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> Favorite Male Singers 1925-1935, Who are YOUR favorites?
Ed Vasicek
post Feb 5 2005, 10:03 PM
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We all have our favorite male singers who were popular between 1925 and 1935. In order, who are your favorites?

Mine are:

1. Al Jolson (the World's Greatest Entertainer)
2. Phil Harris
3. Maurice Chevalier
4. Bing Crosby (especially with the Rhythm Boys)
5. Eddie Cantor

How about you? This can get tough! With names like Rudy Vallee, Paul Robeson, or even the comical singing of Jimmy Durante and all the other crooners like Gene Austin, and Russ Columbo there are a lot to choose from.
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Jarred
post Feb 7 2005, 10:12 PM
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1. Will Osborne [I](much better than Vallee)
2. Bing Crosby
3. Cab Calloway
4. Eddie Cantor
5. Red McKenzie


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MJJ
post Feb 7 2005, 10:44 PM
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Louis Armstrong

Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton (Although he only did 1 vocal during the time in this thread ("Doctor Jazz"; Dec. 16, 1926), he did some very effective singing on sessions in 1939 - 40 for "General Records" -- Piano solos, and sessions as "Jelly Roll Morton's Seven" (Some were labled "Jelly Roll Morton's Six")" and a 1939 session as "Jelly Roll Morton's New Orleans Jazz Men" for RCAVictor which featured Sidney Bechet on Soprano Saxophone on some tracks.
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Jarred
post Feb 7 2005, 11:23 PM
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An interesting follow-up to my post for singers. I live in Janesville, Wisconsin and there is a neighborhood in town where there are two streets two blocks apart named Crosby and Osborne. The others around there don't sound like singers' names (Do Marion or Willard sound like any musical names to you?). I am highly intrigued that Osborne could possibly have been named after Will. He was a great, underrated singer and bandleader. I love that trombone glissing band.
Also, in a different part of town, there are Sousa and Gershwin streets. No question there!


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Ian House
post Feb 8 2005, 03:10 AM
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1. Cab Calloway
2. Rudy Vallee
3. Whispering Jack Smith
4. Bing Crosby
5. Cliff Edwards



Runners-up: Al Bowlly, Al Jolson, Ted Lewis, Hoagy Carmichael, Mills Bros., Gene Austin ...sorry, too many to mention!


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Fredrik
post Feb 8 2005, 08:51 AM
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Bing Crosby, Smith Ballew, Sam Browne, Irving Kaufman and the joint efforts of Coon and Sanders.

And not far behind we have Rudy Vallée, Arthur Fields, Red McKenzie, Gene Austin, Dick Robertson, Ralph Kirbery and...

Hell - they are all good! I think I'm actually more in love with the ovarall "style" of the period than with individual artists.

Fredrik
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dismuke
post Feb 9 2005, 07:36 AM
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I am surprised nobody so far has mentioned Al Bowlly. He was quite good.

I would have to put Crosby as my number one - but I have very little interest in his recordings after the early '30s.

In contrast with Crosby, one vocalist I am NOT a fan of is Frank Sinatra. But I have to give Sinatra credit for one thing: when Mitch Miller at Columbia records gave Sinatra hokey garbage to sing, he tried to fight back and, eventually left Columbia as a result of it. Crosby, apparently, would record anything that happened to be placed in front of him. Sinatra was picky about what he recorded and he was successful in crafting a public persona (his connections to the underworld, being pals with JFK and the most likely fabricated Kitty Kelly rumors of him having an affair at the White House with Nancy Reagan, etc.) that enabled him to be regarded as "hip" even when he was in his 80s.

Crosby, on the other hand, ended upcoming across as "corny" - and, judging by some of the stuff he recorded from the late 1940s onward, with a certain amount of justification. I think Crosby was MUCH better vocalist than Sinatra - but if you walk into a music store today, you will find LOTS of Frank Sinatra CDs and maybe a small handful of Crosby recordings, almost all of them from his very WORST years. One of the reasons I dislike Sinatra's recordings is they put me to sleep as he sings in a monotone - and, so in an age when most modern music has been sanitized of melody, perhaps it IS appropriate that Sinatra is more popular than Crosby.

I would say that my second favorite was Whispering Jack Smith. I am a big fan of his recordings and vocal style. He was popular in Germany as well - which is interesting because the reason he adopted his unique style was due to his lungs being injured by poison gas when he was fighting the Germans in World War I. I have his German recording of "When I Kiss Your Hand Madame" in the Radio Dismuke playlist as well as a recording in which Oskar Karlweis performs a parody of him.

Fredrik mentions Dick Robertson. I agree, some of his recordings were fabulous. My favorite is "You Can't Stop Me From Loving You" He recorded very different versions of the song for Ben Selvin on Columbia and Russ Carlson & The High Steppers on Crown. His vocal on both versions is just wonderful - and, happily, I have both on CD reissues and they, too, are featured in the Radio Dismuke playlist.
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dismuke
post Feb 9 2005, 07:38 AM
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QUOTE(dismuke @ Feb 9 2005, 01:36 AM)
I am surprised nobody so far has mentioned Al Bowlly.  He was quite good.

Well, the very instant after I posted this, I noticed that Ian had mentioned him.

