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  • mistermuse 12:03 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: April In Paris, , , , , , The Love I Long For,   


    April 23 is both LOVER’S DAY and TAKE A CHANCE DAY. As it happens, one of my favorite composers wrote a song which encompasses both of those gambols/gambles in one title:

    The name of that composer is Vladimir Dukelsky, better known to lovers (of The Golden Age of Popular Music) as VERNON DUKE, writer of such all-time standards as APRIL IN PARIS and AUTUMN IN NEW YORK. Here, in keeping with our ‘double take’ on this occasion, is one of his lesser known songs:

    On this April day, I will keep our celebration short and bittersweet by closing with the above-noted ‘song of the month’:

    • calmkate 1:29 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      absolutely loved Ethels voice and that young dancer would be up there with Fred!

      As for Ella, what a legend, thanks for such a cheerful musical interlude 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 8:51 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        You mean Mister (Fred) Rogers, of course! (Just kidding — thanks for stopping by my neighborhood.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 6:22 pm on April 23, 2020 Permalink

          yes it’s getting a bit dangerous over there … guns, viral deaths, rallies, no foreigners … you take care 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 4:52 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Watching Ethel Waters gives me another three and a half hours of hope…

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 10:36 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Let’s not settle for just 3 1/2 hours of hope. Here, courtesy of Ethel, is what I’m hoping for on Nov. 3:

        Liked by 2 people

        • masercot 11:48 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink

          When Esso changed to Exxon, there were commercials with the Esso tiger singing just that song. Not as well as Waters, but pretty good for a tiger…

          Liked by 2 people

        • magickmermaid 5:46 pm on April 23, 2020 Permalink

          Great tunes and dancing! 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • Rivergirl 8:04 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I was fascinated with Ella’s scat when I was a child. I’d watch an old movie and skip around the house scatting. My parents were very tolerant people…

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 10:43 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        The first to scat may have been Satchmo, but Ella certainly did scat mo’ (never miss a chance to make a bad pun, I always say). 😉

        Liked by 3 people

    • Ashley 8:14 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      My oh my! What a joy to watch and listen to Ethel Waters! A delight. I smiled all the way through and I’m playing it again as I write. (Also the 2 dancers are amazing!) There’s so much missing in our lives these days that I’m glad you’re there to remind us of happiness.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:53 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Ashley. That clip is from the 1943 film CABIN IN THE SKY, one of the few Hollywood films of that era with an all-black cast, including Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, and Duke Ellington & His Orchestra. It was also the first movie directed by Vincente Minnelli (future husband of Judy Garland and father of Liza Minnelli).

        Liked by 2 people

    • arekhill1 11:33 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      It’s the Apocalypse, too, Sr. Muse…https://www.richardcahill.net/home/the-rapture-is-today

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:32 pm on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I hope it holds off until after the NFL draft tonight, Ricardo, because I’m so starved for sports, I wouldn’t mind if my Cincinnati Bengals drafted Donald Trump. Hey, if he can make America great again, think what he could do for the Bengals.

        Liked by 1 person

    • willedare 1:01 pm on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      What a wonderful post — Vernon Duke and Ethel Waters and Eddie Anderson (and one other great dancer!) and Ella and then another Ethel Waters song in the comments! I have long loved and been astounded by Ella’s musical gifts, but only recently begun appreciating the wonderful Ms. Waters. Turns out a bunch of great songs were written for her to debut in clubs, on Broadway, and in the movies — and she sang (or in the case of movies sang and then lip-synched) them so well! I saw a video recently of her performing Irving Berlin’s “Suppertime” on a TV show hosted by Diana Ross. Ms. Waters had debuted the song many years before in a hit Irving Berlin revue — and her performance on TV many years later was still masterful and heart-breaking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5Zvjjbc-Hk

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:00 pm on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I’m with you on both Ella and Ethel, as shown by the many LPs of both in my record collection. The clip of Ethel (in the comments) is particularly interesting because the record was made in 1921 when recording equipment was primitive and the band behind her was rather primitive also….yet her voice cones through beautifully.

        I’ve read quite a bit about her, including in a bio (of her contemporary, lyricist Andy Razaf) titled BLACK AND BLUE which I’ve just finished. It seems she was a bit of a prima donna until she “got religion” late in life. But who can blame her — black artists had it rough in those days, to say the least.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Ostertag 2:34 pm on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for bringing this wonderful, talented group of old time greats to the attention of many who weren’t familiar with them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:25 pm on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Don. I do this kind of post fairly often, and would do them even more often if I thought there was a sufficient ‘audience’ for that era among my readers. Perhaps there is, and maybe I’ve underestimated it (in any case, “sufficient” is in the eye of the beholder), so look for more “as time goes by.”


