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.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up – 23rd – 29th January 2023 – Technology, Big Bands, Sir George Shearing, Podcast, PR for authors, Book Reviews, New Releases, The Brain, Funnies


Welcome to the round up of posts this week on Smorgasbord that you might have missed.

I hope you have all had a good week. Nothing earth shattering to report from here but when I read the world headlines, I am very happy to be living in a quiet rural area away from it all. I know I used to be so much more adventurous, but even my upcoming trip to see my sisters requires planning and preparations for just a few days away. The days of flinging some clothes into a bag, grabbing a passport and whizzing through an airport to catch a flight to the other side of the world are long over.

Even technology is going to become interesting during 2023 as mobile phones that are programmed for 3G become obsolete in the UK and Ireland, making way for the new 4G voice technology. This means new phones for the majority of us, and whilst there are only a couple of places in the UK at the moment that have scrapped 3G, they and Ireland intend to move to 4G by the end of the year. Considering I used to drive hundreds of miles on my own without a mobile phone I am almost ashamed I am not brave enough to drive the 7k to Tesco without one!

As always my thanks to my friends who contribute to the blog…

William Price King joined me this week for the Big Band Era with Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson and The Charleston. Also the next post on the life and music of Sir George Shearing with the last episode on this coming Friday.The following week a new series on the incredible Quincy Jones You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ has arrived safely in Mexico after a gruelling journey with snow blizzards, delays due to iced wings. During her time away I will be sharing some posts from the archives on Smorgasbord and her own blog. Tomorrow morning… one of her early guest posts here on an entertaining travel adventure. There will also be some funnies along the way. Debby did a Bon Voyage post on her blog with some interesting geographical, political and safety information on Puerta Vallarta and if you are planning a winter break you will find very helpful. Follow the link to Debby’s blog D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor will be here on Wednesday with her A-Z of food and the letter ‘P’. Congratulations to Carol on becoming a great grandmother to Bonnie born on January 25th, a beautiful picture in her round up. On Monday Carol looked at the alternative options to antibiotics in the form of Echinacea, a better way to grow rice for the environment, a report on Trans Fats, a fitness update and a toadzilla found that would make anyone jump. Carol explores the cuisine of Fiji… very exotic locally sourced delicacies. Catch up on all Carol’s posts: Carol Taylor’s weekly round up 22nd to 28th January

Thank you very much for your visits, comments and shares to social media, as always it is appreciated ♥

On with the show…..

The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930s – Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson and The Charleston

William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – 1970s and Latin and Classical Styles

Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Light Lingers and Poisoned Apples by Sally Cronin

The Body our Greatest Asset – The Brain – Shopping list for the Brain and its support systems by Sally Cronin

Public Relations for Authors Recycled- Part Four – Social Media – The Pros and the Cons as an Author by Sally Cronin

Book Review – #Poetry – Sorrowful Soul (Book 3 in the Soul Poetry series) by Harmony Kent

#Reviews D.L. Finn, #Reading Robbie Cheadle, #Writinglinks D.G. Kaye, #Diary Yvette Calliero, #Interview Judith Barrow, #Funnies The Story Reading Ape, #Powercut Cheryl Oreglia

#Parents #Grief – Ok, Little Bird by Deena Goldstein

#Poetry #FreeVerse – Ida: Searching for The Jazz Baby – From Volyn to Kherson: Interpretations of the war in Ukraine by Frank Prem

#Romance – #Preorder – Reunion (Montana Bred Series 2) by Linda Bradley

#mystery #suspense – The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams

#Pets on My Travels by Darlene Foster

#PotLuck – Top Ten Things Not to Do on a Men Only Weekend Trip by John W. Howell.

January 2023 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Margaritas and Regrets

January 2023 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – #Marriage and #Fottles

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week… stay safe.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Music Column – William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – 1970s and Latin and Classical Styles


It is nine years since William Price King joined Smorgasbord to share music across the genres. We continue in 2023 with series sharing the lives and music of some of the great names in music over the last century

Part Four of the series exploring the life and music of one of the most important British Jazz musicians of the 20th century.

