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I Couldn't If I Wanted To

Irving Mills' Hotsy Totsy Gang

 

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Irving Harold Mills
(January 16th 1894 - April 21st 1985)

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Recorded in New York City on October 16th 1928 featuring Irving Mills (as Milton Irving) violin, vocals, & director, Jimmy McPartland and Al Harris trumpet, Jack Teagarden trombone, Benny Goodman clarinet, alto, & soprano sax, Gil Rodin clarinet & alto sax, Larry Binyon tenor sax, Vic Breidis piano, Dick Morgan banjo, Harry Goodman bass brass, and Ben Pollack drums.

*"I Couldn't If I Wanted To (I Wouldn't If I Could)" was composed by Irving Mills and Jack Palmer.

This rendition of the song was arranged by Bob Haring.

Born Isadore Minsky in Odessa, Ukraine in 1894 as a boy he immigrated to the United States with his family settling on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Following the death of his father in 1905 Isadore and his brother Jack were forced to hold a string of menial jobs to support their mother including busing tables and working in the garment industry.

In 1919 after both gaining work experience in the music publishing business Irving and his brother struck out on their own founding "Jack Mills, Inc." later renamed "Mills Music Inc." in 1928.

As Irving Mills (and under the pen name Joe Primrose) he would establish himself as an impresario with a hand in nearly every facet of jazz; from songwriting and performing, to promoting and organizing groups.

With a keen ear for talent he would be responsible for the discovery and success of a huge number of songwriters like Gene Austin, Hoagy Carmichael, Jimmy McHugh, and Dorothy Fields.

His management and influence also jump-started and in some cases even launched the careers of many great musicians including Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Ben Pollack, Jack Teagarden, Benny Goodman, and more.



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