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View Full Version : Off Topic: HTOTW#19 Ted Weems and his Orchestra



Terry Porritt
04-06-2004, 05:56 PM
Just a reminder that HTOTW stands for Hot Tunes of the Week. This means popular dance and jazz music from the 1920s and early 30s.

Real Player is needed to listen to the streaming audio links as that is the format used by most of the sites where the HTOTW come from.

This week will feature the music of Ted Weems and his Orchestra, another popular dance band of the 20s and 30s, who continued right through into the fifties, and with whom a young singer with the name of Perry Como really got his start when he joined the orchestra in 1936.

Whilst the major American dance bands of the 20s tended to be centred on New York and the big cities, there proliferated hosts of bands spread across the US and these came to be called territory bands, some remained just local bands, whilst others became internationally known.
One such band from Pennsylvania and which subsequently moved to Chicago was that of Ted Weems.

There are six tunes this week, all are favourites of mine, so I couldn't leave any out.

Seeing that I started a thread a few days ago about a dishwasher going wrong, what else to start this session off but Washing Dishes With My Sweetie (http://www.redhotjazz.com/Songs/weems/washingdishes.ram) a tune from 1930 :)

Oh, and incidently all the vocals in these tunes are, (I think) by the talented Parker 'Gibby' Gibbs, a clarinet and alto sax player as well as leading vocalist with the Weems Orchestra.

Now after the dishes have been done we can have a cuppa and listen to You're The Cream In My Coffee (http://www.redhotjazz.com/Songs/weems/yourethecream.ram) recorded in 1928.

A tune that was popularised by Ted Weems from 1929 is Piccolo Pete, other bands have recorded this piece, but the Weems version is the definitive one, and the one to listen to (http://www.redhotjazz.com/Songs/weems/PiccoloPete.ram).

This next tune is also a Weems definitive, in fact all the tunes coming up are associated indelibly with the Weems Orchestra, this one I particularly like, it is called My Favorite Band (http://www.redhotjazz.com/Songs/weems/myfavoriteband.ram).

A short while ago I poked fun at the current use of the now meaningless word cool, and how ridiculous it would be to describe Jelly Roll Mortons' Red Hot Peppers as cool, well here is a tune that is definitely not cool, it is Play That Hot Guitar (http://www.redhotjazz.com/Songs/weems/playthathotguitar.ram).

Aficionados of jazz and hot dance music will know that there are 3 ways of playing a string bass. The cool classical way is with a bow, then there is plucking, usually quite vigorously in a jazz band in order to generate more sound.
The third way, devised so some say by the great bass player Steve Brown, from the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, is by slapping the strings.

By 1930 the practice was widespread, here is a number to get the toes tappingSlappin' The Bass (http://www.redhotjazz.com/Songs/weems/slappinthebass.ram).

Next HTOTW we will see what Jack Hylton and his band were playing in the 1920s and 30s.

Young Tom
05-06-2004, 06:13 PM
Pity you are not getting more response for your efforts.

For myself,I prefer 50's and 60's

Murray P
05-06-2004, 06:22 PM
We're here all tyhe same. Your'e right tho Tom, a bit of feedback to let Terry know there is continuing interest does no harm.

Cheers Murray P

Terry Porritt
05-06-2004, 06:34 PM
Thanks Murray and Tom for the thoughts.
Maybe I'm casting pearls before the... ahem, but this is a computer forum after all :)

videogypsy
23-09-2006, 11:05 AM
I'm Parker "Gibby" Gibbs' son. It was great to hear my dad's voice again, although I have a number of his recordings, now on CD as well as disc. He did, indeed, sing "Washin' Dishes With My Sweetie" and also such classics as "Piccolo Pete", "Harmonica Harry", "The Man From The South", etc.

He was the "novelty" singer with Ted Weems and was replaced as the featured singer, (I'm not sure what year) by Perry Como, who remained a lifelong friend of my mom and dad.

Honest-to-God, we used to sing "Washin' Dishes…" after dinner while washing the dishes (which my parents insisted we help with) frequently.

He ended up as a radio producer for NBC until his retirement in 1970. Sadly he passed away in 1975, so I guess he's entertaining others now.

By the way, he and virtually all of the Ted Weem Orchestra were recruited from Ohio State University, where the Weems band was playing when Weems came to town and had a revolt of his band members who wanted more money. My dad and others played for a College band called, I think, Bob Royce and his Collegians. Ted Weems picked up almost all of that band to go on the road with him (they were thrilled to work for a big time band, even for the lousy wages Ted was paying).

One last thing. Although his friends called him "Gibby", all of the band guys and their wives called him "Gotta-Go Gibbs", as he was always nagging my mom, his wife Jane, to hurry up and get in the car as they had to head off to the next city to play. She usually ran about 45 minutes late and he'd be constantly call out, "C'mon, Jane…we've gotta go!"

Thanks for appreciating his work. He was a really wonderful man and a great dad. Oh, and he played the Soprano Sax, too. My sister still has it.

Scott Gibbs
videogypsy@pacbell.net

Renmoo
23-09-2006, 11:13 AM
Hello Scott, great to have you joined PressF1 computer forum! :)

Just a word of caution here, it is best to leave your email in this format: youremail [at] domain [dot] com. This is to decrease the chances of having your e-mail being picked up and spammed by spambots.

Cheers :)

P.S. Glad to see this thread being revived again!