The Music Goes Round and Round
Riley-Farley and Their Onyx Club Boys
I think this is an appropriate first “record”-song to post. I recorded this off of my usb turntable. I don’t know anything about noise reduction, so I didn’t do any. The song skips in the beginning and I couldn’t make it not skip. Well anyway. I got two of these Tin Pan Alley records at this gigantic Value Village sale. I love a lot of the songs on these records.
Here’s what the liner notes say about this song:
“In the early years of the century they were called “nut songs,” but as popular music began to be taken seriously, nonsense lyrics set to music began to be termed “novelty songs.” The 1930s had its share: “Goofus,” “A-Tisket A-Tasket,” “Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai, “Flat Foot Floogie,” “Hold Tight (Want Some Sea Food, Mama),” “Three Little Fishes,” “Hut Sut Song,” “Inka Dinka Doo,” “I’se A-Muggin,” “Knock Knock, Who’s There?,” “Shoot the Sherbert to Me, Herbert,” “Ti-Pi-Tin,” and the most popular of all, “The Music Goes Round and Round.” It is about as fruitful to attempt to explain flagpole sitting, silly putty, or hula hoops as to try to understand the periodic, apparently universal surge of popularity of songs like these.
West Fifty-second Street in New York was a source of tremendous musical energy during the 1930s [see New World Records NW 250: Little Club Jazz]. The concentration of nightclubs (most of them former speakeasies) on that street employed large numbers of singers, instrumentalists, and bands that consumed and created a great quantity of songs.
In 1935 the renowed Onyx Club began to feature a swing- and Dixieland-oriented small combo led by two veteran dance-band musicians, Eddie Farley (trumpet) and Mike Riley (trombone). The band never took itself quite seriously and resorted to novelty songs and a great deal of on-stage clowning. One of its routines had something to do with the mechanics of a brass instrument. The song was called “The Music Goes Round and Round,” and for some profoundly mysterious reason it became one of the biggest hits of the decade. So far, deep analysis of its musical structure, the lyrics, and the performances on the recording has yielded no satisfactory explanation for the song’s extraordinary popularity. But, as the sage said, that’s show biz.”
Also, there is apparently a movie about or involving this song. The Music Goes ‘Round (1936)