Marion Harris Articles

“My Kid’s a Crooner” (1935)

“My Kid’s a Crooner.” Composed by Marion Harris and Reg Montgomery. Recorded by Ambrose and His Orchestra, with Elsie Carlisle as vocalist, on January 3, 1935. Decca F. 5393.

Personnel: Bert Ambrose dir. Max Goldberg-t-mel / Harry Owen-t / t / Ted Heath-Tony Thorpe-tb / Danny Polo-Sid Phillips-Billy Amstell-reeds / Joe Jeannette-as / Ernie Lewis-Reg Pursglove-others?-vn / Bert Barnes-p / Joe Brannelly-g / Dick Ball-sb / Max Bacon-d

My kid's a Crooner, Ambrose, 1935

Elsie Carlisle – My Kid’s A Crooner (1935)

Video by Clive Hooley (YouTube)

“My Kid’s a Crooner,” a song whose subtitle is, naturally, “(Boo-Boo-Boo-Boo),” was written by British composer Reg Montgomery and American songstress Marion Harris, who had relocated to London in the early 1930s and had retired there. It involves a mother who is concerned about her infant child’s future, seeing as he mostly makes the sound “boo-boo-boo-boo” (and occasionally “ah-cha-cha!”). Concluding that he aspires to be a crooner, she resolves to contact Bing Crosby for advice. Elsie Carlisle takes this song, which is inherently very silly, and makes it even funnier by sounding almost genuine in her mock-maternal concern — yet not so much so as to let her quavering voice overwhelm her rather cute, moderately infantile, and decidedly Crosbyesque boo-boo-booing.

“My Kid’s a Crooner” was also recorded in London in December 1934 by Pat Hyde (accompanied by Edgar Jackson and His Orchestra) and in early 1935 by Harry Roy and His Orchestra (with vocals by Harry Roy himself), the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra under the direction of Carroll Gibbons (with vocals by Frances Day and five-year-old Sybil Jackson, the latter of whom is surprisingly not that bad), Lou Preager and His Romano’s Restaurant Dance Orchestra (with Pat Hyde), and Billy Cotton and His Band (with vocalist Harold “Chips” Chippendall). There were other 1935 recordings by Phyllis Robins, Kitty Masters, and Eve Becke, and an apparently unissued take of Helen Raymond singing “My Kid’s a Crooner” is extant.

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

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