September on the Road

Legh Knowles, Clyde Hurley, Mickey McMickle, John Best (tp); Glenn Miller, Paul Tanner, Al Mastren, Toby Tyler (tb); Hal McIntyre, Wilbur Schwartz, Jimmy Abato, Tex Beneke,  Al Klink (reeds); Chummy MacGregor (p); Dick Fisher (g); Rollie Bundock (b); Maurice Purtill (d); Ray Eberle, Marion Hutton (vcl).

RCA Victor Studios, New York – September 11, 1939, 8:30-11:00 PM

042662-1      Melancholy Lullaby (RE vcl)            Bluebird 10423

042663-1      (Why Couldn’t It Last) Last Night ? (RE vcl)          Bluebird 10423

 

RCA Victor Studios, New York – September 25, 1939, 11:30 PM-3:30 AM

042729-1      Out of Space (RE vcl)             Bluebird 10438

042730-1      So Many Times (RE vcl)       Bluebird 10438

Once sprung from the Glen Island Casino gig, the Glenn Miller band went traveling on a series of record-breaking engagements from Maine to Washington, DC, before beginning a three-week stand at New York’s famed Paramount Theater on September 20.  At this time, Glenn also added a trumpet and trombone, bringing the brass up to eight strong. The money was starting to pour in!

Being on the road did not afford much time to rehearse new music. After the flurry of recording sessions while the band was ensconced at the Glen Island Casino, just two brief dates were completed in September.  The second date ran until 3:30 AM, lasted four hours and only produced two finished masters. The band must have been exhausted!

The dashing Mr. Eberle

The dashing Mr. Eberle

Ray Eberle croons on all four tunes, which make for pleasant, if not spectacular, listening.  Best is MELANCHOLY LULLABY, the theme song of Benny Carter’s new big band.  It’s a lovely Carter melody, with a worthy lyric by Edward Heyman, who had written BODY AND SOUL, I COVER THE WATERFRONT, OUT OF NOWHERE and other memorable songs.

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Since Carter was contributing arrangements to Glenn’s book at this time, it’s possible that this chart is his.

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LAST NIGHT was composed by brothers Charles and Nick Kenny. Nick was a syndicated entertainment columnist for The New York Daily Mirror and a poet and songwriter on the side. Bandleaders and singers often performed his songs in hopes of getting a column mention. Many of his songs were mediocre, but he did turn out a few hits, including LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND and DROP ME OFF IN HARLEM.  Glenn apparently didn’t succumb to the temptation to favor Kenny, as he only recorded two of his songs, LAST NIGHT and ORANGE BLOSSOM LANE (plus CATHEDRAL IN THE PINES on the radio in 1938).

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Actually, LAST NIGHT is a good song, ardently sung by Ray at the top of his register.  The arrangement takes its time, with a fine last chorus featuring the reeds and an unexpected stop-time coda.

Glenn had already taken us to the moon several times, with MOONLIGHT SERENADE, OH, YOU CRAZY MOON and BLUE MOONLIGHT. Now he went even further, going OUT OF SPACE.

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Composer-arrangers Gene Gifford and Joe Bishop, of the Casa Loma and Isham Jones bands respectively, had collaborated on the melody in 1934 and both bands recorded it as an instrumental.  Winky Tharp, who lyricized other songs by both arrangers, also did so here. The words are serviceable, but OUT OF SPACE works better as a mood piece without lyrics.

SO MANY TIMES was co-composed by a bandleader, and a famous one at that – Jimmy Dorsey.  Though many other bandleaders tagged their names onto songs they recorded to grab a share of publishing royalties, Jimmy didn’t seem to be that type and he likely did have a hand in creating the few songs he is credited with, mainly IT’S THE DREAMER IN ME and I’M GLAD THERE IS YOU.  The other name on this song is one Don DeVito, a total unknown.

It’s a mournful little song, handled nicely by Mr. Eberle.  Brother Bob Eberly delivered the vocal on the Jimmy Dorsey Decca rendition, just one of many songs that were sung by both siblings with their respective orchestras.

After spending the spring and summer of 1939 totally in the New York-New Jersey area, Glenn was now getting out to the people to show them what they had been hearing on the radio. And they were certainly liking what they saw!

