Monday, 31 August 2009

The Revelers "Oh Miss Hannah" 1925

Talking about Hannahs. There's another tune, "Oh Miss Hannah!" on the other side of "Collegiate", sung in the most original manner by the Revellers on HMV. It's absolutely the world's best sung tune, and they sing it in Fox Trot Time as though they were a band. Letter to Carol Brown in Collected Letters Of Malcolm Lowry

Oh, Miss Hannah Fox Trot (Hollongsworth-Deppen) played by the Revelers Victor Record Company with Orthophonic Scroll label 19796-A Electrically Recorded in 09.15.1925 would appear to have been a hit with the young Malc while at the Leys School in Cambridge.

The Revelers were an American quintet (four close harmony singers and a pianist) popular in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Revelers' recordings of "Dinah", "Old Man River", "Valencia", "Baby Face", "Blue Room", "The Birth of the Blues", "When Yuba Plays the Rumba on the Tuba", and many more, became popular in the United States and then Europe in the late 1920s.

All of the members had recorded individually or in various combinations, and formed a group in 1925. The original Revelers were tenors Franklyn Baur and Lewis James, baritone Elliot Shaw, bass Wilfred Glenn, and pianist Ed Smalle. Smalle was replaced by Frank Black in 1926. The group (with Black at the piano) appeared in a short movie musical, The Revelers (1927), filmed in the sound-on-disc Vitaphone process. This one-reel short film, recently restored by "The Vitaphone Project," shows the group performing "Mine", "Dinah", and "No Foolin'". A second short, filmed the same day with another three songs, awaits restoration.

The Revelers Quartet (1927) includes James Melton (#1), Lewis James (#2), Elliot Shaw (#3), Wilfred Glenn (#4), and Frank Black (#5), their arranger and accompanist. (Photo by Bruehl)

Here is another version recorded by Paul Whiteman Orhestra featuring Charles Margulis, Harry Goldfield (tp); Bix Beiderbecke, Andy Secrest (c); Boyce Cullen, Bill Rank, Wilbur Hall, Jack Fulton (tb); Frank Trumbauer, Chester Hazlett, Irving Friedman, Roy Maier, Bern:

I would imagine that the less youthful and more knowledgeable Malc of Cambridge University days would have preferred the above version given that the band contained 2 of his heroes Frankie Trumbauer and Bix Beiderbecke. Bing Crosby delivers a brief (uncredited) "vocal refrain", demonstrating his abilities as a "mellow crooner", for which he'd later become famous, in a beautiful Bill Challis arrangement.

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