Song 19 – Mbube

SONG: Mbube ARTIST: Solomon Linda & the Evening Birds YEAR: 1939 Listen to it here:  THE SONG: This song has been very interesting to research because of its history. I had no idea I would know this song when I started listening to it, and had always assumed it was written by some white westernersContinue reading “Song 19 – Mbube”

Song 17 – Over The Rainbow

SONG: Over the Rainbow ARTIST: Judy Garland YEAR: 1939 Listen to it here:  THE SONG: Over the Rainbow is probably the most ubiquitous song we’ve had featured so far. It was written by Harold Arlen and the lyrics were by Yip Harburg. The song was written for the film The Wizard of Oz, but wasContinue reading “Song 17 – Over The Rainbow”

Song 15 – Hellhound on my Trail

SONG: Hellhound On My Trail ARTIST: Robert Johnson YEAR: 1937 Listen to it here:  THE SONG: The phrase “hellhound on my trail had been used numerous times in other blues songs for years before it appeared as the title of one of Robert Johnson’s biggest hits. This song is a solo performance by Johnson withContinue reading “Song 15 – Hellhound on my Trail”

Song 13 – Can the Circle Be Unbroken

SONG: Can the Circle Be Unbroken ARTIST: The Carter Family YEAR: 1935 Listen to it here:  THE SONG:  “Can the Circle Be Unbroken (By and By)” is a folk song that was reworked by A.P. Carter from the hymn “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”. The song deals with the death, funeral, and mourning of theContinue reading “Song 13 – Can the Circle Be Unbroken”

Song 11 – Mal hombre

SONG: Mal Hombre ARTIST: Lydia Mendoza YEAR: 1934 Listen to it here:  THE SONG: This song is not of Mexican descent, even though it was made popular by a singer who celebrated and was celebrated for her own Mexicanness. Lydia Mendoza’s core repertoire was all traditional Mexican songs, but the song that made her famous,Continue reading “Song 11 – Mal hombre”

Song 9 – Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl

SONG: Need a Little Sugar in my Bowl ARTIST: Bessie Smith YEAR: 1931 Listen to it here:  THE SONG: Need a Little Sugar in my Bowl is part of a sub-genre called “dirty blues”, which is exactly what you’d think: songs that discuss obscene or taboo subjects. I have to say, the lyrics to thisContinue reading “Song 9 – Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl”

ALBUM REVIEW #1 – In the Wee Small Hours

ALBUM TITLE: In the Wee Small Hours ARTIST NAME: Frank Sinatra YEAR OF RELEASE: 1955 Favourite Song Holly: In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning Kelly: Mood Indigo ALBUM HISTORY: This depressing record is Sinatra’s 9th studio album. It was recorded at a time in Sinatra’s career where he had just divorced his secondContinue reading “ALBUM REVIEW #1 – In the Wee Small Hours”

Song 7: El Mansiero

SONG: El Manisero ARTIST: Don Azpiazu and His Havana Casino Orchestra YEAR: 1929 Listen to it here: THE SONG: I’m sure many of you will do the exact same thing I did when listening to this song the first time, which is to exclaim “Ohhhh! The Peanut Vendor! I know this song!” This isContinue reading “Song 7: El Mansiero”

Song 3: Allons à Lafayette

SONG: Allons à Lafayette ARTIST: Joe & Cleoma Falcon YEAR: 1928 Listen to it here: THE SONG: This is our first “B-side” classic. This song appeared on the B side of a 78 released by Joe Falcon and Cleoma Breaux in 1928. It’s based on an even older folk song called “Jeunes gens campagnard”Continue reading “Song 3: Allons à Lafayette”

Song 1: O Sole Mio

SONG: O Sole Mio ARTIST: Enrico Caruso YEAR: 1916 Listen to it here: THE SONG: “O Sole Mio” was written in 1898 by the mostly forgotten composer Eduardo di Capua, and has since become known worldwide. It’s become almost the theme song for Naples, the birthplace of the composer, and is the “You AreContinue reading “Song 1: O Sole Mio”