchange of kisses. The music also confers to the  set an exceptional dynamism, constantly swinging between the inexpressible charm of the choruses, the martial intonations and the presence of Joan Blondell, quite simply ..... divine !

 Let us quote also With Plenty of Money and You written Harry Warren and Al Dubin,  et performed by impeccable Dick Powell which is one of the best moments of the movie. The song will be moreover covered by many artists.

Choreography directed by Busby Berkeley

Orchestra conducted by Victor Young

Intro: Dick Powell, With Plenty of Money and You

All's Fair In Love and War (Harry Warren, Al Dubin)

Dick Powell : the soldiers of the world can conquer you with powder and the steel

Joan Blondell : the women of the world can do the same with charm and sex appeal

Lee Dixon : a soldier must be patriotic

Rosalind Marquis: a woman's got to be exotic

.....and the 104 chorus girls

Dick Powell - With Plenty of Money and You

   13    The essential hits of the year (3)


01 – Teddy Wilson  (Austin (TX) 1912 – New Britain (CT) 1986) with Billie

Holiday (Eleonora Fagan Gough – Baltimore (MD) 1915 – New York (NY)

1959) Carelessly  3:09 (Charles F. Kenny, Nick A. Kenny, Norman Ellis)

02 – Fred Astaire (Frederick Austerlitz – Omaha (NE) 1899 – Los Angeles

(CA) 1987) A foggy day  (in London Town) 2:56 (George & Ira Gershwin)

Song from A Damsel in Distress (RKO) , a movie directed by George

Stevens starring Joan Fontaine.

03 – Louis Armstrong (New Orleans (LA) 1901 – New York (NY) 1971)

Cuban Pete 3:08 (Jose Norman)

Accompanied in the trumpet by Henry Red Allen, Louis Armstrong

demonstrates once more the ease with which he knows how to make

"swing" all the tunes that he adds to his repertoire.

04 – Judy Garland (Frances Ethel Gumm –Grand Rapids (MN) 1922 – Chelsea

 (London, UK) 1969)  – All God’s chillum got rhythm 2:49 (Dorothy Fields,

 Jimmy McHugh)

Composed  for A Day At The Races, a movie starring les Marx Brothers,

this song was introduced  by Ivie Anderson and the Crinoline Choir. 

It was soon after covered by Judy Garland and Duke Ellington before

Artie Shaw integrates it into his repertoire. The song is none other than an

updated wink to a spiritual performed on Broadway in 1923, God's All

Chillun Got Wings.

05 – Jimmie Lunceford (Fulton (MS) 1902- Seaside (OR) 1947 ) He ain’t

got rhythm 2:46 (Irving Berlin)

Song introduced by Alice Faye in the movie On The Avenue. A new sound emerges immediately from the orchestration, that of the

electric guitar which plays Eddie Durham, the pioneer of this instrument, both hesitating and already very attractive . The voice

of saxophonist Joe Thomas who is also since a few years the regular singer of the band constitutes moreover the “swing” feature of

this song. 

06 – Wynn Murray (Frances Gumm –Grand Rapids (MN) 1922 – Chelsea (London, UK) 1969) Johnny One Note 2:35 (Lorenz Hart, Richard

Rodgers)  -

We know very few things of this artist except that she performed this song in the musical Babes in Arms presented at Schubert Theatre

on Broadway with in the leading roles Mitzi Green and Ray Heatherton.

07 – Ella Fitzgerald (Newport News (VA) 1917 – Beverly Hills (CA) 1996) & The Mills Brothers  (formed in Cincinnati (OH) 1924) –  

Big boy blue 2:47 (Dan Howell, Jack Lawrence, Peter Tinturin)

08 – Red Norvo (Kenneth Norville – Beardstown (IL) 1908 – Santa Monica (CA) 1999) with Mildred Bailey (Mildred Rinker – Tecoa (WA) 1907

– Poughkeepsie (NY) 1951)Never in a million years 2:52 (Mark Gordon, Harry Revel)

C’est Buddy Clark qui a créé cette chanson dans le film Wake up and Live en assurant la doublure de l’acteur Jack Haley.

This one appears among the hits of the year due to the version recorded by Bing Crosby and Jimmy Dorsey. Glen Gary and Alice Faye will also

incorporate it into their repertoire.

