The first snowfall of the season is on the ground. This was the morning view from an upstairs bedroom.
Snowfall 2009.jpg
That gives me a reason, though none is required, to bring you the original recording of “Snowfall” by Claude Thornhill and his orchestra. Thornhill composed and arranged the song. The recording is from 1941, shortly after he formed his band. The photo montage looks as if it could be from the same period.

For a brief history and discography of Claude Thornhill, go here. “Snowfall” and several of the pieces arranged by Gil Evans that led to what we now call the birth of the cool are on this CD. Note that the list price is astronomical but the used copies are bargains.

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  1. Deborah H says

    Very pretty—music and photography (including yours). I have a vague memory of hearing “Snowfall” when I was a child—late 1950s. Maybe on Lawrence Welk, or perhaps it was used in a movie.

  2. Bill Crow says

    This is one of the prettiest theme songs from that era. Some of the photos are from the forties, but the one of the whole band (in front of that amazing sea shell) was taken while I was on the band in 1953, at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. I posted a copy of it on my website, along with the names of the guys in the band. (In the biography section, page 2, at )
    The bass line on Snowfall, running through tenths in the key of D-flat (no open strings), really helped me improve my fingering system.

  3. Brian Hope says

    Glad to find others that admire that tune and its moods. There are many excellent renditions, and one that deserves particular notice is the one by Singers Unlimited that coincidentally came up on my iPod shortly after reading your article. Keep up the good work, and thanks for it. Happy Christmas.

  4. Ellie S says

    wow- I wish I would have seen this post the other day when the snow was falling. That was arresting and beautiful and nostalgic.