        • Don Ostertag 3:35 pm on April 23, 2020 Permalink

          I would hope there would be a lot of interest in your blogs of this type. Our youngsters should not live by rap alone.

          Liked by 1 person

    • annieasksyou 5:03 pm on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      This was a loverly trio—and encore—and I’m happy I dropped in by chance (not!) The Ethel Waters recording was tip-tap, and Ella never fails to delight me. I’ve heard April in Paris a zillion times, but I don’t ever remember the singer enunciating WHOM can I run to? So viva la grammariana!
      When you responded to a comment by enriching your Nov 3 response with an Ethel reprieve, I thought of you as a Harpo Marxist—making a point with a recorded song instead of a horn.
      While I’m here, I thank you for your like of my women and successful leadership in pandemic post. Unlike your previous likes, that like did go through. I’m assuming you didn’t comment, but since I just read an entire post of people complaining that WP was swallowing their comments, I wanted to make sure.
      I did respond to one of my respondents on that post with a triple pun, which I feel obliged to report to you due to our shared pun-y weakness.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:31 pm on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t remember commenting on that post, but I see you commented there on Nov. 12 that you “LOVE bad puns” — which leads me to think your comment may have been in response to a comment of mine that WP subsequently “swallowed.” In any case, that seems like an eternity ago, so (moving on) I’m glad you enjoyed the ‘Ethel and Ella’ show and noticed the to “WHOM” it may concern — namely, us.


    • Elizabeth 4:52 pm on April 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Hadn’t heard from Waters in a long time and was glad to have a chance to listen to her again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:28 pm on April 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Ethel was born in poverty, but went on to become a great vocalist, and the first black woman to integrate Broadway’s theater district and have her own TV show. What a woman!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Elizabeth 6:16 pm on April 25, 2020 Permalink

          Did she have any roles where she didn’t have to dress down as in “Cabin in the Sky?”

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 6:54 pm on April 25, 2020 Permalink

          Female blues singers were the rage in the 1920s, which is how she became famous. There were few opportunities for black women in film then (and for years to come) other than as maids and housekeepers, so dressing up was ‘out of the picture,’ if you’ll pardon the pun. Here’s more info:



  • mistermuse 12:16 am on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: April In Paris, , , Memories of You. The Ink Spots. humor, ,   

    A com-POSE-r BY ANY OTHER NAME (Part 2 of 2) 

    I am pleased to announce (as is often said when making an announcement) the proper pairings of birth names with noms de plume listed in Part 1:

    a. 2
    b. 3
    c. 4
    d. 5
    e. 6
    f. 1
    g. 10
    h. 9
    i. 8
    j. 7

    Next (as is often said when making another announcement), I am pleased to announce that I have selected the following song from the requests made by readers of Part 1 to be played in Part 2, which I am pleased to announce totaled one request, which was a considerable help in deciding the final choice. So, after much soul searching — not to mention weeping and gnashing of my remaining teeth — here is the request winner:

    But wait — there’s more! I have my own favorite song from the list. Composed by Eubie Blake with lyrics by Andy Razaf, here is MEMORIES OF YOU, with vocal refrain:

    I close with the 1930 instrumental version played by Eubie Blake & His Orchestra:


    • scifihammy 4:30 am on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Yay! It was Me! I asked for April in Paris 😀 Thank you for this great Frank clip 🙂
      Also really like the Ink Spots Memories of you. No-one seems to be able to sing like this any more!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:24 am on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Growing up, the Ink Spots were my favorite singing group — so much so that I formed my own group to emulate them, called THE STINK SPOTS, but for some reason, we bombed. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

    • carmen 11:30 am on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Mr. Muse,
      I am in the middle of Gr. 9 Art class. For a distraction, I checked my emails and – lo and behold! – a hilarious post from your brilliant mind. I’d love to share your ‘artwork’ with these folks, but unfortunately I think it’d be lost on them. . . 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 3:29 pm on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I’m glad to hear that, when it comes to the art of distraction, my posts are in a class by themselves — which is good, because if they were to be let out among the population at large, I could be locked up. Still, if you wish to share my “artwork” with the Art class, it’s probably just as well that I be the instrument of their disillusion now rather than the ‘real world,’ which will discolor their ideals soon enough.

