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Roses In Popular Song, part 2





Roses Bring Memories of You

1919

 

Music by: Fred C. Swan
Lyrics by: Swan
Cover artist: Unknown

 

Not only can roses be given in love, it seems they give in return. Roses seem to bring things to us and among them are memories. The song is a beautiful, somewhat melancholy waltz that expresses someone's love for another. It is quite a nice song.

 

The beautiful young lady's picture on the cover is signed Iona Mc Graw, Mc Grane or Mc Graue. In any event, she was obviously a performer associated with the song but she seems to be long forgotten, at least in the references I have available. Perhaps someone out there can shed some light on her career for us.

 

Fred C. Swan is almost as elusive but we did find that Swan wrote a number of other songs, among them are Perhaps (1919), Rose Of My Dreams (1919), There's No Friends Like The Old Friends (date unkn.) and I'm In Love With The Rose Of My Dreams (date unkn.). Clearly Swan was fixated with roses himself for 60% of his songs revolved around the rose theme.

Enjoy this gift from a rose now (SCORCH format)

listen to MIDI version

Roses Bring Dreams Of You

1907

 

Music by: Herbert Ingraham
Lyrics by: Ingraham
Cover artist: Starmer

 

Another thing that roses often bring are dreams, at least according to Ingraham and here again we have a wonderfully tender ballad that sings the praises of love and love lost. The song tells of a lover who was not true to another and how the jilted one cannot rid herself/himself of the memories of the lost love.

 

The cover on this work is one that is simple yet very elegant in its layout, use of a pleasing font and the simple beauty of the roses. Though only a few colors are used, the cover artist, Starmer, has shown his exceptional talent in bringing us a wonderful example of cover art. The gentleman in the inset photo is none other than Thomas J. Quigley. Who was he? I have no idea other than another of the many performers of the day who are lost to us now.

 

Herbert Ingraham (1883 - 1910) has fared somewhat better over time and we do know a little about him. Ingraham was born in Aurora, Illinois in 1893 and was considered a musical prodigy early in life. As a child he conducted his own theatrical company and organized an orchestra in Chicago. He moved to New York and became a staff composer for Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. and was on his way to spectacular success when he contracted tuberculosis and he died at only 27. In the last year of his life, he had several hits including, All That I Ask Of You Is Love, You Are The Ideal of My Dreams and Good-by Rose. Roses Bring Dreams of You was one of his greatest hits and a couple of comedy songs; Because I'm Married and Hoo-oo! Ain't You Coming Out Tonight? His untimely death ended a very promising career.

Hear this great rose song (scorch format)

listen to MIDI version


My Little Rose Of Romany

1919

 

Music by: Robert Levenson, Jack Mendelsohn
Lyrics by: Levenson & Mendelsohn
Cover artist: W.M. Fisher

 

Here we have another song about a lover named Rose who roamed away from someone's life. I'm beginning to wonder about these Roses, they seem to have a propensity for loving and leaving! Regardless, this is a warm, melodic waltz time ballad that must have enjoyed great success when it was published.

 

The team of Levenson and Mendelsohn are two names that appear somewhat frequently throughout the golden age of song. In spite of that, little can be found that illuminates their lives for us. Among Levenson's greatest hit was the 1918 war song, My Belgian Rose and his 1919 work, In The Sweet Bye and Bye. In addition, our next song featured was one of Levinson's "rose" songs also. Mendelsohn's hits include the great Salvation Rose from 1919.

Listen to this 1919 beauty (scorch format only)

Listen to MIDI version

Woodland Rose

1918

 

Music by: Bernard Eyges
Lyrics by: Robert Levenson
Cover artist: unknown

 

The cover of this work is rather plain, done in only a three color process, it hasn't much depth or impact. Regardless, the music within is well worth hearing. An upbeat song in cut time, it is a nice change of pace from some of the sad songs we have heard up till now. Written by one of Boston radio's early pioneers, who wrote this song while working his way through college, it should get you to tapping your toes.

