ROLL YOUR OWN RADIO SHOW
More ramblings by Judy Harris
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I want to tell the world about the Rio PMP300 MP3 player. This is a little handheld battery powered device made by Diamond Multimedia that allows you to copy to the hard disk of your PC songs from CDs you already own, compress them into MP3 format and then download them into this handheld player. The sound quality for something that runs off one AA battery is amazing.
In addition to copying from your own CDs, you can download public domain MP3 songs and soundbites from a variety of websites, such as http://www.mp3.com/; there's a link on this page called Play MP3s, which takes you to a website where you can download MusicMatch. This is the software that comes with the Rio PMP300 that allows you to copy songs from your own CDs, so if you have speakers on your PC, you don't even need the Rio PMP300, (although unless you have fabulous speakers on your PC, I doubt the sound quality would be as good). If you are anal retentive like I am, you can type in the lyrics so they'll show up (on MusicMatch, not the handheld Rio!) when you play each song so that, karaoke like, you and your friends can sing along.
Additional sites for MP3 music include: http://www.musicmaker.com/ and http://www.listen.com/
This website will give you a good idea of how to use the Rio and how to decide how many bits per second you wish the record rate to be: http://www.gribbsy.demon.co.uk/riomp3.htm
Now, why would you want to copy individual songs from your CD collection, when you can just put an audio CD in your CD ROM drive and play it? Well, if you are like me, there are always songs on any CD which you don't particularly want to hear, over and over. I am always leaping up to advance my CDs past such songs. In addition, I sometimes like to hear a song over, so I also jump up and run to the boom box to make a song start over again.
Depending on how many bits per second (128, 80 or 64) of your record rate with the Rio PMP300, you can download approximately 21-22 of your favorite songs, in the order you want them, and play them in the order you select or randomly; you can program the songs to repeat or skip. It's like programming your own 60-minute radio show, but with no commercials or annoying DJs. I chose the smallest number (64 bps) and managed to jam 70 minutes into the flash memory.
This is something I've wanted to do ever since I started seeing that commercial on TV for a Philips device that allows you to make your own CDs. However, when I went looking for this in electronic stores, it was a hefty $600, and since my collection of CDs is so tiny and my taste is so narrow, I knew I would probably never want to make more than one or two CDs, so it didn't seem very cost effective. I never actually saw this Philips machine, so I don't know how big it was, but at any rate, I live in a very tiny overcrowded apartment, and I don't have room to plug in anything else.
However, the Rio PMP300 is a different story; it fits in the palm of my hand and one AA battery lasts about 12 hours, so I can take it to the park with my cat Duff on long 7-8-9-hour summer days and listen to music that makes me very happy.
Almost the only drawback is that it takes as long to copy a song from a CD and compress it to the MP3 format on your hard disk as the song is long. That is, if the song lasts 5 minutes, then it takes 5 minutes to copy/compress to your hard disk, but once it exists on your hard disk, the time to download to the Rio player is very quick. The other drawback is that your hard disk gets eaten up pretty fast . That 5-minute song I referred takes up 2.4 mb and so I had to finally break down and get a Zip drive!
Here's currently what I am listening to on my Rio. As I look over the list, I can see that four things most of these songs have in common are:
Another thing many of the show tunes have in common is that I can picture them in my mind so vividly, even the versions I haven't seen, such as the Ethel Merman version of GYPSY and the original Broadway version of STOP THE WORLD. The lyrics are so expressive and the numbers have been captured so well on the original cast recording that it is possible to project in your mind exactly what is happening. Finally, almost all the songs have very clever or very beautiful lyrics.
In a sense, what I'm doing here is reinventing the 45 rpm record. When I was a kid, these were the only records to which I had access. I would put a stack of my favorites on the spindle and sing along as I listened to them. I wish I had some of those old 45s now: BEST OF EVERYTHING by Johnny Mathis; CRAZY BUT I'M IN LOVE by Nat Cole, ROCKABYE YOUR BABY by Jerry Lewis, LIVERPOOL (from CHARLIE GIRL) by Derek Nimmo and Gerry Marsden.
Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you If you're young at heart For it's hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind If you're young at heart You can go to extremes with impossible schemes You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams And life gets more exciting with each passing day And love is either in your heart or on its way Don't you know that it's worth every treasure on Earth To be young at heart For as rich as you are it's much better by far To be young at heart And if you should survive to a hundred and five Look at all you'll derive out of being alive Then here is the best part You have a head start If you are among the very young at heart.
To me, Sinatra is just the best, and this is the best Sinatra song, captured when he was at the height of his powers. I was about 8 when it came out in 1955. There is something about the combination of Sinatra with Nelson Riddle that was just perfection. I also love all those Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen numbers they collaborated on.
YOUNG AT HEART has lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and music by Johnny Richards. Lyrics copyright 1954 Cherio Corp. and June's tunes. The adult me is kind of cynical about most things nowadays, but these lyrics get to me. Riddle's arrangement, his use of strings, just transports me. I also have memories of Soupy Sales playing this number on his children's TV show on a regular basis, but I can't remember the circumstances.
