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Billy Moll is a bit of a mystery since there is little personal information available on him. However, he collaborated on one of the all-time great standards in 1931, “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams,” with lyricist Ted Koehler. The song’s popularity has remained steady over the years, having been recorded by Earl Hines, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra, and appearing on the sound track of The Way We Were, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.
”So the Bluebirds and the Blackbirds Got Together,” with lyrics by Harry Barris (who was a member of The Rhythm Boys with Al Rinker and Bing Crosby), became a hit when the vocal group recorded it with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra for the 1930 film The King of Jazz. “Ro-Ro-Rollin’ Along,” written with Harry Richman in 1930, was performed by the Cliquot Club Eskimos, a banjo band that played on a weekly radio show sponsored by Cliquot ginger ale. The song became a “Hit of the Week” which was a recording made of laminated cardboard and sold at newsstands during the Great Depression for 15 cents. The recordings were made by the best musicians of the day, often under pseudonyms. Another of Moll’s successes was “I Want a Little Girl” written with Murray Mencher in 1930.
It could be, however, that the Wisconsin native’s best known song is the novelty tune “I Scream, You Scream (We All Scream for Ice Cream),” written in 1927 with Robert King and Howard Johnson. It celebrated the rage for the dessert which could be enjoyed only at ice cream parlors since home refrigeration was not generally available at the time.
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