Tag Archives: Bing Crosby

78: “Swing, Brother Swing” b/w “Nickel In the Slot” by Wingy Mannone and his Orchestra. Okeh 41573. Recorded in New York City, January 15, 1935.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Wingy Manone and Louis Prima were both Italian Americans who grew up in New Orleans. They both played trumpet and cornet, sang in a raspy voice in the middle of their songs, made their recording debuts at the age of 24, and were greatly influenced by Louis Armstrong. But Louis Prima is the more famous of the two, so Wingy must have been trying to copy Louis, right? Well

The problem with that theory: Louis was born in 1910. Wingy was born in 1900.

So was it really Louis imitating Wingy? Not necessarily. The two horn players both took their similar (and enviable) musical upbringings and parlayed them into lifelong, highly respectable careers. Wingy gets points, though, for overcoming adversity. A streetcar accident took his right arm when Manone (or Mannone, at that point in his life) was only 10 years old. He’d been playing cornet for a few years, but still managed to re-learn the instrument with his left hand, using his prosthetic right hand to hold the instrument. From the cheap seats, no one could see the difference. You certainly couldn’t hear it.

Here’s Wingy playing with the Arcadian Serenaders in 1924.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

45: No Reservations: “Drunk With Love/Summertime/I Can’t Give You Anything But Love/A Hundred Years From Today” by Frances Faye. Capitol EAP 1-512. Recorded in Hollywood, 1954.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Born in Brownsville, Brooklyn in 1912, Frances Faye quit school at the age of 15 and was playing piano in speakeasies for the likes of Al Capone by the age of 20. She sang cabaret standards in a rough, expressive style that had no room for reverence to the original versions, and she was known to play with such force that any piano she sat at would need to be tuned sooner rather than later.

Faye’s big break out of the club scene was a little number called “After You” with Martha Raye (…denture wearer. Sorry, I grew up in the 70’s. Can’t help it.) and Bing Crosby in 1937’s Double or Nothing.

By the time we get to this Capitol EP, it’s 1954. These are four songs that were on the LP of No Reservations; the other eight were also available on two other EPs. So the listener had the option of paying for the LP all at once or getting all 12 songs in three easy installments—this was a pretty common practice at the time.

Back cover. New Yorkers: Note the Colony Records stamp. Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Back cover. New Yorkers: Note the Colony Records stamp. Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,