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The Swing Era

Jazz began to «swing» as musicians began to adopt swing eighths, the string bass, high hat cymbals, and a looser, more rhythmic feeling . This change occurred gradually starting in the twenties notably with Louis Armstrong, and continued on into the 40’s. A lot of the music that came out of this period was played by bands of ten musicians or more. Because of this the swing era is also often known as the big band era.

01 – Glenn Miller Orchestra:  ‘In The Mood’

02 – ‘Chattanooga choo choo’

(Hey there Tex, what you say?)

Step aside partner, it’s my day
Bend an ear and listen to my version
(Of a really solid Tennessee excursion)

Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?
(Yes yes, track 29)
Boy, you can give me a shine
(Can you afford to board Chattanooga Choo Choo?)

I’ve got my fare  (And just a trifle to spare)

You leave the Pennsylvania station ‘bout a quarter to four
Read a magazine and then you’re in Baltimore
Dinner in the diner, nothing could be finer
(Then to have your ham and eggs in Carolina)

When you hear the whistle blowin’ eight to the bar
Then you know that Tennessee is not very far
Shuffle all the coal in, gotta keep it rollin’
(Whoo whoo, Chattanooga, there you are)

There’s gonna be a certain party at the station
Satin and Lace, I used to call funny face
She’s gonna cry until I tell her that I’ll never roam
(So Chattanooga Choo Choo)

Won’t you choo choo me home (Chattanooga, Chattanooga)
Get aboard  (Chattanooga, Chattanooga)
All aboard  (Chattanooga, Chattanooga)

Chattanooga Choo Choo – Won’t you choo choo me home

03 – Charlie Barnet Orchestra:  ‘Cherokee’

04 → Benny Goodman Orchestra:  ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’  ⇓

•→ Who’s That Man?  ⇐[‘A Day at the Races’_1937]

J-Jukebox

¤  JAZZ JUKEBOX 

Splendid account of the swing era through ‘soundies’ & jukeboxes, which  then served the same purpose as our videoclips. Delightfully presented by George Melly  ↓

◊  Part 1

ft. ↑  Louis Armstrong, Joe Turner & Meade Lux Lewis, Duke Ellington & Billie Holiday, Fats Waller

•  I ain’t going to be  your lowdown dog no more  (lyrics)

I ain’t going to be  your lowdown dog no more
You don’t want me baby : down the road I’ll go

Now I work hard mama : and I brought you home my pay
You say you ain’t going to miss me : when I’m gone away

Ooo : ooo wee
It’s a lowdown shame : the way you treat poor me

My home ain’t here : I ain’t compelled to stay
It’s your time now : but it’ll be mine some sweet day

And I ain’t going to be : your lowdown dog no more
The train is at the station : my mind’s made up to go

•  Saddest Tale   (D.Ellington; voice: B. Holiday)

Saddest tale on land or sea was when my man walked out on me
My man’s gone – I feel so alone
I’ve got those longer man blues
He didn’t treat me fair – It’s more that I can bear
I’ve got those longer man blues
I’ve got those long and hangin’ back again blues

•  Ain’t Misbehavin’  ( F. Waller)

No one to talk with, all by myself
No one to walk with, but I’m happy on the shelf
Ain’t misbehavin’, I’m savin’ my love for you.
I know for certain the one you love
I’m through with flirtin’, it’s just you I’m thinkin’ of
Ain’t Misbehavin’, I’m savin’ my love for you.
Like Jack Horner in the corner
don’t go nowhere, what do I care
Your kisses are worth waitin’ for . . . Believe me.
I don’t stay out late, don’t care to go
I’m home about 8, just me and my radio
Ain’t Misbehavin’, I’m savin’ my love for you.