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My Glen Island Of Golden Dreams

RCA Victor Studios, New York – August 18, 1939, 1:30-4:00 PM

041586-1      Who’s Sorry Now? (RE vcl)    Bluebird 10486

038143-1      My Isle of Golden Dreams (BF arr)      Bluebird 10399

041587-1      My Prayer (RE vcl)     Bluebird 10404

041588-1      Blue Moonlight (RE vcl)       Bluebird 10404

041588-2      Blue Moonlight (RE vcl)       first issued on LP

041589-1      Basket Weaver Man (RE vcl)        Victor 20-1585

gm Who's-Sorry-Now-1923

This last Summer 1939 record session puts the spotlight firmly on Ray Eberle, who waxes three songs that became Miller favorites and one that was totally forgotten.

WHO’S SORRY NOW? was already an oldie, having been a hit back in 1923. Composer Ted Snyder (THE SHEIK OF ARABY) and lyricists Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby (THREE LITTLE WORDS) would create many pop standards, but none as long-lasting as WHO’S SORRY NOW? In 1958, Connie Francis recorded it at the urging of her father and ibecame a smash Top Ten single. It’s still being recorded today by the likes of Harry Connick, Jr. and even Clay Aiken.

Miller takes it at a lively tempo, quite unlike the weepy Connie Francis 45. Eberle sounds quite cheerful, somewhat at odds with the downbeat lyrics. There are several felicitous touches in the arrangement’s intro, coda and transitions.

MY PRAYER underwent a strangely similar history, through a more circuitous route. Romanian café violinist Georges Boulanger wrote it as a salon piece in 1926 and Irish lyricist Jimmy Kennedy added lyrics in 1939. It became a big hit in England and was quickly imported to America, where Glenn and the Ink Spots each had chart-topping success.

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Oops - Japanese title!

Oops – Japanese title!

In 1958, the Platters revived it and scored a Number One record that is still heard today and triggered an enormous number of cover versions. Once again, Harry Connick, Jr. has waxed it.

Glenn plays the song in similar fashion to WHO’S SORRY NOW? Ray delivers a pleasant vocal, for once utilizing the lower end of his range. The saxes come to the fore in the last chorus.

 

gm blue moonlightBLUE MOONLIGHT gets a more carefully crafted treatment, with lovely solo touches by Beneke, clarinetist Willie Schwartz and even Al Klink on bass clarinet. Originally written as a concert piece for Paul Whiteman in 1934, composer Dana Suesse here adapted it into a popular song, as she had done earlier with her MY SILENT LOVE.

Continuing his foray into the oldies, Miller then went for the oldest – Gus Kahn’s moody 1919 waltz, MY ISLE OF GOLDEN DREAMS. This Bill Finegan instrumental arrangement had first been attempted on the July 26th session, but a satisfactory take was not achieved. Finegan treats the song as a slow fox trot, moving the melody line from the sax section to Beneke, then the trumpets and muted trombones. There is a delightfully sudden doubling of tempo for a half-minute before MacGregor’s piano signals a return to the original dreamy beat.

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Interestingly, the melody has been taken up in later years by country singers Marty Robbins and Hank Snow, country guitarists Chet Atkins and most successfully, Hawaiian singer Alfred Apaka.

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For the last number of the day, Glenn picked a new song, though it sounds as vintage as the others. BASKET WEAVER MAN was the first waltz the band recorded and is a downright oddity. Veteran composer Walter Donaldson was better known for his snappy ditties like MAKIN’ WHOOPEE, YOU’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY and MY BLUE HEAVEN, though he also wrote such lovely ballads as MY BUDDY and LITTLE WHITE LIES.

Ray Eberle seems ill-at-ease with the convoluted lyrics and the original 78 sounds like it was recorded off-center. This is the likely reason why the tune was never released on a Bluebird 78. Later LP and CD issues have somewhat corrected the speed fluctuations, but the record still has a creepy, mildewed air about it.

gm basket weaverDesperate for new material to issue during the 1942-44 recording ban, Victor finally pulled BASKET WEAVER MAN from the vaults in early 1944, backed by a reissue of ON A LITTLE STREET IN SINGAPORE. Several other Miller recordings first saw the light of day at this time, which we’ll get to down the road. Some copies of the disc were simply titled BASKET WEAVER, one of the few examples of Miller label variations for collectors.

Five days after this session, Glenn and the band completed their smashingly successful summer season at the Glen Island Casino and hit the road for the first time since popularity had smiled on them. It would be nearly a month before they returned to the Victor recording studios.

