Ah, what the heck ... I feel like following up a post about two dogs that I love with a little tribute to a record whose title features a canine exclamation: doggone!
– as in "Doggone, I've Done It."

Chronologically touring the CD collection, I today found myself easing into 1933; it's been a '32-'33 day: think Roosevelt defeating Hoover and Repeal the following year. One of the highlights of my day surely has been The Sisters, accompanied by The Brothers, jiving (as only they can) through an exceedingly cute number by a Dave Franklin, whom I can't, at the moment, recall having encountered elsewhere. This record, cut 6/17/32, is truly one of my all-time favorites:

Eight sprightly little introductory bars, setting the perfect tempo, and then the girls are off, drawling away. The Dorsey Bros., Mac (Tommy) and Lad (Jimmy), play an uncharacteristically minor role in this one but, still, that no one gave the Boswells better (or as fine) support is highly evident. The line-up is Tommy, trombone; Jimmy, clarinet, Bunny Berigan (
yeah!), trumpet; Joe Venuti, violin; Dick McDonough, guitar; Artie Bernstein, bass; Stan King, drums. ... Oh, and that's Martha, the eldest of the sisters, providing that fine piano comping; I love her on this side. A harmonious and inimitably swinging chorus and verse by Martha, Connee and Vet en masse and then Connee – the middle sister, vocal arranger for and heart and soul of the vocal trio – gets a chorus to herself; dig the accent and the Armstrongian sense of what's right for the moment. Next, Four String Joe, the michievous Mr. Venuti, serves up sixteen sassy bars (check out Martha behind him). ... And now – Bunny! Hear him getting on mike; the sudden increase in his volume gives the record an immediacy that you have to relish – you're right there in the studio. I love the way he negotiates the diminished chord in bar 9 of his spot. Listen hard for the great, too-soon-gone (from the planet) Dick McDonough. Fine, well-placed accents from Stan King.

Doggone, I've Done It

Music and Words by Dave Franklin

Doggone, I’ve done it – I’ve fallen in love;
Doggone, it hit me from heaven up above.
The day I met him, I knew I was gone;
My heart went kerplunk – oh boy, I was sunk.
Doggone, I’ve done it – I fell with a thud;
It must be springtime, ‘cos it’s in my blood.
Mr. Cupid sneaked behind and gave me a shove;
Doggone, I’ve done it – I’ve fallen in love.
Oh, you dog!

I don’t use strong expressions;
I’m known for my repression;
Nobody ever heard me swear.
But something’s gone and changed me;
It’s really disarranged me –
I’m cuttin’ loose and I don’t care.

Doggone, I’ve done it – I’ve fallen in love;
Doggone, it hit me from heaven above.
The day I met him, I just knew I was gone;

Heart went kerplunk – oh boy, I was sunk.
Doggone, I’ve done it – I fell with a thud;
It must be springtime, ‘cos it’s in my blood.
Mr. Cupid sneaked behind and gave me a shove;
Doggone, I’ve done it – I’ve fallen in love.

Doggone, I’ve done it – I’ve fallen in love;
Doggone, it hit me from heaven above.
The day I met him, I knew I was gone;
My heart went kerplunk – oh boy, I was sunk.
Doggone, I’ve done it – I fell with a thud;
It must be springtime, ‘cos it’s in my blood.
Mr. Cupid gave me a shove;
Doggone, I’ve done it – I’ve fallen in love.

It's The Girls!

Bunny ... Who else?

Oh, you dog ...

See C. Aubrey

I miss Nelson terribly.
I missed his sunny and sweet companionship so much that soon, very soon, after losing him, I found myself seeking a new canine friend with whom to walk and talk and play. Googling, I discovered a Michigan breeder of Jack Russell Terriers whose young brood, consisting of two little boys and two little girls, looked promising. Two weeks ago, I brought home, from among this furry quartet, C. Aubrey – informally, just plain Aubrey. I wanted a moniker both very British-sounding, as the breed originated in England, and one I wasn't likely to encounter in my travels. (I don't seek my inspiration from names stitched on dog beds or Christmas stockings in pet catalogues.) Who, I ask, is more English than Sir C. (the C., I discovered, stands for Charles, as I'd suspected) Aubrey Smith, kindly but imposing presence in countless Hollywood films of the Golden Age?

Aubrey, born May 13 (the birthday of powerhouse trumpeter in the Goodman and T. Dorsey orchestras, Ziggy Elman), is ten weeks old. He's teething, gnawing happily at my hands and wrists and learning, without treat incentive (unlike the highly food-motivated Nelson), the sit, down and rollover commands (I mean, "requests"). His breeders were calling him Mr. Chubsters, as he was the biggest in the litter, outweighing, at birth, the closest in size by a full ounce and had maintained a well-padded lead. He doesn't seem especially interested in his chow now, though, and his svelte little body rather reminds me of a ferret's. My Nelson was a bit of a chunk, I must admit. I think Aubrey, whose mother was the long-legged variety of JRT and father the short-legged, will be a bit taller as well as slimmer than Nelsie (I pronounce the s like a z).

