Centuries of Sound on Cambridge 105 Radio – Episode 45 (1936)

“James Errington takes a trip back to 1936, with peak swing-era cuts from Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, Billie Holiday, Gene Krupa and Lionel Hampton, haunted delta blues from Robert Johnson and some truly transporting music from Django Reinhardt et Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France, avec Stéphane Grappelli. It’s nobody’s favourite year for history, but it’s an incredible one for music.”

Time: 6pm BST, Sunday 28th August 2022
Place: Cambridge 105 Radio

You can listen to the show on 105fm in Cambridge, on DAB digital across South Cambridgeshire, on the Cambridge 105 website here, or on any good radio apps, or (as the show has already finished) you can play the whole extended version on this handy mixcloud player.

1943 Part 1 – Introduction + January

At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound. The download here is only for the first half-hour of the mix. For the full 4.5-hour version please come to patreon.com/centuriesofsound for downloads and a host of other bonus materials for just $5 per month. This show would not be possible without my supporters on there, so please consider signing up or sharing this with someone who may be interested.

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When The American Federation of Musicians was founded in 1896, the wax cylinder was a novelty item owned by a tiny minority of rich households, radio was still a potential technology for (morse code) communication between neighboring buildings, and sound film was little more than a dream. Musicians were paid for performances, songwriters were paid for (easily pirated) sheet music, and the entire concept of “royalties” for recorded music was un-thought-of, or at least unmentioned.

We have heard some of the changes that took place over the next 45 years, of course. First there was the invention of mechanical royalties, initially for piano rolls, but later for recordings – these were an improvement for songwriters, who from 1907 received a fee of 2 cents every time their composition was duplicated – a rate which would remain the same until 1978. For performers, however, there was only a fee for playing on the session, so even as the recording industry expanded exponentially with the birth of electrical recordings and much cheaper equipment to play them on, a working musician would see no direct financial benefit to a song they had performed on becoming a hit.

When the great depression hit, most of the record companies collapsed and, for those musicians who did not find other employment, live performances and radio became their sole source of income. For some non-songwriters this may have even represented a pay rise – a gig every night meant a reliable paycheck. For band leaders, musicians were now plentiful and affordable. Why not put together a 20-piece jazz orchestra for your radio show? The musicians would be glad to have a steady job, and the audience, who could not afford new records, would be glad to hear them.

But then, of course, things changed again. Slowly, the economy began to recover. Record companies started increasing production. Radio stations, cutting back due to increased costs, started playing more records. And still performers received no royalties.

On August 1st 1942 the AFM, then representing the majority of professional musicians, announced a strike. No music was to be recorded until the record companies would agree terms to pay performance royalties. The strike had been long-anticipated, and a stockpile of records had been built up, so at first there was no noticeable difference – all the best-known artists were still available in stores. Then, as these started to run out, different plans were put into action. Singers (who were generally not members of the AFM) were paired with vocal groups or non-union pianists – this is why 1943 is the first big year for Frank Sinatra. Old records were re-released – for example Sinatra’s pre-fame records with the Harry James Orchestra. The dam had to burst eventually, though, and one by one the record companies agreed terms with the AMA, and recordings gradually began again.

If this strike were the only factor at play in 1943, it would be hard enough to make a full-length music mix, but of course there are further complications. Even before the war began, the economics of running a big band were failing, as star performers were less and less likely to accept minimum wage with the depression over. We will hear plenty of smaller group jazz performances, and their new style (already given the name “be bop”) in future episodes, though sadly I only have sprinklings of this for you here. Many musicians were of age to be drafted into the armed forces, and though they may have had the chance to play music there, it was most likely not recorded. Plastics were needed for war industries, and limits were put on the number of records which could be pressed. Even worse hit was fuel, which was rationed to the point that multi-city musical tours were virtually impossible. It seems like the entire record business was put entirely on hold for the duration of the year.

So what do we have here, then? A four-and-a-half-hour mix without any records? Well, no. With much less to work with, I downloaded a huge radio archive, and spent a fair amount of time getting sounds from films. The songs that do appear are “v-discs” recorded for distribution to soldiers, recordings with minimal or acappella backing, movie soundtracks, a few radio performances, and of course a host of music from other countries, mainly ones which were not participating in the war (I believe that for this reason this may be the most South-American mix I’ve ever made.) More than any other mix so far, this leans heavily into the sound-collage aspect of the project, with large sections free of any music. It was difficult to put this together, but I think it works.

I’ll be putting this mix out in 12 parts on this main feed, but for now the single-mix version will be a Patreon-only exclusive. If you would be so kind as to support this project, you can hear the entire year (or rather the entire 4.5 hours) right now over there.

