Volume I
Originally Posted March 1998

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    Charlestonette     New!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)          
    Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra     1925

    Little White LiesNew!(Audio file updated 10/5/03)
    Annette Hanshaw, vocal                                                      1930
    Annette Hanshaw is my favorite vocalist.  Unfortunately, she has been all but forgotten today.  She recorded between 1926 and 1934  -when she retired at the ripe old age of 24.  Sometimes Annette's recordings were issued under different names: Dot Dare, Patsy Young or, as was the case in this one, Gay Ellis.  Ms Hanshaw died in 1984.

    The New Yorkers       New!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)
    Red Nichols and His Five Pennies        1929

    Sing       New!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)                    
    Ted Weems and His Orchestra             1930
    Ted Weems  had a great dance band in the late 1920s and into the early 30s - although he remained active in the music business up until his death in 1963.  I think this is a very pretty song.

    Wandering In Dreamland        New!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)
    Ted Lewis & His Band             1927
    Lewis got his start in vaudeville in 1916  - and continued to be active well into the 1960s.  His group was as much a vaudeville act as it was a dance band. Lewis was famous for his trademark top hat - which he wore whenever he performed - and for frequently asking his audience: "Is everybody happy?"  I suspect that by today's standards, this selection would be considered somewhat hokey.  Maybe it is, but I think it has a certain innocent charm about it.  And the final passages are pure jazz-age frolic.

    Let's Break The Good NewsNew!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)
    "Fats" Waller, His Rhythm and Orchestra                                1938
    I can never get enough of Fats Waller.  With his "stride" style of piano playing and his unique vocalizations, Fats Waller's records are fun.  He also had a great band to back him up - as the final passages of this selection will demonstrate.  Happily, Waller is one of the handful of artists of the era who has found an audience with younger generations.  Reissues of his work are not difficult to find at any good record store.  Waller died in 1943 of a heart attack aboard a train near Kansas City, Missouri at the age of 39.

    I'll Always Be In Love With YouNew!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)
    Benny Goodman and His Orchestra                                         1939
    To me, Goodman more than deserved his billing as "The King of Swing" - at least as far as his recordings on Victor in the 1930s are concerned.  In 1940 he disbanded and reorganized.  His records were never quite the same after that. 
    I have never cared for much of the stuff produced by his later bands. 

    Singing In The Rain          New!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)
    Gus Arnheim and His Orchestra       1929
    Most people will already be familiar with this tune.  Usually it is associated with Gene Kelly's famous rendition  in the 1952 movie of the same name.  What a lot of people are not aware of is the fact  that the song first appeared in an earlier movie, M-G-M's Hollywood Review of  1929.  The song was quite popular back in '29 and was recorded by many different bands and vocalists.  Arnheim's  upbeat version is the best one I've heard so far.

    Any Old Time     New!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)
    The Detroiters                                1929

    Don't Wake Me Up Let Me DreamNew!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)
    Howard Lanin's Ben Franklin Dance Orchestra                        1925
    "Ben Franklin" in this instance refers to the name of a hotel that Howard Lanin's band often performed at.  Howard had two brothers in the music business:  Sam, who was, second only to Ben Selvin, the most prolific recording artist of the era and Lester, who led a society band and, last I heard, is still alive.

    Last NightNew!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)
    Bob Crosby and His Orchestra;  Bob Crosby, vocal                 1939
    This one has the sound that most people associate with the Big Band era.    Yes, Bob was Bing's brother.

    I've Never Seen A Straight BananaNew!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)
    Harry Reser's Jazz Pilots                                                        1927
    This is an example of what was referred to at the time as a "novelty" record. This is a very strange recording - but trust me, it will grow on you.

    Lindbergh (The Eagle of the U.S.A.)New!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)
    Vernon Dalhart, vocal                                                            1927
    This is from a record that commemorates Charles Lindberg's solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.  Today, many people would have difficulty understanding the outpouring of public admiration that was felt towards Lindbergh. But back in the 1920s,  looking up to heroes who accomplished great things was not considered to be "trite" like it is in many quarters today. The flip side of the record this was taken from contains another song about Lindbergh by 
    Vaughn De Leath ( who was known as "Radio's First Song Sensation").  I will put it up here with next month's update.

    I Can't Afford To DreamNew!(Audio file updated 6/5/04)
    Artie Shaw and His Orchestra     Tony Pastor, vocal                1939

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