Artie Shaw | Harry James | Benny
George Olsen and His Music | Reb Spikes’ Majors and Minors — oh, here: My Mammy’s Blues and Fight That Thing
Well, now we come to one of the main reasons I pay $40 a year to Namecheap: they host this bathetic blog. I need (okay, I perceive it as a need) to share music with people. And why not? It’s fun music, it’s music that never takes itself too seriously, and it’s innocent as a newborn bluebird. The first recording artist to have his own name on a record was Enrico Caruso, and that was in 1904: a new form of stardom was born. Music changed very little over the next ten years: mostly sappy stuff about mother and country. Then came World War One and the mother and country were shattered illusions. Jazz grew from the wreckage of cultures and nations to be the dominant form of popular music for the next — I would argue — 70 years. (I consider rock to be a form of jazz: the improvisational solos are dominant in both traditional jazz and in rock. Where once was heard a clarinet was now a guitar.) Electric recording came in 1925, first with Victor records, from which these songs come; Paul Whiteman (white man: it was a pseudonym for obvious purposes) developed a more family-friendly sort of jazz, and the die was cast. The 30s saw jazz evolve into Swing, and then — the damned Second World War. Music has never been the same since. After the war, jazz musicians who, in the 1930s, were millionaires, suddenly found themselves unemployable. Rogers and Hart were kings, and musicals were the name of the game. Oklahoma indeed.
Well, here’s a good helping of Artie Shaw.
I Surrender, Dear
Oh Lady Be Good
If I Love Again
This Is Romance
Through The Years