In the last 30 years more words have been written about Al Bowlly than any other singer from the British dance band era of the 1930's. It's also true that more words are written about Al now than when he was at the height of his career, for during his life Al Bowlly did not receive the fame that he deserved.
Why should Al Bowlly be of such interest to the music listeners of the 21st century? That voice, his natural style of singing, appeals to the modern ear which recognises Al had a superb range, a fine sense of rhythm, good intonation and vibrato, and best of all Al expressed real emotion in any song he sang, be the lyric sad, tragic or happy.
These were qualities which were appreciated back in the 1930's dance era and Al Bowlly's voice can be heard on more than 1000 78rpm recordings, yet on most of the record labels he is an anonymous 'vocal refrain' with a popular dance band.
Every year sees another CD featuring Al Bowlly. I don't have a listing but I expect Al Bowlly can be heard on over 100 CDs, and on those CDs 100 or so of Al's recordings have been issued many many times, mainly from his time with Ray Noble and Lew Stone. Recent years have seen rarer items re-mastered for the first time.
I featured recordings of Al Bowlly on a few of my early British Dance Band shows, and now on 17th April, 68 years after his death, I've dedicated a show to Al with 10 of his rarely heard records.
THE voice of the 1930s, Al Bowlly, made some great songs his own, not just the Ray Noble favourites 'Goodnight Sweatheart', 'The Very Thought Of You' but many others including 'Sweet And Lovely', 'Close Your Eyes', 'Time On My Hands', 'Penny Serenade'.
Listen to Al Bowlly's vocal in the Lew Stone Band recording of
Labels: dance bands