THE COLE PATROL! Dated MacGregor Listing
THE KING COLE TRIO ON MACGREGOR
AN ATTEMPT AT A DATED LISTING
by Will Friedwald & David J. Weiner
This is an attempt to date the many transcriptions recorded by Nat King Cole for the MacGregor company. We have to make these estimations because the actual session dates were not saved by the company. The session information was undoubtedly given to the union, but none of this data seems to have been transferred from the Black Local 767 to the main local 47 when the two unions were integrated in the '50s. (With the exception, that is, of one single Cole-Anita Boyer date, which we believe to be the first session Cole participated in for MacGregor.)
Basically, what we're doing is looking at the pop tunes included on these discs and trying to speculate when they could have been recorded - based on when these songs were heard on the radio and recorded by other artists. However, it should be said that much of the Trio's repertoire can't be dated in this fashion, because a lot of their songs were either original compositions (not recorded by other bands) or jazz standards, which could have been recorded at any time.
This is just a rough listing and not a discography. We're including the original MacGregor 16" transcription numbers and the reissues on MacGregor and United. This time around we're not including the "King Cole Court" series and we're also leaving out the many LP issues of the Trio-only sides. Most of the data containing LP releases will be included in the forthcoming Cole entry of Jazz Records 1942-1980 by Erik Raben (who assembled this section based on data from Bill Miner, Michael Cuscuna, Ruppli, Roy Holmes and myself).
But to summarize, virtually all of the King Cole Trio sides without additional vocalists have been out on various LPs over the years, and are currently available on Laserlight 15-915, a 5-CD set. There are, however several ommissions: two individual tunes, "Have Fun" and "Body and Soul," and one entire disc, MacGregor 67.
As far as the Trio material with guest singers is concerned, only one of these discs has ever been available commercially. Thankfully, this is the Anita O'Day session, which is probably the only one that anybody besides a maniacally rabid King Cole fanatic (such as myself) would care to hear.
As mentioned above, the one King Cole session for MacGregor which is definitively dated (via the Los Angeles union) is also the one we believe to be Cole's first session for the company. The date seems accurate in light of how all the contemporary pop tunes on these two sides (issued back to back) are from early 1941.
Also, everything in this first of three batches of Cole-Boyer material seems to be BMI, which would indicate it was recorded for radio use between January and October, 1941.
1. ANITA BOYER & HER TOMBOYERS (The King Cole Trio)
25 February 1941: MacG LB 2293; UTS 1061
Georgia on My Mind vAB
Let's Try Again vAB
Old Rockin' Chair vAB
What'cha Know Joe? vAB & KC3
2. ANITA BOYER & HER TOMBOYERS (The King Cole Trio)
25 February 1941: MacG LB 2294; UTS 1062
My Prodigal vAB
A Little Jive is Good For You vAB & NKC
Where is Our Love vAB
You've Changed vAB
You Started All Over Again vAB
Most of the other Boyer-Cole items also seem to come from Spring 1941 - although they couldn't all have been done at the one session or else the additional tunes would have been listed with the union. Or would they? In any case, here are the details as we've been able to put them together:
3. ANITA BOYER & HER TOMBOYERS (King Cole Trio + BOB DUKOFF ts *)
Late Feb-Early March 1941; MacG LB 8, MacG LB 132; UTS 497
Just Close Your Eyes *
Better Do It Now *
My Heart Sings *
The Story of Two Cigarettes
"Cigarettes" & "Heavenly" are from early "41. However, "My Heart Sings" could be "All Of a Sudden My Heart Sings" which is from the 1944 film Anchors Away. More likely, however, this is not the same "All Of a Sudden..." song.
Another note: the information that this was issued on UTS 497 was provided to us by the late Gord Grieveson, and is not confirmed by Roy Holmes.
4. ANITA BOYER & HER TOMBOYERS (King Cole Trio + add'l inst?)
Circa Feb-Mar 1941: UTS 1057 only (no American MacG issue)
Wise Old Owl
Do I Worry?
Time Stood Still
We Go Together
Rhythms Red, White and Blue
"Wise Old Owl" and "We Go Together" were done a lot in Spring 1941, whereas "Do I Worry?" was heard much beginning in April. Above tunes are, as far as we know, also largly BMI numbers.
