View Full Version : Off Topic. HTOTW Quiz.

Terry Porritt
06-08-2004, 03:06 PM
(HTOTW=Hot Tunes of the Week)

Name as many tunes as you can from the1920s and 1930s that contain the words "fifty million".

I'll see if I can give links to the tunes at the weekend.

07-08-2004, 01:49 AM
I hope you're not going to provide answers too soon *at the weekend,* Terry?.
Friday night's not a good thinking time for some of us with distractions...
(Giving us clues if you want is a different matter, of course)
So when do you want the actual showoff lists from the 20s/30s devotees of all ages?

Terry Porritt
07-08-2004, 08:51 AM
I will post links to tunes/lyrics on Sunday evening Laura. There wont be many tunes containing that phrase, and one of the main sites I go to is out of action for several weeks which makes it harder.

This HTOTW is #24, forgot to put it in the subject

The next quiz will be easier, like tunes containing the word 'love' or similar in the title or lyrics.

Nigel Thomson
07-08-2004, 01:57 PM
"fifty million frenchmen",

by cole porter (I think)

07-08-2004, 03:32 PM
"Fifty Million Miles Accross The Sea"

Or something like that anyway.

How obscure are these songs allowed to be?

07-08-2004, 03:34 PM
> "fifty million frenchmen",
> by cole porter (I think)

Who's been visiting Google then?

Terry Porritt
07-08-2004, 03:41 PM
Great, your on the right lines, almost, Nigel :)

Terry Porritt
08-08-2004, 05:20 PM
Submissions close at 7.0pm :)

I hadn't heard of that one Baldy, I'll have to look it up. Of course if it turns out not to be a hot tune from the 20s or (early) 30s, (I decide what is hot, cool, or cold) then it may not qualify :D

'Fifty million' can be either in the title, or occur somewhere in the lyrics of a tune.
There is one easily found tune, and there are some more obscure ones where you would need to know the lyrics.
Nigel is almost there with the obvious one.

08-08-2004, 06:18 PM
'Fifty Million Answers' by Myself.

Terry Porritt
08-08-2004, 06:20 PM
You are not old enough to have written a tune in the 1920s :)

I live in a time warp, so for me anything is possible :p

08-08-2004, 06:46 PM
Fifty million Frenchmen can't be wrong..
and I guess you prefer the Sophie Tucker version, Terry?

08-08-2004, 07:20 PM
>You are not old enough to have written a tune in the 1920s

My great uncle's name was Myself :D

Terry Porritt
08-08-2004, 07:37 PM
Absolutely spot-on Laura, top of the class.

I'll do a little write up soon, there is 25 minutes left for any other tunes to be suggested.

08-08-2004, 08:01 PM
Kyuss : 50 Million Year Trip

Terry Porritt
08-08-2004, 08:47 PM
?:| Is that from 1920s???

Terry Porritt
08-08-2004, 08:56 PM
"Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong" that is the tune I had in mind as Laura correctly found out, and Nigel gave a very strong clue.

Let's talk about this first, then we'll have a quick look at Cole Porter's Fifty Million Frenchmen.

As far as I can find out this saying originated during World War 1, and was probably coined by American servicemen in France. The saying was common during the early 20s, and persists to this day in America, maybe elsewhere too.

It can be taken as a hypothesis that, if enough people say the same thing, then what is said must be true. Or you could take the opposite view.

Various internet sources attribute the saying as a quotation to one notorious night club owner, a Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan in 1929. There are two conflicting stories.
One says she was initially refused permission to take her troupe of fan dancers to France, but the clamour of the French population to see her was so great that she exclaimed that Fifty Million Frenchmen Cant be Wrong, and she was admitted to France

The other version says the French refused permission for her to go, and she said Fifty Million Frenchmen Can Be Wrong.

What is an absolute fact is that the tune 'Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong' was written, published and recorded 2 years before the Texas Guinan story or urban legend.

Here are the lyrics (http://www.geocities.com/Cag03/NovFifty.html) for the tune as sung by Sophie Tucker.

Sophie Tucker, "The Last of the Red Hot Mamas", was born Sophie Kalish in 1884 to Russian parents who immigrated to America.
She started in show-biz singing in burlesque and vaudeville, took lessons from black blues singers such as Ethel Waters and Mammie Smith.
She remained a popular singer and entertainer nearly until her death in 1966.

Ok so lets get to hear her singing this tune. In this original version from 1927, she is backed by one of the top hot white bands of the day, Miff Mole and his Molers, with such luminaries as the great Miff Mole on trombone, Red Nichols cornet, Eddie Lang guitar, Jimmy Dorsey clarinet.
Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong (http://www.redhotjazz.com/Songs/mole/FiftyMillionFrenchmen.ram)

That was impressive.

In 1929 Cole Porter wrote music and lyrics for a Broadway show he called "Fifty Million Frenchmen". The story line is set in Paris. Here is a list of the tunes from that show: Fifty Million Frenchmen (http://www.musicalheaven.com/f/fifty_million_frenchman.shtml)

There were really only two tunes that stood the test of time, You Did Something To Me, and, You've Got That Thing.
The only streaming audio I can find is the Ted Lewis version of You've Got That
thing (http://www.redhotjazz.com/songs/lewis/youvegotthat.ram)

There is a really good rendering of the latter by Maurice Chevalier, but isnt all his singing good?

Now for some other tunes that contain the words 'Fifty Million'.

You will kick yourselves with this one: 'The Peanut Vendor', "Fifty million little monkeys can't be wrong".
Here are the lyrics (http://www.songlyrics4u.com/california-ramblers/the-peanut-vendor.html)

Listen to Louis Armstrong in 1930 Peanut Vendor (http://www.redhotjazz.com/Songs/Louie/lao/thepeanut.ram), you cant hear the words, I think he forgot them, as he was wont to do :)

Next Fats Waller playing piano and singing You're Not The Only Oyster In The Stew (http://www.redhotjazz.com/songs/waller/yournottheonlyoyster.ram), listen for "fifty million Frenchmen in Paree"

The last tune I know of is another Maurice Chevalier, I have it on CD but can only find a clip of Hello Beautiful (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/clipserve/B000001HF9001001/0/103-9086191-1739819). You will have to take my word for it that he ends the song with the famous words: "Fifty million Frenchmen can't be wrong", but with imagination you can just hear his 'allo 'allo French accent.

I remember him saying once that he deliberately kept his French accent because that was what people wanted.

Next HTOTW will feature tunes having the word "Moon" in the title. Now that should be easy, there must be fifty million of them. Entries please on the back of an envelope, but remember that they must be from the 1920s early 30s.

08-08-2004, 11:41 PM
Blue moon....
I saw you standing alone....
Without a love of your own....


08-08-2004, 11:53 PM
Now that's really jumping the gun, Growly.
It's next weekend we get moonstruck.
(And before anyone submits the next most obvious - *Moon River* isn't old enough for Terry's rules...)