#Jazz – Sir George Shearing -The 1960s

We are now into the 60s and George Shearing moves into the decade where pop and rock were beginning to take over the charts.

George Shearing did well in the transition period in music when many less popular musicians and singers faded away. He was versatile and with several styles to offer his audiences, he spent the 60s building on his reputation and popularity.

He never forgot his classical roots and he began to introduce this element back into his own concerts as well as performing as a soloist with larger orchestras. His quintet would often feature as well later in the performance giving George the best of both worlds.

Here is George Shearing, playing with Robert Farnon and his Orchestra  How Beautiful Is Night.

There were 26 albums released in the 1960s most with Capitol records but also individual albums for other labels including George Shearing and the Montgomery Brothers for Jazzland. Also Jazz Moments with Blue Note in 1962, Smooth and Swinging for MGM also in 1962 and a live album for Request in 1966 that was not released until 2006 called Live Jazz from Club 15.

Here is No Hard Feelings from George Shearing and the Montgomery Brothers.

Apart from the classical and Jazz elements to his music and performances there was also another major facet to George Shearing’s music and that was the introduction of Afro-Cuban jazz in the 50s. Some of the Latin musicians of the 60s had been inspired by George’s pioneering work in this style and some of the artists that he worked with included Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaria and Armando Paraza.

Here is an early recording of this style The George Shearing Quintet with Drume Negrita

In 1969 after a very lucrative partnership with Capitol Records which had included hit albums such as On The Sunny Side of the Stripand White Satin and collaborations with Nat King Cole, Nancy Wilson and Peggy Lee, George moved on and started his own label, Sheba, and released six albums between 1970 and 1973. He also began to phase out the Quintet working in trios or duos with his solo work with orchestras.

This move to his own label did lower his public profile to a degree without the marketing machine of a major label, but things began to change again when he signed with MPS Records which was a German jazz record label founded in 1968. MPS stands for “Musik Produktion Schwarzwald” (Music Production Black Forest). George recorded eleven albums with the label including The Reunion with Stephane Grappelli. Here is George Shearing with Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen on Bass and Irish jazz guitarist Louis Stewart with 500 Miles High from the MPS Trio Sessions

The 70s also were notable for an award received in May 1975, When George received an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

George Shearing headed into the 80s signed to a new label Concord Jazz that was to prove to be a very popular and successful partnership with over 20 albums in the next 10 years.

Next week the 80s and two great artists join forces when Mel Torme and George Shearing hit the stage

Buy the music of George Shearing . Amazon

Additional material.
Sir George Shearing Bio
Wikipedia

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

 

As always William would love to receive your feedback… thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 16th – 22nd January 2023 – George Shearing, Big Band Era, Intuition, Culinary ‘O’ foods and terms, New Releases, Book Reviews, The Brain, Bloggers Spotlight and Funnies


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed in the last week here on Smorgasbord.

Not a great deal to report this week that is newsworthy but thank goodness for the blog which has kept me out of mischief… well almost! The weaher has turned a little warmer the last couple of days and I notice the first signs of the primroses under the hedge poking their heads about ground. I hope they are not being overly keen and I am sure some more frosts to come.

On the blog front.. delighted to say that quite a few bloggers have signed up for the new series of post from the archives and you will begin to see those posts beginning Tuesday. So if you would like me to share two posts from your archives from July- December 2022 then here are the details. #NewSeries January 2023- ‘Lucky Dip’ and Do You Trust Me??

Don’t forget to email me if you have a new release in the next few weeks so I can help spread the news. sally.cronin@moyhill.com. If you are new to the blog then I will let you know what I need… if you have been featured before I just need the Amazon link.

