Woody Herman

The Radio Years: 1940-1941

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This contains two complete radio broadcasts from two New York City locales, featuring Herman's Band That Plays the Blues. The 1940 show was recorded at the Famous Door and has a strong mix of hard-blowing charts and pop fluff, with Herman doing sappy ballad vocals on "Faithful Forever" and "In an Old Dutch Garden," while vocalist Carol Kaye contributes a boogie-woogie rendition of "South of the Border." The 1941 broadcast comes from the Ice Terrace Room of the Hotel New Yorker and continues the thread with a nice reading of "Rocking Chair" by Muriel Lane, more vocal sap from Woody on "These Things You Left Me," a duet between Lane and trumpeter Steady Nelson on "Whatcha Know, Joe," and a great performance from Herman's quartet, the Four Chips, on "Chip's Boogie Woogie." Transfer quality is pretty decent, considering the source, and the music is generally top-notch, excusing the pop offerings.

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