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White Tie & Tails

White Tie & Tails

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Romantic Hits of the 30s

The 1930s were golden years for popular music for, as the Roaring Twenties made way for the Tranquil Thirties, the dance bands began to change from either being brash or over sentimental to smooth, sophisticated and swinging orchestras. Our selection of 'standards' concentrates on the songs and ballads that characterize the wealth of lovely material that was popular during those years.

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White Tie and Tails
Romantic Hits of the 30s

The 1930s were golden years for popular music for, as the Roaring Twenties made way for the Tranquil Thirties, the dance bands began to change from either being brash or over sentimental to smooth, sophisticated and swinging orchestras. Our selection of 'standards' concentrates on the songs and ballads that characterize the wealth of lovely material that was popular during those years.

1 I have eyes Bing Crosby
2 Zing! Went the strings of my heart Judy Garland
3 I'm on a see-saw Harry Roy
4 Dream lover Gracie Fields
5 Somebody loves me Bing Crosby
6 This year's kisses Alice Faye
7 Love letters in the sand Ambrose with Sam Browne
8 Let us be sweethearts 'Hutch'
9 All of me Louis Armstrong
10 Once in a while Greta Keller
11 Easy come, easy go Carroll Gibbons & The Savoy Orpheans
12 What do you know about love Al Bowlly
13 So many memories Frances Langford
14 May I have the next romance with you 'Hutch'
15 Falling in love again Marlene Dietrich
16 Stardust Mills Bros
17 Indian love call Nelson Eddy & Jeannette McDonald
18 This time it's real Ella Fitzgerald
19 I'm just wild about Harry Judy Garland
20 Begin the beguine 'Hutch'
21 Goodnight my love Hildegarde
22 Because Deanna Durbin
23 I've got my love to keep me warm Dick Powell
24 Goodnight sweetheart Ray Noble with Al Bowlly

CCL CD1197
Cover image: Italia/Abbazia poster 1935 c The Advertising Archives
p & c 2008 Classical Communications Ltd
Made in Great Britain

It was W.H. Auden who described the 1930s as 'a low dishonest decade', a succinct yet apt summary of the prevailing social and political climates. Paradoxically, though, these were the golden years for popular music for, as the Roaring Twenties made way for the Tranquil Thirties, the dance bands began to change from either being brash or over sentimental to smooth, sophisticated and swinging orchestras. Popular music itself was developing. The Twenties had already nurtured the talents of such eminent composers as Cole Porter, who seemed to epitomise sophistication, Irving Berlin, who like Porter wrote both music and lyrics and George Gershwin, who was to die tragically young. But what was notable and far-reaching about this decade was the emergence of ordinary popular songs in their own right as opposed to their being written for Broadway or London shows, along with a new breed of writers that included Harold Arlen, Jimmy Van Heusen, Harry Warren and Kurt Weill (whose background was Germany and left-wing related operas). Their elegant and refined melodies, harmonically daring and with an awareness of jazz, became the hits of the day, and found perfect outlets in the bands and singers who clearly relished performing them.

The clientele that made up Thirties' 'society' were probably oblivious to the prevailing widespread unemployment and economic distress whilst they wined, dined and danced at the leading London night-clubs and hotels. The rest of us would resort to the radio, which could provide such a range of entertainment including regular broadcasts from the very venues where the privileged were enjoying themselves. The wireless (the word 'radio', at that time, was more of an Americanism!) would introduce us to and make 'household' names of many great entertainers. The most celebrated must be Bing Crosby. He was the first popular singer to realize the power and potential of the microphone and to be able to sing directly and seemingly personally to his audience. His influence cannot be underestimated and his way of interpreting a song still remains a unique experience.

Most of the lovely songs on this album have become 'standards'. The artists performing them have been especially chosen to reflect the best talents from both Europe and America who are so associated with the era. There are no fewer than eight great ladies of song that include Judy Garland, Gracie Fields, Marlene Dietrich, Ella Fitzgerald, Alice Faye and Greta Keller. Radio memories will be recalled with such dance-band stalwarts as Harry Roy, Carroll Gibbons, Ambrose and Ray Noble and this collection would not be complete without the inimitable Al Bowlly, the unforgettable 'Hutch' and Louis Armstrong in typical form. We will let Frances Langford have the last word as she so perfectly describes the joy of this exclusive programme in her ballad So Many Memories.


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