Arranged by Artie Shaw and Jerry Gray, Edited by Jeffrey Sultanof
Background: On the same recording date that Shaw’s monster hit Begin the Beguine was waxed (and coincidentally the first date Shaw’s band made for the RCA Victor Company), Any Old Time was recorded as well. Famous as the only side that Billie Holiday made during her brief time as vocalist with Shaw’s band, Any Old Time is also notable as one of the few instances of Shaw the songwriter. He wrote both words and music here.
The Music: Based on the score and parts, it appears that this arrangement was prepared in a hurry, possibly for this recording date; there are numerous shortcuts on the score and errors on both score and parts. The RCA Victor executives were clearly looking for a hit from the four sides recorded and they thought that this song and Indian Love Call had possibilities. No one was more surprised than Shaw when Begin the Beguine took off and made his band one of the most popular in the country.
Any Old Time had to be withdrawn at the time because Holiday was under contract to Brunswick Records and made the recording without clearing it with her label. In March of 1939, Shaw re-recorded the song with Helen Forrest, who replaced Holiday (she went on to sing with the Benny Goodman and Harry James bands). However, Forrest’s version was not released until 1944 and did not have the distribution that the Holiday record had in later years.
Wishing to include some of the titles from his late ‘30s band for his 1944-5 crew, Shaw had trombonist/arranger Harry Rodgers add 4th trumpet and 4th trombone parts to the original arrangement. The parts are in his handwriting, although a second set of both parts were professionally copied.
While Jerry Gray was the chief arranger for Shaw during this period, it was actually the leader who sketched out the arrangements and then reviewed them with Gray, who then filled out the sketches and wrote out the full score. Except for treatments of current pop tunes (most of which Shaw had no musical interest in), arrangements should be credited to both Shaw and Gray.
The arrangement begins in F for a chorus and then modulates to C for the vocal part. The chart then goes to Ab for the last section. This is not really a demanding chart but does call for a technically proficient clarinetist. Shaw's clarinet parts are written out in full (on Alto 1) as well as the 8-bar tenor solo. Chord changes have been provided in the event that the players would rather improvise. This chart was originally written for 3 trumpets and 3 trombones. Wishing to include some of the titles from his late 30s band for his 1944-5 crew, Shaw had trombonist/arranger Harry Rodgers add 4th trumpet and 4th trombone parts to the original arrangement. The parts are in his handwriting, although a second set of both parts were professionally copied.