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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Ozzie Nelson Orchestra list...............

Ozzie Nelson

Oswald George "Ozzie" Nelson (March 20, 1906 – June 3, 1975) was an American entertainer and band leader who originated and starred in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet radio and television series with his wife and two sons.

The second son of George Waldemar and Ethel Irene (Orr) Nelson, Ozzie Nelson was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. His ancestry was Swedish and English. Nelson was raised in Ridgefield Park. He graduated from Ridgefield Park High School, where he played on the American football team. The street Nelson grew up on is now named after him. Nelson became an Eagle Scout at 13 and was a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America. He graduated from Rutgers University, where he also played football despite his slight build. He was a member of the Cap and Skull fraternity, and entered Rutgers School of Law Newark. As a student he made pocket money playing saxophone in a band and coaching football. During the Depression he turned to music as a full-time career.

Ozzie started his entertainment career as a band leader. He formed and led the Ozzie Nelson Band, and had some initial limited success. He made his own "big break" in 1930. The New York Daily Mirror ran a poll of its readers to determine their favorite band. He knew that news vendors got credit from the newspaper for unsold copies by returning the front page and discarding the rest of the issue. Gathering hundreds of discarded newspapers, the band filled out ballots in their favor. They edged out Paul Whiteman and were pronounced the winners.
From 1930 through the 1940s, Nelson's band recorded prolifically—first on Brunswick (1930–1933), then Vocalion (1933–1934), then back to Brunswick (1934–1936), Bluebird (1937–1941), Victor (1941) and finally back to Bluebird (1941-through the 1940s). Nelson's records were consistently popular and in 1934 Nelson enjoyed success with his hit song, "Over Somebody Else's Shoulder" which he introduced. Nelson was their primary vocalist and (from August 1932) featured in duets with his other star vocalist, Harriet Hilliard. Nelson's calm, easy vocal style was popular on records and radio and quite similar to son Rick's voice and Harriet's perky vocals added to the band's popularity.

In 1935, Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra had a number one hit with "And Then Some", which was number one for one week on the U.S. pop singles chart. Ozzie Nelson composed several songs, including "Wave the Stick Blues", "Subway", "Jersey Jive", "Swingin' on the Golden Gate", and "Central Avenue Shuffle".
In October 1935 he married the band's vocalist Harriet Hilliard. The couple had two children. David, born in 1936, became an actor and director. Eric ("Ricky"), born in 1940, became an actor and singer.

Ozzie Nelson appeared with his band in feature films and short subjects of the 1940s, and often played speaking parts, displaying a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor (as in the 1942 musical Strictly in the Groove). He shrewdly promoted the band by agreeing to appear in soundies, three-minute musical movies shown in "film jukeboxes" of the 1940s. In 1952, when he and his family were established as radio and TV favorites, they starred in a feature film, Here Come the Nelsons (which actually doubled as a "pilot" for the TV series).

In the 1940s, Nelson began to look for a way to spend more time with his family, especially his growing sons. Besides band appearances, he and Harriet had been regulars on Red Skelton's radio show. He developed and produced his own radio series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. The show went on the air in 1944, with their sons played by actors until 1949, and in 1952 it moved over to television (the radio version continued for another two years). The show starred the entire family, and America watched Ozzie and Harriet raise their boys. Nelson was producer and co-writer of the entire series. He was very hands-on and involved with every aspect of the radio and then TV program. His last television show was in the fall of 1973 and entitled Ozzie's Girls, and lasted for a year. Syndicated only, the premise was Ozzie and Harriet renting their son's room to two college girls- one white, one black- and concerned Ozzie's difficulties in living with two teenage girls as opposed to David and Ricky.

In 1973, Ozzie Nelson published his autobiography, Ozzie, (Prentice Hall, 1973, ISBN 0-13-647768-2). He suffered from recurring malignant tumors in his later years, died of liver cancer and is interred with his wife and son Ricky in the Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
For his contribution to the television industry, Ozzie Nelson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6555 Hollywood Boulevard. He has an additional star with his wife at 6260 Hollywood Boulevard for their contribution to radio.

For those who started watching the popular TV show, no mention was ever made as to Ozzie's profession; his band-leading career was never referred to.
Ozzie was a prolific home movie taker and made many 16mm reels of his family from the 1930s and these have been referred to in the TV series.

Not always appreciated, respected, or remembered for what a fun band he led............a shame.

A note from me: I have to say that this is a personal list of some of the tunes that I like from Mr. Nelson and company. There are quite a few airchecks and radio tracks. I leaned toward them, because of the fun and spontaneity of the band that came out in their broadcasts more (IMHO) than in the studio. I also tend to lean more toward Rose Ann Stevens as my favourite vocalist with Ozzie's band, as opposed to the more familiar Harriet Hilliard.  I believe Rose Ann mostly sang with the band around the time of the birth of Ozzie and Harriet's second son, Ricky (yeah, I know y'all know who HE is....).  I wish I had a pic of Rose Ann, I regret that I don't. , Although  I adore Harriet Hilliard, but I must admit that I am not the biggest fan of her singing.  I love the style and swing that Rose Ann brought to Ozzie's band, so I must state here that there are a lot of tracks on this list featuring her, from the period that she sang with the band.

