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Dismuke's Hit Of The Week
Previous Selections
February 2003

February 27, 2003

This week's Hit of the Week is brought to you by
Park Hotel - Dallas, Texas
Park Hotel, Dallas, Texas
(from 1913 postcard)


That's How I Need You - MedleyClick on song title to stream or right clock on folder to download
Victor Military Band                              1913
(Victor 17325-B)

I rarely feature popular waltz recordings - though a great many were issued by most of the popular bands up through the 1920s.  I also tend to neglect recordings from the acoustical  (pre-microphone) era.  This week's selection - a medley of two songs - should help make up on both counts.   The first song, "That's How I Need You," was composed in 1912  by Al Piantadosi  and was first performed by vaudeville star Ema Carus, who, a year earlier, introduced  Irving Berlin's first big hit "Alexander's Ragtime Band."  The song was revived in the 1950 Jane Powell/Ricardo Montalban film Two Weeks With Love.  The second song in the medley, "Billy, Bounce Your Baby Doll" composed by Fred Fischer and Al Bryan, was introduced in 1912 by Al Jolson at New York's Winter Garden Theatre.

February 20, 2003

This week's Hit of the Week is brought to you by
Scott Tissue - The Waldorf Tissue
The Scott Paper Company
(from circa 1927 ad)


Its A Happy Old World After AllClick on song title to stream or right clock on folder to download
Park Lane Orchestra
Vaughn DeLeath, vocal                          1927
(Brunswick 3487-B)

"Park Lane Orchestra" was a recording pseudonym used by the Harry Reser band.  Reser, one of the top banjo players of his day, was an extremely prolific recording artist.  During the 1920s and 1930s, Reser's band recorded under dozens of pseudonyms on a variety of labels.  In 1926 he became one of the early pioneers of network radio when his band secured its own nationwide half hour program over the fledgling NBC network under the sponsorship of  the Clicquot Club brand of soda pop beverages.  The "Clicquot Club Eskimos" became an immediate hit and remained on the air for a decade.   The program featured upbeat music with a heavy emphasis on Reser's guitar playing.

The Reser band was also well known for the large number of novelty tunes that it recorded under pseudonyms such as "Reser's Jazz Pilots" and "The Six Jumping Jacks." 

Based on the handful of "Park Lane Orchestra" records that I have in my collection,  Reser's trademark guitar playing seems to have been absent from recordings made using that pseudonym. 

The vocalist on this recording, Vaughn DeLeath was another  radio pioneer . A 1920 performance over the experimental wireless telephone station of  inventor Dr. Lee DeForrest made DeLeath's the first singing voice to be heard over the brand new medium and earned her the title of "The First Lady of Radio."   When vocalist Kate Smith started billing herself as "The First Lady of the Radio,"  DeLeath sued and was successful in winning an injunction that forced Smith to stop using the title.  In the early 1930s, DeLeath participated in experimental broadcasts for yet another new medium: television.

February 13, 2003

This week's Hit of the Week is brought to you by
Worth Hotel - Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
300 Rooms with Tubs, Shower Baths and running Ice Water.
Lobby, 200 Guest Rooms and all Public Rooms Air-Conditioned.
(from circa 1930s postcard)

Perfect Record Label of This Week's Selection


Sunny Side UpClick on song title to stream or right clock on folder to download
The Clevelanders                                 1930
Buddy Blue, vocal
(Perfect 5257-B)

This week's selection is the title song from the 1929  movie musical Sunny Side Up which starred Janet Gaynor and Charles Farell.  Other very successful songs from the film included "I'm A Dreamer, Aren't We All?" "Turn On The Heat" and "If I Had A Talking Picture of You."  All of the songs, including other versions of "Sunny Side Up," have been featured elsewhere on this website.

The old orange colored Perfect disc that this comes from is not in especially great condition - but I think my audio restoration software did a decent job of cleaning it up.  Unfortunately, there was nothing the software could do to fix the very brief skip that you can hear about 38 seconds into the recording.

I know that "The Clevelanders" was a recording pseudonym used by both the Harry Reser and Phil Spitalny bands and perhaps others as well.  But I do not have any specific information on  exactly whose band is featured on this recording.  If anyone out there has that information, drop me an email and I will post it on next week's update. 

"Buddy Blue" is actually vocalist Smith Ballew who used that pseudonym on a number of records with several different bands.  Ballew's vocals were very prominent on dance band records for various "dime store" labels during the early Depression years.  He also fronted his own dance band. By the late 1930's  Ballew  had pretty much abandoned the band business in favor of a career in Hollywood where he was the star of several  B Western "singing cowboy" movies.  In the 1950s he retired from show business altogether and moved to Fort Worth, Texas where he worked as an engineer at the General Dynamics (now Lockheed-Martin) plant.

February 6, 2003

This week's Hit of the Week is brought to you by

(from 1925 ad)


What Do I Care? - MedleyClick on song title to stream or right clock on folder to download
International Novelty Orchestra             1926
(Victor 19929-B)

This selection comes from the Sigmund Romberg operetta Princess Flavia which opened at New York's Century Theatre on November 2, 1925.  Hungarian born composer Romburg is best remembered for other Broadway operettas such as The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, The Desert Song and The New Moon.   About a minute and a half into the recording, another tune from Princess Flavia, "Twilight Voices" can be heard.

The International Novelty Orchestra was an in-house studio orchestra for the Victor Talking Machine Company led by Nat Shilkret.



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