2 thoughts on “New songs

  1. According to my research (see http://hummingadifferenttune.blogspot.com/2009/03/land-thats-free-irving-berlins-russian.html ), “Russian Lullaby” was written by Irving Berlin in 1927 and first performed by Douglas Stanbury at the opening of the Roxy Theatre in New York on March 11, 1927. (See the web link for the 1927 recording.)

    Since then, it has been performed by a multitude of performers in various musical genres and was introduced to rock audiences by Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Garcia has said that the Dead’s version was inspired by a performance of the song by Oscar Aleman (available on youtube at http://youtu.be/0KhY-NgtTjA). (FYI, Aleman was the leader of Josephine Baker’s band in Paris.)

  2. The song was introduced at a New York theatre opening in 1927 by a band called Roxy and His Gang. There were several best-selling recordings that year but the biggest was by Roger Wolfe Kahn’s orchestra with a vocal by Henry Garden. By the late 1930s, swing bands and others often dropped the lyrics and performed it as a hot dance number. Most of the performances I’ve heard of this song omit the opening verse. Some artists whose recordings include the verse are: Bobbi Baird, Joan Morris & William Bolcom, and I think Marilyn Horne.

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