Episode 65. 1935 (HB2U, Mommie Dearest!)

Episode 65. 1935 (HB2U, Mommie Dearest!)



This coming Saturday, December 19, is an important day for my family: it’s my mother Jane’s 85th birthday. To pay tribute to this event, and to this very special woman, I’m presenting a program focusing on the year 1935, and important milestones in film, musicals, and the hit parade. There was such a dizzying variety of musical material in this year that it was challenging to organize, but I focus on young artists who were just entering the scene (Judy Garland, Carmen Miranda, and Édith Piaf) to émigrés to and from America (including Marlene Dietrich, Paul Robeson, Joséphine Baker, Kurt Weill, Elisabeth Welch, and Erich Korngold), to Broadway shows that debuted in that year (in performances by, among others, Ethel Merman, Libby Holman, and Nat King Cole). Along the way I pay particular focus to what was, in retrospect, the most important Broadway event of the year, the premiere of Porgy and Bess. From that show, I present performances by Todd Duncan, Anne Brown, and Ruby Elzy, all of whom created their roles. I also examine the “Latin” influence on US culture from artists like Xavier Cugat, Carlos Gardel, and Miranda, and of the enormous cultural impact (in spite of repression and discrimination) that African American artists were making (Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Alberta Hunter, Fats Wallter, and Adelaide Hall.) Finally I look at musicians who were also born in 1935 who made their mark in subsequent decades in a wide variety of styles (including Johnny Mathis, Julie Andrews, Diahann Carroll, Elvis Presley, Nancy Ford and Gretchen Cryer, and Jerry Orbach). This is not to forget figures ranging from Ruth Etting to Grace Moore to Fred Astaire to Patsy Montana to Allan Jones to Noël Coward to Benny Goodman to Lucienne Boyer to the Comedian Harmonists to Bette Davis. Please join me in celebrating all these artists, and in wishing my mother a very Happy Birthday!


All recordings made in 1935 unless otherwise noted

Ned Washington, Leigh Harline: When You Wish upon a Star (Pinocchio). Daniel Gundlach; Lloyd Arriola [live New York 25 October 2015]

Edith Piaf and Marguerite Monnot

Marguerite Monnot, Robert Malleron: L’Étranger. Édith Piaf

Paul Misraki, Jean Féline: Chez moi. Lucienne Boyer; Orchestra conducted by Iza Volpin

Joséphine Baker and The Comedian Harmonists

Jacques Dalin, André de Badet: Sous le ciel d’Afrique (Princesse Tam-Tam). Joséphine Baker, The Comedian Harmonists

Elisabeth Welch and Paul Robeson

Mischa Spoliansky, Arthur Wimperis: Love Song (Sanders of the River). Paul Robeson; Muir Matheson, New Mayfair Orchestra

Marlene Dietrich in The Devil Is a Woman (1935)

Ralph Rainger, Leo Robin: If It Isn’t Pain (cut from The Devil Is a Woman). Marlene Dietrich

Kurt Weill

Kurt Weill, Robert Vambery: Seit ich in diese Stadt gekommen bin (Der Kuhhandel). Eberhard Büchner; Jan-Latham König, Kölner Rundfunkorchester [1992]

Anita Louise as Titania in Max Reinhardt’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Titania’s Slumber Song (from Max Reinhardt’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Celina Lindsley; Gerd Albrecht, Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin [1999]

Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed: You Are My Lucky Star (Broadway Melody of 1936). Connee Boswell; Orchestra conducted by Victor Young

Rudy Vallee

Richard Whiting, Sidney Clare: On the Good Ship Lollipop (Bright Eyes). The Stewart Sisters; Orchestra conducted by Rudy Vallee

Irving Berlin: Cheek to Cheek (Top Hat). Fred Astaire; Orchestra conducted by Leo Reisman

Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed: Alone (A Night at the Opera). Allan Jones; Orchestra conducted by Harry Richman

Victor Schertzinger, Gus Kahn: Love Me Forever (from the film of the same title). Grace Moore; Orchestra conducted by Josef Pasternak

Bette Davis and Victor Buono in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)

Frank De Vol, Bob Merrill: I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?). Bette Davis; Orchestra conducted by Roger Webb [1976]

Jerome Kern, P.G. Wodehouse, Oscar Hammerstein II: Bill (Show Boat). Judy Garland; Ethel Gumm

