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The Essential Ted Weems: 1923-1930

Ted Weems

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Album Review

Ted Weems is best known for having the hit "Heartaches" and leading a fine sweet-based big band during the 1930s and '40s that during one period featured the vocals of Perry Como. However, in the 1920s, Weems' orchestra was the definitive dance band, performing everything with a strong jazz flavor and concise solos, yet always being melodic and accessible to a wider audience. This two-CD set expertly sums up Weems' prime jazz period, starting with his 1923 hit version of "Somebody Stole My Gal," followed by nine songs from 1924-1925. The band really found its sound in 1926, and the second disc in this reissue covers Weems' peak period of 1928-1930. Along the way are such songs as "Big Boy," "Siberia," "She's Got 'It'," "Miss Annabelle Lee," "What a Day" (a gem), the hit "Piccolo Pete," "Miss Wonderful," "Harmonica Harry," and "A Girl Friend of a Boy Friend of Mine." None of the soloists (best known was clarinetist Don Watt) became famous, but their musicianship was high and the vocals of Parker Gibbs and Arthur Jarrett are not difficult to take.

Biography

Born: September 26, 1901 in Pitcairn, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s

Bandleader, violinist, and trombonist Ted Weems & His Orchestra were among the most popular attractions on the Midwest music circuit throughout the period separating the two World Wars, earning their greatest success with the novelty hit "Piccolo Pete." Weems was born September 26, 1901, in Pitcairn, PA; he organized his first band in 1922 with the aid of his trumpeter brother Art, and the following year the group notched its first hit with "Somebody Stole My Gal." The orchestra moved to Chicago...
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The Essential Ted Weems: 1923-1930, Ted Weems
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