In the Mood!

Same personnel, except Marion Hutton (vcl) returns, replacing Kay Starr.

RCA Victor Studios, New York – August 1, 1939, 1:30-4:30 PM

038170-1      In The Mood         Bluebird 10416

038171-1      Wham (Re-Bop-Boom-Bam) (MH & the Band vcl, ED arr)      Bluebird 10399

038172-1      An Angel in a Furnished Room (RE vcl)     Bluebird 10383

038173-1      Twilight Interlude (RE vcl)       Bluebird 10388

038174-1      I Want To Be Happy (ED arr)          Bluebird 10416

038175-1      Farewell Blues (likely GM arr)         Bluebird 10495

 

gminthemoodglenn-miller-in-the-mood-rca-victor-2-78glenn-miller-and-his-orchestra-in-the-mood-rca-victorglenn-miller-in-the-mood-maybellene

What more can be said 75 years later about IN THE MOOD? It’s still amazing to contemplate that a rather tattered little riff that had been kicking around for a decade should become THE classic anthem of The Swing Era.

That riff passed from Wingy Manone (TAR PAPER STOMP) to Fletcher Henderson, Don Redman (both titled HOT AND ANXIOUS) to Mills Blue Rhythm Band (THERE’S RHYTHM IN HARLEM), Edgar Hayes, Artie Shaw (both now titled IN THE MOOD), back to Wingy Manone (JUMPY NERVES) and then finally to Glenn.

It’s still familiar today, having been repeatedly repackaged as a popular song (with a lamentable lyric by Andy Razaf), a rock-n-roll number, a disco disc, a movie soundtrack standard and a favorite of the Millennial Swing movement.

Arranger Joe Garland created the charts for the Mills band in 1935 and Edgar Hayes in 1938. The Hayes rendition is the first to offer the call-to-arms opening phrase that draws the listener’s attention. The first two choruses and backing band riffs of the familiar Miller 78 are nearly in place, but there are numerous extra themes and riffs cluttering up the second half. The famous 12-bar sax riff never reappears and the coda is unmemorable.

Garland sold the Hayes chart to Artie Shaw, who set the tempo so slowly that it took six minutes to perform. Artie played it this way on several location broadcasts in December 1938 and later claimed that the composition was too long to record. However, on his commercial radio show for Old Gold Cigarettes, he reverted to the original fast tempo, clocking in at two minutes and forty-five seconds, so his excuse sounds like latter-day sour grapes for having missed out on a big hit.

With Shaw uninterested in further exploitation, Garland then sold the chart again to Glenn. What did Miller bring to it? He solved the problem that had bedeviled every version since Manone’s 1930 TAR PAPER STOMP. With his arranger’s savvy, Miller chopped out all the additional themes, and then converted the first solo spot into a tenor sax chase between Tex Beneke and Al Klink, followed by a Clyde Hurley trumpet chorus.

Recognizing that the tune’s hook was that catchy sax riff, Glenn returned to it, repeated three times increasingly diminuendo and concluded with a lip-busting rising figure for the trumpet section, capped with a coda incorporating a final sax riff restatement. By making these alterations, Glenn struck pay dirt.

Interestingly, there is an aircheck from Glen Island of IN THE MOOD performed several days before the record session. With a running time of 4 minutes and forty seconds, Glenn still had some whittling to do to get it down to the familiar length of 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

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For the flip side of the original 78, Eddie Durham was tapped again for a jivey chart of I WANT TO BE HAPPY, the 1924 Vincent Youmans-Irving Caesar standard from the hit musical, No, No, Nanette. Glenn had written a martial-tempo jazz arrangement of the tune for Red Nichols back in 1930 and Benny Goodman and Chick Webb had done it more recently. It now became one of the best killer-dillers in the Miller discography. Hurley and Beneke solo in fine form followed by two choruses of increasingly agitated band riffs and a final shout out from Glenn and Moe Purtill before a neatly tied-up ending.

The hot stuff continues on WHAM (RE-BOP-BOOM-BAM), with Marion happily back in the songbird chair. It’s another Eddie Durham original, both composition and arrangement. Taken at a slower, groovier tempo, the vocal is followed by a chorus of pleasant riffing, then Tex, Glenn and Clyde solo. Hurley is especially inspired here.

