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Bebop Spoken There

Charlie Musselwhite: "I used to see these posters in the windows of the [Chicago] blues clubs advertising Elmore James and Muddy Waters which knocked me out. I was making a note of the addresses and at night I'd go back and listen to the blues until 4-5 in the morning." - (Blues Matters! Aug/Sep 2021)

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Postage

13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Thursday, September 17, 2020

At Last - well maybe not quite yet

I first heard At Last as the B-side of Glenn Miller's I've Got a Girl in Kalamazoo. Despite being written by all-time greats Mack Gordon and Harry Warren and featured in the film Sun Valley Serenade (or was it Orchestra Wives?), it never registered with me.

Kalamazoo had Tex Beneke and The Modernaires whereas At Last had Ray Eberle - the worst of all the big band vocalists - no wonder Sinatra took his chance!

That was back in 1942. Move on 10 years and former Miller trumpet player Ray Anthony  recorded a version with vocalist Tommy Mercer and the "Anthony Choir". Neither versions were jazz but the sheer magnificence of the choral arrangement of the latter was so far ahead of its time that it laid down the benchmark of what was and is good in popular music - then rock and roll came along and musicianship such as this was put on the scrapheap until ...

...Etta James got a hold of it and carved the definitive version in stone (or should that be rock?)

Whatever, this became the version of the song despite covers by Beyoncé and Celine Dion.

Sadly, we are far from reaching the At Last status - or maybe we are  "...for here we are in Heaven ..."

Lance 

1 comment :

Steve Andrews said...

Some years ago. Lance, I did a wedding-type gig at (I think) The Inn On The Lake at Ullswater as a dep with a good, versatile, function band called Quay Change, from Lancaster. One of the tunes requested by the "happy" couple was "At Last". The drummer and bassist were around my age (borderline geriatric!) although the pianist and singer were only about 30-ish, but to my astonishment none of them had ever heard the Glenn Miller hit version of this beautiful song! On the other hand, I'm happy to say that I had managed to get through the best part of 60 years without ever hearing the Etta James travesty. So I played the tune with due deference as a ballad, and they sang and played it in the sub-Motown/Soul fashion that is familiar to most people today. I never got another dep with them, strangely...........

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