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Al Bowlly - 1930's Crooner

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Jezebel38
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Al Bowlly - 1930's Crooner

Postby Jezebel38 » November 21st, 2012, 2:48 pm

I’m sure it was through Dennis Potter’s series PENNIES FROM HEAVEN and THE SINGING DETECTIVE that I was first introduced to recordings of the Ray Noble Orchestra with Al Bowlly providing the vocals. What a distinctive singing voice and style which I thought epitomized the early 1930’s dance band period – and somewhat quaint, this being a British band. Quite an unmistakable voice though, and every time I’d hear it in subsequent PBS series or period films over the years, I’d recognize him right away – name that singer - oh that’s Al Bowlly! But unlike our American crooners, Rudy, Bing or Russ, I knew nothing of Al, not even what he looked like – until now, thanks to Youtube. I had no idea he was so handsome... and I just love his style! Not much of him on film though; here he is in a rare British Pathe studio short:

Singing Ray Noble’s signature tune “The Very Thought of You”
( Can this tune take the top honors in being used in film soundtracks?)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr4ncMR5EVQ[/youtube]




And a just fabulous rendition of “Melancholy Baby”
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRF5D68e44Q[/youtube]

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JackFavell
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Re: Al Bowlly - 1930's Crooner

Postby JackFavell » November 21st, 2012, 3:06 pm

WOW! I never knew what he looked like!

Those were both just remarkable versions of the songs. I loved his accompanist as well, perfectly in tune so to speak with Al's rhythms. Did you notice how Al moved closer or further from the mike depending on how loud he was going to be? Thanks for posting those Jez, they are priceless. I love seeing those clips from the late twenties or early thirties, I had some Nick Lucas, Gene Austin and Russ Columbo songs bookmarked a year or so ago, I love the way these crooners sang. Al was one of the best.

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pvitari
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Re: Al Bowlly - 1930's Crooner

Postby pvitari » December 20th, 2012, 11:16 pm

OMG, someone else knows Al Bowlly! I've been mad for him for years! I have a bunch of albums with his recordings. For me he was the ultimate 30s crooner -- I just swoon listening to that lovely, slightly husky tenor voice. His premature death at age 43 was such a tragedy -- he was a victim of the London Blitz. :(

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JackFavell
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Re: Al Bowlly - 1930's Crooner

Postby JackFavell » December 21st, 2012, 10:41 am

I didn't know that. How sad.

Yes, he's one of the few tenors I really like. His whole personality is in his voice, jaunty yet he can be romantic as well.

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Jezebel38
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Re: Al Bowlly - 1930's Crooner

Postby Jezebel38 » December 21st, 2012, 3:16 pm

pvitari wrote:OMG, someone else knows Al Bowlly! I've been mad for him for years! I have a bunch of albums with his recordings. For me he was the ultimate 30s crooner -- I just swoon listening to that lovely, slightly husky tenor voice. (


Hey Paula - well I'm just a recent convert to the Mad About Al Bowlly Club, but I've fallen in a hard way! So, like I said earlier, I was aware of his recordings, but to me his singing voice sounded a lot like Sterling Holloway's, so somehow I envisioned him as LOOKING like Sterling Holloway - don't know why I never ran across a photo of him before now! I've been going through all the Youtube postings, and plan to purchase some CD's soon - I'm making a list of all my favorite tunes.

This is my absolute favorite recording of his - on a swoon scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11!

CLOSE YOUR EYES (rest your head on my shoulder and sleep....I'd love to Al!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qzjmaAzQV8[/youtube]

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JackFavell
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Re: Al Bowlly - 1930's Crooner

Postby JackFavell » December 21st, 2012, 3:23 pm

Not to digress too much, but Sterling Holloway had a lovely voice. You've made me want to go find that clip from Remember the Night - A Perfect Day.


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