Stop! And Reconsider
Jan Savitt and his Top Hatters
The Three Toppers, vocal
The beat that you hear during
the intro and throughout the rest of this recording was a stylistic gimmik
called "Shuffle Rhythm" that the Savitt band used to differentiate itself.
Born in Russia, Savitt was considered a child prodigy on the violin.
At age 15, he became the youngest musician ever to join Leopold Stokowski's
Philidelphia Symphony. Savitt crossed over to popular music and was
featured on nationally broadcast radio programs emanating from Philidelphia
radio station KYW. His band's success continued throughout the 1940s
. In 1948, Savitt was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage and died
at the age of 36.
Let's Have Another
Cup O' Coffee/Strangers
Phil Spitalny's Music
Helen Rowland & Trio, vocal
What better way to innauguarate
this section than with an actual Hit of the Week record? By 1932,
the Durium Company had improved their product so that it had a playing
time of about 5 minutes - nearly twice that of the standard 10 inch
78rpm record of the day. Some Hit of the Weeks devote all five minutes
to a single selection. Others, such as this one, contained
two selections or "tracks." Rival record manufacturers took notice
and briefly considered releaing their own 5minute records. It became
a mute issue, however, when Durium folded in June, 1932.
"Let's Have Another Cup
O' Coffee" is, in my opinion, the ultimate Depression-era "cheer up and
smile" tune - and this particular version is my favorite. I think
Helen Rowland's voice is absolutely perfect for the song. Sadly,
she is all but forgotten today. And the trio on this is hilarous
- they would fit right in on a soundtrack of an early cartoon. The
reference to "Mister Herbert Hoover" adds a nice historical touch to things.
The times may have been dismal for most folks in 1932, but the music was
To me, the definitive version
of "Strangers" is Mildred Bailey's haunting rendition, also from 1932.
This version is much more upbeat and cheerful. Perhaps Durium executives
figured that the last thing folks in 1932 wanted to spend their precious
pennies on was a sad song that was actually sad!