Sunday, 16 May 2010

Japanese Sandman

Dick half picks it up, reveals another old record, of Japanese Sandman, replaces it.
Tender Is The Night - a film script by Malcolm Lowry

In my last post I wrote about the other record Smile that Dick picks up in this sequence from Lowry's film script of Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is The Night.

The Japanese Sandman is a song from 1920, composed by Richard A. Whiting and with lyrics by Raymond B. Egan. As with Smile, there have been many versions of the song.

The song is about a sandman from Japan, who exchanges yesterdays for tomorrows. The number has a very Oriental atmosphere, and is similar to many other songs from the interbellum who sing about a dreamy, exotic setting.

The song was Paul Whiteman's first record and sold over two million copies. It has been subsequently performed by several musical artists like Benny Goodman, Bix Beiderbecke, Artie Shaw, Earl Hines, Paul Young, Django Reinhardt, The Andrews Sisters, and Freddy Sunder.

Additionally, the song was recorded by the Nazi-German propaganda band Charlie and his Orchestra. For propaganda reasons, the lyrics were changed through references to the Japanese Empire.

Here is a list of all the 78 recordings of Japanese Sandman

Here is Paul Whiteman's version:

One version not mentioned in Wikipedia is the Frankie Trumbauer version which I think would have been to Lowry's tastes as Frankie was another one of his jazz heroes.

As I stated in the last post on Smile, I think that Lowry had the film Rose Of Washington Square in mind as both Japanese Sandman and Smile are featured in the film.

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