"Won't You Play A Simple Melody Like My Mother Sang To Me"
Not sure what brought this one on....I guess listening to 3 different versions of this great duet. In all 3 cases (Bing & Gary Crosby, Georgia Gibbs & Jo Stafford), it is sung as a light Dixieland jazz tune, and I don't see how anyone could not like it. At this point, I guess I should say...here...listen:
See what I mean? Very catchy. I can't honestly say that I have ever been especially fond of pure jazz (especially of the progressive variety), but dixieland is something else, and some people do not really make a distinction between dixie and ragtime, except one features mostly piano while the other features a lot of brass. Then, I thought of some other tunes in this idiom that I really like. How about this one by Doris Day with Jack Smith from "Moonlight Bay"? Doris and Dixieland? Yep...it may start with a simple ukelele, but it sure does not end up that way. It is called "Love Ya, Honey". Listen:
Jo Stafford in the early 50's did her thing with Dixieland, too, and she ended up with a really big record based on the old "Tin Roof Blues". It was called: "Make Love To Me". The Dixie beat is not as evident in this one, unless you listen in your brain. Here it is:
Just so you can see what I mean, here we have a good example of a ragtime song (original) done as a swing/jazz tune. It is from Doris Day's second movie, "My Dream is Yours". Listen to the words! "Cuttin' Capers", when jazz men get together a play a few licks. Dixie land is often the result. Unfortunately, it lead to progressive jazz, and that is what I really cannot stand: no real melody. But this one, just fine!
I specs the best example of dixieland (none sung of course) is probably Bob Crosby and his Bobcats on almost anything at all. Here is one I like:
I am sitting here looking at a stack of 45rpm records, which fortunately I can still play. I really feel sorry for the folks today who have never had the experience of buying, playing and enjoying those wonderful old records. I used to have a player that would hold up to 20 of these round goodies,and they dropped one at a time, and the arm would plop on the surface and play the record.
They were a great improvement over the old 78rpm records because the 78’s broke much too easily. (Although I have been known to play some cracked and broken ones in my day, I can tell you it did nothing for needle life!) I guess, for all the newbies, I should say that the records were played by a cartridge arm to which you would supply a needle from time to time. The needle moving in the groove produced the sound. If for some reason you scratched the surface or let it get dirty, then the sound would include surface noises…or little clicks if the record happened to have a tear in it somewhere, which happened frequently. These records could also be stacked on a turntable, which then dropped each record in turn when the previous one finished playing. After the last groove, the arm would pick itself up, move to the side, drop the next record, and then the needle arm would plop on to the surface and play the record, but I have also seen that drop cause a break in a record…rare, but it did happen.
It’s me, and here I am again. After writing the book, “My ‘Secret Love’ Affair with Doris Day”, you probably think I have nothing left to say. WRONG. I should think that after 75 years of hard living, I would have lots to say…and I do. This blog will cover everything from soup to nuts, so to speak, but will deal primarily with things I know or have experienced.
Yes, I know I wrote a book, and I hope most of you have read it by now. If not, why not? The proceeds go to the DDAF, and you can take that off your taxes and get a good read at the same time. (These can also make some nice Christmas presents!) Did I hear you say “for older folks”? Nah..for anyone! A lot can be learned…some folks will even discover Doris for the first time!
Mike DeVita makes his home in Baltimore, Maryland, where he has lived for most of his life. A former teacher for over 33 years (English and Theatre Arts), he has spent the last few years doing internet radio and serving as a novice webmaster here on Songsandmemories, which is about 70 percent devoted to his favorite lady, Doris Day, as well as to other popular entertainers of the 20th Century. Mike also hosts an internet radio show on www.live365.com (It is called " Mike's Music Memories", a world of eclectic music.) He has also published his first book, "My 'Secret Love' Affair with Doris Day", covering a period of correspondence between Mike and Doris for over 60 years. The book is available for sale mostly online: www.amazon.com All proceeds from the book sales (in both paperback and kindle formats) go directly to the DDAF (Doris Day Animal Foundation) to benefit our four legged friends who cannot help themselves. Mike hopes you will respond to the blog comments and chime in whenever you wish.