Glenn & Marion rehearse

Glenn & Marion rehearse

Since Eddie Durham’s regular gig was with the great Jimmie Lunceford band, it’s not surprising that some of the Lunceford bounce seeps into the Miller rendition. Lunceford himself did not get around to recording WHAM until December and as one would expect, his version is looser and swingier than Glenn’s. It would take awhile longer for the Miller band to relax sufficiently to capture a taste of that uptown feel.

glenn-miller-wham-rebopboombam-his-masters-voice-78Ray Eberle comes up to bat twice, with one good tune and one that’s so-so. Bandleader Ted Fio Rito wrote the awkwardly titled AN ANGEL IN A FURNISHED ROOM, with lyrics by Al Dubin. Fio Rito had composed quality songs like I NEVER KNEW (I COULD LOVE ANYBODY) and THEN YOU’VE NEVER BEEN BLUE, but ANGEL is pretty uninspired, with a clichéd lyric.

Ray and Glenn do what they can with it, but make a better case for TWILIGHT INTERLUDE. Peter Tinturin was a fine, second-tier songwriter whose name never became well known, but he was the creator of FOOLIN’ MYSELF, BIG BOY BLUE and other songs recorded by Billie Holiday. Ella Fitzgerald and Mildred Bailey. Later, he crafted a batch of Western numbers for the post-war Tex Beneke band. Co-writer Al Jacobs would contribute I’VE GOT A HEARTFUL OF LOVE to the repertoire of Glenn’s AAF Band and Doris Day’s big hit, IF I GIVE MY HEART TO YOU.

gm twilightMiller starts TWILIGHT INTERLUDE with some smooth muted trombone and Ray plaintively delivers the vocal. The whole performance clicks nicely; for comparison, there is a Glen Island aircheck from the same evening, where Ray sounds quite strained and the band hits some clams.

Glenn managed to squeeze in six completed masters on this three-hour session, concluding with another flagwaver, FAREWELL BLUES. Though no arranger is credited on this ancient 1922 jazz standard, written by the members of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, it sounds like Glenn’s work, with his distinctive boo-wah brass figures. He also takes a rangy solo, along with usual suspects Beneke and Hurley. The last chorus has some wonderful arranged riffing, which likely sent the dancers into paroxysms of joy!

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It was not quite farewell yet to Westchester – there was one more record session to come while the band was comfortably situated at the Glen Island Casino and it would be a good one.

 

 

 

 

 

Glen Island Special

Kay Starr (vcl) replaces Marion Hutton

RCA Victor Studios, New York – July 26, 1939, 12:00-4:00 PM

038138-1      Starlit Hour (RE vcl, GM arr) Bluebird 10553

038139-1      Blue Orchids (RE vcl)             Bluebird 10372

038140-1      Glen Island Special (ED arr)             Bluebird 10388

038141-1      Love With a Capital “You” (KS vcl)   Bluebird 10383

038142-1      Baby Me (KS vcl, ED arr)        Bluebird 10372

038143-?      My Isle of Golden Dreams (BF arr)   first issued on LP

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By this time, the Glenn Miller band was operating like a glistening, well-oiled machine, so when it slipped a cog it was a big deal. On July 22nd, Marion Hutton collapsed in mid-performance on the bandstand of Glen Island Casino. Hospitalized and diagnosed with exhaustion, she spent a week recovering.  With a record date coming up, Glenn raced to find a substitute. He found her in tiny, 16-year-old Kay Starr, who had recently arrived in NY from Memphis and was already singing with Joe Venuti’s big band and guesting on the Bob Crosby Camel Caravan radio show.  Young Kay brought her own form of ebullience to the Miller band and was lucky enough to get two good songs to sing on her one record date.

KayStarr

Eddie Durham contributed the hot chart of BABY ME, slotting Kay in for a self-assured vocal on her first appearance before a recording mike.  Clyde Hurley delivers one of his by now-patented fiery trumpet solos and the band swings to a neat coda. Kay was already familiar with the song, having sung it on a July 24th Glen Island broadcast.  LOVE WITH A CAPITAL “YOU” is taken at a less hectic tempo, affording Kay a chance to emote a bit. This catchy Leo Robin-Ralph Rainger song was introduced by a blonde Martha Raye in the Paramount Joe E. Brown star vehicle, $1,000 a  Touchdown.