◊  Part 2

feat. ↑  Bessie Smith, Albert Ammons & Pete Johnson, Duke Ellington & Ivie Anderson…

•  St Louis Blues  (lyrics)

My man’s got a heart like a rock cast in the sea
My man’s got a heart like a rock cast in the sea
My man’s got a heart like a rock cast in the sea
My man’s got a heart like a rock cast in the sea
I hate to see that evening sun go down 
Yes I hate to see that evening sun go down 
‘cause my  baby, he’s done left this town
[. . .]
My man’s got a heart like a rock cast in the sea
Or else, he wouldn’t have gone so far from me

•  I GOT IT BAD (AND THAT AIN’T GOOD)  [D. Ellington]

Never treats me sweet and gentle the way he should;
I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good!
My poor heart is sentimental not made of wood
I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good!
But when the week is over and Friday rolls aroun’
my man and me, we feel some and [. . .?] some, and then some
He don’t love me like I love him – nobody could
I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good
Like a lonely weeping willow lost in the wood
Lord, I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good!

◊  Part 3  –  (featuring Cab Calloway)

•  THE LADY WITH THE FAN  ↑

She’s the lady with the fan – She’s the lady with the fan  
Every wiggle gets a giggle  –  From the hick who pays a nickel
To see the lady with the fan
She’s the lady with the fan  –  The lady with the fan

She made Smoky Joe so ginny – He forgot about his Minnie
She’s the lady with the fan  – She’s the ladcab callowayy with the fan
. . . Hey-dee hey-dee hey  . . .  Hey-dee hey-dee hey . . .
Oy yoi yoi yoi yoi yoi  . . .  Oy yoi yoi yoi yoi yoi . . .

 

Hi-Di-Ho & Other Movies  (dir. Josh Binney)  :  features a total of 16 of the performer’s most popular songs, such as «Hi-De-Ho» , «Minnie the Moocher,» and more.

•→cab calloway_lyrics ←

◊   Billie Holiday  ↓ ‘When You’re Smiling’


When you’re smiling – When you’re smiling
The whole world smiles with you
When you’re laughing – When you’re laughing
The sun comes shining thru
But when you’re crying,  you bring on the rain
So stop your sighing – be happy again
Keep on smiling ’cause when you’re smiling
The whole world smiles with you

∞  Peggy Lee & Frank Sinatra
‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’  [George & Ira Gershwin]

FeverHolding hands at midnight ‘neath a starry sky…
Oh that is nice work if you can get it – And you can get it if you try.

Strolling with the one boy – Sighing sigh after sigh…
Oh nice work if you can get it – And you can get it if you try.

Just imagine someone  waiting at the cottage door.
Where two hearts become one…
Who could ask for anything more?

Loving one who loves you, And then taking that vow…
Nice work if you can get it,  And if you get it —

Won’t you tell me how?

Never know how much I love you – Never know how much I care
When you put your arms around me, I get a fever that’s so hard to bear
You give me fever, when you kiss me – Fever when you hold me tight – FEVER!
in the mornin’, a fever all through the night
 
Sun lights up the day time – Moon lights up the night
I light up when you call my name and you know I’m gonna treat you right
You give me fever, when you kiss me – Fever when you hold me tight – FEVER!
in the mornin’ – A fever all through the night
 
Everybody’s got the fever – That is somethin’ you all know
Fever isn’t such a new thing – Fever started long ago
  
Captain Smith and Pocahontas had a very mad affair
When her daddy tried to kill him – She said, «Daddy oh don’t you dare»
He gives me fever with his kisses – Fever when he holds me tight – FEVER!
I’m his missus and daddy won’t you treat him right?
Now you’ve listened to my story – Here’s the point that I have made
Chicks were born to give you fever – Be it Fahrenheit or Centigrade
They give you fever when we kiss them – Fever if you live and learn
Fever till you sizzle – Oh what a lovely way to burn
What a lovely way to burn . . .
peggy-lee-do-right

You had plenty money 1922
You let other women make a fool of you
Why don’t you do right like some other men do?
Get out of here and get me some money too

You’re sitting down, wondering what it’s all about
If you ain’t got no money, they will put you out
Why don’t you do right,  like some other men do?
Get out of here and get me some money too

If you had prepared twenty years ago
You wouldn’t be wanderin’ now from door to door
Why don’t you do right, like some other men do?
Get out of here and get me some money too

I fell for your jivin’ and I took you in
Now all you got to offer me’s a drink of gin
Why don’t you do right, like some other men do?
Get out of here and get me some money too

Why don’t you do right, like some other men do?
Like some other men do

Lets-face-the-music

A song written in 1936 by Irving Berlin for the film →Follow the Fleet, where it was introduced by Fred Astaire and featured in a celebrated dance duet with Ginger Rogers.

