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Origins: Old Cape Cod (Rothrock/Yakus/Jeffrey)

Joe Offer 18 Jan 18 - 04:20 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jan 18 - 04:24 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jan 18 - 06:12 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jan 18 - 06:21 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jan 18 - 06:37 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jan 18 - 06:42 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 18 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 22 Jan 18 - 02:59 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 22 Jan 18 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,David Nolan 15 Feb 18 - 06:26 PM
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Subject: Origins: Old Cape Cod (Rothrock/Yakus/Jeffrey)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 04:20 PM

I first heard this song on the Patti Page recording in the 1950s - the record came out in 1956, or some sources say 1957. That record was my only impression of Cape Cod until I visited there when my sister was living nearby in the area - and Cape Cod wasn't at all like the description in the song. A big part of the Cape is like a city. The northwest part of the Cape, the part nearest to Plymouth, looks like most other Boston suburbs.The southeast part around Woods Hole is much more interesting, but still pretty much citified. Finally, at about Eastham, the Cape narrows and turns north; and it's mostly a wide, open, beautiful spit of sand until it curls around to the west and widens into beautiful, little Provincetown. Lots of lighthouses along the way, so I explored it well. My sister lived on the mainland, due west of Provincetown at Duxbury. The line from Duxbury to Provincetown forms the entrance to Cape Cod Bay.

OLD CAPE COD
(Claire Rothrock, Milt Yakus, and Allan Jeffrey)

If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air
Quaint little villages here and there
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod

If you like the taste of lobster stew
Served by a window with an ocean view
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod

Winding roads that seem to beckon you
Miles of green beneath the skies of blue
Church bells chimin' on a Sunday morn
Remind you of the town where you were born

If you spend an evening you'll want to stay
Watching the moonlight on Cape Cod Bay
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod

If you spend an evening you'll want to stay
Watching the moonlight on Cape Cod Bay
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod


Lyrics are from one of "those" websites, but I corrected them according to the 1956 recording..
http://www.metrolyrics.com/old-cape-cod-lyrics-patti-page.html


And here's a YouTube video of the Patti Page recording, identified as 1956: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVsQeWho5hU

Here's another Patti Page recording, dated 1957. It has backup singers and a more complex arrangement by Vic Schoen & His Orchestra, so I think it's a later recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmWVeTYopZ4

Is it possible that Patti Page had recordings of this song both in 1956 AND 1957?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Cape Cod (Rothrock/Yakus/Jeffrey)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 04:24 PM

So, we got an email from England at the Rise Up Singing Store:
    Dear Ms. Evans - My name is Sean ---. I?m a writer based in England and I am (slowly) working on a book about music/songs and their influence on people.

    I believe you and your colleagues have a record store in/around Cape Cod area - or at least Boston. I saw the name of a songwriter Mr. Milton Yakus, come up on your site.
    He is, I believe, one of three people, also including a ?housewife? and amateur songwriter named Ms. Claire Rothrock who co-wrote the Patti Page song "Old Cape Cod."

    I suspect no-one of them are left alive, but I wanted to see if anybody knew of them or what became of them. I've seen a couple of different stories about how Ms. Page came to sing the song.

    Is there anybody you know to whom I may know about this.

    Kind regards,

    Sean ---





So, can we come up with any information about the songwriters? The songwriters were Claire Rothrock, Milt Yakus, and Allan Jeffrey. My copy of Who Wrote That Song? doesn't credit the songwriters with any other songs, but Wikipedia does ties Milt Yakus to several songs I've never heard of. The Wikipedia page on the song is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Cape_Cod

Discogs.com describes Milt Yakus as "Songwriter, father of engineer Shelly Yakus, one of the original owners of Boston's Ace Recording Studios." I gather from Ancestry.com that Milt Yakus was born in 1918, lived in Suffolk County Massachusetts, and died in 1980 (Boston is in Suffolk County).

Songfacts.com has a page on the song, but nothing we don't know already.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Cape Cod (Rothrock/Yakus/Jeffrey)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 06:12 PM

At the River was a 1997 single by the British group Groove Armada. It used Patti Page's "multi-tracked close-harmony" from her recording of "Cape Cod" as its basis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-uztVX6QFQ


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Cape Cod (Rothrock/Yakus/Jeffrey)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 06:21 PM

Interesting article at http://www.patriotledger.com/x1720550501, dated Nov 29, 2007:

'Old Cape Cod' turns 50: Patti Page recalls regional anthem

“Old Cape Cod,” the sentimental song recorded by Patti Page, turns 50 years old this year. And the woman who made the song a classic herself is celebrating a landmark birthday when she turned 80 earlier this month.

It is our regional anthem, an effective tourism commercial and a sweet, soothing reminder of all that we love about living on Cape Cod.

