Update On Links

March 18, 2013 - I'm now using various file sites with varying success. With over 200 albums listed here, obviously I cannot upload everything at once. So if you're dying to hear something, please post a comment on that particular post and I will move it up in the priority queue. Enjoy!

Any posts taken down as a result of the sniveling coward will be re-upped. Check the link below for where to find them in the event that this site is unable to repost them. Don't forget to bookmark http://whereismrvolstead.blogspot.com/ in the event that the internet terrorists shut this page down.

31 August 2013

Annie Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Here's the last cd of this set. What Have We Got To Lose? Stringing Along On A Shoestring, When My Ship Comes In and If I Had A Million Dollars all echo what a lot of people were thinking.  Our Penthouse On Third Avenue features one of my favorite singers, who to my ear just seems to sing perfectly. Almost as good as the Bea Wain vocal on Our Penthouse On Third Avenue is the photo of her (sorry, no scan). The editors chose Ramona's version of Raising The Rent because it includes the verse lyrics. Roy Bargy (p), Benny Bonacio (cl) and Bunny Berigan (tr) accompany here. Ramona also sings Now I'm A Lady, which is a tune Mae West sang in a film but never recorded. Gotta Go To Work Again from Ted Wallace is a tune that was used as instrumental background music in the film My Man Godfrey. This version features an unknown male vocal. Chick Bullock makes his appearance on the 3rd of 4 of these cds, so obviously the editors have good taste. Are You Making Any Money? (is all I want to know) was written by Herman Hupfield, of As Time Goes By fame. Even without Chick singing, it's a great tune and is the first song of his I'd ever heard (on another Depression collection found early in this blog). I'm not a big Disney fan, but Artie Shaw really made Whistle While You Work swing. Closing out the decade, the Mills Brothers and Louis Armstrong recorded WPA in 1940, and to close out the entire set is the extremely pollyanish, premature and rather insulting tune (considering it was recorded on February 3, 1930 just 3 months after Black Thursday) Happy Days Are Here Again. According to the liner notes, the song was taken to George Olsen, who was playing the Hotel Pennsylvania, who told his band to "play it to the corpses". It took a few choruses for the audience to warm to the tune. This version is by Ben Selvin and an all but anonymous studio orchestra. The book to this box set features a lot of great pictures of artists, sheet music, magazines, record sleeves, etc. It also has a selected bibliography for reading about the Great Depression, and an even bigger filmography. All in all, this set deserves its place as a resource for any study of the era. Very well done. Enjoy! +


01 - Phil Harris Coconut Grove Orchestra - What Have We Got To Lose?
02 - Henry 'Red' Allen - Stringin' Along On A Shoe String
03 - Eddie Cantor - When My Ship Comes In
04 - The Boswell Sisters - If I Had A Million Dollars
05 - Gene Kardos Orchestra - Our Penthouse On Third Avenue
06 - Ramona & Roy Bargy - Raising The Rent
07 - Chick Bullock's Levee Loungers - Annie Doesn't Live Here Anymore
08 - Connie Boswell - The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
09 - Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra - Now I'm A Lady
10 - Adrian Rollini & Orchestra - I Gotta Get Up And Go To Work
11 - Ted Wallace Orchestra - Gotta Go To Work Again
12 - Chick Bullock's Levee Loungers - Are You Making Any Money?
13 - Ozzie Nelson Orchestra - Got The Jitters
14 - Don Bestor Orchestra - Rain
15 - The Ink Spots - With Plenty Of Money And You
16 - Teddy Hill - I'm Feeling Like A Million
17 - Red Norvo Orchestra - Slummin' On Park Avenue
18 - Artie Shaw New Music - Whistle While You Work
19 - Louis-Mills Armstrong Brothers - WPA
20 - Kay Kyser & His Orchestra - Hey Pop! I Don't Wanna Go To Work
21 - Horace Heidt & Orchestra - Dawn Of A New Day
22 - Ben Selvin & His Orchestra - Happy Days Are Here Again

