“Ten Cents a Dance” (with Jack Payne and His Orchestra; 1931)

“Ten Cents a Dance.” Music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart (1930). Recorded by Jack Payne and His BBC Dance Orchestra, with vocals by Elsie Carlisle. London, March 31, 1931. Columbia CB 249 mx. CA11275.

Personnel: Jack Payne dir. Jack Jackson-Tommy Smith-t / Jesse Fuller-tb-bar / Dave Roberts-cl-ss-as-bar / Frank Johnson-Phil Trix-cl-as-o / William Taylor-cl-as-vn / Bob Eason-cl-ts / Eric Siday-vn / Bert Powell-vl / Bob Busby-p-a / Billly Scott-Coomber-g / Charlie Asplin-bb-sb / Bob Manning-d-x

Jack Payne and His BBC Dance Orchestra (w. Elsie Carlisle) – “Ten Cents a Dance” (1931)

“Ten Cents a Dance” was composed for the 1930 musical “Simple Simon” and was originally supposed to be sung by Lee Morse, but she is said to have shown up drunk to the premiere, and producer Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. replaced her with Ruth Etting. “Ten Cents a Dance” is the lament of a taxi dancer, a female “dance instructor” who would dance with a male patron in exchange for a ten-cent ticket that he would buy and for which she would earn a small commission. The song inspired the March 1931 film of the same name starring Barbara Stanwyck. Elsie Carlisle recorded two takes of it with Jack Payne that same month that appeared on different issues of Columbia CB249 (Jack Payne did a version with Betty Bolton in between Elsie’s two takes, but it was rejected). The next month Elsie made a solo recording on Imperial 2469.

The song was recorded in America in 1930 by Ruth Etting, The High Hatters (with vocal by Welcome Lewis), June Pursell (listed as “Moya Mack” on Panachord), and Grace Hayes. German singer Greta Keller recorded a noteworthy version in Berlin in October 1930; she would produce yet another the next year in London.

In 1931, in addition to the Jack Payne versions, there were British versions of the song recorded by Roy Fox and His Band (with vocalist Betty Bolton, in a Spike Hughes arrangement), Jerry Hoey and His Band, Jack Hylton and His Orchestra (with vocals by Pat O’Malley)Harry Hudson’s Radio Rhythm Boys (with vocalist Sam Browne), Nat Star and His Dance Orchestra (as Louis Ramel and His Band, with singer Tom Barratt), Jay Wilbur and His Band (with Betty Bolton), and Clive Erard’s Dance Band.

“Hold Up Your Hands (In the Name of the Law of Love)” (1933)

“Hold Up Your Hands (In the Name of the Law of Love).” Words by Mercer Cook and Thomas Blandford, music by J. Russel Robinson (1932). Recorded by Elsie Carlisle and Sam Browne on March 3, 1933. Decca F. 3504 mx. GB5634-2.

Elsie Carlisle & Sam Browne – “Hold Up Your Hands (In the Name of the Law of Love)” (1933)

“Hold Up Your Hands (In the Name of the Law of Love)” was written by American songwriters Mercer Cook, Thomas Blandford, and J. Russel Robinson in 1932; that year they also wrote the very successful “Is I in Love? I Is,” as well as “Stop the Sun, Stop the Moon,” which Elsie Carlisle recorded with Ray Starita and His Ambassadors. This duet involves a fanciful metaphor in which it is not clear whether Sam Browne is an agent of “the law” he keeps invoking (viz. the law of love or of Cupid) or a robber carrying out a holdup; he seems to entertain both notions. At any rate, Elsie seems to acquiesce to his demands that she “put up [her]  lips, and hold up [her] hands” with little resistance. 1933 was the second year of Sam and Elsie’s recording duets together, and “Hold Up Your Hands” is fairly representative of their duetting style (when they are not bickering, of course).

“Hold Up Your Hands” had been recorded in America in September 1932 by Victor Arden, Phil Ohman, and Their Orchestra (with vocals by Frank Luther). It was also recorded in 1933 in Britain by Maurice Winnick and His Band (with vocalist Louis Spiro).

"Hold Up Your Hands" original sheet music

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