1927

16-05-2019 15:05

January 1927

Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra

In A Little Spanish Town

Written by Mabel Wayne, Sam M Lewis & Joe Young

Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra hit no.1 for the twentieth time with the song In A Little Spanish Town, subtitled ‘Twas On A Night Like This which used the vocals of Jack Fulton’s for their second consecutive chart topper. The song was also the ninth no.1 for the composers Sam M Lewis and Joe Young although the first for Mabel Wayne. Jack Fulton had along with Austin Young been part of the vocal trio, uncredited on Whiteman’s no.1 single The Birth Of The Blues and he was now the solo featured vocalist as he sang, in a little Spanish town it was on a night like this, stars were peek-a-booing down, it was on a night like this, I whispered be true to me and she sighed si si, many skies have turned to grey because we’re far apart, many moons have passed away and she’s still in my heart, we made a promise and sealed it with a kiss, in a little Spanish town it was on a night like this.

 

February 1927

Waring’s Pennsylvanian’s (Vocal refrain by Tom Waring)

It Made You Happy When You Made Me Cry

Written by Walter Donaldson

Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanian’s had their third no.1 hit, all three with his brother Tom on vocals, two of them giving him a label credit. Despite the title giving the impression of being a sad song, this was a bouncy, happy song with only just over thirty seconds of singing which included the lines, it made you happy when you made my cry, it made you happy when we said goodbye, by all the stars above you I made to hate you like I love you, I thought that I was yours and you were mine, but you were someone else’s all the time, you made me love you, you made me sigh, and yet it made you happy when you made my cry. This was also the fifth number one single in total composed by Walter Donaldson, four in the 1920s and one from the previous decade.

 

March 1927

Sophie Tucker (with Ted Lewis & His Band)

Some Of These Days

Written by Shelton Brooks

In an era when everything seemed fresh and new and exciting, Sophie Tucker signed as vocalist with Ted Lewis & His Band and re-recorded a song she had enjoyed a hit with back in 1911, Some Of The Days. It was released by many record companies and some listed on the label Sophie Tucker with Ted Lewis & His Band and others as Ted Lewis & His Band with Sophie Tucker. As Ted Lewis began the new recording with his orchestra, one would hardly know that it was the same song. It was almost exactly one minute shorter and Tucker only sang the chorus twice and missed out both verses which had been included on her 1911 hit, giving equal time on the disc to Ted Lewis and his orchestral playing. The other main difference was the sound of her voice which although in 1911 was recorded acoustically with her singing as loudly as possible into a horn and in 1927 electronically with the vibrations picked up by a microphone, she infused much more emotion into the earlier work, almost begging her man not to leave her but when she realised that he was going, becoming angry and vengeful, the 1927 version appearing to just be a song. It was however a much bigger hit, second time around.

 

April 1927

Gene Austin

Tonight You Belong To Me

Written by Billy Rose & Lee David

Gene Austin enjoyed his third monthly no.1 single with Tonight You Belong To Me, originally recorded by baritone Irving Kaufman but Austin’s version was as usual, sweet and lonesome as he sang about meeting a lover down by the stream but unfortunately, he knows that she belongs to someone else and they can’t be together permanently. He had met her before as he sang, once more we meet, you look so sweet, dear can’t you see how I feel? I love you still, I always will, you have the same old appeal, though you belong to somebody else, tonight you belong to me, though we’re apart you’re part of my heart, tonight you belong to me, down by the stream how sweet it will seem, once more to dream in the moonlight, though with the dawn I know you’ll be gone, tonight you belong to me. And that would be the end of their love, until the next clandestine meeting.

 

May 1927

Ben Bernie & His Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra

Aint She Sweet

Written by Milton Ager & Jack Yellen

Ben Bernie & His Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra had their fourth monthly no.1 single with Aint She Sweet which credited a vocal duet who were Scrappy Lambert & Billy Hillpot but were un-named on the record label. They sang in a rather rushed harmony as they only had thirty five seconds to fit in once run through of the chorus, ain’t she sweet see her walking down that street, now I ask you very confidentially ain’t she sweet? ain’t she nice look her over once or twice, now I ask you very confidentially ain’t she nice? just cast an eye in her direction oh me oh my ain’t that perfection? I repeat don’t you think that’s kinda neat? yes I ask you very confidentially ain’t she sweet? It was also thr fourth time at the top for composer Jack Yellen who had first hit the top in 1914 with All Aboard For Dixieland.

 

June 1927

George Olsen & His Music (Vocal refrain by Bob Borger/Fran Frey/Bob Rice)

At Sundown When Love Is Calling Me Home

Written by Walter Donaldson

George Olsen & His Music had their third no.1 single with At Sundown When Love Is Calling Me Home, another song with a vocal refrain using a named trio and for this hit he replaced Edward Joyce with Bob Borger but retained the services of Fran Frey and Bob Rice. The first recording was by Bert Kaplan & His Collegians but it was Olsen who took it to no.1, the song by Walter Donaldson, his sixth chart topper as a composer. The trio appeared to have even less to do than usual as the vocals did not begin until one minute fifty-three of the record and were all finished by two minutes twenty-six and every line as they were filled with words was very rushed, every little breeze is sighing of love at sundown, every little bird is resting and feather nesting at sundown, each little rosebud is sleeping while shadows are creeping, in a little cottage cosy the world seems rosy at sundown, where a loving smile will greet me and always meet me at sundown, I seem to sigh I’m in heaven when night is falling and love is calling me home.