30 August 2013

I'd Rather Be A Beggar With You

As the liner notes suggest, Supper Time (by Irving Berlin) from the satirical revue 'As Thousands Cheer' might  be taken for a deserted woman's lament", but it was performed by Ethel Waters wearing rags with newspaper headlines declaring onstage: "Unknown negro lynched by a mob!" Not only was the poverty and the depression hurting people, but the show gave a "glimpse of ugliness behind the ornate safety curtain of theatrical make-believe" that was very real for many in the South. Track 2 here is from Russ Carlson, and is one of my favorite tunes of the era. Be sure to check out the fantastic TOM cds of Crown Records recordings. Banks were fair game, and so was Hoover. A Shanty In Old Shanty Town was recorded by several artists, including Chick Bullock (on another post). Chick steps up with a fine version of I'd Rather Be A Beggar With You. Guarded optimism marks the next few titles including Rome Wasn't Built In A Day, and If I Ever Get A Job Again. Ben Selvin suggests that good times are indeed on the way, although his entry here was recorded on March 8, 1932 when the country was anywhere but headed for recovery. Six of these tracks were recorded in 1932, three in 1934 and the rest in 1933. After the havoc of 1932 things were looking up, right? Ben Bernie, Ted Lewis, Ruth Etting and another Chick Bullock tune promise that the Grass Is Getting Greener (the latter with Bunny Berigan with the Victor Young Orchestra). The theme continues with the Boswells and We're In The Money. Yes, I believe! For all the effort to cheer up and convince people that it really was just a matter of 'confidence', but then Emil Coleman brings us down to earth with Let 'Em Eat Cake. And with that, we're back to a one-room flat. Enjoy! +


01 - Leo Reisman & His Orchestra - Super Time
02 - Russ Carlson High Steppers - Banking On The Weather
03 - Gene Kardos Orchestra - A Shanty In Old Shantytown
04 - Joe Morrison - (Here We Are) Rolling In Love
05 - Chick Bullock's Levee Loungers - I'd Rather Be A Beggar With Love
06 - Freddy Martin Orchestra - Here You Come With Love
07 - Bing Crosby - Let's Put Out The Lights And Go To Sleep
08 - Graham Prince Orchestra - The Clouds Will Soon Roll By
09 - Abe Lyman Orchestra - Rome Wasn't Built In A Day
10 - Gene Kardos Orchestra - If I Ever Get A Job Again
11 - Ben Selvin & His Orchestra - Them Good Old Times Are Coming Back Again
12 - Ben Bernie Orchestra - Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?
13 - Ted Lewis Orchestra - There's A New Day Coming
14 - Ted Lewis Orchestra - Buy American!
15 - Ruth Etting - Hey! Young Fella
16 - Victor Young Orchestra - The Grass Is Getting Greener
17 - Ted Fio Rito Orchestra - (I Went Hunting) And The Big Bad Wolf Was Dead
18 - Ramona With The Park Avenue Boys - We're Out Of The Red
19 - The Boswell Sisters - We're In The Money
20 - Dick Powell - The Road Is Open Again
21 - Emil Coleman's Riviera Orchestra - Let 'Em Eat Cake
22 - Freddy Martin Orchestra - In A One Room Flat

26 August 2013

Here It Is Monday And I've Still Got A Dollar

It's 1931 and Tin Pan Alley is working overtime trying to psyche America out of the Great Depression, but there were rebuttals. There's No Depression In Love and Now's The Time To Fall In Love were countered with I'm An Unemployed Sweetheart and Last Dollar. Unlike the current Depression, in the 1930s America wore its heart on its sleeve. I think the people who chose the tunes for this set must have had fun - following Lee Morse's contribution, the next four tracks feature the elusive 'Dollar' before giving in to the fatalistic resignation of Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams, followed by darkness and ultimately Alone Together (sans sous, people tended to stay home more). Coinciding with Hoover's attempts at injecting optimism as a panacea, not even Ted Lewis was convincing enough as Let's Have Another Cup Of Coffee slams the remedy with biting satire followed by Sittin' On A Rubbish Can and Underneath The Arches (a roof was a luxury, no doubt). Two desperate pleas follow before ending with It Must Be Swell To Be Laying Out Dead - and this was popular music! According to the book (again, pick up a copy of this set), an "RCA Victor executive heard the tune and ordered its immediate withdrawal from the market, and all existing copies and masters were destroyed. Even the blue file cards at the company's archives in Manhattan have no listing of the song." The record was re-released with another song in its place. As if denying reality could change it! Not all of the sides here are listed chronologically, but the playlist tells an interesting tale nonetheless. Not to be overlooked, of course, is the fantastic music. Enjoy! +


