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  • mistermuse 12:03 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Taking A Chance On Love, 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 šŸ™‚

      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 šŸ™‚

          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! šŸ™‚

          Liked by 2 people

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

      I was fascinated with Ellaā€™s scat when I was a child. Iā€™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). šŸ˜‰

        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 ā€” 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 ā€” 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 ā€” 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 trioā€”and encoreā€”and Iā€™m happy I dropped in by chance (not!) The Ethel Waters recording was tip-tap, and Ella never fails to delight me. Iā€™ve heard April in Paris a zillion times, but I donā€™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 Marxistā€”making a point with a recorded song instead of a horn.
      While Iā€™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. Iā€™m assuming you didnā€™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 12:00 am on April 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: April 23, cheese-cake, , , , Jane Monheit, , Lover's Day, , Taking A Chance On Love, Zucchini bread   


    Guess what, boys and girls — today is the day you’ve been waiting for:Ā April 23 is NATIONAL ZUCCHINI BREAD DAY! I don’t know about you, boys and girls, but there’s nothingĀ I like more than zucchini bread, unless it’s fruit cake (but you only get that at Christmas time — it’s the law). Fortunately, boys and girls, you can have zucchini bread anytime. And best of all, it’s good for you — it’ll putĀ muscle onĀ your bustleĀ and hair on your chest (much the same asĀ bourbon whiskey,Ā which the lawĀ also prohibitsĀ until a certain time, like when you come ofĀ age….unless you live in Kentucky, where baby bottles have never known milk).

    Anyway, children, it’s time for you to butt out, because the rest of this tale is forĀ BIG boys and girls, and you’ve already taken up too much of my valuableĀ time (ha ha, just kidding, youĀ annoying littleĀ juvenile delinquents). I’ll give you another heads-up aboutĀ another tasty treat onĀ another day, but until then, you canĀ sleepĀ the sleep of the unconditionally loved,Ā knowing that others are thinking of you with relish:


    And now let us turn to the April 23rdĀ adult stuff (and I don’t meanĀ naughty calendarsĀ for cheese-cake lovers). I’m talking about TAKE A CHANCE DAY and LOVER’S DAY, which are also celebrated on April 23. Luckily for you, I’m old enough to remember an old standard which combines thoseĀ adulterously-suggestive sentiments in one song; here are two versions of this classic tuneĀ for your listening and (in the case of the first clip) viewing pleasure:



    • Don Frankel 7:39 am on April 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      How to Cook Children of course brings to mind.


    • mistermuse 9:38 am on April 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      TWILIGHT ZONE and ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS – two of the greatest TV series of the 1950s-60s, or any period. Thanks, Don!


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