Girl of the Moment– Maria Friedman, Adrian Dunbar – Top 10 Contender
There’s something so enigmatic about this piece that its melody will haunt you for weeks.
I discovered Girl Of The Moment by accident. One day I came across the 1954 recording of the “Lady In The Dark” TV special; the song jumped out and not only grabbed my attention but also took my imagination hostage. I listened to this song for weeks, trying to figure out who this girl of the moment was, and why she was so captivating.
In January 1992, I got my first job in the United States. I was in the last semester of my master’s program, and during the previous three months, I had been an intern at the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, DC.
After I had come back from my Christmas break, Guillermo, my supervisor at PAHO recommended me for a job at the Inter-American Development Bank, where they were looking for a photographer. I thanked him but reminded him I was not a photographer. He didn’t listen; he just rolled his eyes, gave me the key to his house and told me to go there. In a bookcase in the living room, there was a box with pictures, he told me to pick a few to pass as mine during the job interview.
No One Is Alone– Kim Crosby, Danielle Ferland, Ben Wright, Chip Zien
Even when we are on our own, we’re not totally alone. We all live in a community and have an impact each other’s lives. From the person who holds the lift’s door when you’re carrying bags. Or the person who chases you down the street to hand you the umbrella you’ve dropped one block away. Even the person who is rude to you on the bus for no apparent reason; we all feed on the community we live in. It doesn’t matter how much we want to protect ourselves, others will always have an influence on us, and there’s basically nothing we can do about it. The person who holds the lift’s door will help you arrive faster to your destination. The one who hands you the umbrella will help you stay dry when the rain comes. The one who’s been rude may wreck your day for a bit, but another person will brighten it. In a matter of minutes, everything can change. You’ll be the one holding the lift’s door, handing the umbrella, and being rude to someone on the bus.
It Only Takes a Moment – Charles Nelson Reilly, Eileen Brennan
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.
Easy to Love – Lee Wiley with Paul Weston & His Orchestra – Top 10 Contender
I’m definitely feeling the love for Cole Porter.
I first heard Easy To Love in 1991; it was a version by Sinatra, which I instantly liked. Since then I’ve acquired different versions by different performers. As a young man, I thought of it as the epitome of being in love and planning a perfect future with a chosen one.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate it under a very different light. It is not about being in love, the singer is not in love yet. It is about the business of falling in love, and how it is not as random and magical as Hollywood and Hallmark have led us to believe.
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.