1927

16-05-2019 15:05

January 1927

Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra

Moonlight On The Ganges

Written by Chester Wallace & Sherman Meyers

Best seller Paul Whiteman – In A Little Spanish Town

Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra began 1927 at nos.1 and 2 in the charts, the second best-selling song Moonlight On The Ganges, written by Montague Ewing and Henry Tilsley who both used pseudonyms on this recording calling themselves Chester Wallace and Sherman Meyers. Whiteman used a different vocalist for this hit with Austin Young performing the vocal refrain, although like Jack Fulton on In A Little Spanish Town, he remained uncredited. He had already sung as part of the vocal trio on the no.1 single, The Birth Of The Blues and Moonlight On The Ganges saw him on his own fronting the orchestra although he wasn’t that much to sing backed by the atmospheric orchestral playing, evoking an Indian balmy night, moonlight on the Ganges my little Hindu, when I whispered love’s sweet melody, all our dreams and our schemes came true, someday on the Ganges, I’ll meet you once more, and I’ll kiss you and caress you, where the waters kiss the silent shore.

 

February 1927

Vincent Lopez & His Casa Lopez Orchestra (Vocal trio by Keller Sisters & Lynch)

Hello Bluebird

Written by Cliff Friend

Best seller Waring’s Pennsylvanian’s – It Made You Happy When You Made Me Cry

Vincent Lopez had his fourth no.2 hit as well as hitting the very top with his version of the song Always and to date they had all been instrumentals, but for the first time, he used a named vocalist for the song Hello Bluebird and credited the singing trio Keller Sisters & Lynch alongside his Casa Lopez Orchestra. The sisters were Annie Catherine Nan Lynch, born in 1900 and Kathryne Ann Taddy Lynch born in 1909 and their brother Frank Lynch born in 1902, all in Chicago, Illinois. They formed their singing trio in 1923, performing in the show Spirit Of Youth but the younger sister Taddy was only fourteen and therefore, too young to legally perform on the stage so she obtained a forged birth certificate made out to an Ethel Keller who was old enough to perform and both sisters adopted the name Keller to further the pretence and they changed the name of their act accordingly. The song Hello Bluebird was originally recorded by the Original Dixie Rag Pickers and although Lopez version was billed as including the vocal trio, there were very few lyrics actually sung with the brother and sisters scat singing without using any real words except to repeat the title at the end of each line. He also used a refrain from the song Bye Bye Blackbird, a no.1 from the previous year although no credit was given to that song’s composers, Mort Dixon and Ray Henderson.

 

March 1927

Gertrude Lawrence

Someone To Watch Over Me

Written by George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin

Best seller Sophie Tucker/Ted Lewis & His Band – Some Of These Days

There is a dispute over the birth name of Gertrude Lawrence but the index of births has her listed as Gertrude Alice Dagmar Lawrence Kalsen, born in Kennington, London in 1898. She was one of the first successful actresses and singers to star in musicals in both Broadway and London and through her contacts, she secured the title role in the production of Oh Kay in which she sang the George and Ira Gershwin song Someone To Watch Over Me. Originally written as an upbeat dance number and recorded in this style by George Olsen & His Music, Gertrude Lawrence sang it as a wistful ballad with the backing of Tom Waring at the piano, plaintively calling for a man to help this little lost lamb who’s lost in the wood to watch over her. She also included a rarely used verse, there’s a saying old says that love is blind, still we’re often told, seek and ye shall find, so I’m looking for a certain guy I’ve had in mind, looking everywhere haven’t found him yet, he’s the big affair I cannot forget, only man I ever think of with regret and yet, I’d like to add his initial to my monogram, tell me where is the shepherd for this lost lamb?

 

April 1927

Ruth Etting

Deed I Do

Written by Fred Rose & Walter Hirsch

Best seller Gene Austin – Tonight You Belong To Me

Ruth Etting had her second no.2 single with the song Deed I Do, originally recorded by Johnny Marvin but unlike her first hit Lonesome And Blue, this time she was happy because her man had come along just to make her life a wonderful song. She did confess that she used to be blue, I was oh so blue till you came along, you brought sunshine just to brighten my loneliness, is it any wonder in my happiness, I’m glad that I’m the one who found you, that’s why I’m always hanging round you, do I want you, oh my do I? honey ‘deed I do, do I need you? oh my do I, honey ‘deed I do. There are lots of others that I have met, those you meet today tomorrow forget, you’re the only one who ever could stand the test, that’s the reason why I choose you from the rest, you’re the best.

