Tabs/Chords The Cliff Edwards Project

I've been away for a while, enjoying a holiday in Wales, so additions to the project have paused but are about to resume. A huge box awaited my return, containing eight 16" transcription discs from a seller in Canada. Some wear and tear, but I'm going to clean them up as best I can, then see about getting the contents digitised. These are all songs recorded for Cliff's radio show and include quite a few I've not been able to find anywhere else.

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Illness has very much got in the way of timely updates to this project, but I'm aiming to add further song sheets whenever my ongoing Long Covid symptoms allow it.

First up is an initial attempt at Mr Insurance Man, which comes with a warning: this song may contain extremely subtle sexual innuendo - continue at your own risk!

To be honest, I'm not particularly happy with the playability of this so far. To the best of my knowledge no sheet music exists (Cliff wrote it and he seems to have had an extremely cavalier approach to such things) and I've yet to find a chord sheet from anyone else, so I had to go through the Chordify website and make the best of it. It's... sort of there, but if anyone has suggestions for obvious ways to improve it then do please chip in. For the moment though, here's the original song on YouTube followed by the lyrics and chords if you care to give it a try yourself.



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Looks like there's a new compilation coming soon:

CLIFF EDWARDS: ALL THE HITS AND MORE 1924-40​

Label:Acrobat
Release Date:08/Mar/2024
Product Type:CD
UPC:824046349820

"50 track 2-CD collection comprising all his 30 chart hits, plus selected releases on the Banner, Pathe, Columbia, Brunswick, Vocalion, Melotone and Victor labels during these years"

I've yet to find a complete track listing* or information on whether there has been any work done on the audio quality, but at the very least it could be a decent collection for a reasonable price.

*EDIT: There's a track listing on Amazon. A couple of less common tracks, but nothing very obscure.
 
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Thanks! Pre-ordered on Amazon (US).
 
Determined to get something done today, however minor, after long covid saw me sleeping the morning away, so I've typed up another sheet for my Cliff Edwards project.

Lots of chords, as was the fashion back then, but not difficult to see where a few can be dropped; and it's not too bad to play through as it stands, in part because of the moderate tempo. Here's Cliff performing it:



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Here's a catchy addition to the project, Irving Berlin's Shaking the Blues Away (or Shakin' as it's styled on Cliff's album of the same name).

A great little song by a great songwriter, but also a problematic one because of the inclusion of a racially offensive term in the lyrics. Several times. It didn't take long for this to change (Doris Day and others recorded altered versions), but one of the replacements chosen is itself no longer considered terribly appropriate in the context. Consequently, I've made very minor tweaks to the lyrics for this songsheet.

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As always, my aim is to reflect Cliff Edward's version (to a point) and not necessarily the song as published, which in this case meant rearranging the verses. No big deal, except that I'd rather not link to his performance out of respect for those who are on the receiving end of such derogatory terms every day, and nobody else seems to have rejigged it quite like he did. Still, the Internet is a big place, and if you want to find it then it's out there: the Internet Archive has samples from the whole album; and versions by Doris Day et al are on YouTube. I think that this particular song can be altered without much of a problem, which isn't true of some others such as Carry Me Back to Old Virginny, the entire subject of which is so offensive that I've decided I simply cannot included it in the project.
 
A quick update about the album I mentioned previously, All The Hits And More 1924-40.

I bought a copy from Trapeze Music—excellent price and speedy delivery—which arrived today. Copied it over to my music player and when I hit track 8 Fascinatin' Rhythm the song had numerous slips and stutters, which I naturally thought had been introduced by my CD drive. Played the disc directly and it was the same. No sign of scratches or flaws, but definitely problems with the track.

Next step was to look up the digital album on Qobuz and play the sample for the song: Would you believe it, it's identical! The album has been released with a flawed version of track 8 (and hopefully only track 8).

So, disappointing, although it does look like there are a couple of songs I didn't already own which takes away the sting. I'll contact the publisher and see what they say.
 
Another songsheet done, having managed to get hold of the sheet music from a seller in the US (couldn't find a PDF or a more local copy, but there we are). Unlike some of the ukulele versions of the time, this one is nicely playable and doesn't have two dozen chords: there are definitely opportunities to lose a few of the ones included and simplify it.

Here's a YouTube link to Cliff performing Lonely Eyes.



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A quick update about the album I mentioned previously, All The Hits And More 1924-40.

I bought a copy from Trapeze Music—excellent price and speedy delivery—which arrived today. Copied it over to my music player and when I hit track 8 Fascinatin' Rhythm the song had numerous slips and stutters, which I naturally thought had been introduced by my CD drive. Played the disc directly and it was the same. No sign of scratches or flaws, but definitely problems with the track.

Next step was to look up the digital album on Qobuz and play the sample for the song: Would you believe it, it's identical! The album has been released with a flawed version of track 8 (and hopefully only track 8).

So, disappointing, although it does look like there are a couple of songs I didn't already own which takes away the sting. I'll contact the publisher and see what they say.
My copy is the same.:(
 
My copy is the same.:(
Since the digital download / streaming samples have the same fault I suspect every copy will be. Still waiting to hear back from Mr Cooper at Trapeze, who is looking into it.
 
Trying hard to do something each day, despite the fatigue of Long Covid, so I've typed up another songsheet for the Cliff Edwards Project. Despite being co-written by Al Dubin I still haven't found any sheet music for this one, so the chords are initially taken from Chordify, then changed by me until it all sounded right. Ish. As the opening is a little more freeform than the rest, it may be best to start from "Bless you sister" and play to the end a few times, then give that intro a try. Cliff's version has some altered lyrics compared to earlier recordings and the song isn't half as pure and spiritual as it first looks. Here's a YouTube link to Cliff singing it:



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Two more for the pot! Am I Blue? went smoothly, but working out the lyrics Cliff sings to Clap Hands! Here Comes Charley! was not so easy. I think I have them almost correct, but you can see on the songsheet the words I've highlighted as I'm less certain of them. Do let me know if you hear them differently and have other suggestions (I've linked to the recording below). Unfortunately, Cliff's version is substantially different to the sheet music and every other recording I've found, so there seems to be nothing definitive written down.

PDFs of the sheets can be downloaded from the project folder, linked in the first post of this thread.

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