Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol. 3, No. 10 (1929-07)

Record Details:

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July, 1929 The Phonograph Monthly Review 357 Long Time Men (14432-D). The best of the hill-billy disks is 15405-D, Vernon Dalhart’s sprightly Poor Old Mare and a sadder Ain’t Gonna Grieve My Mind. At the head of the Okeh list is that long-awaited treas- ure, a piano solo record by Arthur Schutt of Five Pennies fame. But like many anticipations the fulfillment is disap- pointing. His Piano Puzzle is an interesting piece, and the arrangement of Lover, Come Back to Me! is fair, but the playing as a whole does not compare with some of his great work in the past. However, it is to be heard (41243). More successful is a very hot record by James of the Dorsey freres playing the clarinet and saxophone with his orches- tra accompanying in Praying the Blues and Beebe, both his own compositions and very striking ones. (For hot jazz addicts only!) Among the songsters Smith Ballew takes first place with a very nice coupling of I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling and A Garden in the Rain on 41238, and Honey and Evangeline on 41235; the selections on the latter disk are less interesting, but the singing is good throughout. Charles Hamp is also good in Good Night and I Kiss Your Hand Madame (41246), sung in very slow smooth fashion; some may object to his excessive slurring, however. Among the race and Southern releases the best are: Lonnie Johnson and Jimmie Foster in I Want a Little Something of That What You Got and Death is On Your Track (8691) ; Blind Andy telling the pathetic tales of The Tragedy on Daytona Beach and the Stone Mountain Tank Explosion (45343); the Black Brothers warbling smooth versions of Tennessee and Old Kentucky Cabin (45336) ; and Butterbeans and Susie duetizing Get Away From My Window and Get Your- self a Monkey Man (8687). The Victor list is liberally sprinkled with noted names, several of them new this month to Victor labels. Sophie Tucker is the first of them, but I scarcely recognized her in the sweet sad version of I’m Doing What I’m Doing For Love. A pleasant song, but hardly Sophie Tucker. How- ever, she is obviously herself in the song on the other side, I’m Feathering a Nest, although her big voice is somewhat subdued in the recording—advantageously! (21993, released July 5th). Both' pieces are from her forthcoming talkie, “Honky Tonk.” Van and Schenck also make a Victor debut, singing That’s My Idea of Heaven and My Castle in Spain is a Shack in the Lane (21979). I find little in- terest in it, but undoubtedly it will please their many ad- mirers. Far more effective is Chick Endor in a lively What a Day! and g. quieter Building a Nest for Mary (21978) ; the singing is good and the accompaniments ingenious and ef- fective. Vaughn de Leath is heard in characteristic stiicke, The Toymaker’s Dream and Old-Fashioned Lady (21975) ; Gene Austin goes sweetly collegiate in The Dream Girl of Pi K. A. and My Sorority Sweetheart (21916); Johnny Marvin has a good Some Sweet Day on 21990, coupled with his and Smalle’s version of WLy Did You Leave Me? Jesse Crawford plays movie organ versions of I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling and She’s a New Kind of Old-Fashioned Girl (21981); Franklyn Baur has good smooth versions of Just Another Kiss and When My Dreams Come True (21989) ; Eddie Cantor sings his popular If I Give Up the Saxophone and Hello Sunshine Hello (21982), but his stage personality is rather inadequately reflected in his records—to me at least; Jack Smith whispers intimate versions of From Sun- rise to Sunset and To Be in Love (21987); Morton Downey sings This Is Heaven and There’s the One for Me—described by the supplement annotator as “love songs expressing with hauntingly beautiful melodies the tenderest emotions. . . .” (21988); Miller and Farrell duetize Blue Hawaii and On a Summery Night in what is aply described as ‘‘classy vaude- ville entertainment” (21984); and finally, yodling Jimmie Rodgers is heard in I’m Lonely and Blue and The Sailor’s Plea (V-40054). The Brunswick star is Jessica Dragonette, heard in Lover, Come Back to Me! and the Vagabond King Waltz (4355)— reviewed elsewhere among the vocal records. Not far be- hind are Bessie Brown, in hearty spirited versions of ’Tain’t Nobody’s Fault But My Own and The Blues