Saturday, January 7, 2017

Les Paul - California Melodies (1944-1945)

Les Paul was a guitar innovator before Chet Atkins learned his first three chords, but somehow, he never could match Mr. Guitar's publicity. California Melodies travels back to the mid-'40s when Paul and his trio appeared on a radio program of the same name with Frank DeVol & His Orchestra. The introductions to each song on these radio transcriptions are a bit cheesy ("Maybe swing is a whole lot older than we think it is"), and the orchestra - when it chimes in - pretty much turns the quartet's music into easy listening. But when Paul, rhythm guitarist Cal Gooden, bassist Clint Nordquist, and pianist Tommy Todd are left on their own, they do swing. The song selection is smart, including now accepted standards like "All of Me," "Oh, Lady Be Good," and "Ain't Misbehavin'." There are also interesting oddities like Tchaikovsky's "Andante Cantible" and Duke Ellington's "Caravan." Paul's a nifty guitarist who fits comfortably within the electric school of jazz following Charlie Christian's innovations in the late '30s and early '40s. California Melodies also includes four bonus cuts that were taken from various radio shows - the Bing Crosby's Kraft Music Hall, the Andy Russell Show - in 1945. For jazz guitar buffs and anyone addicted to the great standards of '30s and '40s jazz, California Melodies is a fun romp.
Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

Source :

Les Paul
California Melodies


1 Begin the Beguine (Porter)  3:33
2 All of Me (Simons, Marks)  2:33
3 Andante Cantabile (Tchaikovsky, arr. Paul)  3:48
4 Oh, Lady Be Good (Gershwin, Gershwin)  2:50
5 Brazil (Russell, Barroso)  2:47
6 I Never Knew (Pitts, Egan, Marsh)  2:24
7 For You (Dubin, Burke)  2:45
8 Limehouse Blues (Lawrence, Hobbs, Leslie)  2:21
9 Song of the Islands (King)  2:24
10 Forty Days and Forty Nights (Paul)  3:37
11 Way Down Yonder in New Orleans (Creamer, Layton)  2:26
12 Out of Nowhere (Heyman, Green)  2:52
13 I've Been Working on the Railroad (Trad.)  2:37
14 It Had to Be You (Kahn, Jones)  3:09
15 Ain't Misbehavin' (Waller, Razaf, Brooks)  2:36
16 Caravan (Tizol, Ellington)  3:10
17 Way Down Yonder in New Orleans (Creamer, Layton)  3:07
18 Danger, Men at Work (Paul)  3:00
19 Blue Skies (Berlin)  2:28
20 Back Home in Indiana (MacDonald, Hanley)  2:36


Les Paul - g
Cal Gooden - g
Tommy Todd - p
Clint Nordquist - b
Frank DeVol
And his Orchestra [# 1-16]

Recorded at CBS Radio, Hollywood (?) ; between June & October, 1944 [# 1-16] ; & between December 25 & May 5, 1945 [# 17-20]


bmaiani said...

Password? The normal one isn't working....

Leopold said...

Pass is "bloom"

jose arboleda said...

muchas gracias.

furnguy said...


flyingfinger said...

Thanks for some mighty fine pickin'!

deGallo said...

Thank you.

ProfessorCalculus said...

Thanks Mel and Bloom.

zero said...

Yep, Les was formidable. Thanks for the radio shows.

der bajazzo said...

Thank you, Leopold and Melanchthon.

AmyBRAINS said...

Nice post!!
Many thanks, Leopold & Melanchthon.

Blue Eyes said...

Thanks a lot Melanchthon for this lovely "California Melodies"!

Melanchthon said...

sep troelstra said...

Many thanks!!

zoltanzylox said...

Thanks Mel!

Jeronyme said...

Une nouvelle fois… merci !

Kovina Kris said...

Love Les Paul. Excited to get this. Thank you!