Duane Keilstrup Broadcast Archives
January, 2019

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 12-30-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 329


Here’s a popular traditional Classics & Curios celebration of the New Year with a big band remote from 1958 featuring the Guy Lombardo orchestra performing at Lake Tahoe. From that broadcast Guy favors us with five songs in one of his popular Lombardo golden oldies medleys: "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby," "Button Up Your Overcoat," "Shine on Harvest Moon," "My Gal Sal," and "Every Where You Go." Guy will ask you to sing along, so be prepared!

First, our celebration begins with Margaret Whiting asking a timely question in song: "What Are You Doing New Years?" Then we shift to 1945 to review top songs from that year and to highlight three of them, starting with two terrific songs from Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters: "Accentuate the Positive" and "Don't Fence Me In." Next Kitty Kallen and Harry James bring the song that soldiers and their sweethearts played on jukeboxes and sang in their hearts at war's end: "It's Been a Long, Long Time."

Kitty Kallen has stated in interviews that she always sang songs as they were written, without erratic embellishments that detract from the composer's intended melody. No doubt girl singers like Kitty, Helen Forrest, Doris Day, Dinah Shore, Margaret Whiting, Jo Stafford, and Patti Page surely do (or would) listen (with many of us) with concern at the current common practice of singing our National Anthem at many sporting events today with rambling, self styled, up and down phrasing, as if the performers are searching frantically but unsuccessfully for the correct way the song was written.

Kitty was a faithful vocalist to composers from her very first job with Jan Savitt's big band while still a teenager in 1936 continuing on to her hit recordings later in the 1940's and then still later in the 1950's with more hits such as "Little Things Mean a Lot" and "If I Give My Heart to You." She actually had her own radio show in Philadelphia as a pre-teen and never stopped singing songs the way the writers intended during her times with the big bands of Artie Shaw, Jack Teagarden, Jimmy Dorsey, and Harry James. To me "little things" such as a good melody still "mean a lot" and that's been true for a "long, long time."

Of course our make-believe musical New Years Eve "party" nears conclusion at midnight with Guy's "Auld Lang Syne," and then Frank Sinatra drops by briefly to add a timely and true parting thought for the New Year. And it is that thought that we celebrate as we wish you a very blessed and Happy New Year from Classics & Curios and the Keilstrup family.

May God bless you with good melodies, good health, and much joy in the New Year! .

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 1-13-19
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This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 330


Time again for some joyful jazz from Downbeat shows on the Armed Forces Radio Service. Jack Teagarden kicks off this set with "If I Could Be With You," featuring Bobby Hackett on trumpet. A highlight is Benny Goodman's "Farewell Blues" from 1935, and Frances Wayne performs "Lover Man," perhaps in anticipation of her future marriage to Neal Hefti while both were with Woody Herman's band.

Woody Herman follows with another "easy breezy" Downbeat show featuring "Perdido," Neal Hefti's "Apple Honey," "Noah," "Half Past Jumpin' Time," " Golden Wedding," and " Four or Five Times." Frances Wayne sings the "oldie" "Always" and "Two Again."

Finally, and my personal favorite this time around, is a Downbeat show with the great Red Nichols. Red delivers "Pennies from Heaven," "Love Me or Leave Me," "Blue Jay," "Naughty Waltz," "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," and "Camptown Races." Red honors some past Nichols' side men such as Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Jimmy Dorsey, Jack Teagarden, Arthur Schutt, Will Bradley, and Miff Mole from bands known by such titles as Miff Mole and His Little Molers, The Six Hottentots, Red Nichols' Stompers, and The Charleston Chasers.

Red was influenced by Bix Beiderbecke and played generally in Bix's style, but Red was thought to be more talented. And Red's cornet style was more relaxed and less aggressive than, say, Harry James or Bunny Berigan, and his band was a mixture of the bands of Bob Crosby and Will Bradley. His theme was "Wailing to the Four Winds."

The Downbeat show featured contemporary American jazz and, of course, derived its name from the venerable jazz magazine of the same name. Here's an interesting clip from downbeat.com about the era when jazz was losing popularity:

"In the late '40s, jazz seemed to be losing its cohesion. As the big band era ebbed and swing stars were dismissed as "has-beens," tradition and modernism fought for the privilege of defining jazz. Even the word "jazz" seemed curiously passé to some. So in July 1949 DownBeat took it upon itself to announce a contest for the best word to replace "jazz." The magazine offered to pay $1,000 in cash to the person "who coins a new word to describe the music from dixieland through bop," the headline said. Second and third prizes included the services of Charlie Barnet's orchestra and the Nat Cole Trio for one night in one's home … In November came the word that the panel of judges deemed preferable to jazz: crewcut. Other alternatives included jarb, freestyle, mesmerrhythm, bix-e-bop, blip, schmoosic, and other equally contrived specimens."

So enjoy some fine American mesmerrhythm" or, my favorite, "schmoosic." .

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 1-27-19
New programs added every Sunday

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 331


The Downbeat show, of course, features contemporary American jazz (or "schmoosic"), and we continue, again, this week with more as "Mr. Swing" Red Norvo and his band start off this set with a super "Flyin' Home." Then from the "BeBop School of Jazz," Charlie "Yardbird" Parker and Thelonious Monk perform "Ornithology," followed by Stuffy Smith and "Humoresque." The first set finishes with a rousing version of Fats Wallers' "Honeysuckle Rose" with Erskine Hawkins and Benny Carter. (no date available)

Connee Boswell then takes the bandstand with Paul Whiteman and some fine guests, such as boogie woogie artist Harry Gibson, "The Hipster," who nearly stops the show with "Big Foot Pete'' on the upright piano. Connee sings "Besame Mucho," "I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night," and her "Forever and Ever" song" is "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby." Paul's orchestra performs a nice "Three Blind Mice;" Jack Pepper does a brief turn on "Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey;" and while there is some brief comedy on the show, Connee is by far the main attraction on this AFRS rebroadcast. Connee's closing song is "Goodnight, Sweetheart," and "Lover" plays to fadeout. (April 12, 1944)

"An outstanding singer with enormous but often uncredited influence, Boswell claimed to have been inspired by singers as diverse as Bessie Smith and Enrico Caruso… A skilled musician, adept on saxophone, trombone, cello and piano, she worked extensively in radio, television and films. Essentially a two-beat singer, with a calculatedly casual sound, she considerably affected the manner in which later singers approached their work. Although few acknowledge their debt to Connee Boswell, the fact that one who did was Ella Fitzgerald suggests that her influence is widespread throughout popular music, even if her emulators do not always realize the original source of their inspiration." (online at odies.com)

"Music ... will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you." -- (Anti-Nazi) German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer .