Search Manic Mark's Blog

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Saturday Date - Matt Dennis

Saturday Date
White Christmas
Saturday Date
Matt Dennis
Tops LP1596

From the back cover: Authoritative Down Beat Magazine, in a review (printed August 8, 1956) of Dennis at a Hollywood club, refers to"… the complete individuality of his personality and act… Coupled with his astonishing songwriting creativity is his flair for mature cocktail lounge artistry. He's relaxed; his charm is sincere, unobtrusive, he seems to enjoy what he's doing and has that requisite ageless quality."

A native of Seattle, Washington, Matt Dennis comes of a musical family. His father was a widely known singer and his mother played violin professionally. After the family moved to San Rafael, California, Matt emerged as the maestro of his high school orchestra.

Already a budding songwriter, he debuted professionally in a specialty and playing piano and singing his own songs on the Horace Heidt Show. A few years later he collaborated with singer Dick Haymes in forming a dance band which Haymes fronted. When that swinging little aggregation disbanded, Matt went on to serve as accompanist and vocal arranger to such topflight singers as Martha Tilton, Margaret Whiting and the Stafford Sisters. The day dawned when the Stafford sister named Jo left the act to join the great Tommy Dorsey as a member of the Pied Pipers… It wasn't long before she had persuaded Dorsey to audition Dennis. With his famed eye for talent, Tommy immediately hired Dennis as arranger-composer.

For Matt this was indeed the Big Break. In one year Dorsey recorded fourteen of his songs for the major company with which he was then affiliated. Dennis' songs became the springboard-to-sucess for the Dorsey vocalists. The first solo record made by Jo Stafford, for example, was Dennis' Little Man With A Candy Cigar; first big hit for Connie Haines happened to be Matt's great standard. Will You Still Be Mine; and the first solo recorded by a spare and winsome boy from Hoboken (Frank Sinatra) after he left Dorsey was a Dennis song, The Night We Called It A Day.

Other hits recorded by the Dorsey band from the prolific pen of Matt Dennis during that period were Everything Happens To Me, Let's Get Away From It All and Violets For Your Furs.

World War II broke up the Dorsey-Dennis association, with Matt spending three and a half years in the Air Force. On discharge he began writing and singing for top New York radio and television shows, such as The Chesterfield Supper Club, The Seven-Up Show, Dick Haymes-Autolite Show and The Shaeffer Revue. In 1948 he returned to the West Coast to fill long standing engagements at the swankier supper clubs and to perform in several Universal-International musical shorts and two Ida Lupino features, The Bigamist and Jennifer.

Since then, Matt Dennis has solidified his position as top nightclub attraction in all the major cities. Additionally, he has been featured entertainer on many television programs, including NBC-TV's Ernie Kovacs' Show, Rosemary Clooney Show and Steve Allen's NBC spot.

Rock Me To Sleep
Hitch Up The Sleigh
Lazy Countryside
Don't Blame Me
I'm Through With Love
They Can't Take That Away From Me
When We're Alone
Saturday Date
White Christmas

No comments:

Post a Comment

Howdy! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!