Memory Lane 0705


rovi.MR0000436306 7/26/05 Used

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    Memory Lane 0705 Living Era / ASV/Living Era

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Review Text The name Waring is most commonly associated with the Waring Blender and with a sugary, wholesome glee club known as Waring & His Pennsylvanians. Historically informed parties may also know that during the 1920s, Waring & His Pennsylvanians were a nationally acclaimed collegiate dance band that often used hot, jazzy arrangements. All three entities were, in fact, developed under the leadership of Fred Waring. Living Era's Memory Lane is an excellent Fred Waring tribute album that demonstrates exactly why his comedic ensemble and dance band went over so well with young people from coast to coast during the mid- to late '20s. The group, originally called Waring's Banjo Orchestra or the Banjazztra, was actually started by Fred's honey-voiced little brother Tom Waring and a drummer named Poley McClintock who had a voice like Popeye the Sailor Man. For a while they called themselves "the Collegians," but finally settled upon the Pennsylvanians, in honor of their original stomping grounds. In 1922 the band played a dance at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. This was a turning point; the next thing they knew, the Warings were performing over WMAQ in Detroit, then playing to packed theaters in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Waring's Pennsylvanians, with a leg up from Paul Whiteman, made the first of an enormous number of recordings for the Victor label in 1923. This superb compilation covers the years 1923-1932 with an intelligently chosen mix of waltzes, romances, fox trots, and silly novelties. Highlights include the lovely waltz "Sleep" (eventually to become a lickety-split jazz standard); the touchingly romantic "Dancing in the Dark"; a swell instrumental jazz version of the "Down Home Blues," and the first recording ever made of Cole Porter's "Love for Sale." This last item, with fetching vocals by the "Three Waring Girls," was banned from radio airplay because of the suggestive lyrics! For those who crave information regarding Fred Waring's exact connection with blenders, let the truth be told: the first such device was invented by Stephen Poplawski in 1922 (perhaps while the Warings were knockin' 'em dead at the U of M!) but it took a surprisingly long time for this staple of food and beverage preparation to become marketable. In 1933, with financial backing from Fred Waring, Fred Osius (a business partner of L.H. Hamilton and Chester Beach) tried to modify Poplawski's design. After investing too much money in the project to pull out, Waring became obsessed with the blender; he got rid of Osius and spent several additional years having the gadget perfected. By 1938 Waring, who also patented a portable clothes iron, felt that the graduated electric mixer was finally worthy of his name, and the Waring Blender was born. By the '40s and '50s, with the exception of novelty accompaniments for children's records like "Little Orly's Adventures as a Cabbage Worm," Fred Waring's performing ensemble had been almost entirely transformed into a famously clean-behind-the-ears glee club. The jazz and dance records that were left behind in the dust are long overdue for rediscovery and can be enjoyed by anyone with a taste for popular musical entertainment from the '20s and early '30s. ~ arwulf arwulf

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Sleep - 3:22
  2. 2. Down Home Blues - 3:43
  3. 3. Memory Lane - 3:05
  4. 4. Collegiate - 3:05
  5. 5. I Love My Baby - 3:29
  6. 6. Thanks for the Buggy Ride - 3:01
  7. 7. Where Do You Work-A, John? (Push-A, Push-A, Push-A) - 3:27
  8. 8. I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream - 3:31
  9. 9. Laugh, Clown, Laugh - 4:37
  10. 10. Lila - 3:07
  11. 11. Ah! Sweet Mystery of Love - 5:50
  12. 12. Button Up Your Overcoat - 3:01
  13. 13. I'll Always Be in Love with You - 3:03
  14. 14. Cryin' for the Carolines - 3:28
  15. 15. So Beats My Heart for You - 4:41
  16. 16. Little White Lies - 3:01
  17. 17. Love for Sale - 4:35
  18. 18. Oh, Donna Clara! - 3:58
  19. 19. Elizabeth - 3:50
  20. 20. I Found a Million-Dollar Baby - 3:13
  21. 21. Dancing in the Dark - 3:48
  22. 22. Let's Have Another Cup O' Coffee - 3:14
  23. 23. How'm I Doin'? Hey, Hey - 3:03
  24. 24. Fit as a Fiddle - 3:39

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