Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The Harry A. Yerkes Dance Orchestra is just one of the many ensembles run by Mr. Yerkes, including The Yerkes Marimbaphone Band, Yerkes Jazarimba Orchestra, Yerkes S.S. Flotilla Orchestra, Yerkes Bellhops, The Novelty Five, The Happy Six, etc. This tune, "Mystery, is one of our all-time favorites.
Harry A. Yerkes Dance Orchestra - Mystery
Saturday, January 24, 2009
The Original Memphis Five was a New Orleans jazz quintet founded in 1917 by trumpeter Phil Napoleon and pianist Frank Signorelli. The group made many recordings between 1921 and 1931, sometimes under different names, including Ladd's Black Aces and Carolina Cotton Pickers. In 1959 Phil moved to Miami, where he ran a club called "Napoleon's Retreat" where he played for many years.
The Original Memphis Five - Snake Hips
Friday, January 23, 2009
This highly obscure album is ostensibly credited to Colonel Sanders, but I'm not sure just how involved he was with the concept.
Then again, I hear a prominent mandolin, an instrument the Colonel was proficient at (he also released an album with his all-mandolin band), so maybe it really is him and not just a band of studio session hacks earning some quick wine money till their next Herb Alpert gig. I dunno.
This record was originally given away at Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in the 1960s.
Colonel Sanders - Spanish Flea
Thursday, January 22, 2009
In the late 1970s I heard this old Benny Bell song on the Dr. Demento show, which used to be syndicated to WKQQ-FM at 1am. Even after decades, I could still remember the verses and the dopey tard-waltz sound. I just stumbled upon it on the glorious repository of human knowledge that is archive.org and immediately went into reverie.
There's many other selections from Mr. Bell's recorded oeuvre on there, such as "Noses Run In My Family", "Go Take a Ship for Yourself", "Everybody Wants My Fanny", and "Pink Pills for Pale People"... but I've been too afraid to listen to them.
Benny Bell - Shaving Cream
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Kurt Widmmann (Born March 2, 1906, died Nov. 27, 1954) was an innovative bandleader with a flair for the exotic. Listen to this number, in which we hear a German band playing a faux-Brazilian Tango with a Hawaiian-style slide guitar solo.
He first played the Accordion in early incarnations of his band, and later the trombone. In the early 1930s he had a jazz quintet that played nightly at the Hotel Imperator. The Nazis came down on him about Jewish influences in his repertoire, and Widmann began trying to dodge the Gestapo by using English-sounding aliases like 'Billy Blackmoore' and 'John Webb'.
After World War II, his orchestra found some work in the clubs of the American Sector of Berlin, but never regained their pre-war stature.
Kurt Widmann and his Orchestra - In Rio de Janeiro
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
For years, I've been hoarding 78rpm homemade record acetates that I've found at yard sales and thrift shops, and I decided last year to finally actually play one and digitize it. It was posted for awhile to JSHNYC but so far no one has been able to tell me more about the artist.
Warning: this particular record is really, really, really whipped, but through the static you can hear that it's apparently a 1930's radio broadcast of Wallace Kiser and his Orchestra doing "Bumble Boogie" in the Blue Room of the Downing House, Lexington, KY.
I'm only arbitrarily guessing the spelling is Kiser - it could be Kaiser or Kyser. A Google search surprisingly brings up absolutely nothing for any of these spellings of the artist, nor for the venue. It's like this record came from an alternate universe or something. Anyone have a clue?
Other than pitch-correction, I've done absolutely nothing to this track yet, but with noise reduction and editing tools, I think I can restore it into something marginally listenable. Sooner or later. All in time.
Wallace Kiser and his Orchestra - Bumble Boogie
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Lale Andersen (March 23, 1905 – August 29, 1972) was a German chanson singer-songwritera born in Bremerhaven, Germany. She is best known for her interpretation of the song "Lili Marleen" in 1939, which became tremendously popular on both sides during the second World War, and ultimately got her in trouble with the Nazi party.
This song, "Jonny", was way ahead of its time, as it sounds like a much later recording than it is. It's listed on the Internet Archive as being public domain. Anyone know more about this song?
Lale Andersen - Jonny
Friday, January 16, 2009
One of my all-time favorite songs by this penultimate jug band, recorded on September 15, 1928.
My memory is hazy, but I'm pretty sure that Cheeseburger & Fries performed this a couple times during their 1990s heyday.
The Memphis Jug Band - Stealin' Stealin'
Thursday, January 15, 2009
An elegant German sextet, five vocalists and a pianist, all dressed in tuxedos, singing everything from Hebrew folk songs to American pop hits of the day. Here, they do a quirky reworking of the Marlene Dietrich classic from The Blue Angel. Also check out tonight's Voraxica blog entry about them.
Comedian Harmonists - Wir Sind Von Kopf Bis Fuss Auf Liebe Eingestellt
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Right up there with Anita Berber, Olga Desmond and Louise Brooks in our own personal Hall of Fame of wild and wonderful women, there's Eva Tanguay. Not just content to be sexually emancipated in her personal life, she made it the overarching theme of her career with songs like "It's All Been Done Before But Not the Way I Do It," "I Want Someone to Go Wild With Me" and "Go As Far As You Like".
She was infamous for her costumes made of money (dresses created entirely from stitched-together dollar bills, and a coat covered with shiny new pennies for sequins) and her temper (she once threw a stagehand down a flight of stairs during a stay in Louisville, KY).
Aleister Crowley himself saw her act and declared her a genius, "the perfect American artist, starry chaste in her colossal corruption".
Tragically, she made only two films in her entire career (Energetic Eva in 1916 and The Wild Girl in 1917) and but one lone audio recording, which you can hear here:
Eva Tanguay - I Don't Care
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Here's a rare demo track from Kentucky's very own
Miss Kitty Twister and her Hot Dogs, pictured above rockin' in noo yawk city.
Kitty Twister and her Hot Dogs - Kitty Twist (Demo)