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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Smith Ballew.....The Texas Troubador

Smith Ballew
1902-- - 1984

One of the finest singers of the Crooner era, Smith Ballew was nicknamed theTexas Troubadour. Born in Palestine, Texas, Ballew made his way to New York City and worked with many of the great bandleaders and musicians of the time. His voice had a distinctive relaxed smoothness setting him apart from many other singers of the era. 

He began his singing career on the radio, and in the 1930s became one of the earliest of the singing cowboys on the movie screen. He did a series of musical Westerns for Paramount Pictures and one for 20th Century Fox, continuing in supporting roles until the 1950s.
Prior to his singing cowboy career, starting in the late 1920's, he became one of the most recognizable vocalists on hundreds of dance band and jazz records. During this time, Ballew along with Scrappy Lambert, Dick Robertson, and Chick Bullock were the most prolific studio vocalists. He organized his own short-lived band in 1931. 

Though the Smith Ballew Orchestra never set the world on fire it is well remembered today for having more future bandleaders emerge from its ranks than from any other outfit. Glenn Miller, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Babe Russin, Bunny Berigan, Jack Teagarden, and Ray McKinley were all members at one time or another.

Between 1929 and 1935, he made scores of records were issued under his own name for OKeh, the dime store labels (Banner, Domino, Jewel, Regal, Perfect, Oriole as Buddy Blue & His Texans or Jack Blue's Texans), Columbia, and Crown. Few of these popular records gave any indication of his future Cowboy style.
He died at the age of 82 in Longview, Texas.

***This this took a bit of research.....I'm pretty sure on specs, dates, etc......let me know if you spot any incorrect info......thanks!!***

Here's some tracks for ya:

Arthur Schutt Orch vox Smith Ballew-I'm following you 1930
Bennie Kreuger Orch  vox Smith Ballew-I don't know why I just do 1931
Benny Goodman & His Orchestra vox Smith Ballew-Help yourself to happiness 1931
Bert Lown & His Hotel Biltmore Orchestra vox Smith Ballew-Keepin' myself for you 1931
Bert Lown & His Hotel Biltmore Orchestra vox Smith Ballew-The one girl 1930
Bert Lown His Hotel Biltmore Orchestra vox buddy Blue AKA Smith Ballew-Just Cant Be Bothered With Me 1930
Bert Hirsh Orch, vox Smith Ballew-Lets Get Friendly (Durium 'Hit of the Week' record 1930)
Meyer Davis' Swanee Scyncopators w/The Dorsey Bros, vox Smith Ballew -Do You (1928?)
Dorsey Brothers Orch. vox Smith Ballew-Lover come back to me (1929)
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, vox Smith Ballew-"Sally of My Dreams" (From "Mother Knows Best" 1928)
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, vox Smith Ballew-Was it a dream (1929)
Frankie Trumbauer & His Orchestra  vox Smith Ballew-Louise (1929)
Frankie Trumbauer & His Orchestra  vox Smith Ballew-My Sweeter Than Sweet  (From "Sweetie" 1929)
Fred Rich & His Orchestra vox Smith Ballew-If I Didn't Have You (1931)
Rod Chadwick's Orchestra (Fred Rich Orch) vox Smith Ballew-Sweetheart we need each other (1929)
Fred Rich/The Columbians Orch vox Smith Ballew-As time goes by (1931)
Glenn Miller Orch vox Smith Ballew-A blues serenade (1935)
Adrian Schubert's Hollywood Dance Orch vox Smith Ballew-I'm following you (1930)
Joe Venuti and his New Yorkers. vox Smith Ballew-I'm in Seventh heaven (1931?)
Merle Johnson Orch vox smith Ballew-Home (1931?)
The Home Towners (Meyer Davis Orch,)  vox Smith Ballew-Mississippi mud (1927?)
Meyer Davis Orch vox Smith Ballew-My varsity girl (1928)
Meyer Davis Orch vox Smith Ballew-She's wonderful (1928)
Sam Lanin Ipana Troubadours, Tommy Dorsey vox Smith Ballew-Nagasaki (1928)
Sleepy Hall Collegians Orch vox Smith Ballew-How the time can fly (1931)
Smith Ballew Orch.-Just a gigolo (1931)
Smith Ballew Orch.-Lady Luck (1929)
Smith Ballew Orch.-The night is young (1935)
Smith Ballew Orch.-Time on my hands (1931)
Smith Ballew Orch.-We'll build a little world of our own (1930)
Bert Lown & His Hotel Biltmore Orchestra vox Smith Ballew.-You're simply delish (1930)
Smith Ballew Orch.-Drifting
Smith Ballew Orch.-Roll along prairie moon (1935)
Smith Ballew Orch.-Can't we be friends (1929)

Smith Ballew Orch.-Fair and warmer (1934)
Dick Cherwin Orch. vox Smith Ballew .-Goodnight moon (1931)
Buddy Blue and His Texans(Smith Ballew Orch.).-Huggable, kissable you (1929)
Buddy Blue and His Texans(Smith Ballew Orch.)-I found a million dollar baby (1931)
Bert Lown His Hotel Biltmore Orchestra vox Smith Ballew-I'll Be Blue Just Thinking Of You (1930) ??? (I could be wrong on this one)
Buddy Blue and His Texans(Smith Ballew Orch.)-On The Beach With You (vox Smith Ballew 1931)
Buddy Blue and His Texans(Smith Ballew Orch.)-Pagan Love Song  (vox Scrappy Lambert1929)
Smith Ballew Orch.-Same old moon (1929)
Smith Ballew Orch.-Tender is the night (1935)
Ben Pollack's Orch. vox Smith Ballew/Bennie's Louisville Rhythm Kings-Shout Hallelujah! 'cause I'm home (1929)
Smith Ballew Orch.-My Love Parade (1929) From the film "The Love Parade"
Smith Ballew Orch.-Confessin' (1930)
Smith Ballew Orch. vox Smith Ballew-I won't dance (1935)
Smith Ballew Orch./Dorsey Brothers-On account'a I love you (Chick Bullock vox 1934)
Smith Ballew Orch.-Snuggled on your shoulder (1932)
Smith Ballew Orch. vox Kay Weber-Fooling With The Other womans man (1934)
Smith Ballew Orch, V=Smith Ballew-Happy days are here again (1930)
Smith Ballew Orch. vox Smith Ballew-Sleep, come on and take me (1932)
Vincent Rose Orch. vox Smith Ballew-Stay as sweet as you are (1934)
Ted Wallace and his Campus Boys vox Smith Ballew-Sweetness (1929)

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