Friday, May 19, 2017

How many times did you leave heaven?

A friend has been singing the song "When Did You Leave Heaven?" at a local jam session off and on for a year or so, and while he is on vacation another friend gave it a try last week, so I decided to let Google and YouTube show me who has recorded it over the years. Amazing.

One of the YouTube comment threads claims it was the first song ever broadcast on television, from a 1937 recording by Lilly Fryer, which I did not find on YouTube. From various web posts, it looks like the song was introduced by Tony Martin in the movie "Sing Baby Sing" in 1936.

(I am composing this blog post on my phone with the latest version of the Blogger app, a rather clumsy editing process that I belatedly discovered did not make web addresses links automatically. I may come back with a  computer to put things in better chronological order, and make the YouTube addresses actual links. Until then, I'm afraid you will have to copy and paste most of the addresses into a browser window. I did make a few of significant names direct links until I started going cross-eyed from doing it on the phone. Stauffer & Toffel's 1936 German-accented version on Telefunken is culturally and historically fascinating. The song certainly has a way of jumping back and forth across cultural lines.)

Tony Martin

Guy (& Carmen, vocal) Lombardo

Red Allen

Frances Langford

Teddy Stauffer (Billy Toffel, vocal)

Mel Powell porch. (w. Benny Goodman)

Big Bill Broonzy

Jimmy Scott

Louis Armstrong

Nancy Wilson

Jim Reeves

Johnny Guitar Watson

Eric Clapton

Renee Fleming

Carla Valenti

Hank Crawford

Bob Dylan

Pokey LaFarge

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