|Welcome to the Ninth 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.
|Day Dream - Fox Trot
(Billy Strayhorn - Duke Ellington)
Johnny Hodges and Orchestra (An Ellington Unit) - Bluebird B-11021-A
in Chicago's Victor Studio, November 2nd, 1940. Without the fluent, romantic and lyric tone of the alto-sax of Johnny Hodges, the Duke Ellington Orchestra would never have sounded the way it did.
Hodges (born 25 July 1907,Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) played for almost 40 years with Ellington. He picked up the soprano sax at 14, later switched to the alto. He played in a number of minor bands in Boston and New York in the early 20s, and replaced Sidney Bechet when the latter left Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith. After joining Chick Webb in 1926 he found his home in the Duke Ellington orchestra in 1928. He played on hundreds of Ellington records, soloing magnificently on many. From 1951-1955 he led his own band but maintained an Ellingtonian style. Ellington and Billy Strayhorn both wrote their most poetic and lyrical pieces for Hodges, including the one presented here. Hodges was accompanied on this recording by a small group of the Ellington Orchestra: Cootie Williams (t), Lawrence Brown (tb), Harry Carney (bar.sax), Jimmy Blanton (b), Sonny Greer (dr) and of course Ellington on piano.
|Leentje uit de Lange Niezel (L.Davids)
Louis Davids - HMV - B.4996 - 30-12194
Recorded in HMV Studio 2, Abbey Road, London, June 5th, 1934. (film-)actor / singer / comedian / theatre-manager Louis Davids was born in Rotterdam, December 19th 1883, as one of four children of Levi and Kaatje Davids, who had a travelling vaudeville act. His two sisters Rika and Heintje and brother Hakkie also became well-known artists, but not as immensely popular as Louis. Although he only put his own name under his songs, like these lyrics, most of his string of hits were written by the talented Jacques van Tol (1897-1969). In this song Leentje is a girl who is living in a street called the Lange Niezel, in the heart of the Red Light District of Amsterdam. Leentje is fond of the players Wels and Bakhuys of the national soccer team and she likes things ‘fast’ like the modern Diesel Trains. Although there isn’t a piquant word in the song, the audience knows how to use its imagination. Click here for the English translation of the song. Louis was a perfectionist; he recorded most of his records in London because of the outstanding reputation of both the studios and orchestras. A remarkable detail is that the same Abbey Road Studio 2 would become the home studio of the Beatles, some 30 years later. Davids and Van Tol were adept at voicing the emotions of their working class audience, who had it tough in the Depression years. Davids, who was Jewish, died July 1st, 1939, 10 months before the German occupation. Van Tol chose the wrong side. During the war he wrote new anti-Semitic words for some of his old Davids material for the German controlled Dutch radio cabaret… .
|Let's have another cup o' coffee (Berlin)
Phil Spitalny's Music - Hit of the week - D-3-4 - 1206A 3
New York City, April, 1932. A jolly song, presented here to focus on the remarkable Hit of the Week Records;
|My Yidishe Momme - Part 2 (in Yiddish) (Yellen & Pollack)
Sophie Tucker, Comedienne - With Ted Shapiro and his Orchestra - Columbia WA 7522 - 4962
in London, June 20th, 1928. Sophie Tucker was born as Sonia Kalish-Abuza on Jan. 13, 1884 while her parents were trying to flee to the USA. Her father feared repercussions for having deserted the Russian army. They settled in Hartford, Connecticut, where they ran a kosher restaurant where Sophie became a singing waitress at the age of 10. In 1906 she moved to New York and by 1911 she was a headliner in the Ziegfield Follies. Jack Yellen and Lew Pollack wrote this song in the mid-20’s especially for her and she recorded it in English on one side and in Yiddish on the other. The Germanic language Yiddish has unfortunately disappeared from European streets since 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis. I asked the help of Leonard Prager, distinguished specialist at the University of Haifa on Yiddish language. He generously offered to transcribe the Yiddish lyrics, which can be found in this issue of The Mendele Review.
|Olé Guapa (Malando)
Tango-orkest Malando - Decca AM 1427 - M 32362
Recorded Hilversum, The Netherlands, July 6th, 1948. Although the music and name of Malando seem to indicate that he is an authentic Argentinean, he was born as Arie Maasland, son of a Dutch carpenter, on May 26th, 1908 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. As a child he learned to play the piano and at the age of 15 he played in the orchestra of his high school in The Hague. In his early 20’s he bought himself an accordion, and became a professional musician by playing in various bands and accompanying silent movies in cinemas. In 1935 he played with a band in The Hague on a double bill with Eduardo Bianco and his Argentinean orchestra. Arie was inspired by Bianco’s tangos and composed the same year his first tango “Anny”, named after his wife. The following year he composed the tango that would make him world famous. He called it ‘Cosmopoliet’, after the restaurant where the band he was part of,‘The Jumping Jacks’, had an engagement. He wrote it whilst his wife was at the shops. It soon became a big succes for 'The Jumping Jacks'. People advised Arie to publish his tango. He went to the publisher ‘Muziek Smith’ in The Hague who rejected it because in their opinion there were already too many tangos on the market. Arie then offered to pay half of the publishing costs. The publisher agreed, on the condition that both the name of the tune and Arie’s own name would be changed to something more Spanish sounding. So “Anny” became “Olé guapa” and Arie Maasland became Malando. He started his own band and the rest is history. The Malando orchestra became immensely popular, especially between 1944-1960. The many tangos he composed are amongst the most played around the world. In the sixties and seventies the band frequently toured Japan with great success. Malando died Nov. 22nd, 1980.