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In Tune -- by Bill Fuller
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contributions to Bill Fuller %Earlyjas, or
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Musical Camouflage (I and II)

The theme of   a recent program done by a member of the record club to which I
belong was: “I’ve Heard Those Chords Before.” It was all about the musical
similarities of different tunes as based on some other, more recognizable, tunes
that predated them. In this column we’ve chronicled incidents of outright theft in
the world of jazz and early popular music; but here we’re talking about that more
subtle “white collar” felony of taking a familiar tune and embezzling an ostensibly
arrangement. Over the next two issues we’ll take a look at some of those
“imposters” (noted in italics) after reviewing the tunes they’re based on:

CHINA BOY- written in 1929 by Dick Winfree and Phil Boutelje, it was
popularized by Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. It was also an early recording
of Red Nichols and His Five Pennies. It was revived in 1936 by the Benny
Goodman Trio. (Blue Blazes)-a Sy Oliver arrangement for the Jimmy Lunceford
Band recorded in New York in 1939)

LIMEHOUSE BLUES – written by Philip Braham in 1924, and introduced in
“Andre Charles Review of 1924,” by Gertrude Lawrence, Robert Hobbs, and Fred
Leslie. It too was popularized by Paul Whiteman and it was revived by Julie
Andrews in the 1968 Hollywood film, “Start.” (Wequasset Wail) – the “composer”
credits go to reedman Bob Wilber who put it together in recognition of the place in
Chatham, Massachusetts were he and his wife, singer Pug Horton, spent the
summer of 1977, the Wequasset Inn.

OH LADY BE GOOD – This is a 1924 composition by George Gershwin. It was
introduced by Walter Catlett in the musical of the same name; and, once again, it
was popularized by Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. It was revived in the 1941,
Ann Suthern /Robert Young movie, “Oh Lady be Good.” (I Hear You Talking) – a
couple of Bob Cats (Bob Crosby’s small band) take credit for this  one: saxman
Eddie Miller and drummer Ray Bauduc. For the 1938 recording they added two
more Bob Cats: Bob Zurke on piano and Bob Haggart on bass.

ROSE ROOM -  Art Hickman wrote this one in 1918. As leader of his own dance
band he was one of the first band leaders to attract national attention. He began
his career at the Rose Room of San Francisco’s St.Francis Hotel. This tune was
introduced at the Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic in New York in 1918. (In a Mellow
Tone) –This popular number was a “recreation” credited to none other that Duke
Ellington and The Mills Brothers in 1955, the year they recorded it.

RIMSHOT: To John Bitter of The Cleveland Traditional Jazz Society who presented
the above mentioned program and from whose notes I drew heavily.

-questions, comments, additions, corrections, suggestions to Bill Fuller % Earlyjas
or e-mail jazzytubs@sbcglobal.net   

Musical Camouflage (II)

We continue this month with more “melodic imposters” (many of which were
musically wonderful in themselves) based on the chord structures and/or
arrangements of more familiar original tunes which predated them.
Before getting into this month’s batch of “counterfeits” let me say that tunes we’ve
looked at over these last two issues don’t even begin to scratch the surface of
“new” pieces tailored from old. Here are some more (imposters in italics):

THE WORLD IS WAITING  FOR THE SUNRISE     
written in 1919 by Gene Lockhart (father of actress June Lockhart) and Earnest
Seitz. The original conception of the tune was as a hymn to peace after World War
I. It was popularized by the  Isham Jones Orchestra. Later it was revived   by Les
Paul and  Mary Ford in 1951. (
Music Hall Rag) –the counterfeiter here is Benny Goodman who, with his
orchestra, recorded this tune in 1934.

INDIANA – composed in 1917 by James F. Hanley, who also wrote “Rose of
Washington
Square.” The tune was popularized by Louis Armstrong and later recorded by
Red Nichols on the Brunswick label in 1929. It was used in the musical film, “With
A Song in My Heart” starring Susan Hayward.
(Donna Lee) – bop alto saxophonist Charlie Parker has the “redo” with
arrangement by Gil
Evans. It was recorded by the Claude Thornhill Orchestra in 1947.

YOU’RE DRIVIN’ ME CRAZY – words and music by Walter Donaldson in 1930,
for the
musical of the same year titled, “Smiles.” It was recorded in the year of its
composition by both The McKinney’s  Cotton Pickers and the Guy Lombardo
Orchestra.
(Moten Swing) – created by Benny and Bus Moten with Eddie Durham. The Benny
Moten  
Band (which eventually evolved into the Count Basie Band) recorded this
one in 1932)

SWEET GEORGIA BROWN – written in 1925 by Maceo Pinkard who also wrote
“Sugar”.  Ben Bernie and His Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra popularized this tune and
got a cut from its sales for plugging  and recording it. Between 1890 and 1954 only
12 other tunes were recorded more than “Sweet Georgia Brown.”
(Forty-Six, West Fifty-Two) – concocted by tenor saxophonist Chu Berry and
recorded in New York in 1938.

AFTER YOU’VE GONE -  Harry Creamer and Turner Layton churned this one out
in 1918. In the two years following this it was the number one and number two hit
for three of  the most popular singers of the era: Marian Harris and the duet of  
Henry Burr and Albert Campbell. Sophie Tucker’s version of 1927 was topped by
Bessie Smith’s.
-(The Straight Life) – this 1956 makeover was done by alto saxophonist Art
Pepper. The title was also used as the title of his autobiography.

RIMSHOT: To John Bitter of The Cleveland Traditional Jazz Society who presented
the above mentioned program and from whose notes I drew heavily.

-questions, comments, additions, corrections, suggestions to Bill Fuller % Earlyjas
or e-mail jazzytubs@sbcglobal.net   
Earlville Association for Ragtime Lovers Yearning
for Jazz Advancement and Socialization