Saturday, April 03, 2010

Bert Lown and his Biltmore Music - Congratulations

BERT LOWN AND HIS BILTMORE MUSIC [2tp-tb-2cl as-cl ts-v-p-g-bs-tu-vo]: Frank Cush tp, Ed Farley tp, Al Philburn tb, Lou Bode cl-as, Fletcher Hereford cl-as, Paul Mason cl-ts, Mac Ceppos v, Chauncey Gray p, Tommy Felline g, Adrian Rollini bas-s, Merrill (Klein) Kaye tu, Frank Munn vo
CONGRATULATIONS Fox-Trot Pinkard Goetz Green Stept
Recorded in New York City ca January 1930
Matrix number: 1032 C

Label of the Hit of the Week 1032 ( collection: Hans Koert)

Released on Thursday the 3rd of April, 1930. It was Bert Lown's third release within a few weeks for Durium. He opened the series of weekly releases on the 13th of February 1930 with Through, followd by Hello Baby a week later. It is possible that these two records were recorded during the same recording session as Congratulations - unfortunally there are no ledgers by Durium left to confirm. The colours of the label are still blue - yellow - blue. It was reissued on two contemporary album: Hit-Of-The-week Record vol. 1: Sixteen toe tapping tunes ( CD202-1 ) and The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings volume 1 (Arch 3002) ( source: Online Hit of the Week discography - Hans Koert (2004-2010)

Frank Munn was a popular radio star during the 1930s

Bert Lown (1903-1962) was one of those numerous dance band leaders that could earn a living during the 1920s, but came into troubles due to the depression. His band made name as the house band of the Hotel Biltmore in New York between December 1929 and June 1932. I wrote about him in the previous contributions Through and Hello Baby. The vocalist of the band in Congratulations, also recorded in this same period by the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra ( for Cameo and Banner ( a dime-store label) was Frank Munn.
Frank Munn, born in February 1895 was a very popular crooner in those days, who was often heard for the NBC radio networks. He became known thanks to the sponsored radio program, entitled The Palmolive Hour, which was broadcasted from December 1927 up to July 1931. It was a critically acclaimed radio concert hour in the USA released by The Palmolive Musical Stock Company. Each program opened with a duet by Frank Munn and soprano Virginia Rea. Frank Munn became the leading artist in American Album of Familiar Music up to the mid 1940s.

As the program was sponsored by Palmolive, they were announced as Paul Oliver and Olive Palmer. Gus Haenschen led the orchestra with Frank Black at the piano.
Frank Munn would record several times for Durium with the Phil Spitalny's Music and the Hit of the Week Orchestra.

In July 1931 the series of sponsored Palmolive programs stopped. A few month later Frank Munn and most of the former Palmolive crew continued in a series of programs entitled The American Album of Familiar Music. Frank Munn was replaced in 1945 by Frank Parker when he retired.

Hans Koert


Thursday the 6th of February, 1930: "Tip-Toe Through The Tulips With Me" - Don Voorhees Orchestra ( HOW 1019).
Thursday the 13th of February, 1930:"Through" - Bert Lown and his Hotel Biltmore Music ( HOW 1020)
Thursday the 20th of February, 1930: "Hello Baby" - Bert Lown and his Hotel Biltmore Music (HOW 1021)
Thursday the 27th of February, 1930: "My Fate Is In Your Hands - Vincent Lopez Orchestra ( HOW 1022);
Thurday the 6th of March, 1930: My Sweeter Than Sweet - Vincent Lopez Orchestra ( HOW 1023-A)(HOW 1023-B)
Thursday the 13th of March, 1930: I'm Following You - Ben Pollack Orchestra ( HOW 1026)
Thursday the 20th of March, 1930: Cryin' For The Carolines - Ben Pollack's Orchestra
Thursday, the 3rd of April, 1930: Congratulations - Bert Lown and his Biltmore Music ( HOW 1032)

Next week, at this blog, the next Hit of the Week to be sold in the New York news stands ............ 80 years ago !!

In December 1929 the DURIUM PRODUCTS CORPORATION prepared the start of a new unbreakable record, made of cardboard. The well known weekly issues, called the Hit of the Week, were released in a weekly schedule, which started in February 1930. The Hit of the week blog and the Keepswinging blog will follow the development of these 80 years old records in an unique series of blogs. If you love to be informed about these contributions, and you love to make a chance to receive an original Hit of the Week record, ask for the newsletter


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