Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Here Come the Old Songs - with John Bianchi

I've said before how I love the old songs; they've survived down the years because they were crafted by song-writers who knew how to grab the listener with a melody, a chord progression and the right set of lyrics. The ukulele revival seems to have gone hand in hand with a resurgence of interest in the old songs. After all, the uke was hugely popular in the years between the two world wars.

Another Ukulele Hero of mine is John Bianchi of New York. He is another ace banjo-ukulele player, and he particularly loves the old songs of the 1920's. On this video he's playing his vintage Slingerland, singing an old Al Bowlly number called "My Canary has Circles Under his Eyes". It's a catchy number, full of fun, and really conjures up the atmosphere of the years between the wars. Al Bowlly was a hugely popular singer in those years - he had a wonderfully sweet voice. I heard of him through my mother; he was her favourite singer, she used to swoon over his voice. You'll know it as the one singing "Goodnight Sweetheart." I'd never heard "My Canary has Circles..." before, but John has a lovely voice too, to add to his talents, and does a great rendition. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

John, thanks for the help you gave me on my Slingerland banjo-uke. You are a kind banjolele hero!

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HI! I hope you enjoy this blog and I'd love to hear your comments! But I know you'll forgive me if I read them over before I click the "publish" button! Thanks!