[Dixielandjazz] Re: 'Alice Blue Gown' in 4/4

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Mon Jun 20 22:57:19 PDT 2005

Dear Don (age group of 70+),
You said [in part] regarding "Alice Blue Gown": >This was recorded in the
30's by Ben Pollack band, which became the Gil Rodin band, which became the
Bob Crosby band.
It is a fine swing version of the waltz and stands up very well today when
heard. My old 78 is long gone. Bet our Aussie mate Bill H. has it in

I have indeed.
See! You knew you could flush me out.
Only have to mention my name!
And I agree with you that the Ben Pollack Pick A Rib Boys record made for
Decca on 11 Sept 1937 (with delightful Muggsy Spanier cornet playing and
fine drumming by Ben) is a great rendition. It really swings and most
certainly "stands up very well today".
As a matter of interest, "Alice Blue Gown" (composed in 1919 by Harry
Tierney with lyrics by Joseph McCarthy) is from the musical 'Irene' and was
recorded as a waltz (including the rare verse) by the ODJB (14 May 1920 in
London) and by Isham Jones (June 1920).
4/4 versions of the song followed, including Red Nichols 5 Pennies (16 Feb
1929), Louis Prima orch (28 Feb 1936 and some great Pee Wee Russell and
Prima), Teddy Wilson (11 Aug 1938) for his School for Pianists solo series
and the Harry James Orch (Feb 1940).
But, for me, the best of them is the Pollack mentioned by you and the Rhythm
Wreckers (21 Sept 1936) with Harry James and the magnificent Irving Fazola.
Kind regards,
Yep, played them all again just now.
Bill (about your age too).

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