Tag Archives: Columbia

45: Moods, Vol. 5. “Lullaby In Rhythm,” “There’ll Never Be Another You” b/w “All the Things You Are,” “Moonlight In Vermont” by Marian McPartland. Savoy XP 8108. Recorded in New York City, 12/22/52 (Side B) and 4/27/53 (Side A).

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

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

Born in a small town in Southeastern England in 1918, Marian McPartland started playing piano at the age of three. She was encouraged to learn the violin at the age of eight—perhaps because her parents weren’t thrilled about her love of Jazz and they hadn’t heard of jazz violinist Joe Venuti—but she continued to spend all of her free time at the keys. Marian studied classical music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, but quit in 1938 to join a four piano vaudeville act run by Billy Mayerl.

The piano quartet was a hit and continued to perform over the course of the war, entertaining both British and American troops, courtesy of the USO. She met her husband, cornetist Jimmy McPartland, in a show in Belgium in 1944. They were soon wed, and moved to Jimmy’s native Chicago. Marion continued to play, and the couple’s move to New York City in 1949 would soon prove to be a good career choice. Jimmy encouraged Marian to form her own trio, which played at clubs like The Embers and Hickory House. A recording contract with Savoy Records came in 1951.

This extended play 45 shows Marian at a bit of a crossroads, at least in terms of personnel. “Moonlight In Vermont” features the rhythm section of Eddie Safranski (bass) and Don Lamond (drums).  Continue reading

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78: “Say That We’re Sweethearts Again” b/w “Feudin’ and Fightin’” by Dorothy Shay. Columbia 37189. Recorded in New York City, 1947.

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This week’s 78 comes from a brief detour from the Archive. I was recently visiting with my wife’s family in southern California, and her parents were kind enough to let me dig through a big, heavy (shellac weighs a lot more than vinyl) box of 78’s. Some of the treasures found within were by Dorothy Shay.

Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Dorothy Shay started singing in 1925, at the age of four. She used to entertain prisoners at the county jail—how she ended up there at such a tender age is anyone’s guess. As she got older, her style changed from blues to comedic songs, and this was reflected by who chose to sing with—first with the Morton Gould Orchestra and then with Spike Jones and the City Slickers. Dorothy developed a curious persona, that of “The Park Avenue Hillbillie” (Yes, it is spelled “Hillbilly” on the record label, but in promotional materials it was spelled “Hillbillie” because Dorothy was a lady. Those marketing people at Columbia thought of everything.) As glamorous and beautiful as any of her contemporaries, Shay skipped the sentimental tunes for songs that poked fun at all kinds of things, like the often messy pursuit of love in 1947’s “Say that We’re Sweethearts Again.”

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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.

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