 

July 1927

Moran & Mack

Two Black Crows Parts 1 & 2

Written by Charles Mack

Moran & Mack were originally Swor & Mack as Charles Emmett Sellers, otherwise known as Charles Mack, born in White Cloud, Kansas in 1888 hired John Swor, born in Paris, Tennessee in 1877 as his comedy partner and enjoyed moderate success as a blackface minstrel comedy double act until Swor left to be replaced by George Searchy, born in Elwood, Kansas in 1881, who took the name George Moran and the new partnership now called Moran & Mack became even more successful on Vaudeville and transferred their comedy routines to radio which translated well into a weekly show, similar to Amos & Andy, another blackface comedy show. When Amos & Andy transferred to television however they recruited black actors and comedians to play the roles but Moran & Mack became embroiled in a bitter lawsuit when Moran sued Mack because Mack who owned the act refused to pay Moran more than a fraction of the takings. Mack won the case and the act broke up in 1930 after they had recorded several discs of the comedy skits which consisted of Moran trying to explain something to Mack and the latter never quite understanding. The most successful was the first Two Black Crows disc which over two sides, took up six minutes of playing time, some of the jokes going on for over two minutes and others being a simple one liner followed by a comment and then the punchline. The first joke took the form of a conversation between the two after Moran mentioned the proverb the early bird catches the worm, but boy always remember this the early bird catches the worm, the early bird catches what worm? why any worm, who cares about that? everybody knows the early bird catches the worm, well what about it? catches it that’s all, well let him have it who wants a worm anyhow? what’s the idea of catching a worm, he catches a worm cos he wants it, well what does he want with it? how do I know what he wants, well how do you know he wants it? well what’s the idea of catching it if he don’t want it, why the worm lives there, he lives where? he lives where he is, doggone I don’t even know where he is, I don’t know that, why he’s home that’s where he is, well I’d rather not hear any more about it, which is the early bird? which bird is early? why the first bird gets there is the early bird, what causes that? because he is the first bird there, yeah but suppose some other bird got there ahead of him, boy you don’t seem to know anything what’s wrong with you? There then followed one of their shorter sketches, oh I don’t know I don’t feel well, what’s the matter with you? oh I don’t know I went to the doctor and he told me what to do but I didn’t do it, he said to take one pill three times a day, what else did the doctor say? he said my veins are too close together, he said what? he said I had very close veins. To finish side one Moran played a blast on his kazoo, boy even if that was good I wouldn’t like it, I can play anything on this, you can’t play piano on that. They spoke for a while about some of the shows that Moran had appeared in, and then I was in that sad show called Uncle Tom’s Cabin I was the head man in that show, oh some little old country show I’ve never even heard of it, you’ve never heard of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, I never heard of it, you ever heard of Adam and Eve, I’ve heard of them, bet you wasn’t the head man in that show, doggone it you’ve been in all those shows you must have travelled a bit huh? travelled boy I’ve been all over Europe Asia Cincinnati, Cincinnati Oho, Oho Ohio, how you spell it? Capital OH Ten, no I’ve never been there but I’ve been all over Rome, well we used to live in Rome we had a farm in Rome, what did you raise on your farm? we used to grow pigs, we used to buy young pigs in August and then we would sell them in April, what did you pay for the pigs in August? a certain amount, yes I know but how much? well $4 each, what did you sell them for in April? $4 each, you paid $4 in August and sold them in April for $4, why you can’t make any money that way, no we found that out. and we have a horses, oh you have eight horses, no not eight horses a horses, and we found out the white horses eat more than the black horses, so we sold all the white horses, the white horses eat more than the black horses? yeah the white horses eat more, oh that’s silly why should the white horses eat more than the black horses? oh I wouldn’t be bothered with that, we tried every way to figure it out and we couldn’t figure any reason unless it was because we had more of the white horses, well did you have any chickens? we had a thousand chickens and 999 laid eggs, what was the matter with the other one? uh he was the head man, well boy I’m going down to fed the pigs, I’ll meet you down by the pig-pen, you better keep your hat on so’s I’ll know ya, goodbye I’ll be seeing you. And after six minutes the only number one single by Moran & Mack was finished, the seventh all spoken comedy record at no.1, following The Arkansaw Traveller, Last Day Of School At Punkin Center, Two Rubes In A Tavern, Uncle Josh On An Automobile, Casey At The Bat and Cohen On The Telephone.

