Joe´s Music Rack
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The Columbia Album
Irving Berlin - Vol. I
Frank De Vol and His Orchestra
33MDe Vol F1
Columbia...CS 8044...33 1/3 LP...Stereo
It´s A Lovely Day Today * Blue Skies...NTG (2:38)
Maybe It´s Because I Love You * I Got Lost In His Arms...NTG (3:15)
You´d be Surprised * I´ll See You In C-U-B-A...NTG (3:41)
Always * Rembember...NTG (2:44)
Shaking The Blues Away * Play A Simple Melody * Alexander´s Ragtime Band..NTG (2:46)
There´s No Business Like Show Business * I Got The Sun In The Morning * The Girl That I Marry...NTG (3:16)
Say It With Music * Cheek To Cheek...NTG (3:10)
It´s A Lovely Day Tomorrow * Now It Can Be Told...NTG (3:05)
The Year´s Kisses * Be Careful! It´s My Heart...NTG (2:43)
Lady Of The Evening * Better Luck Next Time...NTG (2:31)
Steppin´ Out With My Baby * You´re Just In Love...NTG (2:34)
Let´s Face The Music and Dance * Say It Isn´t So...NTG (3:19)
ON THE BACK OF THE JACKET
Frank De Vol and His Orchestra
The Columbia Album Of Irving Berlin - VOL. I
1911-ALEXANDER´S RAGTIME BAND
By the time Irving Berlin wrote this song, he had about sixty other ones to his credit, but it was Alexander who
made Berlin the leading figure in American popular music. Technically, Alexander´s Ragtime Band, except
for a couple of places, isn´t really authentic ragtime, a rhythm in which the accents fall on normally
unaccented beats. But Berlin, who had tried his hand at ragtime before (and would return to the "ragged meter"
many times during his career), may have been well aware of the difficulties at that time of succeeding
financially with the real article. In fact, it may also be that one of the reasons for the song´s eternal
popularity is that it never had the "ricky-ticky" beat that might easily have dated it quickly. At any rate,
its infectious combination of simulated bugle calls-the compelling "Come on an´ hear! Come on an´ hear!"
which is shortly repeated in a higher key-and even its easily recognizable and deliberately interpolated line from
Stephen Foster´s Old Folks at Home have given us a song of such vigor and freshness that constant
repetition has never been able to dull its appeal.
1914-PLAY A SIMPLE MELODY
Introduced in the musical Watch Your Step by Charles King and Sallie Fisher, Play a Simple Melody is
particularly engaging in its use of an ingenious ragtime counter melody to comment upon the purposely old-fashioned
flavor of the song´s basic themes. The attraction in which it was first heard was billed as A Syncopated Musical Show,
with "plot (if any)" by Harry B. Smith, and music by Berlin that cashed in on the new dancing craze by featuring
ragtime for the first time in a Broadway show. It was also Berlin´s initial attempt to create an entire score and
in it he had to devise a varied number of tunes to show off the dancing skill of Vernon and Irene Castle. With this
musical, according to the unspecified critic of Theatre Magazine, "Berlin is now a part of America."
1919-YOU´D BE SURPRISED
Eddie Cantor introduced You´d Be Surprised, a harmlessly insinuating ditty relating with a kind of wide-eyed
suggestiveness the story of the young man who was pretty much of a social dud, "but in a Morris chair, you´d be
surprised!" It sold over a million records.
1920-I´LL SEE YOU IN C-U-B-A
A slightly Topical item, this was Berlin´s merry solution to the restrictions of Prohibition, and its Latin beat
turned the attention of many a throat-parched flapper to the attractions of the island "where wine is flowing."
Years later, it was revived by Bing Crosby in the film Blue Skies.
1921-SAY IT WITH MUSIC
If A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody has become the theme song of the Ziegfeld Follies, certainly the theme
song of the Music Box revues was Say It with Music. But whereas the former association was somewhat
accidental, Berlin created Say It with Music with the express purpose of making it the song to be
identified with the elaborate, but tasteful revues staged at the newly constructed Music Box Theater.
However, this "molten masterpiece" (in Percy Hammond´s phrase) had been completed long before the theater was built,
and Berlin, who never quite got over his songplugging days, couldn´t wait until the opening, and gave it to the
orchestra at, the Sixty Club to be performed just once. Of course, as soon as it was heard there was no holding it
back, and Say It with Music was a hit for months before the premiere of thte first Music Box revue,
in which it was formally introduced by Wilda Bennett and Paul Frawley.
1922-LADY OF THE EVENING
This lilting jewel was first heard in the Music Box Revue of 1923 sung by John Steel, who stood alone on the
stage against a simple rooftop background. In its evocative release (the middle part of the refrain), its reference
to stealing away like the Arabs is perfectly mirrored in the exotic flavor of the melody.
These two waltzes are probably the apotheosis of the classic sentimental ballad, and were no doubt inspired by
Ellin Mackay, who later became Mrs. Berlin. Both of them have been able to strike highly personal responsive
chords in people throughout the world. Always was Berlin´s wedding present to his wife.
This joyous number was first interpolated into the musical comedy
Betsy, which otherwise had a score composed
by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Oddly enough, this lone Berlin entry is the only item from the show still with
us today, not one of the Rodgers melodies having survived the brief run. Belle Baker introduced Blue Skies,
and it continued to be one of the favorite numbers in her vaudeville repertory. In 1946, it served as the title
for a highly successful motion picture.
