Dismuke's Hit Of The Week
Previous Selections
September 2001

September 27, 2001

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

Electrol oil furnace ad 1927

Dream House
Charles W. Hamp                               1928
(Columbia 1371-D  mx 145945)
New!(Audio file updated 8/29/02)
This catchy recording with an excellent jazz accompaniment has been in my collection for who knows how long - but I only discovered it for the first time a few weeks ago.  Its always fun to discover that you have a treasure that you didn't realize you had.

I don't have much biographical information about Hamp other than the fact that he recorded a number of sides for the Columbia and Okeh labels in the late 1920's.  I wonder if he might have been related to Johnny Hamp, a famous bandleader from the era.  Regardless, as a jazz singer, he was certainly more than competent.  And I'll bet you never before realized that "dream" can be a three syllable word!

September 20, 2001

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

1933 White Rock mineral water ad

Anything That's Part Of You
Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians     1934
(Brunswick 6949 mx LA-164)
The great stylistic dichotomy of the dance band era was between the so-called "hot" bands and the "sweet" bands.  Of the sweet bands, Guy Lombardo was the undisputed king.

The old adage "if it works, don't fix it" was not lost on Lombardo.  His was one of the most enduring bands of the era - lasting from the early 1920s until his death in 1977.  And despite a half century of almost constantly changing musical trends, his basic style, which he called "The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven" remained more or less unaltered .  Like many of the longer lasting bands, however, his output after World War II was of diminished quality - due in part, I suspect, to a lack of new tunes appropriate for the genre.

I  can only take Guy Lombardo's music in limited doses. Hearing too much of it is like having a mouth full of saccharine.  On the other hand, a number of his recordings from the late 1920s and early 1930s - such as this week's selection - have a certain haunting charm.  I like to mix them in with a stack of "hot jazz" and swing records and use them as contrast.

September 13, 2001
Like everyone, I am shocked and horrified at the events over the past few days.  What happened was not just an attack on New York or the United States - it was an attack on civilization itself. 

Above is a photo I took a couple of years ago on a trip to New York City.  I liked the way that the Twin Towers in the distance appeared to frame the historic Woolworth Building.  Since Tuesday, I have been looking at the many photographs that I took during that trip.  It is still so hard to believe.

My thoughts go out to all whose lives have been, in some way, impacted by this horrendous evil.

One of the frustrations that vintage record collectors face is that the old shellac 78 rpm discs are relatively fragile.  Both of this week's selections are a demonstration of that fact.  When I acquired them, both had hair line cracks.  Eventually, these cracks will grow worse causing a chunk of each record to break out rendering them totally unplayable.  I have decided to feature them while they are still listenable. 

Knock, Knock, Who's There?
Fletcher Henderson and his Orchestra
Roy Eldridge & Edward Cuffee, vocal       1936
(Victor 25373-A)

Remember "knock knock" jokes?  Yes, they had them back in the 1930s too. 

Roy Eldridge, featured on the vocal, was one of the swing era's legendary trumpet players.  Eldridge was among the early black musicians to break the "color barrier" by performing with the Fred Rich, Gene Krupa and Artie Shaw orchestras.

Spanish Dream
Jack Pettis and his Pets                           1928
(Victor 21559-B)

I do not have a lot of information about Jack Pettis other than the fact that his band recorded under several pseudonyms and frequently featured some of the top white jazz talent of the late 1920s and early 1930s.

September 6, 2001

Rock! Daniel
Lucky Millinder and his Orchestra 
Rosetta Tharpe, vocal & guitar                 1941
(Decca 3956 mx 69440)

Tharpe - who was often referred to as "Sister" Rosetta Tharpe - was  a very prominent gospel singer in the late 1930s and early 1940s.  Her "cross over" work with the very much this-worldly sound of artists such as the Millinder band, however, alienated some of the more religious members of her audience.  In addition to being a talented vocalist, Tharpe was also an accomplished guitar player.

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