As always my thanks to my friends who contribute to the blog…

William Price King joined me this week to celebrate the Big Band Era Ethel Waters, Duke Ellington and the Jitterbug. Also the next post on Friday with the life and music of Sir George Shearing.  You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ was here on Monday with an exploration of Intuition… and during this past week joined me for a laughter post.  On her own blog you will find her Sunday Book Review for Death and its Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Beautiful Lessons by therapist Becky Aud-Jennison.  Also a link to Debby’s two latest podcast.

Debby is heading off to Mexico for two months on her annual migration to warmer climes but I will be sharing some posts from her archives on her Monday slot in the meantime. She will be back in April with more of her Spiritual Awareness posts. Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor was here on Wednesday with her A-Z of food and the letter ‘O’. Over on her own blog you will find Monday Musings on Rhinos and natural antibiotics, On Thursday thoughts you can discover some interesting facts such as the first hot air balloon flight in the 18th century.  You can catch up with the news: Carol Taylor’s Weekly Round Up 21st January

Thank you very much for your visits, comments and shares to social media, as always it is appreciated ♥

On with the show…..

The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930s – Ethel Waters, Duke Ellington and The Jitterbug

William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – The Collaborations

Spiritual Awareness – Learning to Trust Your #Intuition by D. G. Kaye

Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘O’ for Oats, Offal, Octopus, Oranges and Oysters.

Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Waiting for Spring and Good Morning Your Eminence by Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Public Relations for Authors Recycled – Part Three – Hitting the Red Carpet

The Body our Greatest Asset – The Brain – Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease by Sally Cronin

#Review – #Romance #Novella – Pour It On ( Keystone Couples) by Staci Troilo

#Forgottenwords Marcia Meara, #Booktitles Pamela Wight, #Reviews Diana Peach, #2022reads D.L. Finn, #Salad New Vintage Kitchen, #Frost John Howell.

#Suspense #Romance Tall Pines Sanctuary by Sharon K. Connell

#Contemporary #Suspense #Loss #Love – All That Was Taken by Lisette Brodey

#YA #Fantasy – Dream Walker: Book 5 in ‘The Council of Twelve’ Series A.J. Alexander

#Techno #Thriller What Comes Before (Heirs And Descendants Book 3) by Daniel Kemp

Host Malcolm Allen – January 2023 – Bird Power and Weighing Scales

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Notes to Self and Definitions

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week… be safe… Sally

Smorgasbord Music Column – William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – The Collaborations


It is nine years since William Price King joined Smorgasbord to share music across the genres. We continue in 2023 with series sharing the lives and music of some of the great names in music over the last century

The third post in the series exploring the life and music of one of the most important British Jazz musicians of the 20th century.

#Jazz – Sir George Shearing – The Collaborations

We now move into the mid-50s and 60s and the decision to move to America permanently has offered George Shearing to work with the best in music.

George Shearing and his Jazz Combos became more and more successful and popular through the 50s and 60s and he would release 48 albums, some in collaboration with other jazz artists of the day such as Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson and Mel Torme.

Most of George’s albums in the early 50s were with the MGM label but as his popularity grew other record companies wanted to sign him. From 1955 until 1969 he formed a very lucrative association with the Capitol label releasing several runaway albums including Beauty and the Beat with Peggy Lee in 1959.

The Rodgers and Hart – Nobody’s Heart featuring Peggy Lee – vocals; George Shearing – piano; Toots Thielemans – guitar; Ray Alexander – vibraphone; Warren Chiasson,
Jimmy Bond – double bass; Roy Hayens – drums; Armando Peraza – conga.

George had invented a unique quintet sound with the combination of piano, electric guitar, bass, drums and the introduction of a vibraphone. This enabled him to develop further a style called ‘locked hands’ which he had picked up when playing with and listening to other bands in the 40s such as Lionel Hampton and the King Cole Trio.