This is a wonderful Carolyn Leigh/Cy Coleman number; they had a substantial Broadway career, but I don't believe this is from any of their shows. Another great bouncy Nelson Riddle arrangement. Lyrics copyright 1957 Notable Music Co., Inc. and Junes Tunes Ltd. Partnership and Morley Music Co. All rights on behalf of Notable Music Co., Inc. adminstered by WB Music Corp.
Those fingers in my hair That sly come hither stare That strips my conscience bare It's witchcraft. And I've got no defense for it That heat is too intense for it What good would common sense for it do? 'Cause it's witchcraft Wicked witchcraft And although I know it's strictly tabu When you arouse the need in me My heart says "yes, indeed" in me Proceed with what you're leading me to. It's such an ancient pitch But one that I'd never switch There ain't no nicer witch than you.
At the end, Sinatra says "ooo, you're a fine witch". It took me a while to figure out where I had heard this phrase said in this exaggerated tone, and I believe it goes back to Jackie Gleason, who used to do a character called Reginald VanGleason, III, who was, not to put too fine a point on it, a society drunk. He used to make a similar comment about the booze he drank, and over the years, many other celebrities/impressionists have adapted this saying.
Como e` bella ce` la luna brille e` strette Strette como e` tutta bella a passeggiare Sotto il cielo di Roma Down each avenue or via, street or strata You can see 'em disappearing two by two On an evening in Roma Do they take 'em for espresso? Yeah, I guess so On each lover's arm a girl I wish I knew On an evening in Roma Though there's grinning and mandolining in sunny Italy The beginning has just begun when the sun goes down So please meet me in the plaza near your casa I am only one and one is much too few On an evening in Roma Don't know what the country's coming to But in Rome do as the Romans do Will you, on an evening in Roma? Como e` bella ce` la luna brille e` strette Strette como e` tutta bella a passeggiare Sotto il cielo di Roma Don't know what the country's coming to But in Rome do as the Romans do Will you, on an evening in Roma? Sott'er cielo de Roma On an evening in Roma
I don't know when Dean recorded this; but I only discovered it in 1998 and fell in love with it. All of my favorite singers have very distinctive voices and, generally speaking, very clear diction. Dean is the exception to the latter rule, as he often slurs his words and drops the ending "g". I generally don't like this in other singers, but Dean sings so effortlessly, he is so mellow and smooth, somehow it is all part of his charm. I particularly like the Italian lyrics in this song, although I don't speak Italian, have only the vaguest idea what they mean (surely a translation of the English lyrics) and don't generally enjoy songs in foreign language, because this thwarts me from singing along which I enjoy.
Beyond the Sea (Bobby Darin from The Best of Bobby Darin Volume Two)
I have written about Bobby Darin elsewhere on the net about his collaboration with Johnny Mercer on TWO OF A KIND. Bobby was a consummate performer who was taken from us much too soon. I didn't like his early rock'n'roll stuff, and I didn't like his later folk songs, but in between when he did the standards, he was just amazing. He broke away from rock'n'roll very quickly after making an impact with '50s teens; according to the liner notes for the above CD, Beyond the Sea was one side of a single that followed the spectacular release of Mack the Knife. Both songs were arranged by Richard Wess, and certainly the arrangement of these numbers is perfection. If you have Real Audio, click here for 30-seconds of Bobby singing BEYOND THE SEA.
Somewhere beyond the sea Somewhere waitin' for me My lover stands on golden sands And watches the ships that go sailin' Somewhere beyond the sea She's there watchin' for me If I could fly like birds on high Then straight to her arms I'd go sailin'. It's far beyond a star It's near beyond the moon I know beyond a doubt My heart will lead me there soon. We'll meet beyond the shore We'll kiss just as before Happy we'll be beyond the sea And never again I'll go sailin'.
No more sailin', so long sailin' Bye-bye sail Oh, how happy.
Lazy River (Bobby Darin from The Best of Bobby Darin Volume Two)
In a million years I never would have thought this old Hoagy Carmichael, Sid Arodin song could have made a good "Bobby Darin" song, but such was his genius (and that of the arrangers Bobby Scott and Richard Behrke) that it is a most exciting and lovely number. I can't think of another number that starts so softly and builds to such a boisterous conclusion. Lyrics copyright 1931 Peermusic Ltd.
Up a lazy river by the old mill run Lazy river in the noon day sun Linger awhile in the shade of a tree Throw away your troubles, Dream with me. Up a lazy river where the robin's song Wakes the mornin' We'll roll along May be blue skies 'bove Everyone's in love Up a lazy river How happy we'll be Up a lazy river with me Up a lazy river by the old mill run That lazy, lazy river in the noon day sun You can linger for awhile in the shade of a tree Throw away your troubles, baby Dream a dream of me. Up a lazy river where the robin's song Wakes a brand new mornin' Where we can roll along There may be blue skies up above But as long as we're in love Yeah, we'll be up a lazy river How happy we could be Up a lazy river with me. Oh, that half way mark, yeah. Up a lazy river where that robin's song Awakes a brand new mornin' We can roll along There are blue skies up above And as long as we're in love We'll be up a lazy river Up a crazy, lazy, river Up a lazy river I ain't goin' your way, get out of my way Up a lazy river with me.
