Jimmy Kennedy Articles

“Moonlight on the Waterfall” (1937)

“Moonlight on the Waterfall.” Words and music by Jimmy Kennedy and Wilhelm Grosz (the latter employing the pseudonym “Hugh Williams”). Recorded by Jack Harris and His Orchestra with Elsie Carlisle as vocalist on October 25, 1937. HMV B.D. 5290 mx. OEA 5108-1.

Personnel: Jack Harris-vn dir. Alfie Noakes-Doug Holman-t / Lewis Davis-Don Binney-tb / Harry Karr-cl-as-f / Freddy Williams-cl-as / Harry Smith-cl-as-ts / George Glover-bar / Max Jaffa-Bill Sniderman-vn / Bert Read-cel-a / Cyril Halliday-Joe Brannelly-g / Alf Gray-d

Jack Harris & His Orchestra (w. Elsie Carlisle) – Moonlight on the Waterfall (1937)

Jack Harris and His Orchestra (w. Elsie Carlisle) – “Moonlight on the Waterfall” (1937)

A composition by the prolific songwriter Jimmy Kennedy (collaborating with the exiled Austrian composer Wilhelm Grosz, who worked in Britain under the name Hugh Williams), “Moonlight on the Waterfall” associates the image of an lovely outdoor setting with the memory of a lost lover.  The lyrics do not have any claim to being particularly profound, but Elsie Carlisle does justice to the song’s melancholy beauty with the sweetness of her delivery.  This recording is the product of Elsie’s brief but productive collaboration with the band of American-born bandleader Jack Harris.

In 1937 there were recordings of “Moonlight on the Waterfall” by such bands as Ambrose and His Orchestra (with vocals by Vera Lynn), Mantovani and His Orchestra (Ken Crossley, vocalist), Billy Cotton and His Band (with vocalist Peter Williams), Billy Thorburn and His Music (with Eddie Guray, vocalist), and Maurice Winnick and His Sweetest Music (in “Melody Medley No. 2”).  There were also solo versions by Ramona Davies, Dorothy Squires and Arthur Tracy.

“The Girl in the Hansom Cab” (1937)

“The Girl in the Hansom Cab.”  Words and music by Jimmy Kennedy (1937).  Recorded by Jack Harris and His Orchestra, with vocals by Elsie Carlisle, on November 1, 1937.  HMV B. D. 5289 mx. OEA 5119-1.

Elsie Carlisle – "The Girl in the Hansom Cab" (1937)

Elsie Carlisle (w. Jack Harris) – “The Girl in the Hansom Cab” (1937)

“The Girl in the Hansom Cab” was composed by Jimmy Kennedy in 1937.  Kennedy was a prolific lyricist and composer, with such well-known songs as “Isle of Capri” (1934), and “South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)” (1939) to his name, but “The Girl in the Hansom Cab” does not seem to be one of his more frequently covered compositions.  It involves a chorus girl who marries up (although her having committed bigamy is suggested!), and the song employs the sort of barely veiled sexual innuendo so perfectly suited to Elsie’s comic delivery.  Lyrics.

"The Girl in the Hansom Cab." Sheet music featuring Elsie Carlisle's image (1937).

Other Recordings with Jack Harris

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

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