♦  Nat King Cole  ↓   

feat . . .  Rita Hayworth – Fred Astaire – Gene Kelly – Cyd Charisse – Ava Gardner – Sophia Loren – Deborah Kerr – Gary Grant – Ginger Rogers – Katharine Hepburn – Jimmy Stewart

lets_face_the_music

There may be trouble ahead
But while there’s music and moonlight and love and romance
Let’s face the music and dance

Before the fiddlers have fled
Before they ask us to pay the bill and while we still have the chance
Let’s face the music and dance

Soon we’ll be without the moon, humming a different tune and then
There may be teardrops to shed
So while there’s moonlight and music and love and romance
Let’s face the music and dance 

♥   ‘L.O.V.E.’   ⇓

 

 ∇  Wardell Gray  ⇓  ‘Forgotten Tenor’  

W_Gray←Born in Oklahoma City in 1921, Wardell moved to Detroit where he studied music at Cass Tech High. After playing with the local bands of Jimmy Rachel and Benny Carew, he did his first name band work with Earl Hines, doubling on tenor and clarinet from 1943 to 1945. Then he was with Billy Eckstine‘s big band for a short spell before joining Benny Carter in 1946 […] With Carter, Wardell went out to the West coast and decided to remain for a while, participating in many of the jazz concerts so popular there at that time, often times with Dexter Gordon and Sonny Criss

The Lester Young style he had shown with Hines was still in evidence, a pure-toned driving style which underwent change in the following year. When Wardell came to New York in 1948 to become part of the Benny Goodman Sextet you could hear the shift to Charlie Parker’s influence. Later that year he appeared at the Royal Roost with Tadd Dameron‘s group and Count Basie‘s band. In 1949 it was back to Goodman, this time the big band. By the time he had finished an engagement at the Orchid Club (the old Onyx) on 52nd Street with Sonny Stitt in early 1950, Wardell’s style had changed completely over to the harder sound and crisper attack. «Twisted» from 1949.

He returned to Detroit and spent several months there with his own quartet. When Count Basie formed a small band, Wardell answered his call. Until the end of 1951 when he settled in California, he played intermittently with Count in both small and large groups. We never saw him in the East after that. Outside of a few recording sessions he wasn’t heard from. The West Coast may have been booming, but not for all.

Whatever he played swung, for primarily Wardell was a swinger. Moving along at up-tempo, he would still exhort the rhythm section to «bear down.»

–IRA GITLER, from the liner notes, Wardell Gray Memorial, Prestige.

ellaF
♦→ They can’t take That away from me  ⇐[George & Ira Gershwin_1937]
The way you wear your hat  – The way you sip your tea
The memory of all that  –  No, no, they can’t take that away from me
The way your smile just beams  –  The way you sing off key
The way you haunt my dreams  –  No, no, they can’t take that away from me
 
We may never, never never meet again  on the bumpy road to love
Still, I’ll always, always keep the memory of
The way you hold your knife – The way we danced till three
The way you changed my life  –  No, no, they can’t take that away from me
No, they can’t take that away from me
[scat . . .]

♥  Ella Fitzgerald ↓ ‘The Very Thought of You’

♦  Jammin’ The Blues  ↓  [1944]

featuring… Lester Young, Red Callender, Harry Edison, Marlowe Morris, Sid Catlett, Barney Kessel, Jo Jones, John Simmons, Illinois Jacquet, Marie Bryant, Archie Savage and Garland Finney.