5. ANITA BOYER & HER TOMBOYERS (King Cole Trio + add'l inst?)
Circa Feb-Mar 1941: UTS 1059 only (no American MacG issue)
What'Cha Gonna Do?
Walkin' By the River
Breakfast For Two
You're a Mystery
With a Twist of The Wrist
"Walking...," Spring '41, "Breakfast For Two" February - March '41,
"With a Twist Of The Wrist." Again, tunes we can recognize are all BMI.
6. ANITA BOYER & HER TOMBOYERS (King Cole Trio + unknown trumpet)
Circa March 1941: UTS 1210 only (no American MacG issue)
G'bye Now (note correct spelling)
My Sister and I (AB & Cole p only)
Windy City Blues
If You Only Knew
Definitely Early 1941: There are lots of BMI tunes here, which would mean 1941. Also 'goodbye now' & 'my sister & I' are from march 41, while 'windy city blues' sounds close enough to 'windy city boogie woogie' which was recorded by the KC3 for Standard in 1941.)
7. ANITA BOYER & HER TOMBOYERS (King Cole Trio + unknown trumpet)
Circa March 1941: UTS 1149 only (no American MacG issue)
If I Had Only Known
Get Away Closer, Please
Fool Am I
The Hut-Sut Song (group vocal behind AB)
Definitely spring 1941: lots of BMI tunes, all of the last three having been recorded much in early '41.
While Cole would record with Boyer again in 1944, there also are two additional Cole-Boyer MacGregor items that remain a mystery. Judging from the tunes, we would guess late 1941:
8. ANITA BOYER & HER TOMBOYERS (King Cole Trio + add'l inst?)
Circa late 1941: MacG LB 53
I'll Remember April
I Never Knew
Don't Worry 'Bout Me
I'll Be Around
If I Had You
'I'll Remember April' was a hit in 1941, 'I'll Be Around' hit in 42-'43, as was but both tunes were played throughout the war years, so these could have been recorded as late as 1944!
9. ANITA BOYER & HER TOMBOYERS (King Cole Trio + add'l inst?)
Circa late 1941: Mac LB 54, Mac LB 622
Don't Take Your Love From Me
Ghost of a Chance
It Had to Be You
Blues In the Night vAB & NC
Definitely Fall '41: "Blues In The Night" & "Don't Take Your Love From Me" were big in September 1941, and then not done after that much by anybody. There are also lots of ASCAP entries, which means that they couldn't have been broadcast until after 31 October 1941.
Cole apparently did not record again for MacGregor until after the recording ban (there's nothing to suggest any titles from January to July 1942). Judging from the titles, it would seem that MacGregor began recording again in mid-1943, or roughly around the same time that Capitol and Decca did.
Question: Can we speculate as to how sequentially - chronologically correct the MacGregor numbering system is? In other words, is it safe to say that MacGregor 27 was recorded before MacGregor 31? On some levels, it can't be, because some of the Boyer titles that are definitely from '41 have higher numbers than some of the Ida James numbers that are definitely from '43!
In any case, using the transcription catalogue numbers as one of the clues, as well as using song titles to help us date the sessions, we can estimate that this next batch of transcriptions were recorded between mid and late 1943.
We're listing the three discs featuring Ida James first, because they have the lowest numbers (if that means anything) and are the most easily dated at mid to late 1943. Tangentally, Cole and James also did a session for Soundies, Inc., which has been dated at November, 1943. It also seems most likely that all 15 Cole-James songs were done on one single session.
10. KING COLE TRIO WITH IDA JAMES (vocal on all titles)
Late 1943: MacG LB 4; UTS 1375.
No Love, No Nothin'
Knock Me A Kiss
I Can't See For Looking
People Will Say We're In Love
Shoo Shoo Baby
Definitely late '43 - all of these tunes were popular at that time!
11. KING COLE TRIO WITH IDA JAMES (vocal on all titles)
Late 1943: MacG LB 14, MacG LB 114, MacG LB 410; UTS 1375.
