The Five Pennies + The Gene Krupa Story (2 LP on 1 CD) Digipack
  • Armstrong & Kaye
    Armstrong & Kaye
  • Sal Mineo
    Sal Mineo
  • Gene Krupa
    Gene Krupa
  • Anita O`Day
    Anita O`Day
  • Red Nichols
    Red Nichols
  • Leith Stevens
    Leith Stevens

Louis Armstrong & Danny Kaye

The Five Pennies + The Gene Krupa Story (2 LP on 1 CD) Digipack

Blue Moon Soundtracks

Louis Armstrong & His All Stars, Red Nichols & His Five Pennies, Gene Krupa Combo, Studio Orchestra arranged & conducted by Leith Stevens, Alexander Courage, Benny Carter, Heinie Beau (arr)

Reference: BMCD 3511

Two original soundtracks on one CD + 16-page booklet

THE FIVE PENNIES was one of the most commercial jazz films of 1959 featuring Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong, and also one of the most celebrated jazz soundtracks of all times. It was based on the biography of legendary cornet player Red Nichols (Kaye), a small-town musician who moved to New York City in the 1920s and formed his own Dixieland band called The Five Penniesa play on Nichols name, since a nickel equals five pennies. The film deftly captures the flavor and color of an era, contains several scenes with good music, and ends up being a very moving story about a family.

THE GENE KRUPA STORY is a picture of great dramatic depth that brought to the screen the fascinating and controversial life of a musician that was more than a famed jazz drummer. He was the symbol of a frenetic era, the pulse-keeper of his time, the embodiment in rhythm of the unique American spirit. Ideally cast in the drummers role is Sal Mineo, who works wonders matching his movements to Krupas soundtrack drumming. Shelly Manne portrays drummer Dave Tough, and Anita O'Day appears as herself when she was a vocalist with the Krupa orchestra. Through the decades, Gene Krupa still remains a symbol of jazz rhythm.

01. Main Title (Sylvia Fine. Arr. Leith Stevens) 2:00
Leith Stevens & Orchestra
02. The Five Pennies (Fine) 2:14
Performed by Danny Kaye
03. After Youve Gone (Creamer-Layton) 1:14
Performed by Louis Armstrong
04. Bill Bailey,
Wont You Please Come Home (Cannon) 1:58
Performed by Louis Armstrong & Danny Kaye
05. Indiana Radio Montage (Adapt. Sylvia Fine) 3:17
Performed by Danny Kaye, Leith Stevens & Orchestra
06. Back Home Again in Indiana (MacDonald-Hanley) 1:50
Performed by Red Nichols & His 5 Pennies
07. Good Night, Sleep Tight (Sylvia Fine) 1:35
Performed by Eileen Wilson
08. Lullabye in Ragtime (Sylvia Fine. Arr. Halmy) 2:35
Performed by Danny Kaye & Eileen Wilson
09. Battle Hymn of the Republic (Trad. Arr.: Sylvia Fine) 2:42
Performed by Red Nichols & His Five Pennies & Louis Armstrong
10. The Five Pennies Saints (Trad. Arr. Sylvia Fine) 3:11
Performed by Danny Kaye & Louis Armstrong
11. College Montage:
Washington and Lee Swing (Allen-Sheafe-Robbins)
Runnin Wild (Grey-Wood-Gibbs)
Follow the Leader (Sylvia Fine) 2:30
Performed by Kaye, Red Nichols & His 5 Pennies
12. Good Night, Sleep Tigh Medley:
Lullabye in Ragtime
The Five Pennies (Sylvia Fine) 3:47
Performed by Danny Kaye,
Louis Armstrong & Susan Gordon
13. Just the Blues (Leith Stevens-Sylvia Fine) 1:44
Performed by Louis Armstrong
14. Carnival of Venice (Pietro Frosini) 0:43
Performed by Danny Kaye
15. The Music Goes Round and Round (Farley-Riley-Hodgson) 1:43
Performed by Danny Kaye & Susan Gordon
16. Wail of The Winds (Warren) 0:56
Performed by Red Nichols & His 5 Pennies
17. Jingle Bells (Trad. Adap. Sylvia Fine) 1:15
Performed by Danny Kaye
18. The Five Pennies Finale Battle Hymn of the Republic Finale (Fine) 2:35
Performed by Eileen Wilson, Red Nichols & His 5 Pennies
19. Main Title (Leith Stevens) 1:18
Leith Stevens and Orchestra
20. I Love My Baby (Green-Earren) 3:42
Performed by Ruby Lane accompanied by small group
21. Royal Garden Blues (Williams-Williams) 1:42
Performed by Gene Krupa Combo
22. Indiana Jam Session (MacDonald-Hanley) 2:08
Performed by Gene Krupa Combo featuring Red Nichols
23. Spiritual Jazz (Leith Stevens) 2:01
Leith Stevens and Orchestra
24. Cherokee (Ray Noble) 2:38
Performed by Gene Krupa and Orchestra
25. Indiana Montage (MacDonald-Hanley) 3:26
Performed by Gene Krupa and Orchestra
26. Memories of You (Razaf-Blake) 2:53
Performed by Anita ODay accompanied by small group
27. Way Down Yonder in New Orleans (Creamer-Layton) 2:12
Performed by Gene Krupa Combo
28. Song of India (traditionnal) 2:35
Leith Stevens and Orchestra
29. Finale (Oahu Dance Cherokee) 6:51
Leith Stevens and Orchestra