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On the ballad side, Ray Eberle also gets two fine songs – STARLIT HOUR, written by our old friend Mitchell Parish with Peter DeRose, comes encased in a simple, uncluttered Glenn Miller arrangement. Earlier in the year, Ray had sung the team’s DEEP PURPLE on the air from the Meadowbrook.  This is one of the first Miller ballad discs that really takes its time and gives Ray breathing space to deliver the lyric in a relaxed manner.

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Hoagy Carmichael’s BLUE ORCHIDS is performed slightly slower than the previous number. The lyric, apparently also by Hoagy, sits rather awkwardly on the rangy melody and though Eberle sounds OK, this attempt to create another STAR DUST comes off slightly wanting.

Eddie Durham scores with the swing original, GLEN ISLAND SPECIAL, a minor-key riff romp in his best Basie style.  There was a long history of swing instrumentals paying tribute to famous band venues, from Duke Ellington’s COTTON CLUB STOMP, to Count Basie’s ROSELAND SHUFFLE, Fats Waller’s PANTIN’ AT THE PANTHER ROOM and Glenn’s own PENNSYLVANIA 6-5000. As usual, Hurley and Beneke get the main solos, with Al Klink confined to an eight-bar release.  The topical title may have limited the SPECIAL’s life in the band’s book, as it was not played after January 1940, when Glenn had gone on to new places.

The final number on the session, MY ISLE OF GOLDEN DREAMS, was abandoned after an unsuccessful take, likely because the session had already run four hours. It was re-recorded successfully on August 18th. The rejected version surfaced decades later on LP and is similar to the issued 78, but the band hits a few clinkers and has trouble negotiating the tricky chart’s tempo changes.

No matter – the band and Marion Hutton would return to Victor in six days with a new instrumental that Glenn had high hopes for.

Over the Rainbow

RCA Victor Studios, New York – July 12, 1939, 1:30-4:30 PM

038261-1      Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead (MH vcl)        Bluebird 10366

038262-1      Over The Rainbow (RE vcl)    Bluebird 10366

038263-1      The Little Man Who Wasn’t There (GM & TB vcl)   Bluebird 10358

038264-1      The Man With The Mandolin (MH vcl)        Bluebird 10358

New pop songs continued to appear on the band’s recording schedule. The first two on this date would eventually become among the most familiar melodies of the century, but on July 12th, they didn’t stand out as being anything special.  The film they were written for, THE WIZARD OF OZ, would not be released for another month and no one could have predicted that one of these songs would win an Academy Award.

gm wizoz57859That song was, of course, OVER THE RAINBOW, immortalized by young Judy Garland.   In this case, Glenn was not infallible in smelling hits.  Sometimes a great song would get a mediocre treatment, and that was, unfortunately, the case here.  The arrangement is routine and played too fast in a slapdash manner. Also, the key is too high for Ray’s comfort, as he struggles to get through the wordy bridge without mishap. He’s not out of the Haunted Forest of Oz yet! Eberle mixes up the closing lyrics, singing, “Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, birds fly over the rainbow, why then oh why can’t I.”  It’s hard to listen to this non-rhyme without wincing, but obviously nobody in the studio caught the error.

gm ding dong

Lose one, win one – DING-DONG! THE WITCH IS DEAD sparkles from beginning to end. The witty, low-key (and uncredited) arrangement is likely by Miller, as it has a similar sound and flavor to Glenn’s Ray Noble chart of BUGLE CALL RAG.  Marion Hutton effervesces, Tex gets a nice little solo and the band winds down to an unusual diminuendo ending. The record’s only drawback is its brevity – an additional chorus could easily have been accommodated.

The next disc has a similar quiet ending and an odd genesis. THE LITTLE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE began life in 1899 as Antigonish, a poem by college professor Hughes Mearns, based on a ghostly legend from Nova Scotia.  Songwriters Harold Adamson and Bernie Hanighan lifted the poem’s text nearly verbatim and got themselves a big hit and a title phrase that became a part of the American vernacular (see below).

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Moe Purtill makes with the tom-toms, Glenn & Tex deliver some cross-talk patter and Tex then launches into the strange story of the Little Man.

Marion returns with another swinging “Man” – THE MAN WITH THE MANDOLIN.  It was written by Frank Weldon, James Cavanaugh and John Redmond, journeyman songwriters who had created I LIKE MOUNTAIN MUSIC, THE UMBRELLA MAN and other hits. The band hits the perfect tempo for this jivey arrangement, which holds the distinction of offering the only solo appearance by guitarist Richard Fisher.

