♫ Woman In Love ♫ (Redux)

Tonight, I was in the mood for some of Barbra Streisand’s wonderful voice … plus I had another motivation.  Barbra is an all-time favourite of our friend Ellen, who has been notably absent of late, and … well, frankly I miss the heck out of her and am hoping to lure her back!!!  I have played this one before, back in 2019, but that’s long enough, and it is, I think, a beautiful song, sung by a beautiful voice inside a beautiful woman … what more can you ask?

Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees wrote this song. After their wildly successful contributions to the 1978 movie Saturday Night Fever, they were asked to work on an album for Streisand, which became Guilty. It was Streisand’s best-selling album.  Two other songs from the album hit US Top 10, and both were duets with Barry Gibb: Guilty and What Kind of Fool. Guilty won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal by Duo or Group. It is her fourth of four Platinum records, and is considered her greatest international hit.

In the UK this was Streisand’s first #1. Having made her British chart debut in 1966 with Second Hand Rose, the 14-year-279-day interval between her first chart appearance and her first number one was then the fourth-longest wait in UK chart history.

Streisand has openly stated that she does not like Woman in Love because she doesn’t believe in the meaning of the lyrics. She has rarely performed the song live.

Woman in Love
Barbra Streisand

Life is a moment in space
When the dream is gone
It’s a lonelier place
I kiss the morning goodbye
But down inside you know
We never know why
The road is narrow and long
When eyes meet eyes
And the feeling is strong
I turn away from the wall
I stumble and fall
But I give you it all

I am a woman in love
And I do anything
To get you into my world
And hold you within
It’s a right I defend
Over and over again
What do I do?

With you eternally mine
In love there is
No measure of time
We planned it all at the start
That you and I
Live in each other’s hearts
We may be oceans away
You feel my love
I hear what you say
No truth is ever a lie
I stumble and fall
But I give you it all

I am a woman in love
And I do anything
To get you into my world
And hold you within
It’s a right I defend
Over and over again
What do I do?

I am a woman in love
And I’m talking to you
You know, I know, how it feels?
What a woman can do
It’s a right
I defend over and over again

I am a woman in love
And I do anything
To get you into my world
And hold you within
It’s a right I defend
Over and over again

Songwriters: Barry Alan Gibb / Robin Hugh Gibb
Woman in Love lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

♫ The Way We Were/Try To Remember ♫

This song is actually a compilation of two songs, The Way We Were, originally sung by Barbra Streisand, and Try To Remember, originally sung by just about everybody, including Gladys Knight.  This is a redux, last played here a couple of years ago, but it is a beautiful piece of music and well worth hearing again.  Besides which, last time I played it, I gave you no accompanying trivia, for it was one of those nights when I was too exhausted to do anything more than post the song & lyrics.  I shall try to do better tonight!

This song was penned by the Texan writing team of Tom Jones (no, not that Tom Jones) and Harvey Schmidt for the 1960 musical comedy The Fantasticks, where it was originally sung by Jerry Orbach. The show was an off-Broadway production with a minuscule cast. It ran for 42 years, clocking up 17,162 performances, and became the world’s longest-running musical.

The only time Try to Remember reached the US Top 40 was in 1975 when Gladys Knight and The Pips recorded a medley of this song and Barbra Streisand’s The Way We Were. It also peaked at #4 in the UK.

Okay, so I didn’t give you much trivia, but that was all I could find!  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the music …

The Way We Were – Try To Remember
Gladys Knight

Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we?
Could we?

Memories may be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it’s the laughter we will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were
The way we were

Songwriters: Alan Bergman / Marilyn Bergman / Marvin Hamlisch
The Way We Were – Try To Remember lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ You Don’t Bring Me Flowers ♫ (Redux)

I played this one just about two years ago, July 2019, but tonight I’m brain dead, exhausted, and so I’m taking the lazy path and reduxing this one!  When I played it in 2019, I only played the duet version with both Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond.  While that remains my favourite, at the time David commented that he preferred the version with only Barbra, so tonight I offer up both!


The song was written by Neil Diamond with Alan and Marilyn Bergman for the ill-fated daily TV sitcom All That Glitters. The song was intended to be the theme song, but Norman Lear, the show’s creator, changed the concept of the show and the song was no longer appropriate. Diamond then expanded the track from 45 seconds to 3:17, adding instrumental sections and an additional verse. The Bergmans contributed to the song’s lyrics.

