Tag Archives | singer

A Red Hot Yiddishe Mamma

maurice-seymour-sophie-tucker-sophia-abuza-american-vaudeville-singer-with-occasional-film-roles

Let’s talk about one of the original red hot mammas – Miss Sophie Tucker (1884-1966). If I had a spangly frock & feather fascinator, I’d sit down at the piano and do one of her numbers for you.

One of my mother’s favourite songs was My Yiddishe Momme and I realise now that it was Sophie singing it. Mother knew not a schmidish of Yiddish and if her Presbyterian soul had known of Miss Tucker’s saucy vaudeville background, she’d maybe have reconsidered. But that’s where I first heard Sophie Tucker.

Now I have a few 78rpm records of the lady. They’re perfect for mechanical sound – on shellac, it’s like you’re sitting at the nearest table to the bar and Sophie’s perched up there on the mahogany, belting it out.

Her signature number was ‘Some Of These Days’ and I’ve had the pleasure of hearing this 1911 cylinder recording on an original phonograph. What I have is the 1926 version on shellac with Ted Lewis. It’s considerably smoother than the original and I admit I prefer the rawness of the 1911 recording. After all, raw and punchy was what Sophie did best.



The song ‘Oh, You Have No Idea’ is wonderfully funny but naughty – how about that sexy growled ‘Oh’ at the end of each verse?

He’s got that whatsy whatsy what/What people can’t name/And say that whatsy, whatsy what/Would make the wildest woman tame./Hot as fire all the girls agree/Does he spark when he’s out with me/Oh you have no idea.

But it’s Yiddishe Momme that I play again and again.  Side one is in English and Sophie wrings every ounce of emotion from it.  On the other side, the band plays the song and Sophie speaks the words – in Yiddish.  Outstanding.

Listen to both sides here by clicking the arrows.


Music

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Jean Sablon

JeanSablon

Jean Sablon, a popular French singer and actor, was born in Nogent-sur-Marne in 1906. The son of a songwriter, he studied piano at the Lyceé Charlemagne and the Paris Conservatoire. He began his career in musical comedy but shot to fame when he was spotted by the legendary performer Mistinguett who chose him as her partner at the Casino de Paris.

In 1933 he moved to the USA where he became a hit on many radio shows. George Gershwin and Cole Porter wrote songs for him and he appeared in the Broadway musical ‘Streets of Paris’ with screen comics Abbott and Costello plus the singing star Carmen Miranda.

Jean Sablon, with his ‘crooner’ style, was often compared to such singers as Bing Crosby and Dean Martin. His biggest song success, for which he won the Grand Priz du Disque in 1937, was “Vous qui passez sans me voir,” written for him by Charles Trenet and Johnny Hess. He also helped to popularize swing music in France by teaming up on several occasions with Stephane Grapelli and Django Reinhardt.

Jean Sablon’s records sold in their millions around the world and he became one of the most widely acclaimed male French singers second only in reputation to Maurice Chevalier. He is frequently referred to as the French equivalent of America’s Bing Crosby. He died in 1994 at Cannes and was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris.

Label details:
Si Tu M’aimes
(Michel Emer & Ordner)
Sung by Jean Sablon
Garland Wilson at the Piano
Columbia DB 1709
1936

❦ To listen to my 78rpm record of ‘Si Tu M’Aimes’, click the audio player below. ❦

Music

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