Marcus Samuel Blitzstein, was an American composer and librettist. He won national attention in 1937 when his pro-union musical The Cradle Will Rock, directed by Orson Welles, was shut down by the Works Progress Administration, he is known for The Cradle Will Rock and for his Off-Broadway translation/adaptation of The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. His works include the opera Regina, an adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play The Little Foxes, he completed translation/adaptations of Brecht's and Weill's musical play Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and of Brecht's play Mother Courage and Her Children with music by Paul Dessau. Blitzstein composed music for films, such as Surf and Seaweed and The Spanish Earth, he contributed two songs to the original 1960 production of Hellman's play Toys in the Attic. Blitzstein was born in Philadelphia on March 1905, to affluent parents. Blitzstein's musical gifts were apparent at an early age, he went on to study piano with Alexander Siloti, made his professional concerto debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Liszt's E-flat Piano Concerto when he was 21.
After studying composition at the Curtis Institute of Music, he went to Europe to continue his studies in Berlin with Arnold Schoenberg, in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. Despite his political beliefs, he was, in the early years of his career, a self-proclaimed and unrepentant artistic snob, who believed that true art was only for the intellectual elite, he was vociferous in denouncing composers—in particular Respighi and Kurt Weill—who, he felt, debased their standards to reach a wider public. His works of this period pianistic vehicles such as the Piano Sonata and the Piano Concerto are typical of the Boulanger-influenced products of American modernism — rhythmic and described by himself as "wild and percussive." These early works were far removed from the Schoenberg style. The dramatic premiere of the pro-union The Cradle Will Rock took place at the Venice Theater on June 16, 1937; the cast had been locked out of the Maxine Elliott Theatre by the Works Progress Administration, the government agency which had funded the production, so the cast and musicians walked with the audience to the nearby Venice.
There, without costumes or sets, they performed the work concert-style and musicians alike, sitting among the audience with Blitzstein narrating from the piano. In 1939, Leonard Bernstein led a revival of the play at Harvard, narrating from the piano just as Blitzstein had done. Blitzstein attended the performance; the 1999 film Cradle Will Rock was based on this event, though embellished. In the film, Blitzstein is portrayed as gaining inspiration through ghostly appearances by his idol Brecht and his late anorexic wife. Additional major compositions include the autobiographical radio song play I've Got the Tune, The Airborne Symphony, Reuben and Juno. At the time of his death Blitzstein was at work on Idiots First, a one-act opera based on the eponymous story by Bernard Malamud – intended to be part of a set of one-acters called Tales of Malamud – which Ned Rorem has called "his best work"; this was followed by the work Blitzstein intended to be his magnum opus, a three-act opera commissioned by the Ford Foundation and optioned by the Metropolitan Opera entitled Sacco and Vanzetti.
Both Tales of Malamud and Sacco and Vanzetti were completed posthumously, with the approval of Blitzstein's estate, by composer Leonard Lehrman. Lehrman's long-awaited Marc Blitzstein: A Bio-Bibliography, published in 2005 by Praeger, is the longest published biographical bibliography of any American composer at 645 pages. In 1958, Blitzstein was subpoenaed to appear before the U. S. House Committee on Un-American Activities. Appearing first in a closed session, Blitzstein admitted his membership in the Communist Party and, challenging the right of HUAC to question him at all, refused to name names or cooperate any further, he was recalled for a further public session, but after a day sitting anxiously in a waiting room he was not called to testify. During a visit to Martinique in 1964, at the age of 58, Blitzstein was murdered by three sailors he had picked up in a bar, one of whom he was said to have propositioned, he is buried at Chelton Hills Cemetery in Philadelphia. Blitzstein was gay, he wrote to his sister in 1929, regarding prior attempts to suppress or hide his orientation, "it is absurd to assume there are no sins.
