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Go ahead, cry me a river.


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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

And now I gotta question here about "Mercer" and "covers".

Okay, now remember in that cartoon "Bugs Gets the Boid" when the hapless Beaky Buzzard tells his quarry Bugs...

http://www.nonstick.com/audio/soundsource/Beaky_Buzzard/ltbk_017.mp3

...well, my question is: WAS Beaky doin' a "cover" of Mercer and Arlen's "Blues in the Night" or NOT???!!!

(...so, whaddaya say, James?...YOU seem to be the authority on all this "cover" stuff here, dude!) ;)

LOL

 

 I want to get in on this action, maybe we can make some money on this. LOL

My mother collected 78's and I remember this one well because I broke it. Is Jimmie Lunceford's version of Blues in the Night:

a cover, an original, a rendition, an arrangement or just a lot of fun? I like multiple choice questions. 

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12 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

 I want to get in on this action, maybe we can make some money on this. LOL

My mother collected 78's and I remember this one well because I broke it. Is Jimmie Lunceford's version of Blues in the Night:

a cover, an original, a rendition, an arrangement or just a lot of fun. I like multiple choice questions. 

OR, how about John Garfield's cover..err..version of the song he does in the movie Thank Your Lucky Stars here, Princess ;) ...

 

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3 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

Full disclosure Re: Ella. Ella  Fitzgerald is considered to be the greatest American jazz singer of all time. I was in France when she died and they just about had a national the day of mourning.

 But I personally have never cared for all of that scat singing - - although I can take it in limited doses.  Even though I know that it takes a great deal of technique and ability to do it. Mel Tormé did a lot of it too and he did it well.

But that's just the way taste is, you can never account for it. LOL

Although Ms. Ella is preeminent in scatting, that comprises not even a large part of her repertoire.  There are reasons Ella Fitzgerald is known as 'the first lady of song,' a judgement made not by me, but by the considered opinion of the jazz community.  Now, I'm not one to blindly follow along with convention, and no doubt the same holds for you.  But her influence is undeniable, and her work on the 'Great American Songbook' has set the pattern for how standards are interpreted.  A lot of this was discussed in the thread I started on the occasion of her hundredth birthday.  Instead of referencing her more well-known recordings, as an illustration of why she merits her appellation, I'll draw your attention to two songs which show her incredible command of tone, intonation, and phrasing.  The first is "Midnight Sun" originally written as an instrumental by Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke.  Johnny Mercer later put verses to it.  I don't like the song much done as a vocal.  To me, the way most people sing it, it sounds choppy and unlovely.  But Ella brings out its dreaminess and romance:

The next is her rendition of "Summertime," by youknowwho:

It's hard to think of anything more exquisite.

 

Oh, and in case I gave the wrong impression, I think Barbara Streisand is one of the great singers.  In a list, I'd rank her along side of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, and--one or two more I can't think of right now.

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I'm a big fan of Bobby Darin's. He was one of the most successfully versatile American popular singers ever. He actually had rock pop hits and at the same time could realistically compete with the top rung American popular singing artists like Frank Sinatra,  Jack Jones or Johnny Mathis. Later in his career,  he even reinvented himself as a folk singer!

Anyway his signature tune was from Threepenny Opera, of all things, "Mack the Knife".

Louis Armstrong was famous for this tune in certain circles-- I should say Jazz circles all over the world.

Bobby Darin's version really swung it out and took away Armstrong's General Public identity with the song Lock, Stock & Barrel.

It was said that Bobby's "Live at the Copa" was Lucille Ball's favorite record, which she would repeatedly play.

 

*Anyway,  Ella was on some musical variety show, I believe in the late 1950s or early 60s, there were so many of them-- you could probably find it on YouTube--

Ella shows up and she sings the song her way, she sings it Bobby Darin's way and then before finishing she sings it Louis Armstrong's way. She's just amazing. It sounded and looked extemporaneous or improvisational, but I doubt that it was since it was on television.

 But my choice still, for the kind of style with the kind of music that Ella is singing, will always be Sarah Vaughan. With or without Misty. LOL

Frank Sinatra's first choice for female jazz singer was Ella.  Sinatra used to say how Ella could just knock you out singing Cole Porter's "Down in the Depths on the 99th Floor",  but she didn't know how to make herself  viably commercial. 

Even so, without all those top 40 hits like Frank and Dean, I think Ella still made a very good living with her singing.

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10 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

How he got associated with Moon River is a terrific story. When it was up for the Oscar, Mercer and Mancini asked him to come to the Academy Awards and sing the song. He's been associated with it ever since. At that time, he had already recorded his Moon River album only a month before the song won the Oscar.

