One More Chance
Hit of the Week Orchestra
Bert Hirsch, Director
Scrappy Lambert, vocal
(Hit of the Week 1158)
This five minute Hit of the Week features an
opening announcement advertising the record's extended playing time.
At the very end is a plug for the next week's record "at your newsstand."
Bing Crosby's plaintive rendition is probably
the most well remembered version of this tune - and deservedly so.
But I kind of enjoy hearing it played in dance tempo on this recording.
Scrappy Lambert made a ton of records in the
late 1920s and early 1930s with a wide variety of bands. He also
performed on a musical radio program sponsored by Smith Brothers Cough
Drops. Billy Hillpot was cast as "Trade" and Lambert played the part
of "Mark." The characters names came from the words "Trade
Mark" which appeared below the famous drawing of the bearded brothers on
Last week I mentioned that the later five
minute Hit of the Week records were often broken into two "tracks" each
featuring a different selection. This week's selections have
been taken from such tracks - each from a different Hit of the Week disc.
Rudy Vallee and Orchestra
(Hit of the Week D-2-3)
Rudy Vallee was by far the biggest name star
to record for Hit of the Week - and some issues even included his photograph
on the reverse side. Thanks in large part to his popular radio variety
show, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Vallee was one of America's most
well known entertainers. He was also considered to be a "heartthrob"
by millions of young ladies - in much the same way that Frank Sinatra and
Elvis Presley would be to later generations.
This particular recording was recorded in March
1932 and hit the newsstands on April 14. "Lovable" was the second track
on the record - the first being "By The Fireside." Vallee's band
was called "The Connecticut Yankees" though, for some reason, it was simply
referred to as "and Orchestra" on this particular record. I have
other Vallee Hit of the Weeks that list the band's name. Furthermore, "The
Rudy Vallee Discography" by Larry F. Kiner makes no mention of a different
band being used for the recording session.
Stay 'Way From My Door
Erno Rapee's Orchestra
Helen Rowland, vocal
(Hit of the Week M-5-A-I)
I do not know much about Erno Rapee except
for the fact that, during the early 1920s, he was the director of the Capital
Grand Orchestra out of the Capital Theatre in New York City. A friend
tells me that he also worked out of New York's Roxy Theatre. I also
know that he was born in 1891 and died in 1945.
Based on the few recordings I have heard, I
have become a fan of Helen Rowland's vocals. I think her style
was very suited for the times. Today, she is sadly forgotten. You
can also hear her singing "Let's Have Another Cup O' Coffee" by going to
this section's December 21. 2000 update.
This selection was the first of two tracks
on the record- the second being "Some of These Days" which also featured
a Rowland vocal.
The Backs Go Tearing By
Freddie Rich's Radio Orchestra
(Hit of the Week l-1)
This track is rather short - only about 1 minute
15 seconds long. The tune is a Dartmouth College fight song.
The longer first track on the record was "I'm Just A Dancing Sweetheart."
Sing A New
Song / My Extrardinary Girl
Hit of the Week Orchestra
(Hit of the Week E-4-F-I)
When Hit of the Week introduced its longer
playing record, it made a big deal about featuring "five minutes of continuous
music - almost twice the playing time of the average record." The
key word is "continuous." Because they are one-sided, a five minute
Hit of the Week contains about the same amount of music as a standard 10
inch two sided 78 rpm record.
The earlier five minute records usually featured
one selection - and on these, you can sometimes almost hear the arranger
trying to stretch the tune out to fill up the entire side. Aparently,
the longer selections did not prove to be especially popular as later Hit
of the Weeks - such as this week's selection - were very often split
into two sections or "tracks" featuing different tunes.
"Sing A New Song" is a typical early 1930s
"beat the Great Depression with a smile" song. If the feel good lyrics
weren't enough to put a smile on people's faces, then the cheerful
tune and peppy xylophone heard throught the recording probably did the
"My Extraordinary Girl" is also very typical
of the era - except for the odd musical effects heard during the vocal.