In 1977, Diamond released the album I’m Glad You’re Here with Me Tonight, which included the track You Don’t Bring Me Flowers as a solo performance. Early in 1978, Barbra Streisand covered the song on her album Songbird.

These solo recordings were famously spliced together by Gary Guthrie, a producer at the radio station WAKY-AM in Louisville, Kentucky, who did it as a going away present to his wife, whom he had just divorced. Guthrie’s spliced-together duet version first aired on WAKY on May 24, 1978.  It was such a hit, that other stations began doing their own mix of the song.

Guthrie sent CBS his version of the duet on July 27, and by August 3, both Striesand and Diamond had agreed to the release of a duet version. However, rather than issue any of the spliced-together versions, Columbia Records had Streisand and Diamond record a brand-new “official” studio version, which was released on October 17, 1978.

The song reached number one on the Hot 100 chart for two non-consecutive weeks in December 1978, producing the third number-one hit for both singers. The single sold over one million copies, and eventually went Platinum.

In 1979, Guthrie sued CBS for $5 million, claiming that he was improperly compensated for his role in making the song a hit. The suit was unsuccessful, but acknowledgment and gratitude for Guthrie came from CBS with a Gold record plaque, flowers from Diamond and a telegram from Streisand.

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers
Neil Diamond/Barbra Streisand

You don’t bring me flowers
You don’t sing me love songs
You hardly talk to me anymore
When I come through the door at the end of the day

I remember when
You couldn’t wait to love me
Used to hate to leave me
Now after lovin’ me late at night

When it’s good for you, babe
And you’re feeling alright

Well, you just roll over
And you turn out the light
And you don’t bring me flowers anymore

It used to be so natural (Used to be)
To talk about forever
But used-to-be’s don’t count anymore
They just lay on the floor ’til we sweep them away

And baby, I remember
All the things you taught me

I learned how to laugh
And I learned how to cry

Well I learned how to love
And I learned how to lie

So you’d think I could learn
How to tell you goodbye

You don’t bring me flowers anymore

Well, you’d think I could learn
How to tell you goodbye

You don’t sing to me

And you don’t sing me love songs

You don’t bring me flowers anymore

Songwriters: Alan Bergman / Marilyn Bergman / Neil Diamond
You Don’t Bring Me Flowers lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Spirit Music Group

♫ Evergreen ♫ (Belated Birthday Redux)

In an email yesterday, our friend Ellen reminded me that “In the event that you may have forgotten…on this day in 1942 the talented Barbra Streisand was born.”  Well, of course I had forgotten … heck, I can’t even remember my own birthday (I don’t really want to remember it, either!), let alone Barbra’s!  However, by the time I received the email, my music post for the day was already posted, so I shall make amends today!  Happy belated 79th, to a beautiful lady with a fantastic voice!  79?  Whoa … she’s older than even me! 


This song about new love was the theme to the 1976 remake of A Star Is Born. The film, which starred Streisand, was very popular and this song won the Academy Award for Best Song.  I knew I was in the mood to play some Streisand tonight, but I couldn’t decide between this one and Memories.

Paul Williams, who had written hits for the Carpenters and Three Dog Night, wrote this with Streisand. The songs for A Star Is Born had to be written before filming began, since they were performed on camera. When Williams signed on to the project, Streisand had the music and one verse for the song “Everything.” Over the next seven weeks, they wrote all the songs for the movie.  According to Paul Williams …

Paul-Williams“She sat down and played on a guitar, the melody for ‘Evergreen’ that she’d written. It was just such a beautiful melody. I said, ‘There’s your love song. There’s the big love song.’ I asked her for the melody. She put it on tape for me, and I took it home. I actually wrote that as the last thing, which I think bothered her. But all the Kris Kristofferson stuff was the first thing up on the shoot schedule. So I wrote the songs for Kris first.

You know, Barbra recorded two or three of my songs before we did A Star Is Born. People would always ask, ‘Were you nervous about writing the Streisand music?’ Of course, she’s an amazing talent. But to sit down and write songs and to play songs for Kris… I mean, this is the man who wrote ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down,’ ‘Me And Bobby McGee.’ It was wonderful. Kris was great about the songs. But the very last thing that I wrote was ‘Evergreen.’ I gave that to Barbra, and then hit the road and didn’t look back.