The written description does not really explain the style of ‘locked hands’ very well if you are non-musical. The style involves stating the melody on the piano with closely knit, harmonised block chords with the vibraphone and guitar tripling the melody in unison… See what I mean. But you might get a better idea by watching this short (under two minutes) tutorial actually on the piano.

Here is George and another wonderful female jazz artist Nancy Wilson — vocals The George Shearing Quintet: George Shearing — piano Dick Garcia — guitar Warren Chiasson — vibraphone Ralph Pena — double bass Armando Peraza — percussion Vernel Fournier — drums recorded in 1961 which was a very busy year for the quintet.

Over the 60s he also began showcasing smaller lineups trios, duos and of course his own solo work. Particularly with a duo, George was able to perform more freely within the styles that he favoured most, moving effortlessly between classical to bebop in the same number. He certainly was sought after to accompany other greats of the music world and here is another wonderful collaboration with Nat King Cole.

Here is Let There Be Love written in 1940 with music by Lionel Rand and lyrics by Ian Grant, recorded by Nat King Cole and the George Shearing Quintet on their 1961 album for Capitol – Nat King Cole Sings and George Shearing Plays.

George’s career was firmly established by the end of the 60s and audiences around the world delighted in the variety of his styles both in his larger combos and his solo work. The early influences that set him on the path to musical success still featured in his own playing including both ends of the spectrum of boogie-woogie and classical. He was admired by other pianists of the day for his light and refined touch and his ability to move seamlessly between styles and he added the odd surprise when he would pick up the accordion or sing on occasion.

It is fitting to end this episode on collaborations in the 60s with another great performer Mel Torme and the song How Do You Say Auf Wiedersehen?

Mel Torme and George Shearing – composer Tony Scibetta and lyricist Johnny Mercer’s masterpiece is covered in masterful style by Shearing & Tormé. This comes from a 1983 Concord recording, their second together, entitled “Top Drawer.”

Buy the music of George Shearing . Amazon

Additional material.
Sir George Shearing Bio
Wikipedia

Next week we will be looking at the 1970s and two other styles that George brought into his performances very successfully which were Latin and a focus on his first style which was Classical.

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

 

As always William would love to receive your feedback… thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – January 9th – 15th 2023 – Wind, Big Band Era, Podcast,The Brain, PR for Authors, New books, Reviews, Funnies


Welcome to the round up of posts from the week you might have missed on Smorgasbord.

Greetings from wild and windy Ireland, and considering around 23% of Ireland’s electricity comes from wind power, I should say this week they have more than enough to spare! Ice is coming in for the next two to three days and being rural the roads tend to stay frosty until enough traffic has passed over them. So I am off to do the shopping this morning and get it out of the way. I know there are many others knee deep in snow at the moment and we get off lightly, particularly here on the east coast so no complaints just an extra layer of thermals.

As always my thanks to my friends who contribute to the blog…

William Price King joined me this week to celebrate the Big Band Era with Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra and one of the dance crazes of the age The Cakewalk. Also the second post on Friday with the life and music of Sir George Shearing.  You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ will be here on Monday with an exploration of Intuition… and during this past week joined me for two laughter posts. Over on her own blog you will find her review for the fantastic upcoming release Sisters by Judith Barrow and a bumper monthly writer’s links . Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor will be here on Wednesday with her A-Z of food and the letter ‘O’. Over on her own blog you will find Monday Musings on Chocolate and Jogging, in the Green Kitchen a fascinating visit to a local organic farm and ways to use stale bread and Thursday Thoughts with a fantastic soup recipe and an interesting piece about lithium battery alternatives.  You can catch up with the news: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…8th-14th January 2023

Thank you very much for your visits, comments and shares to social media, as always it is appreciated ♥

On with the show…..

– The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930s – Duke Ellington and Leo Reisman with Frank Sinatra

William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – Into the 1940s

#Poetry #Flash Fiction – New Year’s Resolutions and Fire

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1250 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2022

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries January 2023- ‘Lucky Dip’ and Do You Trust Me??

