PDA

View Full Version : Love songs in the '40s



gwendy85
12-08-2006, 09:40 AM
Hi guys!

Can anyone tell me if there were some slow, sentimental love songs during this time or were there nothing but patriotic songs (I'm talking American in particular)? Because I'd like to listen in. I'm still using it for my novel.

By the way, what music devices were available back then (other than radios. Were tapes even invented by then?)? Phonographs? Record players? How much was it?

Back to love songs. I'm looking for something on or between 1940-1944 (nothing during 1945). I heard "You Always Hurt the One You Love", but it was kind of fast. Was there a slower version played? And I thought this song was a duet.

Still, I'm looking for the REALLY sentimental love songs during that time period. Can't seem to find much history on it or midis (only a few are available, as far as I've searched).

Thanks!

mooncars
12-08-2006, 10:39 AM
I know As Time Goes By was around then. 78's were the medium of choice for musical reproduction. Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael was definitely huge at that time also, as was Glen Miller's Moonlight Serenade. This was in the heyday of the big bands.

Not that old,
Rick

mooncars
12-08-2006, 10:53 AM
Look what I found!

http://www.stinalisa.com/Forties.html

soloset
12-08-2006, 10:56 AM
You might also try Lindsey Muir's You're Nearer (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lindseymuir). Looks like a collection of 30's and 40's love songs.

I googled "40's love songs" and "30's love songs" and came up with some interesting results... I think Sinatra's a bit out of your range, or else you could use my personal favorite, I'll Be Seeing You. :)

ETA: Be careful of the .wavs on that forties site; I stumbled over them earlier and they killed my winamp. Worked okay in media player, though.

Oh, and you might find this site (http://www.encoremusic.com/piano/1703276.html) helpful, if you cross-reference it with google searches and Amazon's Listen to Samples feature.

Last thing before I go to bed -- check out B&N's listings, since they've got samples as well. The music was *so* romantic...

gwendy85
12-08-2006, 12:54 PM
COOL LINKS!!!

Thank you so much guys! I really needed these :D Thanks a million!

mooncars
12-08-2006, 01:10 PM
Just make mine out to 'CASH'. I'll be standing by my mailbox.

Y'all come back now, ya hear,
Rick

soloset
12-09-2006, 07:29 AM
On second thought, it looks like "I'll Be Seeing You" is actually dated 1938 from a musical, so it'd be in your time range! I was surprised to see how many songs I've heard redone as slow love songs were actually kind of up-tempo originally.

Sandi LeFaucheur
12-09-2006, 03:30 PM
Sinatra's "I'll Never Smile Again" was definitely around and is very sentimental, just what you need. I believe it was written by a Canadian woman in 1939 when her husband was killed.

There are many CDs of wartime music available; I recommend you buy one or two, or borrow them from the library.

I believe you can quote titles of songs in your book, but you can't quote lyrics without getting permission from the copyright holder.

They would have listened to the music on the radio or on a record player (called a phonograph or gramaphone). The records were 10" across and made of shellac, making them extremely brittle. They certainly didn't bounce like LPs! They were thick and heavy and had one song on each side. (You probably know this already; it's just that your question led me to believe that you might not.) Go into a second-hand record shop, if you have one nearby, and check them out. Feel them; smell them. Records spun at 78 rpm (revolutions per minute). (LPs are played at 33 rpm). The sound quality would seem tinny and crackly to us.

Bufty
12-09-2006, 06:46 PM
Didn't Spike Jones and the City Slickers have a version of You Always Hurt The One You Love, or is my memory going?

Boy, Spike Jones - does that date me!

And I remember seeing George Formby live in Zip Goes a Million, too!!

Maura Brosnan
12-10-2006, 12:05 AM
Lyrics of 40s sentimental songs are often from the POV of guys who are overseas, wishing they were back home with their sweethearts, and girls who hope their husbands / boyfriends return someday. Like: "I Don't Want To Walk Without You," a hit for Dinah Shore, later revived by Barry Manilow, and "You Belong To Me" by Jo Stafford.

