Tagged: Lorenz Hart Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on January 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bards, folk songs, , , Lorenz Hart, , , My Old Kentucky Home, , , , ,   


    Larry was writing rhyme at the age of six; by 1910 [age 15], he’d been christened “Shakespeare” by friends. [He had] a passion for Shakespeare, a delight in wordplay, and a fondness for anachronistic juxtaposition. Not for nothing was Hart known as “Shakespeare.” –Dominick Symonds, author of WE’LL HAVE MANHATTAN (subtitled THE EARLY WORK OF RODGERS & HART)

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    My previous post featured the words and music of Richard Rodgers and Larry Hart, which — along with the above — conveniently serve as segue into Shakespearean speculation:


    What would William
    have done with jazz?
    Would he take jazz
    where no one has?

    Would jazz-you-like-
    it, he accost?
    Would he find jazz
    love’s labor lost?

    Would he have played
    jazz instrument
    measure for meas-
    ure, or hell bent?

    Or would he have,
    a jazz voice, been —
    the ‘King of Sing’
    of noted men?

    No! Peerless bard,
    writer of wrongs —
    if you dug jazz….
    you’d write the songs.

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


    is an itty-bitty city in my neighboring state of Kentucky, voted “Most Beautiful Small Town in America” and noted for its annual KENTUCKY BOURBON FESTIVAL, MUSEUM OF WHISKEY, and MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME STATE PARK, site of the farm which inspired Stephen Foster to write “My Old Kentucky Home” (the state song of Kentucky).


    I find the story of Stephen Foster most interesting, starting with the date of his birth: July 4, 1826 — the same day that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died hours apart. Foster was a dreamer whose love of music trumped more profitable ways of earning a living. Though he composed almost 200 songs (many of them popular in his own time), his last years were marked by poverty, a craving for liquor, and suffering from what may have been tuberculosis, dying 153 years and one week ago today (Jan. 13, 1864).

    Foster can truly be considered the original bard of American music, as this 1946 quote by the late American composer and music critic, Deems Taylor, suggests:

    What quality have they [Foster’s songs] that gives them such tremendous staying power? After all, other men in his day wrote songs that were as popular as his, possibly more so. What was his secret? It was, I think, that he helped fill a gap that had always existed in our musical culture. Our ancestors, coming here from all quarters of the globe, brought with them the folk songs of their native lands, but they were not peculiarly ours. It is ironic that the only race that developed a folksong literature in this country is the race that was brought here against its will, and was and has been the most brutally exploited of all — the Negro. The Negro spirituals and Stephen Foster’s songs are the nearest to completely indigenous folksongs that we have. Nor is it a coincidence that most of the best of his songs are in Negro dialect and sing the woes of the Negro. 

    But I will close, in keeping with the theme of recent posts, with one of Foster’s love songs:


    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 1:29 am on January 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I love your articles – and always learn something new. (the tunes ain’t bad either) 🙂
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
      – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 7:43 am on January 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, mgh. It’s too bad that more people don’t have the willingness to “always learn something new.” It is said that “curiosity killed the cat,” but, for humans, curiosity should be “the spice of life.” You (and other readers like you) are much appreciated!

        Liked by 3 people

        • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 1:34 pm on January 20, 2017 Permalink

          Thanks, Muse – and ditto re: appreciation.

          We who continue to learn will be the ones who keep our brains sharp ’til the end, more able to engage with life in general (which may not always be a good thing – lol – but it beats the alternative in MY book!)

          Liked by 2 people

    • scifihammy 4:35 am on January 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Nice poem and interesting post. 🙂
      I’m sure Shakespeare would still be coming up with brand new words, if he was here today.
      Now to look for the song on Youtube, as your clip won’t play for me here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:47 am on January 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. There are quite a few clips of COME WHERE MY LOVE LIES DREAMING on Youtube. The one I chose (sung by Frank Patterson) seemed to best fill the bill here.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:03 am on January 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Love that poem Muse.

      Sometimes Rap music or its many different types sound like iambic pentameter to me. So perhaps the Bard would be rappin’ for Jay Z. Which of course made me think of the Bob Dylan line. “Shakespeare he’s in the alley with his pointy shoes and his bells. Talkin to some French girl who says she knows me well.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:06 am on January 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Don. I’m not into Rap music, so I’ll have to take your word that perhaps he “would be rappin’ for Jay Z” (whoever he is)….but your Bob Dylan comment is more up my alley (or at least not down my dead-end street).


    • arekhill1 10:52 am on January 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      From the top of the charts to the bottom of the barrel…the more things change, etc. But enough cliches for one comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 6:38 pm on January 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Ha ha!

