It Only Takes a Moment – Charles Nelson Reilly, Eileen Brennan

077 Hello, Dolly! (The Original Broadway Cast Recording) [Deluxe Edition]

What I love about Jerry Herman’s songs is how there’s always a resolution. Most of his songs tell a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. You could take the lyrics of this particular song and develop an entire novel. The lyrics have already dictated what the characters will do, and where they’re headed.

I know, it is hard to explain, but as I include more of Jerry Herman’s songs, I’ll make my point clearer.

For me, the meaning of It Only Takes A Moment has changed through the years. When I was a young man, I took the lyrics literally and longed for the day when that particular moment would arrive.

These days I don’t believe in love at first sight, I do believe in opportunity at first glance. There’s that moment when you meet someone, and you tell yourself: “Yes, I want to do it all over again. I want to do all the leg-work for this new person one more time”. In such moment, I decide if I want to spend hours listening to each other’s life stories. Do I want to start making deals again with a new lover? Or could I do all the time-consuming things that I’ve been doing for the last 30 years when I meet someone new? Answering those questions only takes a moment; to be loved a whole life long takes longer than that definitely.

Song Title: It Only Takes a Moment – 1964   Artist: Charles Nelson Reilly, Eileen Brennan   Genre: Musical   Composer: Jerry Herman Lyricist: Jerry Herman   Album: Hello, Dolly! (The Original Broadway Cast Recording) [Deluxe Edition]

Favourite Lyrics: And that is all / That love’s about / Mrs. Molloy / And we’ll recall when time runs out / That it only took a moment / To be loved a whole life long!

Runners Up: Elegance • Hello, Dolly! • World, Take Me Back • Old Friends • Some People • Alexander’s Ragtime Band • New York, New York • Pennies From Heaven • Pick Yourself Up • Easy to Love


Brassmen’s Holiday – Arturo Sandoval

079 Hot House

In 1999, the organisation I worked for, The Inter-American Development Bank celebrated its 40th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone I had to create a timeline of the institution from 1959 all the way to 1999. It was divided by decades, the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Each decade had its own look and sound. I was having trouble finding suitable music for the 1980s and 1990s until one night.

On a late run to Tower Records in Foggy Bottom, I found Arturo Sandoval’s “Hot House” CD; which is precisely what I was after. I wanted to use a brassy sound for the 1990s. I was hoping to find the right composition, but I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the whole CD. In the end, I chose Brassmen’s Holiday for the 1990s decade. I also used the lone trumpet at the start of “Rhythm Of Our World” for the kick-off to 1980s, which tied nicely into the 1990s, and beyond.

I didn’t know at the time who Arturo Sandoval was or realised how much of a deal he was. The multi-Grammy winner was born in Cuba and grew up influenced by the work of jazz masters Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, and Dizzy Gillespie. The latter eventually became his mentor.

In 2000, Andy Garcia starred as Sandoval in HBO’s biopic “For Love Or Country”, which tells the story of his upbringing in Cuba, his music, and his eventual defection.

I’m not a good Latino, I don’t feel the same attachment or loyalty to the culture that some of the Latinos I’ve met abroad cherish. However, there are a few things that remind me of my heritage; Arturo Sandoval’s music is one of them. His trumpet always sweeps me away on a loud multi-coloured flying carpet back home to Latin America.

Song Title: Brassmen’s Holiday – 1958   Artist: Arturo Sandoval   Genre: Latin   Composer: Mario Ruíz Armengol   Album: Hot House

Runners Up: Goodnight, My Love • Cuban American Medley • The Company WayThe Company Way (Reprise) • Been a Long Day • Been a Long Day (Reprise) • Paris Original • Cinderella, Darling • I Believe In You • Brotherhood of Man • Finale – The Company Way • Bows • How To Succeed


I Believe In You – Matthew Broderick

80 How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying!

I think “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying!” is one of the coolest shows I’ve ever seen. It is so clever, and its themes so timely that I’m sure even today younger generations can easily relate to this work; it is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, after all. I’ve only seen the 50th-anniversary production on Broadway with Nick Jonas, who took over Darren Criss, who took over Daniel Radcliffe. However, I’ve decided to include Matthew Broderick’s version of I Believe In You from the 1995 Revival.

I remember all about this revival, the TV spots, the morning show interviews, and the Tonys. However, it is Mathew Broderick singing this song to his reflection in a mirror what I recall the most.

1995 was the year I turned 30, and for the first time the idea that perhaps not all of my plans, dreams, hopes, and illusions, would ever become true; hit me. Probably for the first time I had doubts about my professional path. Was I doing enough to achieve my dreams, or were they only destined to remain a dream? Was I talented or did I just see a magnified version of myself? Younger people were already doing some of the things I thought I would be doing one day but hadn’t even planned yet on how to accomplish them. I had been left behind, I thought. Interestingly enough, I wasn’t alarmed. I was sure that was all part of God’s plan. I know *sigh*.

In June of 1995, a bit before my birthday, I got a letter from the United Nations; I had been pre-selected for their Junior Professional Programme. I had to come to headquarters in New York City and take a series of tests for two days at the end of July. It was for a Public Information Officer position.

I got to the United Nations early on a Thursday morning; there I met two or three other people who were also taking the tests. The person in charge of the evaluations let us know that the room they were going to use had been double booked. For this reason, they had to use an alternate room, which turned out to be the general assembly room; yes, the one they always show on TV. To this day, I can’t adequately describe the rare privilege of sitting in such a historic room for hours and writing an essay. It was a bit surreal.