      And on that less than ideal note, I thank you for being your usual gracious self. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:37 am on February 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I didn’t know we could make requests or I would have requested this one by Vladimir Dukelesky.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:42 pm on February 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Don, this brings up an interesting tale, not of two cities, but of two songs by Vladimir Dukelsky aka Vernon Duke: APRIL IN PARIS (listed in Part 1), and AUTUMN IN NEW YORK. Rather than try to condense the tale, let me relate it as told by author Warren Vaché in THE UNSUNG SONGWRITERS:

        APRIL IN PARIS, of course, was a tremendous hit in 1932, but AUTUMN IN NEW YORK, which was introduced in the stage show “Thumbs Up” in 1935, made no such impression.
        In 1947, or thereabouts, my [Warren Vaché’s] good friend Ross Doyle, a pianist and composer, was performing double duty as band manager and manager of Tommy Dorsey’s music publishing house. In the latter capacity he was entitled to a tiny office in Manhattan’s Brill Building with a piano and a few chairs. The chairs were usually occupied by song pluggers hopeful of persuading Ross into persuading Tommy to play the latest gem on their push lists. One day I decided to drop in and see Ross, and before long I was in conversation with a man I had never met before about the great songs of the past. During this spirited exchange the man put his heart into a comment that went something like this: “What a great tune APRIL IN PARIS was! I’d give my right arm to have another tune like that one.”
        “Yes, it is a great tune,” I agreed, “but Duke wrote another one that I like just as well, and it has been completely forgotten. In fact, it was hardly recorded at all. The only reason I know about it is because I happen to have an old Victor record of it by Richard Himber’s band.”
        The man’s head came up like a rabbit sniffing a carrot. “That so?” he asked eagerly. “What’s the name of it?”
        He reached into an inside pocket of his jacket and brought out a little black notebook and after running a finger down one of the pages, nodded his head.
        “We’ve got it!” he announced delightedly. He stood up, acknowledged my contribution with a quick “thanks” and left.
        I never ran into the man again, but shortly afterwards it seemed that AUTUMN IN NEW YORK was being played by every band, recordings were being made by both bands and singers, and all at once the tune attained the hit status it had never achieved in 1935. Which only goes to prove, I guess, that of such chance conversations great hits are made.. I can only hope that Vernon Duke appreciated the revival of his lovely composition, even if he never knew what brought it about.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Carmen 4:04 pm on February 17, 2018 Permalink

          That’s a great story, Mr. Muse! I was going to comment earlier this morning so here goes.
          I couldn’t listen to the music on the blog b/c I was at school all week and unable to play the videos. I finally got a chance to listen to all the songs (including yours, Don) this morning as I was cleaning up my kitchen. (I’m one of those cooks who manages to dirty every dish, utensil, and litter all counter-spaces, so the old tunes made my drudgery that much more bearable . . .) I thought to myself, “Is there a theme here?” When I listened to “April in Paris” and “Autumn in New York”, followed by the thought, “That guy got around!” After reading through your story, I thought the same thought – you really did get around, Mr. Muse!! 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

        • Don Frankel 7:29 pm on February 17, 2018 Permalink

          Great story. hey you never know in this life.

          Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:07 pm on February 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Carmen, speaking of “chance conversations,” which is at the heart of that story, here is a quote on the subject which I know you’ll love:

      “A chance remark is anything a man gets a chance to say when two women are talking.” –Evan Esar

      See, I told you you’d love it! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mél@nie 6:58 am on February 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      great post, Sir… and I also love “April in Paris”, as I lived there for several years! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:01 pm on February 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, Mél@nie. I “lived” in Paris for one day (on a European tour) — it wasn’t in April, but I still loved it!


  • mistermuse 12:01 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Andy Razaf, April In Paris, , , Jimmy Van Heusen, , , , , , ,   

    A com-POSE-r BY ANY OTHER NAME…. (Part 1 of 2) 

    Tomorrow, Feb. 15, is the birthday of one of America’s greatest composers of popular songs, Hyman Arluck. Hyman WHO, you ask? Never heard of him? If you’re a fan of America’s Golden Age of Popular Music, this song of his is probably one of your favorites:

    ….not to mention this one:

    You say you thought those songs were composed by HAROLD ARLEN?
    From what I hear, no doubt they was….
    of the wonderful whiz he was.
    But before a wonderful whiz he was, he was Hyman Arluck, so born on Feb. 15, 1905. If you were fooled, you should be grateful because, as Arlen (nee Arluck) notes in another of his songs, it’s….