      What would William
      have done with jazz?
      Would he take jazz
      where no one has?

      Ah, so Shakespearian. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:35 pm on January 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, so! 🙂


    • Moony 8:14 pm on January 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I find the paradox in Taylor’s appraisal of spirituals really intriguing, actually. Maybe acts of displacement inspire ever more concerted attempts to create meaning and identity? Definitely gives me a lot to think about. But who knows what sort of lyrics Shakespeare would have spun if he was alive in our time!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:56 pm on January 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      To a large extent, we are creatures — even captives — of the culture in which we grew up or in which we live. Perhaps equally as interesting as the speculation about Shakespeare in our time is how differently would each of us think if we were alive in his time.


    • eths 11:03 pm on January 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I truly enjoyed this song. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:56 pm on January 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You’re welcome. It’s a beautiful song, beautifully sung.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on January 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Betty Garrett, , , , , Lorenz Hart, , , , , WORDS AND MUSIC   


    “They had a story written that at times impinged on the truth, but not very often.” –Richard Rodgers (re Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s filming of the 1948 Rodgers & Hart biopic WORDS AND MUSIC)

    The Hollywoodized version of the life of Rodgers and Hart may be for the birds regarding the facts of their life, but above and beyond the cornball script are such treats for the ears as Betty Garrett, Judy Garland and Lena Horne singing those sophisticated R & H songs. But at least — though MGM had no conscience with regard to the narrative — they took no liberties with respect to Hart’s Words And Rodgers’ Music.

    Without further ado, then, on with the show. Carrying forward the theme of the previous post, here are (you have my word) three great ‘love’ songs from WORDS AND MUSIC:

    But wait — you want unadulterated love and sophistication? R & H had nothing on Cole Porter:

    • linnetmoss 8:58 am on January 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, that Smoothies recording is surreal! That song always shocks me a little, and given its subject matter, I’m surprised that it wasn’t more controversial in its day. With Cole Porter, Anything Goes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:26 pm on January 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        The Smoothies were a great vocal group, all but forgotten today. I own a double LP album with 32 of their recordings from the late 1930s-early 40s (including LOVE FOR SALE). Their vocal stylings were unique and definitely avant-guarde for their time. If there had been a Hayes Office for recordings like there was for movies, LOVE FOR SALE would have been an absolute no-no!

        Liked by 1 person

        • linnetmoss 8:24 am on January 16, 2017 Permalink

          What an interesting thought, a Hayes office for recordings! Thank goodness THAT never happened, although censorship of “naughty words” in songs continues…

          Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:50 am on January 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Speaking of interesting thoughts, I GET (got) A KICK OUT OF YOUr “With Cole Porter, Anything Goes” idea at the end of your previous comment. Either YOU’RE THE TOP, or IT WAS JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS. 🙂


    • Don Frankel 10:10 am on January 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll try this again. Didn’t seem to stick. I’m always amazed when a Hollywood movie that is about something or someone real gets something right. But they got the music right.

      I’m going with Lena Horne here as well sometimes I can’t remember where or when.


    • mistermuse 10:50 am on January 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I think you’re right about Hollywood not getting their biopics right, especially during Hollywood’s ‘Golden Age’ and especially with their musical biopics. Off the top of my head, the only one I can think of that was pretty well done was YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (with James Cagney as George M. Cohan). They perhaps got a bit more ‘real’ in the mid-1950s (LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME, again with Cagney), but Hollywood has seldom done right by their musical bios.


    • D. Wallace Peach 9:01 am on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great songs. I haven’t seen the movie, but just to hear the music would make it worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:27 am on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I hear you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 6:19 pm on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      My mom loves all these movies from Hollywood’s heyday. I’ll have to check them out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:23 pm on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Although I have an avid interest in “Hollywood’s heyday,” I’d be the first to admit that a lot of clunkers were made during that period, as well as many great & good ones. Good luck picking the wheat from the chaff!


  • mistermuse 12:01 am on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Lorenz Hart, , , , , , WHO KNOWS WHERE OR WHEN   


    The Public Library near where I live held a one-day used book sale recently. I got there shortly after it opened in the morning, hoping to find a book or two of interest. A few minutes later, I learned that a man had donated (for this sale) his collection of 500 old books on one of my favorite subjects: the movies, including biographies of directors and actors, movie history, Hollywood, the stories behind some of the great films,  etc. I ended up selecting almost 50 of those books, filling two large boxes at a cost of $10 a box. It’s been a long time since fortune favored me with so bounteous a cache for so little cash.

    So now, on top of already owning a not-inconsequential number of unexplored tomes, I find myself even more bogged down with unread books I need to find time to read…..or, at minimum, get to a place where I can see daylight at the end of the bog. Therefore, I’m going to skip a post or two in my usual post-every-five-days schedule.

