July 1, 2015

Today's Freddy Martin tune.

In case yesterday's "Somebody Goofed" (1954) was not enough, here's "Managua, Nicaragua" (1947)(scroll forward to 1:12 if you want to begin at the vocals):

The lyrics are, by present-day standards, politically incorrect — "Managua, Nicaragua is a heavenly place/You ask a señorita for a 'leetle' embrace/She answers you, 'Caramba! scram-ba bambarito'/In Managua, Nicaragua, that's 'No'" — but at least "no" means "no."

Here's the Wikipedia article on Freddy Martin (born 1906, died 1983). Excerpt:
Freddy Martin was nicknamed "Mr. Silvertone"... He has... been idolized by many... saxophonists.... Although his playing has been admired by so many jazz musicians, Freddy Martin never tried to be a jazz musician. Martin always led a sweet styled band. Unlike most sweet bands that just played dull music, Martin's band turned out to be one of the most musical and most melodic of all the typical hotel-room sweet bands. According to George T. Simon, Freddy's band was "one of the most pleasant, most relaxed dance bands that ever flowed across the band scene."


Wilbur said...

Sounds similar to Guy Lombardo.

Despite a reputation today as dreadfully dull, Lombardo was highly regarded by musicians such as Louis Armstrong, who called them his favorite band.

Didn't Merv Griffin sing with Freddy Martin?

Quasimodo said...

You really heard 'leetle' ? Really? That's reaching to find something offensive.

Ann Althouse said...

"You really heard 'leetle' ? Really? That's reaching to find something offensive."

I copied the lyrics from an internet lyrics page. I agree that it sounds like "little" on this recording.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sounds similar to Guy Lombardo."

Here's the Guy Lombardo version of the song. In that one, the word is clearly pronounced "leetle."

Ann Althouse said...

From the Wikipedia bio on Martin:

"After a couple of years, his skill began attracting other musicians. One such musician was Guy Lombardo, who would remain friends with Martin throughout his life. After graduation from high school, Martin accepted a job at the H.N. White musical instrument company. When Lombardo was playing in Cleveland, Martin tried giving Lombardo some saxophones, which proved unsuccessful. Fortunately, Lombardo did get to hear Freddy's band. One night, when Guy could not do a certain date, he suggested that Freddy's band could fill in for him. The band did very well and that's how Martin's career really got started. But the band broke up and he did not form a permanent band until 1931 at the Bossert Hotel in Brooklyn."

FleetUSA said...

Nice ditty. Thanks for the memories.

JimT Utah said...

My daughter-in-law is from Managua, Nicaragua. When I sang this to her at the reception she said the tune is very popular"back home," but not with those lyrics.

Carter Wood said...

A similar song, with the ethnic cliches and accented English: Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour doing Mañana. From 1950.

The faucet she is dripping and the fence she's fallin' down
My pocket needs some money, so I can't go into town
My brother isn't working and my sister doesn't care
The car she needs a motor so I can't go anywhere

(Mañana, mañana, mañana is soon enough for me)

Along with her singing talents, Peggy wrote some wonderful songs (not this one), and Barbour was a fine jazzy guitarist.

southcentralpa said...

Since there's no quiz, I'll affirm that I absolutely know that song. There's a station we get sometimes when the weather is right that seems not to have changed formats since 1960 (Unbelievably long story short, one of their DJs doesn't even know who David Bowie is). They've added songs that match their format, but they're still playing pre-Beatles AM format...

(and they don't stream, I checked)

Michael said...

Ah, Managua! On the hill overlooking the lake that oddly has no boats in it and no houses or structures of any kind along its shores. If you would like to see pollution go to Managua and observe.

eddie willers said...

B'wana-he No Home (Michael Franks)

richardsson said...

WPPB 89.3 Peconic Public Radio on Long Island, NY features the Chuck Cecil Swingin' Years Show. He plays, among many others, Freddy Martin records. It streams 8PM to Midnight Eastern on Sunday nights. Chuck Cecil is 92 years old and still going strong. He was a fixture in Los Angeles Area on KFI AM radio beginning in 1956. He did live remotes from Disneyland for many years with Count Basie, Buddy Rich, and so on. He also had a show on Armed Forces Radio. He still plays old interviews with Swingin' Years singers, band leaders. I've been a regular listener of his show since the 1990's when he was at KPPC in Pasadena. He has a massive collection of 78 records, well over 30,000 (He said he stopped counting.)

Freddy Martin was a favorite of my mother. She listened to his broadcasts from the Cocoanut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, when she still lived on the farm in Minnesota in the late 1930's.

I'm a fan of Lombardo too. Louis Armstrong once said Lombardo's band was one of his favorites because of his reed section. I noticed when I saw in a video clip of the band that all his reed players each played all the reeds, Clarinet, alto, baritone, and I think they even played C-Melody saxophones, which would account for the sweeter sound. He used Dudley Fosdick, a mellophone player in the 1930's. The mellophone has the horn of a trombone and the body of a flugelhorn, which makes for a very rich sound, but it is difficult to play. Lombardo's best song was "Seems Like Old Times."

For those who remember Dr. Demento from the 1970's and 1980's, he used to buy many of his 78 records from the "dime table" at Don Brown's Jazz Man Record Shop in Santa Monica. One of his recurrent record plays was a spoof record made by Freddie Martin, "Pico and Sepulveda" He made the record under the name of Felix Figueroa. I believe Barry Hansen bought that record from Don Brown's dime table.