Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

159

Big Bands on Radio 1933-52: The Music of Harold Arlen

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
As one would envision from an anthology spanning a twenty–year period that preceded the advent of modern recording techniques and apparatus, sound quality varies widely on these radio air–checks from 1933 (Benny Goodman / Jack Teagarden, “I Got a Right to Sing the Blues”) to 1955 (the Dorsey brothers, “Let’s Fall in Love”). Of the sixteen selections (including two medleys), three are from the ’30s, eleven from the ’40s and two from the ’50s (Les Brown’s “Ill Wind” from ’52 and the Dorsey brothers track, which, unless the date is in error, must have been passed over when the album was designated 1933–52 ). All of the songs are by the wonderful Harold Arlen, and most are readily familiar, even though Arlen himself has faded into an undeserved semi–obscurity. Almost any music–lover can hum (or even sing) “That Old Black Magic,” “Let’s Fall in Love” or “Over the Rainbow,” but how many can name the author? Arlen’s compositions, among the finest ever produced in Tin Pan Alley, were widely played and appropriately praised during their time, and most have hung around to become what are referred to today as standards. Besides Goodman, Brown and the Dorseys, orchestras represented here include those led by Glenn Miller, Bob Crosby, Stan Kenton, Harry James, Raymond Scott, Woody Herman and Duke Ellington. Not a shabby cross–section of renowned big bands, nor are the vocalists — Teagarden, Herman, Dick Haymes, Ray Eberle, Johnny Mercer, Dinah Shore, June Christy, Dorothy Collins, Frances Wayne, Helen Forrest and Johnny Desmond. There are two versions of Arlen / Ted Koehler’s “Now I Know,” the first by the Ellington orchestra at New York’s Hurricane Club, the other (sung in German!) by Desmond from a 1944 “propaganda broadcast” by Glenn Miller’s orchestra (we were at war then, remember?). It’s interesting that the Herman orchestra’s treatment of “June Comes Around Every Year” is introduced by the emcee as “a Johnny Mercer tune” (Mercer wrote the lyrics, as he did for a number of other “Harold Arlen tunes”). It seems that even in 1945 Arlen, much like Rodney Dangerfield today, got no respect. Be that as it may, this is a pleasant stroll down memory lane and an explicit reminder of what a marvelous songwriter Harold Arlen was.

Track listing: Accentuate the Positive; I Got a Right to Sing the Blues; That Old Black Magic; This Time the Dream’s on Me; Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; As Long as I Live; Let’s Fall in Love; Over the Rainbow; Hooray for Love / What’s Good About Goodbye / For Every Man There’s a Woman; My Shining Hour; Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe; Fancy Meeting You; Now I Know (Ellington); Now I Know (Glenn Miller); June Comes Around Every Year / I’ve Got the World on a String; Ill Wind (64:27).


Personnel:

Orchestras led by Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Bob Crosby, Jack Teagarden, the Dorsey Brothers, Stan Kenton, Harry James, Raymond Scott, Woody Herman, Duke Ellington and Les Brown.

Contact: Reflections, Absalongade 21A 3th DK

Title: The Music of Harold Arlen | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Reflections


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Swinging In The Holidays CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Cycles of Animation CD/LP/Track Review Cycles of Animation
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Secret Passages CD/LP/Track Review Secret Passages
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Live At The Magic Triangle CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Magic Triangle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Music in the Room CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017
Read Of Light and Shadows CD/LP/Track Review Of Light and Shadows
by Phillip Woolever
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Juxtaposition" CD/LP/Track Review Juxtaposition
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Landing" CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass" CD/LP/Track Review Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 6, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!