    In the words of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, “I shall return” — sometime in December, presupposing I won’t still be SWAMPED/haven’t gone blind. See ya later, alley-gators….

    At least, that’s the time-frame in my crystal ball, but in my Lorenz Hart of hearts, who knows….

    • arekhill1 10:51 am on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I think it’s the light at the end of the tunnel, Sr. Muse. I’m pretty sure it’s the banshee at the end of the bog. I am going to Australia myself on 12/8. I’ll be keeping up my twice-a-week schedule, but whether it will be on Australian time or PCT I have yet to discover.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 11:20 am on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Have a great time in the land down under, Ricardo. Although I won’t be posting myself for a while, I’ll still be checking in on yours and other posts occasionally, so I’ll look forward to your reports from the under-world.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 12:59 pm on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      lol – I have NO room for another new book without building new shelving ::groan:: – so I don’t dare go to those library book sales. I’m practically terrified that I’ll come across a find like yours for my own jones (neuroscience and theatre).

      Congrats on your find. Will you be reading or shelf-building for the next few weeks? 🙂
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
      – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:24 pm on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      If I know what’s good for me, I’ll start making room for more books before I start reading them. For one thing, I tend to get drowsy while reading, and doze off after a while — which I wouldn’t do if I were spending that time creating more space in the first place. On the other hand, that sounds too much like work, which makes me tired just thinking about it (as opposed to doing it). So I think I’ll solve that dilemma for today by taking a nap, and worry about it tomorrow.


    • D. Wallace Peach 7:00 pm on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Wow. 50 books! That would take me years and years. Those library books sales are great, though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:19 pm on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      By buying 50 books, I probably bit off more than I can chew (or should I say, more than I can read) unless I live to be the world’s oldest man, but at least (between that and my other interests), I’ll never be wanting for things to keep me out of trouble! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 9:40 pm on December 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 6:47 am on December 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Running out of space for books is why God, Mother Nature, the Big Bang or whoever you prefer invented the Ipad.

      Great Rodgers and Hart there Muse.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:07 am on December 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Don. Great song sung by a great vocalist — “Who could ask for anything more?” (from Gershwin’s I GOT RHYTHM)


    • Don Frankel 2:32 pm on December 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Muse, funny you should think of Gershwin because every once in a while when I’m listening to a Rodgers or Gershwin tune, I’ll pause for a moment and think, that guy’s an effing genius.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mél@nie 1:10 am on December 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      quick translation from French:”The time of reading, just like that of loving, does expand our lifetime.” (Daniel Pennac)

      • * *

      I like reading and a book has often “dragged” me to another one… do literature and books fill up our life?!… I think so… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:30 am on December 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for the quote. Here’s another pause-for-thought ‘quickie’: “A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.” –W. H. Auden


    • literaryeyes 2:32 pm on December 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      A perfect storm of books, daunting and wonderful at the same time. Ride (read) it out!

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 1:01 am on November 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Harry Woods, , Lorenz Hart, , , piano roll, , , ,   



    In my last post (NOTES FROM THE ALLEY), I touched on TIN PAN ALLEY’s origins and location, but failed to mention where the name came from. For that, I quote from another book, FROM SAGINAW VALLEY TO TIN PAN ALLEY by R. Grant Smith:

    On a summer day in New York City, just before 1900, songwriter and journalist Monroe Rosenfeld walked down West 28th Street, on the way to his publisher, to demonstrate a new song he had written. As he passed the rows of music publishing houses, clustered together and piled on top of each other, he heard the sounds of hundreds of pianos, playing hundreds of pieces of music, pouring out of the open windows. The tumultuous noise reminded him of tin pans clanging together.
    Later that day, when Rosenfeld returned to his typewriter at the New York Herald, he wrote an article about what he had just experienced, referring to the area he had visited as “Tin Pan Alley.” This name would remain synonymous with the popular music publishing industry in America for the next sixty years.

