The Café Americain Archive


Nice cups of tea are on the table for this show, courtesy of Duke Ellington and Binnie Hale. Sugar, if you require it, is provided by Billie Holiday. Hoping to cover everybody’s needs, Blackberry Jam is served up by Glen Gray And The Casa Loma Orchestra and we also have lemonade from Louis Jordan. We meet up with Noel Coward at a bar on The Piccola Marina and we continue our sojourn by the Mediterranean with Mel Torme, Renato Carasone and Blossom Dearie. We end with loneliness from The Paul Whiteman orchestra but get together with Irving Mills and His Hotsy Totsy gang.


An encounter with a gypsy begins this show, courtesy of Duke Ellington. We follow that with a caravan and the famous Sheik Of Araby. The first brought to us by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross and the second by Fats Waller. We stay sandy with The Chordettes but it’s Goodnight Vienna from l Bowlly. Edith Piaf has no regrets and while nothing ever happens to Nat King Cole, everything happens to Frank Sinatra. A contribution from me next with Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields’ “The Way You Look Tonight”. We head towards sleep with The Harlem Hamfats and their “Weed Smoker’s Dream”. Smoke gets in the eyes of The Platters perhaps causing Doris Day and Andre Previn to close their eyes. This all brings on The Blues In The Night.


We start this show with much happiness from Glenn Miller and Woody Herman, breaking into a great big smile with Henry Hall. The weather closes in a bit with Ruth Etting buttoning up an overcoat, Tony Pastor with The Artie Shaw band wondering what will happen when winter comes and a snowfall from Claude Thornhill. Things don’t get much better for Anne Lenner who is Lost in a fog. The Jay Mcshann band find a new baby who apparently says yes to Bing Crosby. The Benny Goodman Sextet and Ruth Brown tell us about daddies but its Mother Earth for Memphis Slim. Tony Bennet finds himself out of this world and Anita O’Day keeps control as we finish with the world on a string.


We open this show with poverty of sorts brought to us by Irving Aaronson and His Commanders and Tony Bennett. Ray Charles, Count Basie and Al Bowlly move us on to the subject of possession while meaning and mean-ness are on the agendas of Layton and Johnstone, Billie Holiday and Elmore James. June Allyson and Mickey Rooney want to be treated rough but Benny Goodman brings us something smooth. Jeanie Barton makes us feel young while Chet Baker feels something old. We end as we often do on an optimistic note with Anne Lenner asking What’s New.


Judy Garland opens this show with a letter to Clark Gable. Frank Sinatra sings of a new kind of love and Art Tatum, pianistically, asks someone to be kind. We have requests for pardons from Peg La Centra with Artie Shaw’s band, from Jacques Brel and from Anne Lenner. The Harlem Hamfats bring us something from the South and Sinatra again with Tommy Dorsey, something from the East. We go up high with Helen Forrest and Frankie Trumbauer, we get sunny with Glenn Miller and Judy Garland (again) and lazy and sleepy with Hoagy Carmichael and George Davis; only to be woken up by Cab Calloway.


This edition of Café Americain begins with  a bit of Boogie Woogie from The Count Basie band and then some from Ella Mae Morse with Freddie Slack’s outfit. We follow that up with a couple of tracks from The Paul Whiteman Orchestra before visiting Vermont in the moonlight with me and Chelsea Bridge with Keith Jarrett. We celebrate another bridge with Mel Torme before hearing a personalised chanson from Jean Sablon. We meet The Melody Man with The Jimmie Lunceford band and an Evil man brought to us by Hot Lips Page. Fats Waller tells us that A Good Man Is Hard to Find and finish with Shirley Horn getting lost


Rhythm is the key word in the first few selections in this show. The Jimmie Lunceford band tell us about someone who ain’t got it, Judy Garland is fascinated by it and Viola Jefferson definitely has it. Blossom Dearie has got a lot of things but Joey Nash tells us that everything’s been done before. Next, Al Bowlly and Julie London seem to be all on their own but Ray Charles and Betty Carter are together. We join Spike Jones and The Clovers for cocktails while Lambert, Hendricks and Ross just want wine. Irving Aaronson just wants a ukulele but all ends well as Mel Torme is certain that the best is yet to come.