NYC, March 21, 1939
|W24245-1||You’re Too Lovely To Last||Vocalion/OKeh 4834, Columbia CKK 85470|
|W24245-2||You’re Too Lovely To Last||Columbia CKK 85470|
|W24246-1||Under A Blue Jungle Moon||Vocalion/OKeh 4786, Columbia CKK 85470|
|W24246-2||Under A Blue Jungle Moon||Columbia CKK 85470|
|W24247-1||Everything Happens For The Best||Vocalion/OKeh 4786|
|W24248-1||Why Did I Always Depend On You?||Vocalion/OKeh 4834|
|W24249-1||Long Gone Blues *)||Columbia 37586|
*) “Sometimes the best things happen unplanned. Usually a studio session lasted three hours and in that time four 78 RPM sides were
supposed to be cut. If technical difficulties prevented the requisite number of sides, then more time would be assigned at a later date.
It was almost unheard of for more than four sides to be made, because of the Inevitability of an odd side being left over. I can only
speculate that Billie and her group breezed through the four numbers scheduled with their eyes closed (no room for creative challenges
here), had some spare time and were then encouraged by Bemie Hanighen to lay down something they had been working on, or performing at Cafe Society.
The result was a masterpiece! The band vamps the intro, with Tab Smith's soprano leading and immediately establishes the
aching sadness of the work. Now it's Billie using that special voice and delivery that makes you forget all the terrible songs she had
to record and realize that you are in the presence of one of the great artists of the 20th Century, as great as any painter or writer
who took as raw materials the everyday things they encountered and changed them into something magical and everlasting. She is credited
(with Tab Smith) as the writer and you know that this type of song was her true metier, not fooling around with Tin Pan Alley moon-June stuff.
When she gives way to Tab, there's a feeling of desolation but, far from being a let-down, his solo builds on that mood, becoming
a religious keening verging on the exultant and just when you feel your heart is about to break, along comes Lips Page, who was to
instrumental blues accompaniment in the 1930s what Joe Smith was in the 1920s, contributing a solo that is at once raw, angry and
despairing. Unusually, Billie does not return for a final chorus and that is the final sense of loss. Interestingly, as it was the odd
title from the session, this track remained buried in the vaults for eight years before it was released.”