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

by Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion This is the twelfth in a series of articles addressing the beloved standards that comprise the Great American Songbook (GAS). Music for the 1926 “Bye Bye Blackbird,” is by Ray Henderson and the lyric by Mort Dixon. This entertaining song was immediately successful (four versions were hits in… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Bye Bye Blackbird”

Obscure but Worthy: Looking at Revivable Songs, “My Resistance Is Low”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Introduction What is an overlooked but delightful song? Well, it is one that is inexplicably ignored, one that is eminently revivable but, for whatever reason, is seldom performed and rarely encountered. Some songs, of course, are obscure because they should be but, for each of those there are many… Read More Obscure but Worthy: Looking at Revivable Songs, “My Resistance Is Low”

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

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion Jazz players have an expression “too hip for the room,” meaning the music is too good to be commercial. Popularity and quality are separate attributes and, only occasionally, mesh, especially in the world of music. Hoagy Carmichael had already proven 15 years earlier with “Stardust” that he could… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Skylark”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “I’ll Remember April”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion Who would guess that such a lovely and enduring ballad – musically and lyrically – was written for and featured in a raucous Abbott and Costello movie, the 1942 Ride ‘em Cowboy. For jazz fans the movie holds yet another attraction. It was one of a handful of… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “I’ll Remember April”

Roger Crane Song Scout: On the Lovely Mancini Melody, “Lujon”

Fellow Adagio Lovers: “Lujon” is a musical piece by Henry Mancini originally composed as a secondary theme for the ’50’s TV series Mr. Lucky. By the way, the origin of this TV show was the 1943 Cary Grant movie Mr. Lucky. The melody was subsequently included in the soundtracks for the films Hatari!, The Big Lebowski,… Read More Roger Crane Song Scout: On the Lovely Mancini Melody, “Lujon”

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”