Boswell Sisters “Crazy People”
I can’t believe I found this video of the Boswell Sisters singing “Crazy People”. For those of you unfamiliar with the Boswell Sisters, they were a 3 sister singing act that recorded in the late 20’s through the mid thirties. Their harmonies and syncopation became infamous. The Andrew Sisters were actually a take off on the Boswell Sisters.
The Boswell Sisters did many of their recordings with the Dorsey Brothers, most of which would start around 2 in the morning after they all completed their nightly gigs. Getting a take back then was laborious and each take the musicians were given was considered to be rather permanent, so it had to be good with few to no mistakes.
One funny story I read about these sessions, talked about the Dorsey Brothers bass player. As time was short, takes were precious and few, and most of the guys had already been drinking earlier in the evening during their previous gigs, they decided a no alcohol rule would be enforced during their recording sessions. So no one could quite figure out how it was that the bass player continued to get drunk. Then one night while recording they caught him opening up the back of his upright bass. It appeared he had built a trap door in his bass and was storing his booze there.
Anyway at one point in my life as a singer, I spent day and night listening to the Boswell Sisters, trying to learn from their harmonies and music. Their songs and arrangements were something to aspire to and not easy to sing.
This particular song and arrangement holds special meaning to me. I did a jazz program in University and sang an arrangement of this song with some friends of mine for my senior recital. It was my favorite part of the program and a recording that I think I may need to go through my drawers and find.
Get a small taste of what I’m talking about. See the sisters by clicking on the link below or cutting and pasting the link into your browser, and have some fun! There will be more Boswell Sisters down the line.