This is the other side of that rare, red, French Polydor that I posted so long ago. It is Brailowsky (solo piano) playing Robert Schumann’s “Songes Troubles”; “Traumes Wirren” in the composer’s native German, or: “Dream Disorders” in English. I also really like how the piano was recorded.

Quick notes on Schumann: his parents were not musical but they encouraged his interest in music with piano lessons from the age of 10. However, his family was later to be beset by tragedy. When Schumann was in his teens, his father died and his sister committed suicide in quick succession, events that were to have a deep impact on the young musician. Initially music was to take a back seat in his life. For his main subject he studied law at Leipzig while simultaneously continuing his music studies. One of his music teachers was Friedrich Wieck whose daughter Clara showed a great talent at the piano while she was only 9 years old. A further tragedy was to hit Schumann when a mishap damaged one of his hands and spoiled his chances as a pianist. Some accounts blame a device he used to strengthen his fingers, but other theories suggest mercury poisoning as a side effect of his syphilis treatment. After the accident, Schumann was to concentrate more on composing.

Alexandre Brailowsky – Songes Troubles, Op. 12, No 7, Schumann < < PLAY

“Eddie My Love” was a huge song in 1956. RPM records released it all the way to #14

on the American Billboard charts. It was recorded by the sister-duo group

The Teen Queens, Betty and Rosie Collins. They sang the song which was written by their

brother, Aaron Collins. It was their only hit, which was great for a debut single! They

would try for additional success over a few years’ time, but it couldn’t be repeated, and

the sisters hung it up, quietly, in 1961. It is interesting, too, that the Chordettes (of “Mr.

Sandman” fame) also recorded “Eddie My Love” in 1956, and also had a chart hit with it in

the same year. Anyway, this tune is so catchy, and the harmonies are so tight, that I will

sometimes be humming it for days.

The Teen Queens – Eddie My Love < < PLAY

I ran into a pile of Brazilian 78s at a house-sale in Ravenswood Manor last summer. This one is Narcisos, a ritmo de samba side, by Waldir Calmon, on the Star label out of Rio de Janeiro, 1952. He made many recordings in his long career as a musician and innovator.

Mr. Calmon (1919-1982) was the first performer in Brazil to use the solovox, a small keyboard instrument that was the forerunner to the synthesizer. His plaintive single note runs were widely imitated by the next generation of Bossa Nova and Samba: and particularly by the iconic Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Nerd note: this take is doubly-so great because the shellac is in pristine condition and there is the most minimal of hiss/surface noise.

Waldir Calmon – Narcisos <<<PLAY

A lucky cheap find on the Internet. From the obscure Dum Dum, India label The Twin. The legendary and revered female singer Ascharyamoyee Dasi singing a traditional Urdu ghazal: Ham jaayenge kasade dile divaannaa jahaan ho. This is devotional music: in praise of the Most High: with a backing band of harmonium, hand drums, hand claps, and voices: this music seems to be related to the later art of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948 – 1997), master singer (genius) of Pakistani quawwali music.

Super rare in any format: a document as much as a song about a different time in India.

I cannot determine the year of this recording. No idea. Maybe between 1935 and 1955?

Ascharyamoyee Dasi – Ham jaayenge kasade dile divaanaa jahaan ho <<PLAY

One of my all-time favorite Satchmo sides: both with the singing & trumpet beauty. Just a fine lyric, too. Recorded on October 16,1947, right here in Chicago, with his All Stars:

Jack Teagarden , trombone

Barney Bigard , clarinet

Dick Cary , piano

Arvell Shaw , bass

Big Sid Catlett , drums

Louis Armstrong – Before Long <<<PLAY

Red Foley was born in 1910 to  a musical family from Blue Lick,Kentucky, and by 1930 he was touring around America as a singer with the John Lair Cumberland Ridge Runners. His 1951 version of “Peace in the Valley” was one of the first-ever-million-selling gospel hits. Throughout his recording life he sold more than twenty-five million 78s and is an important figure in the history of country music.

He was also a big inspiration for a couple of future rock n’ rollers named Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, both playing many of Red’s songs; and both absorbing Red’s country boogie style which would be the foundation of all that 50s Sun Records rock-a-billy.

Lately, I havin’ been really digging his version of the little remembered Bob Russel tune “Church Music.” On the Decca label from 1950, the melody is catchy and Foley’s baritone/tenor voice sounds so good around this simple, genuine ditty.

Red Foley – Church Music <<PLAY

Maggie Teyte (1888-1976) is one of my favorite singers of all time, and although her interpretation of Debussy’s songbook is one of my all time favorite works, I decided to post this song: L’heure Exquise by Reynaldo Hahn.

Together with Gerald Moore, who is regarding the piano accompaniment most tenderly, she sings this beautiful tribute to “the exquisite hour”. This one is dedicated to my beautiful Venus, with whom I have listened to this side over & over again all throughout these last couple seasons.

Maggie Teyte – L’Heure Exquise <<<PLAY