•  «On the Sunny Side of the Street»  ↑

Grab your coat, get your hat
Leave your worries on the doorstep
Life can be so sweet
On the sunny side of the street

Can’t you hear the pitter-patter?
That happy tune is your step
Life can be sweet
On the sunny side of the street

I used to walk in the shade
Kept my blues on parade
But now I’m not afraid
‘Cause my rover crossed over

And if I never had a cent
I’d be rich like Rockefeller is
Got gold dust round my feet
On the sunny side of the street

♦ Lester Young (ts) + Bill Harris (tb) + Hank Jones (p) + Ray Brown (b) + Buddy Rich (d)  ↓ ‘Pennies From Heaven’  1950

♦  Ella Fitzgerald (scat vcl), Harry Sweets Edison (tp), Lester Young, Flip Phillips (ts), Bill Harris (tb), Hank Jones (p), Ray Brown (b), Buddy Rich (d)  ↓  [New York_1950]


     ∇   Frank Sinatra ↓ ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ (‘In Other Words’)

Fly me to the moon  – Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like  on a-Jupiter and MarsF_ Sinatra

In other words, hold my hand
In other words, baby, kiss me

Fill my heart with song  and let me sing for ever more
You are all I long for  –  All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you

[instrumental-first verse]

Fill my heart with song  –  Let me sing for ever more
You are all I long for  –  All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, in other words
I  love   [3 piano notes]   you

∞   Ben Webster & Oscar Peterson  ↓  [Hannover, 1972]

01.  POUTIN’  (8:19)   /   02.  SUNDAY  (7:29)

03. I GOT IT BAD AND THAT AIN’T GOOD  (7:55)

04.  PERDIDO  (8:05)   /   05.  COME SUNDAY  (7:37)

06.  FOR ALL WE KNOW  (10:35) /  07.  COTTONTAIL  (6:53)

¤  ‘Put the blame on Mame’  ⇓                         

Originally written by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher for the film Gilda in 1946, it was sung by the title character, played by Rita Hayworth with the singing voice of Anita Kert Ellis dubbed in.

In keeping with the film character Gilda, being «the ultimate femme fatale«, the song sung by her at two scenes facetiously credits the amorous activities of a woman named «Mame» as the true cause of three well-known cataclysmic events in American history: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Great Blizzard of 1888 in New York City and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

When Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
Kicked the lantern in Chicago town
They say that started the fire
That burned Chicago down
That’s the story that went around
But here’s the real low-down
Put the blame on Mame, boys
Put the blame on MameAnitaKert
Mame kissed a buyer from out of town
That kiss burned Chicago down
So you can put the blame on Mame, boys
Put the blame on Mame

Remember the blizzard, back in Manhattan
In eighteen-eighty-six
They say that traffic was tied up
And folks were in a fix
That’s the story that went around
But here’s the real low-down
Put the blame on Mame, boys
Put the blame on Mame
Mame gave a chump such an ice-cold «No»
For seven days they shovelled snow
So you can put the blame on Mame, boys
Put the blame on Mame  .  .  .

gilda.  .  .  When they had the earthquake in San Francisco
Back in nineteen-six
They said that Mother Nature
Was up to her old tricks
That’s the story that went around
But here’s the real low-down
Put the blame on Mame, boys
Put the blame on Mame
One night she started to shim and shake
That brought on the Frisco quake
So you can put the blame on Mame, boys
Put the blame on Mame

They once had a shootin’ up in the Klondike
When they got Dan McGrew
Folks were putting the blame on
The lady known as Lou
That’s the story that went around
But here’s the real low-down
Put the blame on Mame, boys
Put the blame on Mame
Mame did a dance called the hoochy-coo
That’s the thing that slew McGrew
So you can put the blame on Mame, boys
Put the blame on Mame

•→Peggy Lee: ‘Put the blame on Me’

… When emperor Nero started to fiddle, the Romans gathered round
until his friends [ . . . ? ]  burned Rome to the ground.
That’s the story that History tells, but the history books are wrong

Put the blame on me, boy – Put the blame on me
The conflagration began when he got fever, being around with me.

So you can put the blame on me!

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