Night Lights Classic Jazz

Nellie Lutcher’s Real Gone Rhythm

Nellie LutcherThis week on Night Lights we pay tribute to the pianist and singer who passed away in 2007 at the age of 94. A product of the thriving mid-20th century Central Avenue Los Angeles scene, in the late 1940s Lutcher scored a series of hits such as “Hurry On Down” and “Fine Brown Frame” that blended jazz, pop, blues and R & B in a way that made her one of the era’s first crossover stars. We’ll hear those songs and some of Lutcher’s later recordings as well, including a duet with Nat King Cole.

Music Heard On This Episode

Breezin' Along With the Breeze
Nellie Lutcher — Our New Nellie (Liberty, 1956)
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Breezin' Along With the Breeze
Nellie Lutcher — Our New Nellie (Liberty, 1956)
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Reaching for the Moon
Nellie Lutcher — Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm (Bear Family, 1947)
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The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else
Nellie Lutcher — The Best of Nellie Lutcher (Capitol, 1947)
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Hurry On Down
Nellie Lutcher — Best of Nellie Lutcher (Capitol, 1947)

Notes: Nellie Lutcher composition.

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The Lady's In Love With You
Nellie Lutcher — Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm (Bear Family, 1947)

Notes: This and previous two tracks feature Ulysses Livingston on guitar, Billy Hadnott on bass, and Lee Young on drums. Lutcher's first session for Capitol Records.

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He's a Real Gone Guy
Nellie Lutcher — The Best of Nellie Lutcher (Capitol, 1947)

Notes: Nellie Lutcher original. Nappy Lamare on guitar, Billy Hadnott on bass, Lee Young on drums.

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I Thought About You
Nellie Lutcher — The Best of Nellie Lutcher (Capitol, 1947)

Notes: Jimmy van Heusen-Johnny Mercer song. Ulysses Livingston on guitar, Billy Hadnott on bass, Big Sid Catlett on drums.

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Fine Brown Frame
Nellie Lutcher — The Best of Nellie Lutcher (Capitol, 1947)

Notes: Hurley Ramey on guitar, Truck Parham on bass, Alvin Burroughs on drums.

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Humoresque (Opus #7)
Nellie Lutcher — Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm (Bear Family, 1947)

Notes: Antonin Dvorak composition.

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Lake Charles Boogie
Nellie Lutcher — Best of Nellie Lutcher (Capitol, 1947)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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Cool Water
Nellie Lutcher — Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm (Bear Family, 1947)

Notes: Bob Nolan song. Hurley Ramey on guitar, Truck Parham on bass, Alvin Burroughs on drums.

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Baby, Please Stop and Think About Me
Nellie Lutcher — Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm (Bear Family, 1949)

Notes: Duke Ellington-Irving Gordon song. John Collins on guitar, Benny Booker on bass, Earl Hyde on drums.

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For You My Love
Nellie Lutcher/Nat King Cole — Jazz Encounters (Capitol, 1950)

Notes: With Irving Ashby on guitar, Joe Comfort on bass, Earl Hyde on drums, Charlie Barnet on tenor sax, and Ernie Royal on trumpet.

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Let the Worry Bird Worry for You
Nellie Lutcher — Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm (Bear Family, 1951)

Notes: Jule Styne-Leo Robin song. With a Billy May-led big band.

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Whee Baby
Nellie Lutcher — Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm (Bear Family, 1953)

Notes: With Marshall Royal on alto sax, Harry Sweets Edison on trumpet.

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Out of This World
Nellie Lutcher — Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm (Bear Family, 1954)

Notes: Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer song. With Ulysses Livingston on guitar, Billy Hadnott on bass, and Alvin Stoller on drums. Recorded for the Decca label.

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Blue Skies
Nellie Lutcher — Our New Nellie (Liberty, 1956)

Notes: Irving Berlin song. Orchestra under the direction of Russ Garcia.

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A Maid's Prayer
Nellie Lutcher — Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm (Bear Family, 1947)

Notes: Co-written by Lutcher.

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The Song Is Ended
Nellie Lutcher — The Best of Nellie Lutcher (Capitol, 1947)

Notes: Irving Berlin song. With Irving Ashby on guitar, Billy Hadnott on bass, and Big Sid Catlett on drums.

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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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