01 - Vincent Rose Orchestra - There's No Depression In Love
02 - Victor Young Orchestra - Now's The Time To Fall In Love
03 - Lee Morse - I'm An Unemployed Sweetheart
04 - Emil Coleman's Orchestra - I Got Five Dollars
05 - Paul Specht Orchestra - I Found A Million Dollar Baby
06 - Eddie Droesch Orchestra - Last Dollar
07 - Chick Bullock's Levee Loungers - Here It Is Monday And I've Still Got A Dollar
08 - Mildred Bailey - Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
09 - Sam Lanin's Orchestra - Whistling In The Dark
10 - Ben Selvin & His Orchestra - Dancing In The Dark
11 - Victor Young Orchestra - Alone Together
12 - The Mills Brothers, The Boswells, Bing Crosby - Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries
13 - The Boswell Sisters - (We've Got To) Put That Sun Back In The Sky
14 - Ambrose Orchestra - Shoo The Hoodoo Away
15 - Ben Selvin & His Orchestra - Whistle And Blow Your Blues Away
16 - Ted Lewis Orchestra - Headin' For Better Times
17 - Enric Madriguera's Hotel Biltmore Orchestra - Let's Have Another Cup Of Coffee
18 - Julia Gerity - Sittin' On A Rubbish Can
19 - Henry Hall & The BBC Dance Orchestra - Underneath The Arches
20 - Bing Crosby - Brother Can You Spare A Dime?
21 - Freddy Martin Orchestra - Remember My Forgotten Man
22 - Alex Bartha's Hotel Traymore Orchestra - It Must Be Swell To Be Laying Out Dead

24 August 2013

Hittin' The Ceiling

I've wanted to post this for a long time, and now it's been a full 15 years since it was first released and this blog is nearly 5 years old. It feels like a good time. Not enough can be said about this box set, in my view. And that's not merely for the several Chick Bullock sides, though that surely only boosts the overall value. The track and artist selection is exceptional, the sides are very clean, and the book is very informative as well as pure eye candy for audiophiles of this era. I heartily recommend picking up a copy for yourself, you won't be disappointed. "Bear Family Records presents an 88-track anthology of what are now termed Depression Era phonograph recordings cut between May 31, 1929, and April 10, 1940. This stretch of time takes in the last few months of the U.S.A.'s already flawed and disintegrating prosperity, the devastating Wall Street crash of October 29, 1929, and the nation's agonizingly gradual economic recovery throughout the 1930s. Musically, this massive compilation maps the mainstream mingling of real jazz with the predominant dance band and pop vocal aesthetic of the decade. Even months before the day when, as visiting Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca put it, the New York Stock Exchange "...lost various billions of dollars, a rabble of dead money that slid off into the sea," Tin Pan Alley composers were already fixating upon what was to become the ever more elusive pursuit of happiness by penning an almost alarming number of "happy" songs, such as "Get Happy" and "Happy Days Are Here Again." As the social fabric of a nation came apart at the seams and swiftly began to unravel, a subgenre of melodies with conspicuously comforting and persistently optimistic lyrics filled the air with phrases like "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries," and "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee." Sobering responses to the disparity between harsh realities and sugary reassurances included "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?," "Remember My Forgotten Man," "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum," "Cheer Up! Smile! Nertz!" (almost angrily delivered by an exasperated Eddie Cantor), and a remarkably cynical opus entitled "It Must Be Swell to Be Laying Out Dead." With the inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933 and the implementation of his New Deal programs (see Louis Armstrong's "W.P.A."), a series of frustratingly slow-paced improvements inspired monetarily motivated ditties with giddy titles like "We're in the Money," "We're Out of the Red," "What Have We Got to Lose?," "Buy America!," and the quaintly romantic "With Plenty of Money and You," sung to perfection near the end of this collection by the Ink Spots. The Great Depression has inspired a number of fascinating musicological retrospectives; this one belongs among the best of the lot." (Allmusic.com). Enjoy! +


01 - Smith Ballew Orchestra - Hittin' The Ceiling
02 - Ambrose Orchestra - I'm In The Market For You
03 - Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra - Happy Days Are Here Again
04 - Marion Hardy Alabamians - Song Of The Bayou
05 - Eddie Cantor - Eddie Cantor's Tips On The Stock Market
06 - Hotel Pennsylvania Music - A Cottage For Sale
07 - Ted Wallace & His Campus Boys - Get Happy
08 - Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra - Sweeping The Clouds Away
09 - McKinney's Cotton Pickers - Laughing At Life
10 - Sam Lanin's Orchestra - It's A Great Life (If You Don't Weaken)
11 - Hotel Pennsylvania Music - Cheer Up Good Times Are Coming!
12 - Eddie Cantor With Phil Spitalny's Music - Cheer Up!
13 - Ted Lewis Orchestra - Singing A Vagabond Song
14 - Jack Teagarden Orchestra - Son Of The Son
15 - Al Jolson - Hallelujah! Im A Bum
16 - Annette Hanshaw - Big City Blues
17 - Blue Steele Orchestra - There's A Tear For Every Smile In Hollywood
18 - Ruth Etting - Ten Cents A Dance
19 - Ruth Etting - Cigarettes Cigars
20 - Johnny Marvin - Just A Gigolo
21 - Libby Holman - Love For Sale
22 - Smith Ballew Orchestra - We Can Live On Love