Monday’s Music Moves Me: Big Band Sounds!


It’s a good thing I didn’t put this list together yesterday… the last time I looked, this was a “freebie” week. When I saw X-Mas Dolly’s post this morning, I realized I would have really been off. Sometimes procrastination pays off.

Anyway, the theme for today is “Big Band Music.” This is reasonably easy for me, because I heard a lot of this when I bought a stereo with my eighth-grade graduation money and my Mom would have me play her records on it when company was over. A month later, she bought a stereo of her own, and I was relieved of duty, so to speak. Still, I like Big Band music and took much of this list from what I remember from Mom’s records.

  1. I’m Getting Sentimental Over You – Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra: This is one of Dorsey’s three “Grammy Hall of Fame” records, inducted in 1998 (the other two are 1937’s “Marie” and 1940’s “I’ll Never Smile Again”).
  2. Why Don’t You Do Right – Benny Goodman Orchestra featuring Peggy Lee: Benny was born in Chicago, in the old Maxwell Street area, and by 14 was a member of Bix Beiderbecke’s band. He was a great musician and did much for civil rights and integration, forming his quartet with Lionel Hampton and Teddy Wilson and building his sextet around Charlie Christian.
  3. Drum Boogie – Gene Krupa and His Orchestra featuring Barbara Stanwyck: These scenes are taken from the 1941 movie Ball of Fire, starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. It’s actually Martha Tilton doing the vocal; all Miss Stanwyck had to do was mouth the words and look gorgeous, something at which she excelled. Miss Tilton was quite good looking herself. If you’ve never seen the movie, it plays on TCM occasionally.
  4. Begin the Beguine – Artie Shaw and his Orchestra: I had a sample record from Time-Life Records where they demonstrated how much better this sounded after they cleaned it up and played a few acoustical magic tricks on it. I like the song. Heck, I like just about anything by Cole Porter.
  5. Perfidia – Glenn Miller and his Orchestra: I always manage to confuse him with Tommy Dorsey.┬áMust be the glasses. This features vocals by Dorothy Claire and the Modernaires.
  6. Take The “A” Train – Duke Ellington and his Orchestra: Written by Billy Strayhorn in 1939, it became Ellington’s theme song. This is taken from the 1943 movie Reveille With Beverly, starring Ann Miller, William Wright, and Dick Purcell. I have no idea who the singer is, but one of you might know who it is. If so, leave me a comment.
  7. Jumping at the Woodside – Count Basie and his Orchestra: If the song sounds familiar, you might remember it from The Gong Show: it was the song Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine danced to in about half the episodes.
  8. There, I’ve Said It Again – Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra: As Ronald Reagan says in his introduction, Monroe was a Big Band leader who reluctantly gave up the trumpet and fronted the orchestra as a singer. The song playing up to this one is “Racing With The Moon,” Monroe’s theme. He’s accompanied by the Moonmaids on the vocal.
  9. Woodchopper’s Ball – Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd: From a 1969 BBC broadcast, which explains the groovy dashikis. Solos are by Herman (clarinet), Sal Nistico (tenor saxophone), Bobby Burgess (no, not the one who was a Mouseketeer and danced with Cissy King on “The Lawrence Welk Show”) (trombone), Harry Hall (trumpet), Arthur Harper (electric bass), and, at the end, a few blasts of the upper range from Bill Chase on trumpet. Chase would go on to form the jazz-rock band Chase in the early 1970’s.
  10. Malagueña Salerosa/Latin Twist – Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra: Featuring Abbe Lane (at the time Mrs. Cugat) on vocal. Cugat later married Charo, the “cuchi-cuchi” girl. (I saw her in Hawai’i years ago, and she’s actually quite an entertainer.)

Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Monday’s Music Moves Me!

Story Songs for Monday’s Music Moves Me

New feature today on The Sound of One Hand Typing: Monday’s Music Moves Me!


I want to thank X-Mas Dolly for inviting me to play along. I’ve been more or less aware of this blog hop, but never quite sure how to join in.

Anyway, the idea is simple: Each week, Dolly posts a prompt on her blog, and we respond to it by posting songs that fit the theme. The prompt is selected by Dolly’s “Spotlight Dancer,” who in this case is Ramona, who runs the blog Create-With-Joy. This week’s theme: A song that tells a story.

All good songs tell a story of one sort or another, but I think I understand what Ramona is asking for. So. let’s see what we got here.

One of my favorite story songs is Clarence Carter’s “Patches,” from 1970, when it reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart.

Another great one is Brook Benton’s “A Rainy Night in Georgia,” also from 1970. It also reached #4 on the Hot 100, and went all the way to #1 on the R&B chart. More of a vignette than a full story, but still a great one.

The classic is Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe,” her 1967 smash hit that reached #1 on the Hot 100, #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and only #17 on the Country chart.

Seems like there are a lot of Southern artists here (Carter from Alabama, Benton from South Carolina, Gentry from Mississippi). Here’s another, Jeannie C. Riley, from Texas. Her “Harper Valley PTA” from 1968 reached #1 all over the place, the Hot 100 and Country charts in both the US and Canada.

One of my favorites, by the King himself, Tupelo, Mississippi’s Elvis Presley. He had a couple that fit the category, but here’s my favorite, 1970’s “Kentucky Rain.” It reached #16 on the Hot 100, #31 on the Country chart, and went all the way to #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart. In Canada, it reached #1 on the Country chart, #4 on Adult Contemporary, and #10 overall.

I have to bring this to a close, or I’ll be here all day. Have to include one from Delight, Arkansas’ Glen Campbell. From 1967, “By The Time I Get To Phoenix.” Say a prayer for Glen, who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and no longer can speak for himself.

So, there’s my first 4M. How’d I do?