At his concerts Andy used to call Moon River: " The gift that just keeps on giving."

 

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I was copying something from Page 2 to respond to, and when I hit submit post, it didn't take me to Page 3 to show my reply.  Hence the multiple posts.  Here's some Henry Mancini not covered by Andy Williams:

 

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While much HAS been made about Ella's scatting, it was BETTY CARTER(aka: "Betty Bebop") who was considered the "queen" of scat.

 

And while also much was made about BOBBY DARIN'S "Mack The Knife", MY favorite of his will always be...

But, just to get back ON TOPIC....

Sepiatone

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27 minutes ago, Fedya said:

Since I have to edit out a bunch of multiple posts and can't delete them, here's some more Mancini not covered by Andy Williams:

And before you post the theme from "Santa Claus: the Movie", how the heck did we GET on this multi-tangent, anyway??  :blink:

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8 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:
8 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

 But my choice still, for the kind of style with the kind of music that Ella is singing, will always be Sarah Vaughan. With or without Misty. LOL

Can't go wrong with her.

 

Frank Sinatra's first choice for female jazz singer was Ella.  Sinatra used to say how Ella could just knock you out singing Cole Porter's "Down in the Depths on the 99th Floor",  but she didn't know how to make herself  viably commercial. 

Even so, without all those top 40 hits like Frank and Dean, I think Ella still made a very good living with her singing.

She wasn't a rock star, but it wasn't an accident Memorex used her for their audio tape commercials.

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15 hours ago, slaytonf said:

The rendition I've heard of Ella Fitzgerald doing the song, it hurts to say, is marred by her swinging it.  

I assume the Ella version you heard was the 1961 recording she did,  therefore done years after the London version.     The plan was to have the song as part of the film Pete's Kelly Blues (yea, a musical with Jack Webb no less!).     So maybe if Ella had initially done the song instead of London,  it might have been like the London version.    But once the London version because so famous,  I can see why other singers and their song arranger felt they needed to perform the song different than the London version.

  

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11 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

I'm a big fan of Bobby Darin's. He was one of the most successfully versatile American popular singers ever. He actually had rock pop hits and at the same time could realistically compete with the top rung American popular singing artists like Frank Sinatra,  Jack Jones or Johnny Mathis. Later in his career,  he even reinvented himself as a folk singer!

Anyway his signature tune was from Threepenny Opera, of all things, "Mack the Knife".

Louis Armstrong was famous for this tune in certain circles-- I should say Jazz circles all over the world.

I'm also a big fan of Bobby Darin. Love his "Mack the Knife," and his up-tempo rendition of "Artificial Flowers" from the show Tenderloin, which was not a hit but which has one of the greatest scores by Bock/Harnick.

There is, however, a version of "Mack the Knife" that I found very effective theatrically, in an updated version of The Threepenny Opera that I saw in London a while back. Just listen to these lyrics:

 

 

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I just had a chance to listen to Bobby Darin's rendition of "Cry Me a River."  He does it in his usual masterful style.  It's unfortunate the band was so loud, it drowns him out.  

 

5 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I assume the Ella version you heard was the 1961 recording she did,  therefore done years after the London version.     The plan was to have the song as part of the film Pete's Kelly Blues (yea, a musical with Jack Webb no less!).     So maybe if Ella had initially done the song instead of London,  it might have been like the London version.    But once the London version because so famous,  I can see why other singers and their song arranger felt they needed to perform the song different than the London version.

  

I assume so too.  It's the one on YouTube.  It's fine until the last minute, and then--oh, well.

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6 hours ago, Swithin said:

I'm also a big fan of Bobby Darin. Love his "Mack the Knife," and his up-tempo rendition of "Artificial Flowers" from the show Tenderloin, which was not a hit but which has one of the greatest scores by Bock/Harnick.

There is, however, a version of "Mack the Knife" that I found very effective theatrically, in an updated version of The Threepenny Opera that I saw in London a while back. Just listen to these lyrics:

 

 

Swith-- Every time you mention "Artificial Flowers" I get goosebumps.

It was really a minor hit for Bobby and a throw away in most people's minds.

But as a child, I just loved that song. I  thought it had so much more to it than people were seeing. I had no idea it came from a Broadway show.

It was fabulous how songs from Broadway were such major hits on the radio in the 1950s and 60's.

