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