* * * *One of these gifts to me was a boxed set of LPs entitled “Echoes of the Thirties”, released by the “Nostalgia Book Club” at Columbia Records containing “70 performances from the golden age of popular music and Jazz”. This item sat in my small collection for approximately twenty years, at least, until I finally put it on for a listen a few months ago. That’s one of the side effects of playing the uke: you start digging around for songs that are perfect for the uke but have not been performed to death already. An immediate stand-out on the LP was this uptempo tune performed on the disc by Gene Kardos and his orchestra, from June 26, 1934, with a vocal by trumpet player Joe Hostetter. Its authors are Dick Smith, Al Lewis and Tony Sacco. I’ve done a great deal of searching on the internet for information on the song and the songwriters, but there is very little to be found. I can’t imagine that this wonderful little tune is not widely known, but I certainly had not heard it before discovering it on this record. As for other recordings of the song, the only one I’ve found is a 1952 version by Kay Starr.
* * * *Lyricist Dick Smith’s (1901-1934) most famous composition was probably “Winter Wonderland”, a Christmas standard he composed during a lengthy stay in a sanitarium where he was being treated for tuberculosis. It was this disease which claimed his life in 1934, at the age of 33.
* * * *Al Lewis (1902-1967) was primarily a lyricist but occasionally served as composer. This is not the Al Lewis that played Grandpa on “The Munsters” sitcom in the 1960s. This Al Lewis had songwriting successes such as a Rudy Vallee tune, “Ninety-Nine Out of a Hundred” (1931), the Eddie Cantor hit “Now’s the Time to Fall in Love” (1933) and 1940’s “Blueberry Hill” -- a chart-topper for Fats Domino in 1956.
* * * *As for Tony Sacco, there is very little to be found on the internet. From what I can determine, he was a member of the Eddie Paul Paramount Orchestra and would sometimes perform vocals on their recordings. If anyone can provide me with further information about him and his work, I’d be happy to include it here.