Thursday, February 23, 2012

This day in music - February 23, 1925: "Tea for Two" is at #1 on the charts

Marion Harris in 1924
I am not exactly sure what charts were being used in 1925, but I found this on the web, so it must be true.

"Tea for Two" is a song from the 1925 musical No, No, Nanette with music by Vincent Youmans and lyrics by Irving Ceasar.

I did know, even without looking, that the song also later became a jazz standard pretty much played by everyone at one point or another, people like Art Tatum, Django Reinhardt, and Tommy Dorsey.

One thing I did not know, and perhaps didn't need to know, is that "Tea for Two" was the most played song on the Lawrence Welk Show, having been performed 67 times in the more than 1000 show run. Wow, who was counting?

One thing that a lot of people think they know is that No, No, Nanette was financed by selling Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, though, apparently, it was in fact a show called My Lady Friends, produced in 1919, that had been directly financed by the Ruth sale. But even with this there appears to be some confusion because, it seems, My Lady Friends was in fact a non-musical stage play, which later became No, No, Nanette. Okay.

Whatever show was involved, this sale of Ruth by the Red Sox to the Yankees was called the "Curse of the Bambino," which, according to legend, was the reason the Red Sox didn't win a World Series for 86 years. Then the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and that was that.

According to the aforementioned website, "Tea for Two" was a hit in 1925 for someone by the name of Marion Harris (1896-1944). To be sure, I mean no disrespect to Ms. Harris, who appears to have been quite a star in her day on vaudeville, the theatre and on records.

For the sake of authenticity, the recording below is from 1925, but it is a duet performed, in this case, by Helen Clark and Lewis James, likely as preformed in the production of the musical.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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