The Meadowbrook as it was during its dinner theater years, from 1959 to 1974.

The third surviving MBS broadcast (June 7, 1951) from Frank Dailey’s Meadowbrook is one of the goodies in the “Goodies of the Month” section of the website. Only members can download this 28 min music file, but anybody can listen to one of the included tunes by clicking on play below:

In 1931, bandleader Frank Dailey, playing a gig in the neighborhood, spotted the Royal Pavilion, which was at the time vacant. Dailey and his band members bought the property, renamed it the Meadowbrook and made this venue their own. In 1936 it had become a great success, catering for all the name bands. Some of the first national broadcasts came from the Meadowbrook.In the fifties it was converted from a dance hall to a dinner theatre and after that a banquet hall.

On Thursday June 7, 1951, the radio listernes were treated to a programme of music, consisting mainly of Ellington and Strayhorn compositions. After the theme and introduction, Staryhorn’s Midriff was performed. This, in my view, is one of his finest instrumentals, first heard in 1944. Willie Smith, Harold Baker and Jimmy Hamilton are the main soloists in an unusual arrangement of Sophisticated Lady, which during this period wasn’t the feature number for Carney it  became later on. Next, Love You Madly is sung by Norma Oldham, Ellington’s new “girl singer”. Duke then announces his “sensational” drummer Louie Bellson, who had recently joined the band for the first time. He brought with him a new composition, The Hawk Talks, which he also had arranged himself. Since there is a lot of trumpet playing here, we of cource understand that this tune was written for Harry James, Bellson’s former employer. Al Hibbler, the “boy singer” performs Solitude, one of Duke’s own ever-greens. We hear two of Strayhorn’s more wellknown tunes, All Day Long and Just A-Settin’ And A-Rockin’  before the closing number Gotta Go written by Duke himself. The last number can be found in the discographies only three times, all performed at the Meadowbrook in June 1951.



By duke00

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