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Various Artists
Hits of ’22: The Roaring ‘20s Do It Again!

Living Era CD AJA 5522 [74:46] ADD

Crotchet Budget price

Paul Whiteman & his Orchestra / Do It Again!
Al Jolson / April Showers
Isham Jones & his Orchestra / On The Alamo
Fanny Brice / Second Hand Rose
Ernest L. Stevens & his Dance Trio / Chicago
Marion Harris / Some Sunny Day
Zez Confrey & his Orchestra / Kitten on the Keys
Lucy Isabell Marsh & Royal Dadmun / Song of Love
Paul Whiteman & his Orchestra / Hot Lips
Billy Murry / Jimbo-Jambo
The Virginians / Early In The Morning Blues
Irving & Jack Kaufman / Mister Gallagher and Mister Shean
Carl Fenton & his Orchestra / Nola
The Serenaders / A Kiss In The Dark
Aileen Stanley / Sweet Indiana Home
Paul Whiteman & his Orchestra / I’ll Build A Stairway To Paradise
Al Jolson / Angel Child
Ted Lewis & his Band / Georgette
Henry Burr / My Buddy
The Virginians / I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
Billy Murray / Stumbling
Isham Jones & his Orchestra / The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
Irving Kaufman / When You And I Were Young Maggie Blues
Paul Whiteman & his Orchestra / Three O’Clock In The Morning


At times you can find an auditory time machine that will suddenly transport you to another place or time. Putting this CD on is taking a trip to a bygone era filled with speakeasies, flappers, and dominated by the Model T. Louis Armstrong was a young man barely starting out with King Oliver, Kaiser Wilhelm had been recently defeated in The War to End All Wars, Babe Ruth had just led the New York Yankees to their first World Series, and the English speaking world was filled with an exuberance and optimism that could barely contain itself. The frenetic energy of the men and women of the 1920s certainly was reflected in the music that could only recently be shared in any way except wholly transitory live performance. Contained herein is an audible snapshot of a world filled with new possibilities.

With only one exception (the version Three O’Clock In The Morning was actually rerecorded in 1926 due to the success of the original 1922 recording) these are all original recordings made in 1922, an era that predates even such basic sound equipment as the microphone. These recordings were made originally with the musicians setting themselves up around a recording horn and playing the side over and over again until they got their best performance with a good balance that the crude equipment of the day could play back in a recognizable way.

Considering the age of these recordings, and the Paleolithic conditions that they were recorded under, the sound quality is amazing. There is absolutely no way to take these for new recordings, however the recordings are quite nicely preserved, with the fidelity probably near the original. The selections by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra are especially good, and as he is among the most important musicians in the early days of the Big Band era, at least in spreading the popularity of that music, it is nice to be able to hear such care given to those works.

I was not previously familiar with the non-jazz artists contained here, such as Lucy Isabelle Marsh, Billy Murray, or Irving & Jack Kaufman. However the liner notes, which are very well written and informative, gave me the context I needed to understand the light opera and vaudeville recordings that were also popular, even if they were essentially lost to time. That imposed discovery was both fun and interesting, and definitely adds to the completeness of this album.

In short, to the musicologist, the fan of early jazz, the historian, or the musically adventurous, this is an entertaining album filled with relatively important recordings. Musically representative of the early days of recorded sound, and beautifully restored, I would recommend it highly.

Patrick Gary

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