Thursday, April 19, 2012

Irving Szathmary - Moods For Moderns

I'm sorry for my long lapse in writing...I've been busy with my usual seasonal doldrums (my less-than-rosy financial status also contributed to my latest blue funk). The Megaupload shutdown didn't help, either. I'll try to reload the LPs that were thrown out with the Megaupload bathwater sometime in the near future. I've switched to Mediafire for the time being.

Anyhooo...back to the present...

Here's a somewhat unusual ten-inch contains eight whimsical instrumentals arranged and conducted by Irving Szathmary (1907-1983), best remembered today for his incredibly catchy theme for the 1965-1970 TV show Get Smart!
You've probably noticed that the composer left the "S" off his surname for this LP (and the autograph). He also recorded versions of two of the songs included here (Irish Washerwoman and Polly Wolly Doodle) in 1927 for Grey Gull, also as "Irving Zathmary." I don't have that record, and would love to compare those sides with these.

He also recorded some Lang-Worth transcriptions as "Szath-Myri."

Szathmary was the older brother of comic Bill Dana, and contributed much of the music to Dana's 1963-1965 TV show.

There's a good article on Mr. Szathmary here ... for the album itself, it's a lot of fun! The arrangements run the gamut from posh easy-listening to cute novelty to out-and-out swing, with some rather nice solos thrown in for good measure. I don't have personnel on this LP yet...maybe someone out in Blogville will supply it.
MOODS FOR MODERNS Irving (S)Zathmary Orch 10" Madison MA-267 
1. Dick-Dockery
2. Pitter Patter Polka
3. Irish Washerwoman 

4. Ay, Ay, Ay
5. Billy Boy 
6. Polly Wolly Doodle 
7. Oh Dear, What Can The Matter Be
8. Sailor's Hornpipe 

And now for something completely different: It's a pair of Burmese 78 rpm sides! I found this record at a yard sale in Providence a few months ago. Maybe someone in Blogville can transliterate the label info, and perhaps give a rough translation of the song.

They're jaunty, very western-sounding sides...a pleasant female vocal backed by a violin, slide guitar,  muted trumpet, and clarinet. There's also a piano with some flabby-sounding bass notes too.
This record is quite similar to one posted a couple of years ago at Haji Maji ...I think it's the same ensemble.
As pretty as the label is (Nipper must be at the vet's), it's the sleeve that really got me, even with the Scotch tape!

By the way, the sleeve opens on the side, instead of the top (like most 78 sleeves).
That's all for now, folks.
I have a batch of singles I want to post soon. And I do mean soon!