"Mississippi Mud" and female vocalist

"Mississippi Mud" and female vocalist

Chris Beiderbecke
Chris Beiderbecke

September 9th, 2010, 11:45 am #1

I recently was contacted by Bryant Weeks, the actor who played Bix in the Avati movie.
He wrote that he'd come across a 78 of a Whiteman recording of "Mississippi Mud" which featured a female vocalist. He was surprised at this and was seeking some more information on the recording.

Can anyone shed some light on this?
Reply
Share

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 9th, 2010, 12:35 pm #2


.... recorded Mississppi Mud on Feb 18, 1928. The female vocalist mentioned by  Bryan Weeks is Irene Taylor. She is supported by the Rhythm Boys (Bing Crosby, Al Rinker and Harry Barris) and the Sweet Trio (Jack Fulton, Charles Gaylord and Austin "Skin" Young). She was married to singer Seger Ellis (he recorded "Blue River" with Bix and Tram). I believe this is the first Whiteman recording that featured a female vocalist. Two takes were issued, take 3 in 1928 and take 2 in 1936 in the Victor Bix Memorial Album (this album had several alternate takes, unissued previously). You can hear take 3 in youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz4mljfOCI8

Bix with Frank Trumbauer's orchestra had  recorded "Mississippi Mud" earlier, on Jan 20, 1928. The vocal in this version is by Bing Crosby. Commenting on this version, Trumbauer wrote, "One of the greatest records I ever made with Bix was "Mississippi Mud" with Bing Crosby on the vocal. Bix played a chorus that just won't quit! The collectors and record enthusiasts never said much about it, but I always felt it was one of Bix's best.!" This is also available on  youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMMqqynOE-E

Albert
Reply
Like
Share

Glenda Childress
Glenda Childress

September 9th, 2010, 12:38 pm #3

I recently was contacted by Bryant Weeks, the actor who played Bix in the Avati movie.
He wrote that he'd come across a 78 of a Whiteman recording of "Mississippi Mud" which featured a female vocalist. He was surprised at this and was seeking some more information on the recording.

Can anyone shed some light on this?
Was this a recording with Bix? (The question doesn't say.) If so, it's the well-known one from February 19, 1928, with Irene Taylor singing with the Rhythm Boys and the Sweet Trio.

Reply
Share

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 9th, 2010, 1:09 pm #4


.... three minutes after mine. You must have been composing your posting while I was composing mine. The two postings almost crossed each other in cyberspace!!

Albert
Last edited by ahaim on September 9th, 2010, 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reply
Like
Share

Glenda Childress
Glenda Childress

September 9th, 2010, 2:01 pm #5

Was this a recording with Bix? (The question doesn't say.) If so, it's the well-known one from February 19, 1928, with Irene Taylor singing with the Rhythm Boys and the Sweet Trio.
Albert,

Yes, and thank you for correcting my typo on the date. It <em>was</em> February 18, 1928.

One possible question: Could Paul Whiteman have re-recorded this tune much later on? I remember the song being played on the radio with a male vocalist when I was a youngster (I still knew all the words when I first heard the Bix & Tram version last year, albeit with the word "people" in place of "darkies"). Whiteman was still active (with a weekly television show, as I recall) during that time, so he might have done a cover of the version I remember. Does anyone else remember a later pop version, perhaps a bit countrified? I'm thinking by someone like the crossover singer Red Folly, perhaps?
Reply
Share

Glenda Childress
Glenda Childress

September 9th, 2010, 2:04 pm #6

Was this a recording with Bix? (The question doesn't say.) If so, it's the well-known one from February 19, 1928, with Irene Taylor singing with the Rhythm Boys and the Sweet Trio.
Oops! I meant Red <em>Foley.</em> Not my day for typing, apparently.
Reply
Share

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 9th, 2010, 3:12 pm #7

Albert,

Yes, and thank you for correcting my typo on the date. It <em>was</em> February 18, 1928.

One possible question: Could Paul Whiteman have re-recorded this tune much later on? I remember the song being played on the radio with a male vocalist when I was a youngster (I still knew all the words when I first heard the Bix & Tram version last year, albeit with the word "people" in place of "darkies"). Whiteman was still active (with a weekly television show, as I recall) during that time, so he might have done a cover of the version I remember. Does anyone else remember a later pop version, perhaps a bit countrified? I'm thinking by someone like the crossover singer Red Folly, perhaps?
Paul Whiteman in Lord's discography. I think the 1928 recording is Whiteman's only one of this tune.

By the way, Lord lists 152, count them, 152 recordings of "Mississippi Mud." The first recording was by was by <span class="group">Larry Abbott And His Orchestra (Venuti, Collucci, etc) on Nov 15, 1927, but was unissued. The first issued recording of "Mississippi Mud" was by Devine's Wisconsin Roof Orchestra, Chicago, Dec 1927. I have it in the Jazz Oracle CD BDW8014 Bill Carlsen and Devines Wisconsin Roof Orchestra 1926-1931. This CD also includes a version of "Tiger Rag" with a copy of Bix's solo in his recording o the tume with the Wolverines.</span>

<span class="group">Albert
</span>

 
Reply
Like
Share

David Weiner
David Weiner

September 9th, 2010, 6:01 pm #8

Whiteman did rerecord MISSISSIPPI MUD in the 50s for Coral as part of a series of very corny remakes of his early hits.
Reply
Share

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 9th, 2010, 7:35 pm #9

<table cellpadding="4" width="575" border="1"><tr><td>Mississippi Mud
(Harry Barris)</td><td>12-7-1954</td><td>New York, New York</td><td>Coral
61336
</td></tr></table>
Available in the redhotjazz archive

http://www.redhotjazz.com/songs/whiteman/mismudco.ram

From wikipedia

"Then and Now", recorded on December 7, 1954 and released in 1955 on Coral, was composed by Paul Whiteman with Dick Jacobs and Bob Merrill. The song was released as a 45 inch single in 1955 as Coral 61336 backed with "Mississippi Mud" by Paul Whiteman and His New Ambassador Orchestra with the New Rhythm Boys."

Obviously, I did not do my research earlier. Just looking in Lord's discography ain't good enough>

Thanks, David.

Albert
Reply
Like
Share

Glenda Childress
Glenda Childress

September 9th, 2010, 11:28 pm #10

So there was a Whiteman version in the 1950s, but this one on Coral obviously has no female vocalist. That leaves Irene Taylor as the likely singer in question.

I haven't found a singles version of "Mississipp Mud" by Red Foley. He did record quite a few "city-" and "state"-titled songs in this period--"Alabama Jubilee," "Tennessee Saturday Night," "Chattanooga Shoe-Shine Boy," "M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I," "Birmingham Bounce," "Cincinnati Dancing Pig," which may be why I thought he might have recorded "Mississippi Mud." I'm still sure, though, that there was a cornfed version by <em>someone</em> in that period. I don't think the vocalist on that one was female, however, although it seems there might have been a group of singers on that recording.
Reply
Share