My sin is, has been... the willingness to corrupt my nature." His first lover was the conductor Alexander Smallens, with whom he traveled to Europe in 1924. Blitzstein married novelist Eva Goldbeck on March 2, 1933, they had no children. His mother-in-law was opera singer Lina Abarbanell, he dedicated a number of works, including Romantic Piece for Orchestra, String Quartet,'The Italian', the ballet Cain, the Serenade for String Quartet to his wife-to-be. She died of anorexia in 1936, his grief prompted him to throw himself into the work of creating The Cradle Will Ro
Songs in a Mellow Mood
Songs in a Mellow Mood is a 1954 studio album by Ella Fitzgerald, accompanied by the pianist Ellis Larkins. The complete album was re-issued as part of Pure Ella. Side one "I'm Glad There Is You" – 3:10 "What Is There to Say?" – 3:22 "People Will Say We're in Love" – 3:12 "Please Be Kind" – 3:36 "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" – 2:58 "Makin' Whoopee" – 3:07Side two "Imagination" – 2:38 "Stardust" – 4:03 "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" – 2:39 "You Leave Me Breathless" – 3:07 "Baby, What Else Can I Do?" – 3:50 "Nice Work If You Can Get It" – 2:38 Ella Fitzgerald - vocals Ellis Larkins - piano
Woodrow Wilson "Buddy" Johnson was an American jump blues pianist and bandleader active from the 1930s through the 1960s. His songs were performed by his sister Ella Johnson, most notably "Since I Fell for You", which became a jazz standard. Born in Darlington, South Carolina, Johnson took piano lessons as a child, classical music remained one of his passions. In 1938 he moved to New York City, the following year toured Europe with the Cotton Club Revue, being expelled from Nazi Germany. In 1939 he first recorded for Decca Records with his band, soon afterwards being joined by his sister Ella as vocalist. By 1941 he had assembled a nine-piece orchestra, soon began a series of R&B and pop chart hits; these included "Let's Beat Out Some Love", "Baby Don't You Cry", his biggest hit "When My Man Comes Home", "They All Say I'm The Biggest Fool". Ella Johnson recorded her version of "Since I Fell for You" in 1945, but it did not become a major hit until recorded by Lenny Welch in the early 1960s. In 1946 Johnson composed a Blues Concerto, which he performed at Carnegie Hall in 1948.
His orchestra remained a major touring attraction through the late 1940s and early 1950s, continued to record in the jump blues style with some success on record on the Mercury label like "Hittin' on Me" and "I'm Just Your Fool". His song "Bring It Home to Me" appears on the 1996 Rocket Sixty-Nine release Jump Shot. "Personally, I like classics," Buddy Johnson told Down Beat, "but our bread and butter is in the south. The music I play has a southern tinge to it, they understand it down there."In 1977 Johnson died at the age of 62 from a brain tumor and sickle cell anemia in New York. Induction, South Carolina Music Hall of Fame, 2001 Rock and Roll with Buddy Johnson Walkin' Buddy Johnson Wails Swing Me Go Ahead & Rock Rock Rock Rock'n' Roll Stage Show reissue of Rock and Roll with Buddy Johnson Decca Records 7684: Stop Pretending // Jammin' in Georgia 7700: When You're Out with Me // Reese's Idea 8507: Please, Mister Johnson // Swing Along with Me 8518: You Won't Let Me Go // Southern Echoes 8546: Boogie Woogie's Ma-in-Law // Ever So Grateful 8555: New Please, Mr. Johnson // In There 8562: Southern Exposure // Troyon Swing 8573: It's the Gold // I'm My Baby's Baby 8599: I'm Stepping Out // Toodle-Oodle-Oo 8611: I Wonder Who's Boogiein' My Woogie Now // You'll Get Them Blues 8616: Deep Down in the Miz // Without the One You Love 8632: Stand Back and Smile // Baby, Don't You Cry 8640: I Ain't Mad with You // My Lonely Cabin 8647: I Done Found Out // Let's Beat Out Some Love 8655: When My Man Comes Home // I'll Always Be with You 8671: That's the Stuff You Gotta Watch // One of Them Good Ones 11000: Fine Brown Frame // They All Say I'm the Biggest Fool 48012: I Still Love You // Walk'Em 48016: They All Say I'm the Biggest Fool // Since I Fell for You 48019: Fine Brown Frame // That's the Stuff You Gotta Watch reissues 48028: Hey, Sweet Potato // One Thing I Never Could Do 48040: You'll Get Them Blues // Where Our Love Has Gone 48052: Please, Mister Johnson // Stop Pretending reissues 48060: Serves Me Right // You Can't Tell Who's Lovin' Who 48076: Far Cry // Li'l Dog 48088: I Don't Care Who Knows // You Had Better Change Your Ways 24543: I Don't Care Who Knows // You Had Better Change Your Ways re-release 24596: Someone So Sweet As You // Pullamo 24641: If You Never Return // If I Ever Find You, Baby 24641: Somebody's Knocking at My Door // If I Ever Find You, Baby re-release 24675: Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball // Down Yonder 24716: As I Love You // Lovely in Her Evening Gown 24817: It Was Swell Knowing You // I'm Tired of Crying Over You 24842: Because // Because 24920: When Day Is Done // That's What My Baby Says 24996: You Got to Walk the Chalk Line // Keep Me Close to You 25684: When Day Is Done // What Will I Tell My Heart re-release 27087: Tell Me What They're Saying // Shake'Em