Introduction

(Clip from Calvacade of America)
(Clip from WAC Recruits Take Oath of Enlistment)
(Clip from CBS World News Today)
(Clip from Share The Meat)
(Clip from Heaven Can Wait)
(Clip from Lights Out – Kill)
(Clip from Calvacade of America)
(Clip from Fibber McGee & Molly)
(Clip from It’s That Man Again)
0:01:08 Spike Jones – People Will Say We’re In Love
0:01:23 Lena Horne – Stormy Weather

January

(Clip from Review of The Year 1943)
0:05:59 Charlie Parker – My Heart Tells Me
(Clips from CBS World News Today)
(Clip from How To Behave In Britain)
0:09:17 Mildred Bailey – Rockin’ Chair
(Clips from CBS World News Today)
(Clip from Education for Death – The Making of The Nazi)
0:14:36 Efisio Melis – Fiuda Bagadia
(Clips from Education for Death – The Making of The Nazi)
(Clip from Shadow of a Doubt)
0:18:47 Oscar Aleman – Tico Tico No Fuba
(Clip from Shadow of a Doubt)
0:21:33 Xavier Cugat – Tico Tico
(Clip from Shadow of a Doubt)
(Clip from Fibber McGee & Molly)
(Clip from Screen Guild Players)
(Clips from Shadow of a Doubt)
(Clip from The More The Merrier)
0:24:13 Charlie Barnet and his Orchestra – The Moose
(Clips from Screen Guild Players)
0:26:46 Django Reinhardt Et Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France – Cavalerie
(Clip from Shadow of a Doubt)
(Clip from Forever and a Day)
(Clip from Lum & Abner)
(Clip from Screen Guild Players)
(Clip from VOA – Deutschsprachige Nachrichten der Stimme Amerikas)
(Clip of Herman Goering)
(Clip from CBS World News Today)

1942 Preview Mix 2

At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound. The download here is only for the second hour of the mix. For the full 4-hour version please come to centuriesofsound.com to stream, or patreon.com/centuriesofsound for downloads and a host of other bonus materials for just $5 per month. This show would not be possible without my supporters on there, so please consider signing up or sharing this with someone who may be interested.

Centuries of Sound on Cambridge 105 Radio – Episode 44 (1935)

Time: 6pm BST, Sunday 26th June 2022
Place: Cambridge 105 Radio

You can listen to the show on 105fm in Cambridge, on DAB digital across South Cambridgeshire, on the Cambridge 105 website here, or on any good radio apps, or (since the show has already been broadcast) you can play the whole extended version on this handy mixcloud player.

Radio Podcast #18 – 1910

Back for the new decade, that decade being the 1910s, audio historian James Errington returns for a deep dive into the sounds of 110 years ago. This time we’re joined by Cambridge 105’s own George Kirkman to listen to some ragtime frolics, eccentricities, proto-barbershop, proto-gospel and some meandering comic monologues.

Centuries of Sound is an independent podcast without any advertising, and it’s only with the support of my patrons that the show can survive. To download full mixes, get early access to the radio podcast, and a get host of other benefits for $5 (or local equivalent) per month (and yearly payment is also now available) please come to https://patreon.com/centuriesofsound

1942

At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound. The download here is only for the first hour of the mix. For the full 4-hour version please come to centuriesofsound.com to stream, or patreon.com/centuriesofsound for downloads and a host of other bonus materials for just $5 per month. This show would not be possible without my supporters on there, so please consider signing up or sharing this with someone who may be interested.

MP3 preview download | Patreon | Apple | Mixcloud | Spotify | Castbox | Stitcher

This is the fourth wartime mix, but it’s the first without an often jarring disconnect between music and history. The USA’s entry into the war at the close of 1941 may not have had an immediate impact upon the course of the conflict, but the impact on popular culture – and particularly on recorded music – is unmistakable. It isn’t just the rough-hewn comedy of Spike Jones and Carson Robinson, or the rapidly produced propaganda films, it seems to be knitted into the fabric of American culture. Characters in songs are either heading off to war or waiting for their man to return, radio serials are awash with Nazi spies, and variety shows now function primarily as drives for war bonds.

At the cinema – still of course the gold standard for culture – this is equally evident. ‘Casablanca,’ as timeless as it may seem, sits very snugly in this particular moment. The city itself was taken by the Allies as part of Operation Torch in November 1942, just around the time the film was first premiered, so when it went on general release in 1943 the setting was already an historical one. Hitchcock’s ‘Saboteur’ is ostensibly a domestic spy drama along the lines of ‘The 39 Steps’ and ‘North By Northwest,’ but with the added context of the war this is shifted into a battle between tyranny and democracy, with speeches written by Dorothy Parker and a climactic final battle on the torch of the Statue of Liberty. The top-grossing film of the year was Mrs Miniver, a subdued yet powerful drama about the effects of the war on a rural English housewife, which once again presented a moral of freedom under threat.

The main business of Centuries of Sound is music, of course, and the effect of these shifts on music is profound, and not always in a particularly positive way. In 1941 we heard the first stirrings of rhythm & blues and bebop, in 1942 the former has a few very notable examples (Louis Jordan and Nat King Cole) but is nevertheless diminished, the latter has disappeared almost entirely. Was this a result of wartime censorship, or of conscription of musicians? A greater cause may be the strike by The American Federation of Musicians, which began on August 1st, after a summer of negotiations around royalty payments broke down. This left almost half the year with hardly any professional musicians – and certainly no big bands – recording anywhere in the USA. As we get into 1943 we will hear how musicians managed to circumvent rules to continue performing, and how this changed the course of popular music.

