Ted Lewis

The Pied Piper of Happiness

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Said to be the final recording by vaudeville legend Ted Lewis, this 1957 session is lush with swank accompaniments by a studio orchestra augmented with strings. For years this rather Vegas-sounding album was among the few Ted Lewis recordings easily obtainable on LP. Now it serves as an oddly pleasant epilogue to his earlier, more jazz-connected recordings from the 1920s and '30s. The mood and demeanor of this album are well represented by the inclusion of a photograph of Lewis, standing in front of his band with hat in hand, pretending to peddle patent medicine (snake oil perhaps) as "The Medicine Man for the Blues." The picture, like the album itself, was carefully staged.

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