Thursday, March 25, 2010

Notes on the Music 12 - You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet

[The twelfth in a series of postings on the music in my show Just a Song at Twilight: The Golden Age of Vaudeville. Performances are March 26 and 27 at the Kranzberg Center in St. Louis; tickets at]

Lew Brown / Carl Schraubstader: Last Night on the Back Porch (I Loved Her Best of All) (1923) – One good Jolson tune from Bombo deserves another. Lest there be any doubt that this was designed as a showcase for "Jolie's" unique talents, the first verse includes his catch phrase "you ain't heard nothin' yet". Many others have performed it since, including Bing Crosby and our own St. Louis Ragtimers. The score includes a whopping total of eight (!) verses. Only Jolson could get away with that many, so I don't even try. Given my ethnic background, however, I couldn't pass up the cheesy Italian dialect patter - or the more suggestive lyrics. There might have been even more lyrics that were never recorded. The sheet music has the following note at the bottom of the page of extra verses: "For community sings or house parties continue indefinitely by substituting KISS-HUG-SQUEEZE etc for LOVE using words of first chorus: - viz I kiss her in the morning And I kiss her at night".

I'm not sure why the copyright date on this song is a year later than "Toot, Toot Tootsie" (which itself is a year later than the New York run of Bombo); it might have been added for one of the many tours of this very popular show.

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