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Friday, November 12, 2010

An Oh so swinging Lew Stone list................

Lew Stone

Lew Stone (born in London, 1898; died 1969) was a British dance band leader and arranger. He was well known in Britain during the 1930s.

Stone learned music at an early age and became an accomplished pianist. In the 1920s, he worked with many important dance bands. Some arrangements attributed to Stone can be heard on particular records by the Savoy Orpheans (1927) and Ray Starita and his Ambassador's Band (1928).

During 1927-1931, Stone's arrangements for the Bert Ambrose Orchestra made it virtually the best in Europe. The HMV discs are today sought after as much for those arrangements as for the superb instrumentalists or vocals.

Stone continued to work with other bands like Jack Hylton's and Jack Payne's BBC Dance Orchestra, and he also took several top musicians into the studio to make a few recordings that were issued on the Duophone label as 'Stoneis Stone and his Orchestra'. Roy Fox's Band opened at the Monseigneur Restaurant in 1931 and Stone took up the position of pianist and arranger. When Fox became ill in October he was sent to Switzerland to rest and Stone assumed leadership of the band. The main vocalist at the Monseigneur was the very popular Al Bowlly who had already sung on over 30 recordings.

Stone began to use other band members for vocal refrain and this proved successful, particularly when trumpeter Nat Gonella sang "Oh! Mo'nah". Sales of the record Decca F.2763 were huge and may have kept Decca in business .

When Fox returned to London in April 1932, he found that his band was the most popular in the city. A contemporary article in The Gramophone magazine described events.

In 1932, Stone also worked with a studio band and several recordings were issued on the flexible Durium Records featuring vocals by Al Bowlly, Sam Browne and Les Allen. Some of the arrangements on Durium were by Stan Bowsher.

In October 1932, when Roy Fox's contract at the Monseigneur ended, Stone was offered the post of bandleader and this story filled the pages of the music press. An article from Rhythm magazine describes how this happened.

The Tuesday night broadcasts from the Monseigneur established Stone's band as a great favourite with the listening public, who recognised the sheer quality of the music, and the royal clientele attracted an unsurpassed reputation. Rave reviews were common in the music press, for example Melody Maker.

The popularity of vocalist Al Bowlly increased; he was a regular on broadcasts, his name was credited on many of the Decca records and he toured with the band including an appearance before royalty at the London Palladium.

There is a very good cartoon of Stone's Band with Al Bowlly at the microphone and the other musicians from the band of 1933 are: Nat Gonella and Alfie Noakes (trumpets), Stone Davis and Joe Ferrie (trombones), Joe Crossman, Jim Easton, Ernest Ritte, Harry Berly (reeds), Eddie Carroll (piano), Harry Sherman (guitar), Tiny Winters (string bass) and Bill Harty (drums). Some arrangements were by Phil Cardew, Stan Bowsher, Con Lamprecht.

In 1933, Stone's Monseigneur Band was involved in an interesting competition designed to test the popularity in Britain of British vs US dance bands. It was run by the 'News Chronicle' newspaper and was based on the sales of specially recorded dance tunes by Stone's band, Jack Hylton's, Guy Lombardo's and Wayne King's. The songs were "What More can I Ask?" and "Can't We Meet Again?".

From late 1931 until 1934, Stone was also musical director for British and Dominion Films, working mostly from Elstree Studios, and later worked with other film companies. About 40 pre-1947 films which involved Stone with his band or as Musical Director are included in the listings of British musical films on the British Dance Bands on Film, British Entertainers on Film, British Musical Directors website.

In November 1933, Stone transferred his band to the Cafe Anglais and in February 1934 started a very successful tour for the Mecca Agency. The band returned to the Monseigneur in March 1934 until the summer when the Monseigneur was sold to become a cinema. In September 1934, Al Bowlly and Bill Harty left to join Ray Noble in USA.

For about a year from November 1934, Stone moved to the Regal Zonophone record label, continued with theatre tours, and the band was resident for a time at the Hollywood Restaurant. Alan Kane became the main vocalist while there were also vocal contributions from Nat Gonella, Joe Ferrie, Tiny Winters and Joe Crossman. When Gonella left to concentrate on his own Georgians band in March 1935, trumpeter Tommy McQuater joined Stone's band. On October 12,, Stone featured Sam Browne as vocalist for the first time with "Cheek To Cheek" and Isn't This A Lovely Day?. In November, Stone and his band returned to the Decca record label.

In 1936, Stone stopped touring and formed a smaller band which opened on 30 March at the Cafe de Paris. The band also began to broadcast regularly for commercial radio stations Radio Normandy and Radio Luxembourg. In October, Stone became musical director for the show On Your Toes (opened February 1937). The band continued at the Cafe de Paris until 31 July 1937. In September, Stone became musical director of the show Hide and Seek at the London Hippodrome starring Cicely Courtneidge and Bobby Howes.