So these four-and-a-bit hours of sound are a little different to the last few mixes, more integrated in feel, but with more in the way of sound collage and re-appropriated radio (the many hours of recordings I trawled for these clips may partially explain the delay in getting this one out.) It also includes nine minutes of a John Cage radio play, a ten-minute ‘Casablanca’ montage, the best-selling single of all time (possibly) and a load of other things which I am already forgetting. It has been something of a monster to make, but I think it all fits together.

TRACK LIST

0:00:00 Wilhelm Furtwängler And The Berlin Philharmonic – Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Excerpt)
(Clip from The Hitchhiker)
(Clip from Went The Day Well)
(Clip from Woman of the Year)
(Clip from Let’s Pretend)
(Clip from Went The Day Well)
0:01:37 Carl Stalling – Orchestra Gag (From ‘Hobby Horse Laffs’)
(Clip from The Major and The Minor)
0:02:10 Gene Krupa – Let Me Off Uptown
(Clip from To Be Or Not To Be)
0:05:22 Spike Jones & His City Slickers – Der Fuehrer`s Face
(Clip from Wake Island)
0:08:08 Southern Sons – Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition
(Clip from 1942 News Review)
0:11:33 Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five – Five Guys Named Moe
(Clip from 1942 News Review)
0:14:44 Raymond Scott & His Orchestra – Carrier Pigeon
(Clip from The Bing Crosby Show)
0:16:58 João Da Bahiana E Janir Martins – Caboclo Do Mato
0:18:22 Zé Da Zilda E Janir Martins – Seu Mané Luiz
(Clip from Sex Hygiene)
(Clip from The Man Who Came To Dinner)
0:20:59 Glenn Miller – American Patrol
(Clips from CBS News Of The World)
(Clip from Casablanca)
0:24:52 Dooley Wilson – As Time Goes By
(Clip from Casablanca)
0:28:17 Paul Whiteman Orchestra (Vocal – Billie Holiday) – I Cried For You
(Clip from Casablanca)
0:31:59 Benny Goodman Orchestra (Vocal – Peggy Lee) – Why Don’t You Do Right?
(Clip from Casablanca)
(Clips from 1942 News Review)

0:37:01 Bernard Herrmann – Fantasia
(Clip from CBS News of The World)
(Clip from ‘News From Singapore’)
(Clip from 1942 News Review)
(Clip from ‘Japanese Relocation’)
0:40:17 Kouta Katsutaro – Asu Ha Otachika
(Clip from Superman Showdown)
0:42:28 Disney Studio Chorus – Little April Shower
(Clip from Bambi)
0:45:38 Rizeli Sadık – Erkek Kadın Oyun Havası
0:47:34 John Cage & Kenneth Patchen – The City Wears A Slouch Hat (Excerpts)
0:56:55 Southern Sons – I’m Free At Last
0:59:37 Wilhelm Furtwängler And The Berlin Philharmonic – Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Excerpt)
(Clips from CBS Mobil Gas News Service)
(Clip from Saboteur)

1:03:38 Ella Mae Morse & Freddie Slack – The Thrill Is Gone
(Clip from The Bing Crosby Show)
1:06:11 Duke Ellington – Main Stem
(Clips from Let’s Pretend)
1:08:52 Xavier Cugat – Chiu Chiu
(Clip from To Be Or Not To Be)
1:11:42 Nat King Cole – Hit That Jive, Jack
1:14:32 Abbott & Costello – Sketch from The Edgar Bergen Show
1:16:47 Gene Autry – Deep In The Heart Of Texas
(Clip from Let’s Pretend)
1:19:24 Roy Acuff – Low & Lonely
(Clip from Hemp For Victory)
1:22:03 Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys – Home In San Antone
(Clip from Tortilla Flat)
1:23:40 Django Reinhardt Et Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France – Belleville
1:26:02 Jan Mol Electro Kwartet – Meditatie
1:28:21 Festival Swing – Festival Swing 1942, Part 2
(Clip from The Major & The Minor)
1:32:06 Andy Kirk And His Clouds Of Joy – Take It And Git
(Clip from To Be Or Not To Be)
1:35:22 Anne Shelton with Ambrose and His Orchestra – Nightingale
(Clips from 1942 News Review)

1:39:01 The Andrews Sisters – Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree
(Clips from Jack Benny – (1942-05-03) – Cast Visits Jack At Warner Brothers)
1:42:46 Arthur Askey – It’s Spring Again
(Clip from Henry Wallace’s Four Freedoms Speech)
1:44:56 Kenneth Spencer Hall Johnson Negro Choir – Old Ship Of Zion
1:48:00 J. H. Terrell – Missionary Sermon
1:49:05 Ademilde Fonseca – Tico-Tico No Fubá
(Clips from 1942 News Review)
1:51:07 Haeda Katsuhiko – Shinsetsu
(Clips from Flying Tigers Battle of Midway)
1:53:53 Carson Robinson – Mussolini’s Letter To Hitler
(Clip of Hitler Speaking Normally)
1:56:18 Charlie And His Orchestra (Vocal – Carl Schwedler) – Little Sir Echo
(Clip from Winston Churchill ‘Now We Are Masters Of Our Fate’ Speech)
(Clip from 1942 News Review)
(Clip from Mrs Miniver)
(Clip from This Above All)
1:59:29 Mills Brothers – Paper Doll
(Clip from Reap The Wild Wind)
2:02:15 Hutch – Jealousy
(Clip of Hop Harrigan – The Nazi Bribe)
2:03:55 Concha Piquer – Sevillanes Del Espartero
(Clip from Yankee Doodle Dandy)
2:06:32 Glenn Miller – Juke Box Saturday Night
(Clip from Superman Showdown)
2:10:24 Muggsy Spanier – Two O’clock Jump
(Clip from Bing Crosby Show)
(Clip from To Be Or Not To Be)

