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Any Major NYC Vol. 4 – In Black & White

November 10th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

New York in Black & White

A reader asked me to re-up the broken link to this mix, first posted in early 2010. So here I post the whole shebang again, this time with covers, since I suspect some thoughtful children and grandchildren of people who witnessed the time this compilation recalls might want to give the mix as a Christmas present. As always, the thing is timed to fit on a standard CD-R. PW in comments.

I hope that this collection of songs about or set in New York, spanning 30 years, will find an audience. And I hope that some of these songs will inspire the listener to seek out more music by some of the artists who are largely forgotten now.

Here I think of the great Anita O’Day, featured here twice, an extraordinary vocalist whose lifestory would mirror any sordid rock & roll tale. Or Red Nichols, the innovative jazzman who is said to have recorded 4,000 songs before he turned 25. Danny Kaye played him in the 1959 biopic The Five Pennies, which also starred Bob Crosby, the younger brother of Bing, who was a vocalist and bandleader in his own right, though here he appears as a guest of The Dorsey Brothers, both of who feature in this mix heading their own bands.

Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey played with Sam Lanin as did two other future bandleaders included here: Red Nichols on the cornet and saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer. Lanin was more an arranger than he was a musician, but a 1920s hit factory nonetheless (Bing Crosby got his break with Lanin’s orchestra). By the late 1930s, Lanin had retired from the music business.

The Mills Brothers may be most widely remembered better for their 1952 proto-doo wop hit Glow Worm, but by then they were veterans in the music game, having started in 1928, paving the way for the similar Ink Spots. The brothers stopped performing 61 years later, in 1989 (by then having been decimated to two by death).

Dolly Dawn, known to her mother by the more demure name Theresa Maria Stabile, was a massive singing star in the 1930s and early ’40s. She was one of the very first female singers to lead her own band, the Dawn Patrol. Her career was cut short when many members of her band were drafted to serve Uncle Sam in WW2.

The 1920s and ’30s were the golden age of African-American vaudeville acts of the age of the tap dance and the soft-shoe, silver-capped canes and gleaming cufflinks, the Bojangles scene. Jimmy Lunceford, whose orchestra began as a high school band which Lunceford taught in Memphis, is perhaps the best example here of that influence on jazz, incorporating humour in the music (in much the some way the Italian Louis Prima would). Rumour has it that Lunceford died in 1947 after being poisoned by a restaurateur in Oregon who resented the presence of a black patron in his establishment. More extreme things happened in the sorry history of 20th century US racism.

1. Anita O’Day – Take The ‘A’ Train (1958)
2. Tommy Dorsey & Jo Stafford – Manhattan Serenade (1943)
3. Dolly Dawn and her Dawn Patrol – Blossoms On Broadway (1937)
4. Mound City Blue Blowers – She’s A Latin From Manhattan (1935)
5. Louis Prima and his Orchestra – Brooklyn Bridge (1945)
6. The Dorsey Brothers feat. Bob Crosby – Lullaby Of Broadway (1935)
7. The Quintones – Harmony In Harlem (1940)
8. The Mills Brothers – Coney Island Washboard (1932)
9. Tempo King’s Kings Of Tempo – Bojangles Of Harlem (1936)
10. Albert Ammons & Pete Johnson – Sixth Avenue Express (1941)
11. Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra – Cowboy From Brooklyn (1938)
12. Judy Garland & Fred Astaire – A Couple Of Swells (1948)
13. Lee Wiley & Ellis Larkins – Give It Back To The Indians (1954)
14. Dinah Washington – Manhattan (1959)
15. Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Autumn In New York (1956)
16. Gene Krupa feat. Anita O’ Day – Let Me Off Uptown (1941)
17. Cab Calloway Cotton Club Orchestra – Manhattan Jam (1937)
18. Mills Blue Rhythm Band – There’s Rhythm In Harlem (1935)
19. Jimmie Lunceford and his Orchestra – Slumming On Park Avenue (1937)
20. Artie Shaw and his Orchestra – To A Broadway Rose (1941)
21. Red Nichols and his Orchestra – The New Yorkers (1929)
22. Sam Lanin’s Orchestra with Jack Hart – The Broadway Melody (1929)
23. Frankie Trumbauer – Manhattan Rag (1929)
24. Leadbelly – New York City (1940)


More New York songs.

More Music in Black & White




  1. halfhearteddude
    January 26th, 2010 at 01:12 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. January 26th, 2010 at 12:31 | #2

    Sayyyy! This looks just swell! Fix me a Manhattan while I wax my spats!

  3. January 27th, 2010 at 01:48 | #3

    love the new home…and thank you

  4. January 27th, 2010 at 03:11 | #4

    Excellent…believe it or not, this provides some much needed inspiration for my NYC song blog, thenewyorknobodysings.blogspot.com. If, for any reason, you feel like joining our team there, let me know. We’d love to have you.

    The blog was started in conjunction with a friend in London who does http://www.thelondonnobodysings.blogspot.com/ as well as Your Heart Out at http://www.yrheartout.blogspot.com/.

    Tim from Stupefaction

  5. January 28th, 2010 at 02:06 | #5

    Nice digs!

  6. January 28th, 2010 at 07:24 | #6

    This is right up my alley. Thanks, Mister.

  7. whiteray
    January 29th, 2010 at 05:19 | #7

    Hi. Thanks for the mention. That particular place at Blogger will be a place for the archives up until WordPress dropped me. I will be blogging again, but exactly where isn’t certain yet. But I will be back . . . and soon.

  8. FM
    February 20th, 2010 at 11:38 | #8

    Nellie McKay’s Manhattan Avenue only came out in 2004 but would sit comfortably amongst these old chestnuts.

  9. JohnnyDiego
    November 10th, 2014 at 13:22 | #9

    You never cease to amaze, Dude.

  10. dogbreath
    November 10th, 2014 at 17:52 | #10

    This looks pretty cool so thanks for doing the upload thing for us to do the download thing. Nice covers too. Cheers!

  11. AndrewC
    November 10th, 2014 at 19:58 | #11

    great selection, thanks

  12. isabel correia
    November 11th, 2014 at 13:04 | #12

    thank you so much

    it’s great i love it


  13. December 3rd, 2017 at 04:55 | #13

    This is a great compilation of songs about New York. Thank you for putting it together.

  1. January 27th, 2010 at 13:33 | #1