Hmmmm - perhaps it is time I either get reading lessons or a new pair of glasses!
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Jarred
post Feb 9 2005, 10:16 PM
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I do not like Dick Robertson's singing and don't think he should be compared to a Crosby or a Bowlly. He comes off to me as incredibly corny and weasily, with a voice like that of a cartoon character. That may be sense he always seemed to get those same kinds of silly songs to record, probably because it was hard to take him sincerely on a serious love ballad. Still, there's plenty of worse singers out there. Irving Kaufman may be, in my opinion, the worst singer in the history of recording.
On the other hand, I don't really mind Sinatra's singing, and I do like some of his early stuff, mainly before 1946 or so. I may like him more because I was familiar with him long before I became interested in 20s and 30s music.


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bob
post Feb 10 2005, 02:51 AM
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I know this is not the place to discuss country music, but back in the 1920's The name of Jimmie Rogers was pretty will known. I have every song he ever recorded. "Waiting For A Train" is my favorite.

Bob


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WhitemansWhisper...
post Feb 10 2005, 03:55 AM
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I've long been a fan of both Louis Armstrong's cornet playing and singing and his longevity was a testament to his amazing talent.

I must admit I do not know much about Allan Jones, but his singing of "Alone" in the Marx Brothers movie, "A Night at the Opera" is quite beautiful. Do any of you know when his career took off and how long he performed?

Dismuke, that Frank and Nancy Sinatra duet, "Something Stupid", from the 60's sprang immediately to mind when you commented on his monotone voice. Are there earlier recordings that especially highlight the monotone quality of his voice for you?

Count me in as another fan of Cab Calloway. What a great entertainer he was!
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Flapper Girl
post Feb 10 2005, 11:12 PM
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I am certainly partial to Bing and enjoyed his music throughout his career. When I first heard some of his early recordings, I must say, I barely recognized the voice. There was definitely a change in style over the years as he matured, but I liked all the stages. I believe you can say the same for Sinatra. The young Frank sounded so much better to me than the older one.

Al Bowlly is one of my favorites and I can never get enough of Whispering Jack Smith's version of "Crazy Rhythm". Cliff Edwards and Arthur Fields are well worth mentioning in my book and I have just recently "found" Charlie Palloy. It doesn't appear he was a top name of the day, but I do like what I have heard so far. Ozzie Nelson's duets with Harriet Hilliard make for good listening, too. There were so many topnotch vocalists during that time frame, both male and female, so it makes it difficult to choose five favorites.

Flapper Girl
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Ed Vasicek
post Feb 11 2005, 03:10 AM
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sad.gif sad.gif Nobody else is a Jolson fan! Mammy! I too love the voice of Louis Armstrong. Whispering Jack or Ted Lewis are okay by me, but I like more of a singing style and less of a talking style, though Jolson does some of both. I notice no one mentioned Georgie Jessel.

When it comes to Sinatra, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think he did anything between 1925 and 35, though I admit he was a great singer.

I think Crosby liked to sing more jazzy songs than he actually did because the consumers liked his less jazzy songs. I especially enjoy Bing with the Rhythm Boys. That Harry Barris was a live wire. I love Crosby in the great Paul Whiteman movie, "The King of Jazz."
I especially appreciate his sound in Happy Feet, a truly great song.

It is good to hear these great voices on Radio Dismuke.
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Ian House
post Feb 11 2005, 06:08 AM
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OK Flapper Girl,

If you're going to start listing your favorite Jack Smith recordings, I will have to mention mine!... By the way, I totally agree with you in regard to his "Crazy Rhythm"; It's a version I could listen to over and over again myself. I'm a BIG, BIG fan of that song to begin with.... But I would have to add "My Blue Heaven" to my list of top 5 Whispering Jack Smith recordings. It's an extraordinary song to listen to -and, if you let it, it will carry you off into a surreal sort of serenity. It has such a peaceful and ethereal quality about it -almost a spiritual experience. The repetitive phrasing is like that of a lullaby. Quite hypnotic. And when the simple piano and, later, the string accompaniment is joined by the percussion, it's like being gently awakened and brought into full consciousness by the song's end.

And Ed,

You are definitely NOT alone in your fond appreciation of Jolson. I absolutely LOVE his stuff. He is the polar opposite of Whispering Jack. He is BOISTEROUS and BOMBASTIC...and, DAMN, he SO entertaining to listen to. When I get into a mood for Jolson, it often lasts for days... and I begin singing out LOUD like a madman, bounding down the sidewalk and chirping at the birdies in the trees (...until the men wrap me up in a white coat with straps!)...

The contrast between Smith and Jolson perfectly illustrates the wonderful diversity of the Jazz Age... God, how I LOVE this music!

Crosby vs. Sinatra? Ill take Bing -hands down. But I agree with Dismuke and others: -only his early years. I'll let the easy-listeners pay tribute to his 40's catalogue.

Ian


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Fredrik
post Feb 11 2005, 09:16 AM
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Oh, come on - everybody knows that Whispering Jack's best record is "Sunshine" (recorded in London with a wonderful backing by Ambrose and His Orchestra). wink.gif

As for his whispering voice being the result of having been exposed to gas during WWI I've read that this was more of a publicity gimmick than actual truth. When singing live Smith could use quite a powerful voice if he wished to.

By the way, Irving Kaufman who was so fiercly dismissed in one of the above posts could do quite a convincing impersonation of Jack Smith. These were issued under the pseudonym "Confidential Charlie"! (Kaufman could of course also sing in a style very similar to Jolson's and he could sing in various "ethnic" styles - he was a true professional and a chameleon.

And finally: thank you Dismuke for what you wrote about Sinatra! I've also always thought that he is one the most inexplicably overestimated of all artists, and your characterization of him as "monotone" very well sums up my opinion too - the man makes every song he sings sound the same!

Fredrik
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