1927-SHAKING THE BLUES AWAY
The only Ziegfeld Follies ever to feature the music of just one composer was the one presented in 1927, and it was
Irving Berlin who was tapped for the assignment. Among his contributions was Shaking the Blues Away, a
rhythmic, Negroid revival number first sung by Ruth Etting, who interpolated the spiritual All God´s Chillun
Got Wings in the middle of it. Ann Miller, minus the spiritual, did it in the movie Easter Parade.
1932-SAY IT ISN´T SO
This ballad had been written many years before, and was dug out of the trunk only at a friend´s insistence.
Rudy Vallee helped make it popular.
1933-MAYBE IT´S BECAUSE I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH
A torch expression of unrequited love, dealing with defeat due to excessive ardor. It has enjoyed a recent
revival on records.
1935-CHEEK TO CHEEK
Of the fourteen songs intended for the film Top Hat - most of them originally created for a sequel to the
revue As Thousands Cheer that never materialized--only five were eventually used. This was one of Berlin´s
greatest scores for either the stage or the screen, and all the numbers were unforgettably interpreted by
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Cheek to Cheek turned out to be the hit of the movie; it was an extended
composition, purposely done so that the dance routine could be devised without the necessity of repeating the song
more than once.
1936-LET´S FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCE
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers followed up Top Hat with another merry musical, the nautical
Follow the Fleet, and Irving Berlin was again on deck to creste the tunes, including a haunting proposal
to forget all cares in the momentary pleasurss of dancing.
1937-THIS YEAR´S KISSES
Sung by Dick Powell in the movie On the Avenue, this song possesses such a rich melodic vein that it is
well above the average in musical invention. The sentiment finds Mr. Berlin in his frequent torch-carrying mood.
1940-IT´S A LOVELY DAY TOMORROW
Back to Broadway after an absence of about eight years, Berlin wrote the score for a vaguely topical musical called
Louisiana Purchase, which dealt with crooked politics in the Bayou State. The musical portions of the
entertainment contained many attractive pieces, among them the hopefully optimistic It´s a Lovely Day Tomorrow,
sung by Irene Bordoni to Vera Zorina.
1942-BE CAREFUL! IT´S MY HEART
An idea that Berlin long cherished was to do a musical revue built around national holidays. It never worked out
on the stage, but with a slim plot it became the film Holiday Inn, in which Bing Crosby and Fred Astair
first appeared together. Apart from Halloweer and Labor Day, there was a song for each occasion, with the number
included in this set being the one in honor of Valentine´s Day. It unexpected melodic changes and the delicacy
of its musical expression add much to it charm. (Two other all-time Berlin hits, White Christinas and
Easter Parade, also featured in the film, have not been included in this collection because there are a
great number of recordings currently available, and they do provide something of a mental jolt when heard
out of season.)
1946-THE GIRL THAT I MARRY; I GOT LOST IN HIS ARMS; I GOT THE SUN IN THE MORNING; THERE´S NO BUSINESS LIKE
Certainly the greatest financial smash of all his shows and probably his finest achievement in creating a musical
comedy score was Irving Berlin´s Annie Get Your Gun, which ran for 1,147 performances and is currently the
sixth longest run musical in Broadway history. Seldom before or since has a show been so blessed with such a
variety of musical treasures, and in it Ethel Merman was at last able to portray a role considerably more
feminine than her customary hard-boiled characterizations. And the music helped enormously by daring to let
Miss Merman sing sentimental love ballads (I Got Lost in His Arms) without resorting to any kind of comic
twist. In addition, the songs included the happy paean to the joys of living, I Got the Sun in the Morning;
the stirring There´s No Business Like Show Business, which has since become something of an anthem for show
business itself; and the touching description of The Girl That I Marry, sung by Ray Middleton. The last,
incidentally, was written primarily as an introductory song to Miss Merman´s You Can´t Get a Man with a Gun,
but a Frank Sinatia recording a few years back has since turned it into a standard.
1948-STEPPIN´ OUT WITH MY BABY; BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME
Both songs were in the Fred Astaire - Judy Garland cinema saga of backstage life called Easter Parade.
Astaire sang the first one, a buoyant, syncopated number performed, through the benefit of trick photography, with
a whole storeful of dancing shoes; and the other, a poignant ballad, was introduced by Miss Garland.
1960-IT´S A LOVELY DAY TODAY; YOU´RE JUST IN LOVE
Irving Berlin´s most recent Broadway show, Call Me Madam, was also his second one for Ethel Merman, and in
it she played a fictitious counterpart to Perle Mesta, the celebrated party-giver and former Ambassador to
Luxembourg. It´s a Lovely Day Today is a tripping little item performed originally by Russell Nype and
Galina Talva. You´re Just in Love (written in two days during the show´s tryout tour in New Haven), a
tender but funny duel, was sung by Miss Merman and Mr. Nype, in which the adolescent lyricism of the main
themes is brought down to earth by the matter-of-fact philosophy of the counter melody.
-by stanley green
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YOUR KEY TO COLLECTIBLES©
Frank De Vol and His Orchestra
The Columbia Album Of Irving Berlin - VOL. I Section
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