 

May 1927

Nick Lucas

I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover

Written by Mort Dixon & Harry M Woods

Best seller Ben Bernie – Aint She Sweet

Nick Lucas was listed now as the The Crooning Troubadour and he accompanied himself by strumming and picking at the guitar on the song I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover which was a hit for several artists in 1927 and an even bigger hit when it was revived as a song in the late 1940s. There were two verses to the song which had nothing to do with finding luck by coming across a four leaf clover, farewell every old familiar face it’s time to go it’s time to go, backward backward to the little place I left behind so long ago, now watch Mister Casey Jones carry this lazy bones, I should arrive in the day, only wait till I communicate, here’s just what I’ll say. hello homestead in the new-mown hay, I’m glad I’m here I’m glad I’m here, hello humble mill across the way, beside the pond so cool and clear, right to my sweetie’s home, oh what a place to roam, she’ll be as glad as can be, up the trail and over hill and dale, don’t you envy me. On chorus one he sang I’m looking over a four-leaf clover that I overlooked before, one leaf is the sunshine the second is the rain, third are the roses that grow in the lane, no need complaining the one remaining is someone that I adore, I’m looking over a four-leaf clover that I overlooked before and on chorus two he changed what the leaves referred to, one leaf is sweetheart the second is dad, third is the best pal that I ever had, no need complaining the one remaining is home where I’ll leave no more.

 

June 1927

Knickerbockers

Blue Skies

Written by Irving Berlin

Best seller George Olsen – At Sundown When Love Is Calling Me Home

Blue Skies was the hit song from the Ziegfeld production Betsy and sung on the Broadway stage by Belle Baker. The score was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart but the song Blue Skies was an Irving Berlin number. Betsy was the second musical comedy with that name and neither were particularly successful, the original Betsy only running for 32 performances in 1911 and this show which was nothing to do with the first one running for 39 performances at the end of 1926. It was recorded first by The Imperial Dance Orchestra with a vocal chorus by Arthur Fields but picked up and taken into the charts by Ben Selvin & His Orchestra, once again using the name The Knickerbockers with vocals uncredited by Charles Kaley who sang blue skies smiling at me nothing but blue skies do I see, bluebirds singing a song nothing but bluebirds all day long, never saw the sun shining so bright never saw things going so right, noticing the days hurrying by when you’re in love my how they fly, blue days all of them gone nothing but blue skies from now on. The song was much more successful than the show and it became Irving Berlin’s twenty-third no.2 single , three more now than Harry Von Tilzer, his nearest challenger.

 

July 1927

Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra

It All Depends On You

Written by Ray Henderson, Buddy DeSylva & Lew Brown

Best seller Moran & Mack – Two Black Crows Parts 1 & 2

It All Depends On You was a song that featured in the Al Jolson Broadway musical Big Boy. Jolson sang it on stage as the character Gus in both the original production and the revival. Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra had recently been converted from instrumentals and had been using a variety of vocalists on his hits since the end of 1927 but he reverted to an instrumental performance of It All Depends On You, guessing that nobody could sing it quite like Al Jolson. This became the forty-sixth all instrumental track to hit no.2 and was composed by three men who had been there multiple times previously, Lew Brown seven times, Buddy DeSylva five and Ray Henderson four times. The lyrics were about what choices a man had, I can be happy I can be sad I can be good or I can be bad, I can be lonely out in a crowd I can be humble I can be proud, I can save money or spend it go right on living or end it, I can be beggar I can be King I can be almost any old thing, it all depends on you.

 

August 1927

Gene Austin

Forgive Me

Written by Milton Ager & Jack Yellen

Best seller Jack Smith – Me And My Shadow

The song Forgive Me was written by the team of Milton Ager & Jack Yellen who had already composed the hits I Wonder What’s Become Of Sally and Aint She Sweet and was first recorded by Nat Shilkret & The Victor Orchestra with Lewis James providing the vocal refrain, before hitting the charts for another of the top crooners of the mid-1920s Gene Austin. He was backed by a piano and a violin singing about how he had made a mistake, but we all do that once in a while. He sang, I’ve hurt you so I’m wrong I know, please listen dear to my appeal, forgive me please forgive me, I didn’t mean to make you cry, I love you and I need you, do anything but don’t say goodbye, let bygones just be bygones, for we all make mistakes now and then, I’m sorry forgive me my dear, and let’s be sweethearts again. The Gene Austin version was sung as a ballad and was considerably slower than the original.

