Mills Bothers Music in the ’30s

When I was 12, I was crazy about the Mills Brothers. (I didn’t discover Fats Domino until 6 years later.) I loved their vocal harmonies, their cupping hands to mouths making trumpets and trombones. Plus John’s vocal bass. That was in the late ’40s and I didn’t know about all their earlier work with Count Basie, Louie Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Bing Crosby — on and on, until I discovered this 5-CD set (“1930s Recordings.”)

   In “My Walking Stick” with Louie Armstrong, the Mills Brothers “band” plays behind Louie’s vocal, then there’s a duet with Louie’s trumpet along with Herbert’s mouth trumpet. With Cab Calloway, Cab’s band does a solo, then the MBs come in with their vocal trumpets and trombones, like a little band. Wonderful music.”Flat Foot Floogie With A Floy Floy.” Check out the vocal bass with “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love Baby” here.

   Note, I know I repeat stuff from time to time. Goes with the getting older territory. Well hey, your memory is not infinite, right? As new stuff comes in, other stuff gets jettisoned. Right? Right?

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

3 Responses to Mills Bothers Music in the ’30s

  1. Worth repeating, though, Lloyd.
    I loved the Mills Brothers, too. I cannot make music myself, so my musician father said he'd teach me to listen. These (and the others you mention here) were the people he taught me to listen to, as well as Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and other big swing bands.
    I'm not gifted, but Dad gave me a gift: I still love listening, to these oldies and to others. And, hey, I'm glad my memory hasn't jettisoned the likes of Louis, Ella, Bing, etc. to make way for today's new stuff.

  2. Hey Lloyd, I still have all these 78 rpm records of many of these artist's and more that I would almost give away or let go for a song. ( pun intended ) Just over here in Napa so if you or anyone you know is interested please contact me as you have my email. I have a few hundred of these priceless gems. Napa Bob

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