The Body our Greatest Asset – The Brain – Development from conception to old age by Sally Cronin

Public Relations for Authors Recycled- Part Two – Author Biographies -Tips and Translations

#FamilySaga – Sisters by Judith Barrow

Book Review – #Romance #Family – Searching for Home by Jill Weatherholt

Previous Reviews from 2022 – #Children’s – Amazing Matilda: A Monarch’s Tale by Bette A. Stevens

New Book on the Shelves – #YA #History #Timetravel – Patches through Time by Sian Turner

Menagerie: A Collection of Thirteen #Mystery, #Suspense, and Contemporary Short Stories by Joan Hall

New Book on the Shelves – #Fantasy – Mystical Greenwood (One with Nature Book 1) by Andrew McDowell

Smorgasbord Blogger Spotlight 2023 – #Sisters Judith Barrow, #Health D.G. Kaye, #Reviews Jacquie Biggar, #Peace Rebecca Budd, #NewYear Liz Gauffreau, #OddBirds Cindy Knoke

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Healthy Eating and Alternative Book Titles

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Biker’s arms and Interpretive dancing

 

Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week.. be safe… Sally.

Smorgasbord Music Column – William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – Into the 1940s


It is nine years since William Price King joined Smorgasbord to share music across the genres. We continue in 2023 with series sharing the lives and music of some of the great names in music over the last century

Part two of the series exploring the life and music of one of the most important British Jazz musicians of the 20th century.

#Jazz – Sir George Shearing – Into the 1940s

Still only 20 at the outbreak of the Second World War, George began to gain a huge amount of experience by performing with some of the exiled musicians from Europe and this included the incredible Stephane Grappelli. Stephane, originally Italian but a naturalised French citizen, learned to play classical violin, but was introduced to Jazz in his early teens. Jazz violinists were rare at that time and over the next 20 years Stephane along with his various bands developed a style that the young George Shearing naturally gravitated towards.

Through the war years he also played with the Vic Lewis and Carlo Krahmer Band on several recordings for the Days Rhythm Style and HMV and Harry Parry and his Radio Rhythm Club Sextet. Eventually in 1944 he released a recording for Decca with his own sextet with that included Kenny Baker, Harry Hayes, Aubrey Frank, Tommy Bromley, and Carlo Krahmer.

Here is George Shearing performing More Than You Know in 1942 – The music was written by Vincent Youmans and lyrics by Billy Rose and Edward Eliscu. The song was published in 1929

The BBC was the driving force behind the music industry and apart from the bands that toured the country and the cinema was the only national source of news and entertainment. The BBC had been combined into one channel which was the Home Service and it only offered informational programmes, news and music.

This would later be expanded into the Forces service that was broadcast to the armed forces but it had a much larger entertainment content that included dramas, quiz programmes, comedies as well as a large musical component. It was accessible by the general public and it became increasingly more popular as the years of austerity took hold. The demand for music was therefore very high and for George Shearing this meant that he was never out of work.

His fan base grew and he became a star both at home with British listeners but also with the soldiers and sailors listening to the Forces radio. He won seven consecutive Melody Maker Polls which were the UK Grammys.

In 1945 he was ranked 5 in the Best Soloist category, ironically ahead of Stephane Grappelli at No. 8! He did however come in behind Stephane and his Quintette at No. 7 when he was placed at No.11 with his sextet in the Small Combo category. He was however No. 1 that year for Piano.

By 1946 although still very popular in Britain, George was aware that he was becoming limited in his audience and his friend Jazz pianist, composer and journalist Leonard Feather, now established in the US invited George to join him for a visit in 1946. Whilst there for three months he recorded an album for the Savoy label, and delighted with the music scene and the opportunities that were open to him in the US he moved across permanently in 1947.

He was the first of the post-war British Jazz musicians to arrive in the US and build a successful career. George was now heavily into bebop.

