|Welcome to the Tenth Floor of
Jan's 78 RPM Record Warehouse
All of the music selections presented here are from my personal collection of 78's. To listen to an individual selection, simply click on the record label.
|Tonko Bushi - Popular Folk Song
(Verse: Michael White, Melody: Masao Koga, Arr: Raymond Hattori)
Gladys Tsutsumi & Columbia Orchestra - Columbia Record A 1171 - 1212223
This record has been a mystery to me for a long time, and when I put it into the Warehouse I asked if anyone could shed light on its origins, and the singer. To my delight I have received a wonderful reaction from her son, Steve Okazaki from Indio, California. It is a very heartfelt tribute, which is shown below.
|Nature Boy (Eden Ahbez)
King Cole With Orchestra Conducted by Frank DeVol - Capitol - C 15054 - 2193-5D-2
Recorded August 22, 1947. Nat 'King' Cole was born Nathaniel Adams Coles on March 17th, 1916 in Montogomery, Alabama, the son of a Baptist pastor. The family moved to Chicago when he was four, and by the age of 12 he was playing the organ and singing in his father’s church. He formed his trio of piano, guitar, and bass, in Hollywood in the late thirties, and the concept was both innovative and influential. By 1947 Cole had abandoned small-group jazz in favour of a large orchestral accompaniment, and he went on to become one of the most popular vocalists of the 50's and 60's. His string of hits was joined in 1947 with this magic song written by Eden Ahbez, one of the strangest songwriters of the pre-Hippie era. He had a Christ-like appearance, lived in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, was a vegetarian, and lectured on Hollywood street corners about Oriental mysticism. Ahbez implored Nat King Cole's manager to look at his manuscript of "Nature Boy." Cole recognized the Yiddish melody, liked the lyrics and wanted to record it for Capitol Records. The problem was that they needed to secure the publishing rights, but couldn’t find Ahbez. Finally he was located, camped beneath the first L in the "Hollywood" sign. Later Ahbez spent time with Brian Wilson before The Beach Boys recorded Pet Sounds. Nat 'King' Cole died from lung cancer on February 15th, 1965.
|On the good ship Lollipop (Clare, Whiting)
Mae Questal (The Betty Boop Girl) (Vocal, with Orchestral Accomp.) - Decca - F.5565 - 39251A
Recorded in New York, January 16th, 1935. This novelty song was introduced in the 1934 movie Bright Eyes by the immensely popular 30s child actress Shirley Temple. Actually the song is not about a ship, but actually refers to, and was sung aboard, a Douglas DC-2 airliner. This version is sung by Mae Questel (not Questal as printed on the label) who was born September 13th, 1908, started her career in Vaudeville, and achieved fame as the cartoon voice of Betty Boop. Beside lending her voice to Betty Boop animations she also dubbed Olive Oyl in the other very successful Fleisher Studios cartoon Popeye. From 1931 until 1939, Questel provided the voice of Betty Boop in more than 150 animated shorts. Her last appearance as Betty Boop was in 1988 in a cameo appearance in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Mae Questel died on January 4th, 1998 at the age of 89 in New York City.
|Spreek je Moeders taal! (Speak your mother's language!) - Parodistische Potpourri I + II (Tekst: Kees Pruis)
Kees Pruis met Odeon orkest - Odeon - A 164261 a + b - Da 1665
Recorded in Berlin, September 5, 1932. In this remarkable medley Kees Pruis can be heard complaining about the amount of music from the USA, the UK and Germany broadcast on Dutch Radio in spite of the availability of original Dutch music. To make the point, many international (especially German) hit tunes from that era are included. He sings: "We despise and violate our own beautiful language!" and laments that many languages can be heard spoken in trains and on the buses. Despite dating from the early thirties, this assertion of nationalism is sadly still prevalent in our multicultural society.
|Sax-O-Phun (Rudy Wiedoeft)
Saxophone Solo by Rudy Wiedoeft (Oscar Levant at the Piano) - Columbia 4037 - A 3605
Recorded London, July 1926. Although the saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax as early as 1841, to begin with the instrument was confined to military bands and circus shows. Rudy Wiedoeft, who was born in Detroit on January 3rd, 1893, first learnt to play the clarinet, but later switched to the saxophone, and mastered the whole family, from alto to bass. As there were hardly any music written for the sax, he started writing his own, and to his surprise there was a huge public demand for his compositions. In 1916 he moved to New York where he recorded his first solo disc on the saxophone. He became known as a virtuoso saxophonist, made more than 300 recordings for many different record labels, and did much to popularize the saxophone as an instrument in both the U.S. and overseas. He remained a very popular entertainer into the 1920s and performed regularly on radio, but his style began to sound increasingly dated as his career continued into the 1930s. But that was not yet the case in 1926 when he embarked on a tour of Europe with the famous pianist Oscar Levant. They recorded this title at the British Columbia studios, which just had been equipped with new electrical equipment. He died from cirrhosis of the liver on February 18th, 1940.