That being said................let's hear the TUNES!!!

Abi Gezunt 1940 (b'cast) v=Rose Ann Stevens
About a quarter to nine
Alice Blue gown 1940 (b'cast) v=Rose Ann Stevens
All the things you are 1940 (b'cast)
And then some 1935
At  long last love 1938
Baby don't tell on me 1940 (b'cast)
Between a kiss and a sigh 
Breathless O.N. w/ Harriet
Careless 1940 (b'cast)
Carelessly 1937
Central Avenue shuffle 1941
Change partners
Cherokee 1940 (b;cast)
Cling to me 1936
Do I love you 1940 (b'cast)
Don't count your kisses (b'cast) w/ Harriet
Double trouble
Dream a little dream of me 1931 w/ Harriet
Everyone but me w/ Harriet
Gee bit it's great to meet a friend
Goodnight my love
Have a heart w/ Harriet
Head over heels in love 1937
Headin' for a weddin' O.N. w/ Harriet
Here's hoping
I don't know your name (but you're beautiful)
I don't want to set the world on fire
I must see Annie tonight
I still get a thrill 1930
I'll never have to dream again
I'll never say never again 1935
I'm breaking my back puttin' up a front for you w/ Harriet
I've got my eyes on you 1940 (b'cast) v=Rose Ann Stevens
I've got my love to keep me warm
In the dim dim dawning w/ Harriet
Is you is or is you ain't my baby (b'cast)
It's gonna be you 1932 w/ Harriet
It was so beautiful 1932
It's a blue world 1940 (b'cast)
It's swell of you 1937
Jersey bounce
Jersey jive 1941
John's idea 1940 (b'cast)
Leanin' on the old top rail 1940  (b'cast) v=Rose Ann Stevens
Let's have another cigarette w/ Harriet
Little skipper 1939
Long ago and far away (b'cast)
Long as you've got your health 1937
Look what you've done
Love is never out of season
Make believe dance 1940 (b'cast) w/ Rose Ann and O.N.
Never in a million years 1937
Night ride 1937
No mama no 1939 w/ Harriet and O.N.
Oh Suzanna dust off that pianna 1935
Old curiosity shop w/ Harriet
Once in a while w/ Harriet
Our penthouse on 3rd Ave 1937
The one rose

A size 37 suit....... 1940 (b'cast) w/ Rose Ann and O.N.
Poor girl 1940 (b'cast) w/ Rose Ann and O.N.
Poor Robinson Caruso 1937
Quicker than you can say Jack Robinson 1936
Rambling wreck from Georgia Tech
Riff interlude 1940 (b'cast) w/ Rose Ann and O.N.
Roses in December w/ Harriet
Say it isn't so 1932
Shake down the stars 1940 (b'cast)
She loves me (b'cast)
She's a Latin from Manhattan
So says my heart 1938 w/ Harriet
Sophisticated swing 1937
Strange enchantment 1939 
Swing Hi Swing low 1937
Swing dear Mother-in-law 1937
Texas jump
The black cat
The folks who live on the hill 1937 O.N. w/ Harriet
The girl on the police gazette 1937
The gonna goo 1937
The kid in the three cornered pants 1937
The night is filled with music
The old apple tree 1938
They all laughed 1937
They can't take that away from me 1937
Truly I love you 1931
Two sleepy people O.N. w/ Harriet
Wave the stick blues
What a perfect combination
What's good for the goose w/ Harriet and O.N.
Whirligig 1937
White sails (beneath a yellow moon) 1939
With the rain and wind in your hair 1940 (b'cast)
Yes Suh
You and I know
You can't stop me from dreaming 1937
You're gonna lose your girl
You're not the only oyster in the sea w/ Harriet and O.N.
You're such a comfort to me w/ Harriet and O.N.
Yours for a song 1939 w/ Rose Ann Stevens


  1. Hi Barberella,I only discovered your wonderful
    blog a couple of weeks ago, but boy have I
    enjoyed ALL the items and lists you have
    posted.Can't wait for tomorrow's goodies.
    Take Care, Bill.
    PS The link on part 2 of Ozzie is not
    working. Bill.

  2. Oh, Hi! Thanks!! I will get that link fixed, asap.....check back, and by this afternoon it should be good, I hope.

  3. Link fixed........looks like it's good ta go :)

  4. Link not fixed... Don't click on the link for part 2, because still call for a mediafire deleted page. Just select and copy the 4shared link and paste in the browser.

  5. I just edited and fixed it worked for me, and took me to 4shared. I have had problems a while ago with Mediafire and switched to 4shared. I don't usually have probs downloading from them, just uploading to them. Try it and see....if not, here is the link to cope and paste:

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