Monday, January 7, 2013

Bye Bye Christmas –– Hello Winter! 

 ETHEL SMITH at the Hammond Organ 

Plays Leroy Anderson's SLEIGH RIDE

As You've Never Heard It Before

A charming, lighthearted, absolutely first-rate piece of feelgood entertainment performed by a true virtuoso –– complete with bare midriff. Keep your eyes peeled, guys! This babe was hot in more ways than one.



  1. Sorry, I'm not a big organ music fan... regardless of the organist. :(

  2. Wow! She's the lady that plays the organ in Disney's Three Caballeros, and awesome movie featuring Latin American music and folk tales.

    An Aracuan bird blows up her organ at the end with dynamite.

    The movie also features Carmen Miranda's lesser-know sister Aurora.

  3. She was apparently uncredited for her performance, btw.

  4. Well, Thersites, we all have our limitations -- as well you know. ;-)

    This is not "organ music" per se, but more a delightful example of kitschy kitschy koo!

    So much for my attempt to bring some levity to a scene grown too deadly serious and chilly!

    BOO HOO!

  5. Kurt, if it were not for the "background music" composed by some of the twentieth century's most fertile creative geniuses, most of the movies we know and love would have fallen flat in their asses.

    Most people don't even begin to realize the extent to which music shapes, then plays upon their emotions.

    That extraordinarily gifted men like Max Steiner, Bonislau Kaper, Dmitri Tiomkin, Elmer Bernstein. Alex North, Bernard Herrmann, Miklos Rosza and Eric Korngold were directly responsible for fully half the success of the movies they worked on, but were never properly recognized should be a scandal of epic proportions, but "the house band" is rarely noticed.

    It's significance would be noted only if it weren't there.

    No point in fretting. It's just the way of the world.

    "The great are rarely famous; the famous rarely great."

  6. I did enjoy that, FT.

    Light and up tempo.

  7. Lots of fun, but then I grew up listening to this guy.

    I think that's a Lowrey organ

  8. Larry Ferrari was great, Viburnum, but Ethel Smith was a lot better looking. ;-)

    1982 seems a short time ago to me, but it's been THIRTY years. Yikes!

    That kind of music was popular when I was a little kid. It seemed like every other restaurant my parents took me to back then had someone installed in a corner playing a Hammond organ. Most of them took requests. Some of the places had dance floors. It was nice.

    It's not "important" musical stuff, but it sure is relaxing. I miss those days when pop sounds were less brash and raucous.



  9. Surprisingly, that seems to be one of very few clips of him. Lots of Ferrari's, but they all have wheels. Guess the station owns the rights and won't post them.

  10. Finally! I'm finding time to listen to this delightful rendition of "Sleigh Ride."

    Nothing sounds like a Hammond! A wonderful instrument for playing popular music.

    Back in the day, I used to enjoy playing the Hammond organ; a few of my friends had one. As a teenager, I ended up buying a Wurlitzer spinet and, for years, had great fun with it -- particularly the Hawaiian Guitar effect.

  11. FT,
    Don't forget Henry Mancini's television and film music.

    Before he passed away, Mr. AOW and I went to see him live at least twice; his jazz combo played with the National Symphony Orchestra in the concerts we attended.

    Great concerts -- and the genres ran the gamut! Mancini composed symphonies -- and was a piccolo virtuoso, too.

  12. You're right about Mancini, AOW. I shall always be grateful to him for The Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Victor-Victoria.

    I also forgot to mention Hugo Friedlander, who composed the charming, delightfully light-hearted-yet-reverent score for The Bishop's Wife, which might well be my very favorite movie of all time -- at least during the Christmas Season.

    There are many others, but I didn't intend to write a book on the subject at this post. ;-)



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