"Al Bowlly and his orchestra"

as heard on Bluebird B-7319

this page first published by John Wright, 7 June 2002
last updated 8 Aug 2012vintage@r2ok.co.uk

In summer 1937 Al Bowlly had returned to the USA for a throat operation. The operation was successful and before heading back to Britain Al took the time to record a session with a studio orchestra which resulted in 6 titles by 'Al Bowlly and his Orchestra', 3 Dec 1937. All six were issued in US on the Bluebird label but only two were issued in Britain.

The only examples from the session that I have are on the 78 record Bluebird B-7319. I've included clips, below, of Al's singing on both recordings. I think he sounds very relaxed and his voice certainly sounds refreshed after his throat operation when compared to before, e.g. I've heard 'Sweet Is the Word For You' from July 1937. Well that's my opinion, other listeners may think the opposite!

Barry McCanna has pointed out that it has been suggested elsewhere that the studio orchestra was led by Leonard Joy and included Sid Stoneburn on clarinet, Ken Binford on guitar and Fletcher Hereford on alto sax, no suggestions yet for the trumpetr player and pianist. Leonard Joy or the music arranger at the session seemed to take the opportunity to experiment and included unusual introductions which to me are hardly appropriate for the songs; one features a drum beat intro and the other a weird trumpet fanfare!

Listen to
Every Day's A Holiday
- a happy swingy number, starts unusually with a drum beat, then Al comes in with the piano. Tricky lyrics handled well by Al. Later there is some nice clarinet, piano, tenor sax and trumpet breaks
Listen to
Outside Of Paradise
- a gentle foxtrot song, starts very oddly with a weird trumpet fanfare. Al's singing is impeccable.

The full session details are:

Al Bowlly and his orchestra. New York, Dec 3, 1937
BS-017457-1I Can Dream, Can't I?Bluebird B-7332, HMV BD5363
BS-017458-1Half Moon On The HudsonBluebird B-7317, HMV BD5363
BS-017459-1Every Day's A HolidayBluebird B-7319
BS-017460-1Sweet As A SongBluebird B-7317
BS-017461-1Outside Of ParadiseBluebird B-7319
BS-017462-1Sweet StrangerBluebird B-7332

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