I actually wrote those first two lines in the opposite order. I wrote ‘Love, fresh as the morning air, love soft as an easy chair.’ I called Barbra as I was getting on a plane to go on tour with Olivia Newton-John. We were doing a 6-week tour, and Barbra was in Arizona getting ready to start filming A Star Is Born. I called her and said, ‘You know what, flip those two first lines, because it sings better.’ ‘Love, soft as an easy chair, love, fresh as the morning air.’ ‘Morning’ sang better at that point in the song. And I remember saying to Barbra, ‘They’ll probably laugh us out of the theaters for starting a love song with a line about a chair, but I think it works better that way.’ And I think it was the biggest-selling soundtrack album ever at that time, and of course the song won the triple crown: the Oscar, the Grammy, and the Golden Globe.”

Evergreen
Barbra Streisand

Love soft as an easy chair
Love fresh as the morning air
One love that is shared by two
I have found with you
Like a rose under the April snow
I was always certain love would grow
Love ageless and evergreen
Seldom seen by two
You and I will
Make each night the first
Everyday a beginning
Spirits rise and their dance is unrehearsed
They warm and excite us
‘Cause we have the brightest love
Two lights that shine as one
Morning glory and midnight sun
Time, we’ve learned to sail above
Time, won’t change the meaning of one love
Ageless and ever, evergreen

Songwriters: Barbra Streisand; Paul Williams
Evergreen lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Good People Doing Good Things — Random Acts of Kindness Day … And More!

Do you know what today is?  It’s February 17th!  And do you know what February 17th is?  It’s National Random Acts of Kindness Day!  Now, we should all be kind to everyone we encounter every day, but National Random Acts of Kindness Day is intended to make us more aware of the little things we can do to help someone out, or maybe just bring a smile to their face.  In this, the era of the pandemic, many more people are struggling than ever before, financially, emotionally, and in other ways.

National-Random-Acts-of-Kindness-DayIn the U.S., Random Acts of Kindness day is celebrated on this day, but in other countries, such as New Zealand, the date is different, but the meaning is still the same. The goal, according to the National Kindness website, is to help make kindness the norm by spreading it in the simplest ways.  So, what are some simple ways we can do a random act of kindness?  You tell me.  My favourite is usually to help someone I see struggling, perhaps to reach an item on a high grocery shelf, or a person in a wheelchair trying to get their groceries onto the conveyor belt, then out to their vehicle.  Or, paying it ahead at the drive through line is always a good one, one that tends to spread.

kindness-1As I always tell you guys at the end of each week’s Jolly Monday post, share those smiles.  Sometimes, just a kind smile can bring joy to someone who’s a bit down.  Thank someone … the mail carrier or trash man.  Help a neighbor carry their parcels in.  Or, if you’re feeling really energetic, get out that shovel and shovel a neighbor’s driveway and sidewalk!  It’ll help them, and you’ll get some much-needed exercise, too!

Anyway, let’s all try to do one random act of kindness today …

kindness-2


I usually get some flak when I highlight professional athletes or other celebrities who are making a difference, being good people, but when I think it’s deserved, I will shine a light on them. Not all of them are selfish jerks. This week, I have several that I think deserving of kudos.


I’m sure you all remember last May, when a Black man, George Floyd, was brutally murdered by a white police officer – an event that triggered many of the Black Lives Matter protests during the summer.  The most important thing Mr. Floyd left behind was his 7-year-old daughter, Gianna.  The Floyd family, like so many of us, lived payday to payday, and without his income, times were harder than ever.  Enter a bunch of good people …

Kyrie-IrvingNBA professional basketball star Kyrie Irving learned what the family needed most and stepped up to provide it. Kyrie Irving, the point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, bought them a house.  Irving, who felt he was just doing the right thing, tried to downplay his generosity.

“I just want to keep continuing to fulfill our purpose in serving a lot of the underserved communities. Those don’t necessarily get the same attention. So just trying to do my part with service, that’s all.”

Irving is not the only celebrity to reach out to Gianna and her family. Lil Wayne’s manager bought them a Mercedes-Benz. Barbra Streisand gave them stock in Disney.

In addition, Kanye West (whom I cannot stand personally, but I give credit where credit is due) donated $2 million to help Gianna and the families of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old victim of a racially motivated murder in Georgia, and 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, who was killed during a botched drug raid by police who showed up at the wrong apartment.

And ordinary citizens are reaching out, as well.  A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $2.3 million, providing a fund when she’s ready to attend college—if she doesn’t want to take advantage of a full scholarship already offered by Texas Southern University.


