Cliff Edwards • All The Hits and More 1924-40

Cliff Edwards •  All The Hits and More 1924-40In the 1930s, Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire introduced and popularized dozens of songs that became standards. Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards (1895-1971) preceded them in a similar role during 1924-30. Edwards could sing sentimental ballads and was expert at selling songs, but he was also a pioneering scat-singer in his own very original style while accompanying himself on ukulele, and he was occasionally joined by top jazz players and orchestras.

The two-CD set All The Hits and More 1924-40 lives up to its title. The 50 selections, 43 of which date from 1924-30, include early recordings (in some cases the very first ones) of such songs as “It Had To Be You,” “Hard Hearted Hannah,” “Somebody Loves Me,” “All Alone,” “Fascinating Rhythm,” “Lady Be Good,” “Remember,” “Dinah,” “Sunday,” “I Know That You Know,” “Together,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “Just You, Just Me,” and “Singing In The Rain.”

Red Wood Coast

On some numbers, Red Nichols, Miff Mole, Joe Venuti, Jimmy Dorsey, Adrian Rollini, and Dick McDonough are in the supporting cast although many songs (particularly the earlier recordings) have Ukulele Ike as the only performer. The final two selections are from 1940 and were written for Walt Disney’s Pinocchio in which Edwards supplied the voice for Jiminy Cricket, most notably singing a classic rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star.” While he recorded around 150 selections, this twofer has the cream of Ukulele Ike’s recording career.

Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards – All The Hits And More, 1924-40
Acrobat 3498

Scott Yanow

Since 1975 Scott Yanow has been a regular reviewer of albums in many jazz styles. He has written for many jazz and arts magazines, including JazzTimes, Jazziz, Down Beat, Cadence, CODA, and the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, and was the jazz editor for Record Review. He has written an in-depth biography on Dizzy Gillespie for AllMusic.com. He has authored 11 books on jazz, over 900 liner notes for CDs and over 20,000 reviews of jazz recordings.

Yanow was a contributor to and co-editor of the third edition of the All Music Guide to Jazz. He continues to write for Downbeat, Jazziz, the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, the Jazz Rag, the New York City Jazz Record and other publications.

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