Imagine a community where people are concerned about your happiness in the most affectionate ways. Today, with smartphone-induced isolation the norm, that world full of solicitous people seems like a dream. I don’t know if it was truly possible in the middle Thirties, although I think of Wilder’s OUR TOWN, but a charming pop song came out of that vision: one of those simple but memorable melodies with witty sweet lyrics (“who prints / blueprints” is very clever). As you see below, music by Harold Spina and words by Johnny Burke.
I would have liked to hear Miss Etting sing this. But we have, instead, a sweet version with the verse (as sung by Kay Weber, Ray Eberle, and the Dorsey Trio — backed by the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, the emphatically swinging Ray McKinley — echoing Stan King’s accents — moving it all along):
And here’s the masterful version I heard some decades ago and still love. This song obviously appealed to Fats, who keeps referring to the bridal march, and the last sixteen bars are a model of great delicate swing:
Here is the only “modern” version that — to me — can follow Fats (Rebecca Kilgore, Chris Dawson, Hal Smith, and Bobby Gordon):
Some readers may wish to point out more recent versions by McCartney and Clapton. Thanks, but no thanks. But if you want to muse on the vagaries of pop music, listen — if you can — to the versions by Johnny Angel and Joy and Dave, found on YouTube. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. And thank the milkman if you’re up early.
May your happiness increase!
Posted in "Thanks A Million", Bliss!, Generosities, Irreplaceable, It's All True, Jazz Titans, Pay Attention!, Swing You Cats!, That Was Fun!, The Heroes Among Us, The Real Thing, The Things We Love, Wow!
Tagged Bobby Gordon, Chris Dawson, Eric Clapton, Fats Waller, Fats Waller and his Rhythm, Hal Smith, Harold Spina, Jazz Lives, Jimmy Dorsey, Johnny Angel, Johnny Burke, Joy and Dave, Kay Weber, Michael Steinman, MY VERY GOOD FRIEND THE MILKMAN, Our Town, Paul mcCartney, Ray Eberle, Ray McKinley, Rebecca Kilgore, Ruth Etting, Stan King, Thornton Wilder
I’ve heard Barbara Rosene sing at a variety of places since late 2004, and I’ve always been impressed by her sincerity, her knowledge of her material, and the sympathetic way she worked with jazz players. You have another chance to catch her, surrounded by her creative friends, in the most congenial of settings. The friends? Simon Wettenhall, trumpet; Pete Martinez, clarinet; Jesse Gelber, piano; Kevin Dorn, drums.
Another smoky night club with a high cover charge? Or a dimly lit cabaret?
No, it’s down-to-earth and local: Barbara’s annual appearance at “Cabaret Night,” sponsored by the jazz-loving folks at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 130 Jerusalem Avenue, Hicksville, New York 11801. Not only do Barbara and friends do the songs she’s famous for — in person and on her Stomp Off, Arbors, and Azica CDs — but the ambiance is much like Thornton Wilder’s Grovers Corners. That is, if Our Town had a hip soundtrack and Emily knew all about Annette Hanshaw, Ruth Etting, and Bessie Smith. (I had this vision of a production where Emily sang “You’ve Got The Right Key, But The Wrong Keyhole” to George and scared him to death.)
Where else can you hear hot jazz, watch expert dancing, eat potato chips, and end the evening with sheet cake and coffee?
For more information, Holy Trinity’s number is 516-931-1920. Be sure to visit www.barbararosene.com., too. Saturday night doesn’t have to be the loneliest night of the week.
Posted in Ideal Places, The Things We Love
Tagged Annette Hanshaw, Arbors Records, Azica Records, Barbara Rosene, Bessie Smith, Jesse Gelber, Kevin Dorn, Our Town, Pete Martinez, Ruth Etting, Simon Wettenhall, Stomp Off Records, Thornton Wilder