Tag Archives: CHLOE

THREE PATHS, ONE RESULT: “CHLOE”

This one’s for Chloe Lang.

I have a new obsession (among many) the singing, late and early, of Eva Taylor.  I’ve always been deeply connected to the song CHLOE (or CHLO-E) ever since I heard the recording Louis and Gordon Jenkins made of it.  And Henry “Red” Allen remains a hero.

Thus:

Eva with a Clarence Williams group, 1928:

Red and his little recording / jukebox swing band in 1936:

And the Master of them All:

All three paths head — in their own ways — to Beauty.  I know someone will dismiss the first recording as “sweet” rather than hot, although the instrumental playing in the second half is quite delightful.  But the great tenderness of her voice!

And some will be put off by the chorus on the last recording, which for me works perfectly as a dramatic statement, the voices providing counterpoint to Louis’ soaring trumpet and voice that I would not think of changing.  (And the question “Is that you, honey?” is always appropriate.)

I cannot imagine a fault anyone could find with Red’s version.

Everyone’s entitled to deeply subjective “taste,” but I feel sad for the listener who cannot put aside the preconceptions and hear the Beauty.  Or, better yet, the Beauties.

May your happiness increase.

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“CHLOE (Song of the Swamp)”: THEME AND VARIATIONS

Written in 1927 by Gus Kahn and “Neil Moret,” the pseudonym of Charles N. Daniels, this song is both lovely and durable.  The sheet music says it is to be played or sung “in a tragic manner,” but liberties are always allowed here.  

Duke Ellington: thanks to Tricky Sam Nanton, Barney Bigard, Jimmie Blanton, Sonny Greer, Juan Tizol, Wallce Jones, Ben Webster — that astonishing Victor Orchestra of 1940:

The Blessed Henry “Red” Allen, 1936:

The magnificient Louis Armstrong with Gordon Jenkins, circa 1952 (don’t let the swooshing strings and crooning voices put you off):

And Miss Chloe Lang (photographed by Lorna Sass).

The inevitable postscript is this recording of CHLOE, one I also knew in my childhood — cheerfully undermined by Spike Jones and his City Slickers:

Ancient vaudeville, with pokes at Ted Lewis, of all people, but still memorable fun.

Everybody sing!

Chloe! Chloe!

Someone’s calling, no reply
Nightshade’s falling, hear him sigh

Chloe! Chloe!

Empty spaces in his eyes
Empty arms outstretched, he’s crying

Through the black of night
I’ve got to go where you are
If it’s dark or bright
I’ve got to go where you are

I’ll go through the dismal swampland
Searching for you
For if you are lost there
Let me be there, too

Through the smoke and flame
I’ve got to go where you are
For no place can be too far
Where you are

Ain’ no chains can bind you
If you live, I’ll find you
Love is calling me
I’ve got to go where you are.

LOVE IS CALLING US: ALL MONEY GOES TO THE MUSICIANS!

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