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Beyond The Clouds - Arthur Fields (Van Dyke)





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Published on Apr 6, 2012

Recorded in 1929. Like Irving Kaufman, Fields in the 1920s sang vocal choruses on numerous dance band recordings, working with studio musicians such as Red Nichols and the Dorsey brothers. Bands include Bailey's Lucky Seven, the Vagabonds, the Alabama Red Peppers, Fred Hall and His Sugar Babies, Sam Lanin, California Ramblers, and the related Little Ramblers. These were issued on such labels as Gennett, Romeo, Pathe Actuelle, Perfect, and Harmony.

Sometimes using the name "Mr. X," he cut over 160 popular songs for Grey Gull/Radiex in its 2000 series and others. In 1927 and 1928 he probably recorded more for Grey Gull as a solo artist than for any other company. Radiex 2337 features Fields singing "Plucky Lindy," one of many tributes recorded around this time about aviator Charles A. Lindbergh (Vernon Dalhart had nearly a monopoly on such songs in recording studios though others who recorded Lindbergh titles include Irving Kaufman and Jack Kaufman).

He had three Gennett sessions in 1929, producing a total of 8 sides issued on Gennett, Champion, and Supertone. He also provided vocal refrains for a group called the Tin Pan Paraders.

His late work for Edison was released in the electric 52,000 Diamond Disc series as well as in the short-lived lateral cut series. Five late Edison discs are credited to Arthur Fields and His Assassinators, and they feature Hall on piano and musicians who normally worked with Hall. Not typical for the time, harmonica is played on some of these dance band recordings. The last Edison Diamond Disc featuring Fields as a solo artist was issued in November 1928: "King for a Day" coupled with "Yascha Michaeloffsky's Melody" (52406). Edison lateral cut "Needle Type" records were introduced in mid-1929, and two feature Fields and His Assassinators on both sides, 14061 and 14075. Edison promotional literature dated October 18, 1929, in announcing the release of 14061, speaks of "Art Fields himself doing the vocal honors." Promotional literature dated November 1, 1929 states about 14075, "Piccolo Pete is the biggest novelty dance hit of the day. The Assassinators have executed it in a murderous manner." The reverse side of Needle Type 14075 is "I Can't Sleep In The Movies Any More," written by Fields, Hall, and Van Cleve.

For Victor on May 13, 1932, he recorded six titles with Fred Hall, using the name "Gunboat Billy and the Sparrow." They were issued on Victor 23698, 23714, and 24024.

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