I have a Verve cassette entitled "Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas". On this tape there's an Ella Fitzgerald recording entitled "The Secret of Christmas" (Credited to Sammy Cahn/ Richard Shephard). I have lookeded for a CD with that same song recorded by Ella but cannot find any recording compilation that includes this. It's a beautiful song and her voice is "THE VOICE" - it's an incredibly beautiful voice.
At holiday times I have looked for other CD compilations that might include this same recording. Are you able to tell me anything about this song/recording and why it is incredibly hard to find? I cannot find that it was included in any of Ms Fitzgerald’s other collections. Thanks.
Ella's version of "The Secret of Christmas was reissued in 2002 as a part of the expanded edition of her Verve CD 'Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas,' which is still in print and available through Amazon.com, along with a number of other major dealers in new CDs. Be certain you are buying the 2002 edition of this CD (with 18 total tracks), as the earlier one omits the song you seek. Hope it makes your Christmas swing!
James Kidd from Lesbury, Northumberland, England wrote:
I have been unable to find any biography or autobiography for either Big Joe Turner Or Jimmy Rushing. Do you know if any have been published?
I am unaware of any biographies or autobiographies about either man, though both would be worthy subjects. Perhaps someone is at work on one of them right now.
Bryan Wadeof the United Kingdom wrote:
Please advise if the 'Kenton Christmas" LP has been re-issued on CD and if so please provide the details. Thanks.
I haven't turned up any indication that Kenton Christmas has ever been available on CD. Sorry.
Brick Wahl wrote:
I recently stumbled across a copy of Lester Young’s ‘Pres’ LP (Charlie Parker Records PLP-402). It’s a very rough selection of live recordings, with no line-ups given (still, for a buck in mint condition I ain’t complaining....) With a little research on the web I’ve found that John Lewis was on at least some of the tracks, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Have you any additional information on this record, such as date, venue, players, or what they were drinking? You have an excellent column by the way.
And a belated thanks for answering my inquiry about who was playing that gorgeous tenor on the Fletcher Henderson Sextet 1950 sextet cassette I picked up at the car wash (I was thrilled to discover it is one of my favorites, Lucky Thompson.)
The Young discography lists the following musicians present on these tracks recorded circa 2/22/50, at the Savoy Ballroom in NYC: Jesse Drakes-trumpet, Kenny Drew-piano, Aaron Bell-bass, Jo Jones-drums, unknown-vocals.
Glad you enjoy the column. Questions like these make it fun to do.
Alexis Laurence from Chester, NY wrote:
I recently came across a 6 album collection called ‘Ladies of Jazz’ 9034/6, it was released in West Germany and includes albums by June Christy ‘Get Happy’ 20189, Billie Holiday ‘Billie's Blues’ 20055, Sarah Vaughan ‘Tenderly’ 20070, Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb 20077, Ethel Waters ‘My Man’ 20188, and Carmen Mc Rae ‘Live in Concert’ 21020. I can not find any information on this album at all! I am just wondering if it is rare, or what. It came out of an estate of a classical composer. Also, there are three different record labels, Tobacco Road, Astan, and Big Band Era. You were highly suggested, I hope you can help. Thank you so much!
This sounds like a compilation of previously issued titles that were put out on various labels. Tobacco Road was a short-lived reissue label known for putting sparse (if any) information about an LP's contents. I've never heard of the other two labels.
It is hard to say much more without some song titles, but my guess it is that all of this music has been issued elsewhere so this set wouldn't have a significant value of its own.
jjazzbabbie from Edinburgh wrote:
I am trying to find decent releases of the established Wilbur Ware in a trio context where he is the leader, preferably in the 1950's. Any tips for a jazz freak... Regards.
Wilbur Ware evidently only recorded one album as a leader of a quintet, on the Riverside LP The Chicago Sound. It was taped on Oct 16 and Nov. 18, 1957, and has been reissued on CD in Fantasy's OJC series.
Toby Shore from Oak Park, IL wrote:
I'm under the impression that Sing Sing Sing was born at a jam session with Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman et al and that the first time it was played it lasted a long time. If this info is correct how long was it?
"Sing, Sing, Sing" was composed by bandleader Louis Prima and recorded several times beofre Goodman recorded it for the soundtrack to the movie 'Hollywood Hotel.' It was revisited at Goodman's all-star Carnegie Hall concert, but combined with Fletcher Henderson's "Christopher Columbus," lasting 12 minutes. Obviously, this remains the best known version.