Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Hits of '33
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Classic Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
A Good Year from a Skewed Perspective
Marc Dolan | Brooklyn, NY USA | 12/30/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"On the whole, ASV is a great company for reissues of prewar singles. Their discs are relatively cheap, they feature original singles rather than rerecordings or radio transcriptions, and they give you information about the original recording without making you pay an arm and a leg for an expensive booklet--a nice happy medium. This Hits series is a little skewed, though, and reflects the British origins of this series. By the 1930s, American recordings by and large led the world, at least as far as "hits" were concerned, but these records frequently feature British covers of American hits. The Al Bowlly single is fine, in large part because Bowlly is backed by Ray Noble, a truly international recording star of the period. However, even if the inclusion of one single by Sam Browne is arguably possible, the inclusion of two reflects clear bias. Similarly, Layton and Johnstone and Hutch may make sense, but Roy Fox's "I Cover the Waterfront" is a pale substitute for Eddy Duchin's--and Marie Burke?!! This CD is cheap enough to buy just for the real (American)hits, so get it for the wonderful singles by Connee Boswell, Louis Armstrong, Bing Cfosby, the Mills Brother, Fred Astaire, Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen, Paul Robeson, Jack Teagarden, and Gene Autry. Then program your CD player to skip the British stuff."
Not Many Better Covering The Thirties
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Living Era series from ASV Ltd. of London first came out in 1996 and although, like all the others in the series, many of the artists will be more familiar to British listeners, there is no denying the consistent quality of both the sound reproduction (remarkable considering these are 75 years old!) and the performances, even if some are totally unfamiliar to North American audiences.
In this volume covering 1933, tracks 2, 4, 6, 7 and 17 were not hits in North America that year by any artist. In the case of I'm Getting Sentimental Over You, the Dorsey Brothers had a # 20 with it in 1934, and in 1936, by which time they had split, Tommy recorded it again, taking it to # 8 after which it became his familiar theme song.
Those that were hits on both sides of the Atlantic for the artists presented here include: Did You Ever See A Dream Walking? from the film Sitting Pretty, a # 5 for Bing, although the top # 1 was by Eddie Duchin with vocal by Lew Sherwood; Lover, from the film Love Me Tonight, by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra with vocal by Jack Fulton (# 3); Dinner At Eight from the movie of the same name by prolific recording artist Ben Selvin & His Orchestra (# 14); Night And Day, from the Broadway musical Gay Divorcee, a # 1 for 10 weeks actually billed to Leo Reisman & His Orchestra with vocal by Fred Astaire; Sophisticated Lady, a # 3 by Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra, with solos by alto saxophonist Toby Hardwick, clarinetist Barney Bigard, trombonist Lawrence Brown and, of course Duke at the piano; Stormy Weather, # 1 actually billed to Leo Reisman & His Orchestra with vocal by Harold Arlen; Brother, Can You Spare A Dime, the definitive song of the Great Depression from the Broadway musical Americana, a # 1 for Bing with Lennie Hayton's orchestra; I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues, from Earl Carroll's Varieties of 1932, a # 20 for Benny Goodman & His Orchestra with vocal by Jack Teagarden; Temptation, a # 3 in February 1934 for Bing; and Last Roundup, a # 12 for Gene Autry.
These were hit songs in North America, but not by the artists presented here (the hit versions are shown in brackets): It's The Talk Of The Town (Glen Gray & His Casa Loma Orchestra - vocal by Kenny Sargent - # 6); Try A Little Tenderness (Ted Lewis & His Orchestra - # 6); Lazy Bones (Ted Lewis & His Orchestra - # 1); Blue Prelude (Bing Crosby - # 10); I Cover The Waterfront (Eddie Duchin & His Orchestra - vocal by Lew Sherwood - # 3); Don't Blame Me (Ethel Waters, # 6); By A Waterfall (Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians - # 6 from the film Footlight Parade - where Dick Powell DOES sing it); The Shadow Waltz (Bing Crosby - # 1); and How Deep Is The Ocean [How High Is The Sky] (Guy Lombardo - # 4).
Even so, this is still a nice volume presenting the music of that grim year, in terms of world economics, rounded out by 3 pages of informative liner notes written by Peter Dempsey, something you come to expect from CDs originating in the U.K., although now you can only get a copy through used sales as it seems ASV has been bought out by Universal Music Group which has reportedly discontinued all their many volumes. And that's a pity."