View Full Version : HTOTW #3 'If I Had You'

Terry Porritt
12-12-2003, 07:07 PM
This week it is the turn of a British band, well mostly British, as it was re-inforced by some top visiting American musicians.

Fred Elizalde (1907-1972) was born to a rich family in the Philipines, and after a youth spent in the USA and leading a dance band there for a little while, his family sent him to Cambridge University. His love of music, composing and jazz piano playing soon put an end to his higher education, but attracted the attention of Bert Ambrose, another band leader. Somehow, he was able to form a professional band at a remarkably young age, which became the resident band at the London Savoy Hotel in 1927.

His reputation attracted some musicians from the California Ramblers to join in band in 1928. These were the great Adrian Rollini, bass sax, Chelsea Quealey, a fine trumpeter with Bixian overtones, Bobby Davis, clarinet, alto & soprano sax, and pianist Jack Russin. Reinforced with these American heavyweights, the band was known as Fred Elizalde and his Anglo American Band.
A large number of sides were recorded that year with HMV (the English branch of the American Victor Record Company, both companies having the same famous dog looking into a gramaphone horn as a logo)

That year he also engaged a relatively unknown young guitar player and vocalist named Al Bowlly (1899-1941)who was born in Portugese East Africa, and brought up in Johannesburg. Al later went on to become a popular debonair singer with many English bands making hundreds of records before his life was cut short during an air raid on London in 1941.

The theme tune of the TV series "Goodnight Sweetheart" (the one about Gary Sparrow time travelling back to the 1940s) was a Ray Noble composition which became a hit for Al in the film "The Big Broadcast of 1936"

I dont know much about the song 'If I Had You' except that it was written in 1928 by Ted Shapiro, Jimmy Campbell and Reg Connely. It had been popularised by Rudy Vallee in that year, and it became a hit for Al Bowlly.
In 1945 it was recorded by Judy Garland.

On this recording listen for the bass sax of Adrian Rollini, he is quite unmistakeable. So, at long last this is what you have waited for, click here (http://www.redhotjazz.com/Songs/elizalde/ifihadyou.ram) and hold on to your chair :)

We can't leave Fred Elizalde without a bonus tune if only to hear the great Adrian Rollini on bass sax playing that Crazy Rhythm (http://www.redhotjazz.com/Songs/elizalde/crazyrhythm.ram) :)

Next week, as well as recordings from the RedHot Jazz site, we will visit the wonderful world of Dismuke to listen to some songs from the Depression years and "5 Minute Hit of the Week" records made of cardboard. What on earth is he on about? Tune in next weekend to find out.

Murray P
12-12-2003, 08:49 PM
Thanks TP

Cheers Murray P

Babe Ruth
12-12-2003, 09:43 PM
Thanks for those terry.

I remember my father playing "Crazy Rhythm" (once at a certain Napier hotel) on an upright piano with sheets of newspaper put between the hammers and the strings... thus giving a piano and snaredrum effect. Hmmm those were the days! :-)

Cheers, Babe.