Finalizing Lupita's Liner Notes (August 2012)
My late wife, Lupita López Jackman, the founder of Lupita Records, wrote the liner notes for the six CDs (volumes) we produced. She wanted to provide background about the composers of the tunes and the circumstances in which they were composed, e.g., the movie the tune was premiered in. Her liner notes (booklets) for CDs 1-2 have 16 pages, and those for CDs 3-6 have twenty pages (see original PDF files below).
This Internet page contains the following modifications to these six booklets. It:
- Corrects one typo.
- Corrects one historical fact which I gave her incorrectly.
- Provides information about four composers and four tunes they wrote which was not available when Lupita wrote the liner notes.
Lupita wrote the liner notes in late 2001 and early 2002. At that time, there was a dearth of information on the Internet about the tunes we recorded and their composers. However, there is information about them today on the Internet, with most of it being in Wikipedia. Wikipedia was founded in 2001 and grew slowly until about 2004. After that, the number of articles it contains has grown exponentially.
Because of the paucity of information on the Internet about these tunes and their composers in late 2001 and early 2002, Lupita relied heavily on The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, an encyclopedic dictionary of music and musicians. Originally published under the title A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and later as Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, it has gone through several editions since the 19th century and is widely used. She used the edition published in 2001 in 29 volumes (the seventh edition overall) available at the Oakland Main Library. She also used other music dictionaries available at that library.
Using these resources, Lupita was able to find ample information about all but four composers and four tunes. These were:
- Walter Gross, the composer of Tenderly (CD 3)
- Marvin Fisher , the composer of When Sunny Gets Blue (CD 4)
- Allie Wrubel, the composer of Gone With the Wind (CD 4)
- Karl Suessdorf, the composer of Moonlight in Vermont (CD 5)
The only information Lupita found about these composers was that they composed the song cited above, and she wrote the liner notes for these four tunes accordingly. As noted above, there is now information about these composers and their compositions on Wikipedia. This information provided below finalizes Lupita's six "About the Tunes" booklets.
Oakland, CA 94602
August 11, 2012
1. Correction of One Typographical Error in Liner Notes for Volume 4
The liner notes for cut 6 on Volume 4, "It Might As Well Be Spring," say that this tune was introduced in the 1945 film State Farm. This is an error I did not catch when I proofread Lupita's liner notes. This song was introduced in the 1945 film State Fair.
2. Correction of a Factual Error in Liner Notes for Volume 1
The liner notes for cut 3 on Volume 1, "More Than You Know," say that this tune, composed in 1929, was the oldest of the tunes we recorded on the six CDs. I mistakenly told Lupita this. The oldest tune we recorded was "Someone To Watch Over Me," the sixth cut on Volume 3, which was composed in 1926.
3. Information About Four Composers and Their Tunes
"Tenderly" by Walter Gross (Volume 3, cut 2)
Walter Gross (July 14, 1909 – November 27, 1967) is best known for having composed the music for the popular 1946 song "Tenderly". In addition to composing dozens of other titles, he was also a pianist, arranger, orchestra leader, and record industry executive. Born in New York City, Gross gave his first piano recital at age 10. He began performing professionally in the early 1930s, and played piano in bands led by Paul Whiteman, Andre Kostelanetz, Tommy Dorsey, and Raymond Scott. He was also a staff pianist on CBS radio in the 1930s. After serving in the military during World War II, Gross became an executive at Musicraft Records, where he served as conductor/arranger/pianist for recording sessions.
In 1946, he was approached by noted lyricist Jack Lawrence, who asked permission to add words to an untitled melody Gross had composed. At first Gross was reluctant to cooperate, and after Lawrence presented his finished lyrics, Gross expressed dissatisfaction with the words and title. Lawrence eventually succeeded in finding a publisher for the new work, and shortly thereafter it was recorded by Sarah Vaughan. While it was a modest hit, the song was Vaughan's first solo chart success and marked her transition from jazz artist to popular singing star.
"Tenderly" continued to find favor with jazz and pop musicians over the next few years. However, when vocalist Rosemary Clooney recorded it for Columbia Records in 1952, it became a million-seller and entered the repertoire of pop standards. Clooney later remarked, “Technically, it’s the most satisfying record I ever made.” Over the years the composition has been recorded by Billie Holiday, Nat "King" Cole, Tony Bennett, Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Kenny Burrell, Lionel Hampton, Stan Kenton, Eric Dolphy, The Dominoes, Vic Damone, and Chet Atkins. Joan Crawford sang it over the opening credits in the 1953 film Torch Song.
