Take Two Records

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The First Torch Singers
Vol. I: The Twenties

During the 1920s an unusual melancholy type of ballad surfaced in the midst of the raging jazz age. These would come to be known as torch songs and probably began with My Man; an English version of the French hit Mon Homme introduced by the chanteuse Mistinguet. Ziegfeld brought Mistinguet to New York to perform this moving number in his 1921 edition of the FOLLIES, but then turned the song over to Fanny Brice because Mistinguet's voice displeased him. Brice's poignant, heart-wrenching performance of My Man became an enormous success.

Later, other songs of this type became the fashion such as Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man from Showboat, Love Me Or Leave Me, from Whoopee and Moanin' Low from The Little Show. These songs shared common theme of unfulfilled love for a man sung in a plaintive style—laments in which the singer was portrayed as a victim of a futile, if not outright abusive romance.

Torch songs flourished following the introduction of electrical recordings; a new process in 1925 that improved sound and provided the intimate style essential to these passionate songs. This first volume offers torch songs from their inception in the 1920's.
  Track Song Title Artist Date Time
1 My Man Fanny Brice 1927 2:46
2 I`d Rather Be Blue Over You Fanny Brice 1928 2:30
3 Can`t Help Lovin` Dat Man Helen Morgan 1928 3:03
4 Don`t Ever Leave Me Helen Morgan 1928 3:19
5 Love Me or Leave Me Ruth Etting 1928 3:22
6 The Right Kind of Man Ruth Etting 1929 3:12
7 Why Was I Born Libby Holman 1929 3:13
8 More Than You Know Libby Holman 1929 3:24
9 The Man I Love Sophie Tucker 1928 2:56
10 `Cause I Feel Low-Down Sophie Tucker 1928 3:09
11 That`s How I Feel About You Belle Baker 1928 3:03
12 I Still Go On Wanting You Belle Baker 1929 3:23
13 If You Want The Rainbow Lee Morse 1928 3:20
14 If I Can`t Have You Lee Morse 1929 2:48
15 Maybe Who Knows Kate Smith 1929 3:09
16 That Wonderful Something is Love Kate Smith 1929 2:47
17 I Must Have That Man Annette Hanshaw 1928 3:00
18 What I Wouldn`t Do for That Man Annette Hanshaw 1929 2:48
19 Then You`ve Never Been Blue Frances Williams 1929 2:41
20 Moanin` Low Eva Taylor 1929 3:31
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