“Old Cape Cod,” the sentimental song recorded by Patti Page, turns 50 years old this year. And the woman who made the song a classic herself is celebrating a landmark birthday when she turned 80 earlier this month.

Page recorded “Old Cape Cod” in 1957 for Mercury Records after Claire Rothrock, the woman who wrote the song along with Milton Yakus and Allan Jeffrey, approached her with the tune while performing at a Boston nightclub.

“I just fell in love with it,” said Page via telephone from her New Hampshire farm where she was celebrating Thanksgiving.

At the time, Page was looking for a “b-side” to her next recording. She made a day trip to New York City to record the song and then rushed back in time for that evening’s performance in Boston. Ironically, Page, an Oklahoma native, had not yet even visited Cape Cod. And while “Old Cape Cod” was only a b-side recording it went to number three on the pop charts.

Not long after the song’s release Page visited the Cape. And the song inspired many more over the past 50 years to follow.

“When I finally [visited], I realized how she captured the Cape,” said Page of Rothrock who never wrote another song and virtually disappeared from the music world. “Many people will come up to me and say they went to the Cape because of that song.”

Page visited Cape Cod many times over the years as her late mother-in-law lived here for many years.

Now living in San Diego County, Page still performs all over the country, most recently at the Oklahoma Centennial Celebration Concert where many famous Oklahomans performed. Over the course of her career Page earned 16 gold records, including one for “Old Cape Cod,” and one platinum record for perhaps her most famous song, the number one hit “The Tennessee Waltz.” In 1999 she won a Grammy award for her album “Patti Page Live at Carnegie Hall.”

“Old Cape Cod” still enjoys considerable airplay on Cape radio stations and was covered by Jerry Vale, Bette Midler and the Puppini Sisters, a trio that records songs from the 1940s and ’50s. The song was also sampled in the British dance club hit “At The River” by Groove Armada, with Page’s voice singing several lines from “Old Cape Cod.”

For more information on Patti Page go to her official Web site at www.misspattipage.com

‘Old Cape Cod’

If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air Quaint little villages here and there You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod Cape Cod, that old Cape Cod If you like the taste of a lobster stew Served by a window with an ocean view You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod Winding roads that seem to beckon you Miles of green beneath a sky of blue Church bells chimin' on a Sunday morn Remind you of the town where you were born If you spend an evening you'll want to stay Watching the moonlight on Cape Cod Bay You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod If you spend an evening you'll want to stay Watching the moonlight on Cape Cod Bay You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod You're sure to fall in love You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod

—Written by Claire Rothrock, Milton Yakus and Allan Jeffrey

- Cape Codder 



The Patriot Ledger is published in Quincy, Massachusetts. It serves the South Shore area of Massachusetts, south of Boston.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Cape Cod (Rothrock/Yakus/Jeffrey)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 06:37 PM

5 Popular Songs that Mention Cape Cod says this:
    Old Cape Cod
    Cape Codders consider this 1957 tune the unofficial Cape Cod Anthem. Some even credit it with putting the Cape on the map and helping to establish Cape Cod as a major tourist destination. The lyrics are actually a poem written by Boston-area housewife Claire Rothrock, who vacationed on Cape Cod with her family. According to Patti Page, Rothrock approached her at a Boston nightclub where she was performing and presented the poem. Page fell in love with it, and the rest is history!

    Each verse of the song ends with the line "You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Cape Cod (Rothrock/Yakus/Jeffrey)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 06:42 PM

Interesting article from the Cape Cod Times:

    Cape Cod's Greatest Hits

    Any list of songs about Cape Cod has to begin with ?Old Cape Cod? as sung by Patti Page. This tune from the late 1950's captured the image of the Cape as it had been portrayed literally in the earlier novels of Joseph C. Lincoln and it put a national spotlight on the peninsula.

    In the post World War II period of prosperity, increased leisure time, and new highways, the song inspired visitors to come here in search of those beckoning winding roads and miles of greenery. Before the Kennedy mystique and all that became part of the ?Camelot? years, the refrain of ?If you?re fond of sand dunes and salty air, quaint little villages here and there. You?re sure to fall in love with Old Cape Cod,? sparked a tourist boom that surprised even the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

    The song was written by Claire Rothrock and Milt Yakus. Rothrock was a Boston area housewife and Yakus was a dentist. Allan Jeffrey wrote the music. Miss Page, a top recording artist of the period, had never visited Cape Cod and, as an Oklahoma native, probably couldn?t tell a flounder from a mackerel. ?Old Cape Cod? was actually the secondary side of the Mercury label record and was never expected to be the hit that it became. Within weeks of its release, the song was being played all over the country.

    ?Old Cape Cod? is, far and away, the most popular song about the Cape. Certainly it had the most impact. But there are a number of other tunes that are part of our musical past and they should also be included in any list of Cape ?hits.? These would be some of the commercial jingles connected to local restaurants and businesses. Once imprinted in the brain, these little ditties have a tendency to keep coming back - sometimes long after the establishments themselves have disappeared.