09 – Connee Boswell  (New Orleans (LA) 1907 – New York (NY) 1976) with Bob Crosby (Spokane (WA) 1913 – La Jolla (CA) 1993) and His Bobcats

Whispers in the dark  2:48 (Frederick Hollander, Leo Robin)

Song introduced by Connee Boswell in the movie Artists and Models in which she performs her own character. Louis Armstrong also makes an 

appearance.

10 – Benny Goodman (Chicago (IL) 1906 – New York (NY) 1987) feat. Martha Tilton  (Corpus Christi (TX) 1915 – Brentwood (CA) 2006) 

I’ve hitched my wagon to a star 2:55 (Johnny Mercer, Jack Whiting)

Cover of the song introduced shortly before by  Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald

11 – Woody Herman & His Orchestra (Milwaukee (WI) 1913 – Los Angeles (CA) 1987)Dupree Blues 2:46 (George White,

Woody Herman) -

Render unto Caesar what belongs to him by returning to the bluesman of South Carolina Blind Willie Walker (1896 - 1933) the authorship of this classic of ragtime. Woody Herman adds a jazz rhythm by performing himself the vocals.

12 – Tommy Dorsey (Shenandoah (PA) 1905 – Greenwich (CT) 1956) feat. Edythe Wright (Bayonne (NJ) 1914 – Manasquan (NJ)

1965) The Lady is a tramp 2:54 (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)

Song introduced by Mitzi Green in the musical Babes in Arms released from April on Broadway at Shubert Theatre .

  14    And was born the electric guitar

It has been two years since a guitar has been for the first time equipped with a an electric amplification system but it is July 13, 1937 that the Gibson firm patents the model which will revolutionize the 20th century music.

Although very popular, this instrument was struggling to give its full potential within a band and guitarists have for a long time sought to improve the sound output by working on the resonance and the vibration effects of the strings.

This time, the amplifier upsets the rules by allowing guitar to hold a central, soon major place. Jimmie Lunceford is one of every first to dare to integrate the new instrument into his orchestra whereas most of the big bands are still wavering.

  15    The essential hits of 1937 (4)

01 – The Andrews Sisters (Formed in Minneapolis (MN) 1925) – Bei mir bist du schoen 3:08 (Saul Chaplin, Sammy  Cahn, Jacob Jacobs, Sholom Seconda)

02 – Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra (Fulton (MS) 1902- Seaside (OR) 1947 ) – The Merry –go-round broke down  2:53 (Cliff Friend, Dave Franklin, Carl Stalling, Mitt Franklyn, Bill Lava)

This song is also the theme of the Looney Tunes produced by the  Warner studios. Vocals are performed by Sy Oliver

03 – Bing Crosby (Tacoma (WA) 1903 – Madrid (Esp.) 1977) with Jimmy Dorsey  (Shenandoah (VA) 1904 – New York (NY) 1957) Too marvelous for words 3:07 (Johnny Mercer, Richard Whiting)

04 – Billie Holiday (Eleonora Fagan Gough – Baltimore (MD) 1915 – New York (NY) 1959)I’ve got my love to keep me warm 3:00 (Irving Berlin)

One of the most famous version of the song written for the musical movie On the Avenue.

05 – The Ink Spots (Formed in New York, 1934 ) Slap that bass 2:26 (George & Ira Gershwin)

Cover of the song introduced by Fred Astaire in Shall We Dance

06 – Alice Faye (New York (NY) 1915 – Ranch Mirage (CA) 1998) with Hal Kemp (Marion (AL) 1904 – Madera (CA) 1940) & His Orchestra – Your Broadway and My Broadway 2:47 (Arthur Freed, Nacio Herb Brown)

Song introduced by Sophie Tucker in The Broadway Melody in 1938.

07 – The Foursome () – When the Midnight Choo-Choo leaves for Alabam’ 2:35 (Irving Berlin)

These four virtuosos of the oliphant had the honor to accompany Bing Crosby in several of his recordings and already rubbed along with the film by making a rather successful appearance in Born To Dance released on screens the previous year. Irving Berlin seems to have especially designed for them this thermodynamic song so much the performance which propose Del Porter and his partners proves to be of a smashing efficiency.

08 – Cab Calloway & His Orchestra (Rochester (NY) 1907 –Hockessin (DE) 1994 ) Moon at sea 3:01 (Harry Pease, Larry Stock, Vincent Rose)

09 – Ted Weems (Wilfred Weims – Pitcairn (PA) 1901 –Tulsa (OK) 1963) & His Orchestra feat. Perry Como   (Canonsburg (PA) 1912 – Jupiter (FL) 2001) – Until today  2:48 (J. Fred Coots, Joe Davis, Oscar Levant)

10 – Fred Astaire (Frederick Austerlitz – Omaha (NE) 1899 – Los Angeles (CA) 1987) They can’t take that away from me 2:55 (George & Ira Gershwin)

Song from the movie Shall We Dance covered upon its release by Billie Holiday.

