Rudy Vallée and his Connecticut
Rudy Vallée, vocal
(Victor 22062-A )
Herbert Pryor Vallée
earned the nickname "Rudy" in college because of his great admiration for
saxophonist Rudy Wiedoeft. By the late 1920s and into the 1930s,
Vallée was one of network radio's most well known and highly paid
entertainers. A pioneer of what we now know as the variety
show format, Vallée's program introduced Bob Hope and Edgar
Bergen to network radio and featured notable guests such as Cole Porter,
George Gershwin and the comedy team of George Burns and Gracie Allen.
He also introduced a number of well known tunes, including "As Time
Goes By." Vallée was one of the early "crooners" and , for
a time, was considered to be a "heartthrob" by millions of women across
America. He became known as "The Vagabond Lover" and starred in an
RKO picture of the same name. One of this trademarks was a
cut down megaphone that he sang into whenever he performed.
I have never fully understood
the mass appeal that Rudy Vallée had as a vocalist. To me,
he sounds like someone who is singing with a clothes pin on his nose.
On the other hand, many of his late '20s and early '30s recordings - such
as this one - were quite pleasant to listen to.
File Updated September 11, 2004
Stepping Out With A Memory Tonight
Will Osborne and his Slide Music
Barbara Bush, vocal
(Varsity 8280 )
No - the Barbara Bush on the
vocal is not the former First Lady and soon to be First Mom.
But I thought the coincidence of names made it a perfect selection for
Osborne was a vocalist who gained
gained national attention when his band replaced Rudy Vallee's on
"The Blue White Diamond Show" radio program. As a result, a highly
publicized feud erupted between Osborne and Vallee fans over which singer
deserved credit for originating "crooning." "Slide Music" referred
to the band's glissando slide trombone effects. I have a number of
Osborne recordings in my collection and think that he had one of the nicer
sounding Big Bands of the late '30s and early '40s. Sadly, his efforts
have been largely overlooked on CD reissues.
Artie Shaw and his Orchestra
Helen Forrest, vocal
(Bluebird B-7889-A )
Artie Shaw was, and still is,
one of the most famous bandleaders of the swing and big band eras.
Most biographies portray Shaw as a tortured intellectual who was constantly
trying to "find himself." He disliked the business aspects of the
music industry and what he regarded as the intrusion by his fans into his
personal life. Shaw married eight times and his wives included actresses
Lana Turner and Ava Gardner. Born in 1910, Shaw is one of the very
few artists featured on my site who is, at the time I write this, still
Out Of The
Bernie Cummins and His Biltmore
(Brunswick 3996 )
Cummins was a former boxer who
began his 40 year bandleading career in 1919. New York's Biltmore
was but one of many hotels where the band had an extended engagement.
You will find another version of this tune by the Nat Shilkret Orchestra
in my site's August 1999 update. I am not sure which I like best.
Both are very catchy.