Happy New Year 1999!
January 1999 Edition
Song Books Revisited
Over 40 New Songs Published This Month

Exactly one year ago, our January edition featured some of the song books from the collection. Well, what the heck, It is January again so why not make it a two year tradition. As I said last year "Compilations of popular music have always been a hit with the public. The tradition of published collections goes back at least two centuries to the times when the only home entertainment was the family's own music making. Even in today's market we see collections of music."
The collections featured this year span the time from 1920 to the 1940's. Since these collections have several songs, I am including several from each collection so you can get a good idea of the tone of each collection.
The benefit for you this month is that many more great new songs get added to those already featured on the site over the last two years. With each book's cover we feature six songs for you to enjoy. Have a new years feast of great Parlor Songs music!

Sheet Music Cover The Gem Dance Folio for 1928
Music by: Various Composers
Lyrics by: Various
Cover artist: Starmer

During the twenties, music publishers produced a series of "dance folio" collections of the latest fox trots, waltzes and other dance hits. Of course favorite other types of songs such as the blues were included in the collections. These books gave the public the opportunity to obtain a collection of the greatest hits and gave the publishers a chance to sell the songs one more time. Of course, these books today give us the chance to preserve a large number of great songs from the past in a compact form. This collection is full of some of the great classic songs we all know, for example; Side by Side and Fifty Million Frenchmen can't be wrong. Of course, among the songs are many more that have faded from memory such as; Voom Voom, Nize Baby and The Sphinx. With 30 songs in the folio, it is difficult to select just a few for you but nonetheless, here are six of the songs that I feel represent this collection.

The Jersey Walk------ Lindburgh (The Eagle of the USA)
Side By Side --------- Beedle Um Bo!.
Coronado Nights ----- The Sphinx.

Sheet Music Cover The Three Caballeros
Music by: Various
Lyrics by: Various
Cover Artist: "WDP"

Disney productions have captured the hearts of nearly all children for over 70 years. Nearly every production has become a classic to be re-issued year after year. Except maybe this one. I remember seeing the animated feature this song folio is based on. It must have been a bomb because I've never seen it since. Never the less, this "souvenir album" is a visual and aural treat. Not only is the cover colorful but the inside pages are rife with artwork and scenes from the film. I have to confess most of the nine songs are not among my favorites, in fact, few if any seem "memorable" in the sense that most hit songs are. However, all the songs have a latin flavor and with that comes an enjoyable and infectious rhythm and happy tone that makes these songs a pleasant listening experience. Here are six of the songs from this album.

Hey! Mister Sunshine------Mexico
Os Quindins De Yaya------The Three Caballeros
Jesusita En Chihuahua------Zandunga

Sheet Music Cover Dinah Shore Favorite Songs
Music by: Various
Lyrics by: Various
Cover artist: unknown

Talk about beauty to the eyes and ears, who better than Dinah Shore to bring you both! One of the greatest singers of the century, this album of her "favorites" is overflowing with the hit classics that have survived the test of time. Nearly every title in this collection of twenty "favorites" is immediately recognizable to anyone over the age of 40 or so. The songs publication dates range from 1920 to 1941. Enjoy these beautiful ballads and imagine the silvery sweet voice of Dinah Shore singing them as you listen.

Don't Blame Me--------I Cried For You
I'm Thru With Love-----Over The Rainbow
That Old Feeling--------Down Argentina Way

Sheet Music Cover
Home & Hill Country Ballads
Music by: Various
Lyrics by: Various
Cover artist: Unknown

In addition to providing the public with collections of hit songs, published collections also gave publishers and composers a chance to showcase lesser known music. This is the case with this collection. The 21 songs contained in this collection never seem to have made it to hit status. Perhaps it was because of some of the titles seem to miss the mark (for example "There Are No Bank Robbers in the Sky") or perhaps because the composers and lyricists were not well known. Regardless of this obscurity, I found a few real musical gems in this collection. I also found a few turkeys. Perhaps more than anything, the titles provide a great deal of entertainment in and of themselves. I hope you enjoy these six songs from the collection.

My Hill Billy Lilly--------Sweet Ida Mine
Alabamy Mammy--------I Dream of Peaceful Valley
Mother's Souvenirs------There Are No Bank Robbers In The Sky

Sheet Music Cover
Art Tatum Improvisations No. 2
Music by: Various
Lyrics by: Various
Cover artist: unknown

Art Tatum was arguably one of the greatest Jazz pianists and piano improvisationists of the big band era. His reditions and arrangements of popular songs of the period were perhaps the greatest of any of the many fine jazz artists of the time. Transcribing music of this style to the printed page offers a number of challenges. The music is rhythmically complex and extremely difficult to notate because of the improvisational nature of the music. In order to publish the music the publisher had to resort to the use of very unusual notation such as sixtuplets and septuplets using virtually every note value possible. Converting these 13 songs to MIDI was thus far the greatest MIDI challenge I have faced. In most cases, I was able to capture the essence of the music, in some cases, the result was clearly not a complete representation of the music. This all just proves to me that a real musician at a real piano simply cannot be matched. I hope you enjoy these short but fascinating songs.

China Boy--------What Can I Say After I'm Sorry
Runnin' Wild------I'll Never Be The Same

Sheet Music Cover
Del Courtney's Boogie Woogie
Music by: Various
Lyrics by: Various
Cover artist: unknown

Around 1940, the Boogie Woogie craze hit the US. The infectious and repetitive bass line beat seemed to hit some basic instict and Boogie Woogie took off. This may be debatable but it seems that the first "original" Boogie Woogie was published in 1929 and composed by Clarence "Pine Top" Smith. It was not till later though that the idea of taking another song and re-arranging it into a Boogie became common. Del Courtney arranged some old favorites such as "The Skater's Waltz" into Boogies. The result of these arrangements are at the least, amusing and at best a musical oddity. The book also contains several original Boogies. As with many collections, some are pretty good and others are much less satisfying. Boogie Woogie can wear thin pretty fast so I am sure if you listen to all six of these samples you may have had your fill of it for quite some time.

Back Stage Boogie------Cruising
Shufflin' Boogie----------Il Bacio
The Skater's Waltz------Turkey In The Straw

Be sure to visit this month's gallery for more songs from collections as well as some new singles.

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