Singer from Alabam (4346), Zelma O’Neal in good unusually clear versions of I Got a Code in My Doze and I’m Ka-razy for You (4322). David Cross, singing Dorsey’s That’s the Way She Likes It and Then My Gals in Town in Wendell Hall fashion to excellent accompaniments (7079), and Lovin’ Sam (from Down in ’Bam) in a singular opus She Skuffles that Ruff, coupled with What You Gonna Do (7075). Among the songsters are Dick Robertson on 4341, rather dull ver- sions of Peace of Mind and I Kiss Your Hand Madame, and on 4282 with Smalle in Down Among the Sugar Cane and Where Did You Get That Name? ; Chester Gaylord in Blue Hawaii and The One in the World (4360); Joseph Howard in so-so versions of Honeymoon and Blow the Smoke Away (4340) ; the Ritz Quartet in I’m Bringing a Red Red Rose and Come West Little Girl (4328) ; and Maurine Dyer in “Mary Pickford’s favorite hymns”—His Eye Is On the Sparrows and I Love to Tell the Story (4242); Scrappy Lambert sings Evangeline and Pagan Love Song on 4369; Lew White plays movie organ versions of Deep Night and Mean to Me on 4361), and Frank Luther sings in jolly Jack Tar fashion of Peg-Leg Jack and Barnacle Bill the Sailor (part 2) on 4371. Dance Records One grows weary of repeating that Brunswick’s dance list is extensive and excellent, but the admirable Brunswick orchestras show no signs of relaxing their efforts. In the^ first flight I should place Red Nichols and his Pennies in a' happily resurrected coupling of a lively Chinatown My Chinatown and a very smooth and appealing On the Alamo ( 4363 — a record that should be popular) ; the Jungle Band (Duke Ellington’s great orchestra) in a striking Doin’ the Voom-Voom (which they also played for Victor) and a new Rent Party Blues characteristic if not topmost of Elling- ton’s compositions (4345) ; Hal Kemp in a dapper version of That’s What I Call Heaven and a good The Things That Were Made for Love—well up to his usual high standard (4302); Jabbo Smith and his Rhythm Aces in two fine hot disks, 7071 and 7078,—the former couples a fast and furious Ace of Rhythms with Take Me to the River (distinguished by some grand trumpeting and wa-wa work) and the latter couples lively versions of Decatur Street Tutti (singular title!) and a good Till Things Get Better, that begins with Rachmaninoff’s C sharp minor prelude for some unascer- tainable reason. Arnold Johnson also has two praiseworthy disks, 4358 and 4348. On the former he provides his Radio Impressions, a fairly amusing variant on the Happiness Boys’ Twisting the Dials, and musically chiefly remarkable by the ingenious way in which the orchestra fades in from one type of piece to another. The coupling is the Municipal Band’s graceful Cuckoo Waltz. On 4348 Johnson plays two hits from the Fox Movietone Follies, Big City Blues and Breakaway; both are good. The Colonial Club has no less than three releases, all well worth hearing and very dance- able: Hittin’ the Ceiling and Sing a Little Love Song (4349), That’s You Baby; (a fine song) and Walkin’ with Susie (4347), Peace of Mind and One in the World (4356),—a most commendable month’s output. Among the other Brunswick are : the Captivators (under Red Nichols) in a fair version of Building a Nest for Mary coupled with the Copley-Plaza’s Orchestra’s bland Pagan Love Song (4321) ; Earl Burtnett in smooth, neat versions of Walkin’ Around in a Dream and Until You Get Some- body Else (4337); A1 Goodman in a very nice I’m Still Car- ing and I’m Just a Vagabond Lover (4362) ; Harold Stern and his “Pleasure Bound” Orchestra in Just Suppose (with echoes of the Tales of Hoffman Barcarolle) coupled with the Regent Club’s fair Just Another Kiss (4357). Less strid- ing are : Meyer Davis’ Swanee Syncopators in Honest and The One I Love (4329) ; Bob Haring in Louise and Hugg- able Kissable You (4359); Ray Miller in Moonlight and Roses and My Garden of Memories (4352) ; the Six Jump- ing Jacks in their characteristic wise-cracking style in What’s In a Name and She’s Got Great Ideas (4351); and Randolph’s Royal Hawaiians in the St. Louis Blues and When You Come Back to Me (4067). In the Columbia group I like best Ted Wallace’s Jericho and I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling, with some good fiddling (1833-D); the Ipana Troubadours in full-voiced sonorous versions of That’s Living and To Be in Love (1840-D) ; the Seven Hot Air-Men in hot versions of Low Down Rhythm