Song number 3:365, here’s my recording of the beautiful George Gershwin song Someone to Watch Over Me. Starting life as an up-tempo number, it was Ira Gershwin who suggested that it would work better as a ballad, and George agreed. The song first appeared in the 1926 musical Oh, Kay!
Today’s song comes from the Jerome Kern musical Showboat. Old Man River tells of the struggle of the stevedore Joe on a showboat on the Mississippi river. It’s an interesting song for a number of reasons: it’s plodding, slow rhythm is said to represent the movement of the river itself, it’s a rare example of a bass solo in a musical, and the main melody uses the pentatonic scale.
I hope you enjoy this piece today. If it’s your first time on the site, find out why I’m playing one song a day for the whole of 2015 or listen to my October songs here.
Two weeks ago I attended a concert of Gershwin classics at the Phoenix Symphony and The Man I Love was one of the songs performed by the vocalist Kate Baldwin. While not my favourite Gershwin song (that would be Bess, You Is My Woman Now from Porgy & Bess), The Man I Love is a beautiful song with fabulous chords and a haunting melody. It was originally part of the 1924 score of Lady, Be Good as The Girl I Love, but was subsequently deleted. It then reappeared in both Strike Up The Band and Rosalie, but was again deleted, finally finding its home in the 1947 film, The Man I Love.
A nice, cheery song today – When You’re Smiling, originally made famous by Louis Armstrong in 1929, but since recorded by hundreds of artists. It’s apparently the official song of football club Leicester City and one of the strangest performances of the song is from the 1995 Woody Allen film Mighty Aphrodite when it’s performed by a Greek chorus at the end of the film! I hope this song brings a smile to you this Saturday morning!