Pop Archives

Bryan Davies - Five Foot-Two (1961)

(Joe Young - Ray Henderson - Sam Lewis)
Australia Australia
#5 Sydney #10 Brisbane #10 Adelaide | #16 Australia

Single on His Master’s Voice, October 1961, the second single released by Bryan Davies and the second to chart. The first was his hit Dream Girl (#5 Australia).

Listen at YouTube

Popular singer, TV host, actor and cabaret artist Bryan Davies was born in 1944 in Manchester UK, but lived in Australia from early childhood.

His recording career followed initial TV appearances on ATN7’s Teen Time and other local pop shows. His best chart runs were in Sydney where he had eight charting singles 1961-67.

During a sojourn in London he worked with EMI producer and conductor Norrie Paramor, best known for his work with Cliff Richard & The Shadows.

For more on Bryan Davies see under Dream Girl.

Thanks to Dave Overett for suggestion.

Frisco Joe’s Goodtime Boys (With Smacka The Singing Barman) - Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue (1954)

(Joe Young - Ray Henderson - Sam Lewis)
Australia Australia

On Magnasound EP Frisco Joe’s Housewarming Party Vol 1 by mid-1950s Dixieland jazz outfit from Melbourne.

This record features at least two Australian jazz legends: pianist-composer and mainstay of the group Graeme Bell (1914-2012) and singer-banjoist-restaurateur1 Graham Francis “Smacka” Fitzgibbon (1930-1979). Smacka’s sister Maggie Fitzgibbon (1929-2020) also recorded with Frisco Joe’s Goodtime Boys.

See also Smacka FitzgibbonWaterloo Road (1970). Smacka’s biggest hit was The Adventures Of Barry McKenzie (1972, #20 Australia).

Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue seems to have been favoured by Australian trad jazz bands. See, for example:
Ray Price Quintet, on ATA LP Jazz Spectrum (Introduction To Jazz By Ray Price) (1971)
The Red Onions Jazz Band LP on Drum/HMV Red Onions Live! At La Brochette1 (1974).

Footnote: 1. La Brochette was a Melbourne jazz restaurant run by Smacka Fitzgibbon from 1969.

Reference: Jack Mitchell, Australian Jazz On Record (1988)

Gene Austin - Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue (Has Anybody Seen My Girl) (1926)

(Joe Young - Ray Henderson - Sam Lewis)
#1 USA*

*Chart placings here are as calculated for Joel Whitburn’s chart book Pop memories, 1890-1954 (digitised copy at Internet Archive; see here and here for methodology).

This was the big hit version of the 1920s. A Victor release, recorded in December 1925, it peaked in March 1926.

Singer Gene Austin (1900-1972) was from Texas, born Eugene Lucas. His 1927 hit My Blue Heaven was one of the biggest selling records of the pre-rock’n’roll era. See Gene Austin entry at Donald Clarke’s Encyclopaedia of Popular Music.

Some other popular early versions:
Art Landry & His Orchestra, vocals Denny Curtis (1926, #10 USA) on Victor rec. 17 Nov 1925
Ernie Golden & His Orchestra (1926, #15 USA) on Brunswick rec. 11 Jan 1926 by prolific recording artist
Tiny Hills & His Orchestra (1940, #25 USA) on Okeh rec. 15 June 1940
Benny Strong & His Orchestra (1949, #30 USA) on Capitol released 1948

Lanin’s Red Heads (incidental singing by Art Gillham) - Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue (1925)

(Joe Young - Ray Henderson - Sam Lewis)
Original version

The copyrighted title is Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue; Has Anybody Seen My Girl but most recordings over the years appear to have used just Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue. It is possible that the song is referred to casually as Has Anybody Seen My Girl or Gal, but that seems to be much less common as a title of a recording.

Disc on Columbia recorded 19 October 1925.

This is cited as the original by the three major original versions sites, The Originals, Cover.info and SecondHandSongs, which also list more versions than you will find on this page. (SecondHandSongs has 185.)

Keeping in mind that we often have only recording dates, not release dates for records of this era, these are the earliest sessions I have found, all from 1925:2
• Lanin’s Red Heads on Columbia 483-D, recorded 19 October 1925
• Bailey’s Lucky Seven on Gennett 3175, rec. c. 23 October 1925
• Art Landry & His Orchestra, vocals Denny Curtis on Victor 19850, rec. 17 November 1925
• Arthur Fields on Regal 9974, rec. 18 November 1925
• Golden Gate Orchestra (pseudonym of The California Ramblers), on Edison 51661, rec. 24 November 1925
• Gene Austin on Victor 19899, rec. 11 December 1925
• Esther Walker on Brunswick 3008, rec. December 1925
• (Nathan) Glantz & His Orchestra on Puritan 11425, rec. (late?) 1925

Lanin’s Red Heads was one of numerous bands or ensembles organised and led by Sam Lanin (1891-1977), Russian-born violinist, clarinettist, conductor, arranger and broadcaster.

Crooner and songwriter Art Gillham (1895-1961) was a pioneering broadcaster and a prolific recording artist who released dozens of records from 1923 through to the early 1930s.

2. Sources of recording dates and other discographic data:
• Brian Rust, Jazz records, 1897-1942, Vol. 1 (1978)
• Brian Rust, The complete entertainment discography, from the mid-1890s to 1942 (1973)
• The Online Discographical Project (78discography.com)
• Discography of American Historical Recordings (DAHR)
• The Truesound Online Discography Project (truesoundtransfers.de in English).