“Stop the Sun, Stop the Moon” (1932)

“Stop the Sun, Stop the Moon.” Words and music by Hartwell “Harty” Cook, W. Mercer Cook, and J. Russel Robinson. Recorded by Ray Starita and His Ambassadors with vocalist Elsie Carlisle on September 1, 1932. Four-in-One 6 mx. S2557-2.

Personnel: Ray Starita-reeds dir. Nat Gonella-t / tb / prob. Chester Smith-reeds / Nat Star-reeds / George Glover-reeds-vn / George Hurley-vn / George Oliver-g / Arthur Calkin-sb / Rudy Starita-d-vib-x1

Ray Starita and His Ambassadors (w. Elsie Carlisle) – "Stop the Sun, Stop the Moon" (1932)

Ray Starita and His Ambassadors (w. Elsie Carlisle) – “Stop the Sun, Stop the Moon” (1932)

“Stop the Sun, Stop the Moon (My Man’s Gone)”2 is a 1932 composition by Harty Cook, Mercer Cook, and J. Russel Robinson (the latter two also produced the popular “Is I in Love? I Is” that same year). In this song, the singer makes almost Biblical demands for the powers of nature — and technology, for that matter — to cease their usual operations, for she has lost her man. This sort of theme was suited to Elsie Carlisle’s dramatic manner of delivery, and in this recording her impassioned complaint serves as a fitting summation to the pulsating instrumental interpretation of the tune by Ray Starita and His Ambassadors’ Band. They would do another take of the song that day with Elsie, and it appears on Sterno 1028.

There were recordings of “Stop the Sun, Stop the Moon” in America that year by Joel Shaw and His Orchestra (with vocals by Dick Robertson), Dick Robertson and His Orchestra (with vocalist Chick Bullock), the Dorsey Brothers’ Orchestra (with the Boswell Sisters), Chick Bullock and His Levee Loungers (with Chick Bullock singing), the Ted Dahl Orchestra, and Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra (with vocalist Mildred Bailey).

In addition to the two record sides made by Ray Starita with Elsie Carlisle, there was a 1932 British version of “Stop the Sun, Stop the Moon” by Ambrose and His Orchestra (with vocalist Sam Browne).

Notes:

  1. According to Brian Rust and Sandy Forbes, British Dance Bands on Record (1911-1945) and Supplement (1989), p. 1021.
  2. The subtitle of the song is also found as “My Gal’s Gone” when the singer is a man.

“The Spring Don’t Mean a Thing” (1934)

“The Spring Don’t Mean a Thing.” Composition usually attributed to Lane Leighton; on this disc “Kennedy” is given the credit. Recorded by Elsie Carlisle on August 23, 1934. Decca F. 5173 mx. TB1498-2.

Elsie Carlisle – "The Spring Don't Mean a Thing" (1934)

Elsie Carlisle – “The Spring Don’t Mean a Thing” (1934)

This exceedingly melancholy tune describes a love relationship that began in the spring. The affair’s dissolution has, for the speaker of the lyrics, stripped that season of its usual happy associations. Elsie Carlisle, ever the torch singer, draws out the deep pathos of the music in this violin-dominated arrangement.

“The Spring Don’t Mean a Thing to Me” (for that is the song’s full title) was also recorded in 1934 by Billy Cotton and His Band (with vocalist Alan Breeze), Harry Roy and His Orchestra (with vocals by Sam Browne), and Teddy Joyce and His Orchestra (with Eve Becke):

Teddy Joyce and His Orchestra (with Eve Becke) – "The Spring Don't Mean a Thing to Me" (1934)

Teddy Joyce and His Orchestra (with Eve Becke) – “The Spring Don’t Mean a Thing to Me” (1934)

“The Spring Don’t Mean a Thing to Me” was included in Charlie Kunz’s “Piano Medley No. 14” (on Sterno). It can also be heard in the background in the 1945 British movie Waterloo Road (at 57:55).

"The Idol of the Radio." British dance band singer of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.

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