I’m The Greatest Star– Barbra Streisand –Top Ten Contender
“Funny Girl” is the first movie I ever remember watching.
I didn’t become familiar with its soundtrack until many years later when Fernando, a friend back home, introduced me to it. Most of the songs on this show have been favourites of mine for years, and I’m sure, a few will sneak onto this list.
Although this version of I’m The Greatest Star comes from the film’s soundtrack, I’d like to tell you a little story regarding the Broadway Original Cast recording.
The Grotto (Get Out of Town/My Heart Belongs to Daddy/Just One of Those Things) – Orchestra
Allow me to remind you that one of the reasons I’m making this list is to include songs that have touched me during the first 50 years of my life. So, there’s a story behind every song I pick. Bear with me as I tell you another story from my younger years.
For many years in the 1980s and early 1990s, my father owned a video store in a mini-mall near our house. “Galeria Electronica” started selling small household appliances and audio equipment, maybe TV sets? I can’t remember well, but within a year, it became a bookstore/video store business. I used to work there occasionally, on weekends or whenever I was on university holidays. I can’t remember much of the day-to-day operation, or what I did exactly, but I remember I used to watch many of the movies we traded. Yes, traded.
I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket – Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald
Back in 1991, while attending American University, I had to do a project for our video production class. I can’t remember the specifics of the project, but my teammates and I decided to use I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket as the theme of our production. If I recall correctly, a girl invites a guy over for dinner at her place, probably their second or third date. We can hear her thoughts as she prepares the meal. (“Will he like this meal? Do I look okay?”) We can also hear the guy’s thoughts as he’s about to knock at the door (“I look so good. I’m sure I’ll score tonight”). It’s all coming back now. That was one of the tasks; we had to use voice over as part of our narrative. We thought it was tacky, but did it anyway.
I Can’t Be Bothered Now– Kirby Ward – Top 10 Contender
I Can’t Be Bothered Nowis another song, which I have no idea why I didn’t discover sooner. It was only in 2009 or 2010 that I came across it by accident. I was re-watching one of the Broadway Lost Treasures DVDs, and there it was, an abbreviated staging of the song at the 1992 Tony’s broadcast. It was the first time I paid attention to it. It is such a happy little tune; it accompanied me during some tough times between 2010 and 2012.
Sing Happy is the first Kander and Ebb song to make it to the list. Now, I don’t like to play favourites, but if I did, this duo would be at the top of my list. I love everything about them; probably the coolest dudes to ever team up to write show tunes. From “Flora The Red Menace” to “The Scottsboro Boys”, I’m sure I’ll be packing many of their songs in my suitcase. Sing Happy is also the first song on the list that was published the year I was born, 1965.
El Padre Antonio y Su Monaguillo Andrés – Rubén Blades – Top 10 Contender
Although I grew up in Latin America, you may have noticed that my music taste gravitates towards Broadway musicals primarily. There are only a handful of songs in Spanish in my iTunes library, so if you see one of them on the list, you’ll know that it must be a song close to my heart. Such is the case of this beautiful gem from Panamanian Rubén Blades.
El Padre Antonio y Su Monaguillo Andrés (Father Antonio And His Altar Boy Andrés) is a ballad/salsa inspired by the assassination of El Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980. It tells the story of Father Antonio Tejeira, a Catholic priest from Spain and his altar boy Andrés Eloy Pérez.
Father Antonio is a pacifist; he condemns violence, and in every sermon, he talks about love and justice. Andrés is a ten-year-old who loves swimming in the river, playing soccer and day-dreaming. One Sunday mass, during communion, an assassin enters the Church and opens fire right in the middle of the Lord’s Prayer. Father Antonio falls to the ground not knowing what is happening; a host is still in his hand. Andrés passes away next to him. On the wall, the wooden Christ on the crucifix dies again.
Act II: The Game – Richard Kind, Howard McGillin, Michele Pawk, Herndon Lackey
First Sondheim appearance on the list and you may wonder why I’ve chosen a song from this 2003 unsuccessful musical. Let me remind you that I’ve arranged the records by alphabetical order, so that was the first Sondheim record in my iTunes Library. But rest assure there’ll be many Sondheim songs on the list.
Originally titled “Wise Men,” the musical tells the story of Addison and Wilson Mizner, a couple of brothers whose accomplishments include the urban development of Boca Raton in Florida. It was eventually revised and retitled Road Show, but more on that when we get to the letter “R.”
I know you must be wondering why this one moved to the list so soon after only being on the runners up list for a few days. Well, it’s not the same version. Desi Arnaz recorded this one in 1946. The one on the runners-up list is the version Desi recorded with Lucille Ball for their 1950s mega-hit “I Love Lucy.”
Introduced by Desi himself in 1946 in the movie of the same name, Cuban Pete, along with Babalu, is closely associated with of Desi Arnaz’s act.
People! Turn down the volume on your iPods; Ethel Merman has arrived at the list. Oh! Don’t act surprised, you knew La Merman would be on the list, how could she not? Yes, there’ll be more belters joining her.
For almost 25 years I Got The Sun In The Morning has been one of my all-time favourites. It is kind of poetic that it comes on the list on the 4th of July. You see, that is the day I left Venezuela in 1990, exactly a week after my 25th birthday.
At the end of the summer, I arrived in Washington, D.C. I had been accepted in the Film and Video Master’s program at AU (American University.)
These are the songs I picked on my first week, between 27 June and 3 July 2014.
01 FRIDAY 27 JUNE 2014
The Spirit of Adventure – Craig Copeland
I was introduced to this song when I saw the movie “Up” in 2009, and I instantly liked it. Actually, the entire soundtrack of this movie is a masterpiece. Effortless, yet multi-layered, this Academy Award-winning score by Michael Giacchino no doubt will be regarded in the future as one of the greatest scores of this early century.
When I chose this song, I hadn’t created any of the playlists yet. I picked it that day at the gym after I read the “Packing for a Long Trip” chapter on Jane Pauley’s book. I decided to include it perhaps with the idea of what the year ahead had in store for me or how special I would make the next 12 months. There may not be any big adventures, but no doubt that the catchy and inviting syncopation of the melody made me believe at that moment of a great year full of possibilities.