On the liner notes, this 1953 song is credited to J. Kennedy/N. Simon and the notes go on to say it was an answer to an earlier novelty Paul Whiteman-Bing Crosby song called C-O-N-S-T-A-T-I-N-O-P-L-E. I can remember this being so popular that it was played more than once an hour on the radio. It has the kind of jerky rhythm where the accents of the lyrics fall oddly on the notes that Puttin' on the Ritz has. There's something about the beat, the arrangement, the lyrics that just makes me smile and want to sing along.
Istanbul was Constantinople Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople Been a long time gone Old Constantinople Still it's Turkish delight On a moonlit night. Every gal in Constantinople Lives in Istanbul not in Constantinople; So, if you've a date in Constantinople She'll be waiting in Istanbul. Even old New York Was once New Amsterdam. Why they changed it I can't say; People just liked it better that way Take me back to Constantinople No, you can't go back to Constantinople Now it's Istanbul not Constantinople. Why did Constantinople get the works? That's nobody's business but the Turks.
There are no liner notes on this CD; the lyrics database credits it as (1954) Words and Music by Pat Ballard. I don't know much about this song, but I remember it fondly from my youth, and I enjoy the arrangement very much. It sometimes shows up as background in soundtracks for movies set in the '50s.
Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream Make him the cutest that I've ever seen Give him two lips like roses and clover Then tell him that his lonesome nights are over. Sandman, I'm so alone Don't have nobody to call my own Please turn on your magic beam Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream. Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream Make him the cutest that I've ever seen Give him the word that I'm not a rover Then tell him that his lonesome nights are over. Sandman, I'm so alone Don't have nobody to call my own Please turn on your magic beam Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream. Mr. Sandman (yes?), bring us a dream Give him a pair of eyes with a come hither gleam Give him a lonely heart like Pagliacci And lots of wavy hair like Liberace Mr. Sandman, someone to hold Would be so peachy before we're too old So please turn on your magic beam Mr. Sandman, bring us Please, please, please, Mr. Sandman Bring us a dream.
Many people, me among them, think GYPSY is the best Broadway musical ever. It had an interesting backstage plot about the life of Gypsy Rose Lee; the plot spanned the death of vaudeville and the start of burlesque; it had a wonderful libretto by Arthur Laurents which probably could have stood by itself, but then it had the icing on the cake, a magnificent score by Jule Styne and wonderful lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. It also starred one of my favorite Broadway musical actresses, Ethel Merman, so it may be surprising that the number I chose to insert into my personal Radio Show lineup is sung by Paul Wallace, who no one ever heard from again (although he did play Tulsa in the film as well). He played Tulsa, one of the chorus boys Mama Rose has hired to back up her blond daughter, Baby June (later Dainty June). These chorus kids are so interchangeable to Rose, that she knows them only by the city where they joined the troup. However, Tulsa has plans beyond being in the chorus, his own nightclub act a la Astaire.
It has always seemed to me that I missed out on seeing for myself the best Broadway shows. GYPSY opened in 1959 and closed in 1961, and I didn't start seeing Broadway shows until 1965. But I had the original cast LP and played and sang along with it over and over. It's amazing how vivid the numbers in this show were to me, even though I never saw the original staging. Lyrics copyright 1959 Williamson Music, Inc. and Stratford Music Corporation, Chappel & Co.
This number in particular seems to stage itself; the lyrics and the spoken lines seem to indicate what the performers should do. I am reminded of the anecdote Sondheim tells of working with Jerome Robbins who was trying to stage MARIA from WEST SIDE STORY. Sondheim learned from Robbins: "Those of us who write songs should stage each number within an inch of its life in our own heads when we write... I mean, really plot everything in detail...[The director and the choreographer] may not use anything in your blueprint at all, but they have something to work on, something to build from. And so you're collaborating with them." And this number seems a classic example of this. It's also an amazing blend of Sondheim's lyrics and Laurents' dialogue melded together into a seamless whole.
I subsequently saw several revivals of GYPSY, all of which I thought were inferior to the Ethel Merman original (even though I never saw it!), although Angela Lansbury won a Tony for her portrayal of Mama Rose. At the time the film came out, I didn't like it, because I wanted to see Ethel, not Rosalind Russell in the lead; however, I've seen the film within the last year or so, and I now think Russell did a good job and the film pretty much captured and was faithful to a lot of the staging of the play.
This song has so much going for it, besides the wonderful Jule Styne melody. It's all about longing to make it in show business, which I'm convinced everyone in the world can identify with, it's got the subtext of Louise/Gypsy, who has a crush on Tulsa, just happy to spend some time with him and then, oh bliss, right at the end he asks her to dance with him for the last couple of bars. In the film, she's wearing the back end of the cow costume (from the Dainty June and her Farmboys number earlier). This is not indicated in the original Laurents' play, but Natalie Wood is so delicate and beautiful and perfect in this huge cow costume, it's quite touching.
