When The Ship Comes In

Monday morning, Peter, Paul, and the always rarin’-to-sing Mary Travers with a Dylan favorite. Their level of musicianship and commitment to a song was just wonderful. Mary Travers’ parents were journalists and union organizers for the Newspaper Guild.

I once had the pleasure of driving Mary in my cab! It was sometime in the late seventies and she was going to visit her daughter in Manhattan. She was quite a down to earth person.

Click on the video to play.

Thanks to YouTuber Superannuated Lp Records

The Sun Is Burning

I thought I knew the whole Simon and Garfunkel catalogue, but somehow I just found this song, which is from their first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM. The song was written by Ian Campbell.

Thanks to YouTuber Big Chuck Lyric Video

Suzanne

Monday morning, we give thanks that we were born into the time of Judy Collins singing Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne,” as perfect a match between singer and song as there will ever be. Here she is at Tanglewood in 1968.

Thanks to YouTuber Flickering Songs

Tilting At Windmills

Richard Kiley in his greatest Broadway role, as Miguel Cervantes/Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, book by Dale Wasserman, music by Mitch Leigh, and lyrics by Joe Darion.

Wikipedia tempts us with the information that the original lyricist was to be W. H. Auden, but his lyrics were considered too satirical and biting towards the bourgeois audience and so was replaced.

What I would give to see those discarded lyrics!

Thanks to YouTuber The Ed Sullivan Show

Let’s Fall In Love: Ella Fitzgerald

The Great Ella with a terrific song by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. Not to be confused with Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It, Lets Fall in Love.”

Accompanied by the Billy May Orchestra, from the Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Harold Arlen Song Book.

Thanks to YouTuber JazzBreakTV

Homeward Bound

Monday morning, an old classic covered impeccably. The Belfast band, Dea Matrona, consisting of Mollie McGinn and Orlaith Forsythe, makes me realize just how good this song sounds with female voices.

More at Dea Matrona

Waiting Eight Years To Get Her Due

Here’s a terrific performance of Dionne Warwick singing “Make It Easy On Yourself”–happening eight years later than it should have.

Here’s the story, with thanks to Wikipedia: Back in 1962, when Warwick was still a back-up singer, the songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David asked her to make a demo version of the song. The demo was so good that the record label picked up the song–but they gave it to veteran soul singer Jerry Butler to record–and it was a hit. Three years later, The Walker Brothers, a white pop trio, had a hit with the song as well. It wasn’t until 1970 that a live performance by Dionne Warwick was released and the song became a hit once again.

Click on the video and see if you don’t agree that eight years was too long to wait, and that she owns the song.

The postscript to the story is that Warwick was so angry at Bacharach and David for letting the song go to Jerry Butler, that she told them in anger, “Don’t make me over!” And Bacharach and David wrote a song for her with that title–which she recorded!–and that too became a hit.

Thanks to YouTuber Dionne Warwick Archive

X: The Life And Times of Malcolm X

About 58 years ago, Malcolm X was murdered, but his legacy has only grown in the ensuing years. In 1986, Anthony Davis, composer, and Thulani Davis, the playwright and poet, wrote an opera about Malcolm X called X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X. Although it did have a premiere at New York City Opera, it was never recorded commercially in full. Since then, the opera has been revised with a tighter libretto. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project has just released the world premiere of a new recording of the opera, starring Davone Tines as Malcolm X. With permission, here are excerpts from that opera.

Click on the triangle or MP3 link above to hear the opera selections as broadcast on the Arts Express program this morning on WBAI FM NY and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

Killing Me Softly

Roberta Flack’s publicist gave the sad news yesterday that she will not be able to sing again due to ALS. One of the great expressive singers of the 70s and afterwards, this song was named one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine. Supposedly, co-writer Lori Lieberman wrote the song about singer Don McLean (“American Pie,” “Vincent”).

Thanks to YouTuber RHINO