Chapter 1

Doris Day: The Les Brown Years (1940-1946)Doris Day Music CDs @ Amazon.com

The Les Brown Years (1940-1946)

Doris Day joined Les Brown and band in August 1940. Three months later she cut her first commercial recording with Les Brown on the Okeh label (a subsidiary of Columbia Records). The first of these recordings were cut on 29 November 1940 and the last were cut on 8 April 1941. In all there were only nine records containing 15 songs. These were released as 10″ vinyl discs and were recorded to play at 78 revolutions per minute (rpm).

A. Singles on the Okeh Label

#5937 Let’s Be Buddies (29 Nov 1940)
Three At A Table For Two (29 Nov 1940)

#5964 While The Music Plays On (29 Nov 1940)
Dig It (29 Nov 1940)

#6011 Between Friends (7 Jan 1941)

#6049 Broomstreet (7 Jan 1941)
Barbara Allen (7 Jan 1941)

#6062 Amapola (6 Feb 1941)
Easy As Pie (6 Feb 1941)

#6085 Booglie Wooglie Piggy (17 Feb 1941)

#6098 Celery Stalks At Midnight (6 Feb 1941)
Beau Nights (17 Feb 1941)

#6167 Alexander The Swoose (8 Apr 1941)
Keep Cool, Fool (8 Apr 1941)

#6199 Made Up My Mind (8 Apr 1941)

During this initial collaboration, Doris Day and the Les Brown band were featured on radio broadcasts from New York and Chicago. The engagements originated from the Glen Island casino in New Rochelle, New York on 25 October 1940, and from Mike Todd’s Theatre Cafe in Chicago on 19 March 1941. Details on these two engagements are covered in Chapter II – The Les Brown Years – Non-Commercial Recordings (1940-1946) of this discography.

B. The Soundies.

There are also three known soundies featuring Doris Day with the Les Brown band. Soundies were the precursors to today’s videos and were produced between 1941 and 1946. These soundies were 3-minute 16mm sound films in black and white, which were rear projected unto the screen of a machine called a Panoram. The juke box type coin-operated machines were situated in diners, nightclubs, bars and other public places. The three known soundies of Les Brown’s band and Doris Day are as follows:

My Lost Horizon (7 Apr 1941)
Once Over, Lightly (13 Apr 1941)
Is It Love Or Is It Conscription? (21 Apr 1941)

Sometime in mid-1941, Miss Day left the Les Brown band. During this time she got married, gave birth to her son, Terry Jorden, and was soon divorced. In 1942 she auditioned at WLW in Cincinnati, and became a staff vocalist. After hearing Miss Day on radio, Les Brown approached her, and to our good fortunes, she rejoined the Les Brown band in 1943. More details on this time period are covered in Chapter III- The Radio Years (1939-1953).

After rejoining Les Brown and his band, Doris Day recorded in the Spring of 1944 several songs on 16″ vinyl radio transcriptions for World Transcription Service. These transcriptions contained song tracks which were not available in other recorded formats. Some of these songs appear repeatedly on radio broadcasts billed as One Night Stands, Spotlight Bands or Magic Carpet. However, there are some gems that were available only through the 16″ transcriptions up until about 30 years later when Joyce, Sandy Hook, and Hindsight Records released Long Play (LP) albums containing some of these songs. Also in 2003 Varese Sarabande released a collection of 17 rare non-commercial tracks. Details on the Doris Day songs featured in the 16″ radio transcriptions are covered in Chapter II of this discography.

Doris Day returned to cutting commercial records (10″ singles) with Les Brown and his Band of Renown with the great hit Sentimental Journey, which was recorded on the Columbia Red Label on 20 November 1944, and released in January 1945. In all, Doris Day recorded 24 songs with Les Brown for Columbia on 15 red label 78 rpm 10″ discs, and one LP album (also in extended play (EP)) album.

C. Singles (78rpm), LP’s and EP’s (45rpm) On The Columbia Label

36769 Sentimental Journey (20 Nov 1944)

36779 He’s Home For A Little While (1 Feb 1945)
My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time (1 Feb 1945)

36804 I’ll Always Be With You (7 Feb 1945)
‘Tain’t Me (7 Feb 1945)

36828 Till The End Of Time (17 May 1945)
He’ll Have to Cross The Atlantic (17 May 1945)

36875 The Last Time I Saw You (15 Sept 1945)
Aren’t You Glad You Are You (15 Sept 1945)

36884 You Won’t Be Satisfied (5 Nov 1945)
Come To Baby, Do (5 Nov 1945)

36896 We’ll Be Together Again (5 Nov 1945)
A Red Kiss On A Blue Letter (7 Feb 1945)

36945 Day By Day

36961 In The Moon Mist (16 Jan 1946)

36972 (Ah Yes) There’s Good Blues Tonight (25 Feb 1946)

36977 I Got The Sun In The Morning (25 Feb 1946)

37066 The Whole World Is Singing My Song (20 Jun 1946)

37153 Sooner Or Later (28 Aug 1946)

37174 The Christmas Song (29 Aug 1946)

37208 My Number One Dream Came True (29 Aug 1946)
You Should Have Told Me (20 Aug 1946)

LP CL 539 (12″) Dance With Les Brown
EP B-383 The Deevil, Devil, Divil (27 Mar 1946)
I’d Rather Be With You (17 May 1945)

Note: There is a little known treasure featuring Doris Day with Les Brown titled All Through The Day, which was recorded on 6 March 1946 and is contained the the Time Life STBB-11, Big Band (Les Brown) LP. This track was released in the Netherlands on Dutch-EMI Label MC3335.

There were other releases of Sentimental Journey and Tain’t Me on other Columbia LP’s and EP’s.

D. 12″ and 10″ LP’s, Boxed Sets and EP’s on the Columbia Label.

CL 649 (12″ LP) Sentimental Journey;
EP B-131 (17″EP) Sentimental Journey

CL 6008 (10″ LP) Sentimental Journey;
C-131 (78rpm Set) Sentimental Journey
B-131 (45rpm Set)
EP B-131 (7″ EP)

CL 6060 (10″ LP) Les Brown Dance Parade;
B-223 (45 rpm Set) ‘Tain’t Me
EP B-223 (7″ EP)

EP B-2051 All Star Pops
Sentimental Journey

EP B-2512 Hall of Fame Series: Les Brown
Sentimental Journey

 

Page Chapter Links:
1. The Les Brown Years (1940-1946)
2. The Les Brown Years – Non-Commercial Recordings (1940-1946)
3. The Radio Years (1939-1953)
4. The Columbia Records Solo Years (1947-1967)
5. Other Commercial Albums
6. Non-Commercial Transcriptions and Recording Sessions
7. The Soundtrack Songs From Doris Day Films (1948-1968)
8. The Television Years (1968-1986)
9. The Bear Family Records of Germany Boxed Sets (1992-1997)


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