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Various Artists: A Jumpin’ Jubilee: The Jam Sessions, 1945-46

The news that Wayne Newton, the Las Vegas showman, would be entertainer-in-chief for U.S. troops in Afghanistan coincided with the release of two CDs containing music broadcast to World War II servicemen and women. As this was written, the war against the Taliban was going well. We can only speculate about how Newton’s “Red Roses for a Blue Lady” and “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast” may affect morale and fighting effectiveness. There has been no announcement that jazz would be a component of the U.S.O.’s entertainment of the fighters against terrorism. Six decades ago, it was a different story, particularly in the Armed Forces Radio Service’s Jubilee series of broadcasts.

These discs, released via Storyville imprints, contain music from shows recorded on 16-inch transcriptions and aired around the world on military bases and war ships and in service hospitals. The ad hoc big band on A Jumpin’ Jubilee includes Bobby Hackett, Manny Klein, Emmett Berry, Vic Dickenson, Willie Smith, Corky Corcoran and Slim Gaillard on a spirited “Sonny Boy,” with solos from all hands and a vocal by Leo Watson. Peggy Lee joins the band for a full-bodied arrangement of her “You Was Right, Baby.”

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