Then there’s Stephen Curry, considered by some to be the greatest shooter in NBA history and treated as basketball royalty.  But there’s another side to this man.  Last summer, as the COVID-19 pandemic stalled the economy leaving many out of work, he and his wife Ayesha launched Eat. Learn. Play., a foundation that helps families struggling to put food on the table, through donations to the Alameda County Community Food Bank and the Oakland, California school system.

“We know the world is changing before our eyes in terms of dealing with the spread of coronavirus and we just found out that the Oakland Unified School District is closing the doors for the foreseeable future, so we want to intercede on behalf of the kids that rely on the daily services and try to help any way we can.”

stephen-currySince then, the initiative has expanded exponentially. After joining forces with the world-renowned, Chef José Andrés, founder of the nonprofit disaster-relief group World Central Kitchen, Stephen and Ayesha’s foundation has gone from serving 4,000 meals a week to 300,000.

In total, more than 15 million meals—and counting—have found their way to those in need.

But more than just serving up meals, Eat. Learn. Play. is also giving the local economy a much-needed financial shot in the arm—about $20 million that has “led to the rehiring of more than 900 Oakland restaurant workers.”

“It’s all about impact. The things my wife and I try to do, separately and together, are to raise awareness, to find impactful partnerships, to be human and understand the urgency of the moment.”


My thanks to all the good people who are doing what they can to help people, and let’s see if we can do just a little something today to bring a smile to someone’s face, okay?

♫ People ♫

♫ … are the luckiest ♫ people … in the world …

Oh … hi!  Heh heh … don’t mind me … just singing a clippet from tonight’s music post while rolling some smokes.  I get my music inspirations during showers and rolling smokes.

Tonight’s song has a two-fold purpose … for one thing, one of my readers is a fan of Barbra Streisand, and given what a wonderful friend she has been of late, trying to keep me up when I would fall down, I wanted to play something special for our friend Ellen.  Second, given the madness of the world today, with isolation becoming increasingly the ‘norm’, I think this song has significance … people who NEED people.

According to SongFacts …

Composer Jule Styne and lyricist Bob Merrill wrote this for the 1964 Broadway musical Funny Girl, starring Barbra Streisand as real-life entertainer Fanny Brice. While some sources claim “People” was a cast-off from the 1962 animated version of A Christmas Carol (starring the nearsighted Mister Magoo), Styne biographer Theodore Taylor disputed the theory.

The songwriting duo met in Palm Beach, Florida, to hash out songs for Funny Girl. They realized they needed a tender song to reflect the complicated romance between Brice and her gambler/con artist boyfriend Nick Arnstein. Taylor described the scene in his 1979 book Jule: The Story of Composer Jule Styne: “Jule turned to his collaborator Bob Merrill, ‘You told me the other night to work on [the lyric] ‘a very special person.’ I think I’ve got a helluva melody for it.’…’Great,’ Merrill yelled. ‘But now it’s not gonna be just a ‘special person.’ Listen.’ Then he ad-libbed, while Jule played the melody again: ‘People, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.'”

Styne and Merrill knew they had something special when they finished the song, which took just 30 minutes to write – if only they could convince the producers, who cut the tune from early tryouts. Merrill fought to keep the song in the musical, which seemed to be a losing battle until Streisand was permitted to sing it one night and it brought the house down.

This was Streisand’s breakthrough hit and marked several firsts in her career. Not only was it her first single to land in the Top 10, it was her first one to even break the Top 40. It was also her first chart-topper on the Adult Contemporary tally. That same year, she re-recorded it for her first #1 album, People.

People
Barbra Streisand

People,
People who need people,
Are the luckiest people in the world
We’re children, needing other children
And yet letting a grown-up pride
Hide all the need inside
Acting more like children than children

Lovers, very special people
They’re the luckiest people in the world
With one person (one person)
One very special person (one very special person)

A feeling deep in your soul (in your soul)
Says you were half now you’re whole
No more hunger and thirst
First be a person who needs people
People who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world

No more hunger or thirst
First be a person who needs people (people need people)
People who need people
Are the luckiest (luckiest) people in the world

People who need people in the world
People who need people (send them your love)
Who need people
People who need people in the world (people who need people)
Send them your love (oh those people)
People who need people in the world (people who need people)
(Send them your love)
(People who need people in the world) people who need people
(Send them your love) people
People who need people in the world

(Send them your love)

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Carmine Appice / Mark Stein / Tim Bogert / Vincent Martell
People lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Right Here Waiting For You ♫ (Redux)

I first played this one back in November 2018.  I am playing it again tonight for reasons that … must remain my own.  Nonetheless, I hope you all enjoy the music!