    Think of THE GOLDEN AGE OF POPULAR MUSIC (which includes the storied Roaring Twenties) as TIN PAN ALLEY writ large, a coast-to-coast cacophony of sounds impossible to paint a complete picture of in these few sketches — but my hope is to convey at least a feel for the era….principally with clips of songs written and performed by composers and artists like those featured in the previous post. Picking up where we left off in 1921, I’ll resist the urge to test your forbearance with a 1922 triumph of treacle titled GRANNY, YOU’RE MY MAMMY’S MAMMY (I kid you not), and go instead with 1922 and 1923 hits about guys named Harry and Barney:

    Skipping past such 1924/25 doozies as DOODLE DOO DOO and DOO WACKA DOO, we come to 1926, a banner year for songs that became all-time standards, including one that a very young Bing Crosby and the Mills Brothers blew out of the water — “The name of this song is DINAH”:

    Now we’re on a roll — here’s another 1926 standard, played by it’s Hart-less composer:

    But what’s a Richard Rodgers composition minus Lorenz Hart lyrics? It’s like romance expressed without a word, as proposed in another of their 1926 songs (1:40 into this clip):

    Hart died (tragically young) in the month of November, but many great Golden Age songwriters were born in this month, including Harry Woods, who began writing hits (like “I’m Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover”) in the early 1920s….however, I’m going to jump ahead here with one of his lesser known songs from the 1930s — repeat, the 1930s:


    • arekhill1 7:41 pm on November 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’m a punk rock fan myself, Sr. Muse. But history needs to be tended by historians like yourself.


    • mistermuse 10:51 pm on November 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Perhaps six music clips in one post was too much of a good thing, even for those who are open to the oldies, Ricardo….so how about some history-making political news: Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, has just elected a new mayor — a two-year old pit bull named Brynn — to succeed Lucy Lou, the border collie whose bid for President went up in smoke months ago. It’s been a bad year for females running for the White House.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Carmen 5:19 am on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You mean we were watching Alfalfa in the 60’s and he was already over 30 years old?? 😉 That was certainly a blast from the past. ..

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:03 am on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Carmen, I remember watching the Keystone Kops on TV in the 60’s when they were already 50 years old, so if Alfalfa was a blast from the past, the madcap Kops were an indignity from antiquity! 🙂


    • Don Frankel 9:24 am on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great stuff Muse. Roger’s first song or one of his first. And of course Alfalfa. I remember that scene from when I was a kid.


    • mistermuse 11:48 am on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Don. I own a biography of Rodgers (titled SOMEWHERE FOR ME) which shows that his first published songs go back as far as 1919, however BLUE ROOM was certainly one of his first HIT songs (after MANHATTAN, written in 1925).


    • Cynthia Jobin 8:54 pm on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t beat Bing, in my book….

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:01 pm on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I much prefer the voice of the young Bing to the 1940s-and-later Bing. His early recordings are classics, and I own most, if not all, of them.


    • D. Wallace Peach 10:46 pm on November 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Lots of music! Most from before my time but I remember them! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:12 pm on November 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, Diana. In a certain sense, if you remember them, they’re not before your time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 9:27 am on October 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Lorenz Hart, , ,   


    One year ago today, on the 50th anniversary of the death of Cole Porter, I published a post titled COLE IN ONE. Porter was one of the two preeminent composer-lyricists  (the other being Irving Berlin) of his day, a time in the history of popular music when most songs were written by a team of one (or more) composer(s) and one (or more) lyricist(s)….think George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and DeSylva, Brown and Henderson, for examples.

    What made Porter one of a kind was a combination of the unique quality of his melodies and the wit and urbane sophistication of his lyrics, for which he was unrivaled (excepting Lorenz Hart, who wrote lyrics only). This made such a big impression on me when I was young that I “fell in love” with witty, amusing and sometimes poignant rhyme — the kind exemplified non-musically by light verse master Ogden Nash….and even Nash could team up on occasion to write a great song, such as Speak Low (When You Speak Love) with composer Kurt Weill for the 1943 musical One Touch of Venus.

    For this post, I have taken the liberty of taking Cole Porter’s What Is This Thing Called Love for a re-write, interposing my interpretation of the well-known refrain onto Porter’s as-written (but seldom-heard) verse which precedes it. You might call it COLE PORTER A LA MUSE:

    I was a humdrum person,
    Leading a life apart,
    When love flew in through my window wide
    And quickened my humdrum heart.
    Love flew in through my window,
    I was so happy then.
    But after love had stayed a little while,
    Love flew out again.

    What is this thing
    Called love of light verse?
    This funny thing
    I love, called light verse.

    Just who can solve
    Its mystery.
    Why should it make
    A muse of me?

    I saw humor there
    One wonderful day;
    Youth took my heart
    And threw it away.

    That’s why I ask the Lord
    In light of this curse
    What is this thing
    Called love of light verse?

    In case you’ve forgotten how the real refrain goes, here is the song sung as originally written:

    • Don Frankel 4:01 pm on October 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You’re not going to believe this Muse and I’m not joking. Earlier this morning I played golf. On the second tee which is a short par 3, 120 hole, I hit a very nice shot that was headed for the tee. Now if was early and foggy and the green was covered with dew. So when I got the green i couldn’t find the ball. After looking around for a good five minutes it dawned on me where the ball might be that I wouldn’t see it. You got it in the hole. An actual hole in one.