The birth of bebop in the 1940’s is often considered to mark the beginning of modern jazz. This style grew directly out of the small swing groups, but placed a much higher emphasis on technique and on more complex harmonies rather than on singable melodies. Alto saxophonist Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker was the father of this movement, and trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie was his primary accomplice. Dizzy also led a big band, and helped introduce Afro-Cuban music, including rhythms such as the mambo through his work with Cuban percussionists. But it was the quintet and other small group recordings featuring Dizzy and ‘Bird’ that formed the foundation of bebop and most modern jazz.

George’s reputation grew as he gained attention as the intermission pianist at the iconic jazz venue at the Hickory House on 52nd street and as Ella Fitzgerald’s accompanist on her pianist’s night off. Eventually he landed a regular quartet engagement with clarinetist Buddy De Franco. Just before recording an album Buddy had to drop out for contractual reasons and George’s old friend Leonard Feather suggested that it was time for George to form his own group.

One of the musicians that he collaborated with was the pianist Marian McPartland and here they are with All the Things You Are. The original song was written in 1939 for the musical Very Warm for May by Jerome Kern.

In 1949 George formed the first and most famous of his quintets which included Marjorie ‘Marjie’ Hyams in the unusual inclusion of a female in the line-up. Marjie was a jazz vibraphonist, piano and arranger.

For those of you unfamiliar with a vibraphone, it is similar to a xylophone. Each bar is paired with a resonator tube with a motor-driven butterfly valve mounted on a common shaft which produces a vibrato effect while spinning. It was commonly used in jazz and also in wind instrument ensembles. Marjie had played with Woody Herman, Mary Lou Williams and Charlie Ventura and was a great addition to the sextet. The group also included Chuck Wayne on guitar, John Levy on bass, and Denzil Best on drums.

From that point on George Shearing’s success was guaranteed. With his unique quintet and later sextet ‘Shearing Sound‘ he had found the formula that would bring him worldwide fans and huge record sales. His 1949 ‘September in the Rain‘ for MGM sold 900,000 copies and his reputation in the US was firmly established when he was booked into Birdland the legendary jazz venue in New York.

September in the Rain written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin in 1937 from the film Melody for Two by the George Shearing Quintet.

Buy the music of George Shearing . Amazon

Additional material.
Sir George Shearing Bio
Wikipedia

Next week George Shearing collaborates with the great musicians and vocalists amongst the Jazz world.

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

 

As always William would love to receive your feedback… thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930s – Duke Ellington and Leo Reisman with Frank Sinatra


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 we 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 but in some cases there are some more modern versions.

Here is my next selection from the Big Band chart in the 1930s from the iconic Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington with Ivie Anderson “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing” (1932) – Bob Figurante

“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) was penned by Duke Ellington in 1931 with lyrics by Irving Mills. It was first recorded by Ellington and his orchestra for Brunswick Records on February 2, 1932. Ivie Anderson sang the vocal and trombonist Joe Nanton and alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges played the solos. Jazz historian Gunther Schuller characterized it as “now legendary” and “a prophetic piece and a prophetic title.” The song became famous, Ellington wrote, “as the expression of a sentiment which prevailed among jazz musicians at the time.” Ellington’s recording went onto the charts for six weeks, peaking at #6. In 2008, Ellington’s 1932 recording of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Jazz Standards

Here is my next selection from this exciting era of music and dance with Fred Astaire in 1932.

Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman’s Orchestra “Night and Day” (1932)  

“Night and Day” is a popular song by Cole Porter that was written for the 1932 musical Gay Divorce. Fred Astaire introduced “Night and Day” on stage. His studio recording of the song with the Leo Reisman orchestra was released on Victor Records on January 13, 1933, and it became a No. 1 hit, topping the charts of the day for ten weeks. Astaire performed it again in the 1934 film version of the show, renamed The Gay Divorcee, and it became one of his signature songs. warholsoup100

Other sources: Wikipedia

Since man first made music feet have been tapping and the urge to move in time to the beat became irresistible. Ballroom dancing has been enjoyed for centuries but over he decades other dances have become popular, often beginning spontaneously on the streets and then filtering into the dance halls.

