J TALK

Let’s talk a bit about the “J” ladies who will join us on this 9th walk into my feminine song series. Our stroll starts with a century-old blues, the title of which has origins lost in haze beyond where the crow flies. Speculation has it that the Crow in the title refers to racist Jim Crow laws in Southern states in those vestigial days, or to the name of a Native American tribe, but no one seems to know for sure. In any case, CROW JANE is a ‘blues J’ that’s a jewel of its genre, performed here New Orleans street-style:

Next, we have a sweet little number from 1930. You’ll love her when you see….

I don’t know about you — I could go for more of this gal. But enough walking. This time, we’ll go by Cab (the fare is quite good):

Advertisements

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’.

 

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.

CONFUCIUS SAY HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW

Today is birthday of Chinese philosopher Confucius, born September 28, 551 BC (not to be Confucius-ed with Chinese philosopher who long Ago Too Young die like fool, choking on egg). Confucius, of course, left us even more wise old sayings than the inscrutable Charlie Chan, which was pen name of writer called None the Wiser (not to be Confucius-ed with his agent — a gent named Ah So).

In any case, in the interest of being fair and balanced and sly as a Fox, we herewith present selection of Confucius sayings to go along with those in CHARLIE CHAN post of Sept. 15. No matter which you prefer, may you benefit from their wisdom, and may all your male children be wise guys.

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.

He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.

The funniest people are the saddest ones.

Sad to say, my work here is dumb….make that done. On second thought, maybe right first time.

 

MARSHAL LAW and SOILED DOVES

I have often not been asked who my favorite Old West marshal is. Just as often, I have not replied: “I have not often given it any thought.” I suppose that if, for some desperate reason (such as drawing a blank for something to write about for this post) I had given it any thought, I would’ve come up with Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok or Bat Masterson. Don’t ask me to name other famous marshals. Were there any other famous marshals?

Today is the 228th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Marshal Service, so I decided to marshal my resources, round up a posse, and pursue my query. Unfortunately, it wasn’t posse-ble to corral volunteers for such a questionable undertaking; I will have to go it alone. If I don’t come out of this post alive, please pray that I have gone to a better place. Philadelphia will do.

As you may have noticed in the above clip, Mae West was mighty handy with a six-shooter….but in yesteryear’s wild and wooly West, female marshals were scarcer than beer and whiskey drinkers on the wagon in a one-horse town with two saloons — a sobering thought, indeed. Thus, it mae be necessary to put up wanted posters in order to uncover additional famous marshals (preferably female).

Well, that didn’t take long; there WERE female marshals in the Old West. Here they be:

https://glitternight.com/tag/female-marshals/

That appears to be the extent of their ranks — out of hundreds of marshals/deputy marshals, only four were of the fair sex. But that seems only fair. After all, 99% of the ‘bad guys’ were just that — ‘guys’ — so why should women be charged with maintaining law and order in the Wild West when almost all of the lawbreakers were men….though it’s no stretch to assume that certain upstanding citizens weren’t above regarding certain ladies as ‘hardened’ offenders:

As Jesus and mistermuse not often say (therefore it bares repeating):  Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stein.

Needless to say, I’ll drink to that!