Backstage in the alley behind the theatre between shows one day, Gypsy (Sandra Church) asks, "Tulsa, tell me about your nightclub act".
OK. Well, you see, I pretend I'm home getting dressed for a date. I take a comb and comb my hair. I take a flower, smell it, and put it in my lapel; And then I spot the audience! Once my clothes were shabby Tailors called me cabbie So I took a vow Said this bum'll be Beau Brummell. Now I'm smooth and snappy; Now my tailor's happy; I'm the cat's meow; My wardrobe is a wow: Paris silk, Harris tweed There's only one thing I need: Got my tweed pressed, got my best vest All I need now is the girl. Got my striped tie, got my hopes high. Got the time and the place and I got rhythm, Now all I need's the girl to go with them. If she'll just appear we'll take this big town for a whirl And if she'll say "my darling, I'm yours" I'll throw away My striped tie and my best pressed tweed. All I really need is the girl. I start easy. Now I'm more debonair Break! Then I sell it here. I start this step, see, and build it, and double it. She appears all in white! I take her hand, kiss it and lead her on the floor This step is good for the costume. Astaire bit! Now we waltz, strings come in. And I lift her! Again. Once more. And now the tempo changes And all the lights go up And I build to the finale. Louise, give me your hand! Faster! Charleston! Again! Again!
CHICAGO is one of my favorite shows. It has a terrific score by John Kander and Fred Ebb. In addition, Ebb cowrote the libretto with director Bob Fosse. I was lucky enough to see this three times in 1975; twice with Liza Minnelli in the lead when Gwen Verdon was out with throat problems.
Each of the numbers in CHICAGO is a pastiche of a vaudeville number. This
is sort of a hoochy cooch Last of the Red Hot Mamas type number. The
arrangement is very hip swaying! The lyrics contain a number of hysterical
double entendres but some of them are so subtle that just listening to the
lyrics, they might slide by. The way this was staged by Fosse, the
gestures and facial expressions of Mary McCarty made sure you didn't miss
them. For instance, when she says she deserves a lot of tat, for what
she's got to give, she very deliberately lifts up her rather large bosom
and drops it down right on the beat. Lyrics copyright 1973 or 1975
Kander-Ebb, Inc. and Unichappell Music Inc.
If you have Real Audio, click here for 30-seconds of Mary McCarty singing WHEN YOU'RE GOOD TO MAMA.
McCarty plays Matron Mama Morton, who is in charge of the Merry Murderesses of Death Row who have just sung the previous number, Cell Block Tango.
Ask any of the chickies in my pen
They'll tell you I'm the biggest mother--hen I love them all and all of them love me Because the system works The system called reciprocity. Gotta little motto Always sees me through: When you're good to Mama Mama's good to you. There's a lotta favors I'm prepared to do You do one for Mama She'll do one for you. They say that life is tit for tat And that's the way I live So I deserve a lot of tat For what I've got to give. Don'tcha know that this hand Washes that one too? When you're good to Mama Mama's good to you. If you want my gravy Pepper my ragout; Spice it up for Mama She'll get hot for you. When they pass that basket Folks contribute to You put in for Mama She'll put out for you. The folks atop the ladder Are the ones the world adores So boost me up my ladder, kid, And I'll boost you up yours. Let's all stroke together Like the Princeton crew When you're strokin' Mama Mama's strokin' you So what's the one conclusion I can bring this number to? When you're good to Mama Mama's good to you!
Lyrics copyright 1973 or 1975 Kander-Ebb, Inc. and Unichappell Music Inc. As mentioned above, each of the numbers in CHICAGO is a pastiche of a vaudeville number; this is a parody of a crooner even down to the "bah bah bah, boo boo boo". Not too many people could get away with this, but on Jerry Orbach, it sounds great. In fact, he does this number so perfectly - he completely captures the wonderful insincerity of Fred Ebb's lyrics: this is a lawyer saying that he doesn't care about fancy suits and silk cravats, at the same time he is decking himself out to the nines. In the end, he becomes so strident in his protests of his selfless nature, he reminds me of that parody of Greta Garbo that Peter Cook did, where he portrays the enigmatic Emma Bargo who goes around town on the back of a lorry with a megaphone, shouting that she wants to be left alone.
Is everybody here? Is everybody ready? Hit it! I don't care about expensive things: Cashmere coats, diamond rings Don't mean a thing; All I care about is love; That's what I'm here for. I don't care for wearin' silk cravats, Ruby studs, satin spats Don't mean a thing. All I care about is love. Give me two eyes of blue Softly sayin' "I need you". Let me see her standin' there And honest, Mister, I'm a millionaire. I don't care for any fine attire Vanderbilt might admire. No, no, not me. All I care about is love. (whistles) It may sound odd, but all I care about is love That's what he's here for. Bah bah bah bah bah bah boo boo boo Bah bah bah bah boo boo boo. Honest to God, all I care about is love. Show me long, long raven hair Flowin' down about to there; When I see her runnin' free - Keep your money, that's enough for me! I don't care for drivin' Packard cars Or smokin' long buck cigars No, no, not me All I care about is Doin' the guy in Who's pickin' on you, Twistin' the wrist That's turnin' the screw. All I care about is love.