2:13:27 Spike Jones & His City Slickers – Yankee Doodler
(Clip from CBS World News Today)
(Clip from Marines In The Making)
2:16:30 Carl Stalling – Stalling: The War Years (Medley)
(Clips from Marines In The Making)
(Clip from Let’s Pretend)
(Clip from The Ducktators)
2:19:48 Ted Daffan’s Texans – Born To Lose
(Clip from Went The Day Well?)
2:21:42 Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra & Jimmy Mitchelle – Don’t Cry Baby
(Clip from 1942 News Review)
(Clip from News Parade of The Year)
2:25:16 G-Zha Beshovishka – Nado Nadke
(Clip from Now, Voyager)
(Clip from The Hitchhiker)
(Clip from Let’s Pretend)
2:29:35 Tampa Red – She Want To Sell My Monkey
(Clip from The Wild Wind)
2:31:22 Lonnie Johnson – He’s A Jelly Roll Baker
(Clip from Tortilla Flat)
2:32:28 Zé Espinguela E Grupo Do Pai Alufá – Macumba De Oxóssi
2:34:39 Carmen Miranda, Nestor Amaral & Bando Da Lua – Aquarela Do Brasil (Film Soundtrack)
(Clip from The Man Who Came To Dinner)
2:37:38 Dooley Wilson – Knock On Wood
(Clip from I Married A Witch)

2:38:58 Hoagy Carmichael – Stardust
2:41:16 Lester Young Trio – Body and Soul
2:43:20 Billie Holiday With Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra – Trav’lin’ Light
2:44:58 Harry James – Sleepy Lagoon
(Clip from London 1942)
2:47:50 Flanagan & Allen – Rose O’Day
(Clip from London 1942)
2:48:57 George Formby – Homeguard Blues
(Clip from London 1942)
(Clip from Bomber Crew Gives Interview)
(Clip from Let’s Pretend)
(Clip from I Married A Witch)
2:52:20 Raymond Scott & His Orchestra – Pan American Hot Spot
(Clip from Pride of The Yankees)
2:53:50 Xavier Cugat – Jesusita
2:56:37 John W. Bubbles with Duke Ellington and his Orchestra – Shine from Cabin in the Sky OST
(Clip from To Be Or Not To Be)
2:59:30 Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys – It’s All Your Fault
(Clip from This Gun For Hire)
(Clip from Gentleman Jim)
3:02:32 Harry James – Trumpet Blues And Cantabile
(Clips from 1942 News Review)

3:06:47 Lionel Hampton – In The Bag
(Clips from Sex Hygiene)
3:10:19 Tampa Red – Let Me Play With Your Poodle
3:12:54 Leadbelly – Rock Island Line
3:14:55 The Ink Spots – Who Wouldn’t Love You?
(Clip from In Which We Serve)
3:17:09 Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five – The Chicks I Pick Are Slender, Tender And Tall
(Clip from The Hitchhiker)
3:19:42 Fats Waller – Jitterbug Waltz
(Clips from Cat People)
(Clip from Bambi)
(Clips from CBS World News Today)
3:24:54 Disney Studio Orchestra – Gallop Of The Stags,The Great Prince Of The Forest, Man
(Clips from CBS World News Today)
(Clip from The Great Offensive)
(Clip from Wehrmacht Stalingrad Radio Broadcast, Christmas 1942)
3:31:12 Groupo De Totoko Francois – Bololo O Kolilo
3:32:28 Lester Young Trio – Indiana
(Clip of Groucho Marx on The Bing Crosby Show)

3:33:58 The Merry Macs – Jingle Jangle Jingle
3:35:14 Roy Acuff – Night Train To Memphis
3:37:59 Ernest Tubb – Walking The Floor Over You
(Clip from Chichi Ariki)
3:40:43 David Rose And His Orchestra – Holiday For Strings
(Clip from Let’s Pretend)
3:43:35 Charles Trenet – Que Reste-T-Il De Nos Amours!
3:46:44 Duke Ellington – Perdido
3:49:50 Ramblers – Ping Pong
3:52:26 Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra – Well, Git It!
(Clips from Hop Harrigan – The Nazi Bribe)

