Joe´s Music Rack
Part of

Sing The Best Of Irving Berlin

Sarah Vaughan * Billy Eckstine

Sarah Vaughan * Billy Eckstine Sarah Vaughan * Billy Eckstine
33FVaughan S1

Mercury Records...MMC 14035...MG 20316...33 1/3 LP

Side 1
1) Alexander´s Ragtime Band - Irving Berlin...NTG
2) Isn´t This A Lovely Day - Irving Berlin...NTG
3) I´ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm - Irving Berlin...NTG
4) All Of My Life - Irving Berlin...NTG
5) Cheek To Cheek - Irving Berlin...NTG

Side 2
1) You´re Just In Love - Irving Berlin...NTG
2) Remember - Irving Berlin...NTG
3) Always - Irving Berlin...NTG
4) Easter Parade - Irving Berlin...NTG
5) The Girl That I Marry - Irving Berlin...NTG
6) Now It Can Be Told - Irving Berlin...NTG

Sarah Vaughan * Billy Eckstine Sarah Vaughan * Billy Eckstine


You can look at the song-writing picture from any angle you please, but you´ll always come up with the same answer: Irving Berlin is the greatest of all our tunesmiths. He has written more lasting hits over a longer period of time and made more money from them than anyone else who has put words and music together. He has covered everything from such inanites as Yiddle on Your Fiddle, Play Some Tagtime to timeless and universally appealing Always

Along with an endless fund of melodic invention and a simple direstness in writing lyrics, he has an unerring sense of public taste, a sense that has never deserted him through all the popular whims and fancies of the past fifty years.

"Believe me, Irving Berlin can´t write," another songwriter, Harry Ruby, once remarked. "His songs are hits merely because he has a drag with 150 million people."

Appropriately, this collection of his tunes opens with the song that was his first big hit, Alexander´s Rag Time Band. He wrote it in 1911, four years after he had earned 33 cents with his first published song, Marie from Sunny Italy. One of the hardiest tunes ever written, Alexander´s Rag Time Band has brought Berlin a gold mine of royalties in the 46 years since he composed it.

To give you some idea of what the royalties from a Berlin hit can be, consider Always. In 1924 and 1925, his courtship of Ellin Mackay, heiress to the 30 million dollar Postal Telegraph fortunes, inspired him to turn the usual moanings of the lovesick swain into the heartwarming Remember and the beautifully simple declaration of eternal love, Always, Always bore the dediction, "To my darling wife." He gave all rights to the song to her as a wedding present, a wedding present that has proved to be one of the most fruitful annuties ever created. In 1946, twenty years after Always had first becaome a smash hit, the royalties accruing to Mrs. Berlin for this single year amounted to $60,000.

By 1929, Berlin´s bank account was rivaling that of his wealthy father-in-law but the stock market crash did them both in financially. He was so broke that when he and Sam H. Harris were producing the revue, As Thousands Cheer, in 1933 he had to borrow the $10,000 that was his share of the production costs. Naturally, he wrote the score for this show which had a cast headed by Marilyn Miller, Helen Broderick and Clifton Webb. Ethel Waters sang Heat Wave and Suppertime but the big hit was the infectious Easter Parade. All Berlin had to do to create Easter Parade in 1933 was to write a lyric, He took the tune from an unsuccessful number he had written in 1917, Smile and Show Your Dimple.

With his co-producer´s 40 per cent of the profits of As Thousands Cheer and rich royalties from the tuneful score, Berlin was well on his way toward a second fortune. He increased it by moving out to Hollywood in 1935 and tackling his first score for a Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers picture, Top Hat. He was offered a cash fee for this job but decided to gamble on a percentage of the profits instead, He wrote five songs - Cheek to Cheek and Isn’t This a Lovely Day were two of them - and collected $285,000. Two years later he turned out another winning score for Hollywood and himself in On the Avenue. Dick Powell, Madeleine Carroll, Alice Faye and the Ritz Brothers cavorted in this one and their tunes included I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm as well as This Year´s Kisses, He Ain’t Got Rhythm and You’re Laughing at Me. In 1938, the movies turned the tables on Berlin and did a film about him. It was named after his first hit, Alexander’s Ragtime Band. Berlin brought his saga up to date by writing a new tune for it, Now It Can Be Told.

It is typical of the industrious Berlin that, although he has been writing stage musicals regularly since 1914 and has contributed to the movies since 1930, he continues to find time to write single songs that have no stage or screen association. In 1944, even though he was entertaining troops in Europe and was involved in the stage and movie version of This Is the Army, the lovely All of My Life spilled out of his busy hopper.

The two remaining songs in this set, The Girl That I Marry and You’re Just in Love, are both from the scores of stage musicals which starred Ethel Merman - the first from Annie Get Your Gun in 1946, the latter from 1950´s Call Me Madam.

None of these songs was written specifically for Sarah Vaughan or Billy Eckstine but they provide a happy meeting ground for two singers who have always been meant for each other. It was Billy who helped Sarah get her first professional job with Earl Hines’ band. She was both second pianist and vocalist while Billy carried a spare trumpet besides singing. They were together again briefly when Billy formed his own short-lived band and Sarah sang with it, Since then, they have gone their own ways. But no matter how far apart they may have been physically, they were always closely linked vocally. In the middle and late Forties, they represented and led the new vocalizing that paralleled the new jazz of that period. Theirs were the closely allied voices that showed the way then, an alliance that once more becomes a reality in this collection of timeless melodies.

(Recording first published 1958)


H A Y E S • M I D D L E S E X • E N G L A N D
Made and Printed in Great Britain

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