Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930 – Fred Astaire and Leo Reisman, Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, The Blackbottom

Welcome to the new series of the music column where I am joined as always by Jazz singer and composer William Price King.  We hope you will join us every Tuesday for some of the chart hits of the big band era from the 1930s through to the 1950s.

Some of the earlier videos are not of the best quality however where possible we have sourced remastered copies to share with you. Considering some are almost 100 years old, it is remarkable that they exist at all.  A testament to the love of the music of that era.

Along with our selections each week I will also be showcasing one of the dance crazes from the 1920s onwards and as with the music videos some are not of the highest quality and in some cases I have substituted more modern versions.

Here is my next selection from the Big Band chart in the 1930s from Fred Astaire with the Leo Reisman’s Orchestra

Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman’s Orchestra “Cheek to Cheek” (1935) 

“Cheek to Cheek” was written for Fred Astaire by Irving Berlin for the musical “Top Hat,” co-starring Ginger Rogers. The song was nominated for the Best Song Oscar for 1936, which it lost to “Lullaby of Broadway.” The song spent five weeks at #1 on the charts and was named the #1 song of 1935. Astaire’s 1935 recording with the Leo Reisman Orchestra was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2004, Astaire’s version finished at #15 on AFI’s 100 Years . . . 100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. Atticus Jazz

Here is my next selection from this era of popular music from Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields.

Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields “I’m in the Mood for Love” (1935)

“I’m in the Mood for Love” is a popular song published in 1935. The music was written by Jimmy McHugh, with the lyrics by Dorothy Fields. The song was introduced by Frances Langford in the movie Every Night at Eight released that year.

It became Langford’s signature song. Bob Hope, who frequently worked with Langford entertaining troops in World War II, later wrote that her performance of the song was often a show-stopper. Mario Gargano

Other sources: Wikipedia

The early videos that I have managed to find are not always the best quality but hopefully they convey the wonderful joy that dancing brought to the times. Sally.

The black bottom is a dance which became popular during 1920s amid the Jazz Age. It was danced solo or by couples. Originating among African Americans in the rural South, the black bottom eventually spread to mainstream American culture and became a national craze in the 1920s. The dance was most famously performed by Ann Pennington, a star of the Ziegfeld Follies, who performed it in a Broadway revue staged by Ziegfeld’s rival George White in 1926. maynardcat

Your Hosts for The Big Band Era

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular Venue – Cave Wilson

Sally Cronin is an author, blogger and broadcaster who enjoyed four years as part of the team on Onda Cero International’s English speaking morning show in Marbella and then for two years as a presenter on Expressfm the local radio station in Portsmouth. She co-presented two ‘Drive Time’ shows a week with Adrian Knight, hosted the live Thursday Afternoon Show and The Sunday Morning Show guests including musicians and authors. Following this she became Station Director for a local internet television station for two years, producing and presenting the daily news segment, outside broadcasts and co-presenting the Adrian and Sally chat show live on Friday evenings.

She and her husband David have now returned to Ireland where they live on the Wexford Coast where she blogs and continues to write books.

Books :Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads – blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Thanks for tuning in and as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.



57 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930 – Fred Astaire and Leo Reisman, Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, The Blackbottom

  1. Phew!
    I was nearly NOT in heaven today as my computer was playing tricks and had sent this post into spam! How rude!?
    Luckily I found it.
    My husband was enjoying the ‘I’m in heaven’, song so much he walked into the bin! Not literally, but we did a little cheek to cheek dance. Not quite Fred and Ginger more Geoff and Sue.

    Love the ‘Black Bottom ‘ flapper dance. (Can you say that these days? I can)
    I shall have to try a bit of Zumba flapping but at least I found the post.
    I was getting Tuesday withdrawl symptoms!
    Thank you for sharing.
    I think I need to check out my computer spam folder now with some very serious word.
    (Might get a bit ‘blue’ so I shall have a zumba break first)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Enjoyed all of these and feel an urge to watch an old Astaire/Rogers film now. Watching The Black Bottom, it occurred to me how remarkable it must have been to go from women wearing hefty gowns that didn’t reveal even a neatly-turned ankle, to the freedom of the Charelston era! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have a large collection of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers videos and CDs. My ultimate dancers and I love Fred singing. I used to dream of dancing with Fred when I was having ballet and tap lessons as a child. Thanks for sharing this, William and Sally. Made my day. x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What wonderful voices and sound this week, Sally and William. Perfect choices. Every time I see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers mentioned, I remember that my father once played tennis with Ms. Rogers. She needed a partner for doubles. Not sure where or when. I’m in the Mood for Love was especially soothing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up- 30th January – 5th February 2023 – Birthdays, Big Band, Food A-Z, Podcast, PR for Authors, Reviews, Bloggers and Funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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