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1 hour
First broadcast:
Sunday 12 December 2010

Russell reprises two songs recorded on this day - Lee Wiley's Ghost of a Chance (1950) and Ben Selvin's Cheerful Little Earful (1930). Mention that this was also Frank Sinatra's birthday (he'd have been 95) leads to discussing the only recording session held on his birthday, in 1967, with Duke Ellington. We hear Follow Me from it.

Dionne Warwick's 70th birthday is celebrated with the playing of one of Burt Bacharach's most complex songs -the title music from Promises, Promises. Russell also recalls that it is the centenary of legendary record producer John Hammond and, in discussing him, plays Benny Goodman's Memories of You (with Rosemary Clooney) and Count Basie's Evenin' with Jimmy Rushing.

This leads to the derivation of "Jitterbug" - a cue for Cab Calloway's Jitter Bug. Finally, reviewing a new book about songwriter Dorothy Fields, Russell plays four Fields songs, concluding with Sinatra's version of The Way You Look Tonight.

Music Played

12 items
  • Image for Lee Wiley

    Lee Wiley A Ghost Of A Chance

    “Lee Wiley – Any Time, Any Day, Anywhere”

    Retrospective, RTR 4147

  • Image for Frank Sinatra And Duke Ellngton

    Frank Sinatra And Duke Ellngton Follow Me

    “Francis A & Edward K”

    Reprise, REPRISE 1024-2

  • Image for Mildred Bailey

    Mildred Bailey Don't Take Your Love From Me

    Mildred Bailey: Complete Columbia Recordings Vol 2

    Definitive Records, DRCD 11180

  • Image for Dionne Warwick

    Dionne Warwick Promises, Promises

    “The Burt Bacharach Songbook”

    Connoisseur Collection, VSOP CD 128

  • Image for Ben Selvin Orchestra: Helen Rowland, Vocal

    Ben Selvin Orchestra: Helen Rowland, Vocal Cheerful Little Earful

    Ben Selvin Volume 2

    The Old Masters, MB 117

  • Image for Benny Goodman Trio With Rosemary Clooney

    Benny Goodman Trio With Rosemary Clooney Memories Of You

    Bg Carnegie Hall Concert + 1950’s Material (4 CDS)

    Avid, AMBX 151

  • Image for Jones-Smith Incorporated

    Jones-Smith Incorporated Evenin'

    Count Basie: Original 1936-39 Recordings

    Naxos Jazz Legends, 8.120662

  • Image for Cab Calloway

    Cab Calloway Jitter Bug

    “Hi-De-Hi!” Cab Calloway 1930 - 1947

    ASV, CD AJA 5397

  • Image for Alma Cogan

    Alma Cogan Blue Again

    Alma Cogan – “Dreamboat” – Her 31 Finest 1953-56

    Retrospective, RTR 4121

  • Image for Banu Gibson

    Banu Gibson Bojangles Of Harlem

    ‘Let’s Face The Music & Dance’

    Swing Out, CD 112

  • Image for Shirley Booth

    Shirley Booth He Had Refinement

    “Broadway Songs, Hits & Showstoppers”

    Jasmine, JASBOX 18-4

  • Image for Frank Sinatra

    Frank Sinatra The Way You Look Tonight

    ‘Sinatra – Nothing But The Best’

    Reprise, 8122 79934 5

  • This Week's Show

    So the voting procedure on our website is now closed – and we must apologise for the problems many of you experienced in registering your votes when something (don’t ask us what – we don’t understand such things!) went awry with the system and started telling folk they’d already voted when they hadn’t. We can, however, reassure those of you who resorted to simple email that your votes are being counted... and we only have to wait a week now to discover whose duet it is that you consider the finest.

    While we’re about it, may we also ask for your understanding, with so many shoals of emails, postcards and such arriving in gratifyingly huge quantities, for our inability to reply to any but the ones that demand a response. Your kind remarks about the show should be answered - and would, in normal circumstances but with just Russell and Roy to reply, you will, we feel sure, understand that it’s sometimes quite impossible. If you’ve written with a query, hopefully we’ll be able to deal with it in due course.

    The book on Dorothy Fields that we mentioned in the show this week is “Pick Yourself Up – Dorothy Fields and The American Musical”, written by Charlotte Greenspan and published by OUP. A very thorough and well-researched treatment of a fascinating life, it stretches to nearly 300 pages, covering in detail her work not only as a songwriter but as a librettist and a writer of scenarios for Hollywood. The useful appendices include lists of all her songs and movie and theatre work.

  • Played In This Week's Show: Alma Cogan

    Played In This Week's Show: Alma Cogan

  • Recommendations

    We wonder what’s happened to the Retrospective label, which started so promisingly last year, after the demise of ASV, with a number of excellent albums, two of which featured in this week’s show: Since that initial flurry we’ve not heard from them – shame, because the standard of the ones we do have is high in every respect. “Lee Wiley – Any Time, Any Day, Anywhere” for instance, gives us 25 very well-chosen tracks from almost her entire recording career – from 1932 to 1954 and if you want one representative Wiley album, this could be it – and the cast of extras is one that money couldn’t buy: Johnny Green, Fats Waller, Berigan Hackett, Braff, Stacy – legends all, providing Miss Wiley with some perfect settings for her captivating vocalising. RTR 4147 is the number.

    Jasmine’s “Broadway Songs, Hits and Showstoppers” (Jasbox 18-4) is a treasure-trove for lovers of the stage musical with well-chosen representatives from 76 shows! Sometimes they’ve picked just one stand-out number, (good to hear, for instance, the original ‘New Fangled Tango’ from ‘Happy Hunting’ sung by Merman, Virginia Gibson & Leon Belasco) sometimes two or three from the same show – ‘My Fair Lady’ gets four tracks - it’s a feast of Broadway glory by original casts, from 1927 with ‘Showboat’ and Paul Robeson, continuing over 90 tracks (4 CDs) to “The Music Man” and Robert Preston. No surprise, to find the indefatigable Geoff Milne in charge of this happy assemblage. A fine Christmas gift for a showbiz fan!


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