Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

Southern Style: Reissues From Jeri Southern

This week on Afterglow it’s “Southern Style” with reissues of jazz singer and pianist Jeri Southern's 1950s Decca LPs.

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Jeri Southern Album Cover

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Jeri Southern's 1950s album, The Southern Style. Known for her intimate, direct vocal approach), Southern found it more and more difficult to perform in front of audiences as her career went on.

This week on Afterglow it’s “Southern Style” as we feature reissues of two of torch-jazz singer Jeri Southern’s 1950s Decca LPs.

Jeri Southern was a singer and pianist who retired in 1961 while she was still in her prime; known for her intimate, direct vocal approach (one critic called it “conversational”), she also found it more and more difficult to perform in front of audiences as her career went on.

She was born in Nebraska in 1926 and came to notice in the late 1940s working the Chicago jazz-club scene, eventually signing with Decca Records, where she scored hits with the singles “You Better Go Now” and “When I Fall in Love.”

We’ll hear music from her mid-1950s Decca albums Prelude to a Kiss and The Southern Style.

Other artists on the program include Duke Ellington, Mundell Lowe, and Bud Shank, as well as new recordings from singer Tony DeSare and pianist Stefano Bollani.

Music Heard On This Episode

Lush Life
Dianne Reeves — Lush Life: the Untold Story of Billy Strayhorn (Blue Note, 2007)
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Lush Life
Dianne Reeves — Lush Life: the Untold Story of Billy Strayhorn (Blue Note, 2007)

Notes: New release.

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Kiss
Tony DeSare — Last First Kiss (TelArc, 2007)

Notes: New release. Prince song.

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Bess
Lee Morgan — Here's Lee Morgan (Vee-Jay, 1960)

Notes: Lee Morgan composition.

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Night People
June Christy — Ballads for Night People (Capitol Jazz, 1959)

Notes: Fran Landesman-Tommy Wolf song.

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Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)
Stefano Bollani — Piano Solo (ECM, 2007)

Notes: New release. Brian Wilson-Tony Asher song (recorded by the Beach Boys for the album PET SOUNDS).

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On a Turquoise Cloud
Duke Ellington — Duke Ellington and His Great Vocalists (Legacy/Columbia, 1947)

Notes: With Kay Davis performing the wordless vocal.

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Take Love Easy
Duke Ellington — Duke Ellington and His Great Vocalists (Legacy/Columbia, 1947)

Notes: With Dolores Parker on vocals. From the musical BEGGAR'S HOLIDAY.

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Prelude to a Kiss
Jeri Southern — Prelude to a Kiss (Decca, 1957)
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Cross My Heart
Jeri Southern — Prelude to a Kiss (Decca, 1957)
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Speak Low
Jeri Southern — Prelude to a Kiss (Decca, 1957)
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The Touch of Your Lips
Jeri Southern — Prelude to a Kiss (Decca, 1957)

Notes: Ray Noble song.

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The Lost and the Lonely
Mundell Lowe — Satan in High Heels (Collectables, 1962)

Notes: From the film of the same name.

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I Will Wait for You
Bud Shank — Windmills of Your Mind (World Pacific, 1969)

Notes: Written by Michel LeGrand, originally for the movie THE UMBRELLAS OF CHARBOURG.

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The Wind
Enrico Rava — The Words & the Days (ECM, 2007)

Notes: New release. Russ Freeman composition.

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Make Someone Happy
Tierney Sutton — On the Other Side (TelArc, 2007)

Notes: New release.

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Still Life, Still Life
Keith Jarrett — Fort Yawuh (Impulse, 1973)

Notes: With Dewey Redman on tenor sax, Charlie Haden on bass, and Paul Motian on drums.

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One Day I Wrote His Name Upon the Sand
Jeri Southern — The Southern Style (Decca, 1955)
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I'll Wear the Green Willow
Jeri Southern — The Southern Style (Decca, 1955)
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It's De-Lovely
Jeri Southern — The Southern Style (Decca, 1955)
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I Don't Know Where to Turn
Jeri Southern — The Southern Style (Decca, 1955)
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I Hadn't Anyone Till You
Jeri Southern — The Southern Style (Decca, 1955)
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Everybody Knew But Me
Woody Herman — Complete Columbia Recordings 1945-47 (Mosaic, 1945)

Notes: With Herman on vocals.

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Flesh and Bones
Conte Candoli — Sweet Simon (Best Recordings, 1992)

Notes: With Pete Christlieb on tenor sax.

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Willow Road
Mel Torme — Mel Torme Collection 1944-1985 (Rhino, 1946)

Notes: With the Mel-Tones and Sonny Burke & his Orchestra

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No More Goodbyes
Hank Mobley — Hi Voltage (Blue Note, 1968)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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