Saturday, July 02, 2005

From the composer of "The Hot Canary"--"Beverly Hill Billy"

My copy of Beverly Hill Billy showed up by itself in a thrift store--no sign of the other three 45s, or the box. It originally belonged to a set called Nero Fiddles! featuring Paul Nero and His Entourage. Nero (1917-1958), best-known for his hit composition The Hot Canary, seems to be highly regarded in jazz-violin circles. Beverly Hill Billy is a Nero original, too: Paul Nero and His Entourage (1950). From Capitol 45 RPM EP.

It sounds to my ears as if Nero is quoting several "old-time" tunes, especially during the mellow middle section. Seeing Nellie Home, maybe. Barbara Allen, on the celeste (?). But I'm not familiar enough with these tunes to know for sure. Dig the obligatory boogie section at the end, probably intended for humor. Of course, while Nero fiddled, Rag Mop was burning up the charts. Mop was the kind of simple and unadorned twelve-bar blues that jazz musicians had a hard time taking seriously. They hadn't heard nothin' yet!

For those not familiar with The Hot Canary (such as I wasn't until a few months ago), here is Florian Zabach, from 1951: The Hot Canary (Paul Nero), Florian Zabach, 1951. From Decca 45 RPM EP.

Hope you enjoyed this lively jazz-lounge. Or is it lounge-jazz? Novelty lounge-jazz, maybe. Novelty violin jazz-lounge. Novelty violin-led small-group jazz pre-hi-fi.... Oh, never mind.



Blogger litlgrey said...

Cover scans!
The greedy, info-deprived public wants to see cover scans!

Give us!
Give us!


7:54 AM  
Blogger Lee Hartsfeld said...

I wish I could, but I lack a scanner, at the moment. Plus, all I have is the record (or its label) to scan. No box....

Sorry about that!


9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tried the link to hear The Hot Canary (I have fond memories of it from my childhood and am trying to find the right copy), but got the following when I clicked on the link "Sorry but the file or folder you requested was not found on the server. Please alert the owner of this folder or file, as well as the server admin by emailing:

10:14 AM  

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