Say “Si Si”

Legh Knowles, Clyde Hurley, Mickey McMickle, John Best (tp); Glenn Miller, Paul Tanner, Tommy Mack, Frank D’Annolfo (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); Jerry Gray, Bill Finegan (arr).

RCA Victor Studios, New York – January 26, 1940, 2:00-5:15 PM

046727-1      Say “Si Si” [Para Vigo Me Voy] (MH vcl)     Bluebird 10622

046728-1      The Rumba Jumps (MH, TB vcl)   Bluebird 10673

046728-2      The Rumba Jumps (MH, TB vcl)   first issued on LP

Happily tootling along in New York, the Miller band worked through January on their Chesterfield program and Café Rouge appearances. Two more record dates were slotted in before the end of the month. Two tunes with a Latin tinge comprised the January 26th session. SAY “SI SI” was an authentic Cuban song by famed composer Ernesto Lecuona, published in 1935 under the title PARA VIGO ME VOY and recorded by Xavier Cugat.

gmsaysisiWith the developing craze for Latin American music, quite a few older songs by Lecuona, Alberto Dominguez and others got an American makeover with new English lyrics. Journeyman writer Al Stillman did the job here and also successfully lyricized THE BREEZE AND I and MAMA YO QUIERO around the same time. Marion Hutton sings jauntily, pushing the Miller disc into hit status. The Andrews’ Sisters version on Decca also sold well. Coincidentally, the Sisters featured the number on their Chesterfield radio appearances with Glenn, who therefore had to carry two arrangements of the song in his book!

gmrumbaUnlikely “Latin” composers Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer wrote THE RUMBA JUMPS, for their flop Broadway musical, Walk With Music; Glenn had earlier recorded OOH! WHAT YOU SAID from this score.      Future Miller stars, The Modernaires, sang both songs in the show. It tells a complicated story about a Harlem band stranded in the Dominican Republic and likely provided the impetus for a colorful production number on Broadway. On record, it serves as the first Hutton-Beneke vocal-whistling duet, with the hip “Hiya Tex, what’cha say?” patter that would become a familiar part of the band’s performances.

Just three days later, the band would be back at RCA for a lengthy session featuring Marion & Tex again.

gmthisis

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