      The fates sometimes are kind and that’s why you are a Muse or should I say The Muse.


    • mistermuse 5:49 pm on October 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats on the hole-in-one, Don. What would be even more amazing is if that was the second hole-in-one you’d ever shot (to match the “PART TWO” of my post). Actually, if you want to claim it’s your second hole-in-one (even if it’s not), I won’t tell anyone. 🙂


    • linnetmoss 6:16 am on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Amazing early version of the song! I’m fond of Porter and Nash too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:39 am on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The vocalist here was Leslie “Hutch” Hutchinson, who was the Bobby Short of his day (both were sophisticated black cabaret singers with a preference for the songs of sophisticated song writers like Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, etc.). Hutch (a generation before Short) was one of the biggest stars in England in the 1920s & 30s and recorded prolifically – I own a few dozen of his original 78 rpm records.


    • arekhill1 8:03 am on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Cole and a hole? Golf is one of the few vices I haven’t experimented with so far, Sir Don, but congratulations.


    • ladysighs 8:55 am on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Something needs to be done about this. 🙂


    • mistermuse 10:55 am on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Not sure what, but I’m open to suggestions. 🙂


    • BroadBlogs 3:02 pm on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Have you seen the movie, De-Lovely, based on his life? I thought it was pretty interesting.


    • mistermuse 3:57 pm on October 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Haven’t seen it, but (despite mixed reviews) I hear the improvement over the first Cole Porter biopic starring Cary Grant was like the difference between Night and Day, which just happens to be the title of the first one (which I did see, & thought was awful). Most reviewers say Kevin Kline was excellent as Cole Porter in De-Lovely.


    • mistermuse 11:27 am on October 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      With reference to ladysighs’ comment above that “Something needs to be done about this,” she has indeed “done something” – something completely unexpected, but greatly appreciated. Why not scroll up to her comment, click on her blog and see (and hear) what I mean?


    • rielyn 7:57 pm on October 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Here is the direct link to ladysighs’ vocal stylings for you, Dad, and your readers too. I sense a great collaboration in the making!

      Amusing Muser


    • mistermuse 8:11 pm on October 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Your internet-challenged dad thanks you very much. One of these years I must learn to do that myself. 🙂


    • barkinginthedark 5:10 pm on August 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      so great! but where do you find these rare gems? anyway, continue…

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 5:11 pm on August 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      P.S. you must have a terrific record collection.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:46 pm on August 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I did have a terrific record collection, but now I have only half a terrific record collection, as I sold my thousands of 78s for reasons I’d rather not think about. I still have my LPs, many of which are compilations or re-issues of old 78s, so between those and the memories of what is gone, I have a lot to draw on when it comes to posting “rare gems.”


    • barkinginthedark 1:02 am on August 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      thousands – wow…i’m sorry you had to sell them…a shame. i can only imagine from what you’ve posted what you had. “rare gems” indeed. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 3:59 pm on June 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , June Is Bustin' Out All Over, Lorenz Hart, , Oklahoma, , , South Pacific, The Lady Is A Tramp, The Sound of Music   


    I don’t believe that a writer does something wonderful spontaneously. I believe it’s the result of years of living, of study, reading, his very personality and temperament. At one particular moment all these things come together and the artist ‘expresses’ himself. –Richard Rodgers

    • * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Of all the songs Richard Rodgers wrote, first with Lorenz Hart and then Oscar Hammerstein II, few are more obscure than one of Rodgers & Hart’s earliest, Wasn’t It Great? Yet, as I surveyed the list of their far better known titles: Manhattan, My Heart Stood Still, Thou Swell, Blue Moon (their only one published as a popular song, not for a Broadway show or movie score) and hundreds more, no title seemed more fitting to remember his 113th birthday (June 28, 1902) than Wasn’t It Great?.

    Richard Rodgers wasn’t just another songwriter coming of age in that dynamic era of social, cultural and artistic change known as the “Roaring Twenties.” When composer Rodgers and lyricist Hart first teamed up in 1919, American popular music was mostly “a thing of trite phrase and cliché, of cloying Victorian sentiment, a tired and hackneyed commodity” (to quote biographer Frederick Nolan). “Moreover,” as Hart said in a 1928 interview, “the old love song….of the then popular waltz was usually a quiet exemplification of innocent amatory music; but today the barbaric quality of jazz dance music demands expressions of love that are much more dynamic and physical.”