, Mesquitinha, Carmen Miranda, Barbosa Júnior, and  in Estudantes (1935)

Alberto Ribeiro, João de Barro: Sonho de Papel (Estudiantes). Carmen Miranda; Orchestra conducted by Simon Bountman

Xavier Cugat

Allie Wrubel, Mort Dixon: The Lady in Red (In Caliente). Don Reid; Xavier Cugat and His Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra;

Carlos Gardel, Alfredo Le Pera: El día que me quieras (from the film of the same title). Carlos Gardel

Benny Goodman

Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart: Blue Moon. Helen Ward; Benny Goodman and His Orchestra

Fred E. Ahlert, Joe Young: Life Is a Song (Let’s Sing It Together). Ruth Etting

Ruby Blevins [AKA Patsy Montana]. I Want To Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart. Patsy Montana

Noël Coward by Edward Steichen (1932)

Noël Coward: Mrs. Worthington. Noël Coward

Arthur Schwartz, Howard Dietz: You and the Night and the Music (Revenge in Music). Libby Holman; Richard Himber and His Orchestra

Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Ira Gershwin: You’re a Builder Upper (Life Begins at 8:40). Ethel Merman; Johnny Green and His Orchestra

Ivor Novello, Christopher Hassall: The Girl I Knew (Glamorous Night). Elisabeth Welch; Charles Prentice, The Drury Lane Theatre Orchestra

Cole Porter: Just One of Those Things (Jubilee). Nat King Cole; Orchestra conducted by Billy May [1957]

Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart: The Most Beautiful Girl in the World (Billy Rose’s Jumbo). Johnny Mathis; Orchestra conducted by Don Costa [1963]

World premiere of Porgy and Bess, 10 October 1935.
From L to R: Ruby Elzy, Todd Duncan, Anne Brown, Ira Gershwin, George Gershwin

George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward: Summertime (Porgy and Bess). Martha Flowers; Lorenzo Fuller, Symphony Orchestra “Concerthall Haarlem” [1956]

George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward: Bess, You Is My Woman Now (Porgy and Bess). Todd Duncan, Anne Brown; Orchestra conducted by Frank Black [The Golden Key radio program, 1 December 1935]

George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward: My Man’s Gone Now (Porgy and Bess). Ruby Elzy; Spoken introduction by George Gershwin

George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward: I Loves You, Porgy (Porgy and Bess). Anne Brown, Todd Duncan; Orchestra conducted by Alexander Smallens [1942]

George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin DuBose Heyward: It Ain’t Necessarily So (Porgy and Bess). Diahann Carroll; The André Previn Trio [André Previn, Joe Mandragon, Larry Bunker] [1959]

Unknown Composer and Lyricist: To Love You Again (from An All-Colored Vaudeville Show [Vitaphone short]). Adelaide Hall

Edgar Sampson, Ken Harrison: I’ll Chase the Blues Away. Ella Fitzgerald; Chick Webb and His Orchestra

Harry Warren, Al Dubin: Lulu’s Back in Town (Broadway Gondolier). Fats Waller

Richard Whiting, Ralph Rainger, Leo Robin: Miss Brown to You. Billie Holiday; Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra

Wesley Wilson: Gimme a Pigfoot (and a Bottle of Beer). Bessie Smith; Buck and His Band (produced by John Hammond) [1933]

Maceo Parker: You Can’t Tell the Difference after Dark. Alberta Hunter

Rudolf Friml, Herbert Stothart, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II: Indian Love Call (Rose Marie) Julie Andrews, Giorgio Tozzi; Lehman Engel, New Symphony Orchestra of London [1958]

Burt Bacharach, Hal David: This Guy’s in Love with You. Herb Alpert [1968]

Nancy Ford, Gretchen Cryer: Old Friend (I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road). Michael Feinstein [live performance recorded August 1991 for Michael Feinstein and Friends PBS special, first broadcast 11 October 1991]

Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, George David Weiss: Can’t Help Falling in Love (Blue Hawaii). Elvis Presley [1961]

Tom Schmidt, Harvey Jones: Try to Remember (The Fantasticks). Jerry Orbach [from televised Night of 100 Stars extravaganza (Radio City Music Hall 19 February 1982)]

The Birthday Girl!

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