Category: Spotlight on Sidemen (and Women)

“Don’t Take Your Love From Me” – Artie Shaw and Lena Horne (1941)

“Don’t Take Your Love From Me” Composed by Henry Nemo; arranged by Artie Shaw. Recorded by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra on June 26, 1941 in New York. Artie Shaw, clarinet, directing: Henry “Red” Allen, trumpet; J.C.Higginbotham, trombone; Benny Carter, alto saxophone; Leo Kruczak, Kurt Dieterle, Max Silverman, Sergei Kotlarsky, Louis Edlin, Lee Kahn, Harry […]

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“Manhattan” (1950) Lee Wiley

(This is the second installment in the ongoing Rodgers and Hart celebration here at swingandbeyond.com.) The story: Lee Wiley, born October 9, 1908 in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, and died December 11, 1975 in New York City, was a pioneering American jazz singer. After short period of study in Tulsa, Oklahoma she went to New York City to begin a career […]

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“Is That Religion?” (1933) Mildred Bailey and the Dorsey Brothers

“Is That Religion?” Composed by Maceo Pinkard (music) and Mitchell Parish (lyric); arranged by Glenn Miller. Mildred Bailey accompanied by the Dorsey Brothers. Recorded for Brunswick on April 8, 1933 in New York City. Mildred Bailey, vocal; Tommy Dorsey, trombone,directing: Bunny Berigan, trumpet; Jimmy Dorsey, clarinet and alto saxophone; unknown tenor saxophonist; Fulton McGrath, piano; […]

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“White Christmas” (1967) Barbra Streisand

“White Christmas” Composed by Irving Berlin. Recorded by Barbra Streisand for Columbia in September 1967 in Los Angeles. The story: Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” was used in the 1942 Paramount film, Holiday Inn, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Actually, the song was probably written in 1940 (or possibly before), while Berlin was staying at La […]

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“I Hear Music” (1940) Billie Holiday

“I Hear Music” Composed by Frank Loesser (lyric) and Burton Lane (music). Recorded by Billie Holiday and Her Orchestra for Okeh Records in New York on September 12, 1940. Billie Holiday, vocal, with: Roy Eldridge, trumpet; Don Redman and Jimmy Hamilton, alto saxophones; Don Byas and Georgie Auld, tenor saxophones; Teddy Wilson, piano; John Collins, […]

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Mary Lou Williams…First Woman of Swing “Big Jim Blues” (1939) and “Roll ‘Em” (1937)

I have recently been re-reading the wonderful biography of pianist/arranger/composer Mary Lou Williams entitled “Morning Glory,” by Linda Dahl, (1999) University of California Press. I have long been beguiled by Ms. Williams’s compositions and arrangements, especially those she wrote for Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy in the 1930s. These include:”Walkin’ and Swingin’,” “Lotta Sax […]

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