My Heart Tells Me
Them There Eyes
Hit That Jive, Jack
Definitely late '43, based on "My Heart..." "Speak Low" & "Harlem Sandman," the last of which is from Hit Parade Of 1943.
12. KING COLE TRIO WITH IDA JAMES
Late 1943: MacG LB 28, MacG LB 409, MacG LB 611; UTS 1389.
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
Who's Been Eating My Porridge
Close to You
<have seen copy of LB 611 & it contains all five tunes, have not examined 31, 47, 409 etc>
Three out of the five tunes here are standards that could have been recorded at any time. However, "Close to You" (if it's the same song recorded by Sinatra) was popular throughout 1943, and "My Porridge" was recorded by Cole and James at the November '43 Soundies session. Therefore, it seems to place this one at the end of '43 with the other two Cole-James discs.
The Cole-Barrie Sisters disc (which I am really dying to hear!), judging by the tunes, would seem to come from early '43, which isn't possible (thanks to Petrillo). Therefore we should place it around the same time the Cole-James titles:
13. THE BARRIE SISTERS THE KING COLE TRIO (BS v all titles)
Mid to late 1943: MacG LB 46, MacG LB 73; UTS 1424
Someone's In The Kitchen with Dinah
Basin Street Blues
On the Sunny Side of the Street
I've Got Those Mad About Him Blues
I've Heard That Song Before
"I've Heard That Song Before," "...Kitchen with Dinah" & "Mad Without Him" were all popular in early '43.
Which brings us, at long last, to the first batch of Trio-only instrumentals. We believe the following were recorded in 1943, in fact, some of the titles of the first disc we've listed were even popular in 1942.
14. KING COLE TRIO
Mid 1943 or earlier?: MacG 40
This Will Make You Laugh
Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me
The Old Music Master
After You've Gone
"This Will Make You Laugh" was recorded by the KC3 for Decca in '41, while "Do Nothing" and "Music Master" were both hits in 1943, although "Music Master" had been recorded before the start of the AFM ban in July 1942.
15. KING COLE TRIO
1943: MacG LB 27; UTS 1373
Please Consider Me
The Man I Love
That'll Just About Knock Me Out
Probably 1943: "Just About Knock Me Out" was recorded by Louis Jordan in July 1942, while "Besame Mucho" was done by J. Dorsey in '43, and it became a big hit that same year.
16. KING COLE TRIO
Late 1943?: Mac 13; Uni 1375
Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Shoo Shoo Baby
Solid Potato Salad
Probably late '43 or early '44, since both "Shoo Shoo Baby" and "Is You Is" were popular at that time.
17. KING COLE TRIO
Circa 1943: MacG LB 31, MacG LB 612; UTS 1393
Little Joe From Chicago
Have Fun NOT ON LASERLIGHT!
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
No clues - all standards or Cole originals. "Little Joe" is probably not the Mary Lou Williams tune recorded by her in '39 and Andy Kirk in '38 (also by Wingy Manone in '38), so there's nothing to help us here.
18. KING COLE TRIO
Circa 1943: MacG LB 32, MacG LB 603; UTS 1394, UTS 2013
I Realize Now
Too Marvelous for Words
You Must Be Blind
I May Be Wrong
Again nothing - three of these tunes were recorded by the KC3 for Capitol in '44, '45 and '46, which doesn't tell us anything.
19. KING COLE TRIO
Circa 1943: MacG LB 41, MacG LB 612; UTS 1407.
Lester Leaps In
Just Another Blues
Wild Goose Chase
Yet again nothing: Ivie Anderson did a song called 'Mexico Joe' in 1945, which is probably not the same song as here. Likewise, this "Wild Goose Chase" seems to be a Cole original and not the Gene Gifford flagwaver recorded by the Casa Loma band.
That would seem to be all the material that we can place in 1943. Cole recorded an additional two discs worth of tunes with our old friends Anita Boyer and Bob Dukoff (her tenor-tootin' husband). Going from the tunes, these would seem to have been recorded in
early to mid-1944:
20. ANITA BOYER & HER TOMBOYERS (King Cole Trio + BOB DUKOFF ts *)
Early 1944: MacG LB 58, MacG LB 396; UTS: 1410.
