On Now : Jeremy Vine
Playing: Sunshine On Leith by The Proclaimers
Image for 29/01/2012

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57 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 29 January 2012

After a jolly opening from Johnny Mercer with a little seasonal advice to wrap up warm, Russell marks what would have been the 80th birthday of singer Beverly Kenney, who died aged only 28. We hear two of her quite rare performances and Russell quotes from Beverly's youthful opinion - she wouldn't record with strings because "they were hokey".

Three performances follow by great swing artists backed by strings that Russell contends are anything but hokey - Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Mel Tormé and this begins another thread because the song Sinatra sings is by singer Russ Columbo; Bing's This Love Of Mine has Sinatra's name as co-composer while Mel's I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance was co-written by Bing.

Frankie Laine is up next with a song he wrote with Mel Tormé and the run is completed by Anita O'Day singing Laine's We'll Be together Again. Russell then features guitarist Johnny Smith [already heard with Beverly Kenney on Goodman's Oh Babe] and also a Jeri Southern session; after a brand new and sensational re-working, by Lorraine Feather and Stephanie Trick, of James P Johnson's Caprice Rag.

Music Played

13 items
  • Image for Johnny Mercer

    Johnny Mercer Button Up Your Overcoat

    Mosaic Select: Johnny Mercer [1946]

    Mosaic, MS-028

  • Image for Beverly Kenney

    Beverly Kenney The Surrey With The Fringe On Top

    Beverly Kenney Sings For Johnny Smith

    Roost [LP], LP 2206

  • Image for Beverly Kenney

    Beverly Kenney The More I See You

    “.. Sings With Jimmy Jones & The Basie-Ites”

    Roost [LP], LP 2218

  • Image for Frank Sinatra

    Frank Sinatra Prisoner Of Love

    Sinatra & Strings [Arranged By Don Costa]

    Reprise, 9 27020-2

  • Image for Lennie Niehaus

    Lennie Niehaus This Love Of Mine

    Bing Crosby Through The Years Vol 9: 1955-6

    Sepia, Sepia 1185

  • Image for Mel Tormé

    Mel Tormé I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You

    “Mel Tormé With Marty Paich & Dave Barbour”

    Giants Of Jazz, CD 53343

  • Image for Frankie Laine

    Frankie Laine It Ain't Gonna Be Like That

    “Frankie Laine – The Young Master”

    Flapper, PAST CD 7826

  • Image for Anita O'Day

    Anita O'Day We'll Be Together Again

    “Anita O’day: Four Classic Albums”

    Avid, AMSC 963

  • Image for Benny Goodman Sextet W. Rickey [Vocal]

    Benny Goodman Sextet W. Rickey [Vocal] Oh! Babe

    “ Benny Goodman – Ode To Swing”

    Columbia, SEGC 11 [EP]

  • Image for Nellie Lutcher

    Nellie Lutcher Hurry On Down

    “Hurry On Down – Nellie Lutcher”

    Memoir, CDMOIR 562

  • Image for Ella Fitzgerald

    Ella Fitzgerald You Don't Know What Love Is

    “Ella Fitzgerald – The War Years 1941-1947“

    MCA/GRP, GRP 26282

  • Image for Lorraine Feather & Stephanie Trick

    Lorraine Feather & Stephanie Trick Pour On The Heat [Based On 'Caprice Rag']

    Pre-Release Provided By Lorraine Feather

    Nouveau Stride, 001

  • Image for Jeri Southern

    Jeri Southern When The Sun Comes Out

    “Jeri Southern Meets Johnny Smith”

    Columbia, SX 1155

  • This Week's Show:

    The game of building a programme by making a progressive link using performer B singing performer A’s song and following this by performer C singing performer B’s and so on is one we’ve attempted before – and it has taken us into some strange places: Try it yourself: It’s quite fun and you can sometimes discover (usually in desperation) some quaint material you might otherwise not come across before! But you’ll seldom be able to get much beyond half a dozen links. If you CAN – and they’re not too obscure – let us know!

    The Victor Young/Herman Hupfeld recording of “Goopy Geer (He Plays Piano and he plays by ear) backed with ‘Down The Old Back Road’ might have helped in such a construction if we’d been able to find a copy of that elusive disc. Our sleuths are, even as we write this, still combing the world for a copy but none has yet materialised. We’ve been hunting for it for so long that we’re now fearful it’ll be a terrible disappointment if we ever DO run it to earth.

    A word of encouragement now to the record companies still bravely (and thankfully!) continuing to produce plenty of great CDs for our delectation – more, it seems than ever from the smaller companies and especially in the re-issue field. Who’d have imagined, a few years back, what past delights we’d be able to enjoy today, from old classics to precious forgotten albums. We hope very much that one of the companies will soon turn their attention to the small but superb output of the late-lamented Beverly Kenney.

  • Featured In This Week's Show: Bing Crosby

    Featured In This Week's Show: Bing Crosby

  • Recommendations:

    This week, a little catch-up on the boxes we’ve received for review and which haven’t yet made our programme play-list: As usual, Jasmine leads this particular field and here are two excellent collections we hope to find an excuse to include in the near future:

    Rosemary Clooney: “Mixed Emotions” is a 4 CD set that covers almost all of Rosie’s hits, excerpts from top albums and covers of her film work during the ‘50s and ‘60s. So, from ‘Come On-A My House’ and ‘Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me’ are here as are much of the Clooney-Ellington collaboration – in fact the roll-call of orchestras alone is impressive - it’s an almost ‘all you need to know’ collection and is rightly entitled “Clooney Defined”. JASBOX 27-4 is the number.

    A similar set is devoted to Margaret Whiting on “There Goes That Song Again – The Songbook And The Legacy” and continues the story begun in an earlier Jasmine box (“My Ideal”) from the early ‘40s (‘Moonlight in Vermont’, ‘That Old Black Magic’) to the period after she left Capitol and signed with DOT. A wealth of good quality standards compensate for the occasional cheesy pop number (‘Good Morning Mr Echo’ and the like). 4 CDs, well re-mastered: JASBOX 26-4.

    Which leaves not enough room to tell about the great 4 CD from JSP of “Selected Sides by Dinah Shore” (JSP 967 recorded between 1939 and 1957 and comprising no less than 111 tracks with a huge cast of supporting musicians and numerous guest collaborations: Doris Day, Woody Herman, Tony Martin etc.


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