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Music « Grandpa's iPod

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Jean Sablon, uncertain date

February 3, 2010

This side of the record doesn’t have a date on it, but the reverse is 5/19/47. I assume this is from somewhere around the same date. I’ll post a picture of the label later.

Jean Sablon

Jean Sablon was a French singer who was compared to Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and other big names of the time. I think he had a weekly show on CBS.  Apparently my grandpa really liked him, as I have several of his programs and they’re all in pretty bad shape.

This program, which is sponsored by DuBarry, includes “It’s Almost Like Being in Love” (“from the new Broadway musical Brigadoon”), “Rio De Janerio,” “Accordion” (in French), and “Don’t Take Your Love from Me.” There are also a couple of commercials for DuBarry face powders and creams.

As always, here is the link to the relevant page on my bandcamp site.

I’ve had a hard time finding out  much about the contents of this record. It’s a little odd. I think I’ve figured it out, though.

The label makes it look like this was the on-air broadcast disc. But when I played it, I found that at the beginning there’s one piece of music by a different band, then some dead air, then the second part of a “Music by Warrington” program which just fades out at the end. My guess is that my grandpa saw that there was enough blank space at the beginning of the record to squeeze in another song, so that’s what he did after the broadcast but before taking the disc home.

The first piece is “Siboney.” In my grandpa’s notes he said it was by Warrington, but it’s obviously not part of that program. The announcer says it’s “Andre Castellanich and his 45 Caballeros.”  I’m not sure of the spelling of the band leader’s name, and a Google search using various spellings found nothing for either him or the band. Maybe someone out there can fill me in on them.  Edit: thanks to reader Marcel for letting me know that the bandleader is André Kostelanetz.

Now, “Music by Warrington.” Johnny Warrington was a band leader, composer and arranger who had a show out of Philadelphia in the 1940s, which is where this broadcast came from. He became a prolific arranger in the ’50s and his arrangements are still popular with big bands. This program (which is part two of two, and I don’t have part one) includes “Barcarolle,” “Later Tonight,” and “Thou Swell.” Of the arrangement of “Barcarolle,” the announcer says, “Offenbach never meant it that way but it swings merrily along just the same.”  “Later Tonight” is sung by Jack Hunter.  All Google could find about him was that he sang with the Elliot Lawrence Orchestra in Philadelphia.

Another challenge of this recording was the noise level. At the beginning of the record it’s not bad, but toward the end it’s very noisy and has a lot of pops. I had to set the noise reduction kind of in the middle so I didn’t take too much away from the parts that weren’t too bad.

One last note–love my grandpa’s spelling on the label. :)

Here the direct link to my bandcamp page for this program.

Here’s another episode of “To Your Good Health from the House of Squibb.”  As always, we have the Squibb Orchestra and Chorus of Stars directed by Lyn Murray. Today’s special guest soloist is Audrey Marsh. The program is all music by Vincent Youmans including “Flying Down to Rio,” “More than you Know,” “Orchids in the Moonlight” and “Through the Years.” There is also a nice ad for Squibb Tooth Powder that makes reference to a visit to a warship, and a great public service announcement about not paying more than the government’s posted maximum price for items that were price-restricted during the war.

Direct link to the download page at Bandcamp.

More about the Landt Trio

January 2, 2010

The wonders of the internet! After I posted today’s recording I was able to get in touch with Skip Landt, whose father was part of the Landt Trio. I asked him to share any memories or stories about his father and the group. Here’s what he had to say after hearing this recording for the first time ever.

Most of the talking and joking on this broadcast is my dad, Dan Landt.  Hearing the program for the first time since it went off the air (in 1948!) was a thrill.  But I was amazed at how informal and unrehearsed the “filler”between songs sounded.  What you are hearing was my dad’s “radio voice,” not the way he spoke at home. As other  broadcasts become available, I’ll be curious to hear if they all had  that “put on” quality or if he was sometimes more relaxed.

