You and the Night and the Music

victrola   Within those grooves, jazziness and corny expression existed in an unlikely balance. It was created by a powerful, swinging, yet restrained, collection of musicians. The pictures show a bunch of guys lined up with shiny instruments, in tuxedos. Elegant and up to no good.

jb3   Music, Maestro, Please   Lew Stone and his Orchestra

Radios and records miraculously brought this elegance to the farthest corners of Great Britain and beyond. As the people danced, the bands played on, providing fun and distraction from whatever life was handing their audience. The tunes that were being played conjured a time outside of time. It was a dream where boy could not only meet girl, but the two of them could dance off into a sunset filled with cottages, chocolate, and kisses.

db1   What a Little Moonlight Can Do   Gaumont British Dance Band

There were similar orchestras in the States, but the British dance bands maintained a stiff upper lip on those clarinets and saxophones. Never too fast, never too wild, but always at the service of romance, where behind good manners lay passion. It wasn’t tango, but it had better lyrics.

jb4   Love is Good for Anything that Ails You   Orlando and his Gleneagles Hotel Orchestra

Sections played in unison giving it power, which drove the melody forward. The excitement was tossed from reeds to the piano to the bass and drums and, halfway through, some shiny-haired vocalist or glamorous dream girl in a long, sequined dress stepped forward with the narrative.

dancing   One, Two, Button Your Shoe   Jack Hylton and his Orchestra

Your coffee in the morning, your kisses in the night. Set the date, don’t hesitate, but just make up you mind, dear, Now’s the time to fall in love with me.   Love is good for anything that ails you, Baby, there is nothing love can’t do, Love is good for anything that ails you, how about a sweet romance or two?

danvcing2   Footloose and Fancy Free   Jack Hylton and his Orchestra

You couldn’t be cuter, plus that you couldn’t be smarter, plus that intelligent face, you have a disgraceful charm for me.   Somewhere the sun is shining, so, Honey, don’t you cry, we’ll find a silver lining, the clouds will all roll by.   Dinner is ended, the music is grand, softly the lanterns gleam, Isn’t it splendid to sit hand in hand, silently lost in a dream?

lovers3   Nice Work If You Can Get It   Carroll Gibbons and the Savoy Orpheans

Music, cocktails, and dancing. What a concept! Leave your troubles and reality at the coat check and take your rightful place at the table. This is music to lift you from your seat. A time to lose yourself in a state of motion and emotion, more dreamlike than just a night on the town. Your turn to hold and be held. Dreaming a dream, while smoke gets in your eyes.

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About Ted Ringer

I am a writer, artist, and listener. Great music is everywhere and has no limits. Some of it is well-orchestrated and some is short and sweet. It can spring out of a moment of deep feeling or result from long periods of development. Music is communication, inspiration, and a million other things. This blog wants to share the wealth and keep toes tapping.
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One Response to You and the Night and the Music

  1. David Lawson says:

    The vocalist with Lew Stone is Al Bowlly. He was born in South Africa but was popular in England prior to and during WWII. Sadly he was killed during a Nazi air raid on London. My late father was “a man about town” in those days before he met my mother and was friendly with Al Bowlly. He once told me how they were together one time and Dad was invited to go with Al to a recording session at Abbey Road! I kick myself often when I think I didn’t ask him any more about those heady days.

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