Up 27330: Satisfy My Soul // I Cry 27416: Jet // No More Love 27486: What Will I Tell My Heart // Dr. Jive Jives 27567: My Reverie // Am I Blue 27627: We'd Only Start It All Over Again // I Need You 27711: I'm in Your Power // Stormy Weather 27814: Ever Since the One I Love's Been Gone // Be Careful 27947: I'm Gonna Jump in the River // Till My Baby Comes Back 27998: Root Man Blues // At Last 28165: I Don't Know What's Troublin' Your Mind // My Aching Heart 28293: Baby You're Always on My Mind // Shufflin' and Rollin' 28378: This New Situation // Be Reasonable 28530: Just to Be Yours // Somehow, Somewhere 28907: Talkin' About Another Man's Wife // Jeanette 29058: Two Cigarettes in the Dark // A Handful of Stars Mercury Records 70116: Hittin' n Me // Ecstasy 70173: That's How I Feel About You // Jit Jit 70251: I'm Just Your Fool // A-12 70321: One More Time // Mush Mouth 70377: Ain't Cha Got Me // Let's Start All Over Again 70421: Any Day Now // A Pretty Girl 70488: There's No One Like You // I Never Had It So Good (
Irving Gordon was an American songwriter. Irving Gordon was born in Brooklyn, New York, lived on Coney Island, he was named Israel Goldener but changed his name to Irving Gordon. As a child, he studied violin. In high school he wrote a symphony piece. Gordon wanted to study at Juilliard but Jews were not admitted at that time. After attending public schools in New York City, Gordon worked in the Catskill Mountains at some of the resort hotels in the area. While working there, he took to writing parody lyrics to some of the popular songs of the day. In the 1930s, he took a job with the music publishing firm headed by talent agent Irving Mills, at first writing only lyrics, but subsequently writing music as well. After Gordon was introduced to Duke Ellington in 1937, Ellington sometimes invited him to put words to his compositions; however working with Ellington was one of the most difficult commissions there was, since most of the Ellington songs were instrumental pieces whose singable potential only emerged after they had been played and recorded by one or another of the soloists in the Ellington orchestra.
While working as Ellington's lyricist, Gordon wrote the words to Billy Strayhorn's piece "Prelude to a Kiss." For years he like. After writing "Mister and Mississippi", Gordon decided he enjoyed puns on state names and wrote "Delaware,", a hit for Perry Como. Irving Gordon is best known for his song, "Unforgettable." He wrote "Allentown Jail", played by numerous musicians and told the story of a man who stole a diamond for his girlfriend and ended up in the Allentown jail, unable to make bail and was recorded by the French singer, Edith Piaf among others<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allentown_Jail>. Late in his life, Gordon won a Grammy for Song of the Year when Natalie Cole re-recorded her father Nat "King" Cole's earlier hit of "Unforgettable." Gordon wrote both the words and music for "Unforgettable." Gordon did not care for rock music, which he said was composed not of "melodies but maladies." Gordon told the Los Angeles Times that by 1960 the vogue for rhymed words and hummable melodies had passed, "So I became a tennis pro.
I have many lives."Abbott and Costello performed a baseball comedy routine, "Who's on First?" which they perfected during their years in vaudeville. Gordon has been credited with writing "Who's on first?" Although others have claimed authorship. Gordon is noted for his contribution to music and lyrics of the Americana genre. For examples it was thought that his song Two Brothers was a folk song about the civil war. For several years before his death he was writing a musical about Sigmund Freud. Irving Gordon died of lymphoma cancer in California, he was survived by three sons. "Allentown Jail" "Be Anything, But Darling Be Mine" "Blue Prelude" "Delaware" "Mama From The Train" "Me, Myself and I" "Mister and Mississippi" "Nine Tenths of the Tennessee River" "Prelude to a Kiss" "Two Brothers" "Unforgettable" "What Will I Tell My Heart" "Sinner or Saint" "Sorta on the Border" "The Kentuckian Song" "Rollin' Stone" "Too Fat For the Chimney"
Antoine "Fats" Domino Jr. was an American pianist and singer-songwriter. One of the pioneers of rock and roll music, Domino sold more than 65 million records. Between 1955 and 1960, he had eleven Top 10 hits, his humility and shyness may be one reason. During his career, Domino had 35 records in the U. S. Billboard Top 40, five of his pre-1955 records sold more than a million copies, being certified gold, his musical style was based on traditional rhythm and blues, accompanied by saxophones, piano, electric guitar, drums. His 1949 release "The Fat Man" is regarded as the first million-selling Rock'n Roll record. One of his most famous songs is “Blueberry Hill”. Antoine Domino Jr, was born and raised in New Orleans, the youngest of eight children born to Antoine Caliste Domino and Marie-Donatille Gros; the Domino family was of French Creole background, Louisiana Creole was his first language. Antoine was born at home with the assistance of a midwife, his name was misspelled as Anthony on his birth certificate.
