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Scala, Primo

Posted 11 Jan 04 on by Chris Rollason

A CD entitled 'Sing As We Go', by Primo Scala and
His Accordion Band (Burlington, 2 BUR 012, 1988),
includes a (very schmaltzy) version of 'When Did You Leave Heaven'
(credited to Bullock/Whiting), the song recorded by Dylan
on 'Down In The Groove'. No recording date is given, but
it must be from the 1930s.

The sleevenotes state that Primo Scala was actually
a Brit pretending to be an Italian. He was in fact Harry
Bidgood, born in London in 1898, and he recorded under
a number of simultaneous aliases, including Lew Sylva and Don Porto.
The author of the notes, James Pollard, calls his career
'an amazing charade of masquerade and a labyrinth of deception'.

Somehow this multi-alias, multi-masked musician
seems an appropriate figure to be covered by Dylan,
and his story suggests there might be more to 'Dylan's When
Did You Leave Heaven' than meets the ear!

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