On the second day of tests, I stood on a corner across from the building, just having a cigarette before I went in. I remember looking up at the building and thinking how far I had already come, I was on the verge of working for The United Nations, I mean, The United Nations! I couldn’t help but think where I had come from; after all, I was the grandson of a woman who didn’t learn to write and read until she was an adult. I was the son of a woman who couldn’t go beyond elementary school and the son of a man who only decided to finish high school and go to university when he was almost 40. I shouldn’t be that fortunate, hadn’t I already got enough? I was a Psychologist and a Master of Arts, what else did I need? Perhaps, just standing in front of the UN building was reward enough; this was as far as I was going to get professionally in life. I believe that was the moment I decided to let my dreams and illusions behind and be thankful for what I already had.

By the time I got the “We’re sorry to inform you…” letter, I had already moved on.

Song Title: I Believe In You – 1961   Artist: Matthew Broderick   Genre: Musical Composer: Frank Loesser   Lyricist: Frank Loesser   Album: How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying!

Favourite Lyrics: I hear the sound of good, solid judgment / Whenever you talk; / Yet there’s the bold, brave spring of the tiger / That quickens your walk. / Oh, I believe in you. / I believe in you.

Runners Up: The Company Way


I Can’t Let Go – Jennifer Hudson – Top 10 Contender

081 I Can't Let Go (SMASH Cast Version, feat. Jennifer Hudson) - Single

There are songs that whenever you hear them, you have an emotional reaction. They just reach you at a level that other songs can’t. More often than not, it is unclear why you get such a reaction, but you just let it be. I Can’t Let Go does that every time I hear it.

I haven’t had much heartache, but the ones that I’ve experienced have been bad. Although I can get over someone in an expected period of time, I have a hard time trying to get over the feeling of abandonment. I’m not sure why, or if that’s even normal. That has made a very cautious man when it comes to relationships. I tend to project a lot into the future, and if I don’t get a good vibe or a clear forecast, I don’t proceed. This over cautiousness often worries me. I have a tendency to be a loner, and if I’m going to desist before I start, what are my chances of really finding companionship? I know I need to snap out of that mindset, but it is hard.

Song Title: I Can’t Let Go – 2013   Artist: Jennifer Hudson   Genre: Soundtrack   Composer: Marc Shaiman   Lyricists: Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman   Album: I Can’t Let Go – Single

Favourite Lyrics: I have lived through bad beginnings / And I’ve seen unhappy ends / So I close the book / Before the story starts.

Runners Up: Brotherhood Of Man • Topsy Turvy • A Guy Like You • Too Darn Hot • Just One Of Those Things • You’re The Top


I’m a Brass Band – Sammy Davis, Jr.Top 10 Contender

082 I've Gotta Be Me

Over the last 25 years, this has song become one of my favourites; it has a unique and naive way to express the feeling of being loved. I’m sure we’ve all had those sentiments at one point or another.

This Sammy Davis Jr. version is the one that introduced me to this song while I was in university. In fact, I briefly considered using it when we got a music video assignment in a production class.

Song Title: I’m a Brass Band – 1966   Artist: Sammy Davis, Jr.   Genre: Musical   Composer: Cy Coleman   Lyricist: Dorothy Fields   Album: I’ve Gotta Be Me

Favourite Lyrics: I’m the bells from Saint Peter’s in Rome / I’m tissue paper on a comb / And all kinds of music / Is pouring out of me ’cause / Somebody loves me … at last!

Runners Up: You’re The Top • Heat Wave


Es Verdad – Ilan Chester

083 Ilan Chester 2.01.1169

This song, from Venezuelan pop artist Ilan Chester, talks about all the ‘loves’ you have in your life and how you never forget them.

It doesn’t matter; big or small, long or short, we all remember the loves of our life. I believe that love doesn’t die; it just changes shape and intensity and goes to live in a place where we don’t see it anymore. Although accessible at any time, we choose not to retrieve it. I don’t believe that love evolves into the love you have for your next partner. The love we’ve had for all of our lovers is unique.

Ilan Chester is the first Venezuelan artist to make the list. Anyone who lived in Venezuela in the 1980s I’m sure remembers when this song came out.

Song Title: Es Verdad – 1984   Artist: Ilan Chester   Genre: Latin Pop   Composer: Ilan Chester   Lyricist: Ilan Chester   Album: Ilan Chester

Favourite Lyrics: Es verdad, los amores que se tienen en la vida / nunca se olvidan / son aromas que se quedan en el aire / y una estela de fragancias van dejando.

It is true, the loves you have in life / Are never forgotten / They are aromas that stay in the air / and leave a trail of fragrances.

Runners Up: Il Postino (Titoli) • Il Postino Poeta • Historia De Un Buen Dia • A Pasarla Bien • Que Paso • It Won’t Be Long Now


Inka Dinka Doo – Jimmy Durante

084 Inka Dinka Doo

This Durante’s signature song always brings a smile to my face. I’ve listened to it for years. I love his final joke, it cracks me up. That note was giving to me by Bing Crosby and was he glad to get rid of it.        

Just check it out: Jimmy Durante Inka Dinka Doo

Song Title: Inka Dinka Doo – 1933   Artist: Jimmy Durante   Genre: Soundtrack   Composer: Jimmy Durante   Lyricist: Ben Ryan   Album: Inka Dinka Doo

Favourite Lyrics: Ink, a dink a dink, a dink a dink, a dink a doo / Oh what a tune for croonin’ / Ink a dink a dink, a dink a dink, a dink a doo / It’s got the whole world swoonin’

Runners Up: Blackout • How High The Moon • Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye • After Car