    Over the evolving years, Rodgers composed songs for 42 Broadway musicals, of which 19 film versions were made. Even a partial list of shows is beyond impressive: THE GARRICK GAIETIES, SPRING IS HERE, LOVE ME TONIGHT, BABES IN ARMS, PAL JOEY, OKLAHOMA!, SOUTH PACIFIC, CAROUSEL, THE KING AND I, STATE FAIR (which included the 1946 Oscar-winning song It Might As Well Be Spring). As much as any composer from the 1920s to 1960s, Richard Rodgers WAS the Sound of Music.

    It is especially worth noting that Rodgers accomplished all this despite the completely different styles and personalities of his two principal collaborators. Of Lorenz Hart (who died in 1943), Rodgers said, “Larry was much gayer and lighter than Oscar. He was inclined to be cynical, where Oscar never was. Oscar was more sentimental and so the music had to be more sentimental. It wouldn’t have been natural for Larry to write ‘Oklahoma!’ any more than it would have been natural for Oscar to write ‘Pal Joey’.”

    And so I close with a Richard Rodgers song written with each collaborator (the first with lyrics by Hart):


    • Michaeline Montezinos 1:04 am on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse, I tried to watch and listen to Frank and Ella sing the Lady is a Tramp. I must tell you it was a strange video since it seemed to have an echo of the same song while they performed. I do not think it was my computer but then who knows. I will attempt to view and hear the second video link right now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaeline Montezinos 1:23 am on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Well, this is odd. I could hear what I think is Ella is singing the “scat” versoin of a song. Then Frank Sinatra was on singing another song. Not June is Bustin’ Out All Over although I could see the orchestra and the members playing. Maybe Youtube was playing a true “mix” of Frank and Ella’s songs. Now I can hear Ella singing solo with an orchestra behind her. I know it is not April fools Day but I am a little confused.

        I enjoyed reading the stories behind the composers of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II and Lorenz Hart. I had no knowledge of Frederick Nolan before but I think his opinion of music of that time period is very accurate. Now I hear the song about the Yellow Basket which is the one song my Daddy sang to me while I sat on his lap at a tender age. One of my favorite songs since the memory of that experience is still with me after many years. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:09 am on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I just listened to both videos again and noticed nothing wrong, so I assume any problems are at your end, Michaeline. You might try getting your hubby to listen to the videos – as they say down Mexico way, two heads are better than Juan.

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 9:45 am on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Barbaric quality of jazz…how quaint.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:06 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If the strange new music called jazz sounded barbaric to 1920s ears, one can only imagine what hip hop and rap would have sounded like. They might have thought jazz wasn’t so barbaric after all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaeline Montezinos 3:30 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I believe you are correct in saying it is my computer that did not work correctly. But I did get to hear both of the songs and I enjoy them. Did you happen to read my second comment? I wrote to thank you for all the information about the duo of Rogers and Hammerstein. I learned about Frederick Nolan and Lorenzo Hart.. Maybe my demon computer did not let you read my second reply. It has been a strange week of lost or misplaced items. I gave my husband two cards to mail. However, after putting them both in the car he came upstairs to check with me. Apparently my brother’s birthday card had vanished. After looking everywhere, including the car, our apartment and the parking lot, it seemed to have vanished.. Finally he gave up and went on to the store. Next to disappear was my new little flashlight. Again we searched every drawer and underneath all of our furniture and in the corners. No flashlight! Same thing had happened with small kitchen items that were nowhere to be found.
        did anyone write a song about missing stuff?

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:27 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know of a song about missing items, but I wrote a poem titled THE CASE OF THE MISSING SOCK which I posted on May 9. As for missing stuff in general, I think the older we get, the more we tend to forget where we leave things, which probably accounts for 99% of “vanished” items. You’ll get used to it by the time you’re my age, Michaeline.

      As for Frederick Nolan, I got his quote from his book titled simply LORENZ HART, a biography which I’m sure you can buy online, if interested.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaeline Montezinos 6:47 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        mistermuse thank you for reminding me that I am getting older. How old can you be? I think there are not many years between your birthday and mine.Are you claiming to be the descendant of Methusalah? Hee! Hee! Hee!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Michaeline Montezinos 7:10 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink

          Well thumbs up for my computer! I tried to watch the videos again and this time it worked. Yes, indeed, and I enjoyed Ella and Frank singing THE LADY IS A TRAMP… I also listened to Tony Bennett and Marianna do a lively version of the tramp song. June is Bustin’ Out All Over was stupendous. I recognized the women sopranos and one of the tenors from the British opera company based in London. Yes, I like opera and do not fall asleep while attending these magnificent events. Thank you again, mistermuse for your wonderful contributions to our musical library. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 6:08 am on June 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting point is how Rodgers changed his music to fit his lyricist. I never would have thought anyone ever did that or could.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:39 am on June 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That’s something Cole Porter never had to deal with because he wrote both the music and lyrics. Of course, Irving Berlin did the same, but Porter’s lyrics were wittier, like Hart’s, whereas Berlin’s lyrics were more sentimental, like Hammerstein’s.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 1:33 pm on June 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting to get more background on these great talents.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 3:15 pm on June 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I applaud you for being interested in the music (and its makers) of a time which has been left in the dust of our own times, but has not been diminished by circumstances beyond its control.

      Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 10:36 pm on July 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I enjoyed reading this about Rodgers – lots I didn’t know. 🙂 Songs were just so much more musical back then!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 10:19 pm on January 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As I have a moment (or need to take one), I will be back to troll your archives. Please don’t make it mean anything other than competing to-dos if I “like” but do not comment. ALL of your stuff is wonderful.
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
      ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:13 am on January 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, and no problem with “like” but not comment. I often have to do the same, as there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything.


  • mistermuse 4:41 pm on October 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Lorenz Hart, , , ,   



    Rhyme is passe and trite —
    I never choose it….
    Except for when I write
    Poems that use it.


    Time doth pass in flight
    So fast, I think I’ll lose it….
    Except for when I write,
    And, lost in thought, bemuse it.

    • mistermuse 6:57 am on November 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      In anticipation of someone pointing out that the unabridged sentence of my title from Shakespeare’s Macbeth is “It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”: mistermuse denies that he’s an idiot (he’s just somewhat unbalanced).


    • Don Frankel 1:05 pm on November 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I had a really funny comment but then… I lost my thought but what of it. I guess it went cold. I agree. Perhaps you should laugh. But the laughs on me. I guess Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered am I.


    • mistermuse 1:40 pm on November 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your Hart-felt comment, Don (for the benefit of the musically Hart-less, Don’s comment borrowed lyrics from BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEWILDERED, one of Lorenz Hart’s hit songs in PAL JOEY (1940).


    • arekhill1 1:32 pm on November 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Mick Jagger once sang “Time is on my side.” Wonder if he still thinks that way?


    • mistermuse 5:34 pm on November 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Mick also sang “Time Waits For No One”:

      But I prefer this one (same title, different song, written 30 years or so earlier):


  • mistermuse 12:01 am on June 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Lorenz Hart, , the 1920s. the 1930s, The Great Depression,   


    You’ve got to hand it to Cole Porter. He’s a rich boy who made good. 
    –Oscar Levant (said jokingly of his born-into-wealth friend)

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    If you, like me, are a child of parents born in the first decade of the 20th Century, you no doubt have at least a second-hand feel (if not first-hand familiarity) for that time in America known as “The Roaring Twenties” (AKA “The Jazz Age”) and “The Great Depression” (the 1930s). I was born too late in the Depression to recall what I saw then, but what I heard transcends the times. It’s the music, Cupid. Not that it was entirely romantic.

    You remember music (take that however you wish). In the words of Lorenz Hart: It’s Easy To Remember (but so hard to forget)….or, put another – Irving Berlin’s – way: The Song Is Ended (but the melody lingers on). Today, however, we celebrate a master songwriter of those times whose music is Easy To Love: Cole Porter, born June 9, 1892.

    To that end, I quote Fred Lounsberry, Editor of “103 lyrics of Cole Porter” (Random House):
    Mixing of opposites, wide knowledge, spunk, individuality, realism, restraint, rascality, maturity. This is a pretty complete list of what makes Cole Porter’s lyrics delightfully different, but the really primary strength of his lyrics is intelligence, putting all his facts, facilities and philosophies into the right balance to make good entertainment.

    So, without further ado, Let’s Do It — let’s do a few of those 1920s & 30s Cole Porter songs that are as likely to parody romantic bliss as to evoke it (including two versions of Let’s Misbehave):




    There, now — that wasn’t so bad, was it?


    • Thom Hickey 12:45 am on June 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks. CP pure class. Regards thom


    • mistermuse 9:09 am on June 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Thom. I tried to comment on one of your posts (“Fanfare For the Duke”), but it didn’t seem to “take,” so I’ll say here that your mention of Duke Ellington calls to mind other “royalty” from the golden age of jazz: Count Basie, King Oliver and (a little more recent) Nat King Cole.


    • Don Frankel 8:05 am on June 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Without any doubt one of the greatest and one of my favorite recordings of all time is…


    • mistermuse 8:46 am on June 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Don, it doesn’t get much better than a great singer singing a great song by a great writer….but let it also be noted that for every well-known great Porter song like “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” there are many little-known great Porter songs like “At Long Last Love,” “I Concentrate On You,” “Every Time We Say Goodbye” and the two I linked to at the end of my post, “Let’s Misbehave” and “It’s Bad For Me.” They’re good for us to know too!


