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”

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”

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: “What Is This Thing Called Love”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion “What Is This Thing Called Love” is certainly one of Cole Porter’s most inventive songs and, thankfully, it also became popular. The song was first heard in New York the night before New Year’s Eve with the opening of the English revue Wake Up and Dream. In that… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “What Is This Thing Called Love”

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”