11 – Midge Williams (Allensworth (CA) 1915 – San Francisco (CA) 1952)The greatest mistake of my life  2:46 (JamesNetson)

12 – Guy Lombardo (London (Ontario) 1902 – Houston (TX) 1977) & His Royal Canadians feat. Lebert Lombardo (1905-1993) It looks like rain in cherry blossom lane 2:14 (Edgar Leslie, Joe Burke)

Lebert was a member of Royal Canadians where he played in particular the trumpet and was regularly in charge of the vocals.

  16   The Ink Spots, the pioneers of "doo-wop"

Specialized in the sentimental ballad, the Ink Spots were appreciated of a wide public by associating a syncopated performance to sophisticated harmonious effects. They appear for it among the pioneers of " doo-wop ".

The story begins in 1933 when the guitarists and singers Jerry Daniel and Charles Fuqua of Indianapolis form a vocal trio with Deek Watson from Cincinnati. Inspired by the concept inaugurated by The Mills Brothers, the new group takes at first the name of King, Jack and Jester before being joined by Orville " Hoppy " Jones, a former partner of Watson.

The four vocalists are known in July, 1934 on the occasion of the show organized by Tiny Bradshaw at Apollo Theater in New York. It is there that they adopt finally the name of Ink Spots at the request of Paul Whiteman, worried of avoiding any confusion with his own group, the Kong Jesters.

They record from 1935                          but their first songs have not many success. Jerry Daniel then prefers to leave                                         the group and sees himself replaced by Bill Kenny. The Ink Spots participate                                      from then on regularly in radio shows and appear in particular in the                                       very first series of broadcast programs of NBC. Their career is launched.

                                                                                the members of the group

Orville Hoppy Jones (Chicago (IL) 1902 – New York (NY) 1944) – (double bass, violoncelle)

Ivory Deek Watson (Mounds (IL) 1909 – Washington (DC) 1969) – tenor, guitar, trumpet

Jerry Daniels (Indianapolis (IN) 1915 – New York (NY) 1995) - tenor, guitar, ukulele

Remplacé en 1936 par Bill Kenny (Philadelphie  (PA) 1914 – Vancouver (British Col.) 1978) - tenor

Charlie Fuqua (1910 – New Haven (CT) 1971) – bariton, guitar

Helen, Benny and Martha

  17   The romance between Benny Goodman and the vocalist Helen Ward has just ended. The reasons of this failure remain mysterious because they were very close since 1934, the year when the young woman had joined the band. It was even question of wedding but Benny retracted at the last moment, claiming the duties of his career.

Helen Ward chose to leave the group.

 

Benny Goodman records then a few songs with Ella Fitzgerald but goes in search of a permanent singer. He makes for it an audition during the

shooting of Hollywood

Hotel.

His choice is Martha

Tilton whose timbre

and clarity of voice

are reminiscent of

Helen Ward.

Martha Tilton is native

of Texas but it is in Los

Angeles where her

parents came to live

when she was 7 years

old that she made her

studies and began her

career. She has already

had the opportunity to

sing with the band of

Jimmy Dorsey and

made an appearance in

the movie Topper.

18   Blues : from the Delta to Chicago

Robert Johnsonthe King of The Delta Blues finds himself during July in the Brunswick studios located in Dallas for a new series of recordings whose dark and introspective contents will definitely contribute to build  his legend. He strengthens his style there, in search of complex harmonies, varying the rhythms and alternating the bottlenecks slides, syncopated chords or palm mute with an extremely effective fingerpicking. It is worth remembering that Delta Blues, considered at the same time as the oldest shape of the genre and the one who gave birth to the slide, corresponds geographically to the area which extends on both sides of the Mississippi between Memphis ( TN) and Vicksburg ( MS), not to confuse with the mouth of the river which lies further south in Louisiana.