I just don't know how to express how much I adored Cyril Ritchard. He was funny; he was elegant; he always seemed a gentleman. He could take an over-the-top role like Captain Hook and do wonderful, delicate things with it. I was lucky enough to see PETER PAN as a child when NBC first aired it in 1955 when I would have been 8. I've seen the tape recently and it holds up wonderfully well, except for some of the choreography of the Indians. Cyril is so slender and dances so gracefully. This particular number was written by Jule Styne with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Separately, Mark (Moose) Charlap and Carolyn (Young at Heart) Leigh wrote other songs for this 1954 stage show.
There's something so melodious about Cyril's voice. Although he was Australian, he didn't have what I think of as an Australian accent; he had British upper crust, crisp diction. I loved all the words he said with "r" like "world"; "ripper", "Peter" and, of course, his breaking of "gnaw" into two syllables is priceless. This middle spoken passage is directly from the James M. Barrie play. The opening gloat: "Peter killed" refers to Hook's nefarious plan to put poison in Peter's "medicine". He doesn't know, of course, that Tinker Bell drank it and Peter was able to save her life by asking everyone in the theatre to clap if they believe in fairies.
At last I've reached me peak! Peter killed and all the boys about to walk the plank! I'm the greatest villain of all time! Who is Bluebeard? Nobody! Who is Nero? Nobody! Who is Jack the Ripper? Nobody! Who's the swiniest swine in the world? Captain Hook! Captain Hook! Who's the dirtiest dog in this wonderful world? Captain Hook! Captain Hook! Captain of villainy, murder and loot. Eager to kill any who says that his hook isn't cute. Smee: It's cute! Who's the slimiest rat in the pack? Captain Hook! Captain Hook! Who's unlovable? You! Who's unlivable? You! Whose existence is quite unforgivable? You! Who would stoop to the cheapest and lowest of tricks in the book? Tricks in the book! Slimy, slimy Captain Hook! All mortals envy me, yet better perhaps for Hook to have had less ambition. Oh fame, fame, thou glittering bauble, in searching for thee, what fame have I not lost? No little children love me. I'm told they play at Peter Pan and the strongest always chooses to be Peter. They force the baby to be Hook. The baby! That's where the canker g-naws! No, bi-carbonate of soda, no! Who's the swiniest? Swiniest! The doggiest? Doggiest! The slimiest? Slimiest! Who's the creepiest creep in the world? Captain Hook! Captain Hook! Who's dispensible? You! Reprehensible. You! Whose behavior is quite indefensible? You! Who's the crawlingest, cruelest, Crummiest, crookedest crook? Crookedest crook! What a prize, what a joy: Mrs. Hook's little baby boy, The scourge of the sea, Just lil ol' me. Captain Hook! Yo ho!
If there's one drawback of the Rio PMP300 it's that when playing back older
songs like this which perhaps were not originally recorded in stereo, the
sound is rather low and even turning the volume up to the maximum doesn't
You've Got What I Need (Michael O'Sullivan and Jack Cassidy from It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman)
I have written about this SUPERMAN Broadway show at http:/www.bestweb.net/~foosie/superman.htm
Like COMPANY, SUPERMAN is a show with a wonderful score but a really terrible libretto, which explains why it had such a limited run and is never revived. The lyrics were by Charles Strouse and the music by Lee Adams. I believe this was the first show directed by Hal Prince. I was lucky enough to see it twice, once in Philly and once in NY in 1966. The score was wonderfully bouncy and brassy and while the lyrics for the ballads were fairly banal, some of the other lyrics, such as these are just wonderful. There is an exciting harp arpeggio in this number that I always listen for particularly.
Sedgwick: My heart's pounding with the power now before me.
Max: Gee, Prof; I'm beginning to see, Prof. Sedgwick: My soul quivers with the glory now in view. Max: Hell, Prof; it's beginning to jell. We'll cut this town up like a great big cake, Prof. Shake, Prof, when it's me and you. You've got what I need, baby, You've got it and how. You've got what I need, baby. Together we can scale the heights And I mean right now. You've got what it takes, sweetie, All the way from A to Z. You've got what I need, baby, 'Cause from now on, baby, you've got me. Sedgwick: You're a thoroughly immoral person, Max. I like you. Max: Why thanks, Professor, it's mutual. Ah, we're going to make some team, Prof. Sedgwick: Call me Abner. Max: Abner, I love that name. You're loaded with class, baby, La creme de la creme. Let's step on the gas, baby. Oh, Abner, you're a million laughs. Max, you're a gem. You've got it in spades, lovey, You're a pal, no ballyhoo. I've got what I need, baby, 'Cause from now on, baby, I've got you. Yeah! You've got it upstairs, baby, The best in the house. You're tops in my book, cookie Max: Hit it, Abner; you're Mickey Mouse! Sedgwick: Woo! Here comes the new team, Mister. We'll be great, just wait and see. You've got what I need, baby, 'Cause from now on, baby, Don't mean maybe Now on, baby, you've got me. Max: We're going home, Abner!
