Never Been Blue 1922-42

Never Been Blue 1922-42

by Ted Fio Rito
     
 

While this tribute album is historically informative and at times quite rewarding, maybe what this world really needs is a primal survey of the very earliest recordings made under the leadership of Ted Fiorito. The two sides recorded in 1922 by the Oriole Terrace Orchestra, for example, are delightfully weird vintage salon instrumentals. Nobody will ever be able to… See more details below

Overview

While this tribute album is historically informative and at times quite rewarding, maybe what this world really needs is a primal survey of the very earliest recordings made under the leadership of Ted Fiorito. The two sides recorded in 1922 by the Oriole Terrace Orchestra, for example, are delightfully weird vintage salon instrumentals. Nobody will ever be able to successfully re-create the magical sound qualities of these peculiar studies for pit orchestra. Acoustically recorded without the aid of electricity, the mysterious old platters resonate with neighing reeds, corroded brass, violin and accordion. This album, in presenting an overview of Fiorito's entire career, skips over what were possibly his best recordings. (Note that Brian Rust lists about eighteen "jazz-worthy" sides cut between 1922 and 1926 by Russo & Fiorito's Oriole Orchestra.) The closest thing to an authentic jazz performance on this CD is "Copenhagen," recorded in October of 1924. It is a shameless emulation of the record of the same name made six months earlier by Bix Beiderbecke & the Wolverines. Fiorito's cover, though decorated with fiddle and squeezebox, is a passing nod to the trend of hot jazz, and stands oddly apart from the general pattern of this man's stylistic choices. By 1926 the band is in full hotel-orchestra mode, and sappy vocalists have begun to attach themselves like lampreys to each and every three-minute record. Not to dismiss vaudevillian Ted Lewis, who sounds magnificent while coughing up lyrics at the top of his lungs, or that soapy-sounding vocal group calling themselves the Mariners. After all, why not? And everyone should cherish the opportunity to hear an authentic 1930 "Hit of the Week" recording, pressed on to flimsy lacquered cardboard and stuffed between the pages of Liberty Magazine. What's creepy is the gradual realization that during the second-half of the 1920s, Ted Fiorito was perfecting the cottony sound of 1930s pop orchestration, a style destined to play such a vital role in Hollywood, second only to that of phenobarbital. Epiglottal boy wonder Dick Powell even shows up, trailing Busby Berkeley on a pair of sides dating from 1934. Flutes, cello and vibraphone appear as in aspic. Where's Harpo Marx when you need him? Muzzy Marcellino and the Debutantes are most tolerable (least tiresome) on two Hawaiian novelty numbers from 1934 and '38. Fiorito's 1940 "experiment" in popular big-band jazz arranging resulted in an imitation swing version of "Baby Won't You Please Come Home." Unfortunately, the Minnie Mouse and Bluto vocal duet makes this sound like a silly cartoon soundtrack. The Fiorito story wraps up with four sides waxed in 1942; Maureen OConnor positively protrudes from a rather smutty version of "Charlie, My Boy." Yet most of these singers inadvertently prove that Fiorito's legacy would be more enjoyable today had he avoided using them at all and concentrated instead on featuring his own attractive piano in addition to the talented instrumentalists who worked with him over the years.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/25/2003
Label:
Transatlantic Radio
UPC:
0820215002121
catalogNumber:
21

Tracks

  1. Soothing
  2. Toot, Toot, Tootsie!
  3. Copenhagen
  4. Trying to Forget
  5. Then You've Never Been Blue  - Ted Fio Rito
  6. Hangin' on the Garden Gate  - Ted Fio Rito
  7. My Baby Just Cares for Me
  8. I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You  - Ted Fio Rito
  9. I'll Take an Option on You  - Ted Fio Rito
  10. My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii  - Ted Fio Rito
  11. Fair and Warmer  - Ted Fio Rito
  12. I'll String Along With You  - Ted Fio Rito
  13. Simple and Sweet  - Ted Fio Rito
  14. Here Comes Cookie  - Ted Fio Rito
  15. Roll Along, Prairie Moon  - Ted Fio Rito
  16. Honey  - Ted Fio Rito
  17. It's Been So Long  - Ted Fio Rito
  18. Let's Face the Music and Dance  - Ted Fio Rito
  19. King Kamehameha  - Ted Fio Rito
  20. Baby, Won't You Please Come Home  - Ted Fio Rito
  21. Charley, My Boy
  22. King for a Day
  23. No! No! Nora
  24. Rio Rita (Fiorito's Theme Song)

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ted Fio Rito   Primary Artist,Piano
Paul James   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Dick Johnson   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Ted Lewis   Clarinet,Vocals
Nick Lucas   Banjo
Victor Garber   Clarinet,Flute,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Norman Botnick   Violin,Vocals
Bob Carroll   Vocals
Mark Fisher   Banjo,Vocals
Frankie Quartell   Trumpet
Dusty Rhodes   Drums
Billy White   Trombone
Dorothy Compton   Vocals
Harold Matthews   Trombone
Vito Mumolo   Guitar
Dan Russo   Violin
William Ross   Piano
Frank Emilio Flynn   Drums
Edwin "Eddie Ed" Ramos   Trumpet
Roy Maxon   Trombone
Muzzy Marcellino   Guitar,Vocals
Randolph Walker   Bowed Bass
Betty Noyes   Vocals
Dick Powell   Vocals
Paul McLarand   Clarinet
Carroll Martin   Trombone
Maureen O'Connor   Vocals
Clayton Naset   Clarinet,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Martyn Campbell   Trumpet
Cyril Bernard   Vocals
Don Mangano   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Jim Bestick   Trombone
Frank Brandt   Trumpet
Marjorie Briggs   Vocals
J.C. Caballero   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
John "Candy" Candido   Vocals,Upright Bass
Tony Catina   Banjo
Harry Daugherty   Trombone
Victor Green   Clarinet,Flute,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Vernon "Mutt" Hayes   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Stanley Hickman   Vocals
Dottie Hill   Vocals
Freddy Hulme   Trumpet
Clyde Hylton   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
George Jernberg   Trumpet
Ray Johnson   Guitar
M.J. Lippman   Clarinet,Flute,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Harold Loynd   Trumpet
Walter Mauver   Trombone
Charlie Puchta   Drums
Jack Read   Trombone
Donald Rhea   Trumpet
Herb Saman   Piano
Eddie Storman   Banjo,Vocals
Woody Taylor   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Vera Van   Vocals
Ansel Vick   Drums
Jack Wuerl   Violin

Technical Credits

Irving Berlin   Composer
Bing Crosby   Composer
John Gray   Engineer,Transfer Assistant
Jerome Hopkins   Liner Notes
Ned Washington   Composer
Clarence Williams   Composer
Victor Young   Composer
Ted Fio Rito   Composer,Director
Ned Freeman   Arranger
Harry Tierney   Composer
Bill Cogswell   Composer
Albert Von Tilzer   Composer
Charles Warfield   Composer
Johnny Noble   Composer
Bill Hebden   Engineer
Joseph McCarthy   Composer
Harry McPherson   Composer
Tommy Harrison   Composer
Ted Jr. FioRito   Producer,Engineer
Frank Papile   Contributor

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