Click header above for Irving Berlin's "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee" (1932) with Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians (vocal by Chuck Bullock and the Three Waring Girls) from WFMU's Charlie.
Just around the corner, There's a rainbow in the sky, So let's have another cup of coffee And let's have another piece of pie.
Here's a stunning 1932 photo of New York's Roxy Theater from the Fred Waring Collection at Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania (where Waring died in 1984). He studied architecture there until 1922 when his music caught on, followed by the hits "Sleep" (1923) and "Collegiate" (1925), the sound film Syncopation (1929) and his initial success on radio in 1933 on The Old Gold Hour (CBS). Dennis Potter incorporated Waring into the soundtrack of The Singing Detective (1986) with the unforgettable "Dry Bones" (1947) production number. Fascinated with gadgets, "The Man Who Taught America How to Sing" also made kitchens whir when he successfully marketed his Waring Blender during the 1930s. However, the term "Synco-Sympho" faded into such obscurity that Google produces not a single result.
Waring was also a major collector of cartoons and comic strips, and these are part of Penn State's Fred Waring Collection. Click here for the story behind Waring's collection and his association with the National Cartoonists Society and also this Mike Lynch post.
Michael Gambon and Joanne Whalley in the magnificent
"Dry Bones" production number from The Singing Detective
Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians also provided musical backup to "Uncle Lumpy" (aka Hugh "Mr. Green Jeans" Brannum) in his series of "Little Orley" records. We had five of these ten-inch 78s when I was a kid, with ten droll adventures -- fantastic in nature, yet somewhat matter-of-fact. (They're available on CD now, I was happy to find out.)
Waring's name came up in conversation the other day. I had a call from Dad on my cell phone, so I called him back. "We're at the Delaware Water Gap," I told him, and he said he first became aware of that because Fred Waring had a house there. So now you know.