In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Formed in 1934 at Langston University, Oklahoma the original line-up of the group was bass Lee Gaines, baritone Kelsey Pharr, first tenor lead Carl Jones, second tenor Traverse Crawford, and pianist/arranger Rene DeKnight. The Delta Rhythm Boys exuded a classy elegance and sophistication that made them the most renowned and respected of the 40s groups who sang a blend of jubilee, pop and swing. In 1936 the group transferred to Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and began singing under the name Frederick Hall Quintet, after their mentor, the school's musical director. By 1938 the group had made it to New York and were appearing in Broadway shows such as Sing Out The News and The Hot Mikado as the Delta Rhythm Boys During 1941 they had success with two of their most memorable recordings, "Dry Bones" and "Take The 'A' Train", and also with recordings backing Mildred Bailey. The Delta Rhythm Boys also appeared in films for Universal during 1943-45. In 1945 the group were established on radio in programmes including Amos And Andy and The Joan Davis Show. In 1945 Decca teamed the Deltas with Ella Fitzgerald for some notable recordings.
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Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
Review: 'Boys' is the reissue of a 1957 LP of the same name, from the end of the five-man Jazz quintet's long and illustrious career, beginning in 1934 at an Oklahoma university. The 'Boys,' in these all-accompanied, upbeat collection of 13 cuts, bring us a tasty mix of jazz/swing covers (the Gershwins' ''S Wonderful' and 'It Ain't Necessarily So,' Irving Berlin's 'Blue Skies,' Rogers and Hart's 'Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered' and Cole Porter's 'It's All Right With Me.' With wonderful humor and poise, the guys will begin a standard, then feel free to riff it into a joyous, upbeat, funny romp. 'Poor Boy' and 'Saturday Night Fish Fry' follow the basic rockabilly theme of 'How'd I Get Into this Ridiculous Mess?' 'There'll Be Some Changes Made,' 'The Riddle Song' and 'Side By Side' are bright, upbeat foot-tappers, while 'Young Man with a Horn' and 'Something I Dreamed Last Night' are creamy-smooth slow-dance tunes. A varied repertoire with one thing in common-it's all wonderful stuff from the legendary, pioneering DRB.
Songlist: 'S Wonderful, Poor Boy, Saturday Night Fish Fry, The Riddle Song, There'll Be Some Changes Made, Young Man With A Horn, Side By Side, It Ain't Necessarily So, Blue Skies, Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered, Cha Cha Joe, Something I Dreamed Last Night, It's All Right With Me
Little Lize (I Love You)
Review: The rise of groups like the Golden Gate Quartet took gospel music out of the conservative confines of the Black church, and opened the door for other groups who wanted to sing spirituals in a different way. One of the groups to achieve success in the more liberated climate was the Hampton Institute Quartet, who changed their name to the Delta Rhythm Boys, and were equally at home delivering a pop song as a gospel item. They teamed up with Ella Fitzgerald during the 1940s recording ban in America, when her career might have been put on hold. However much the gospel group might have been threatened with eternal damnation to even think about 'La Cucaracha,' their fearlessness, both musically and politically, is what made them one of the greats. 20 winners, and we can't decide which we like the best, pop tunes like 'Little Lize,' the sweet 'It Was Wonderful Then,' a swinging 'La Cucaracha,' the silly minstrel-show tune 'Watermelon On The Vine,' the hip 'Gimme Some Skin' and 'Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave To Me,' or gospel hits like 'Wait Till I Put On My Crown,' a rocking 'Ezekiel Saw De Wheel,' 'Certainly Lord,' 'Mighty Day,' and 'Scandalize My Name' (which is actually more of a commentary on religious bigotry). There's a particularly fine, laid-back early version of 'Georgia On My Mind,' and the swinging title tune, the final cut, is a joy. All songs at least piano accompanied, recorded in NY in 1941.
Songlist: LIttle Lize (I Love You), Keep On To Galilee, Wait Till I Put On My Crown, The Railroad Song, Ezekiel Saw De Wheel, Bugle Woogie, Do You Care, Conversation At Midnight, It Was Wonderful Then, La Cucaracha, Dry Bones, Certainly Lord, Mighty Day, Scandalize My Name, Watermelon On the Vine, Gimme Some Skin, It's So Peaceful in the Country, Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me, Georgia On My Mind, I Dreamt I Dwelt in Harlem
Review: The Delta Rhythm Boys were not only one of the top black acts of their time, but also played a big role in breaking down color barriers in the entertainment field even while lending a helping hand to the Armed Forces Radio Service from which much of this material hails. We'd put their harmonies right up there with the Ink Spots, Mills Brothers and Charioteers. Includes five tracks cut with Mildred Bailey on the Rockin' Chair Rhythm show.
Songlist: There'll Be Some Changes Made, It All Comes Back To Me Now, Give Me Some Skin, Georgia On My Mind, Bugle Woogie, Dry Bones, Jersey Bounce, Trav'lin' Light, Is You Or Is You Ain't My Baby?, Knock Me A Kiss, One O'Clock Jump, Paper Doll, Take The A Train, St. Louis Blues, Are You Fer It?, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Good News, The House I Live In, It's Only A Paper Moon, Just A-Sittin' and A-Rockin'
Review: Twenty nine track compilation contains radio & movie soundtrack performances from 1941-45 from the legendary & innovative Delta Rhythm Boys, who were one of the first vocal groups to wear matching color uniforms (most prior groups wore only black tuxedos) & one of the first groups to choreograph their moves on stage. This features the songs 'A-Sittin' & A-Rockin',' 'East Of The Sun,' 'Star Dust,' 'Darktown Strutters' Ball,' 'How High The Moon' & others.
Songlist: A-Sittin' & A-Rockin', One O'Clock Jump, I'm Beginning To See The Light, Jersey Bounce, Are You For It, St.Louis Blues, Star Dust, Get On Board Little Children, Texas Polka, Hey, John, Snoqualimie Jo Jo, My Sacrifice, Darktown Strutters' Ball, Dry Bones, Jack You're Playing The Game, Jut A-Sittin' And A-Rockin', Rigoletto Blues, Snoqualomie Jo Jo, Take The A Train, The More I Go Out With Somebody Else, Give Me Some Skin, I'm Beginning To See The Light, Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, Shoe Shoe Baby, Paper Doll, How High The Moon, East Of The Sun, Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye, Bugle Woogie