Thursday, October 06, 2011

Debussy, Goodman, Berigan Together

I haven't written about my late father Edward's record collection (much of it old 33 and 78 RPM records, including a lot of big band and jazz vocalist music) in a while, due to several freelance and job-seeking projects, but I took a look at a few items yesterday that are getting me back on track.
Along with the many jazz-based records, there are a good number of bound albums that have the covers and artwork of classical and major Broadway show records. As I have mentioned in the past, one must investigate to see if what is stated on the outside actually appears within.
These classical and Broadway records appeared mostly in the last few shipments I moved from my mother Sheila's house to our house as we prepared to sell her house a few months ago, and there are several I still have not had the chance to investigate.
One I was drawn to is a blue-green cover with small bubbles and an 18th Century sailing ship on it for "La Mer (The See)," by Claude Debussy, performed by Arthur Rodzinski and the Cleveland Orchestra, Columbia Records M-531, recorded December 29, 1941. "La Mer" has long been a favorite classical piece of mine, and I found a link to listen to this record here. There is a piece of masking tape on the front with some faded marker on it that I could not read at first.
When I opened the record, I found that none of the three records from this album that should be inside were, in fact, inside. Instead, the first record is "More Than You Know," b/w "Superman," by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, Columbia 55002. Also in the album are "Sing, Sing, Sing - Part 1," by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, Introducing "Christopher Columbus" (Louis Prima), RCA Victor 36205, and "I Can't Get Started," b/w "The Prisoner's Song," by Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra, RCA Victor 36208.
After seeing the records inside this album, I looked at the tape on the front again, with yellow marker on very light beige tape, and after tilting things a bit, I finally made out the writing: "Benny Goodman."
I was fortunate to find this web page, which lists tons of old records, including many of the same in my father's collection. I listened to the first two mentioned Benny Goodman songs, and you can bet I'll be visiting this page again.


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