Larry Clinton’s Bluebird Orchestra

Larry Clinton’s Bluebird Orch
1941 (Bluebird B-11140-B)
Larry Clinton’s Bluebird Orchestra – Estrellita]

“Essential To Me”
Larry Clinton’s Bluebird Orch
Peggy Mann, Butch Stone, vocal
1941 (Bluebird B-11140-B)
Larry Clinton’s Bluebird Orchestra – Essential To Me]

The Larry Clinton Orchestra was popular during the late 1930s and early 1940s.  The band’s best remembered recordings featured vocalist Bea Wain who left to pursue a solo career in 1939.   Clinton began recording for Victor in 1937. Starting in 1940 the majority of his recordings were issued on Victor’s lower priced Bluebird subsidiary label.   His last recording session before he disbanded and joined the Army Air Force due to U.S. entry in World War II was in September 1941.

This record comes from a batch of big band/swing era records I picked up a while back and have not yet had the time to fully sort through or listen to.   I have picked this one out because I am very fond of the song “Estrellita” and enjoy hearing different versions of it.   The song dates back to 1912 and was written by Mexican composer Manuel Ponce.   Over the years it has been performed and recorded by many different artists in a variety of musical styles.

The song on the flip side, “Essential To Me,” is one that apparently was not particularly successful at the time and has been largely forgotten.   Its Mort Greene lyrics are interesting in that they contain several references to the era’s pop culture including buffalo nickels, Jack Benny’s Jello sponsored radio program as well as the Amos ‘n Andy and Edgar Bergen – Charlie McCarthy radio programs.

This entry was posted in 1940s, 1940s Popular Music, American Recordings, Electrical Recordings. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Larry Clinton’s Bluebird Orchestra

  1. Jack says:

    I loved the pop culture references in “Essential To Me.” Also, I appreciate more swing era music as a balance to the hot twenties style stuff. Thanks for the great notes as well as the music.

    • dismuke says:

      One of the things I am looking forward to with this blog is that it will give me a chance to present and an excuse to listen to records that do not fall within the format limitations I set for Radio Dismuke. And there are a LOT of really GREAT recordings from the swing/big band era.

      When I first got interested in vintage popular music and old records as a child and for awhile beyond I listened to big band era recordings just as much as I did the earlier stuff. Over time, I gravitated towards the 1925 – 1935 decade and kind of neglected the later period. Radio Dismuke has only made that more the case because whenever I acquire and sort through records I am always looking for stuff that I think would be good to add to the station. And, in recent years, I have become increasingly interested in what I very loosely describe as “salon music” and tunes from operettas, particularly European recordings – so that has become the secondary thing I keep an eye out for. I still acquired stuff from the swing/big band era when I could pick it up at a good price – but, because of the radio station, it tends to get pushed to the bottom of my list of stuff to listen to next.

      So much of what I have in that genre I have yet to listen to – which is kind of nice in one respect because going through it is very much a musical adventure. And I will come across records that I haven’t played in a number of years and have forgotten just how good they are. So the blog is going to be a good excuse for me to dig through what I have in that area more often. I have been a little slow to ramp up in terms of presenting such recordings here because, when I started the blog, I already had a nice pipeline of recordings I had already digitized. But, over time, you will seem them added to the mix here with greater frequency.

      • Dwight J. Dutton says:

        There are plenty of 40’s stations. 1920’s music is a lot harder to find. Ive been wondering why several of my favorites 20’s records seem to have disappeared out of the line up, hopefully not to make room for this.

        • dismuke says:

          Oh, my goodness no – as far as the radio station goes, it will continue to remain focused on the 1925 – 1935 time period. I occasionally throw in something a little bit earlier or a little bit later (there really was nothing magical about either year musically other than 1925 is the start of electric recording and 1935 was when swing took off. So I do blur the edges a bit – but ONLY the edges and ONLY a little bit).

          The blog and the radio station are two totally different projects. The radio station has a set format. The blog is pretty much anything goes musically so long as it is from a 78 rpm era disc recording of some sort.

          As for why your favorite ’20s records seem to have disappeared – they are still there. It is just that the playlist is constantly growing larger as I add more selections to it. Right now it is over 3,200 selections. And the software I use to generate the station’s playlist is set to play more recently added recordings more frequently. So a recently added selection might play a few times each week while one that has been in the playlist for a very long time might only play a few times each month. But all of them are still there.

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