WEEK 28 – 2 – 8 JANUARY 2015

190 FRIDAY 2 JANUARY 2015

Usted Abusó – Celia Cruz & Willie Colón

Anthology

I believe this is the first Celia Cruz song I remember hearing and liking. I guess it was also the first time I heard of Willie Colón. Like most of the songs from this week, I chose this one because I like it; nothing much to say about it.

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COMING UP – WEEK 28 PREVIEW

Week 28

These are the songs I picked between 2 January and 8 January 2015. I’ll talk about them next time.

Usted Abusó – Celia Cruz & Willie Colón

If You Want the Rainbow (You Must Have the Rain)* – Norah Jones  

Rhapsody in Blue – Leonard Bernstein & Columbia Symphony Orchestra

You’re The One That I Want – Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta

Sing – The Carpenters

Motivos – La Rondalla Venezolana

La Gata Bajo La Lluvía – Rocío Dúrcal

* Top 10 Contender

WEEK 27 – 26 DECEMBER 2014 TO 1 JANUARY 2015

183 FRIDAY 26 DECEMBER 2014

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive – Johnny Mercer

Your Hit Parade - 1945

Here’s another song from the “Your Hit Parade” series. I’ve always liked the attention-grabber solo trumpet at the start of the song. It asks you to listen carefully to the advice they’re about to impart. It has a very church-parable type of narrative. It is one of the few songs from that era that I’m sure would still resonate with younger generations.

I first heard Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive on “Bugsy”, the 1991 film directed by American University alumni Barry Levinson. The film starred Warren Beatty as Benjamin Siegel, the notorious American gangster who basically created Las Vegas. The song is used within the first minutes of the movie to establish Bugsy’s first days in Los Angeles. It was an effective way to introduce Siegel’s positive attitude in life, even if he only applied it to his criminal life.

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COMING UP – WEEK 27 PREVIEW

Week 27

These are the songs I picked between 26 December 2014 and 1 January 2015. I’ll talk about them next time.

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive – Johnny Mercer

My Red-Letter Day – Bob Walton, Jim Walton, Karen Ziemba … I considered briefly giving it to Sigourney Weaver but decided against it. Yes, you didn’t misread, Sigourney Weaver, the actress; I worked with her a few years back.  

Overture To “Pretty Lady”/With Plenty Of Money And You – Kate Levering (Dance) and Men …The curtain went up, and musical number after musical number, I could hear the man sitting next to me, gasping in delight when he recognised each one of the songs.  

Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra: II. Adagio – Pepe Romero, Barry Davis, Academy of St. Martin In the Fields & Sir Neville Marriner

Praeludium and Allegro in the Style of Pugnani Henryk Szeryng & Charles Reiner

El Año Víejo – Tony Camargo … My parents didn’t throw too many parties, but when they did they were epic. 

Boom Ditty Boom – “70, Girls, 70” 1991 Original London Cast

WEEK 26 – 19 TO 25 DECEMBER 2014

176 FRIDAY 19 DECEMBER 2014

Le Jazz Hot Julie Andrews

Victor_Victoria Soundtrack

If “Les Uns Et Les Autres” (See Week 15 No. 100) was the movie the made me want to be a filmmaker in 1983; the year before that, “Victor/Victoria” was the film that taught me that you can tell any story you want to tell as long as you know how to do it.

A woman pretending to be a man, pretending to be a woman, seemed like a very convoluted story to tell, but director Blake Edwards managed to pull it off brilliantly. Under the guidance of Toddy, Victoria Grant, an out-of-work opera singer in Paris, poses as a drag queen in order to find a job as an entertainer in a cabaret. On the night of her debut at Cassel’s, she captivates the audience with her rendition of Le Jazz Hot. Everybody is impressed, including King Marchand, a gangster from Chicago who doubts if Victor is really a man.

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COMING UP – WEEK 26 PREVIEW

Week 26

These are the songs I picked between 19 and 25 December 2014. I’ll talk about them next time.

Le Jazz Hot Julie Andrews

Wonderful Joel Grey, Idina Menzel … I can say with confidence that this is the only song from “Wicked” that I’ll include. I kind of don’t like the musical, it never grew on me. 

Gin/Wild Mandy Patinkin, Toni Collette, Eartha Kitt … However, an alcohol and drugs infested party and populated with egotistical depraved characters may not have been the best place I could escape the Summer of 2000.

Our Favorite Son * – Keith Carradine, Caddy Huffman

Magic Olivia Newton-John … I stopped being a dreamer many years ago, but I don’t think I’ve ever stopped being a hopeful, in a way I still believe in destiny.

(I’ve Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo Glenn Miller Orchestra

Why Don’t You Do Right Peggy Lee & The Benny Goodman Orchestra

* Top 10 Contender

WEEK 25 – 12 TO 18 DECEMBER 2014

169 FRIDAY 12 DECEMBER 2014

Finaletto Act II (Through The Years) – Bren Barrett, Heidi Grant Murphy Top 10 Contender

Through The Years

From the 1932 musical of the same title, Through The Years has been a favourite of mine since I first heard it.

After being fatally shot at her wedding by a bullet aimed at the groom, a dying bride, Moonyeen, promises her groom, John, she’ll somehow come back and be with him always. As she dies, John puts the ring on her finger and promises eternal love through the years.

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COMING UP – WEEK 25 PREVIEW

Week 25

These are the songs I picked between 12 and 18 December 2014. I’ll talk about them next time.

Finaletto Act II (Through The Years) * – Bren Barrett, Heidi Grant Murphy 

Enter You – Tori Spelling

Theme From New York, New York – Frank Sinatra

Married Life – Orchestra

Águas de Março * – Antonio Carlos Jobim & Elis Regina

Around the World – Buddy Greco

Last Dance * – Donna Summer

* Top 10 Contender

WEEK 24 – 5 TO 11 DECEMBER 2014

162 FRIDAY 5 DECEMBER 2014

I’m A Brass BandJacqueline Dankworth – Top 10 Contender

Sweet Charity (Original Studio Cast)

This is the second appearance of I’m A Brass Band on the list. This time around it comes from a studio cast recording of “Sweet Charity”. When I first introduced I’m A Brass Band, (See number 82, Week 12) I praised its uniqueness and naiveté for expressing the feeling of being loved.

Originally directed by Bob Fosse in 1966, and starring Gwen Verdon, “Sweet Charity” tells the story of Charity Hope Valentine, an ever-hopeful taxi dancer in Times Square. Its source of inspiration was Fellini’s “Nights Of Cabiria”, where Cabiria (Charity) is a prostitute searching for love.

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