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Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

West of the Moon: Lee Wiley

This week on Afterglow we’ll feature singer Lee Wiley, who made what are considered to be the very first songbook records in the late 1930s.

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Lee Wilson West Of The Moon Album Cover

Photo: Album Cover

Lee Wilson's West of the Moon, which is considered to be one of Wiley’s finest efforts, and one of the last albums she’d ever record.

This week on Afterglow we’ll feature singer Lee Wiley’s 1956 album West of the Moon.

A smoky, sultry-voiced vocalist whose paramours included Bunny Berigan, Jess Stacy, and Victor Young, Lee Wiley made what are considered to be the very first songbook records in the late 1930s.

As her career progressed, however, Wiley’s recording opportunities became rarer and rarer.

West of the Moon, soon to be reissued by Mosaic Records, was the first of two LPs that she would make for RCA Victor in the mid-1950s. With orchestration by arranger Ralph Burns, West of the Moon is considered to be one of Wiley’s finest efforts, and it’s one of the last albums she’d ever record.

You can read more about Lee Wiley here . We’ll also hear music from Mose Allison, Horace Silver, Mel Torme, Jim Hall with Ron Carter, Oscar Brown Jr., and more.

Music Heard On This Episode

I Hadn't Anyone Till You
Mose Allison — Mose Allison Sings (Prestige, 1958)
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I Hadn't Anyone Till You
Mose Allison — Mose Allison Sings (Prestige, 1958)

Notes: Ray Noble song.

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Enchantment
Horace Silver — 6 Pieces of Silver (Blue Note, 1956)

Notes: Horace Silver composition.

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Once in a While
Madeleine Peyroux — Half the Perfect World (Rounder, 2006)

Notes: New release.

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Please Send Me Someone to Love
Oscar Brown Jr. — Tells It Like It Is/In a New Mood (Columbia/Sony, 1962)

Notes: Percy Mayfield song.

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Soft Sounds
Henry Mancini — Music From Peter Gunn (RCA, 1958)

Notes: From Mancini's soundtrack for the TV series.

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I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good
Mel Torme — The Bethlehem Years (Shout Factory, 1956)

Notes: Originally on the LP IT'S A BLUE WORLD.

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I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues
Lee Wiley — Comp. Brunswick, Parlophone and Vocalion Bunny Berigan Sessions (Mosaic, 1933)
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St. Thomas
Jim Hall/Ron Carter — Alone Together (Milestone, 1972)
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Making Believe You're Here
Nat King Cole — The Very Thought of You (Capitol, 1958)

Notes: Also on the Bear Family box-set STARDUST.

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Out of the Past
Dizzy Gillespie — Greatest Trumpet of Them All (Verve, 1957)

Notes: Benny Golson composition, also on THE VERVE/PHILIPS SMALL GROUP SESSIONS from Mosaic Records.

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I Thought About You
Jimmy Scott — Moon Glow (Milestone, 2003)
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My Ideal
Kenny Dorham — Quiet Kenny (RVG) (Prestige, 1959)
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I'm in the Mood for Love
Smokey Robinson — Timeless Love (Universal, 2006)

Notes: New release.

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You're a Sweetheart
Lee Wiley — West of the Moon (RCA, 1956)

Notes: Album arrangements and orchestra leadership by Ralph Burns.

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This Is New
Lee Wiley — West of the Moon (RCA, 1956)
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You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby
Lee Wiley — West of the Moon (RCA, 1956)
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Who Can I Turn To Now?
Lee Wiley — West of the Moon (RCA, 1956)
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Can't Get Out of This Mood
Lee Wiley — West of the Moon (RCA, 1956)
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East of the Sun
Lee Wiley — West of the Moon (RCA, 1956)
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I Left My Sugar Standing in the Rain
Lee Wiley — West of the Moon (RCA, 1956)
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Moonstruck
Lee Wiley — West of the Moon (RCA, 1956)
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Limehouse Blues
Lee Wiley — West of the Moon (RCA, 1956)
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As Time Goes By
Lee Wiley — West of the Moon (RCA, 1956)
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Keepin' Out of Mischief Now
Lee Wiley — West of the Moon (RCA, 1956)
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A Hundred Years From Today
Lee Wiley — A Touch of the Blues (RCA, 1957)
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Blues in My Heart
Lee Wiley — A Touch of the Blues (RCA, 1957)
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Maybe You'll Be There
Lee Wiley — A Touch of the Blues (RCA, 1957)
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I Don't Want to Walk Without You
Lee Wiley — A Touch of the Blues (RCA, 2006)
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Make Believe
Lee Wiley — A Touch of the Blues (RCA, 1957)
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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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