Nights at the Roundtable with Big Maybelle and her soul-wrenching take on the Pop standard "So Long" from 1957.
February 17, 2012

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Big Maybelle - a voice as big as she was.


Transitioning out of Mainstream Pop tonight and sliding into Blues territory with a tore-up-from-the-floor-up version of the 40's standard So Long as done by the inimitable and larger-than-life Big Maybelle.

In the early days of R&B and Doo-wop, a lot of material originally considered Standards from the 1930's and 1940's got a new lease on life by way of the new and renegade music form. Case in point - Etta James classic signature tune At Last actually began life in the early 1940's by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra as a Big Band ballad with vocals by Ray Eberle and The Modernaires. Hard to imagine now, but it's true. And with the exception of the words and the chords, the difference is night and day.

So tonight it's the legendary Big Maybelle and a track she recorded for the Savoy label with Ernie Wilkins Orchestra from a session done on April 13, 1957.

I think we'll be leaving mainstream Pop alone for a while. Get ready for the weekend.

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