Where Would You Be Without Me? (Cyril Ritchard from The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd)
I have written about THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT, THE SMELL OF THE CROWD at a website devoted to that 1965 show. Lyrics copyright 1964 Concorde Music Ltd., TRO-Musical Comedy Productions, Inc. This is my favorite number from the show; it was a great crowd pleaser, and it makes an interesting contrast to the similarly titled number from SUPERMAN. The SUPERMAN number is all compliments; the GREASEPAINT number is all sarcasm.
Come to think of it:
Where would you be without me, Cocky, Just tell me, where would you be? Look at yourself - you are so dreary - Oh dearie, oh me! How could you cope without my friendship And my kindly old face? Don't you know money can't buy friendship? It's so hard to replace...money. Where would you be without my courage? I am as fearless as three. Faithful, if you should flag, Strong if you start to sag. Cocky, you've got to agree. Tell me, frankly, Where would you be without me? I dunno, Sir. The trouble with you, Sir, is you're too good to me. I don't deserve the way you treat me. Oh, Cocky! No, really: Where would I be without you, Guv'nor? Gawd only knows where I'd be! Look at my life - it has no magic! It's tragic to see! I mean I couldn't live without your friendship And your expert advice. Yours is a lasting and sure friendship And what's more - you're so nice! Aren't I? Where would I be without your goodness Helping to carry me through? People just pass me by; Whether I live or die, They wouldn't care - But I do! Tell me, frankly, Where would I be - Where would you be? Where would I be Without you? Where would I be without you, Guv'nor? You've got no style - You've got no class - Without me, you'd be on your... Ask yourself, Sir, just where would I be? You can scarcely read or write or spell. For my part, you can go to... Well, Sir, I try to do my best. Cockius useless est. Know what that means, you pest? No! Hah! There, you see? Frankly, Where would you be? I'd be up a tree. And what would you do? I'd throw things at you! You're up a tree without... Can't picture me without... Where would you be without me?
Y-O-U spells me!
STOP THE WORLD was just as allegorical as GREASEPAINT, but a lot more political. Although I didn't see the original cast, I saw Newley in a revival and have written about the show. Lyrics copyright 1961 TRO Essex Music Ltd.
Although I believe the songwriting for GREASEPAINT was an attempt to be more commercial, I actually love the songs from STOP THE WORLD better. I Wanna Be Rich is particularly comic and it contains a lot of Britishisms which I always enjoyed. The overture is extremely melodic and one of my favorites. During the ABC song, Newley mimes the birth of Littlechap and in I Wanna Be Rich Littlechap sings of his naked greed as he chases Evie, who will quickly become a millstone around his neck:
Look at me--just take a look at me-- A minute ago, I didn't know Me elbow from me... Ask just simply anyone--go and ask anyone-- They'll tell you I was greener than the grass. Ooh, what I mess I was! Yes, I'll confess I was! Like a burbling bloody baby at the font! You don't know the half of it-- But now I just laugh at it! 'Cause now I know exactly what I want. I wanna be rich, have money to burn. A thousand a week, say, would do me a turn. I'd keep it in oncers in case of a slump. I'd have stacks and stacks and the Income Tax Could take a running jump. I've have all me suits made a dozen a time. I'd buy all the best shares, provided they climb Give me half a chance, a small advance, Me fingers itch to make me dirty rotten filthy stinking rich! Here, Evie, hang on! Took a look at me--a quick butcher's hook at me-- Now, a minute ago I didn't know a cockle from a whelk. Can you imagine it? I mean, just imagine it! Fancy not knowing a cockle from a whelk! Oh, what a nitt I was! Yes, I'll admit I was! Like a sloppy, floppy puppy with a ball. And then, without reason or rhyme-- I was chatting this bird at the time-- I heard a sort of voice within me call. I wanna be rich and have a big house, With hundreds of acres and pheasants and grouse. An American car as long as the street; And the local birds'll be lost for words-- It'll knock them off their feet. (Women drivers!) I wanna be famous and be in the news, Go out with a film star whenever I choose. Gimme half a chance to lead a dance With some rich bitch And I'll be dirty rotten filthy stinking rich! Here, Eve, hang on! Evie, wait for us! Eve...Evie! I wanna be rich and mix with the nobs And sit in the best seats with all of the snobs. I may go to Ascot to take in the scene. In me grey top hat and me spats and that, I'd be comp'ny for the Queen. I wanna go trav'ling to Cannes and Capri-- The French Riv-i-er-i-a is my cup of tea. Gimme half a chance in the South of France To make my pitch And I'll be dirty rotten filthy stinking-- I can hear the lolly clinking-- Lots of birds; lots of drinking-- I can guess what you're all thinking-- Dirty rotten filthy stinking rich!
Lyrics copyright 1961 TRO Essex Music Ltd. Littlechap has had his way with Evie and gotten her in the "none too sanctified, highly satisfied" family way. The opening notes of this song are based on the wedding march to suggest the shotgun wedding that has taken place. Now Littlechap sings of his frustration at being stuck with a wife and child.