Lyrics could be adapted for both men and women. This was the era of the song plugger, who worked for a music publisher and sold his clients' work to as many big bands as he could. Of every 1940s hit song, there are several recorded versions. They were often all issued around the same time and on the pop music charts of the day at the same time.

German technology had already invented quarter inch recording tape, but it wasn't used in the West until after the war. Popular music was issued only on ten inch 78s. The 12 inch format was used for classical, and a few jazz, recordings.

Puma
12-10-2006, 12:11 AM
Check out Rose Marie by Sigmund Romberg (movie starring Nelson Eddie and Jeanette MacDonald) - The Indian Love Call, Rose Marie, I Love You; or The Desert Song (also Romberg) - One Alone; or The Student Prince or Blossom Time (I think also by Romberg). I'm pretty sure some Rogers and Hammerstein was out by 1945. You might also look at some of the war songs like "The White Cliffs of Dover". There was a lot of good music out by that time.

Radios back in those days were "cabinet radios" - in wood cases with huge radio tubes. Some of them were floor models that were as large as some of the early televisions. We had a floor model that had multiple bands so if the reception was good we could hear broadcasts from Europe. The lower section of the floor type radios was a very large speaker behind a cloth screen. We also had a smaller radio in a nice walnut case that sat on a shelf - by smaller I mean about 18" long by 10" high and deep. The backs of the radios were open and sometimes tubes would burn out (you could tell because they'd be dark on top like burned out light bulbs, but you could go to stores to buy replacements and plug them in. (My brother was a short wave radio ham so he was in charge of fixing the radios.)

I'm not sure when 33&1/3 LP records came out but my early memories are of 78 rpm records that were brittle and sometime by 1950 there were 45 rpm records. The record players didn't have tops on them - they were just turn tables with the playing arm. I think there was also a 16 rpm record that pre-dated the 78's, but my memory is a little shaky on that.

Tape players came after your time period.

If you have technical questions, you might want to check in the non-fiction, share your work forum. There's a guy there who's working on a book proposal for the history of radio who might be able to help you out. Puma

pdr
12-10-2006, 11:44 AM
slow and smoochy and perfect was 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkely Square'.
I believe Frank Sinatra sang a shortened version of it in America.
Vera Lynn sang it originally, I think.

A Nightingale Sang in Berkely Square
Written by Eric Maschwitz/Manning Sherwin. Copy of the lyric at:
http://www.stlyrics.com/songs/b/briansetzerorchestra661/nightingalesanginberkeleysquare354217.html

gwendy85
12-11-2006, 05:48 AM
I believe you can quote titles of songs in your book, but you can't quote lyrics without getting permission from the copyright holder.

I've thought about that. The thing is, I really don't know where to ask. The recording company? And do I have to pay them for (what) a few words from the song?




They would have listened to the music on the radio or on a record player (called a phonograph or gramaphone). The records were 10" across and made of shellac, making them extremely brittle. They certainly didn't bounce like LPs! They were thick and heavy and had one song on each side. (You probably know this already; it's just that your question led me to believe that you might not.) Go into a second-hand record shop, if you have one nearby, and check them out. Feel them; smell them. Records spun at 78 rpm (revolutions per minute). (LPs are played at 33 rpm). The sound quality would seem tinny and crackly to us.

Whoa! Thanks for the info! I didn't know there was only one song on each side! Thanks for the detailed description :D



Lyrics of 40s sentimental songs are often from the POV of guys who are overseas, wishing they were back home with their sweethearts, and girls who hope their husbands / boyfriends return someday. Like: "I Don't Want To Walk Without You," a hit for Dinah Shore, later revived by Barry Manilow, and "You Belong To Me" by Jo Stafford.