Singer and songwriter Richard Marx wrote this song on the road as a love letter to his wife, actress Cynthia Rhodes.

“I wrote the song for my wife Cynthia who was in South Africa shooting for a film. We were not married then and I wanted to meet her because I had not seen her for a few months. But my visa application was rejected and when I came back I wrote this song which was more of a letter from me to her. It was the fastest song I wrote, in barely 20 minutes. And this was the time when there was no Skype and Social networking so I had to ship the track to her. The song was very personal and was not intended to go public. But my friends pursued me to record it.”

A bit about Richard Marx … His father wrote TV jingles for chocolate bars and peanut butter, and Richard made his professional debut singing on some of his dad’s commercials. When he was 18, Marx left his hometown of Chicago and headed to LA, where another commercial-minded musician, Lionel Richie, took the young singer-songwriter under this wing. After a 5-year apprenticeship in which he sang harmonies on several of Richie’s hits had some of his compositions recorded by artists such as Kenny Rogers and Chicago, Marx finally landed his own recording contract. And he was poised for stardom: Marx’s self-titled 1987 debut album yielded four top-10 hits, including the #1 song Hold On To The Nights.

Marx originally pitched the song to Barbra Streisand. But she had a few issues with his lyrics. “She called and said, ‘I love this music, this melody is gorgeous, but if I’m going to record it, I’m going to need you to rewrite the lyrics because I’m not going to be right here waiting for anybody,'”  I’m rather glad he kept the song … and the lyrics.

Right Here Waiting for You
Richard Marx

Oceans apart day after day
And I slowly go insane
I hear your voice on the line
But it doesn’t stop the pain

If I see you next to never
How can we say forever

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

I took for granted, all the times
That I thought would last somehow
I hear the laughter, I taste the tears
But I can’t get near you now

Oh, can’t you see it baby
You’ve got me going crazy

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

I wonder how we can survive
This romance
But in the end if I’m with you
I’ll take the chance

Oh, can’t you see it baby
You’ve got me going crazy

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you
Waiting for you

Songwriters: Richard Marx
Right Here Waiting for You lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management

♫ Feelings ♫

Now, some of my readers think, when I play songs like this, that I am depressed, that some love of my life has left me for another, or something akin to a broken heart is going on.  I promise you that is not the case … I have not been dumped, at least not lately … I just like the song, okay?  And, I wasn’t necessarily seeking a sappy song such as this, but it popped into my head when I was pondering a song to play, so …

My favourite version of this one is done by Barbra Streisand and Julio Iglesias, but they were not the originators of the song.  The lyrics were written, and the song first sung by Brazilian singer Morris Albert.  Released in 1974, the song is set to the tune of Pour Toi, composed by Louis “Loulou” Gasté in 1957.  Albert’s original recording of the song was very successful, performing well internationally.

Gasté sued Morris Albert for copyright infringement, claiming that “Feelings” plagiarized the melody of Pour Toi.  Gasté won the lawsuit; they now share the credits of the song.

Just because I like the Streisand/Iglesias version doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone else does, so I shall offer both tonight.

Feelings
Morris Albert

Feelings, nothing more than feelings,
Trying to forget my feelings of love.
Teardrops rolling down on my face,
Trying to forget my feelings of love.

Feelings, for all my life I’ll feel it.
I wish I’ve never met you, girl; you’ll never come again.

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feel you again in my arms.

Feelings, feelings like I’ve never lost you
And feelings like I’ve never have you again in my heart.

Feelings, for all my life I’ll feel it.
I wish I’ve never met you, girl; you’ll never come again.

Feelings, feelings like I’ve never lost you
And feelings like I’ve never have you again in my life.

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feelings again in my arms.
Feelings

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feelings again in my arms.
Feelings…

Songwriters: Morris Albert/Louis Gasté 
Feelings lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Editora e Importadora Musical Fermata do Brasil Ltda.

♫ Woman In Love ♫

Tonight a song was in my head.  The lyrics … echoed within the deep, dark rabbit hole … there is one who may understand … or not.

Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees wrote this song. After their wildly successful contributions to the 1978 movie Saturday Night Fever, they were asked to work on an album for Streisand, which became Guilty. It was Streisand’s best-selling album.  Two other songs from the album hit US Top 10, and both were duets with Barry Gibb: Guilty and What Kind of Fool. Guilty won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal by Duo or Group. It is her fourth of four Platinum records, and is considered her greatest international hit.