 

September 1927

Waring’s Pennsylvanians (Vocal refrain by Tom Waring)

Just Another Day Wasted Away Waiting For You

Written by Charles Tobias & Roy Turk

Best seller Roger Wolfe Kahn – Russian Lullaby

Fred Waring had his second no.2 single using a vocal refrain by Fred’s brother Tom on the song Just Another Day Wasted Away Waiting For You in which he sang, just another day wasted away watching and waiting, just another day wasted away filled with gloom, all day all alone hoping you would phone but you never called me, covered miles of ground pacing up and down ’round my room, just another night nothing in sight nothing but grieving, when I go to sleep mem’ries will creep makin’ me blue, and when the break of dawn I see what’s it gonna mean to me, just another day wasted away waiting for you. There were two verses written but Waring didn’t use either of them which spoke of getting up today, just like yesterday with so much to be done but he couldn’t do anything because he spent the whole day thinking of you. Then the clock strikes ten, it was time for bed again and another day had gone, another unproductive day because he couldn’t think of anything else.

 

October 1927

Paul Whiteman & His Concert Orchestra

When Day Is Done

Robert Katscher

Best seller Guy Lombardo – Charmaine

Paul Whiteman had only once before used the title Concert Orchestra for a serious piece of work Rhapsody In Blue rather than his standard pop and jazz big band songs and he used it again for When Day Is Done, a song that was adapted from the German classic Madonna Du Bist Schöner Als Der Sonnenschein (translated into English as Madonna, you are nicer than the sunshine) written by Robert Katscher. This wasn’t quite as epic as Rhapsody but still clocked in at over four and a half minutes of music, the forty-seventh instrumental hit of the century to peak at no.2 and this was a classical piece of music with all the nuances that genre usually suggests. Lyrics were added later by Buddy DeSylva but Whiteman only credited the melody of Robert Katscher on this, his fourteenth no.2 single. DeSylva’s lyrics spoke of shadows falling at the end of the day and without you the night has lost its charms, when the grass is wet with twilight’s dew and I miss your tender kiss the whole day through but I miss you most of all when day is done.

 

November 1927

George Olsen & His Music (Vocal refrain by Bob Borger)

The Best Things In Life Are Free

Written by Buddy DeSylva, Lew Brown & Ray Henderson

Best seller Paul Whiteman – My Blue Heaven

The Best Things In Life Are Free was a song from the musical comedy Good News and sung on Broadway by Mary Lawlor and John Price Jones as the characters Connie Lane and Tom Marlowe. It was also featured in both films that were made of the show in 1930 and 1947 and the song was revived in both years but none was more successful in the charts than the first recorded version by George Olsen & His Music with a vocal refrain by Bob Borger who had sung previously as part of a trio on Olsen’s At Sundown When Love Is Calling Me Home earlier in the year. The lyrics spoke of the things in life that are free, the moon, the stars, the flowers in Spring, the robins that sing, the sunbeams and best of all, that love can come to everyone, the best things in life are free.

 

December 1927

Red Nichols & His Five Pennies

Ida Sweet As Apple Cider

Written by Eddie Leonard

Best seller Gene Austin – My Blue Heaven

The song Ida Sweet As Apple Cider was written and performed in 1903 by Vaudeville minstrel Eddie Leonard but he never recorded it onto disc. It was originally an instrumental with lyrics added by Eddie Munson but most of the early recordings reverted to instrumentals including the hit single version by Red Nichols, born Ernest Loring Nichols in Ogden, Utah in 1905. He was an accomplished cornetist and for a while was a member of Paul Whiteman’s orchestra but he led several of his own bands which were mostly named Red Nichols & His Five Pennies. These were usually containing more than five musicians and was named as a pun on his name and on the word nickel. A regular musician who played with his bands was the trombonist Miff Mole and also recruited at various times were Jimmy Dorsey on alto sax and clarinet, Benny Goodman on clarinet, Glenn Miller and Jack Teagarden on trombones, Joe Venuti on violin, Eddie Lang on banjo and guitar and Gene Krupa on drums. Ida Sweet As Apple Cider was the third instrumental of 1927 to peak at no.2 and the forty-eighth overall. The lyrics which were not used, spoke of a woman named Ida and how much he loved her, in fact he idolized her.

 

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