Speech! I've been trapped, lumbered! I--have been lumbered! I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered, But, I'm never gonna get lumbered again. I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered, And I don't L-I-K-E it one small bit. I'm too young to be a father; There are lots of things I'd rather be-- Like working down a coal P-I-T pit! When I ought to be completely unencumbered, I've been forced to buy a ring and say Amen. I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered, But, I'm never gonna get lumbered again. I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered; I'm completely C-H-O-K-E-D choked! Bang, all my lovely visions-- I've been forced to make decisions. Wish I had a quid for ev'ry fag I've smoked. When I think of all the birds with whom I've slumbered; Now I'll only ever see them now and then. (At the weekends and whenever the wife's not around!) I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered, But, I'm never gonna get lumbered again. If I ever get my hands upon the idiot that wrote, "Into ev'ry life a little rain must fall," I shall take his book of poems And I'll stuff 'em up his...throat, 'Cause it seems to me as though I get it all! I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered; And the idea doesn't please me very much. I was not prepared for marriage-- I would catch a boat from Harwich-- But I don't speak any D-U-C-H Dutch. Though I know it's true a bachelor's days are numbered, I think I should have the choice of saying when, I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered, But, I'm never gonna get lumbered again. Darling! I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered. It's enough to drive a fellow M-A-D! I am scarcely past my childhood-- I still play the games a child would-- I'm still playing mums and dads, as you can see. When I think of all the chicks with whom I've rumba'd-- For the wedding march, I'm lumbered with a hen! (Quack, quack!) I've been quite unduly, well and truly lumbered, But, I'm never gonna get, Never gonna get, never, never, Never gonna get, never gonna get, never never, Never gonna get lumbered again! Well, now for a bit of peace and quiet. Darling! Yes? I'm going to have a baby--another one! I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered. (So have I!) I've had just about E-N-U-F enough. (So have I!) For my little bit of pleasure I've been punished beyond measure. If you ask me, I've been treated rather rough! (So have I!) Like a garrison that's gradually outnumbered, Or a boxer when the count is nearing ten, (Down with men!) I've been L-U-M-B-E-R-E-D lumbered, (I've been lumbered) But, I'm never gonna get lumbered again!
Lyrics copyright 1961 TRO Essex Music Ltd. Littlechap has risen in the ranks of his father-in-law's factory and now decides to run for office. This song is his campaign speech. It's extremely outdated now, but I've heard it so much, that doesn't bother me. I saw a revival of the show in 1986 (with Newley in a summer theatre) and a lot of the songs had been updated, and I didn't enjoy them nearly so much.
Vote for Littlechap! Vote for Littlechap! Vote for Littlechap! Vote for Littlechap! For Littlechap! Fellow citizens, our speaker for tonight is the Opportunist candidate for this constituency, Mr. Littlechap. Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Tickety bubarb yak yak yak Mumbo jum red white and bluebarb, Poor Brittania's on her back. Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Nothing newbarb cha cha cha. Mumbo Jumbo Castro's Cubarb. I think someone's gone too far! Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Voulez-vousbarb avec moi? Mumbo Jumbo entrez-nousbarb Bridget Bardot ooh la la! Ladies of the Book of the Month Guild, it is my pleasure to introduce the Opportunist candidate for this constituency, Mr. Littlechap! Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Has Red China got the bomb? Velly soon now if it's truebarb We'll be blown to kingdom come. You've got a bomb We've got a bomb All God's children got bombs. Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Give the Democrats more cash. Helps the nation, stops inflation. How's your father? Wall Street crash. We wanna be rich with money to burn. Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Prostitubarb off the streets. We will fight them on the beaches But we'll lose between the sheets. Fellow members of the Motor Scooter Association, I'd like you to meet the Opportunist candidate, Mr. Littlechap. Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Common Market can't go wrong. Washday Mondays? Send your undies Chinese laundry in Hong Kong. Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Give the Africans their rights. Colored people are free toobarb Though not quite as free as whites! Mumbo Jumbo, rhubarb rhubarb Up your flubarb, Liberty Hall. And, dear friends, if I'm elected, I'm all right, Jack--screw you all!
Lyrics copyright 1961 TRO Essex Music Ltd. This is my favorite song from STOP THE WORLD, and perhaps my favorite song that Newley wrote. It has rather been overshadowed by the Stevie Wonder song of a similar title. Of all the arrangements Newley tried over the years, I think the best was the one from the Broadway show.
Just once in a lifetime, A man knows a moment-- One wonderful moment When fate takes his hand. And this is my moment-- My once in a lifetime-- When I can explore A new and exciting land. For once in my lifetime I feel like a giant! I soar like an eagle, As though I had wings! For this is my moment-- My destiny calls me-- And though it may be Just once in my lifetime, I'm gonna do great things!
