1942: Casablanca and White Christmas

THAT’S R and B?

Glenn MillerIn Joel Whitburn’s A Century of Pop Music, an interesting note. “The recording industry enjoyed booming success during the early 1940s until the era’s dominant big bands were stilled on August 1, 1942, when the American Federation of Musicians joined in a ban on recording due to a dispute over musicians’ royalties.

“By the time all the record companies entered into an agreement to end the ban in late 1944, vocalists had assumed predominance over bands in popularity.”

This is also the year of one of my favorite movies, Casablanca. I’ve mentioned it at least a dozen times in this blog. I saw this film, outdoors in a park, maybe in Rochester (?) with my friend Debi. I’ve lost track of the friend ever since. Nor have I seen the film again, and it was at least thirty years ago, so I should fix that. It’s certainly one of the oldest films that I’ve ever viewed, aside from The Wizard Of Oz and a handful of others.

White Christmas – Bing Crosby (Decca), 11 weeks at #1, gold record. In 2016, I wrote a whole post about the song here. I noted that the recording ALSO led the rhythm and blues tally for three weeks that year, and continued to appear on some charts for several years. It is the best-selling single worldwide with an estimated 50 million copies sold.

Bronze Star

Moonlight Cocktail– Glenn Miller with Ray Eberle and the Modernaires (Bluebird), 10 weeks at #1, gold record. From Wikipedia: “In 1942, Miller volunteered to join the U.S. military to entertain troops during World War II, ending up with the U.S. Army Air Forces. On December 15, 1944, while flying to Paris, Miller’s aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal.”

Jingle Jangle Jingle– Kay Kyser with Henry Babbitt and Julie Conway (Columbia), 8 weeks at #1, gold record.

(I’ve Got A Gal In) Kalamazoo – Glenn Miller with Tex Bereke, Marion Hutton, and the Modernaires (Victor), 7 weeks at #1, gold record. Apparently, Kalamazoo was a funny-sounding city name, like Walla Walla and Schenectady.

Tangerine – Jimmy Dorsey with Bob Eberle and Helen O’Connell (Decca), 6 weeks at #1. A familiar tune, though I don’t remember specifically why.

Sleepy Lagoon – Harry James (Columbia), 4 weeks at #1. Instrumental.

A String Of Pearls – Glenn Miller (Bluebird), 2 weeks at #1. Instrumental. All of the Miller cuts are well known to me.

Blues In The Night (My Mama Done Tol’ Me) – Woody Herman (Decca)

Music Throwback Saturday: In the Mood

Under copyright laws, a tune that had not been written down and registered with the copyright office could be appropriated by any musician with a good ear.

Wingy-ManoneAll I wanted to do was post a link to a familiar version of In the Mood, then add one you might not have heard.

But the facts got in the way:





“In the Mood” was an arrangement by Joe Garland based on a pre-existing melody… The main theme, featuring repeated arpeggios rhythmically displaced, previously appeared under the title of “Tar Paper Stomp” credited to jazz trumpeter and bandleader Wingy Manone. Manone recorded “Tar Paper Stomp” on August 28, 1930…

Horace Henderson used the same riff in “Hot and Anxious”, recorded by his brother’s band, Fletcher Henderson and his Orchestra, on March 19, 1931…

Under copyright laws [at the time], a tune that had not been written down and registered with the copyright office could be appropriated by any musician with a good ear. Wingy Manone had brought up the issue of the similarity between “Tar Paper Stomp” and “In the Mood” to Joe Garland and to the publishing company of the song, Shapiro, Bernstein, and Company of New York… “Tar Paper Stomp” was copyrighted on November 6, 1941…

Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” [1939] became the best selling swing instrumental.


But what I REALLY wanted to tell you about is my favorite version of In the Mood. I have it on the 1977 Warner/Reprise Loss Leader album Limo, compiled, as many were, by Doctor Demento. The song is credited to Henhouse Five Plus Too, the nom de poulet of Ray Stevens, who had hits as diverse as Gittarzan, The Streak, Everything Is Beautiful, Turn Your Radio On, and Mr. Businessman. This song went to #40 early in 1977 and proved to me that almost ANY song could be done in Chicken.

Listen to

Wingy Manone – Tar Paper Stomp HERE or HERE

Hot and Anxious – Fletcher Henderson HERE or HERE

In The Mood from The Glenn Miller Story – Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra HERE or HERE

In the Mood – Henhouse Five Plus Too HERE or HERE

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