Saturday, June 7, 2014

Saturday Night with Annette Hanshaw

Annette Hanshaw photo annette_hanshaw02_zps505a68d5.jpg

Most of the time, my Saturday night posts include multiple singers, with ladies singing Torch songs. For some reason, I decided to go with just one single voice tonight, singing some great songs. Singer Annette Hanshaw was a popular singer in the 1920s and early 1930s, singing all kinds of music. But the Jazz music was her real calling, although when she took on the 'flapper' character on songs like "I Wanna Be Loved By You", she also earned a following, and the title "The Personality Girl". Tonight I offer you four songs by the charming Miss Hanshaw, by some of the greatest writers from the 1920s. And I will lead off with "Thinking of You", written by Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar. It was introduced in the Broadway show, 'The Five O'Clock Girl' in 1927. This is "Thinking of You".



Next up, I offer you "Moanin' Low", with music by Ralph Rainger and lyrics by Howard Dietz. The song was published in 1929. It was introduced that same year in the musical revue 'The Little Show' by Libby Holman, and quickly became her signature song. It was also recorded by many others, including the brilliant Billie Holiday in 1937. Hanshaw recorded the song to appear in the 1929 animated film 'Sita Sings the Blues'. Please enjoy it.



I first heard the next song sung by Bette Midler, off her album 'The Divine Miss M'. I also heard it sung by Cher and Judy Garland. I also remember it sung by Barbra Streisand in 'Funny Lady. Quite the illustrious list of ladies, if I say so myself. "Am I Blue" a song written by Harry Akst and Grant Clarke in 1929, a hit for Ethel Waters in the film 'On with the Show'. And in 1929, Annette Hanshaw recorded it, and what a nice job she did.



Finally, I offer you an interesting version of a fun song. Originally sung by Helen Kane, who many thought to be the original 'It Girl', and the model for the cartoon character Betty Boop. To counter her, the record company had Hanshaw sing in the style of Kane, the child-like flapper, on several songs. One of those was "I Want to be Bad", the 1929 song written by Lew Brown, Buddy De Sylva, and Ray Henderson, who had also written Kane's big hit, "Button Up Your Overcoat". This is Hanshaw singing a coy version of "I Want to be Bad".



Annette continued to record music and have hits songs into the 1930s. In 1934, she had her last recording session. A few years later, Hanshaw grew tired of the entertainment business, and married Herman 'Wally' Rose, an executive at Pathé Records. From all reports, she had a happy life, and passed away in New York City in 1985, at the age of 83.

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