Al Bowlly returned to England at the end of 1937 and in February 1938 he began recording with Stone again. Recordings with Bowlly in 1938 are as good as those made during the earlier years. Stone's band played music of all kinds, for all tastes, and for all the dance tempos, but today it is particularly their playing of the sentimental ballads that is recognised and in demand for re-issue on CD, especially the titles featuring Bowlly. In his own arrangements, Stone was particularly careful to match Bowlly's voice with appropriate ensemble phrasing and short instrumental solos resulting in very pleasant recordings which make much more satisfying listening than many other bands' recordings of the standard tunes.

Stone was not afraid to work with modern music and was also an innovator. His recordings of the Gene Gifford/Casa Loma Orchestra titles are not mere copies but careful interpretations which make full use of the superb musicians in his band. The skills of Stone Davis, Joe Crossman and Nat Gonella are particularly evident on several of Stone's earlier jazz titles, some of which were issued in USA.

In June 1938, the band was the first name band to play at Butlins Holiday Camps and in September they were back at The Cafe de Paris and broadcasting regularly from there.

In October, Stone became musical director for the Jack Hulbert show Under Your Hat which continued into 1939 and featured the Rhythm Brothers (Clive Erard, Jack Trafford, Frank Trafford). His band played at the El Morocco Club, London.

In June 1940, Stone opened at the Dorchester Hotel with a seven piece band which he led on the novachord. This band was much praised for its original style. Later Stone also made several records with his jazz group the Stonecrackers which featured Britain's finest soloists. Broadcasting and recording with his large band continued and he toured the country during the rest of the war years. After the war, his band resided at various places including The Embassy Club, The Pigalle Restaurant and Oddenino's Restaurant up to 1955. In this period he made several recordings with the King of Jiddish Music Leo Fuld. Stone continued to broadcast and work round the ballrooms but was concentrating on his entertainments agency in the 1960s. At the time of his death in 1969 Stone's music from the 1930s was just beginning to gather a whole new following.

And here's a few tunes...............This one is special to me...Lew Stone has always been probably one of my most favorite bandleaders, I think the quality and just plain "swinging-ness" of his bands were as good and much better than a lot of the American bands....and anyone who knows my lists by now would surely know....though I'm way too Scots/Irish Catholic to EVER be an Anglophile....I DO LOVEEEE MY BRITISH DANCE BANDS!!

Sooooo, on that's an afternoon's labour of love for ya.....Lew Stone (Oh, and btw.....I know some of these songs have been posted previously on an Al Bowlly can't post a Lew Stone list without a fair amount of Al do mind the duplicates.... :)

