We’ve all worn difficult clothing in an attempt to be considered suitable as a Love Object.
I don’t know how far back the songwriters’ conceit of “I’m getting dressed up for my date with someone I’m crazy about and I have to put on shoes that hurt my feet” goes — although “My new shoes hurt” is part of the Ted Shapiro – Gus Kahn WAITIN’ FOR KATIE — in the savory 1927 recording by the Ben Pollack band, solos by young men in scuffed shoes (Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jimmy McPartland, and Larry Binyon):
and the words show up at almost the same time in the 1928 “hot” recording of WAITIN’ FOR KATY by Guy Lombardo:
In 1935, another song developed this idea, most charmingly: the Sam Stept – Dave Franklin – Ned Washington BREAKIN’ IN A PAIR OF SHOES. I offer three versions for your consideration. The first is by the most lively and endearing Miss Cleo Brown with splendid rhythmic support from Vic Berton, Manny Stein, and Bobby Sherwood:
That recording I only discovered in the last year, however I knew the tune by heart because of this wonderful instrumental exploration by Teddy Wilson in his prime. Where Cleo’s version is a sassy romp, Teddy’s is a sweetly logical exploration — mixing melodic embellishments and deeper improvisation all the way through, swinging gently but never racing, delicately balanced from first to last. . . not only a beautifully intricate solo piano performance but a delightful “dance record” in Thirties parlance:
And if your new shoes had the virtue of being flexible, you might want to dance some more — to the youthful Benny Goodman Orchestra:
No deep moral here, just an offering of good music. I hope you are surrounded by people who love you even if you wear unfashionable shoes.
May your happiness increase!
Posted in "Thanks A Million", Bliss!, Jazz Titans, Pay Attention!, Swing You Cats!, That Was Fun!, The Real Thing, The Things We Love
Tagged Ben Pollack, Benny Goodman, Bobby Sherwood, Cleo Brown, Dave Franklin, Glenn Miller, Gus Kahn, Guy Lombardo, Jazz Lives, Larry Binyon, Manny Stein, Michael Steinman, Ned Washington, Sam Stept, Ted Shapiro, Teddy Wilson, Vic Berton
If, by this time, you are a little weary of FROSTY THE SNOWMAN and the remainder of the winter-holiday songbook, may I suggest this as an aesthetic panacea?
It’s Clint Baker’s New Orleans Jazz Band, recorded by Rae Ann Berry on December 20, 2009, at Pismo Beach, performing WHEN MY DREAMBOAT COMES HOME. Clint’s happy colleagues are Marc Caparone, trumpet; Dave Caparone, trombone; Mike Baird, alto sax; Carl Sonny Leyland, piano and vocal; Katie Cavera, banjo; Mike Fay, bass; Hal Smith, drums. Highlights for me are the friendly two-teumpet conversation at the start. Clint then shifts to trombone so that he and Dave can be a full section; Mike Baird sounds remarkably like Cap’n John Handy on alto; Carl shouts the vocal most endearingly, and that rhythm section rocks — at a tempo that’s not too slow and not too fast, either.
This clip led me into half an hour of etymological research into “dreamboat,” with the lexicographers getting the meanings right — the adored one or something that is adorable — but no one noticed that the song above was a hit in 1935 (music by Dave Franklin, lyrics by Cliff Friend). Whether lyric writers invent new idioms or they simply make effective use of them in their songs, I wouldn’t say, but having Bing Crosby record this tune for Decca meant that it came into the public consciousness — with versions by Jimmy Rushing with the Basie band, the Bob Crosby Bobcats, Tommy Dorsey, and even Fats Domino, Benda Lee, and Cliff Richard (!) to follow.
Whatever one might make of the etymology, I send the best romantic wishes to all my readers. May your dreamboat be close at hand, now and always. And if you are temporarily dreamboat-lacking, may (s)he come to you in 2010 or even earlier!
Postscripts: the American and British sheet music covers, (where “dream boat” is two words), to inspire you:
Posted in "Thanks A Million", Irreplaceable, Jazz Titans, Pay Attention!, Swing You Cats!, The Heroes Among Us, The Real Thing, The Things We Love
Tagged Bob Crosby, Bobcats, Bong Crosby, Brenda Lee, Carl Sonny Leyland, Cliff Friend, Cliff Richard, Clint Baker, Count Basie, Dacca Records, Dave Caparone, Dave Franklin, dreamboat, FORSTY THE SNOWMAN, Hal Smith, holiday music, jazz blog, Jazz Lives, Jimmy Rushing, Katie Cavera, Marc Caparone, Michael Steinman, Mike Baird, Mike Fay, Rae Ann Berry, Tommy Dorsey, WHEN MY DREAMBOAT COMES HOME, YouTube