The trio got started when my dad returned to Scranton, Pa, after serving in WW1 and later doing various jobs; most immediately, selling inflatable “bubble boats” in Florida. In 1927 he was 31; his youngest brother, Jack, was 16, with Karl (the golden voice) in between. Jack and Karl were on the local radio station singing brother duets, sponsored by a battery company (the full story is at landttrio.netfirms.com). Over their mother’s objections, they went to New York City to get into vaudeville, not realizing that it was dying, but instead became pioneers of early radio. They had a number of programs, first (I think) on NBC, then CBS. These included “The 8:15” (in those days an “early morning” program), and “Take it Easy Time,” along with many others including “A Violet for You” and backup singing on the Bob Hawk Show. But their longest running was Sing Along with the Landt Trio, the first “sing along” program on the air—long before Mitch Miller.  It was also, in an extended format, one of the first shows to have game segments.  In “Dig for silver” they’d have a fishbowl of coins — if an audience member got the right answer, she’d get to dig in and keep whatever she came up with. They had other ”name that tune” games with bigger prizes.  What I recall best, visiting such shows with a studio audience, was the way they would get applause. Not only was there a big “APPLAUSE” sign held up for all to see, but a staff member also would hold up a large stuffed animal — which went to the person applauding loudest!

Life has a strange circularity through the generations. As a teenager it never struck me that my enjoyment of folk music “hootnannies” with audience singing was directly related to the audience participation on Sing Along with the Landt Trio.  And I couldn’t have imagined that now, all these years later, after retiring from my career as a college administrator I would teach at a music school (the Old Town School of  Folk Music in Chicago), organizing “jams” which feature group sing-alongs. Or — though there’s nothing more logical — I couldn’t have imagined that I would develop a class in singing/playing ”the old songs,” those from first half of the 20th century and before: just the kind of songs featured on Sing Along with the Landt Trio.  I invite all readers of this blog who live in or visit Chicago to email me or just to stop by the Old Town School, 4544 N. Lincoln,  If you come by at 10 am on Thursdays, you’ll be my guests in Room B-1. We’ll sing “the old songs” like “You are My Sunshine” and, yes, “When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin Along” with a great backup band. Thanks, Lisa, for bringing back such wonderful memories!  skiplandt@sbcglobal.net

And that’s why I’m doing this blog: so people can reconnect (or connect for the first time) with the music and memories contained in these recordings. Thanks, Skip.

Happy New Year!

I’m back with a fun program to start the new year: Sing Along with Karl, Jack and Dan, who were also known as The Landt Trio. This website gives the history of the group along with a catalog of known recordings. There aren’t many.

This program is dated March 27, 1944 for broadcast on WJR on March 28 at 1:00am. Songs include “I Want to be Happy,” “So Little Time,” “Someone Else is Taking my place,” “When the Red Red Robin goes Bob-bob-bobbin’ along” and “Ikki Tikki Tambo” (or something close to that, it’s a little hard to catch exactly what they’re saying). The whole program is a lot of fun; my kids enjoyed listening as I recorded and edited it.

Here’s the direct link to the download page at my bandcamp site.

“To help you relax and renew the energy all of us need these days,” here’s a recording of To Your Good Health from the House of Squibb. Lyn Murray directs the Squibb Orchestra and Chorus of Stars, with Hubie Hendrie.

This program includes a medley from the Broadway revival of “The Merry Widow,” (“Girls Girls Girls,” “Veila” and “Maxim’s”), “Molly on the Shore,” and “Where e’er You Walk.”

Here’s the link to the download page for screen readers.

I’m planning to take a little break from Grandpa’s iPod for Christmas, but don’t go away—I’ll be back soon with more unique radio programs!

Contrary to what this broadcast is called, this isn’t a rehearsal. It’s a program that was produced in Detroit featuring Gus Haenschen and his orchestra. I found a great site that gave a history of Gus Haenschen (Tim’s Phonographs and Old Records), who also went by the name of Carl Fenton until 1927. Here’s the info that’s pertinent to this recording:

During the World War II years he conducted an all-string orchestra for a weekly show from Detroit sponsored by beer manufacturer Stroh’s. The show was broadcast in the Mid-West (Stroh’s was not sold in the Eastern states at the time). Singers included Margaret Daum and baritone Thomas L. Thomas.