The Cakewalk

The cakewalk was a dance developed from the “prize walks” (dance contests with a cake awarded as the prize) held in the mid-19th century, generally at get-togethers on Black slave plantations before and after emancipation in the Southern United States.

Alternative names for the original form of the dance were “chalkline-walk”, and the “walk-around”. It was originally a processional partner dance danced with comical formality, and may have developed as a subtle mockery of the mannered dances of white slaveholders.

Following an exhibition of the cakewalk at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the cakewalk was adopted by performers in minstrel shows, where it was danced exclusively by men until the 1890s. At that point, Broadway shows featuring women began to include cakewalks, and grotesque dances became very popular across the country.[3]
The fluid and graceful steps of the dance may have given rise to the colloquialism that something accomplished with ease is a “cakewalk” adamgswanson 

Other sources: Wikipedia

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.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – January 2nd – 8th 2023 – New Series, PR Authors, Big Band Era, Sir George Shearing, Karma, Culinary A-Z, Podcast, Book Reviews, The Brain, Funnies


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

It has been a pretty wild and windy week here and it seems the weather has been hitting most places with some unseasonal variations. I don’t want to wish my life away, especially when there is less in front that behind me, but an early spring would be appreciated.

Life has got back to normal after the holidays but we do have a few celebrations in the family to look forward to in the next few months. We have found one or two spots that we frequent in the area and looking forward to catching up with my two sisters in February in the UK after three years as we have some milestone birthdays between us.

On the blog front, a new series of Posts from Your Archives begins soon with the promotional post on Wednesday, a chance for bloggers to share two of their posts from the last six months of 2022… the catch being that I get to choose them. An opportunity to perhaps connect with a few more people.

There are several new books scheduled throughout January and if you do have a new release please let me know by emailing me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com so I can get you in the diary. If you have featured before I have all your details and just need the Amazon link, if you are new to the promotions then we can chat about that after you email me.

As always my thanks to my friends who contribute to the blog…

William Price King joined me this week to celebrate the Big Band Era and the dance crazes of the age and the start of a new series on Friday with the life and music of Sir George Shearing.  You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ was here on Monday with an exploration of Karma… and also joined me for the laughter post. Over on her own blog you will find her review for Ida: Searching for the Jazz Baby by Frank Prem, and a post reminding us to take care of our physical, mental and emotional care, especially during highly emotional life events. Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor was here this week with her Culinary A-Z and the letter ‘N’. Over on her own blog you will find her first post of the new year Monday Musings with some goals she has planned for the year, on the Thursday Thoughts there is a reminder of soups.. always warming at this time of year and Carol’s plans to cut back on blogging while she focuses on her two cookbooks. You can catch up with the news: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…2nd-7th January 2023

Thank you very much for your visits, comments and shares to social media, as always it is appreciated ♥

On with the show…..

The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930s – Earl Burtnett and Cab Calloway

William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – The Early Years

Spiritual Awareness – #Karma – The Law of Cause and Effect by D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘N’ is for Nicoise, Nori, Nuts, Noodles, Nettles and Naan Bread.