In the UK this was Streisand’s first #1. Having made her British chart debut in 1966 with Second Hand Rose, the 14-year-279-day interval between her first chart appearance and her first number one was then the fourth-longest wait in UK chart history.

Streisand has openly stated that she does not like Woman in Love because she doesn’t believe in the meaning of the lyrics. She has rarely performed the song live.

Woman in Love
Barbra Streisand

Life is a moment in space
When the dream is gone
It’s a lonelier place
I kiss the morning goodbye
But down inside you know
We never know why
The road is narrow and long
When eyes meet eyes
And the feeling is strong
I turn away from the wall
I stumble and fall
But I give you it all

I am a woman in love
And I do anything
To get you into my world
And hold you within
It’s a right I defend
Over and over again
What do I do?

With you eternally mine
In love there is
No measure of time
We planned it all at the start
That you and I
Live in each other’s hearts
We may be oceans away
You feel my love
I hear what you say
No truth is ever a lie
I stumble and fall
But I give you it all

I am a woman in love
And I do anything
To get you into my world
And hold you within
It’s a right I defend
Over and over again
What do I do?

I am a woman in love
And I’m talking to you
You know, I know, how it feels?
What a woman can do
It’s a right
I defend over and over again

I am a woman in love
And I do anything
To get you into my world
And hold you within
It’s a right I defend
Over and over again

Songwriters: Barry Alan Gibb / Robin Hugh Gibb
Woman in Love lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

♫ Hello Dolly! ♫

There are nights, and then … there are n-i-g-h-t-s.  Tonight is a n-i-g-h-t.  They say that “Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak”, and there is, quite frankly, nobody that can soothe, soften and bend better than Louis Armstrong.  I have played his Wonderful World at least twice here, and am almost certain to do so again, but tonight, I picked another one he does like nobody else could, Hello Dolly!

According to SongFacts …

Hello, Dolly! is the title song from the Tony Award-winning 1964 musical which featured Carol Channing in the lead role. In 1969 it was made into a film starring Barbra Streisand. Although the contemporary score was composed in its entirety by Jerry Herman, the play can be traced in one form or another as far back as 1835, in outline at least. In spite of the immediate success of the stage production, the song was released as a single only reluctantly. In its May 23, 1964 edition, the English music paper Melody Maker carried an article “HELLO DOLLY! The hit no one wanted,” which included an interview with Louis Armstrong. Herein it was revealed that although the song had reached #1 in the US charts selling more than a million copies, no one wanted to record it. In retrospect, Satchmo was an obvious choice.

The song won a Grammy for best vocal performance. It was recorded on Kapp by Armstrong and his “All Stars”; the B Side was “A Lot Of Lovin’ To Do.” Five years later, Satchmo appeared in the film version where he dueted with Streisand.

The 62-year-old Armstrong became the oldest act to top the US charts when this reached #1. Four years later Satchmo also became the oldest artist to record a UK #1 when “What A Wonderful World” hit the top spot.  When Armstrong was asked about his new #1 song, he replied, “It sure feels good to be up there with those Beatles.”

There are many great singers who are not entertainers.  They are pure gold to listen to, but painfully boring to watch.  Louis Armstrong, in my book, is a both a singer/musician, and an entertainer.  He is at one with his audience.  He draws you in, he makes you smile, he makes your toes tap.

And now, let’s let Louis take our cares and our worries away for just a few minutes, shall we?

Hello Dolly!
Louis Daniel Armstrong

Hello, Dolly,
Well, hello, Dolly
It’s so nice to have you back where you belong
You’re lookin’ swell, Dolly
I can tell, Dolly
You’re still glowin’, you’re still crowin’
You’re still goin’ strong
We feel the room swayin’
While the band’s playin’
One of your old favourite songs from way back when

So, take her wrap, fellas
Find her an empty lap, fellas
Dolly’ll never go away again

Hello, Dolly,
Well, hello, Dolly
It’s so nice to have you back where you belong
You’re lookin’ swell, Dolly
I can tell, Dolly
You’re still glowin’, you’re still crowin’
You’re still goin’ strong
We feel the room swayin’
While the band’s playin’
One of your old favourite songs from way back when

Golly, gee, fellas
Find her a vacant knee, fellas
Dolly’ll never go away
Dolly’ll never go away
Dolly’ll never go away again

Songwriters: Jerry Herman