 

In terms of novelty, 1937 is also marked by the first recordings of Sonny Boy Williamson, a young 23-year-old harmonicist from Tennessee. He began to play beside Sleepy John Estes before leaving for Chicago where he fast demonstrated that harmonica, hitherto considered as a minor instrument could occupy a place of choice in blues. His influence will be moreover crucial for a whole generation of young musicians, starting with Sonny Terry, a blind harmonicist who occurs at the same time with Blind Boy Fuller, the foremost representative of Piedmont Blues.

The washboard is also put in the honor in this year 1937 through Robert Brown a.k.a. Washboard Sam, a musician from Arkansas who after working in  Memphis with Sleepy John Estes left to join his brother-in-law Big Bill Broonzy in Chicago. Singer with the powerful voice, he acquired his popularity thanks to his creativity and his spectacular way of playing with his instrument.

The musical production concentrates around confirmed bluesmen, regular to studios as Big Bill Broonzy, Joe Mc Coy, Memphis Minnie, Tampa Red, Kokomo Arnold, Jazz Gillum, Roosevelt Sykes in Chicago, Peetie Wheatstraw, Big Joe Williams or Henry Townsend in St Louis, Blind Boy Fuller in New York...


  20  Some also begin to make a name. It is for example the case of pianist Curtis Jones who, having started in Dallas makes his first recordings in Chicago of which Lonesome Bedroom Blues will become a hit. Moved to Chicago for a few years, Johnnie Temple also manages to get into the very closed world of reputed bluesmen thanks to the help of Charlie McCoy. Others, on the other hand, are back on stage. After seven years of silence, Bukka White finds in particular the atmosphere of studios with two songs including the famous Shake' em down, a pure product of Delta Blues tinged with a touch of gospel. His noticed reappearance will be short-lived, he is indeed shortly after sent to prison for the murder of an abuser.

Known in Chicago since the late '20s, singer Georgia White also makes her debut on the blues national stage with a series of recordings at a level comparable to Memphis Minnie.

   19   Blues: the essential hits of the year (1)


01 – Johnnie « Geeshie » Temple (Canton (MS) 1906 – Jackson (MS) 1968)  – New Louise Louise Blues 2:31 (Fulton Allen)

Cover of a song written by Blind Boy Fuller recorded with Horace Malcolm on piano and Charlie McCoy on double bass.

02 – John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson (Jackson (TN) 1914 – Chicago (IL) 1948)Good Morning, little school girl 3:04 (Williamson)

03 – Robert Johnson (Hazlehurst (MS) 1911- Greenwood (MS) 1938) Sweet home Chicago 2:59 (Johnson)

04 – Georgia White  (Sandersville (GA) 1903 - 1980) – The stuff is here 2:49 (Georgia White)

05 – Jazz Gillum (William McKinley Gillum – Indianola (MS) 1904 – Chicago (IL) 1966)  My old suitcase 3:05 (Jazz Gillum)

06 – Washboard Sam (Robert Brown – Walnut Ridge (AR) 1910 – Chicago (IL) 1966) Easy ridin’ mama 3:17 (Brown)

07 – Curtis Jones (Naples (TX) 1906 – Munich (Germany) 1971)  Lonesome bedroom blues 3:10 (Jones)

08 – Tampa Red (Hudson Woodbridge Whittaker – Smithville (GA) 1904 – Chicago (IL) 1981) Seminole blues  3:05 (Hudson Whittaker)

09 – Blind Boy Fuller (Fulton Allen – Wadesboro (NC) 1907 – Durham (NC) 1941) & Sonny Terry (Saunders Terrell – Greensboro (GA) 1910 – Mineola (NY) 1986)  Bye bye Baby blues  2:33 (Fulton Allen)

10 – Henry Townsend (Shelby (MS) 1909 – Miquon (WI) 2006) Lose your man 3:29 (Henry Townsend, Johnny Parth)

11 – Big Joe Williams  (Crawford (MS) 1903 – Macon (MS) 1982)Rootin’ ground hog 3:02 (Joe Williams)

12 – Memphis Minnie  (Lizzie Douglas – Algiers  (LA) 1902 – Memphis (TN) 1973) Hot stuff 2:52 (McCoy)

  21    Sonny Boy Williamson I (Johnny Lee Curtis Williamson  -Jackson, Madison County (TN) 1914 –

Having very early lost his father, he was brought up by her mother who offered him at age 11 a harmonica in Christmas present. He learned alone to master this instrument and dashed from the adolescence into the musical adventure. His game felt strongly the influence of Sleepy John Estes for whom he did not hide his admiration. He began to travel the roads of Tennessee and occured in particular in medicine shows beside the guitarist Yank Rachell. He left then to Saint-Louis where he attended sometimes guitarist Robert Nighthawk and Chicago where he decided

to settle in 1934.

