If you’re a regular visitor to these parts, you know we occasionally stop by Ray’s Corner.
It’s the apartment with the loud music, and the place where the martinis are made of gin with the vermouth bottle held about a foot away.
Dad and I were in the car for a couple of hours on Easter Sunday, but not just any car. The lovely Janet recently went out and bought herself a new Saturn Vue. It came with three months of XM Radio.
We tuned it to Channel 4, the ’40s channel. Dad, who at 82 is still full of surprises, starts naming every song and every artist. I mean, nailing each one within just a couple of notes or chords. Even to the point of: “Jo Stafford? That one doesn’t belong, She’s from the ’50s.”
Here’s one we heard, one that Dad got in about 7 seconds flat:
“Drum Boogie,” by Gene Krupa, 1941, widely available, including on “The Gene Krupa Story,” a 1999 import box set. It swings, and Krupa really bashes his drum kit on it.
It’s featured in “Ball of Fire,” the great screwball comedy from that year. Barbara Stanwyck performs the song with Krupa and his band in the film, but it’s really the voice of Martha Tilton, another popular singer of the time.