Some of Gross's other compositions include "Your Love," "I'm in a Fog About You," "Mexican Moon," and "Just a Moon Ago." His lyric collaborators included Carl Sigman, Bobby Troup, and Ned Washington. He played piano for Maxine Sullivan, Alec Wilder (as a member of his Octet), and others, and conducted orchestra for singers Gordon MacRae, Mel Tormé, and Phil Brito. He recorded solo piano singles in the early 1940s for the Bluebird label, including his original compositions "Creepy Weepy," "Improvisation in Several Keys," and "A Slight Case of Ivory." He also recorded for the MGM, ABC-Paramount, and Royale labels.
Gross relocated to California during the '50s, and made occasional club appearances on the west coast. He died in Los Angeles in 1967.
"When Sunny Gets Blue" by Marvin Fisher (Volume 4, cut 3)
Marvin Fisher, who composed "When Sunny Gets Blue," "Destination Moon" and other songs, was born in New York. His father was Fred Fisher, a Tin Pan Alley composer whose songs included "Chicago," "Dardanella" and "Peg o' My Heart." As a teen-ager, Marvin attended the Institute of Musical Art, now the Juilliard School, for a year, studying piano and theory. He then worked as an arranger for the orchestras of Glenn Miller, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown and Johnny Green in the 1930's and 40's. He also played piano with the Justin Stone Orchestra.
In the late 40's Marvin began composing and working as the West Coast representative for Fred Fisher Music Company, founded by his father in 1907. In 1942, after his father's death, Marvin and his brother, Dan, also a composer, took over the company. Marvin later founded a subsidiary, Marvin Music, which published his songs and those of Nat (King) Cole, Rosemary Clooney and Peggy Lee. His songs, which included "Cloud Morning" and "For Once in Your Life," were recorded by Cole, Joe Williams, Mel Torme, Mabel Mercer and George Shearing. Fisher died in 1993 at age 76.
"Gone With the Wind" by Allie Wrubel (Volume 4, cut 7)
Allie Wrubel (January 15, 1905 – December 13, 1973) was an American composer and songwriter born in Middletown, Connecticut. He attended Wesleyan University and Columbia University before working in dance bands. Wrubel began his musical career in Greenwich Village, New York where he roomed with his close friend James Cagney. He played saxophone and clarinet for a variety of famous swing bands.
In 1934 he moved to Hollywood to work for Warner Bros. as a contract song writer. He contributed material to a large number of movies, including those of the famous Busby Berkeley before moving to Disney in 1947. Wrubel collaborated with lyricist Ray Gilbert on the song "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" from the film Song of the South which won the Oscar for Best Song in 1947.
Wrubel also contributed to the films Make Mine Music, Duel in the Sun, I Walk Alone, Melody Time, Tulsa, Never Steal Anything Small and Midnight Lace. The lyricists with whom he collaborated included Abner Silver, Herb Magidson, Charles Newman, Mort Dixon and Ned Washington. When he died, at Twentynine Palms, California, he left a lengthy catalogue of songs. Allie Wrubel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. His best-known songs include: "The Lady from 29 Palms," "Gone with the Wind," "I'll Buy that Dream," "Mine Alone," "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," and "Anything that's part of you."
"Moonlight in Vermont" by Karl Suessdorf (Volume 5, cut 3)
Karl Suessdorf (April 28, 1921 - 1982) was an American composer, best known for his collaboration with lyricist John Blackburn in composing the jazz standard, "Moonlight in Vermont", which was first recorded in 1943 by Billy Butterfield's Orchestra featuring Margaret Whiting. He also wrote "I Wish I Knew" and "Susquehanna" with Blackburn. Suessdorf co-wrote "Christmas Madonna" and "Coral Sea" with lyrics by Nick Cea; "Key Largo" (sung by Marian McPartland) and "She Doesn't Laugh Like You" with Benny Carter and Leah Worth; and a 1949 hit for Perry Como, "Did Anyone Ever Tell You, Mrs. Murphy?", with lyrics by Leah Worth and Lloyd Sloan. Billie Holiday Frank Sinatra, and Sarah Vaughan are among the many performers who have recorded Suessdorf's compositions. Suessdorf died in Riverside, California in 1982.
Download CD 1 Liner Notes (PDF)
Download CD 2 Liner Notes (PDF)
Download CD 3 Liner Notes (PDF)
Download CD 4 Liner Notes (PDF)
Download CD 5 Liner Notes (PDF)
Download CD 6 Liner Notes (PDF)