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”

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A ROGER SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: Ella and Louis– “Sandpaper and Satin”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Ah, the gruff grit-and-gravel voice of Louis Armstrong and the warm, precise silky delivery of Ella Fitzgerald, a match made in heaven. Sandpaper and satin – but the difference is what makes it work. Ella and Louis displayed an extraordinary yin/yang vocal chemistry. As writer Doug Ramsey once noted… Read More A ROGER SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: Ella and Louis– “Sandpaper and Satin”

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”

A ROGER SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: “Chelsea Bridge”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout There is a Chelsea Bridge and it is located on the Thames in north London. According to David Hajdu’s intelligent, comprehensive and most readable 1996 biography of Billy Strayhorn, Lush Life, his evocative instrumental of the same name resulted from his viewing of a James McNeill Whistler painting. But,… Read More A ROGER SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: “Chelsea Bridge”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “These Foolish Things”

  By Roger Crane, the Song Scout BACKGROUND / DISCUSSION “These Foolish Things” was composed by two Brits, Jack Strachey and lyricist Eric Maschwitz (writing under the name Holt Marvell). The structure is what’s known as a “list song” or sometimes a catalog song. Such songs typically develop by working through a list – sometimes… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “These Foolish Things”

A ROGER SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: “It All Depends on You” by the flawless Doris Day

By Roger Crane   Dear Fellow Fans of the Good Stuff The 1954 Love Me or Leave Me was a superb movie and soundtrack. It is certainly Doris Day’s greatest musical performance as an actress. In fact, for decades, many film critics, fans, writers would view the Academy’s failure to nominate Day for her portrayal of… Read More A ROGER SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: “It All Depends on You” by the flawless Doris Day