Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning, ” I Cover the Waterfront”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion “I Cover the Waterfront,” an exceptional song about lost love, began somewhat surprisingly, as a best-selling 1932 autobiographical book by 28-year old Max Miller, a newspaper reporter who ‘covered” as part of his beat the San Diego waterfront and other lowlife urban areas. His book was a best… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning, ” I Cover the Waterfront”

Keeping the GAS (Great America Songbook) Flame Burning,”Body and Soul”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion Composer Johnny Green wrote some very fine songs although very few. His justly famous landmark “Body and Soul” was interpolated in the 1930 musical revue Three’s a Crowd which starred Clifton Webb and Libby Holman, who sang the song. Note I said “interpolated,” since the song was written… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great America Songbook) Flame Burning,”Body and Soul”

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”

A ROGER CRANE SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: Five by the Elegant MJQ

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout The ground-breaking big band Dizzy Gillespie formed in 1946 was one of the most powerful and exciting in the history of jazz. Its brass and reed sections were given arrangements that demanded heavy expenditures of energy. It didn’t take long for Gillespie to realize that his horns needed more… Read More A ROGER CRANE SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: Five by the Elegant MJQ

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”