Wonderful Nonsense: Fun Songs of the Roaring Twenties

Wonderful Nonsense: Fun Songs of the Roaring Twenties


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Every decade has its novelty music, but only the 1920s, the "Jazz Age," when flappers stayed drunk on bathtub gin and the stock market temporarily made everyone a paper millionaire, seems like an era when comic songs caught the spirit of the day. This 40-track, two-CD/cassette set of recordings from that period focuses on the frivolous, and in doing so it reveals much about the period. It begins with a 1920 recording of "Ain't We Got Fun," which notes that "the rich get rich and the poor get poorer"; continuing through 1925's "Pardon Me (While I Laugh)," which slyly comments on the ways by which Prohibition, among other things, was being subverted; to 1928's baby talk "I Faw Down and Go Boom," which seems to anticipate the market crash by a year, these are songs that remain timely despite their frothy tone. Of course, there are outright gibberish tunes like "Yes! We Have No Bananas," comic romps like "Don't Bring Lulu," and examples of wordplay such as "My Cutie's Due at Two to Two Today." By and large, though, these are simply uptempo dance tunes with lightly romantic (sometimes risqué) lyrics, many of them more "wonderful" than "nonsense." Some of the songs were big hits in their day -- "Ain't We Got Fun," "Yes! We Have No Bananas," "Barney Google" ("with the goo-goo-googley eyes"), "Stumbling," and "It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'" -- but the collection contains few of the big hit recordings of the songs. Since many of the performers, even the greatest ones like Billy Murray, are forgotten today -- that's not too important, but in some cases the substituted versions are band recordings with arrangements that cut the zany vocal to a single chorus in what is otherwise an instrumental, reducing the comic effect. Still, the collection is a worthy tribute to a time when people sang songs that had, as one title put it, "Crazy Words Crazy Tune," and lyrics that asked, "How could red riding hood have been so very good and still kept the wolf from the door?" and declared, "Tain't no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones."

Product Details

Release Date: 01/17/2012
Label: Take Two Records
UPC: 0734021050323
catalogNumber: 503
Rank: 94602

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Phil Saxe   Vocals
Irving Kaufman   Vocals
Tom Stacks   Vocals
Arthur Fields   Vocals
Dick Gardner   Vocals
Billy Jones   Vocals
Franklin Baur   Vocals

Technical Credits

Irving Mills   Composer
Con Conrad   Composer
J. Fred Coots   Composer
Walter Donaldson   Composer
Dubin   Composer
Irving Kahal   Composer
Gus Kahn   Composer
Jack Yellen   Composer
Zez Confrey   Composer
Wendell Hall   Composer
Bob Pease   Composer
Harry Akst   Composer
Beda Fritz Loehner   Composer
Arthur Terker   Composer
Von Tilzer   Composer
Nat Bonx   Composer
Irving Cohn   Composer
Raymond B. Egan   Composer
Pete Wendling   Composer
Billy Heagney   Composer
G. Mallen   Composer
Jim Bedoian   Producer
E. Ray Goetz   Composer
Frank Silver   Composer
Bannister   Composer
Colwell   Composer
Anthony Slide   Liner Notes
Mark Monroe   Cover Illustration
Ted Fiorito   Composer
Ted Waite   Composer

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