Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “I Hadn’t Anyone Till You”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion A piano bar (not many of those anymore), a few booths and some concealing drapes between plaster pillars with a big white piano in the center. Dix and Laurel (Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame), seated on stools around the piano, are directly across from the singer-pianist, Hadda Brooks,… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “I Hadn’t Anyone Till You”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “More Than You Know”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion Vincent Youmans’ “More Than You Know” (from the 1929 musical Great Day) may be a perfect song – musically. But, if that is too reverent, how about a “perfectly” wonderful ballad. Let’s start with the well-written verse in E-flat minor, which is nearly a complete song in itself.… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “More Than You Know”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “My Foolish Heart”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion Sometime in the 1950s there was a major change in the nature of popular songs. A youthful, defiant audience demanded a new sound, a break from the sophisticated music of the past. Down with romantic melodies, standard forms and lengths, impressionistic harmonies and poetic lyrics.. Up with static,… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “My Foolish Heart”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Stardust”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout   BACKGROUND DISCUSSION At one time “Stardust” was the most recorded song. That time has long passed but it remains a most beloved entry in the Great American Songbook (GAS). Although the song was published in 1929, according to Richard Sudhalter, author of his biography, Hoagy Carmichael had been… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Stardust”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Alive: “It Had To Be You”

By Roger Crane the Song Scout When I meet jazz performers, composers and fellow music fans I often inquire as to their favorite songs. I recall that the masterful jazz pianist Dave McKenna chose “I’ll Be Around,” giving particular praise to Alec Wilders’s bridge (where his lyrics state “Goodbye again.”). Another jazz pianist, Gerry Wiggins,… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Alive: “It Had To Be You”