“The Gentleman Obviously Doesn’t Believe.” Words and Music by Michael Carr and Eddie Pola. Recorded by Elsie Carlisle with orchestral accompaniment on May 28, 1935. Decca F. 5568 mx. GB7167-1.
“The Gentleman Obviously Doesn’t Believe” is a catalogue of traits that a certain attractive, anonymous man lacks: he has no fondness for drinking, smoking, dancing, modern popular music, or, most importantly, romance. Through her complaint about the man’s various deficits, the singer reveals herself to be passionate about all of life’s pleasures, and she encourages her audience to identify with her position (“like me…and you…and you”). We are given the impression of a woman inexplicably drawn to her opposite. Elsie Carlisle brings to this recording a sweet sincerity that convincingly conveys both wonder for and enchantment with the attractively puzzling “gentleman.”
“The Gentleman Obviously Doesn’t Believe” had been recorded the previous month by Lew Stone and His Band, with vocals by Lew Stone himself. Later in 1935 there were American versions by Joe Haymes and His Orchestra (with vocalist Clifford Wetterau) and by the Dorsey Brothers’ Orchestra (with Kay Weber, who sings the introduction, whereas Elsie had merely recited it).