A "New" Stormy Weather

by Rich Conaty
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Ethel Waters introduced "Stormy Weather," written by Ted Koehler & Harold Arlen, in the 1933 "Cotton Club Parade." She was accompanied by Duke Ellington's Orchestra.  The song was a hit, and it was recorded by Waters (for Columbia), Ellington (Brunswick) and even composer Arlen for Victor Records.  All were issued contemporaneously, along with at least a dozen more versions in the USA and UK.  They weren't covers in the sense we think of them today; the song was the thing. 

Ethel Waters' recording was played last Sunday, amid the craziness of the fund drive, which included a birthday salute to Harold Arlen.  Tonight, amid five birthday salutes, a recording of "Stormy Weather" that's never been played on "The Big Broadcast."  It's Paul Tremaine & His Orchestra, a 78 RPM issue only recently picked up in an auction.  Another 50+ records just won on another pair of auctions help ensure the old music on the show never gets "old."

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