Sunday, March 28, 2010

1930 Playlist

I put together this playlist for 1930. If I figure out how to upload the audio, I'll do so.

01 - Ring Dem Bells - Duke Ellington

02 - Happy Days Are Here Again - Ben Selvin Orchestra
This song was first recorded by Leo Reisman weeks after the 1929 stockmarket crash. This recording would be the biggest hit of 1930 and would become a hopeful anthem for recovery from the Great Depression. It would be used as a campaign song for FDR in 1932.

03 - Three Little Words - The Rhythm Boys with the Duke Ellington Orchestra
This is nice. The Rhythm Boys were the vocalists from Paul Whiteman's orchestra and included a not-yet-famous Bing Crosby. Here they are singing with the Duke Ellington Orchestra in the earliest recorded Ellington/Crosby collaboration. Considering how prolific and prone to collaboration these two were I was surprised that I can only find a couple other recordings of them together (St. Louis Blues in 1932, and several tracks from a radio show broadcast May 29, 1941).

04 - China Boy - Red Nichols

05 - Georgia On My Mind - Hoagy Carmichael
06 - Stardust - Isham Jones
Both of these songs were written by Hoagy Carmichael. This is the first hit version of Stardust which would become a jazz standard.

07 - Oh, Lady Be Good - Red Nichols
A nice dixieland rendition of the Gershwin classic.

08 - Puttin' on the Ritz - Jan Garber
I like to think this is what the Mos Eisley Cantina Band's version of this Irving Berlin classic would sound like.

09 - Exactly Like You - Louis Armstrong

10 - The Count - Bennie Moten
I don't actually know if this song's title is a reference to the band's piano player, William James Basie.

11 - Happy Feet - Paul Whiteman with The Rhythm Boys

12 - I Got Rhythm - Red Nichols

13 - What Is This Thing Called Love - Leo Reisman

14 - Jungle Nights in Harlem - Ellington, Duke

15 - Tiger Rag - Louis Armstrong
16 - Bessie Couldn't Help It - Louis Armstrong

17 - After You've Gone - Red Nichols
Red Nighols' orchestra again. This time with a different vocalist - Wingy Manone I think.

18 - Mood Indigo - Duke Ellington


Monday, March 1, 2010

On Deck for 1930

These are the movies in my queue this month:

All Quiet on the Western Front - It's a consensus "film of the year". It won the Best Picture Oscar. It's the highest rated and the most popular film from 1930 on IMDb and the only film from that year in the IMDb 250. It was also the first film from 1930 to be inducted into the National Film Registry, and the only film from that year to be listed on the original AFI 100 years, 100 movies list.

Hell's Angels - This was, at the time, the most expensive movie ever made. The many trials of it's production were well documented in The Aviator. Another WWI fighter pilot movie from 1930 that I would like to see is The Dawn Patrol, but it is not available on DVD.

City Girl - I have never been disappointed by a Murnau movie.

Blue Angel
Morocco - I couldn't decide between these two von Sternberg/Dietrich collaborations. Blue Angel is a classic and is more highly-rated and popular, but Morocco is in the National Film Registry, and it's, well, gayer.

Blood of a Poet - I've already seen this Jean Cocteau movie (loved it), but I need a refresher since I'll be seeing the other two films in his Orphic trilogy - Orpheus (1950) and Testament of Orpheus (1960) - later this year (in May and June respectively).

Monte Carlo - I'm a sucker for musicals, even though I wasn't exactly blown away by any of the early talkie musicals I saw last year (Applause, Broadway Melody, or Hallelujah!). Maybe the Lubitsch touch will help.

Animal Crackers - The Marx Brothers' classic.

and if time permits:

L'âge d'or - Before I saw Un chien andalou last year, I had never seen a Luis Buñuel film. I thought the 1928 adaptation, Fall of the House of Usher, where he was the writer and assistant director to Jean Epstein, was fantastic, but I was ultimately disappoint by Un chien andalou. I want to give Buñuel another look, but my expectations are lower this time.

Earth - I've enjoyed a lot of Soviet cinema from this era; Man With a Movie Camera rates as one of my all-time favorite films. The only reason why this film is so low on the list is that I've seen Dovzhenko's Arsenal two years ago and was underwhelmed by it. But this one is considered his best, so I'm curious.