Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Big Bands Forever Vol. 1 Harry James I've Heard That Song Before - 1977

Sorry, that I've been missing for such a long while. Started on a new project at work and so January got really busy. The story behind today's post started a few weeks back when I played an old mix CD in the car with my family. The CD was 10 ro 11 years old and many of the tracks on it were from when I first started digitizing vinyl records. Back then I would digitize just a song off a record and put it on a mix CD because this was before I had Itunes or a ton of music digitally stored on hard drives. Well some of these songs were great and made got me thinking about the records they came from. Some of them I honestly couldn't remember where they came from. So a week or so later I started going through records on the record shelf. There was a Bing Crosby and Bob Hope song I was looking for as well as Kay Kyser's Woody Woodpecker song. Neither of those are on this record. However the Kay Kyser track was on a record that was part of this series, "Big Bands Forever!" I eventually found the Bing Crosby track and in the process found another 4 record collection of music from WWII era. I decided I'd digitize all these records. Now that I have them digitized, I figured I'd share them over the next few weeks.

This Harry James record is the first record on this Big Bands Forever Series. There are two volumes and each volume has two records. This is record one of the first volume.

I have a couple Harry James records, one of which I featured on the blog previously called Young Man With A Horn. I love that record and I really like this record as well. I big stand out on this record is track three "I've Heard That Song Before" which features vocals by Helen Forest. The other track I really like is track six "It's Been A Long, Long Time with Kitty Kallen pulling vocal duties. Something both these songs have in common is something I find with a lot of songs from this era, is that they have long instrumental openings before the vocals kick in. You don't find that much anymore in popular music. I actually like that a long, because the music has to be so good to pull you in that it doesn't rely on the lyric. Then when you are hooked the vocals come in and take it to the next level. There is a Benny Goodman track "Perfidia" on Swing into Spring that is structured like this as well and it is one of my all time favorite Big Band era songs.

The rest of the record is pretty good as well. The record has basically no information as far as the years of the songs or who the vocals are on the tracks. I've done my best to do some internet research to provide some of that information. I can't guarantee it, though. The rip isn't perfect by any means, but if you don't mind some crackles and pops give it a listen.


01 I Had The Craziest Dream (Featuring Helen Forrest)
02 Sleepy Lagoon
03 I've Heard That Song Before (Featuring Helen Forrest)
04 I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You (Featuring Dick Haymes)
05 One Dozen Roses (Featuring Jimmy Saunders)
06 It's Been A Long, Long Time (Featuring Kitty Kellen)
07 I Can't Begin To Tell You (Featuring Betty Grable)
08 Ciribiribin (They're So in Love)
09 All Of Nothing As All (Featuring Frank Sinatra)
10 You Made Me Love You


Harry James

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