Obscure but Worthy: Looking at Revivable Songs, “Early Autumn”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Introduction For the third entry in this “Obscure but Worthy” song series I present “Early Autumn” which is, thanks to the Stan Getz memorable recording, perhaps not too obscure among jazz fans. But, although the song with Johnny Mercer lyrics is noted abroad, it is comparatively little known in… Read More Obscure but Worthy: Looking at Revivable Songs, “Early Autumn”

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: “Darn That Dream”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion Jimmy Van Heusen wrote “Darn That Dream” for the unsuccessful Broadway production Swingin’ the Dream. The original show incorporated artwork and sets by Walt Disney, music by the Benny Goodman Sextet, and an extravagant cast of 150 people, including Louis Armstrong, Maxine Sullivan and the Dandridge Sisters. Despite… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Darn That Dream”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Here’s That Rainy Day”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Here’s That Rainy Day” By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion Sometimes great songs are featured in unsuccessful shows. The much beloved “All the Things You Are” came from Very Warm for May, which was a dismal failure (59 performances). Well, the equally loved “Here’s That Rainy… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Here’s That Rainy Day”

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: “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”