Mountains, Valley, Landscape

Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – The Long Drop and Key Lime Pie by Sally Cronin

Humanlobes-1-72dpi

Smorgasbord Health Column 2023 – The Body our Greatest Asset – The Brain- Introduction and Anatomy by Sally Cronin

Public Relations for Authors Recycled- Part One – People buy People First – Profile Photo

Smorgasbord Blogger Spotlight 2023 – #history Robbie Cheadle, #Funnies The Story Reading Ape, #Opportunities Marcia Meara, #Review Olga Nunez Miret, #Priorities Pete Springer, #Connections Jennie Fitzkee

#Romance – Unbranded (Montana Bred Series 1) by Linda Bradley

Previous Reviews from 2022 – #Children’s – Barty Barton: The Bear That Was Loved Too Much by Sue Wickstead

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – January 2023 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Nutcracker and Long Flights

Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week.. Sally

 

Smorgasbord Music Column – William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – The Early Years


It is nine years since William Price King joined Smorgasbord to share music across the genres. We continue in 2023 with series sharing the lives and music of some of the great names in music over the last century

We begin a new series today exploring the life and music of one of the most important British Jazz musicians of the 20th century.

#Jazz – Sir George Shearing – The Early Years

“Can anybody be given a great degree of creativity? No. They can be given the equipment to develop it – if they have it in them in the first place.” George Shearing.

Sir George Shearing is remembered as an outstanding jazz pianist, arranger and composer who wrote over 300 original compositions and arranged and performed hundreds of the classic jazz standards of the century. This included Lullaby of Birdland commissioned in 1952 as the theme music for a radio show based on the famous Birdland club in New York. Here is a recording of that song with Peggy Lee.

His career was all the more remarkable and inspiring for the fact that George was born blind. This never fazed this outstanding musician however and he would develop an international career and a fan base of the finest artists of the era and millions of music lovers around the world.

He began life in 1919 in the Battersea area of London and was the youngest of nine children. His father was a coalman and his mother worked at night cleaning trains. However it was not long before the youngest member of their family made his decision about which direction in life he would follow and by age three he began playing the family piano. By listening to the old crystal set wireless, George would pick up tunes by listening to them and going over to the piano and playing them. He did have some lessons from a local teacher but then went on to the Linden Lodge School for blind children in Wandsworth for four years.

He credits Fats Waller and Teddy Wilson as his influences in his teen years and he was considered an accomplished musician in his own right to be offered a university musical scholarship but he turned it down.

Fats Waller playing I’m Going to Sit Down and Write Myself a Letter from 1935 showing the style that would have spoken directly to George’s growing fascination with jazz.

The times were hard in the mid 30’s in London and George opted to make a living playing piano in the local pubs in Battersea. At first he played the popular songs of the day but then began to perform jazz. As a lucky break he came to the attention of Claude Bampton who had recently formed an all-blind orchestra and George joined as second pianist.

The orchestra was funded by the National Institute for Blind People in 1936 and was made up of 20 musicians of which 18 were sight impaired. Claude Bampton who was sighted used an oversized baton that made sounds to direct the musicians and one of the first performances was broadcast by the BBC in 1937. The orchestra toured all over the UK until well into the 1940s before being disbanded. Six grand pianos were part of the finale and included the young George Shearing who was only 17 when he joined these accomplished musicians.

George was lucky enough to perform with another orchestra member, drummer Carlo Krahmer born in Shoreditch in London in 1914 as Max Geserick. Carlo encouraged George’s Jazz ambitions and they would spend their spare time at Carlo’s house where he would play piano for hours introducing George to the music of the Jazz greats of the day. To absorb this music even further George would frequent the London after-hours club scene and when opportunity presented itself play alongside the visiting American musicians and also managed to see one of his heroes Fats Waller perform first hand.

By the age of 18 George was playing professionally with the Ambrose dance band and also as a solo performer. His first recordings were in 1937 under the guidance of Leonard Feather a jazz pianist, composer and producer. George played on Leonard’s Classic recordings until 1945.

Here is Life with Feather written by Leonard and later recorded by the George Shearing Quintet on their 1949 album Discovery

Buy the music of George Shearing . Amazon

Additional material.
Sir George Shearing Bio
Wikipedia

Next week George Shearing becomes an established star in Britain and in the mid-40s accepts Leonard Feather’s invitation to join him in America.

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

 

As always William would love to receive your feedback… thanks Sally.