Music Review (1941- 45)
The title was really a gag...it harkened back to the famed music director, Walter Damrosch, who pioneered
radio broadcasts of (live) classical music and originated Music
Appreciation classical music concert shows on the radio. Damrosch
worked for the network from 1928-42, and said early on in his career,
"My five years' experience in planning radio programs has shown
me that the public seems to like what I give it and I give it
only the best!"
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So this show was the swing music equivalent of that concept...but
with the hip idea that you could take a tune, even a classical
melody, "and swing it." We have some wonderfully talented jazz
musicians featured on the show, including the Les Paul Trio. Les
Paul, of course, went on guitar greatness. The orchestra was "under
the baton" of Frank De Vol, a stalwart of radio and popular music.
Some really famous musical personalities, such as Peggy Lee, Martha
Tilton, Margaret Whiting, Mel Torme, and a young Andre Previn.
Excellent arrangers Billy May and Neil Hefti worked on the show
The idea was to take some pop hits, some classical themes, and
take them "on a flyer". And did we say swing 'em? "Little Boy
Blue," Vulga Boatman," Black and Blue Danube," "Donkey Serenade",
and " Parisian Market." You get the idea. If you're WWII vintage,
you'll remember classical jazz styling by Tommy Dorsey, Claude
Thornhill, Duke Ellington and Raymond Scott.
The thirty minute shows were played for laughs at times, but
the music was always first-rate, and is as swinging and fresh as
it was back in the War Years when it came on the scene. Nearly
two dozen show are still with us, and we are lucky to have such
great tunes to "depreciate."
For more jazz broadcasts, see also: Charlie and His Orchestra (Nazi Propganda), Date with the Duke, Eddie Condon Jazz Concert, Esquire Jazz Concert, Jubilee, Music Depreciation, Navy Swings, Live from Birdland, and New Orleans Jazz Band.