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LILTIN' MARTHA TILTON

And The Angels Sing -
A Centenary Tribute -
Her 24 Finest

RETROSPECTIVE RTR4280

 

 

Benny Goodman and His Orchestra

And The Angels Sing [3:11]

Bob White, Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight? [2:54]

You Took The Words Right Out Of My Heart [3:13]

Loch Lomond [2:31]

The Benny Goodman Quintet

Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen [6:36]

Benny Goodman and His Orchestra

I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart [3:20]

What Goes On Here In My Heart? [2:54]

Iíve Got A Date With A Dream [3:05]

This Canít Be Love [2:47]

Artie Shaw and His Orchestra

Now We Know [3:15]

Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra

Easy Street [3:01]

Gene Krupa and His Orchestra

Drum Boogie [3:26]

Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra

Serenade In Blue [3:19]

Paul Weston and His Orchestra

Iíll Walk Alone [3:14]

A Stranger In Town [3:07]

I Should Care [2:49]

Martha Tilton and Her V-Disc Play Fellows

Beyond The Blue Horizon [4:29]

Paul Weston and His Orchestra

A Fine Romance [2:43]

Dean Elliot and His Orchestra

How Are Things In Glocca Morra? [2:58]

I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder [2:45]

Blow, Gabriel, Blow [2:41]

Lyn Murray and His Orchestra and Chorus

Lilli Marlene [2:47]

Laurindo Almeida

Misirlou [3:05]

Benny Goodman and The Benny Goodman Story Orchestra

You Turned The Tables On Me [2:55]


Martha Tilton (1915-2006) was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and grew up in Los Angeles California. She began singing on local radio stations while still in high school, and soon after began performing with Sid Lippman, Hal Grayson and other bands in the Los Angeles area. In 1937 her career took off when she joined Benny Goodman and his orchestra. Well-known for her sweet, classy singing style, her collaboration with Goodman brought her recognition as one of the great swing vocalists of her day. Their famous 1938 jazz concert at New York Cityís famous Carnegie Hall changed the musical world, as Tilton became the first non-classical singer to perform there. After Benny Goodmanís band broke up in 1939, she sang with other leading bands of the era, including Gordon Jenkins, Paul Whiteman, Dean Elliot, Paul Weston, and Lyn Murray and their orchestras, and stayed busy working in the radio, television, and film industries, as well as performing for USO tours and variety shows.

This disc has 24 of Marthaís recordings between 1937 and 1955, and they are listed roughly in chronological order. Her first big hit was And The Angels Sing, with music written by Ziggy Elman and words by Johnny Mercer, and recorded in 1939 with Benny Goodman and His Orchestra on the Victor label. The song reached number one in the nation that year. Marthaís easy, relaxed voice made this song her trademark. Ziggy Elman was a gifted trumpet player at the peak of his career, and he plays a tremendous solo on his own musical creation, exploding with a rapid-fire Latin-rhythm and soaring with exuberance. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen was recorded in 1937 with Benny Goodman and His Quintet, featuring Benny on clarinet, Ziggy on trumpet, pianist Teddy Wilson, drummer Gene Krupa, and vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. At over six minutes, it is the longest song on the disc, and features some fine instrumental solos by Hampton, Wilson, and Goodman, and another Ziggy Elman trumpet explosion.

A delightful song showing Marthaís versatility is the lovely How Are Things In Glocca Morra, composed by Burton Lane and Yip Harburg. The song appeared in the 1947 film Finianís Rainbow, and this version was recorded with Dean Elliot and His Orchestra on the Capital record label in 1946. Marthaís rendition is light and dreamy, and the orchestraís strings section highlights a perfect arrangement. One of the most interesting songs on this disc is Beyond The Blue Horizon, originally recorded as V-Disc 524-B on 10 May 1945. The Victory Discs, or V-Discs as they became known, were a series of recordings made during World War II by special arrangement between the government and several private recording studios, and sent overseas for use by U.S. military personnel. This recording features Martha with a brief introduction and hello to the troops, and singing a tight arrangement accompanied by the talented Billy Butterfield on trumpet, and solos by clarinetist Joe Dixon and saxophonist Nick Caiazza. One of the later recordings in this collection is the exquisite Misirlou, recorded on the Coral label in 1951. This song is a simple duet with a Middle Eastern rhythm, with Martha on vocals accompanied by the extraordinary Brazilian guitarist Laurindo Almeida.

The disc includes a 12-page booklet with liner notes by noted jazz trumpeter and author Digby Fairweather. This disc features a classic swing vocalist during her peak years, and is a great addition to the Retrospective series.

Bruce McCollum



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