A Real Rhapsody playlist blog of questionable quality

Friday, May 20, 2005

Jumpin' With Symphony Sid

Sid Torrin, AKA Symphony Sid, hosted a live jazz radio show in the 1940's and 50's from Birdland in New York. The show aired nationally on the ABC radio network, and introduced jazz to previously unhip areas of the country. Sid moved from New York to Boston in 1951, where some [dirtywater.com] credit him with introducing R&B and early rock and roll to the Boston airwaves. He later returned to New York for a time before 'retiring' to Florida.

His theme, "Jumpin' With Symphony Sid" was written by Lester Young (King Pleasure later added lyrics).

Opinions vary widely [forums.allaboutjazz.com] on his role in jazz history. However, his humorous style and legacy of great recordings he was MC for are undeniable.

Truly unusual factoid: Ben Stern (Howard's father) was an engineer for Symphony Sid's radio show in New York for some time.

Here's a playlist of Sid introducing various bands and some fine versions of his theme song. Including nine versions of one song may sound a bit silly and tedious, but the variety of style and instrumentation on these tracks is anything but.

Symphony Sid Playlist

Sid Introducing Miles Davis
Theme by Lester Young
Theme by Poncho Sanchez
Sid Introducing Mongo Santamaria
Theme by Herbie Mann
Theme by King Pleasure
Theme by George Shearing
Theme by Willis Jackson
Theme by Dizzy Gillespie
Theme by Hank Crawford and Jimmy McGriff
Sid Introducing Charlie Parker
Theme by Charlie Parker

(photo from dirtywater.com)


Blogger Douglas said...

Do you have an authoritative version of the lyrics to "Jumpin' with Symphony Sid?" All the lyrics sites seem to have things jumbled and mumbled.

2 questions: Do the lyrics say "let everything go real crazy over jazz," or "let everything go real crazy over Jersey?" Do the lyrics say "Gotta be Pres, Bird, Shearing or the Basie?" Inquiring minds want to know!

6/14/2006 5:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Douglas even tho this answer is a year and half old (I just came across your question)
Jumpin with Symphony Sid lyrics are "Let everything go real crazy over "JZ" in reference to WJZ the radio station Sid was at for a time. The second part about "Pres, Bird Shearing or Basie" is correct. That sure brings back memories for me.

11/22/2007 6:22 PM

Anonymous Jack Aubert said...

Another couple of years have passed, but I would like to add another comment. I went looking for the lyrics, which I remember hearing, and in addition to the "mondegreened" (google it)line about Presburg cheerin for the Basie, there is also an erroneous transcription "We don't want think we're listenin too lazy" I remember it as "We don't want to think we're listenin' to Lacey." This was a reference to an afternoon top 40 radio show hosted by Jack Lacey on WINS.

6/30/2008 4:21 PM

Anonymous bmatt said...

Here (finally) is your authoritative lyrics of the King Pleasure recording! I used to listen to Sid all the time on "WADO radio, 1280 on your dial" (possibly where the "80" in the lyric comes from). I have the original recording and just transcribed the lyrics for this blog. Triple checked for accuracy with my musician's ears before posting. So sing along - it's as cloo-ose as you're gonna find!!

"Jumpin' with my boy Sid in the city
Jumpin' with my boy Sid in the city
Mr. President of the DeeJay committee
We're gonna be up all night gettin' with ya'
We want you to spin the sounds by the witty(?)
From down in the land that's really a-pretty.

Make everything go real crazy over 'JZ
Make everything go real crazy over 'JZ
Play anything cool for me and my baby
We don't want to think we're listening to Lacy,
It's got to be Prez, Bird, Shearing or the Basie,
The dial is all set right cloo-ose to 80,
Let 'er roll."

11/03/2008 3:16 AM

Blogger Leonard said...

That is right Bmatt...you got it right "WJZ" radio in New Jersey and "listening to Lacy on WNEW"....

12/21/2008 1:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seven years later and I just came across this blog...

The "close to 80" part of the lyic also refers to WJZ, which in the 1940s was at 770 on the AM dial and became WABC in 1953, eight years after what had been NBC's Blue Network was spun off to create the American Broadcasting Company. The WJZ call letters no longer exist in New York but are preserved as a Baltimore TV station...

The tune 'Jumpin' With Symphony Sid' is based on standard twelve-bar blues chord changes...

5/04/2013 10:53 AM

Anonymous Bob Dworak said...

Leonard is right about Jack Lacey, but I think not about his station. I remember the promotional jingle pretty clearly:

"Listen to Lacey, the guy with a style,
Spinnin' the discs with finesse,
You just set your dial on 1010 awhile,

10/26/2015 11:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember listening to his show which came on at Midnight. I believe the station was WEVD and 1280 AM. One of the many tunes he introduced me to was
Wuayacananga Suite. From "Afro-Cuban Influence" The big band of Shorty Rogers. Don't know if it's available.

1/10/2016 10:14 AM


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