3:53:54 Ed Plumb – Wintery Winds
(Clips from CBS World News Today)
(Clip from RRGO Robert Best Against US Action)
(Clip from Hitler Speech on Stalingrad)
3:56:08 Bernard Herrmann – Snow Ride
(Clip from The Man Who Came To Dinner)
(Clip from The Talk of The Town)
(Clips from Mayor Of The Town – A Christmas Carol)
(Clip from Amos & Andy Annual Christmas Show)
(Clip from Christmas With The 8th Army)
(Clip from Holiday Inn)
4:00:07 Bing Crosby – White Christmas
(Clip from Fibber McGee and Molly – Listening to Christmas Carols)
(Clip from Bing Crosby Christmas Show)
4:04:19 Vera Lynn – The White Cliffs Of Dover
(Clip of Bob Burns speech from war concert)
4:07:14 Lucky Millinder & His Orchestra – When The Lights Go On Again (All Over The World))
(Clip from The Talk Of The Town)
(Clip from The Hitchhiker)
(Clip from 1942 News Review)

Radio Podcast #17 – 1909

More time travel to the earliest days of recorded sound with James Errington, this time joined by Cambridge 105’s own Dave Hammond. This time we go back to 1909 to hear novelty songs about moon-orbiting aeroplanes and juvenile smoking, wildly unpredictable vaudeville routines, “authentic” black music from the deep south played by a former plantation owner, and, not to be missed, the theme tune from the snooker.

Centuries of Sound is an independent podcast without any advertising, and it’s only with the support of my patrons that the show can survive. To download full mixes, get early access to the radio podcast, and a get host of other benefits for $5 (or local equivalent) per month (and yearly payment is also now available) please come to https://patreon.com/centuriesofsound

1941

At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound. The download here is only for the first hour of the mix. For the full nearly 5-hour version please come to centuriesofsound.com to stream, or patreon.com/centuriesofsound for downloads and a host of other bonus materials for just $5 per month. This show would not be possible without my supporters on there, so please consider signing up or sharing this with someone who may be interested.

MP3 preview download | Patreon | Apple | Mixcloud | Spotify | Castbox | Stitcher | RSS

The man in the middle of this picture is my grandfather. Like most young British men in the year 1941, he was serving in the armed forces. In his case that meant the merchant navy, and the Atlantic convoys during the Battle of The Atlantic. The golden rule of the navy, he would later say, was never to volunteer, but breaking this rule to volunteer for “special work” turned out to be one of the best decisions he ever made. Sent on a goodwill trip to New York and New Jersey shortly after the Pearl Harbor attacks had drawn America into the war, the sailors were surprised to find themselves treated as heroes. Then one memorable night at Radio City Music Hall, they were invited on to the stage by the new singer with Tommy Dorsey’s band, a man so popular that teenage girls (“Bobby soxers” as they would then be called) in the audience screamed as he sang, one Francis Albert Sinatra.

Frank was at this point already, suddenly, the biggest singing star in the USA, topping polls in Billboard and DownBeat magazines, and selling huge amounts of records. Listening to his recordings from this time can instantly tell you why. As much as any singer embarking on an imperial phase, his performances seem not just to be technically and artistically brilliant, but to be utterly effortless, as if he just woke up one morning singing like that. Naturally there was more to his popularity than his voice though. Sinatra would later say that he represented “…the boy in every corner drugstore, the boy who’d gone off drafted to the war” to young women. To many young men, however, this jarred with the fact that he never served himself, despite being the right age. Rumours circulated that Sinatra or unnamed underworld connections had paid a bribe to keep him out of the army, but when files were eventually released it transpired that he was deemed unfit for service for being “not acceptable material from a psychiatric viewpoint” and “emotionally unstable” – quite a contrast to the self-assured artist we think we know.

Sinatra was not, of course, the most exciting musician working in 1941. Not by a long shot. The ridiculous running length of this mix isn’t (I hope) down to sloppiness on my part, it’s because there’s simply too much to fit in here, even after the hour-long Pearl Harbour montage was cut out. 1941 isn’t often held up as one of the best years for music, there aren’t that many hits here for example, but coming at it chronologically it’s obvious that a great bursting and unchaining of creativity is underway. Much of this is from the same people we’ve heard a great deal from in the last few years. Musicians from Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Jay McShann’s bands would jam together through the night at Minton’s Playhouse in New York, playing around with complex harmonies, syncopation, chord substitutions. It was music by and for musicians, not intended for the public, and it’s only by the most amazing luck that a single recording, heavily excerpted here, survives. Charlie Christian, electric guitarist in the Benny Goodman Orchestra, here shows himself a good few decades ahead of the curve with solos that seem to invent new genres every minute. Sadly he would be dead before 1942 was out, at the age of 25, but the music he birthed would live on, as “bebop.” Also prefiguring rock and roll we have astonishing jump blues from Lucky Millinder, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Louis Jordan and Nat King Cole, and from the West coast we have that strange mix of cowboy country and swing jazz then called “Western Swing.” And let’s not even get started on the explosion of Samba music in Brasil. Even strike action helped out here (as it would very much not do in the following years) – ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) spent most of 1941 in a dispute with radio broadcasters over royalties. As their clients were almost exclusively the white songwriting establishment, the beneficiaries were those of a different race or class, who could now get their songs played on the radio, which then led to more demand for these records to be made.

