Vintage Jazz Classics
Soundtrack, Cast Recordings, American Popular Song, Show Tunes, Traditional Pop, Tin Pan Alley Pop

Album Review

The great songwriter Irving Berlin is just one of the incredible talents featured on Alexander's Ragtime Band, a complete recording of the original 1938 radio broadcast. Listeners attempting to compile a "desert island" list that would be comprehensive in its inclusion of different musical periods might want to take a look at how many performers from the '30s are part of the cast of this show: Bing Crosby, Connee Boswell, Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, and Guy Lombardo among them. Mousy recording quality shouldn't be such an issue, since nobody goes to a desert island looking for hi-tech stereo sound. Seriously, the Vintage Jazz Classics line has made something of a speciality out of releasing radio broadcasts from this period, including a delightful alternative version of The Wizard of Oz. Few would argue that the entertainers from the '30s were some of the best in American history, and the difference between the film and radio versions of this type of material are fascinating. The spontaneous nature of the radio performances is always evident, the material simply sparkling, although governed by a well-organized script and the ability of the performers to deal with such a scenario efficiently and with great discipline. Some of the best moments inevitably are details that the "man with cigars" at the movie studios decided to trim. In addition, there is a great energy to be felt in the overall performance as these wonderful talents charge full steam ahead into the broadcast horizon.
Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Prologue [Spoken]
  2. Opening/Say It With Music [Spoken]
  3. Heat Wave
  4. When the Midnight Choo Choo Leaves for Alabam'/Somebody's Coming to My
  5. What Can a Songwriter Say?
  6. Let Me Sing and I'm Happy
  7. Jolson Introduces Eddie Cantor [Spoken]
  8. My Wife's Gone to the Country
  9. Jolson-Cantor Dialogue [Spoken]
  10. This Is the Life
  11. Jolson and Cantor Challenge Berlin to Sing [Spoken]
  12. Mandy
  13. Jolson, Cantor, Berlin and Sophie Tucker: Kvelling Supreme
  14. The International Rag
  15. Jolson Introduces Ben Bernie, Who Performs a Humorous Dialogue ... [Spo
  16. Ragtime Violin
  17. Jolson Presides over the Brox Sisters Reunion
  18. Everybody Step
  19. Jolson Introduces Rudy Vallee/Vallee Tells Story Behind the Next ...
  20. Say It Isn't So
  21. Rudy Vallee Introduces "Marie" [Spoken]
  22. Marie
  23. In New York, Jolson Introduces Connee Boswell [Spoken]
  24. When I Lost You
  25. All Alone
  26. Remember
  27. Always
  28. Jolson Gets Sentimental and Introduces Guy Lombardo [Spoken]
  29. Easter Parade
  30. Jolson Introduces and Kvells Ethel Merman [Spoken]
  31. My Walking Stick
  32. Jolson Introduces Paul Whiteman [Spoken]
  33. A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody
  34. Say It With Music/Jolson Introduces Louella Parsons Who Interviews ...
  35. The 20th Century-Fox Fanfare Then Introduces a Special Radio Preview ...
  36. Alexander's Ragtime Band, Pt. 1 [Instrumental]
  37. Now It Can Be Told
  38. Radio Preview Continues With Faye Speaking [Spoken]
  39. Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning
  40. Alexander's Ragtime Band, Pt. 2
  41. Alexander's Ragtime Band, Pt. 3/Closing Announcements [Spoken]