    Speaking of which, I thought it might be fun (for me, anyway) to fool around with a selection of birth names of other great Golden Age songwriters (each of them listed with one of their most popular songs), followed by a list of their noms de plume in scrambled order. Unless you Arluck-y, you’ll probably be unable to correctly pair more than 70% of the names (but at least half are guessable even if you don’t know them):

    a. Israel Baline (HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN?)
    b. Benjamin Anzelwitz (SWEET GEORGIA BROWN)
    c. C. K. Dober (BARNEY GOOGLE)
    d. Vladimir Dukelsky (APRIL IN PARIS)
    e. Charles N. Daniels (CHLOE)
    f. Albert Gumm (TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME)
    g. Johnny Kluczko (RACING WITH THE MOON)
    h. Edward Chester Babcock (LOVE AND MARRIAGE)
    i. Andrea Razafkeriefo (MEMORIES OF YOU)
    j. William Samuel Rosenberg (I’VE GOT A FEELING I’M FALLING)

    1. Albert Von Tilzer
    2. Irving Berlin
    3. Ben Bernie
    4. Con Conrad
    5. Vernon Duke
    6. Neil Moret
    7. Billy Rose
    8. Andy Razaf
    9. Jimmy Van Heusen
    10. Johnny Watson

    In Part 2, I’ll post the answers plus clips of a few of the above songs. Meanwhile, if you’d like to hear one of the songs in particular, comments are open — please make a request. I’ve got a feeling I’m filling it.


    • Superduque777 12:08 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 7:09 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for the Over the Rainbow clip. I never tire of hearing Judy Garland sing it. 🙂
      I’m rubbish at guessing the real names!
      But I’d like to hear April in Paris Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:57 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I knew Israel Baline was Irving Berlin as a relative of one of my relatives was his accountant. Sometimes I got some really great seats at the Music Box Theater. Then I knew who Edward Chester Babcock was as he worked with and was a close friend of Sinatra. I could guess who Billy Rose was as the names are pretty similar but then I had a lot of fun looking up the other ones.

      I’ve always thought that Somewhere Over The Rainbow is one of the finest examples of blending words and music you can ever find.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:55 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Glad you enjoyed it, Don. Unbeknownst to me, your comment came in while I was in the middle of replying to scifihammy’s comment, so my Billy Rose example had already been guessed by you. I guess great minds really do think alike (at least, I prefer that explanation over coincidence, How About You?).


    • mistermuse 9:21 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, scifihammy — I’ll be glad to play “April In Paris”….maybe even before April in Paris (like in my next post). 🙂

      As for guessing at matching the songwriters’ names, what I meant by “half are guessable even if you don’t know them” is best shown by this example: the real name of the writer of I’VE GOT A FEELING I’M FALLING, William Rosenberg, can be deduced from its similarity to his professional name, Billy Rose. Thus, j. is 7. There are several other instances whereby a match can be made by comparing the first and/or last names in the first list with those in the second list.


    • moorezart 9:52 pm on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:07 am on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Many thanks, moorezart. I wonder if a reblog by any other name would smell as sweet? A thorny question indeed. 😦


    • Don Frankel 7:53 am on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That’s a great song by Morris Hyman Kushner but I had to go look that up. When I did I found out that he also wrote the musicals ‘On a Clear Day’ and ‘Finian’s Rainbow’ in addition to a lot of other great songs. I also found out he discovered Francis Gumm.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:57 pm on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        HOW ABOUT YOU? was indeed composed by Morris Hyman Kushner (aka Burton Lane), with lyrics by Ralph Freed (aka Ralph Freed). I wonder if Francis Gumm (aka Judy Garland) was related to Albert Gumm, composer of TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME? I’ll have to check that out.


    • arekhill1 1:21 pm on February 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Let’s make this about me. I’ve never changed my birth name. One of my many shitty career moves, probably.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:24 pm on February 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Maybe it’s not too late, Ricardo — which, by the way, suggests a name you could change to and gain instant fame: Ricardo Montalban Jr. After all, the original Ricardo Montalban had good luck with it until he died, but that could happen to anyone.


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