 

August 1927

Jack Smith

Me And My Shadow

Written by Billy Rose, Dave Dreyer & Al Jolson

Jack Smith who was also known as Whispering Jack Smith or The Whispering Baritone due to his singing style, unique even among the raft of crooners that sprung u in the mid-1920s. His only monthly no.1 was with the song Me And My Shadow, a sad song about loneliness, a man so lonely, the only company he ever has is his shadow. It was written by Billy Rose and Dave Dreyer with additional music by Al Jolson, although it was never revealed exactly what his contribution to the song was. He sang, shades of night are falling and I’m lonely, standing on the corner feeling blue, sweethearts having fun pass me one by one, guess I’ll wind up like I always do, with only me and my shadow strolling down the avenue, me and my shadow not a soul to tell our troubles to, and when it’s twelve o’clock we climb the stair we never knock for nobody’s there, just me and my shadow all alone and oh so blue.

 

September 1927

Roger Wolfe Kahn & His Orchestra (Vocal refrain by Henri Garden)

Russian Lullaby

Written by Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin moved equal Gus Kahn with nine no.1 hits as a composer during the 1920s and within one of the all-time record, now on seventeen compared to Harry Von Tilzer’s Eighteen. The song Russian Lullaby was written for the opening of the Roxy Theatre in New York in 1927, where it was performed by Douglas Stanbury, and taken into the charts six months later by Roger Wolfe Kahn & His Orchestra. Kahn was born in Morristown, New Jersey in 1907 and was only twenty when he took the song to the top of the charts with a vocal refrain by Henri Garden who sang, every night you’ll hear her croon a Russian lullaby, just a little plaintive tune when baby starts to cry, rock-a-bye my baby somewhere there may be a land that’s free for you and me and a Russian lullaby. Since Irving Berlin was born in Talachyn, The Russian Empire in what is now Belarus, he was writing about his homeland, but he wouldn’t have known much about it personally as his whole family emigrated to New York in 1893 when he was five years old and the Volga river is nearly fifteen hundred kilometres from Talachyn.

 

October 1927

Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (Vocal chorus by Weston Vaughan)

Charmaine

Written by Ernö Rapée & Lew Pollack

Charmaine was originally composed for the 1926 silent movie What Price Glory? and recorded by The Savoy Orpheans with un uncredited vocal by Ramon Newton. It was taken into the charts for the first time and became the first hit single by Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians who was born Gaetano Alberto Lombardo in London, Alberta, Canada in 1902. Together with the Royal Canadians and his siblings Victor, Lebert, Carmen, and Rosemarie he went on to record a series of singles and became one of the most successful bandleaders in the history of popular music, performing sweet, danceable music that was the start of the dominance for middle of the road pop rather than jazz. On his recording of Charmaine, he credited the vocal chorus to Weston Vaughan who only sang the chorus of the song, I wonder why you keep me waiting Charmaine my Charmaine, I wonder when bluebirds are mating will you come back again, I wonder if I keep on praying will our dreams be the same, I wonder if you ever think of me too I’m waiting my Charmaine for you and unlike a lot of the big band and jazz songs of the era, he was allocated nearly one minute of time to sing.

 

November 1927

Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra

My Blue Heaven

Written by Walter Donaldson & George A Whiting

My Blue Heaven was originally recorded by Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra who now with twenty-one monthly no.1 hits were equal with Arthur Collins Al Jolson and Harry MacDonough in joint fourth place overall. At this time, members of his orchestra included Henry Busse and Red Nichols on trumpets, Tommy Dorsey on trombone, Jimmy Dorsey on saxophone and a vocal chorus of Jack Fulton, Chester Gaylord, Austin Young, Bing Crosby and Al Rinker. Despite this line up, the sales of Whiteman’s version were far inferior to a later version by Gene Austin and the vocal chorus didn’t have much to do, only singing two lines from the chorus, when whippoorwill calls and evening is nigh I hurry to my blue heaven, just Molly and me and baby makes three we’re happy in my blue heaven. They then sang a series of da da da da da and allowed the orchestra to play for the rest of the recording.

 

December 1927

Gene Austin

My Blue Heaven

Written by Walter Donaldson & George A Whiting

Gene Austin also recorded My Blue Heaven late in 1927 and had by far the bigger of the hits with the song, selling over five million copies of it putting it into the top 100 of all time and certainly the biggest seller of 1927. This was his fourth no.1 single and for the composers the eighth for Walter Donaldson and a return to no.1 for George A Whiting who had last been seen at the top with Every Little Bit Helps by Len Spencer and Ada Jones as far back as 1905. Unlike the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, was backed by a simple piano and cello and he sang an introductory verse, day is ending birds are wending, back to the shelter of each little nest they love, night shades falling love birds calling, what makes the world go round nothing but love and then he sang all the lines of the chorus, when whippoorwill calls and evening is nigh I hurry to my blue heaven, I turn to the right a little white light will lead you to my blue heaven, a smiling face a fireplace a cosy room, a little nest that’s nestled where the roses bloom, just Molly and me and baby makes three we’re happy in my blue heaven.

 

Read more...