Musicians in 1941 – no, people in 1941 – were not waiting around for the war to start. They were not putting their lives on hold for the duration. They were playing some of the most original and exciting music we’ve heard so far. In a half-decade of unimaginable horrors, the dampening down of this spark doesn’t rank very high on the list of crimes, but still, it will be a long few years before we can pick up where we left off.

Track list

0:00:00 Kunaisho Shikiburyô Gagakuka – Taishikichô Chôshi
(Clip from The Maltese Falcon)
0:01:00 Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra – Snowfall
(Clip from Ball of Fire)
0:04:01 Louis Jordan – The Green Grass Grows All Around
(Clip from Sullivan’s Travels)
0:06:50 Don Byas, Charlie Christian, et al. – Up on Teddy’s Hill
(Clip from Review of the Year 1941)
0:10:03 Jay Mcshann & His Orchestra – Swingmatism
(Clip from Review of the Year 1941)
0:13:22 Albert Ammons & Pete Johnson – Boogie Woogie Man
(Clip from Bulova – world’s first television advertisement)
0:16:03 Carmen Miranda – When I Love, I Love
(Clip from Never Give A Sucker An Even Break)
0:18:54 Dinning Sisters – Louisiana Hayride
(Clip from Never Give A Sucker An Even Break)
0:21:51 Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys – Twin Guitar Special
(Clip from Tea Making Tips)
0:24:36 Lucky Millinder – Big Fat Mama
0:26:55 Lucky Millinder with Sister Rosetta Tharpe – I Want A Tall Skinny Papa
(Clip of Winston Churchill – Give Us The Tools)

0:30:12 Billie Holiday – Solitude
(Clip from Citizen Kane)
0:34:41 Lil Green – Why Don’t You Do Right
(Clip from The Lady Eve)
0:37:35 Ángel D’agostino & Ángel Vargas – El Choclo
0:40:02 Anibal Troilo – Milongeando En El
0:41:56 Ricardo Tanturi – Alberto Castillo – Noches De Colón
(Clip from One Foot in Heaven)
0:43:29 Roland Hayes – Xango
(Clip from Major Barbara)
0:45:21 Golden Gate Quartet – The Sun Did’nt Shine
(Clip from Major Barbara)
0:47:49 Marian Anderson – Crucifixion
(Clip from Major Barbara)
0:51:02 Heavenly Gospel Singers – When Was Jesus Born?
(Clip from Major Barbara)
0:53:07 The Delta Rhythm Boys – Dry Bones
(Clip from Suspicion)
0:56:19 Una Mae Carlisle – Oh I’m Evil
(Clip of The German Newsreel)
(Clip of 1941-04-27 BBC Winston Churchill – Westward Look The Land Is Bright)
0:58:57 Arthur Rubinstein, Emanuel Feuermann, Jascha Heifetz – Brahms Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 8
(Clips from Review of the Year 1941)

1:02:04 Arthur Askey – Thanks For Dropping In Mr Hess
(Clip from Never Give A Sucker An Even Break)
1:03:04 The Andrews Sisters – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
(Clip from Citizen Kane)
1:05:49 Metronome All-Stars – One O’clock Jump
(Clip from Meet John Doe)
1:09:14 Nat King Cole Trio – Hit That Jive, Jack
1:12:04 Bennie Carter Orchestra – Sunday
1:14:47 Charlie Christian, Kenny Clarke, Thelonious Monk et al. – Swing to Bop
(Clip from Ball of Fire)
1:20:35 Charlie Christian, Kenny Clarke, Thelonious Monk et al. – Stompin’ at the Savoy
(Clip from Never Give A Sucker An Even Break)
1:23:32 Don Byas, Charlie Christian, et al. – Down on Teddy’s Hill
(Clip from Never Give A Sucker An Even Break)
1:25:29 Don Byas, Thelonius Monk et al. – Indiana
(Clip from The Maltese Falcon)
1:27:35 Don Byas, Helen Humes, Thelonius Monk et al. – Stardust
(Clip from Here Comes Mr Jordan)

1:30:31 Duke Ellington – Take The ‘A’ Train
(Clip from That Hamilton Woman)
1:33:25 Brownie Mcghee – Death Of Blind Boy Fuller
(Clip from Sullivan’s Travels)
1:35:06 Mckinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters) – Country Blues
(Clip of The German Newsreel)
(Clip from Review of the Year 1941)
(Clip from “Interview With Madame X”)
1:38:43 Al Bowlly & Jimmy Messene – When That Man Is Dead And Gone
(Clip of Charles Lindbergh On US Non-Intervention)
1:41:58 Joshua White – Defense Factory Blues
(Clip from 1941-06-16 BBC Winston Churchill – Broadcast To America)
1:44:46 The Ink Spots – I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire
(Clip from 1941-06-22 BBC Winston Churchill – Germany Invades Russia)
1:48:53 Una Mae Carlisle – Blitzkrieg Baby (You Can’t Bomb Me)
(Clip of 1941-07-03 PCPT Josef Stalin Addresses Nation)
1:51:23 Sydney Errington, Melville Cook – Eccles Sonata In G Adagio
(Clip of Dmitri Shostakovich – Radio Message Broadcast)
(Clip from Soviet Forces in Action)
(Clip from Dorothy Thompson Interview)
1:55:04 Wingie Manone & His Orchestra – Stop The War (The Cats Are Killin’ Themselves)
(Clip from Dorothy Thompson Interview)
1:57:36 Noel Coward & Orchestra – London Pride
(Clip from 1941-07-14 BBC Winston Churchill – Do Your Worst, We’ll Do Our Best)