    In this category, the strongest candidate for top listing would be the Harwich Port- based Thompson?s Clam Bar song. ?Hey, Where you goin?? We?re goin? to Thompson?s Clam Bar, ?cause that?s where the tastiest clams are....? For almost half a century, the summer season in the mid-Cape was ushered in with this tune and it encouraged tourists to say, ?Let?s go to Thompson?s Clam Bar.?

    You couldn?t drive a mile without hearing this omnipresent jingle on local radio. And while to some, it seemed trite and a bit corny, it became a comfortable and anticipated tune that framed the months of Jul August.

    Another perennial chart topper was Fred Harney?s supermarket jingle for his store in South Dennis. For much of the 1970's and early 1980's a drive to work would include, ?Supermarkets are not all alike. Let us prove it to you. Let us show you what we can do. At Harney?s super, super store.? And this one didn?t make you wait for summer. It was played all year long.

    When you hear, ?The Cape in the summer is magic - the sun and the sea and the wind on the shore. These days are made for families and that?s what we?re here for,? it?s the signature jingle for the Lobster Claw Restaurant in Orleans, an establishment that has been a part of summer on the lower Cape for over 30 years. It has to be in the Cape?s all time list of hits.

    Other worthy candidates for top tunes would include the fairly recent Captain Parker?s Pub song that encourages people to ?Dine with your mate. Over in West Yarmouth on Route 28? the jingle for the Island Queen, the Falmouth-to-Martha?s Vineyard ferry boat, ?Sail away from Falmouth ? the Hy-Line boat commercial, and maybe the song about the Beachcomber in Wellfleet. There are others, to be sure, and I suspect readers will let me know some that I?ve forgotten. Cape Cod summer memories are made of stuff like this.

    Jim Coogan is a retired history teacher at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School. His column runs every other Wednesday. Write him at P.O. Box 655, Dennis, MA., 02638 or e-mail him at

    (Published: July 27, 2005)

    Nothing we don't know in this article: https://remaininginprovincetown.com/2013/04/04/old-cape-cod-and-provincetown-in-stories-and-song/

    You'll find a little bit in this Patti Page autobiography (click)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Cape Cod (Rothrock/Yakus/Jeffrey)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 18 - 08:36 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Cape Cod (Rothrock/Yakus/Jeffrey)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 22 Jan 18 - 02:59 AM

Old Cape Cod; w & m Claire Rothrock & others. Appl. states prev. reg. 8N0V56, EU455945. NM: changed melody & lyrics. George Pincus & Sons Music Corp.; 6May57; EP108406.,
[Catalog of Copyrights, 1958, typical]


"The crowds all wanted to hear Old Cape Cod, which I had recorded the previous year. The song was penned by Claire Rothrock, an amateur songwriter and a resident of Cape Cod. She brought the song to me when I was playing at Blinstrub's Village nightclub in Boston. I loved it, and I took the train back to New York and recorded it. Even though it has lush instrumentation by an orchestra, we did it surprisingly fast. Suffice it to say the musicians in New York were fantastic."
[Page, This Is My Song: A Memoir, 2009]

Joe: Rothrock was a pro and did a couple of "regional" type songs (see below.) Cape Cod was her only "hit" though. She eventually moved to Southern Florida and was inducted into the Big Band Hall of Fame as Claire Rothrock Graham but the HoF is no mas. Still looking.

Partial song list:

All That I Want
Count Me Out, Count Me In
I Love New England
I Watch the Harbor
In a Silent World
Light Up the Christmas Tree
My Silver Candle
Pink Worms & Red Wigglers
Salt Sea Air
Springtime in Atlanta
Story of a Country Girl
Sugar n' Spice
Unless You're There
What a Dream (typo'd as "Bothrock")
You Came Into My Life

All: w & m Claire Rothrock. Mostly big band radio & ballroom stuff. Not a lot of recordings besides Cape Cod and:


Claire Rothrock Singers, Unless You're There / Springtime In Atlanta
National Recording Corp, 7" 45RPM, NRC No. 501, Apr 1958, vocals: Betty Logan (Chotas)


Jerry Vale, In The Back Of My Heart / I Love New England
Columbia, 7", 45 RPM, 4-44185, 1967



More to follow... maybe.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Cape Cod (Rothrock/Yakus/Jeffrey)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 22 Jan 18 - 03:30 AM

Long take on At the River:

Groove Armada - At The River (Long)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Cape Cod (Rothrock/Yakus/Jeffrey)
From: GUEST,David Nolan
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 06:26 PM

Claire Rothrock used some of the money she made from the song "Old Cape Cod" to buy an old house overlooking Long Lake on the Upper Ridge of Bridgton, Maine. The house is now owned by author Lois Lowry.


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