Album details

Tracks #1-18 from the album "The Five Pennies" (Dot DLP 29500)
Tracks #19-29 from the album "The Gene Krupa Story" (Verve MGV S6105)


THE FIVE PENNIES Soundtrack musicians:

Studio orchestra conducted by LEITH STEVENS,
RED NICHOLS and His Five Pennies, LOUIS ARMTRONG and His All Stars

Studio orchestra conducted by Leith Stevens, including Bobby Goodrich, Clyde Hurley, Bobby Goodrich, Dick Cathcart, Mannie Klein (tp); Warren Smith, Pete Beilman (tb); Matty Matlock (cl,as); Stan Wrightsman (p); George Van Eps, Allen Reuss (g); Jack Sperling, Nick Fatool (d); Heinie Beau, Benny Carter, Alexander Courage (arr).

Red Nichols and His (augmented) Five Pennies: Red Nichols (tp, cnt); Elmer Moe Schneider (tb); Heinie Beau (cl,as,ts); Benny Carter (as); Wayne Songer (as, bs); Eddie Miller (ts); Joe Rushton (bs); Gene Plummer (p); Morty Corb (b); Shelly Manne (d).

Louis Armstrong and His All Stars: Louis Armstrong (tp, vcl); Trummy Young (tb); Peanuts Hucko (cl); Billy Kyle (p); Mort Herbert, Curtis Counce (b); Danny Barcelona (d)

Red Nichols plays trumpet solos for actor Danny Kaye, Eileen Wilson and Susan Gordon sing vocals for actress Barbara Bel Geddes and Tuesday Weld.

Recorded at Paramount soundstage, Los Angeles, October 1-20, 1958


THE GENE KRUPA STORY Soundtrack musicians:

Studio orchestra arranged and conducted by LEITH STEVENS, GENE KRUPA Combo with ANITA ODAY, RED NICHOLS and SHELLY MANNE

Studio orchestra arranged and conducted by Leith Stevens with Pete Candoli, Conrad Gozzo, Ray Triscari, Joe Triscari (tp); Ed Kusby, Murray McEachern, Tommy Pederson, George Roberts (tb); Heinie Beau (cl, as); Benny Carter (as); Dave Harris, Jerry Casper (ts); Dave Pell (bs); Jimmy Rowles (p); Barney Kessel (g); Morty Corb (b); Shelly Manne (d); John Williams, Jerry Williams (percussion). Small group is taken out of the band featuring Barney Kessel, guitar, and Shelly Manne, drums.