Lyrics could be adapted for both men and women. This was the era of the song plugger, who worked for a music publisher and sold his clients' work to as many big bands as he could. Of every 1940s hit song, there are several recorded versions. They were often all issued around the same time and on the pop music charts of the day at the same time.

German technology had already invented quarter inch recording tape, but it wasn't used in the West until after the war. Popular music was issued only on ten inch 78s. The 12 inch format was used for classical, and a few jazz, recordings.

Thanks for that input! Gives me a different outlook in war and music. And thanks for the info on the tapes :D



Radios back in those days were "cabinet radios" - in wood cases with huge radio tubes. Some of them were floor models that were as large as some of the early televisions. We had a floor model that had multiple bands so if the reception was good we could hear broadcasts from Europe. The lower section of the floor type radios was a very large speaker behind a cloth screen. We also had a smaller radio in a nice walnut case that sat on a shelf - by smaller I mean about 18" long by 10" high and deep. The backs of the radios were open and sometimes tubes would burn out (you could tell because they'd be dark on top like burned out light bulbs, but you could go to stores to buy replacements and plug them in. (My brother was a short wave radio ham so he was in charge of fixing the radios.)

I'm not sure when 33&1/3 LP records came out but my early memories are of 78 rpm records that were brittle and sometime by 1950 there were 45 rpm records. The record players didn't have tops on them - they were just turn tables with the playing arm. I think there was also a 16 rpm record that pre-dated the 78's, but my memory is a little shaky on that.

Tape players came after your time period.

If you have technical questions, you might want to check in the non-fiction, share your work forum. There's a guy there who's working on a book proposal for the history of radio who might be able to help you out. Puma

I'll take your advice on this. I'll search for the guy. :D

As for the others who love the oldies (like I do), someone directed me to this most wondrous site! You'd have to have flash though:

http://www.ww2radio.co.uk

I can't stop listening to Frank Sinatra!!!

Haggis
12-11-2006, 06:22 AM
It was not unusual in the 40s for someone in the family to play the piano. Sheet music was a pretty good seller then, and you could listen to your sister play Nat King Cole's latest hit, or something from a musical. Folks sang along too.

Puma
12-11-2006, 06:32 AM
I've got to top what you said, Haggis, sorry. I still am amazed that my father could listen to any song once and go play it on the piano with melody and harmony. And if we didn't like the key he chose for singing along, he'd just change it - up a little, down a little whatever. And yes, we did gather around the piano and sing along with whatever he played (or was requested to play). Puma

Haggis
12-11-2006, 06:38 AM
Don't be sorry, Puma. It was a neat time. Did your dad play by ear? So many did then.

Gary
12-11-2006, 07:12 AM
One of my favorite songs was "Sentimental Journey."

If you're going to write about listening to songs on the radio, you need to visit someone who owns an old tube-type radio so you can experience it firsthand.

When you turned them on, you had to first wait for the radio to warm up. That could be from a few seconds, to almost a minute. The sound was very unique and they would hum and pop through the speaker, which almost gave them life and personality. Because of the heat generated by vacuum tubes, they also developed a distinctive odor after they had been playing for a while. It's been years, but I'd instantly recognize that smell today.

pdr
12-11-2006, 07:19 AM
I hated the warm up squeaks and squawks but who can forget the smell of warmed valves and warmed wooden cabinet!
Nearest you can get to today is to get your nose near an old fashioned light bulb when you've just turned it off after a couple of hours use.

gwendy85
12-11-2006, 07:26 AM
Ah, so it had to be heated up?

My late grandpa still has this huge radio/furniture like thing with a record player on top (I think at one point, a gramaphone was attached to it but I can't be sure). I don't know if it was just for decoration (the table beneath it which looks like a large speaker, and one time, when my uncle put on a record, it played. Frank Sinatra :)). I remember sticking my thumb in a hole near the record player and screaming like hell because it was full of pins. Kids...hehehe.

Again, I'd like to advertise http://www.ww2radio.co.uk . Guess it's the closest I can get to listening to the good ol music way past my own generation ;)