Coming up on the next record date – a surprising and short-lived major personnel change!

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“Ain’t Cha Comin’ Out?”

Legh Knowles, Clyde Hurley, Mickey McMickle (tp); Glenn Miller, Paul Tanner, Al Mastren (tb); Hal McIntyre, Wilbur Schwartz (cl,as); Hal Tennyson (as,bar); Tex Beneke, Al Klink (ts); Chummy MacGregor (p); Dick Fisher (g); Rollie Bundock (b); Maurice Purtill (d); Ray Eberle, Marion Hutton (vcl).

RCA Victor Studios, New York – June 22, 1939, 12:15-2:15 PM

037675-1      Oh! You Crazy Moon (RE vcl)          Bluebird 10329

037676-1      Ain’t Cha Comin’ Out? (MH, TB vcl)            Bluebird 10329

RCA Victor Studios, New York – June 27, 1939, 1:30-4:00 PM

037699-1      The Day We Meet Again (RE vcl)    Bluebird 10344

038200-1      Wanna Hat with Cherries (MH vcl)            Bluebird 10344

038200-3      Wanna Hat with Cherries (MH vcl)            first issued on LP

038201-1      Sold American (GM arr)       Bluebird 10352

038202-1      Pagan Love Song (GM arr)   Bluebird 10352

038202-2      Pagan Love Song       first issued on LP

038202-3      Pagan Love Song       first issued on CD

 

Six more Miller tunes to gladden the fans and jukeboxes!  Eberle ballads, Hutton rhythm tunes, hot instrumentals – all bases covered on these two sessions.  Ray leads off with a big Miller favorite, OH, YOU CRAZY MOON, by Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen. The team wrote many hit songs for Bing Crosby films, but this was a stand-alone effort which Bing did not record at the time.  Taken at a brisk “businessmen’s bounce” tempo, the band and Ray sound relaxed, with some nice Miller trombone in the last chorus.

OhYouCrazyMoon-2

AIN’T CHA COMIN’ OUT? is an odd swing ditty, by Marx Brothers’ composers Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. The tempo takes two dramatic pauses during the vocals, which likely threw dancers off. As Marion and Tex do their thing, the rhythm section percolates nicely, with Purtill flashing front and center.

June 27th leads off with a stinker – THE DAY WE MEET AGAIN is a lesser effort from Will Grosz, a Viennese avant-garde classical composer, who settled in Britain after the Nazi takeover. He turned to pop songwriting and produced hits like HARBOR LIGHTS, RED SAILS IN THE SUNSET and ISLE OF CAPRI. Grosz died at the end of 1939, so this must have been one of his last compositions. Too bad it wasn’t a better song . Ray sounds rather leaden and the performance is pretty listless.

As a song, WANNA HAT WITH CHERRIES is no better, but the whole performance sparkles and swings. Marion Hutton is saddled with the dopey lyrics, but tosses them off in her usual effervescent manner. Written by bandleader Larry Clinton, who recorded the song four days before Glenn, it was enough of a hit for Mr. Miller that he was still playing it on broadcasts more than a year later.

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One of the very few tunes Glenn remade on record, SOLD AMERICAN comes off much better than the Brunswick version from 1938. The improvement in the rhythm section is immediately noticeable. Tex’s solo is markedly less corny than the first time around, Glenn sounds nearly the same and Clyde Hurley on hot trumpet is pretty much an equal swap for Johnny “Zulu” Austin on the first version.

paganlovesong

We wind up with PAGAN LOVE SONG, a huge hit back in 1929 from composers Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown, the SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN guys.  Originally a dramatic waltz song performed by MGM hunk Ramon Novarro in the part-talkie, THE PAGAN, it had been swung in more recent years by Bob Crosby and Glen Gray.  Glenn had been playing his hot version since 1937 and finally waxed it here. It’s one of his best swing arrangements, full of good solos.

Glenn leads off in a brash manner and Al Klink makes his first solo appearance with a typically fleet-fingered effort.  An excellent tightly-muted Hurley chorus follows, then Tex who is somewhat less effective than usual at this killer tempo. Purtill winds it up with blaring brass in the foreground.  In a rare occurrence, all three preserved takes of the PAGAN LOVE SONG have been issued, with different solo improvisations between them and a clinker here and there on the later takes.

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Songs from a more recent MGM musical film would figure in Glenn’s next session, two weeks later!