I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise
Written by George and Ira Gershwin and premiered in the musical
The George White Scandals. Described by a critic in 1922 as"The
most perfect piece of jazz ever written." The song was
also used in the 1951 MGM musical "An American in Paris."
Club Royal led by saxophonist Clyde Doerr
The Sheik (Also known as the Sheik of Araby.)
This piece of Music was inspired by the 1921 film The Sheik
starring Rudolph Valentino.
Clyde Doerr was a friend of Paul Whiteman. Whiteman secured
a contract for Doerr to record for Victor Records. The first
recording that Doerr made was The Sheik, and it was so successful
that Whiteman severed all contact with Doerr out of resentment.
Second Hand Rose
This song was featured as the piece Brice used to audition
for Florenz Ziegfeld in the Film Funny Girl. The piece would
appear again on the charts at number 32 in 1965 on the Barbra
Streisand album, My name is Barbra. The album would go to
number two and would go platinum.
Waller was the son of a lay preacher. His father wanted him
to pursue a religious vocation, but his talent for music took
him in another direction.
His professional career began at the age of 15, when he became
the organist at the Lincoln Theater on 135th St. There is
some evidence to suggest that Waller studies as pianist under
Leopold Gadowski and composition with Carl Bohm at the Julliard
School. Waller was best known for his popular songs, but while
in Britain on his 1939 European tour he recorded his London
Suite. This suite shows his aspirations to become a serious
Fats Waller died too soon, in 1943, of too much alcohol and
hard living. His legacy is the music he left behind.
T'Aint Nobody's Business If I Do
Written and Performed by Fats Waller.
The 1970's musical Ain't Misbehavin, was named after a Fats
Waller song. Ain't Nobody's Business If I do was performed
by Nell Carter in the show. Carter would later star in the
1980s situation comedy Gimme a Break.
Music by Walter Donaldson and Lyrics by Gus Kahn, the song
was published in 1922. The cover for the sheet music featured
a picture of Al Jolson. The song has been recorded by many
artists including, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Barbara
Streisand and Barry White.
I Dream Of Jeannie With The Light Brown Hair
The song was written by composer Stephen Foster. Foster composed
this piece during a time that he was separated from his wife,
whose name was Jenny, for an extended period of time. It is
considered today as one of Foster's finest compositions. However
when the song was introduced in 1854 it received little attention.
I'm Just Wild About Harry
Written by Eubie Blake, (music) and Noble Sissle, (lyrics)
,for the all black musical Shuffle Along. This was the first
all black musical that was also completely written and composed
by blacks. The song was also used in Harry Truman's 1948 campaign
Whiteman started his career in Denver playing the Viola in
The Denver Symphony Orchestra in 1907. By 1914 he had moved
to San Francisco. During World War I he led a 40 piece Navy
band, playing marches by day and show tunes at night.
In 1918, Whiteman organized a dance band in San Francisco.
Not long after he moved to New Jersey and finally settled
in New York in 1920. He soon became the best known American
band leader especially with his recordings of Whispering and
For his first extended concert tour in the United States
he commissioned George Gershwin to write Rhapsody in Blue.
During 1928 to 1952 Paul Whiteman's Orchestra was featured
on many network radio shows. They also took part in several
films starting in 1930 with King of Jazz. The orchestra provided
music for six Broadway shows and produced more than 600 phonograph
records. Later Whiteman would work as music director for ABC.
He died in 1967.
Whiteman's musical memorabilia including his large library
of more than 3000 arrangements was bequeathed to Williams
College in Williamstown MA. The memorabilia and sheet music
now form The Whiteman Collection.
Three O'Clock In The Morning
Recorded by Whiteman is 1922 it lasted 8 weeks at #1 on the
charts, and became Whiteman's early signature song. The song
was also referenced in F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.