Artist: Ray Noble and his Orchestra with Al Bowlly
Song: Midnight, the Stars and You / Ah Hour Ago this Minute
Record Label: Victor (24700)
Location: The Bistro at Fontaine’s
You’ll hear this song playing at upper floor of The Bistro in the Housewares Department of Fontaine’s sunken department store. Be sure to watch out for the deranged waitress attempting to serve meals to corpses.
Undoubtedly, some people may also recognize this song from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. It plays during the Gold Room scene and over the end credits.
Ray Noble was one of the most popular of the English dance bands during the 20s and 30s. He was both writer and composer of several British hits including “The Touch of Your Lips” and “The Very Thought of You”. He would later become popular as a comedian on radio, television, and film.
Al Bowlly was an extremely popular British jazz crooner. He was Ray Noble’s longtime friend an associate and recorded with him as well at the Roy Fox Orchestra. As you can see, bandleaders were more popular on recordings and regarded as stars with Bowlly given credit as “with vocal refrain”. Al Bowlly changed all that by becoming the first “pop star”.
With his devilish good looks and his extraordinary range and sincerity through which he could deliver a lyric, he became wildly popular with hits such as “Goodnight, Sweetheart”, “Blue Moon”, “You’re the Cream in My Coffee”, and “Guilty”, (which was also featured on the Amélie soundtrack). He would also become the first singer to receive a solo spot on BBC radio and records which bore his own name. Long before The Beatles, female fans would mob Bowlly after performances which earned his nickname, “The Big Swoon”.
He died during the London air-raids in 1941 at the age of 43.
Listen to the flip side “An Hour Ago This Minute” here: