Saturday, July 20, 2013
Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby (May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Crosby's trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation.
A multimedia star, from 1934 to 1954 Bing Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings and motion picture grosses. His early career coincided with technical recording innovations; this allowed him to develop a laid-back, intimate singing style that influenced many of the popular male singers who followed him, including Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin. Yank magazine recognized Crosby as the person who had done the most for American G.I. morale during World War II and, during his peak years, around 1948, polls declared him the "most admired man alive," ahead of Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII. Also in 1948, the Music Digest estimated that Crosby recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.
On September 2, 1931, Crosby made his solo radio début. Before the end of the year, he signed with both Brunswick Records and CBS Radio. Doing a weekly 15-minute radio broadcast, Crosby quickly became a huge hit. His songs "Out of Nowhere", "Just One More Chance", "At Your Command" and "I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store)" were all among the best selling songs of 1931.
During the "Golden Age of Radio," performers often had to recreate their live shows a second time for the west coast time zone. Through the medium of recording, Crosby constructed his radio programs with the same directorial tools and craftsmanship (editing, retaking, rehearsal, time shifting) being used in motion picture production. This became the industry standard.
This 25 track collection from the 1940s contains live numbers recorded with The Henderson Choir, The Andrews Sisters, The Charioteers and Bob Hope, and a beautiful version of "White Christmas".
Monday, July 15, 2013
1. Benson's Bounce - Panama Francis
2. Bottoms Up - Illinois Jacquet
3. On My Own - Willis Jackson
4. Duck Fever - Fred Jackson
5. Jump & Shout - Erline Harris
6. For Jumpers Only - Cat Anderson
7. B.O. Plenty's Return - Morris Lane
8. Top 'N' Bottom - Tab Smith
9. Pink Cadillac - Paul Bascomb
10. Top Flight - Arnett Cobb
11. Benson Alley - Sir Charles Thompson
12. Shotgun Boogie - Cab Calloway
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Jean "Django" Reinhardt (23 January 1910 – 16 May 1953) was a pioneering virtuoso jazz guitarist and composer. He was born in Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium, into a family of Manouche Romani descent. Reinhardt's nickname "Django", in the Romani language, means "I awake." Reinhardt spent most of his youth in Romani (Gypsy) encampments close to Paris, playing banjo, guitar and violin from an early age.
Reinhardt is often regarded as one of the greatest guitar players of all time and is the first important European jazz musician who made major contributions to the development of the idiom. Using only the index and middle fingers of his left hand on his solos (his third and fourth fingers were paralyzed after an injury in a fire), Reinhardt invented an entirely new style of jazz guitar technique (sometimes called 'hot' jazz guitar) that has since become a living musical tradition within French gypsy culture. With violinist Stéphane Grappelli, he co-founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France, described by critic Thom Jurek as "one of the most original bands in the history of recorded jazz."Reinhardt's most popular compositions have become jazz standards, including "Minor Swing", "Daphne", "Belleville", "Djangology", "Swing '42", and "Nuages".
This collection contains the best of his immortal recordings with Stephane Grappelli together with other highlights illustrating his instrumental prowess.