Monday, 29 August 2011

A little Red McKenzie for BB

Brooklyn Baby was (I'm guessing) about seven years old. I had just purchased an LP and was giving it plenty of turntable time, so the music formed part of the soundtrack of BB's growing-up years. I hope this post will bring her a pleasant little nostalgia rush on her birthday.

The LP consisted of McKenzie-Berigan sessions from 1935-36, said McKenzie being Red McKenzie, ex-jockey, ex-bellhop, crooner, and hot comb player supreme. On the selection playable below, Red is sans comb-and-paper but avec his Mound City Blue Blowers, who on this occasion were Bunny Berigan, trumpet; Eddie Miller, clarinet; Al Philburn, trombone; Gil Bowers, piano; Nappy Lamare, guitar; Harry Goodman, bass; Ray Bauduc, drums.

Maestro McKenzie and Bunny Berigan, with Forrest Crawford,  Morty Stuhlmaker,
Eddie Condon, and a young, young Joe Bushkin at the piano.

Brooklyn Baby is sure to remember Red's rendition of She's a Latin from Manhattan, music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin, an exposé of that faux-Cuban terpsichorean Susie Donahue:

She can take a tambourine and whack it,
But with her it's just a racket,
She's a hoofer from Tenth Avenoo!

Not that Brooklyn Baby has anything in common with Señorita Donahue. BB doesn't pretend to be anything but what she is. And what she is, is this: the best daughter one could wish for. Not to mention a wife, mother, and quilter extraordinaire, and a person of substantial accomplishment in her field. Brooklyn Girl and I couldn't be prouder.

Happy birthday, Brooklyn Baby. Take it Red.


  1. Happy birthday from someone who's only met BB once but saw some of those virtues immediately. Nice of you, Kid, to let us listen to that music as well!

  2. Awwwww, you made me cry Papa (but in a good way)! Thank you :)