Happy Birthday George M. Cohan!


George M. Cohan
Born: July 3, 1878
Providence, Rhode Island
Died: November 5, 1942 (aged 64)
New York City, New York
George Michael Cohan (pronounced Ko-han; July 3, 1878 – November 5, 1942), known professionally as George M. Cohan, was a major American entertainer, playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer and producer.
Cohan began his career as a child, performing with his parents and sister in a vaudeville act known as "The Four Cohans." Beginning with Little Johnny Jones in 1904, he wrote, composed, produced, and appeared in more than three dozen Broadway musicals. Cohan wrote some 500 songs during his lifetime, including the standards "Over There", "Give My Regards to Broadway", "The Yankee Doodle Boy" and "You're a Grand Old Flag". As a composer, he was one of the early members of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). He displayed remarkable theatrical longevity, appearing in films until the 1930s, and continuing to perform as a headline artist until 1940.
Known in the decade before World War I as "the man who owned Broadway", he is considered the father of American musical comedy. His life and music were depicted in the Academy Award-winning film Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and the 1968 musical George M!. A statue of Cohan in Times Square in New York City commemorates his contributions to American musical theatre.
George M. Cohan

Jerry Gray, Violin/Leader b. East Boston, MA, USA. d. August 19, 1976. A major influence in popular music during the big band era primarily as an arranger. He joined Glenn Miller in 1939 and is credited with creating the Miller sound. Two of Miller's biggest hits "String of Pearls" and "Pennsylvania 6-5000" were written by Gray and he arranged "Moonlight Cocktails," "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "I've Got a Girl in Kalamazoo".
Jerry Gray (arranger) - Wikipedia

Fred Maddox (right)
Fred Maddox, vocals/guitar
d. Oct. 29, 1992.
nee: Fred Roscoe Maddox.
Best remembered for 'The Maddox Brothers and Rose', - a Country and Western music group.

Dick Robertson
b. New York, NY.
Dick Robertson--one of the busiest big band and studio singers from the late '20s through the early '40s--eventually pushed the microphone away, sat down and got busy writing songs of his own. This catalog of songs includes the slightly melancholy "I'm a Little on the Lonely Side" as well as "We Three", a melody-a-trois that has been mistakenly interpreted as a precursor to David Crosby's notorious "Triad". Robertson's career opened up in the Roaring Twenties: he was active in live performances as both a soloist and in duo with Ed Smalle before realizing that his voice was perfectly suited for the newly developing recording industry.

Robertson kept so busy cutting vocal tracks that he apparently made use of a stack of pseudonyms in order to quell potential rebellion amongst label managers and audience alike. The trick would not phase future jazz critics, who tend to pan his vocals under whatever name. Pianist Eubie Blake may have made the most vivid use of the Robertson pipes, presenting the vocalist as basically the main solo voice in a large ensemble grouping. The singer also recorded with Duke Ellington, The Mills Blue Rhythm Band, Benny Goodman, Andy Kirk and many others. Robertson also cut a variety of sides as a leader, organizing ensembles dubbed the Dick Robertson Orchestra with the type of studio musicians who kept as busy as he did during this era. Aliases for this performer, who also played violin on records every now and then, include Ray Carroll and Bobby Dick. His final recording session under his real name took place in 1949 for the Coral label with Owen Bradley producing--suggesting that Robertson may have been on the verge of going country. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Cab Calloway orchestra recorded "St. James Infirmary".
(Okeh Records).
***I think it was also recorded earlier.. around 1931 (?) St. James Infirmary Blues is a traditional American folk song, the lyric of which can be traced to late 19th-century New Orleans. After a famous 1928 recording by Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway and His Orchestra recorded it for a 1933 Betty Boop cartoon, Snow White, that is still seen by millions of children on television and considered a classic of early cartoon animation. In the "St. James Infirmary" sequence, Cab's dance moves were transferred from live-action film to animation by a process called the "roto-scope."
St. James Infirmary
(Primerose-arr. of traditional folksong -The Gambler's Blues)

Folks, I'm goin' down to St. James Infirmary,
See my baby there;
She's stretched out on a long, white table,
She's so sweet, so cold, so fair.

Let her go, let her go, God bless her,
Wherever she may be,
She will search this wide world over,
But she'll never find another sweet man like me.

Now, when I die, bury me in my straight-leg britches,
Put on a box-back coat and a stetson hat,
Put a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch chain,
So you can let all the boys know I died standing pat.

Folks, now that you have heard my story,
Say, boy, hand me another shot of that booze;
If anyone should ask you,
Tell 'em I've got those St. James Infirmary blues.

Koko the Clown sings St James Infirmary Blues in the 1933 Betty Boop Snow White cartoon.
The song is sung by Cab Calloway and Koko's dance number was rotoscoped.
Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Red Mckenzie and his Mound City Blue Blowers - What Do I Care What Somebody Said


Jack Pettis and his Pets - A Bag O' Blues  

Fred Hall and his Sugar Babies
  • Butternut ('Neath The Beautiful Butternut Tree) 

Cliff Edwards "Ukulele Ike"
  • Anita


Victoria Spivey - You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now! - Part 1 

Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys - Miss You


Bubber Miley and his Mileage Makers - Chinnin' And Chattin" With May

Red Nichols' Five Pennies - The Sheik Of Araby


(Harry Bache Smith / Ted Snyder / Francis Wheeler)

Well I'm the sheikh of Araby,
your love belongs to me.
Well at night where you're asleep,
into your tent I'll creep.
The stars that shine above
will light our way to love.
You rule this world with me,
I'm the sheikh of Araby.
Well I'm the sheikh of Araby,
your love belongs to me.
Oh at night where you're asleep,
into your tent I'll creep.
The sun that shines above
will light our way to love.
You rule this world with me,
I'm the sheikh of Araby.
Well I'm the sheikh of Araby,
well I'm the sheikh of Araby, yeah.

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