On December 31, I have nothing against Guy Lombardo’s rendition of AULD LANG SYNE, part of the soundtrack of my childhood and adolescence.  And Louis adored the sound of that band, so who am I to scoff?

But I secretly prefer this version of the Scottish song we use to bid farewell to one moment in chronological time and (perhaps with trepidation) welcome the next.

The people who ran Bethlehem Records decided — wisely — to have a New Year’s Eve party (December 31, 1954 – January 1, 1955) and make it a paying gig, recording the musicians as well, who were Ruby Braff, trumpet; Ed Hubble, trombone; Sam Margolis, tenor saxophone; Dick Katz, piano; Gene Ramey, string bass; Izzy Sklar, drums.  (I note with some pride that I saw, heard, and even spoke with everyone in that band except for Mr. Sklar during my time as an eager young jazz acolyte in New York in the Seventies.)


Here’s quite an unusual version from Don Redman and his Orchestra, recorded on December 6, 1938.  The band was Carl Warwick, Reunald Jones, Mario Bauza, Quentin Jackson, Gene Simon, Don Redman, Eddie Barefield, Edward Inge, Pete Clarke, Joe Garland, Nicholas Rodriguez, Bob Lessey, Bob Ysaguirre, Bill Beason.  The numerical “lyrics,” if you could call them that, might serve as a test for intoxication — I can see the audience counting up and back with the band, although this seems to be a more difficult test than perhaps mumbling through the Scottish lyrics.  Or was it a sideways nod to the numerical antics of Stuff Smith and his Onyx Club Boys on I’SE A MUGGIN’?  I can’t say:

What it says about me I don’t know, but in this video from Tim Gracyk, there is a comely young woman with her ice-cream cone who appears at 1:22.  Where is she now?  She is so unaffectedly pretty.  Oh, well.

May 2017 be kind to you; may you not lose hope. Get home safely.

And, as always —

May your happiness increase!


  1. Rebecca Kilgore

    A day that starts with Ruby Braff is a happy day! Love, Roo


  2. Or the night of December 31. HAPPY ROO YEAR! is what I say. Love back, MS

  3. With the shirt collar and neat belt and the badge on the right hip, she could be a camper at Interlochen’s National Music Camp… AND I’M RIGHT !!

    “August 1942. “Interlochen, Michigan. National music camp where 300 or more young musicians study symphonic music for eight weeks each summer. A student eating an ice cream cone.” Photo by Arthur Siegel.”

  4. My goodness, what detective work! Conservatively, she would be about ninety now, if she survives . . . but I still have a crush on the girl in the photo. Laura, you need to go into a third line of work . . . applause, applause!

  5. And best wishes to you Michael for bringing so much joy to all of us and for celebrating the artistry of so many fine musicians.

  6. Don "Zoot"Conner

    Thanks for the interesting two videos,Michael,as usual you bring something that’s hard to find. And thanks for another year of wonderful material and comments. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  7. HAPPY NEW YEAR, Brother Michael,
    I enjoyed these two versions of Auld Lang Syne very much. Love Ruby’s strong attack in stating the melody, and the creative man’s beautiful solos.

    The Don Redman version is a hard ,happy & swinging version. I really dig this one !

    Brenda & myself, and my Dad and Mom went on a rail trip in Scotland in the early ‘90s and a stop was made at the Chivas Regal Distillery.
    The Royal Scotsman set up some great places to visit and this one was quite traditional with a local trio playing Auld Lang Syne and rendering it in a most Scottish style. it was beautiful, and preserved in video.

    I’ve been neglectful in responding to the San Diego set you sent…listened a bit, got interrupted and haven’t returned to it. I will soon, and Thank You for sending it on to me for review.
    I played a gig at Amnesia with Craig, Ari & Steve Apple. Dave Ricketts was out of town. I recorded and the result is nice. Will send a sample if you have time for it.

    Love You ,My Brother, and miss our lunches at the Hill Top.

    2017…..just a step ahead, All that H & H Stuff to you,


  8. Furio Dei Rossi

    Long live our great music! And thank you Michael for what what you do every day.

  9. Happy New Year! Good New Years Stuff! R

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s