dcrane at comcast.net
Sun Apr 30 20:34:08 EDT 2006
At 05:21 PM 4/30/2006, you wrote:
>Arturo, my friend...
>First, please stand corrected. Caravan was composed in 1937 by
>Juan Tizol AND Duke Ellington. The lyrics, ostensibly written
>by Irving Mills, Duke's booking agent, were added in 1940.
>The song produced two big hit records; the first by the incredible
>vocalist, Billy Eckstine on MGM in 1949, and the second, an
>instrumental version by the Ralph Marterie band on Mercury
>Warm regards, Dick LaPalm
The first big hit was by Billy Eckstine? I think not. The Ellington
orchestra version of Caravan charted as high as #4 in 1937, the
Barney Bigard-led small group session described below charted as high
as #20. Were they million sellers like Eckstine's recording in
1949? Probably not. But they were hit records nonetheless.
Helen Oakley Dance, the producer of the Elllington small group
recordings on Irving Mills' Variety label in the late 1930's, wrote
some wonderful liner notes for the 1991 and 1992 re-issues entitled
respectively "The Duke's Men: Small Groups Vol. 1" and "The Duke's
Men: Small Groups Vol. 2". Besides discussing how Irving Mills
managed to justify his inclusion in the songwriting credits for
Ellington compositions of the time, she talks about how the success
of "Caravan" as recorded by Barney Bigard and his Syncopators in
December 1936 ensured the continuation of the small group
sessions. She goes on to say that "Caravan" managed to outsell
Raymond Scott's "Twilight in Turkey" which was recorded for Mills'
other label known as Master. And further, she didn't much care for
the exotic motif of "Caravan".
As to the songwriting credits, John Edward Hasse, in his book "Beyond
Category: the Life and Genius of Duke Ellington" credits both
Ellington and Tizol in his discussion of "Caravan". There's no
discussion of lyrics thus no mention of Irving Mills. And I'm not
about to enter into any further debate about that issue. But,
Arturo, if it means I have to agree with you to keep my airshift,
then you are absolutely 100% correct!
Thus endeth my petty corrections for April 30, 2006. Let the further
petty corrections begin...
dcrane at comcast.net
Volunteer Jazz DJ
KUVO Denver 89.3 FM
Wednesdays 7-9 PM MDT
More information about the jazzproglist