Saturday, September 14, 2019

Swingin' at the Speakeasy..The Sound of the Roaring 20's and 30's


Leaving aside a blatant error in the sub-title (roaring 20's yes, but the 30's were the depression era), this is a fascinating and fantastic collection. Many of these songs have stood the test of time well.

As with all music this old, it cannot be technically perfect. Some tracks have crackles and hiss, but this is often how these records sounded to listeners back then. When recorded music was a novelty, people tolerated the imperfections. 

There are more recent covers of many of these songs, and the compilers have included some here, which emphasize the limitations of the original ancient recordings. For example, the Puppini Sisters and the Temperance Seven, while these 20's/30's revivalists have made some excellent music, their inclusion here is debatable. Still, if their presence means more people discover the original music here, that's a good thing.

There are other less obvious later covers too, including the Ella / Louis cover of Dream A Little Dream of Me, which they recorded in 1950. This song dates from the thirties, but was revived in the sixties, first by the Shirelles and later by Mama Cass.

Despite some songs being later covers, most of the recordings are genuine recordings from the 20's and 30's, which capture the spirit of the music superbly. 

Whether you are just getting curious about this type of music or you have some already, this is an excellent compilation. (text from Amazon review)