Gene Krupa Combo: Red Nichols (cor); Moe Schneider (tb); Heinie Beau (cl); Benny Carter (as); Eddie Miller (ts); Jess Stacy (p); Barney Kessel (g); Morty Corb (b); Gene Krupa (d).

Recorded at Columbia studio pre-recordings, Los Angeles, January & February 1959
This CD reissue produced by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered

Press reviews

"[...] The Five Pennies et The Gene Krupa Story. Les titres en disent assez les thèmes respectifs: le premier, la biographie, romancée façon Hollywood, de Red Nichols, incarné par Danny Kaye. Un cornettiste légendaire, chef, dans les années 20, dun des groupes newyorkais les plus célèbres. Occasion de brosser une peinture assez fidèle de lépoque [...] Sans doute, le groupe qui entourait Satchmo à lorée des années 60 nétait pas le meilleur quil eût jamais recruté. Mais luimême joue et chante avec un tel enthousiasme quil emporte ladhésion. A noter que cest Nichols lui-même qui double Kaye pour les soli de trompette.

Le second film, tout aussi mélodramatique, conte la vie «fascinante et bouleversée» (sic) du spectaculaire drummer de Benny Goodman. On y entend un orchestre de studio dirigé par Leith Stevens [...] En dépit de ces brillantes individualités, on ne saurait affirmer que le swing est toujours au rendez-vous. Quelques belles envolées des uns et des autres justifient, toutefois, que lon ne boude pas son plaisir."

Jacques Aboucaya (April, 2014)
Jazz Magazine


"As a part-time jazz musician, I often think that a good film could be made by following musicians in their working lives. However, Hollywood producers never seem to think that this is enough: they have to add unbelievable plot devices which they think will make a good story. So in movies we have Glenn Miller presenting June Allyson with a string of pearls while his band plays a tune called guess what! A String of Pearls. And someone says to Benny Goodman Dont be that way, Benny, whereupon Goodman plays a song called Dont Be That Way.

This CD contains the music from two musical film biographies, both released in 1959. of Red Nichols and Gene Krupa. The Nichols film was called The Five Pennies because that was what Nichols called his various bands, even though they often contained twice as many as five musicians. The Nichols story might have had some mileage in it but the producers had to sentimentalise the story, as one can tell from the titles of such songs as Good Night, Sleep Tight. And having cast Danny Kaye in the role of Red Nichols, they had to give him the chance to show his comic talents with a couple of gibberish songs. Red Nichols himself played the cornet solos which Kaye was shown miming on screen.

The saving grace of the film is Louis Armstrong, who sings and plays on several numbers, including After Youve Gone with his All Stars (though it only lasts for one-and-a-quarter minutes) and The Five Pennies Saints (which is mainly the excuse for a comedy duet with Danny Kaye). Just the Blues contains some classic Satchmo soloing, but for less than two minutes. With a line-up that includes such great jazz names as Matty Matlock, Eddie Miller, Benny Carter and Shelly Manne, one might have expected a far more jazzy soundtrack than we have here.

The Gene Krupa Story is much better at least, from the jazz fans point of view. Krupa himself played most of the drum solos which Sal Mineo mimed so skillfully on the screen. Not everyone likes drum solos (I do) but it was educative to see in the movie what Gene probably looked like in his young days. And those sequences suggest that Krupa became an icon because of the visibly energetic way he attacked the drums. Most of his solos were based on the single-stroke roll but he added a visual component which was novel as well as exciting. The CD conveys some of that dynamism, although you really need to buy the DVD to get the full impact.

There is also a brief jam session on Indiana which includes short solos from Benny Carter and Jess Stacy. Red Nichols appears as part of the Gene Krupa Combo on Way Down Yonder in New Orleans. It is also good to hear Anita ODay singing Memories of You.

From the jazz enthusiasts point of view, the Krupa soundtrack is superior to the Five Pennies one, but this is a well-packed CD lasting 70 minutes."

Tony Augarde (March, 2014)
Editor of


10,95 €  (tax incl.)

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