2:01:01 Margaret Eaves With Joe Loss & His Orchestra – ”V” Stands For Victory
2:03:29 George Formby – Crazy Record (Part 1 & 2)
2:05:38 Peter Igelhoff Ensemble – Dieses Lied Hat Keinen Text (Vocal – Evelyn Künneke)
(Clip from George Formby – Crazy Record)
2:07:14 Jetty Paerl – Het Is Koninginnedag
2:08:38 Jacques Gerlagh Combo – In The Mood (Guitar – Eddy Christiani)
(Clip from 1941-07-14 BBC General DeGaulle Urges America To Join The Allies)
2:09:56 Jacques Pills – Avec Son Ukulele
2:12:28 Luiz Gonzaga – Vira E Mexe
2:15:20 Anjos Do Inferno – Por Que Será!
2:18:03 Carmen Miranda – Rebola A Bola
2:20:14 Francisco Alves – Canta Brasil
2:21:52 Herivelto Martins – Grande Otelo Praça Xi
(Clip from Never Give A Sucker An Even Break)
2:23:38 Glenn Miller And His Orchestra – A String Of Pearls
(Clip from The Maltese Falcon)
2:26:51 Tommy Dorsey (Vocal – Sinatra,Haines) – Oh! Look At Me Now
(Clip from Ball of Fire)
2:29:08 Xavier Cugat – La Cucaracha

2:32:13 Carl Stalling – Stalling Self-Parody
(Clip from Tea Making Tips)
2:32:50 Spike Jones – Red Wing
(Clip from The Devil & Daniel Webster)
2:33:35 Fred Lowery – Indian Love Call
2:36:01 Sama No Hosomichi Etc. – Zuizui Zukkorobashi, Tenjin
2:37:49 Fats Waller – Chant Of The Groove
(Clip from Ball of Fire)
2:45:29 Les Brown – Celery Stalks At Midnight (Vocal – Doris Day)
2:46:47 Count Basie – King Joe (Vocal – Paul Robeson)
2:50:06 Lena Horne – I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues
(Clip from Major Barbara)
2:53:11 Dinah Shore – Mocking Bird Lament
(Clip from Man Hunt)
2:55:22 Ella Fitzgerald – My Man (Mon Homme)
(Clip from Citizen Kane)
(Clip from 1941-08-29 BBC Winston Churchill – These Are Great Days)
2:58:39 Guangzhou Cantonese Opera Troupe – The Crow Flies Back To The Forest
(Clip from Review of the Year 1941)
(Clip from 1941-09-11 Lindbergh’s America First Committee Speech in Des Moines, Iowa)
2:59:47 Artie Shaw – Concerto For Clarinet (Part 2)
(Clip from 1941-10-03 RRG Adolf Hitler – Speech On Finland)
(Clip from Meet John Doe)

3:04:43 Xavier Cugat – Eco
3:06:19 Joseito Fernandez – Guantanamera
(Clip from The Maltese Falcon)
3:09:23 Sugii Kōichi – Jipushī Tango
(Clip from The Wolf Man)
3:11:06 Naftule Brandwein – Nifty’s Freilach
(Clip from 1941-11-11 – BBC – German Attack On British Convoy)
3:14:01 Sidney Bechet – Egyptian Fantasy
(Clip from 1941-11-07 BBC Winston Churchill – The Resolution Of The People)
3:15:44 Bert Ambrose – Oasis
(Clip from Citizen Kane)
3:18:21 Benny Goodman – Good Enough To Keep
3:20:24 Jay Mcshann – Confessin’ The Blues
(Clip from Meet John Doe)
3:23:13 Washboard Sam – Evil Blues
(Clip from The Little Foxes)
3:26:10 Sister Rosetta Tharpe With Lucky Millinder & His Orchestra – Shout, Sister, Shout
3:28:50 Louis Jordan – Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie

3:31:43 Pete Johnson – Death Ray Boogie
3:34:38 Fats Waller – I Wanna Hear Swing Songs
3:35:34 Nat King Cole – I Like To Riff
3:38:19 Big Bill Broonzy – I Feel So Good
(Clip from The Little Foxes)
3:40:32 Leadbelly – You Can’t Lose Me, Cholly
(Clip from The Devil and Daniel Webster)
3:42:34 Adolph Hofner – Cotton-Eyed Joe
3:44:59 Johnny Lee Wills – Milk Cow Blues
3:47:47 The Almanac Singers – Song For Harry Bridges
3:49:52 Mills Brothers – Lazy River
3:52:30 Sons Of The Pioneers – Cool Water
3:53:26 Edmond Hall – Edmond Hall Blues
3:57:36 Donald Lambert – Elegie (Massenet)
(Clip from Citizen Kane)
3:59:55 Django Reinhardt Et Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France – Dinette
(Clip from The Little Foxes)

4:01:50 Artie Shaw And His Orchestra – Frenesi
4:03:06 Nat King Cole Trio – Hit The Ramp
4:06:17 Gus Viseur Et Son Orchestre – Swing 39
4:07:24 Sidney Bechet – 12th Street Rag
4:09:24 John Kirby And His Orchestra – St. Louis Blues
4:12:07 Glenn Miller – Chattanooga Choo Choo (Vocal – Modernaires)
4:15:30 Duke Ellington and his Orchestra – Soundtrack to Jam Session soundie
4:17:01 Festival Swing – Festival Swing
4:20:18 Roy Eldridge With The Gene Krupa Orchestra – After You’re Gone
(Clip of Sergeant York)
4:23:00 Hans J. Salter & Frank Skinner – The Wolf Man
4:23:15 CBS / NBC / BBC – News Broadcasts from December 7th 1941
4:25:59 Franklin Delano Roosevelt – Day Of Infamy Speech
4:27:54 Various Speakers – Interviews With People in New York City The Day After Pearl Harbor
(Clip of 1941-12-09 Adolf Hitler Declaration Of War Against USA)
(Clip of 1941-12-28 – RSH Lord Haw Haw (Wm Joyce) Germany Calling Hello North America)
4:31:02 Joshua White – Uncle Sam Says
(Clip of 1941-12-17 Japanese Victory Over Singapore)
(Clip of 1941-12-16 Fibber McGee & Molly Fibber cuts Xmas Tree)
4:34:27 The Ink Spots – That’s When Your Heartaches Begin
(Clip from How Green Was My Valley)
4:38:40 Rev. J.M. Gates – Gettin’ Ready For Christmas Day
(Clip from 1941-12-31 Amos & Andy Christmas Eve)
(Clip from 1941-12-24 BBC Winston Churchill – The White House Christmas Tree)
4:40:26 Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra & Pied Pipers – Do I Worry?
4:43:13 Gene Krupa Chicagoans – Drumboogie
(Clip from The Devil and Daniel Webster)

Centuries of Sound on Cambridge 105 Radio – Episode 42 (1933)

Time: 6pm GMT, Sunday 27th February 2022
Place: Cambridge 105 Radio

Another trip into the archives with James Errington, this time to 1933. It’s the worst year of the great depression, terrible things are afoot in Europe, but with the first golden age of Hollywood, all America seems to want to do is celebrate. It’s an odd moment, then, but one with some fantastic music.

You can listen to the show on 105fm in Cambridge, on DAB digital across South Cambridgeshire, on the Cambridge 105 website here, or on any good radio apps, or you can play the whole extended version on this handy mixcloud player.

Tracks featured

Maurice Jaubert – Zéro De Conduite – If The Kids Are United
Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra – Toby
Las Estrellas Hababeras – Buey Viejo
Art Tatum – Tiger Rag
Lightnin’ Washington – Long John
Ethel Waters – Stormy Weather
Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire – Music Makes Me
Casa Loma Orchestra – White Jazz
Bessie Smith – Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer
Clarence Ashley & Gwen Foster – Bay Rum Blues Roots
Groucho Marx & Margaret Dumont – The Laws Of My Administration
Carmen Miranda – Alvorada (Samba)
Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra – Sophisticated Lady
Georg Kulenkampff – Tambourin Chinois (Kreisler)
Arthur Schnabel – Sonata No 22 In F Major, Op 54 Ii Allegretto
Harry Roy – Bugle Call Rag (Piano Duet – Ivor Moreton & Dave Kaye)
Spike Hughes And His Orchestra – How Come You Do Me Like You Do?
Boswell Sisters – Shuffle Off To Buffalo
Big Bill Broonzy – How You Want It Done?
Wilmouth Houdini and his Humming Bird – Trinidad Hurricane
Fernando Vilches & Ramon Montoya – Flor De Petenera
Jimmie Rodgers – Gambling Bar Room Blues
Marta Eggerth – Ave Maria (Schubert)

December 7th 1941

At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound – I make these on my own, in my spare time. To support my work and help the show survive, please consider signing up at patreon.com/centuriesofsound where you can also get full show downloads and a host of other bonus stuff for just $5 per month. This show would not be possible without my supporters on there, so please consider signing up or sharing this with someone who may be interested.

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At 7:48am on December 7th 1941, the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii was attacked by 353 Japanese aircraft, launched from six aircraft carriers, precipitating the entrance of the United States into the Second World War.

Major news stories had been covered on the radio before, of course, and radio recordings had been made for more than a decade. Nevertheless, this is by far the most contemporary material available for a breaking news story. Edited down from nearly twenty hours of original recordings, this sound collage presents these events as they occurred from the perspective of a radio listener that day.

Generally I layer music over speech clips, but in this case I have included only music as it was broadcast on that day. The sound quality is therefore unavoidably a lot worse than you may be used to, and the audio is presented without a tracklist.

This episode was partially inspired by Awful Grace Podcast’s Again The Never Came, a sound collage from 9/11, an astonishing bit of audio which I would recommend, but with a warning that it includes phone calls from the Twin Towers, which frankly anyone will find distressing.

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