 

 

Bernard Eyges (1893 - 1994) Shown here at the piano with his band, circa 1925, Eyges came to America with his parents (who had first emigrated to England, where Bernard was born) in 1902. An industrious lad, Bernard worked his way through college in Boston by playing piano, singing and writing his own songs. Around 1923, he formed a band called Bernie's Bunch and managed get his group a gig on WGI, Boston's first radio station. Bernard realized that radio was one way to gain a larger audience and he was right; the group became quite popular. Unfortunately, in 1925 WGI went bankrupt and Bernie's Bunch found themselves unemployed. The members of the band went their separate ways and Bernard was hired to sing on another station, WNAC, first as a solo act and later as a duo with Jack Flynn. In 1926, Bernard formed another group, the "Eyges Entertainers." This group performed on Boston's WNAC from 1926 to 27. Bernard married his dear Jennie about this time and they started a family. Eyges was actually a lawyer by schooling and began to spend more time on being a lawyer to suppport his family. He continued to perform in and around Boston at various clubs with the "Bernard Eyges Orchestra" on weekends well into the 1930's. He ultimately abandoned his musical career to devote himself to his legal career. Besides his Woodlad Rose in 1918, he wrote other songs with lyricist Robert Levenson, including the 1925 Drifting 'Neath the Silver Moon. Eyges died in 1994 at the mature age of 101! (Biographical details and photo provided by Donna Halper, Contributing Editor, Boston Radio Archives.)

We know little about Levenson, other than these two songs.

 

Hear this great Levenson song (scorch)

Listen to MIDI version


Sunshine and Roses

1913

 

Music by: Egbert Van Alstyne
Lyrics by: Gus Kahn
Cover artist: Starmer

 

Once again, Starmer blesses us with a simple yet elegant cover using minimal artwork. This bunch of roses is very similar to those seen above on Roses Bring Dreams of You but is somewhat different. Clearly though, Starmer had captured the essence of roses in his art and recycled his ideas just as songwriters often did, and continue to do. The song begins with a rather up-tempo 6/8 introduction and then moves directly into a wonderful waltz time ballad. The composer and lyricist of this song were among the superstars of popular music of the time and the quality of this work shows why. It is definitely a cut above the common.

 

Gus Kahn (1886 - 1941) is one of America's greatest lyricists. Born in Coblenz, Germany, his family came to the USA and settled in Chicago in 1891. He worked mostly in non-music related jobs but persisted in seeking outlets for his song lyrics. His first song was published in 1907 and after that, he concentrated on writing lyrics for vaudeville performers in Chicago first, then in New York in the 1920's. In 1933, he moved to California and focused on writing for movies. The many eminent composers he teamed with over his long career include, Isham Jones, Walter Donaldson (My Buddy) , Egbert Van Alstyne, George Gershwin and Ernie Erdman (Toot -Toot -Tootsie). Many of his songs have become standards with Pretty Baby (1916) being perhaps the most notable. Other standards by Kahn include, Carolina In The Morning (1922), Makin' Whoopee, 1928 and Liza (1928). His movie biography, I'll See You In My Dreams (1951) starring Danny Thomas and Doris day is an engrossing story that is filled with many of his hits. Kahn died in Beverly Hills in 1941.

Enjoy this sunny Kahn song(scorch)

Listen to MIDI version


When The Twilight Comes To Kiss The Rose "Good-Night"

1912

 

Music by: Henry W. Petrie
Lyrics by: Robert F. Roden
Cover artist: Starmer

 

Now comes the time to say "good-night" as this is our last song this month. This song is a large work by none other than the composer of the still popular Asleep In The Deep, a German version (Des Seemanns Los) of which was featured in our March, 2001 feature . It is a very decorative work with plenty of arpeggiated chords and other embellishments and is reflective of much of the popular music's style of that period.

 

Henry W. Petrie (1857 - 1925) was born in Bloomington, Illinois and enjoyed a successful career as a popular composer. His first published song, I'm Mamma's Little Girl was written in 1894. Most of his hits came earlier in his career and none have matched the staying power of Asleep In The Deep which premiered in 1898 with the Haverly Minstrels. In 1894, Petrie published a song titled, I Don't Want To Play In Your Yard which was a huge hit. The following year he tried to "answer" his own hit with You Can't Play In Our Yard Anymore; it flopped. Asleep in the Deep , with lyricist Arthur Lamb was a colossal hit and immediately became a "war horse" for bass singers. It is still quite popular today and bass singers love to slide down the scale on the word "beware". Petrie wrote some additional "water" songs, perhaps again to capitalize on "Asleep" including At The Bottom Of The Deep Blue Sea (1900) and Out Where The Billows Roll High in 1901 (also in our March, '01 feature, see above link). Petrie died in Paw Paw, Michigan in 1925.

Enjoy this great old song (scorch)

Listen to MIDI version

That's it for this month's feature, as always, we hope you have enjoyed the music and learned something from it. Be sure to read this month's new "In search of" article about the history of music printing.

See you next month.

If you would like to return to part A of this month's issue, click here.



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