He doesn't look much like C. Aubrey Smith

A few days ago, I was listening to some Gus Arnheim sides, and Aubrey was fascinated by Bing's trademark whistle. Just as Nelson and I had our little songs, I sing to this young lad as we go about our activities. As his middle-section still can be spanned by one of my fairly small hands, I often say, "Scoop of Aubrey," as I lift him from danger (killer bees!) or naughtiness (tassel destruction is a favorite pastime); sometimes I croon "You're the Scoop of C. Aubrey," to the tune of "Sheik of Araby." A holdover from Nelson's and my repertoire is the winning Harry Warren-Al Dubin "Would You Like to Take a Walk?" Nauseatingly precious, aren't I/we? Please forgive the tales of the sister of a tail-wagger.

It still seems only yesterday that Nelson was limping around, awaiting knee surgery following a tumble he took – one week to the day after his twelfth birthday – in jumping from a rock to pursue a chipmunk. We couldn't go for our daily strolls, so we'd sit in the yard, communing with nature. Literally overnight, he developed a distended stomach that was clearly causing him pain. An observatory stay in the hospital was followed by a visit to a specialist's clinic, at which he underwent an ultrasound, which didn't prove illuminating: perhaps he had a duodenal ulcer or had swallowed something that created a blockage. Back at the local hospital, exploratory surgery was the next step. Before my little baby was taken in, I told him just to make it through the surgery – pet people know about anathesia and older dogs, cats, etc. – and we, the staff and I, would take care of the rest. He then gave me a kiss. The doctor wasn't gone long; upon opening his tummy, she found that he had a tumor on his pancreas that was positioned in a way that prevented him from releasing fluids in his stomach. Too, his liver showed indications of cancer growth. Presented with the options, it was apparent to me that the purpose of any treatments, surgical or chemotherapeutic, would have been merely to give me time for a longer goodbye and Nelson time for more pain. I asked, "Does this mean there's no good way this can come out?" I didn't want to be selfish; I opted for euthanasia ... and the doctor told me that she felt I'd made the right decision: to let go. It was difficult, extremely difficult, to say the least.

Aubrey's here now. He's not a replacement for Nelson – no dog will ever take Nelson's place. Aubrey is a new friend. I've been sleeping with Nelson's collar under my pillow. At this point, I can't imagine developing with Aubrey the rapport that Nelsie and I shared. But taking care of the new lad and taking pleasure in his antics takes my mind off the loss.

Even the liveliest among us requires rest occasionally.

Aubrey's a cute kid – cute, where Nelson, even in puppyhood, was handsome. And Aubrey's affectionate, like his brother, whom he didn't know. If I can just keep him away from the damned tassels!

Not Gone

"[A]nd with you gone, life just doesn't seem half so fine."

Jo Stafford, making a not insignificant change to the Sy Oliver-Jimmie Lunceford-Edward P. Moran "Dream of You" (On the 10/29/34 Lunceford Orch. record, Sy sings "[...] life no longer seems quite so fine.")

Jo still makes life seem fine.

A Tiger

These last several days, I've been listening to late '20's stuff – Louis, Duke, Bix with and without Whiteman
, Venuti and Lang ... that sort of thing. I've been listening, because that's what I do at home, absorb music, but also, I suppose, because I've been seeking a happy aural diversion from my very frequent thoughts of Nelson ... whom I miss. Popular music sides from the late '20's, be they entirely jazz or merely jazz-infused, were, in large part, very peppy (silly word, peppy, isn't it?) – much more so than the Depression-response crooner records that immediately followed. This afternoon, I was distracted in my reflections on a member, dear to me, of the canine community by a few insistent blasts announcing my all-time favorite treatment of a tune about an elusive member of the feline community: "Tiger Rag," recorded 11/10/28 and heralded on the record label as "A Trumpet Specialty by Tom Dorsey."

Those whose interest in Tommy Dorsey, prominent swing band leader, extends beyond merely casual are aware that the smiling, bespectacled musician was not only a virtuouso trombonist but also an extremely interesting, industrious and wholly original trumpet player. For the liner notes for "The Dorsey Brothers Vol. 1 – Recorded in New York, 1928," Jeff Healey offered these astute observations on the dichotomy of TD, the brassman:

A comment on the trumpet-playing of Tommy Dorsey should be made here. If ever a musician displayed, albeit musically, a split personality, it is Tommy. Although justifiably rated as one of the finest trombonists ever to master the instrument, Tommy was a better "straight" than "hot" player on the trombone. In fact, he all but gave up attempting jazz solos by the time he organized his first orchestra under his own name in 1935. His trumpet-playing, on the other hand, is always "hot," if not always precise. There is always a sense of agitated urgency in his tone.

I love Tommy's pithy statements in the verse section as well as the way he turns up the heat with each successive "Hold that tiger!" line. And yet he's so uninhibited and spontaneous; he just lets it go. The way he wails through that final straight mute chorus: Man! I dig Jimmy Williams galumphing bass, also. As for Eddie Lang ... well, with him on your date, you just don't need no piano player!

All this talk of tigers made me think of an amusing scene from one of my Swinging '60's-London favorites. ... I wonder what TD would think of this juxtaposition. Something tells me he wouldn't find it very gear/fab.

They're holdin' him, no?

Heigh Ho ...

Untamed, a favorite of mine

Charles E. Scoggins, story
Sylvia Thalberg, writer
Frank Butler, writer
Willard Mack, dialogue

An oft-quoted (by me) exchange on the enormities I currently find myself pondering:

Ernest Torrence as Ben Murchison: Another day in the funny old game of life.
Holmes Herbert as Howard Presley: One wonders why we trouble to play it at all.

Bob and Joan: Pondering, it appears, too