SONG OBSESSION: September 2015

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! Today, I want to share a few songs that I’ve been listening to on repeat these past few weeks, most of which have never been shared on That’s Entertainment before!



01) “Mr. Jazz Himself” (1917) [M&L: Irving Berlin]

This pop song by Irving Berlin is superbly jazzy, living up to its title with ease. I only have one rendition of the number, by Irving Kaufman. (It is this 1917 recording that can be heard above.) The lyrics are divine!

02) “Any Kind Of Man” from Sometime (1918) [M: Rudolf Friml; L: Rida Johnson Young]

Mae West introduced this song in a 1918 musical comedy, during which her character, Mayme, showed upper crust white Broadway audiences how to shimmy. This, of course, was shocking! Here’s a hot instrumental version performed by the Eastman-Drysden Orchestra.

03) “Walking Home With Josie” from The City Chap (1925) [M: Jerome Kern; L: Anne Caldwell] 

A forgotten Jerome Kern tune — this is the only number in today’s post that has never been recorded in studio. I have no idea why, because I think it’s an utterly delightful tune (albeit a bit old-fashioned for 1925). This rendition comes from a live 1986 concert. Coming eventually to Musical Theatre Mondays . . .

04) “I’m A One-Man Girl” from Mr. Cinders (1929) [M: Vivian Ellis & Richard Myers; L: Leo Robin]

This British musical comedy has never received a major revival in the states, and that’s a shame, for this is a delightfully catchy score — filled with cute simple tunes, like the one above, performed by original cast members Binnie Hale and Bobby Howes.

05) “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” from Porgy And Bess (1935) [M: George Gershwin; L: Ira Gershwin & DuBose Heyward] 

Although Porgy And Bess has one of the musical theatre’s most exquisite scores, I’ve found that it’s sometimes inaccessible to audiences unaccustomed to the piece’s proximity to opera. To negotiate this difference in taste, I’ve lately been sharing with my friends the 1942 rendition by Avon Long and Helen Dowdy (both of whom had been in the show) with Leo Reisman’s orchestra. It swings, and the music’s beauty is still evident. Coming soon to Musical Theatre Mondays!

06) “I Wished On The Moon” from the film, The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1935) [M: Ralph Rainger; L: Dorothy Parker] 

This marvelous song was introduced by Bing Crosby in the 1935 picture and was one of Parker’s few forays into lyric wiring. Here’s Bing, with one of the most subtly romantic film songs of the decade.

07) “I’ll The Man In The Street” from I Married An Angel (1938) [M: Richard Rodgers; L: Lorenz Hart]

From a show that we’ll be covering soon on Musical Theatre Mondays, this charmer comes from one of Rodgers and Hart’s most solid book musicals, which they also wrote. Here’s Gordon McRae and Lucille Norman.

08) “Take Love Easy” from Beggar’s Holiday (1946) [M: Duke Ellington; L: John La Touche] 

The recording above comes from a demo tape (which was later released) of original cast member Bernice Parks. We’ve not covered this show yet on Musical Theatre Mondays, but stay tuned, because it will be featured at some point!



Come back next Wednesday for another Wildcard post! And tune in tomorrow for more Xena!