That’s exactly what we have here, including Margaret Daum and Thomas L. Thomas. Unfortunately this show is not complete. My disc is marked #2 of 2, and I don’t seem to have #1. It also ends abruptly during an awesome commercial for Stroh’s Bohemian Beer. I do have quite a few other recordings of “Gus Haenschen’s Rehearsal” (15, I think), many of which are complete—and some of which I’m sure will have that great commercial in its entirety.

This program includes “I’m Making Believe,” “Tango of Roses” (in a rumba arrangement), and “White Christmas.” The first piece on the record is not credited during the program, but my grandpa’s index cards include a song called “Wang Wang Blues.” I’m guessing that’s what the first piece is.

One thing that makes me chuckle every time I hear this is the enthusiastic applause of the studio audience… which sounds like about three people.

If you’re using a screen reader, click here to go to my BandCamp site for a Flash-free download.

Howard Smith, 12-16-1944

December 18, 2009

Today’s recording isn’t Christmas-y, but it was originally recorded on December 16, 1944 for broadcast on WJR on December 17, 1944 at 3:15-3:30am. That seems a suitable time of day for this recording, since (in my opinion) it would make a great cure for insomnia. This just isn’t my favorite style of music.

This is a program of Howard Smith on piano. He was born October 9, 1910 and from what I could find about him seemed to be a popular studio musician at the time. He recorded with Adrian Rollini (Adrian Rollini 1934-1938), Red Norvo (Knockin’ on Wood), Tommy Dorsey (This is Tommy Dorsey), and Tommy Dorsey and the Clambake Seven (The Complete Tommy Dorsey Vols. V and VI ) (thanks to www.raysherman.net/BANDS2.html for all that info). He also played with the Freeman String Band in the early ’50s (thanks to www.dixieswing.com/vol16.pdf). That’s about all I could find about him.

This recording contains only three songs: Body and Soul, I Told Every Little Star, and When a Woman Loves a Man. They are solo piano, no other instruments. The actual program was a little longer, but I wasn’t able to play the entire disc due to cracking and delamination of the shellac around the edges of the disc. I think I must have only lost one song though, since my recording is around 13 minutes long and each disc side can only hold 15 minutes. There are a some bursts of noise throughout the recording each lasting a few seconds long. I did my best with noise reduction but they’re still there.

This definitely isn’t my favorite disc in the collection, but since today is the 66th anniversary of its airing I thought it was as good a time as any to post it.

Here’s the link to the download page for those using screen readers: 12-16-1944

Correction: Christmas 1946

December 15, 2009

I just found out that “Winter Wonderland” on my Christmas 1946 disc is from Perry Como’s “Perry Como Sings Merry Christmas Music.” Windows Media Player automagically found it for me when I was sampling my MP3 conversion. Now I feel like I’m being watched somehow.

Christmas 1946

December 15, 2009

Edited 12/15, 9:30am: I realized after posting this that there was a long period of silence at the beginning of the audio file. I’ve removed that and reloaded the file.

Today we move ahead a year to the disc my grandpa made for Christmas 1946. Here we have lots of Bing and what I think is Glenn Miller and his orchestra doing Jingle Bells—not sure about that, though. It’s a fun arrangement.

The songs on this disc include Walking in a Winter Wonderland, Silent Night, Jingle Bells, O Come All Ye Faithful, and White Christmas. I’m pretty sure that everything but Jingle Bells is Bing Crosby (but again, I’m not positive). Winter Wonderland is by Perry Como,  O Come All Ye Faithful is by Frank Sinatra and Silent Night is by Bing Crosby (thanks to readers Ed and Ray for getting me all the correct attributions). This recording is very noisy, despite having been run through my noise reduction program. I think it must have gotten a lot of play over the years.

Thanks again for all the encouraging messages and comments. I always welcome any suggestions or information that you might be able to pass along!

Here’s the link to the download page for those using screen readers: Christmas 1946