Five different versions of Memories of You were recorded –
all within a three-month period; and all with the 1939 sextet in NYC, same
personnel (Smack was reinstated as the sextet pianist for the concert) and routine:
one radio studio broadcast, one at a Waldorf-Astoria Hotel gig, two in the
Columbia recording studio for possible commercial release, and one in
concert at Carnegie Hall on Christmas Eve. Goodman’s forte was playing
the melody on ballads – his contributions to this tune are exemplary.
Charles’ usual method is to employ eighth notes in his solos. On slower
tunes he would use sixteenth notes in parts of his solos. Memories of You is
unique in that he applies sixteenth notes exclusively on all five versions.
And he plays much of the rhythm straight (not syncopated) on all five of his
solos usually holding the swingin’ till the last bar.
Each and every one of Charlie Christian’s solos is beautifully put together. Like whiffs of
fresh air. They arrive, exhilarate, and are quickly gone.
Oct 23, 1939
Empire Room at the Waldorf-Astoria
Charles’ solo begins with the same phrase as on the first version but with a slightly different
inflection. The measures that follow are comparable in concept to those on Oct 7th (but
very different in detail) until the last two very dissimilar ending bars.
Jan Evensmo in The Guitars of Charlie Christian… (1976):
“This version of
Memories… is really worthy of a great musician. It is clean and well conceived, with
an unusually beautiful introduction in the lower register. Really masterly. It is also rather
different from the other known versions.”
Claude Carrière in Charlie Christian, Vol. 1 (1992) MJCD 24 liner notes:
from the earlier version, Memories of You is none the less beautiful … the guitar bridge makes
us regret Christian was denied a full chorus…”