Having been singled out by producer Lester Melrose, he records three years later for Bluebird and has a first hit with Good Morning, School Girl in which he imposes the harmonica as a major blues instrument.

 

 

Johnnie Temple (Canton (MS) 1908 – Jackson (MS)

1968)

Although he lost his father early, the young Johnnie

took advantage of the remarriage of his mother

with the minister Lucien Duckett to familiarize

himself with the guitar.

His stepfather who indeed has for habit of closing

his sermons by scratching a few pieces on this

instrument taught him music at the same time as

the Bible. He occasionally met Charley Patton who

impressed him by the virtuosity of his guitar playing.

He also made friend with the guitarist Tommy Johnson in the early 30s and with Skip James with whom he shared a room in Jacksonville.

As many other musicians of the area, he left trying his luck in Chicago but his debut was difficult. He earnt his life as he could by playing on markets with another guitarist Willie B. James and was finally noticed by Charlie McCoy who hired him to enliven on mandolin the parties organized by the Mob. This experience allowed him to evolve into a more jazz musical style and mitigate rural aspects specific to his basic training.

He is contacted in 1935 by Decca at a moment when the company is setting up its first recording studio in Chicago. One of his songs Louise Louise Blues becomes even a hit and will be covered by Bob Crosby. Based on this success, Decca programs a new recording session in 1937 for which he allows himself the services of Charlie McCoy.

Washboard Sam (Robert Brown – Walnut Ridge

(AR) 1910 – Chicago (IL) 1966)

He begins his career in Memphis as a street musician

alongside Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon

before leaving in 1932 for Chicago to join Big Bill

Broonzy whom he claims to be half brother. The latter

presents him to Lester Melrose, the producer of 

Bluebird who hangs on him the name of Washboard

Sam and allows him to take part in a number of

recording sessions hosted in his studios.

He has in particular the opportunity to play along

artists like Memphis Slim and Tampa Red. In 1935 however, he signs with Vocalion a contract whereby he will from now record for his own account. His consensual and spontaneous style allows him to appear quickly among the most popular blues musicians of Chicago.  

   22   Blues : the essential hits of the year (2)


01 – Kokomo Arnold (James Arnold – Lovejoys Station (GA) 1901 – Chicago (IL ) 1968 ) –  

Salty dog 2:49 (Arnold)

02 – Robert Johnson (Hazlehurst (MS) 1911- Greenwood (MS) 1938) 32-20 blues  2:50

(Johnson)

03 – John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson (Jackson (TN) 1914 – Chicago (IL) 1948) 

Got the bottle up and gone 2:36 (Williamson)

04 – Georgia White  (Sandersville (GA) 1903 - 1980) – Rock me daddy  3:10 (Georgia White)

05 – Johnnie « Geeshie » Temple (Canton (MS) 1906 – Jackson (MS) 1968)  Mean baby blues  2:58 (Temple)

06 – Washboard Sam (Robert Brown – Walnut Ridge (AR) 1910 – Chicago (IL) 1966) Back door 3:12 (Brown)

07 – Big Bill Bronzy (Lake Dick (AR) 1898 – Chicago (IL) 1958) Good boy 2:37 (Broonzy)

08 – Memphis Minnie (Lizzie Douglas – Algiers  (LA) 1902 – Memphis (TN) 1973) Please don’t go 2:52 (Joe Williams)

09 – Bukka White (Booker T. Washington White – Houston (MS) 1906 – Memphis (TN) 1977) Shake’em on down  3:00 (White)

10 – Peetie Wheatstraw (William Bunch – Ripley (TN )1902 – East St Louis (IL) 1941) Third street’s going down 3:07 (Wheatstraw)

11 – Roosevelt Sykes (Elmar (AR) 1906 – New Orleans (LA) 1983)Let me hang your stockings in your Christmas Tree 2:56 (Sykes)

12 – The Harlem Hamfats  (feat. Rosetta Howard (vocals) Kansas Joe McCoy (guitar, vocals), Charlie McCoy (mandolin, guitar), Herb Morand (vocals trumpet), John Lindsay (bass), Horace Malcolm (piano), Odell Rand (clarinet), Fred Flynn (drums)) Rosetta Blues 2:52 (Harlem Hamfats)

42nd-street.fr - Gerard Tondu

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