Hadda brooks sings and swings


This two CD set-“Hadda Swings” and “Hadda Sings”-spans the long career of octogenarian pianist and vocalist Hadda Brooks’. The material ranges from Brooks first recording, “Swingin’ the Boogie,” released in 1945, and finds the “Queen of the Boogie,” back in the studio as recently as last year. Boogie-woogie fans will certainly appreciate Brooks’ two-fisted style, taking it alone or historically teamed with fellow pianist Pete Johnson. Most of this pair’s tunes were recorded in 1958. While the popping boogie-woogies on “Hadda Swings” are almost entirely originals, on the later works Brooks changes the pace, choosing popular numbers “Misty” and “Rhapsody in Blue.” The “Hadda Sings” section opens with her signature song and first hit, 1947’s “That’s My Desire.” A more sophisticated Brooks is heard on this disc as she swings in the style of the times, with vocals somewhat reminiscent of Patti Page. Her piano is often missing on many of the early cuts. Unfortunately, the liner notes don’t credit any of the musicians so we aren’t told who’s playing that fine guitar. (What liner notes do exist are barely readable with design and color obscuring the print.) A treat on this disc is when the late great pianist/vocalist Charles Brown joins Brooks on a touching “Stairway to the Stars,” recorded in 1998.

Brooks actually preferred ballads to boogie-woogies, but worked up her style by listening to Albert Ammons , Pete Johnson , and Meade Lux Lewis records. Her first recording, the pounding "Swingin' the Boogie," for Jules Bihari 's Modern Records , was a sizable regional hit in 1945, and another R&B Top Ten with "Out of the Blue," her most famous song. [ 5 ] It was Jules Bihari who gave her the recording name Hadda Brooks. [ 6 ] Clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman recommended Brooks to a film director friend of his who placed her in the film Out of the Blue in 1947. [ 7 ] Encouraged by orchestra leader Charlie Barnet , Brooks practiced singing "You Won't Let Me Go," and the song became her first vocal recording in 1947. She usually played the small part of a lounge piano player in films, and often sang the title song. "Out of the Blue" became a top hit for Brooks, "Boogie Woogie Blues" followed in 1948, and she appeared in In a Lonely Place (1950) starring Humphrey Bogart , [ 8 ] and in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) with Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas . [ 9 ] Brooks became the first African-American woman to host her own television show in 1957. The Hadda Brooks Show , [ 10 ] a combination talk and musical entertainment show, aired on Los Angeles' KCOP-TV . The show opened with Brooks seated behind a grand piano, cigarette smoke curling about her, and featured "That's My Desire" as her theme song. She appeared in 26 half-hour episodes of the show. She commuted to Europe in the 1970s for performances in nightclubs and festivals, but performed rarely in the United States, reemerging in the late 1980s playing nightclubs regularly in Los Angeles , San Francisco , and New York , receiving rave reviews.


Hadda Brooks Sings And SwingsHadda Brooks Sings And SwingsHadda Brooks Sings And SwingsHadda Brooks Sings And Swings

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