Lyrics copyright 1961 TRO Essex Music Ltd. This is probably the most famous Newley/Bricusse collaboration; it has certainly been recorded by a variety of people, including Sammy Davis and Robert Goulet. Newley himself did not have a hit record with it in the U.S., which he mentioned for years during his nightclub act, so apparently it rankled. As with Once in a Lifetime, he experimented with a variety of orchestrations over the years, but my favorite has always been the one used on Broadway.
The song contains a key word/theme that showed up in subsequent Newley songs, namely "clown" (STOP THE WORLD was, after all, set in a circus). Unlike GREASEPAINT, where the big dramatic song (another question song, Who Can I Turn To?) came just before intermission, What Kind of Fool Am I? comes at the conclusion of STOP THE WORLD.
What kind of fool am I Who never fell in love? It seems that I'm the only one That I have been thinking of. What kind of man is this? An empty shell-- A lonely cell in which An empty heart must dwell. What kind of clown am I? What do I know of life? Why can't I cast away This mask of play And live my life? Why can't I fall in love Like any other man? And maybe then I'll know What kind of fool I am. What kind of lips are these That lied with ev'ry kiss, That whispered empty words of love That left me alone like this? What kind of eyes are these That could not see What could be seen By ev'rybody else but me? What kind of clown am I? What do I know of life? Why can't I cast away This mask of play And live my life? Why can't I fall in love Till I don't give a damn? And maybe then I'll know What kind of fool I am.
Why (Anthony Newley from The Very Best of Anthony Newley)
Anthony Newley was a major heart-throb of mine when I was 18 and for about a decade afterward. I have written about him at the website I published on THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT, THE SMELL OF THE CROWD and at a website about his career in general.
At the time I discovered him, I tried to get hold of all of the LPs of his I could, and I was lucky enough to get one called PEAK PERFORMANCES. For some reason, when they finally began issuing Newley CDs again in the last several years, instead of issuing this intact, they took bits and pieces from a variety of CDs, and Do You Mind is one of them.
Newley had a career as a pop idol after appearing in a movie called IDLE ON PARADE in 1959. His voice at this time was much lighter than the voice he eventually developed for his stage shows, and his manner and presentation is just more youthful and appealing than the later nightclub persona he developed when he sang mostly numbers he had written himself, with Leslie Bricusse or with others.
This is a particularly sweet number which Newley also recorded around 1992 as a duet with his daughter, Tara. The liner notes credit it to Marcucci/DeAngelis. This tune can be heard on the soundtrack of YOUNG POISONER'S HANDBOOK.
I'll never let you go Why, because I love you. I'll always love you so Why, because you love me. No broken hearts for us 'Cause we love each other And with our faith and trust There could be no other. Why? 'Cause I love you. Why? 'Cause you love me.
I think you're awf'lly sweet Why, because I love you. You say I'm your special treat Why, because you love me. We've found a perfect love Yes, a love that's yours and mine I love you and you love me All the time. I'll love you and you'll love me We'll love each other, dear Forever.
Do You Mind was written by Lionel Bart who went on to write the fantastically successful stage show OLIVER! It is Bart who is doing the finger snaps on this song.
If I say I love you, do you mind? Make an idol of you, do you mind? If I shower you with kisses, If I tell ya, honey, this is How I think of heaven, Do you mind? I wanna whisper, whisper Sweet nothings in your ear Nothings that are meant For my love alone to hear. Ah, so then...(back to beginning)
If you haven't discovered Nancy LaMott, well, it's high time. There are some sound files of hers at
She was a NYC cabaret singer, and I got to see her in person when she was in a show that my friend Pat Quinn was also in called IT'S BETTER WITH A BAND. She was plagued by illness for a good portion of her life, and she died much too soon of cancer. I understood that a documentary about her was being put together for PBS, but it seems to have gotten stalled.
She had a remarkably clear and perfect voice. I actually prefer men's voices most of the time, but there was something bell-like and pure about her voice. She often had odd arrangements of songs, however, which kind of riled me. I mostly like standards to be sung the way they were written, although I generally liked the personal stamp Bobby Darin or Frank Sinatra put on them.
The Come Rain or Come Shine CD is composed entirely of numbers written by Johnny Mercer. I don't know how she was able to limit this to just a dozen numbers, because he's written literally hundreds of hits.
This particular number was from his last Broadway show, FOXY, which starred Burt Lahr and Larry Blyden. I could kick myself now that I didn't go to see it, a musical version of VOLPONE, which later was done (without music) on Broadway with George C. Scott and Bob Dishy as SLY FOX. The music is by Robert Dolan
Talk to me, baby, tell me lies Tell me lies as sweet as apple pies. Whisper you tremble with a wild desire To light the fire in my eyes. Tell me I'm beautiful; Exaggerate; Prevaricate If you must Just... Talk to me, baby, soft and low Then if you decide it's really so Swear you'll be mine forever Otherwise Just talk to me and tell me lies. Say that we're helpless In the hands of fate; Prevaricate If you must Just... Talk to me, baby, soft and low Then if you decide it's really so Swear you'll be mine forever Otherwise Just talk to me and tell me lies, lies, lies, lies Talk to me, baby, tell me lies.