Oh! Susannah - Goodbye Blues - That's A Plenty  (medley) L.S. ahb
I'll Never Be The Same  L.S. & the Monseigneur Band  (v.Bowlly) Dec 2 1932
Isle Of Capri L.S. aho (v.Nat Gonella)
Eadie Was A Lady   Dec. 29 1933  L.S. ahb V=Al Bowlly  
Lazybones  L.S. ahb  (v.Joe Crossman)
White jazz L.S. ahb
Ja-Da L.S. ahb
I Never Had A Chance L.S. ahb (v.Bowlly) July 25 1934
Miss Otis regrets L.S. ahb
Ebony shadows L.S. ahb
A Brivella Der Mame  (a letter to my mother) in Yiddish v=Al Bowlly L.S. ahb Jan. 27, 1933
Lying in the hay L.S. and the Monseigneur band (v.Bowlly & Gonella) Dec 23 1933
Canadian capers L.S. ahb
I love you truly Al Bowlly & L.S. ahb May 3 1934
Don't change L.S. and the Monseigneur band Oct 24 1933 al bowlly
Aunt Hagars Blues L.S. and his Stonecrackers  May 22 1941
Blue jazz  L.S. and the Monseigneur band
Cheek to cheek  L.S. & His Orchestra v=Sam Browne
Garden of Weed L.S. and the Monseigneur bandIt's Easy To Remember L.S. aho
Little Nell Al Bowlly & L.S.  and his Monseigneur band Jan 10 1933
Lookie Lookie Lookie, Here Comes Cookie L.S. v=Tiny Winters
Pop goes your heart L.S. and the Monseigneur band
Seein' Is Believin' L.S. aho v v=Alan Kane
She's a Latin From Manhattan (who did these vocals, and why does it sound like Ozzy Nelson to me??  lol....sorry...can anyone set me straight, here??******) This is a file I had from a friend with no info on it**
She wore a little jacket of blue L.S. ahb
Stars fell on Alabama L.S. and the Monseigneur band
Take me back to dear old Blighty  ** again, a file from a info...who did the vocal?)
That's a plenty L. S. aho
There's something wrong with the weather L. S. ahb v=sam browne
Til the lights of London shine again L.S. aho
When they sound the last "All clear" L.S. aho
Wings over the Navy L.S. aho
Winter wonderland L.S. aho
Zing! went the strings of my heart L.S. (Vocal: Joe Crossman, Alfie Noakes, Don Barrigo, Jock Jacobsen) 1935
All of me Al Bowlly & L.S.- Durium dance band March 15, 1932
As long as I live L.S. ahb voc Al Bowlly August 3, 1934
Auf Wiedersehen my dear Al Bowlly & L.S. Durium dance band Apr 20 1932
Blue prelude Al Bowlly & L.S. & the Monseigneur Band Sept 15 1933
By the fireside Al Bowlly & L.S. (Durium dance band)  Mar 15 1932
Can't we talk it over Al Bowlly & L.S. (Durium dance band) Apr 20 1932
Coffee in the morning and kisses at night Al Bowlly & L.S. ahb Feb 15 1934
Easy come easy go Al Bowlly & L.S. June 15, 1934
Everyone should have a sweetheart Bowlly Al & L.S. Oct 3 1938
Experiment Al Bowlly/L.S. ahb Nov 3 1933
Georgia's gotta moon Al Bowlly with L.S. & His Band Nov 28 1938
Goodnight Vienna Al Bowlly & L.S. (Durium dance band) Apr. 11932
Gosh, I must be falling in love  L.S. ahb vocal Al Bowly Feb 15 1934
How could we be wrong Al Bowlly & Lew Stone ahb Nov 3 1933
It's psychological Al Bowlly & L.S. ahb Mar 23 1934
I won't tell a soul L.S. ahb Al Bowlly Aug 12 1938 
Just humming along Al Bowlly, Durium Dance Band - L.S. Apr. 20 1932
Looking for a little bit of blue L.S. And The Monseigneur Band Al Bowlly 8-3-1934
Music maestro please Al Bowlly and L.S. ahb  Aug 12 1938
My woman Al Bowlly & L.S. and his Monseigneur band Nov 29 1932
O.K. Decca medley Pt. 2 w/ Al Bowlly
The girl in the Alice Blue gown Al Bowlly with L.S. ahb Feb 4 1938
Why waste your tears L.S. And The Monseigneur dance Orch Al Bowlly Oct 31 1932
You couldn't be cuter Al Bowlly  L.S. ahb Aug 12 1938
You're a sweetheart Al Bowlly  L.S. Orchestra
You're my thrill Al Bowlly & L.S. Orch. Apr 24 1934
I can't write the words L.S. and his Monsiegneur band  V=Al Bowlly Nov 16 1932
Isn't it heavenly L.S. and his Monseigneur band V=Al Bowlly Aug 1 1933
Who'll buy an old gold ring L.S. Band, V=Al Bowlly Dec 29 1933
Little lady make believe L.S. ahb, V=Al Bowlly Aug 12 1938
Mama, I wanna make rhythm L.S. ahb V=Al Bowlly Apr 21 1938
Ti PiTin waltz Lew Stone ahb V=Al Bowlly  Apr 21 1938


  1. Good morning Barbarella from rainy Germany - i found this blog and i like it! Artie Shaw is always great to listen too---- Maybe you would like to the European Answer to him too - just Youtube for Horst Winter-Studie in F.
    Godspeed! SetHarry

  2. Oooooo...........Horst Winter? yeah, very good stuff! I think I have some of him that I've posted a few times on here, especially on one of my Deutsche Swing lists. There's a good copy of "Study in F", that I found on "Immer wieder tanzen - Swing in Deutschland 1934-1948 CD1". I've been getting ready to put up some more soon...any requests? perhaps some Winter? :)

  3. Oh, and good morning rainy Germany, from cold and wet Chicago!!

  4. Hiya- Lew Stone's "She's a Latin from Manhattan has the vocal sung by Al Hoffmann- he wrote the song. also did "Lovely to look at", which was on the flip side of the 78. he was an american songwriter who guested with LS in 1935. apparently Stone was after a vocalist to replace Alan Kane, who'd just left. Apparently Hoffmann was tempted, but in the end didn't want to live away from the States for a long period

  5. Oh, I do love you!! I did know Hoffmann wrote it, but I didn't know he sang it...interesting. You know, I'm so familiar with the version of that song by Ozzie, that in my head probably everyone who sings it sounds like him :0

  6. Somebody knows who is the owner of the rights of "Mama, I wanna make Rythm"?

  7. Somebody knows who is the owner of the rights of "Mama, I wanna make Rythm"?