    • Don Frankel 4:33 am on June 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right Muse. Another of my favorites and a little Jobin thrown in too.


    • mistermuse 10:22 am on June 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Don. I own a whole bunch of Sinatra records, but none with Jobim.


  • mistermuse 12:47 am on March 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , George Marion Jr., , , , , , Lorenz Hart, lyricists, , , , Spring Is Here, spring songs, , There'll Be Another Spring   


    It’s spring again / And birds on the wing again / Start to sing again / The old melody.   from I LOVE YOU (lyrics and music by Cole Porter)

    Yes, fellow (and gal) music lovers, it’s spring again — the season which usually comes unusually late or early every year and seems to inspire the romantic poet in every song writer….or at least it did when the world was more melodic, and composers were Cole Porters at heart. It has been said of Porter that “even in the absence of his melodies, his words distill an unmistakable mixture of poignancy and wit that marks him as a genius of light verse.”*

    I think the same can be said, though not always to the same degree of genius, of many song writers from America’s Golden Age of popular music. No matter their individual personalities, their songs — not least, their “spring songs” — betray them as “rank sentimentalists” beneath the surface (in the manner of Captain Renault seeing through Rick in CASABLANCA).

    To the point, here’s a sampling of such songs (and their lyricists) from that lost world, followed by clips of recordings sung by voices which may sound strange to generational “foreign-ears,” but as Jimmy Stewart once said of his singing Porter’s EASY TO LOVE in the film BORN TO DANCE, the song’s so good, even he couldn’t mess it up:

    SPRING IS HERE (Lorenz Hart) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFiNQObPxEk

    THERE’LL BE ANOTHER SPRING (Peggy Lee) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1utcGFiXu8

    SPRING WILL BE A LITTLE LATE THIS YEAR (Frank Loesser) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbwRgQ-I_ms

    IT SEEMS TO BE SPRING (George Marion Jr.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Svi45srqhgM

    IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPRING (Oscar Hammerstein II) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-JLbac6EVE

    SPRING, SPRING, SPRING (Johnny Mercer) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT6RHkYViOc

    *quoted from the dust jacket of Cole Porter, selected lyrics, Robert Kimball, editor

    • Don Frankel 7:11 am on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Great music and the perfect day for it as it finally got warm in New York. I don’t mean to belabor the point but it is also…. “Springtime for Hitler” but we’ve already played that clip.


    • mistermuse 7:44 am on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Don. Of all those “spring songs” and lyricists, the least known (even to old music lovers) are undoubtedly IT SEEMS TO BE SPRING/George Marion Jr.
      Marion was primarily a screenwriter of such great films as LOVE ME TONIGHT (Maurice Chevalier & Jeanette MacDonald) and THE GAY DIVORCEE (Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers), but he also partnered with Richard Whiting (father of Margaret Whiting) to write the lyrics for some very good songs. Listen closely to IT SEEMS TO BE SPRING – in the words of one author, “the song is an ideal illustration of the high standard of popular songwriting of this era.”


    • Don Frankel 6:35 am on March 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Every once in awhile I’m forced to admit to someone of my generation that I don’t know very much about the Beatles. I mean they seem like 4 rather nice fellows. It’s not like I have anything against them. It’s just that I don’t own a single one of their albums.

      I often wonder just how much the song writers of this era influenced us? I mean the tight construction, the vivid images, the wit. It couldn’t not have done anything but aide us immensely.


    • mistermuse 10:10 am on March 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t agree more, Don, if by “us” you mean those of us of a certain age. I fear that the ability to appreciate the qualities you cite has been increasingly lost “as time goes by.” Few young people today understand that if they had grown up decades ago, they would’ve been as much “into” that era’s music as they are into today’s. In a sense, they are prisoners of their culture without realizing it.

      As for the Beatles, having already “fallen in love” with the work of the above songwriters and their contemporaries by the time the B-boys came along, they didn’t impress me originally, but I eventually came to appreciate some of their songs. Still, the combination of wit and romance in such oldies as IT SEEMS TO BE SPRING has never been surpassed.


    • Don Frankel 4:49 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right Muse. I don’t mean to say anything bad about the Beatles and there is always Sinatra singing ‘Something in the way she moves’.

      But then there is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJpGHR6ofus

      and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAdM7fEZ-zY

      I’m kind of glad we got born when we did.


    • mistermuse 6:22 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Likewise, Don.

      For those who don’t know, the songs you kindly provided clips for were written by Frank Loesser and Cole Porter (two of the few “Golden Age” composers who wrote both the lyrics and music of their songs).


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