They Can't Take That Away From Me *
I'm In Love With Someone
He's Funny That Way *
Sing You Sinners *
Somebody Loves Me *
What Is This Thing Called Love *
The only non-standard, "I'm in love with someone" is from circa February-early March 1944.
21. ANITA BOYER & HER TOMBOYERS (King Cole Trio + BOB DUKOFF ts *)
Early-Mid 1944: MacG LB 57, MacG LB 395; UTS: 1409.
My Gal Sal *
I'm Confessin' *
I Dream of You *
"I Dream of You" is from mid-1944. This date could not have been done in 1941, as has been suggested, because the above tunes are ASCAP standards which would not have been recorded for radio use in 1941 during the ASCAP ban.
It's anybody's guess when The Cole-Anita O'Day session, which is both the best and most-heard of the KC3 MacGregor dates with vocalists (the only one on the Laserlight set), was recorded. Perhaps Miss O'Day may recall (ha!) if she was with Krupa or Kenton when it was recorded, and then possibly we can find out when whichever band it was was in Los Angeles at the same time as the KC3. However, for now, we'll just go with a generic "1944."
22. KING COLE TRIO WITH ANITA O'DAY (vocal all titles)
1944: MacG LB 45; UTS 1412
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Although Miss O'Day recorded "I Can't Give You..." in '45 for Capitol, it, like all the others, was a standard that could have been in her repertory at any time.
The remaining Cole material for MacGregor is all Trio-only, with no external vocalists. Going from the tune titles, we can guess that some of the discs were done in from 1944 and the rest are from early 1945.
23. THE KING COLE TRIO
After June 1944: MacG 67; Uni 1421.
You're So Different
Don't Blame Me
Sweet Georgia Brown
Circa 1944-'45: "D-Day" must be named after the Allied Invasion of June, 1944, while "Smooth Sailing" was popular in 1945. "You're So Different" is a Cole original that the trio had transcribed previously in 1939.
Incidentally, this is the only entire King Cole Trio transcription on MacGregor - without femme chirpers! - that was OMITTED from the Laserlight set!
23. THE KING COLE TRIO
Late 1944: MacG LB 68; UTS 1428.
Wouldn't You Like To Know?
I Thought You Ought to Know
Bring Another Drink
Three of these tunes were commercially recorded by the KC3 for Capitol in late '44 and early '45.
22. KING COLE TRIO / KING COLE AT THE PIANO (?)
1944?: MacG LB 47, MacG LB 72; UTS 1436.
Don't Blame Me
Three Little Words
Body And Soul NOT ON LASERLIGHT!
How High The Moon
I Got Rhythm
Sweet Lorraine (instrumental)
Just a side note: the above version of "Sweet Lorraine," I believe, represents the only time the trio did that signature tune as an instrumental.
21. KING COLE AT THE PIANO
1944?: MacG LB 71; UTS 1435.
I'm In The Mood For Love Jz Ant 5219, SR 5003
Poor Buttterfly Sounds Rare 5003
These Foolish Things -
All of the above on both batches are piano features for Cole, and they're also standards which the KC3 played throughout its existence. However, a number were recorded for Capitol between 1943 and 1945, so there's nothing to contradict a date of circa 1944.
That only leaves three Cole-MacGregor discs, which we're estimating are probably from early 1945.
24. KING COLE TRIO
Early 1944: MacG 74; Uni 1420.
Baby, Won't You Please Come Home
Boogie A La King
It Only Happens Once
Swingin the Blues
"It Only Happens Once" was in the KC3 book only in early 1945, so that's where we would place this disc.
25. KING COLE TRIO
Early 1945: MacG LB 171; Tempo 103; UTS 1541.
Keep Knockin' On Wood
If Yesterday Could Only Be Tomorrow
Blues and Swing
Circa February 1945, when both "Tain't Me" & "laura" were getting lots of play. Is the Tempo transcription label a subsidiary of the MacGregor company?
26. KING COLE TRIO
Early 1945: MacG LB 175, MacG LB 394; UTS 1549.
It's Only a Paper Moon
What Can I Say ...
I Wanna Turn Out My Light
You Call It Madness
If I Had You
Could also be '45... nothing to indicate that it isn't.
And that's all she wrote -