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.
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.
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
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.
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
Finaletto Act II (Through The Years) – Bren Barrett, Heidi Grant Murphy– Top 10 Contender
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.
I’m A Brass Band – Jacqueline Dankworth – Top 10 Contender
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.