H I

Sixty-plus year old song titles with girl’s names beginning with ‘H’ and ‘I’ are scarce, which makes it expedient to ‘HI’light both in a two-for-the-price-of-one post.

If there is so much as a hint of a hanger-on among America’s all-but-forgotten H songs, it is HARD-HEARTED HANNAH….but even that haughty harridan has hardly been heard hereabouts since hapless Herbert Hoover was handed his heave-ho from the White House hundreds of historic happenings ago.

Still, I would give Hard-Hearted Hanna a play if not for a gal who looks like Helen Brown (whereas the previous paragraph looks like hell in black and white):

As for the letter I, if you were around in 1903, you may remember IDA, who was sweet as….apple cider?

And, just to show that IDA is not just for us old geezers, here some young’uns show her a little love:

I’d-a like-a to be shown-a little love too, but no one has ever written an enduringly endearing ditty titled Mistermuse. When will they invent a time machine so I can go back and change my name to someone like Barney Google? (If you don’t remember Barney, Google him.)

Eyes-a waitin’.

 

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GEO ON MY MIND

How times flies — basketball season is back. The National Basketball Association began play yesterday, with college basketball to follow shortly. But, for the season opener (Oct. 19) which leads to this post, we have the Harlem Globetrotters, whose famous theme song is the Sweet G song which gets our ‘girl’s-names-starting-with-G-songs’ ball bouncing:

Next, let’s go with this contemporary take-off on a 1937 Count Basie/Jimmy Rushing hit:

Sensing a Geo-centric pattern here? This (from ALFIE, 1966) is the new girl of the bunch:

Last, but no less ‘Geo,’ we have this all-time standard sung by the composer as it should be sung (not that others haven’t done it equal justice in their own way):

NOTE: Sorry about eclipsing my usual limit of three clips per post, but all four songs rose to the level I was seeking in this ‘Geo-desy,’ and I couldn’t bring myself to drop one.

F-STOPS

This sixth post in my alphabetical series of ‘femme de lettres’ songs shouldn’t take long because, frankly, feminine names with F in the song title are few and far between. As good fortune would have it, however, the slim pickins include this familiar favorite:

FRANKIE AND JOHNNY (not Cash) go back to the turn of the last century. I think some, if not most, of my readers would find the story behind this old love-gone-wrong song downright interestin’, so I’ll stop for a spell to link to it here:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/78308/story-behind-frankie-and-johnny

Speaking of “behind” songs, let’s go with FANNY (title song of the 1954 play and 1961 film) as the last stop of our run on post #6. It seems a sitting place to end:

 

EEEasier Said Than Sung

In a comment to my last post, I thanked reader Don Frankel for informing me, in anticipation of this ‘E’ post, that Eleanora was the birth name of Billie Holiday, and I replied that I might include a song of her’s in my endeavor. Easy for me to say, because although there are a number of good songs with girl’s E names in the title (modeling the basis of this series to begin with)….adding non-E named title songs (if sung by E-named singers) seems a natural extension of my original premise. After all, I had taken the liberty of working into my D post a non-D named title song by Dinah Washington, and received no Death threats (or even Demands to Desist) as a result.

D that as it may, for brevity’s sake I have D-cided to limit such liberties to one (if any), as I realize I can’t realistically expect time-pressed readers to view more than three clips per post, no matter how much I personally Dig the songs. So I am going to refrain from supplementing this post with a (Billie) Holiday refrain, though friend Frankel is free to free-lance one in a comment if he chooses.

Now to those E songs, starting with a 1942 hit by Russ Morgan, with lyrics by Mack David:

Some of you may remember a series of ELOISE children’s books (the first written in 1955) by the multi-talented Kay Thompson, about a precocious six-year old girl living on the penthouse floor of the Plaza Hotel in NYC. Here is a clip of a NOT SO SWEET Eloise song from the 1956 PLAYHOUSE 90 television production (based on the book) with a distinguished cast only a prestigious show like PLAYHOUSE 90 could have reeled in in those days. How many faces do you recognize?

Saving for last the E that has Klass with a capital K, here’s a song Ethel Merman is known for, but I’ve opted to go with this rendition by the legendary Lillian Roth from the pre-code 1933 film TAKE A CHANCE:

The End.

THE NAME OF THIS SONG IS DINAH!

A favorite of jazz musicians ever since it first appeared in 1925, DINAH has been recorded hundreds of times, and yet, practically nobody remembers who wrote it. As they sing on some of the old records,”The name of this song is Dinah,” and it was written by HARRY AKST.Warren Vaché, author, THE UNSUNG SONGWRITERS

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you Akst me: of all the girl’s name songs beginning with D, is there any one finer than DINAH? I’d sigh, “DAH! Not in the state of Carolina!” Composed by Harry Akst (lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young), the song “is so relaxed and without pretense, it’s almost as if it simply happened rather than was written” — so writes Alec Wilder in his book AMERICAN POPULAR SONG. I agree, to the tune of two hearings, starting with this animated effort by

If you think #1 was animated, #2 is even more so:

Let’s wrap it up with a favorite by a real Dinah — the great Dinah Washington, singing a song which takes me back to my 1960 basic training days at Fort Knox, KY, where I first heard her original 1959 recording on a ‘blue’ evening at the PX. Can you place the MC*?

*The MC (emcee) in this 1960 clip was future U.S. President Ronald Reagan. PX, for the benefit of life-long residents of the DMZ (demilitarized zone), stands for Post Exchange.

C NOTES

In American slang, C notes are $100 bills. In this, the third in our song series of girl’s names in alphabetical order, C notes are the sound of music recalling the Cins of our past….such as this scintillating folk song sung by Johnny Cash (sharing credit with Cave):

From toe-tapping folk song to glass-slippered fairy tale, Cin is transported 78 rpm, perchance to dance with a smitten Prince Charming imploring her….

When the two sisters returned from the ball, Cinderella asked if they had been well diverted, and if the fine lady had been there. They told her: Yes, but that she hurried away immediately when it struck twelve, and with so much haste that she dropped one of her little glass slippers, the prettiest in the world, which the King’s son had taken up; that he had done nothing but look at her all the time at the ball, and that most certainly he was very much in love with the beautiful person who owned the glass slipper.

And so you see, young ladies, all you need is a fairy tale fairy godmother and you too can meet a Prince of a fella!

 

 

B C-ING YOU (NO B S)

What do Bonnie and Clyde do?

What do mistermuse do?

He posits posts you can bank on for interest, though short term in sum cases (sumtimes as little as two seconds). If you’re thinking in terms of interest that goes on and on, read The Bard or The Donald (depending on whether you’re more attuned to Bill Shakespeare or Bull Shit).

For this particular caper, we stick up — I mean pick up — from the initial A, where our girl’s-name songs left off….this time killing two letters (B and C) with one post. For our B song, off to BONNIE SCOTLAND we go:

As long as we B in Scotland, we might as well C in Scotland:

OK, so CLYDE isn’t a girl’s name — not a minor detail, I confess. I am thus forced to acknowledge that selecting the ideal song isn’t as simple as A-B-C — our girl C will have to wait until my next post after all. I Be C-ing you then (Lord willing and the river don’t rise).