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On Now : Janice Long
Playing: ATo Z Of My Heart by Inspiral Carpets
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57 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 14 July 2013

Russell Davies opens The Song Show this week with some interesting new/old releases, such as an unusual two-tempo treatment of Jule Styne's oldie, 'Sunday' sung by Kay Starr. There's a rare performance of Rodgers and Hart's 'Johnny One Note' from their show 'Babes In Arms' by the under-celebrated Wynn Murray (she was in the original cast and her ultimately sad story is recounted by Russell) which comes from a set of Richard Rodgers classics on Retrospective and, in another release from the same company, Jack Teagarden sings a song by John Thomas entitled 'Say It Simple', which in turn sparks an investigation into the phrase 'Say It' in song lyrics: We hear Dick Haymes with Irving Berlin's famous 'Say It With Music'; Billie Holiday and 'Say It With A Kiss', (Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren wrote that); Martha Tilton singing 'Say It With Your Kisses' written by Fred Spielman, while John Pizzarelli gives us the more familiar 'Say It (Over And Over Again) written by Frank Loesser and Jimmy McHugh.

Songs with a similar starting-point include Fran Landesman and Tommy Wolf's 'Say Cheese', which we hear sung by composer Tommy; Jerome Kern's 'She Didn't Say Yes', performed by Margaret Whiting and an earlier, much rarer one of almost the same title ('She Didn't Say Yes, She Didn't Say No, She Only Said Maybe') cut in 1928 by 'The All Star Orchestra' - could this be the song's only recording, asks Russell? Oscar Peterson gives us one of his rare vocal outings on 'What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry', Lee Wiley sings 'You Said It' and The Boswell Sisters wrap things up with 'I'll Never Say 'Never Again' Again'. Oh - and somewhere along the line Doris Day introduces another Fred Spielman song - 'A Purple Cow'!

Music Played

14 items
  • Image for Kay Starr

    Kay Starr Sunday

    “The Kay Starr Collection: 1939 - 1962”

    Acrobat, ACQCD7058

  • Image for Wynne Murray

    Wynne Murray Johnny One-Note

    “The Songs Of Richard Rodgers – His 49 Finest: 1925-1961”

    Retrospective, RTS 4223

  • Image for Jack Teagarden's Big Eight

    Jack Teagarden's Big Eight Say It Simple So I Can Understand

    “Jack Teagarden: – His 46 Finest: 1928-1954”

    Retrospective, RTS 4182

  • Image for Dick Haymes

    Dick Haymes Say It With Music

    “The Golden Years Of Dick Haymes (4 Cd Box Set)”

    Jasmine, Jasbox 9-4

  • Image for Billie Holiday

    Billie Holiday Say It With A Kiss

    “Lady Day: Complete Billie Holiday Columbias 1933 -44”

    Columbia Legacy, CXK 85470

  • Image for Martha Tilton

    Martha Tilton Say It With Your Kisses

    “Martha Tilton – The Coral Treasures”

    Sepia, Sepia 1096

  • Image for Doris Day

    Doris Day A Purple Cow

    “Doris Day 1951-1955: Secret Love”

    Bear Family, BCD 15746-3 EK

  • Image for John Pizzarelli

    John Pizzarelli Say It (Over And Over Again)

    “John Pizzarelli – Knowing You”

    Telarc, CD 83615

  • Image for Tommy Wolf

    Tommy Wolf Say Cheese

    “Tommy Wolf – Wolf At Your Door (1956)”

    Fresh Sound, FSR CD 112

  • Image for Margaret Whiting

    Margaret Whiting She Didn't Say Yes

    “All The Things You Are: The Jerome Kern Songbook”

    Verve, 529 907-2

  • Image for Nat Shilkret and His Orchestra

    Nat Shilkret and His Orchestra She Didn't Say Yes, She Didn't Say No

    “Nat Shilkret & The All Star Orchestra 1926-1928”

    Vintage Music Productions, VMP 0181

  • Image for The Oscar Peterson Trio

    The Oscar Peterson Trio What Can I Say Adfter I Say I'm Sorry

    “With Respect To Nat: Oscar Peterson Trio

    Verve, 557 486-2

  • Image for Lee Wiley

    Lee Wiley You Said It

    “Lee Wiley – Manhattan Nights

    Definitive/Disconforme, DRCD 11157

  • Image for The Boswell Sisters

    The Boswell Sisters I'll Never Say 'Never Again' Again

    “Syncopating Harmonists From New Orleans”

    Take Two, TT406CD

  • This Week

    Some loose ends from this week’s show need tying up so once again we’re appealing to you for help. First – who was John W Thomas, composer of the Jack Teagarden speciality “Say It Simple, So I Can Understand”? It’s unusual to find absolutely no trace of the identity of a writer registered as the Onlie Begetter of a piece of music but this appears so, to date, in his case. Some say the name is a pseudonym for Jack Teagarden himself but, for various reasons, we think not. Can you assist?

    We’ve also been trying to find out if there are more recordings to illustrate the short but, by the few accounts we’ve been able to trace, remarkable career of Wynn Murray – singer of “Johnny One Note” in the original production of Rodgers & Hart’s “Babes In Arms”. From that one piece of evidence, Wynn was a dynamic, tuneful and accurate singer and we’d expected to find at least a few more examples of her work but, so far, to no avail. Now we know that, among our distinguished and knowledgeable audience, there are a number of musical sleuths so may we appeal to any of you who are aware of any other Wynn Murray performances on record to please get in touch with us.

    Finally, is anyone aware of recordings (other than by Johnny Marvin & The All Star Orchestra) of “She Didn’t Say Yes, She Didn’t Say No (She Only Said Maybe)” by Lew Porter, Sam A Perry and Ted Strong. For a song to be recorded by as prestigious an MD as Nat Shilkret and no-one else seems to us very odd. All help gratefully received!

  • Featured In This Week's Show: Billie Holiday

    Featured In This Week's Show: Billie Holiday

  • Recommendations

    Nimbus continue to issue CDs using the production team that was behind the old ASV Living Era series and their latest – “The Songs Of Richard Rodgers – his 49 finest” is typical. Rodgers’ career is split over two CDs, the first picking his best with Lorenz Hart from 1925 to 1942, from a variety of sources – Frank Crumit: ‘Mountain Greenery’, Jessie Matthews: ‘My Heart Stood Still’, Hutch: ‘With A Song In My Heart’ – while CD 2 spotlights his work with Oscar Hammerstein ll, mostly using stars from the original productions of their Broadway shows from Oklahoma to The Sound Of Music. 49 well-chosen tracks in all plus an informative booklet - it’s on Retrospective RTS 4223.

    Our friends at Sepia were responsible for the Martha Tilton track we used this week. It came from a 2007 CD called “The Coral Treasures” – not an album of South Sea Island music: Coral refers to the label Martha signed with after leaving Capitol in 1949. Her time with Coral was not as successful as it had been up to then (she had 8 chart entries with Capitol) but there’s plenty to enjoy here, including duets wth Harry Babbitt. Her voice is as good as ever with Berlin songs from ‘Call Me Madam’ and old classics like “Thinking Of You”, and “Let’s Get Away From It All”. Recorded between 1950 and 1952, the 27 tracks appear on CD for the first time. Tellingly, the track that really comes to life is the last one, with Martha back in the company of a swing band – that of Les Brown – singing ‘Few And Far Between’.


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