First thing, I want to thank a couple of patrons who donated a bit to El Bloggo...the first donation came in within twelve hours of the first appearance of the Paypal button. So, as a token of thanks, here's a great (if somewhat forgotten) side by the Claude Thornhill band.
CO 32936 Buster's Last Stand Claude Thornhill Orch Columbia 36858
NYC, 19 June 1942: large orchestra...best-known musicians here are Randy Brooks, Conrad Gozzo, trumpets; John Graas, French horn; Danny Polo, clarinet; Barry Galbraith, guitar; and Gil Evans did the arrangement...
In late April, my Scrabble-playing friend Jawn took me to see one of my all-time heroes, Neil Innes.
I've been a fan of the Bonzo Dog Band since I first heard them, around 1974...Dr. Demento played them and I was hooked immediately.
In addition to being one of the lead Bonzos (the late Viv Stanshall was the other one), Neil was a co-creator of The Rutles, as well as the "Seventh Python." He can be seen and heard quite a bit in The Holy Grail...here's some footage from the show (no, I didn't take it...) in which he talks about his experience and sings a couple of songs from the movie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR1_9AxEBSk
If you're not familiar with the Bonzos (and why aren't you?) there are quite a few video clips of them in general circulation...the best ones are http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbLDI5lNdRQ and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hcZ4s9cvpw . Neil's guitar solo on the latter is just amazing...
Neil did a one-man show...one of the best shows I've ever attended, I might add.
'Twas a terrific "unbirthday" present, my friend...thanks again for taking me!
Neil signed a couple of 45s for me (a promo of the Bonzos' I'm The Urban Spaceman and the store-stock issue of the Rutles' Doubleback Alley...I wonder how many copies there of that single...I haven't seen any since I bought mine back in 1978) and posed for a couple of pics with Yers Truly. I was so tickled I forgot to mention to Neil that I am a collector of 78s (some of the sillier Bonzo songs came from old 78s as well). Here's hoping he sees this posting...he is indeed quite a nice chap...
Anyway, I met a couple of folks at the show and we shared a table. Rob and I immediately started talking about old records and musicians...and Rob's wife and Jawn both thought that it was amazing that our tastes were so similar.
A couple of days after the show, Rob donated a double-sawbuck to the blog...and here's a thank-you song for him as well...I know that Roger Ruskin Spear (another ex-Bonzo) did this song on one of his solo LPs. I just happened to have the song on my hard drive.
48578-3 All by Yourself in The Moonlight Irving Aaronson Commanders Victor 21867
NYC 16 January 1929: Large dance band...a young (18!) Artie Shaw is in the sax section.
Oh, what the heck...here's the flip side! It's a dandy version of a (soon-to-be) standard.
48577-6 If I Had You Irving Aaronson Commanders Victor 21867
Whew...now the dedications are out of the way! Again, I thank my patrons...wish I had more of them.
Jawn and his wife took me to Tanglewood a couple of years ago to see legendary jazz pianists Ahmad Jamal and Hank Jones. That was another fine show...
A few weeks ago, Hank Jones died at the ripe old age of 91. He was active pretty much until the end.
I thought I'd present one of Hank's early albums...it was recorded in 1947.
HANK JONES' BE-BOP PIANO Mercury Album A61
1. Tea For Two
3. You're Blase
4. Night We Called It A Day
5. Blues For Lady Day
6. Blue Room
probably NYC, September-October, 1947: Hank Jones, piano solos
Here's one of the labels...it has a doozy of a typo:
"A Lady Day?" Were there more than one? The only Lady Day I know was Billie Holiday (No, Doris doesn't have that nickname, although I'm sure she's a very nice lady). And I wonder how "traditional" this blues is...it's probably a Jones original.
Now for something completely different (hmmm...another Python reference!)...my pal D Burns (who celebrated a birthday last weekend!) let me borrow a rather amusing Edison Diamond Disc by Billy Jones and Ernest Hare.
One side has the 1923 hit inspired by the popular comic strip, Barney Google (Yes, I suppose you could Google Google is you wanted to...).
8923 Barney Google Billy Jones and Ernest Hare Edison 51155 http://www.box.net/shared/hnzxarzqkq
NYC, 13 April 1923: Billy Jones and Ernest Hare vocals; with orchestra.
The discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in late 1922 inspired this amusing ditty from the pen of Harry Von Tilzer, which was on the flip side:
8929 Old King Tut Billy Jones and Ernest Hare Edison 51155 http://www.box.net/shared/5i7mhuctzc
NYC, 17 April 1923: same personnel.
Those sides are a lot of fun, aren't they?
Are there any other pieces of popular music that deal with any archeological digs? I can't think of any...
Now, here's where things start to get a little weird.
Columbia also issued their versions of Jones and Hare's Tut and Google...back to back, like the Edison! Here they are:
80967-2 Barney Google Billy Jones and Ernest Hare Columbia A3876 http://www.box.net/shared/zjd2m8prvp
80968-2 Old King Tut Billy Jones and Ernest Hare Columbia A3876
NYC, 14 April 1923: Jones and Hare, vocals; orchestral accompaniment.
There's a bit of confusion regarding the recording dates. The Abrams database gives 13 April 1923 for both Columbia sides, which is also the date for the Edison Google. Were they in two different studios (singing the same song) on the same day?
FLASH! Luis wrote in to say the Columbia Master Book gives the following day, 14 April as the date. My date has been corrected. Thanks!Also, it appears that Jones and Hare (also known as The Happiness Boys and The Interwoven Pair, after their hosiery-making radio sponsor) were free-lancing in the recording studios...they appear on just about every label in the 1920s.
I suppose I should mention here that there's an extra verse on each of the Edison recordings that aren't on the Columbias. Even with those extra verses, those are fairly short performances for Edison...Diamond Discs often contain around five minutes of music per side.
A few days later, Columbia recorded Frank Guarente's Georgians (a small jazz group taken from Paul Specht's band) doing their versions of those two songs.
And, wouldn't you know it, Columbia had to issue these versions back-to-back, too!
80992-4 Old King Tut The Georgians Columbia A3902
80993-5 Barney Google The Georgians Columbia A3902 http://www.box.net/shared/yzzh34bas0
NYC 27 April 1923
Had enough Tutandgoogle?
It appears that another friend of mine, Victrolaman, has posted his copy of the Edison Tut on Youtube!
No, it's not quite the same...it's a different take from D Burns's copy (the spoken intros are slightly different)
And there's an alternate take of the Edison Google as well...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJr85QVsYf8 (notice that Billy Jones inserts a little laugh at the 0:41 mark that's not on D Burns's copy).
With all the back-to-back stuff, perhaps we should sing a quick chorus of Zombie Jamboree?
I wonder if I should mention Victor Buono here...
Nah, I guess not. Tut, tut, tut. Maybe I'll save that for a featurette on recordings by villains on the original Batman TV show. Quite a few of them made records...
'Til the next time, and avoid any strange curses, okay?