Eddie Fisher singing Heart from Damn Yankees, Johnny Mathis singing Small World from Gypsy and everybody's favorite - -

The Four Lads singing Standing on the Corner from Most Happy Fella. Louis Armstrong's Hello Dolly and Barbra Streisand's People were hits even in the midst of the British Invasion.

It seems like the last 2 Broadway songs that I remember  becoming national hits were Memories and Send in the Clowns.

Swith - -  You're a Broadway guy. Why do you think that is? Changing Times, changing structure of the musical, songs not Universal, songs  just recycled from Top 40, Classic Movies or old Disney shows or what?

 

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1 hour ago, Princess of Tap said:

Swith - -  You're a Broadway guy. Why do you think that is? Changing Times, changing structure of the musical, songs not Universal, songs  just recycled from Top 40, Classic Movies or old Disney shows or what?

I guess it's changing styles. Perhaps the rock genre does not lend itself so much to story-telling songs that tend to be part of book musicals. However, I think there are a few more recent examples than the ones you mention, though not quite so famous. Ragtime, which is a great 1997 musical, has many good songs, including "Back to Before," introduced by Marin Mazzie but sung by various other artists in concert, on television, and on recordings:

 

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I wonder why Darin sang Artificial Flowers in such an upbeat manner? It does not seem to fit the lyrics at all. It was rated the "strangest" of all in this blog:

http://www.vocalstandards.com/2011/10/top-six-strangest-standards-songs/?doing_wp_cron=1515984745.9950759410858154296875

Interesting discussion about why so few songs from Broadway musicals lately are "hits". I recall many of the songs referenced by Princess. At the time I heard them as a kid, I did not even know they were from musicals (eg Watching all the Girls). 

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2 hours ago, Thenryb said:

I wonder why Darin sang Artificial Flowers in such an upbeat manner? It does not seem to fit the lyrics at all. It was rated the "strangest" of all in this blog:

http://www.vocalstandards.com/2011/10/top-six-strangest-standards-songs/?doing_wp_cron=1515984745.9950759410858154296875

Interesting discussion about why so few songs from Broadway musicals lately are "hits". I recall many of the songs referenced by Princess. At the time I heard them as a kid, I did not even know they were from musicals (eg Watching all the Girls). 

Then-- After Bobby had a big hit with Mack the Knife, he tried to follow up with some similarity. That's the way the Top 40 worked.

So first he picked another old standard by Hoagy Carmichael called Up The Lazy River and he swung that one. He had a moderately successful hit with it and it was a lot of fun.

 Later he even swung an old American folk tune, Oh My Darling Clementine, with some new lyrics.

Why he picked Artificial Flowers to swing, I don't know. But my guess was he liked the song. So he got an arrangement that fit his style and way of singing to continue his positioning strategy in the Top 40.  Despite all the hoopla he brings to the song, he still manages to maintain a certain amount of sincerity and dignity for the subject.

 

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9 hours ago, Thenryb said:

Interesting discussion about why so few songs from Broadway musicals lately are "hits". I recall many of the songs referenced by Princess. At the time I heard them as a kid, I did not even know they were from musicals (eg Watching all the Girls). 

Probably the biggest reason for no new songs from Broadway musicals are, we haven't HAD any new Broadway shows in the last twenty years that weren't picking the bones of existing movie musicals--The last time we had anything with a new song to break out, Andrew Lloyd Webber was writing them, and nobody had a cast album in their record collection like we did in the days of Camelot and West Side Story.  (And if you go around remembering songs from Rent, La Cage or Kinky Boots, there's, ahem, probably a reason for that...)

The other is that, like the old shows with the "strange" songs, shows became tighter and the songs were more in context, they just didn't make sense outside of their shows--How many remember sniggering over the "dirty" lyrics in "One Night in Bangkok" in the 80's, without realizing it came from Abba's "Chess" musical, and that the "ultimate test of cerebral fitness" and the "queens we use would not excite you" was referring to the international chess tournament from the story?  Apart from the Big Webber Three, think one of the last times we did have a legitimate all-purpose breakout Broadway "standard" for Streisand or Mandy Patinkin to sing was "Putting It Together" from Stephen Sondheim's "Sunday in the Park with George", and quick, hum another song from that musical...

(Although there have been some covers of  "I Am Unworthy of Your Love" from Sondheim's "Assassins", but they're a bit out of context. :blink: )  After that, we'd be talking about "Popular" from "Wicked"...'Nuff said.

And, of course, with the rise of songwriters in the 70's and music videos in the 80's, causing the death of TV variety, there was no more need for the "independent" lounge singer who crooned covers of other people's songs, including other show's songs

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