From the Record Shelves #162


78rpm Victor 2133-A

A popular song from 1928 by Maceo Pinkard, who also wrote hit songs like Sugar and Sweet Georgia Brown. My interest in the song comes from another recorded version by Frankie Trumbauer’s orchestra, gilded by the presence of Bix Beiderbecke’s cornet playing.

At one point I started to collect sheet music from the 1920s. A pianist friend inspired me because, as he said, it’s important to be sure about the original melody and chords. Even if you can transcribe them from records, you may miss some details.

There is a detail in the lyrics of Lila that would be hard to catch if I did not have the original sheet music. It’s said, “Who’s on the candy boxes of Huyler?” Huyler’s was a candy factory at the time, and on the candy boxes that they made there were some beautiful people.

Fred Waring was a banjo player who had such success with his banjo orchestra that he abandoned his architectural studies. When they changed into a more conventional line-up of a dance orchestra and took the name Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians, they became one of Victor Records’ best-selling bands from 1923 until 1932.

They make a rather quick version of Lila, where the vocalist changes the word “of” to “at” concerning the candy boxes. Especially the brass plays with zest, and there is an a bit intricate flute solo. The humorous vocal at the end is typical of their performances.