Tuesday, December 09, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different or: A Major Link-O-Rama

Someone else I love (probably because I am a blockhead), Ian Dury! (More here)

Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

And the flip-side of the original single:

There Ain't Half Been Some Clever Bastards

An 80s song I still love (it's one you either love or despise):

Puttin' On The Ritz - Taco

I wonder what Irving Berlin would have thought of that version of his creation. (Let alone this one). From "Irving Berlin in Hollywood," by Ian Whitcombe:

It was all very well for Broadway and Hollywood to call for the fashionable integrated song but the fact is that we remember the Berlin numbers and not the plots of these shows. Perhaps he knew this all along because after a follow-up movie, "Follow The Fleet" and other commissions for which he delivered the required work, he was happy to let Twentieth Century Fox in "Alexander's Ragtime Band" celebrate his hit-making life through a cavalcade of songs ranging from the ragtime years up to the current craze for Swing. Ethel Merman did her usual fine job of enunciating "Heat Wave" as if she possessed a built-in bullhorn. Berlin thoroughly approved of her way with his work (just as he did Jolson's and Astaire's) because she respected both words and music-something the Swing Musicians neglected, even ignored. After hearing Benny Goodman's interpretation of "Blue Skies", in which the tune got buried, he told the King of Swing: "That was the most incredible playing I've ever heard - Never do it again!"

Blue Skies -- Benny Goodman & His Orchestra (1935)

Just because, one of my favorite versions of that number by Maxine Sullivan, on whom I bestowed the highest honor that's in my power to give -- named one of my cats after her.

Blue Skies -- Maxine Sullivan & Her Orchestra (1937)

More great Maxine (the singer, not the cat):

Stop! You're Breakin' My Heart -- Claude Thornhill Orchestra with Maxine Sullivan (1937)

To prove I have the strangest musical tastes in the galaxy, here's a link to a really fine blog piece on someone else who fascinates me, Bert Williams. The whole blog is swell, nice writing with a huge range of music types. Just my thing.

Hit me! Hit me!

LATER: Unlike Allan Sherman, I still love the Beatles:

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