His family had arrived in the Lower Ninth Ward from Vacherie, Louisiana. His father was a part-time violin player, he attended the Louis B. Macarty School until the fourth grade, leaving to start work as a helper to an ice delivery man. Domino learned to play the piano in about 1938 from his brother-in-law, the jazz guitarist Harrison Verrett; the musician was married to Rosemary Domino from 1947 until her death in 2008. After his success he continued to live in his old neighborhood, the Lower Ninth Ward, until after Hurricane Katrina, when he moved to a suburb of New Orleans. By age 14, Domino was performing in New Orleans bars. In 1947, Billy Diamond, a New Orleans bandleader, accepted an invitation to hear the young pianist perform at a backyard barbecue. Domino played well enough that Diamond asked him to join his band, the Solid Senders, at the Hideaway Club in New Orleans, where he would earn $3 a week playing the piano. Diamond nicknamed him "Fats", because Domino reminded him of the renowned pianists Fats Waller and Fats Pichon, but because of his large appetite.
Domino was signed to the Imperial Records label in 1949 by owner Lew Chudd, to be paid royalties based on sales instead of a fee for each song. He and producer Dave Bartholomew wrote "The Fat Man", a toned down version of a song about drug addicts called "Junker Blues". Featuring a rolling piano and Domino vocalizing "wah-wah" over a strong backbeat, "The Fat Man" is considered the first rock-and-roll record to achieve this level of sales. In 2015, the song would enter the Grammy Hall of Fame. Domino released a series of hit songs with Bartholomew, the saxophonists Herbert Hardesty and Alvin "Red" Tyler, the bassist Frank Fields, the drummers Earl Palmer and Smokey Johnson. Other notable and long-standing musicians in Domino's band were the saxophonists Reggie Houston, Lee Allen, Fred Kemp, Domino's trusted bandleader. While Domino's own recordings were done for Imperial, he sometimes sat in during that time as a session musician on recordings by other artists for other record labels. Domino's rolling piano triplets provided the memorable instrumental introduction for Lloyd Price's first hit, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", recorded for Specialty Records on March 13, 1952 at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studios in New Orleans.
Dave Bartholomew was producing Price's record, which featured familiar Domino collaborators Hardesty and Palmer as sidemen, he asked Domino to play the piano part, replacing the original session pianist. Domino crossed into the pop mainstream with "Ain't That a Shame"; this was the first of his records to appear on the Billboard pop singles chart, with the debut at number 14. A milder cover version by Pat Boone reached number 1, having received wider radio airplay in an era of racial segregation. In 1955, Domino was said to be earning $10,000 a week while touring, according to a report in the memoir of artist Chuck Berry. Domino had 37 Top 40 singles, but none made it to number 1 on the Pop chart. Domino's debut album contained several of his recent hits and earlier blues tracks that had not been released as singles, was issued on the Imperial label in November 1955, was reissued as Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino; the reissue reached number 17 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. His 1956 recording of "Blueberry Hill", a 1940 song by Vincent Rose, Al Lewis and Larry Stock, reached number 2 on the Billboard Juke Box chart for two weeks and was number 1 on the R&B chart for 11 weeks.
It was his biggest hit, selling more than 5 million copies worldwide in 1956 and 1957. The song was subsequently recorded by Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Led Zeppelin; some 32 years the song would enter the Grammy Hall of Fame. Domino had further hit singles between 1956 and 1959, including "When My Dreamboat Comes Home", "I'm Walkin'", "Valley of Tears", "It's You I Love", "Whole Lotta Lovin'", "I Want to Walk You Home", "Be My Guest". Domino appeared in two films released in 1956: Shake, Rattle & Rock! and The Girl Can't Help It. On December 18, 1957, his hit recording of "The Big Beat" was featur
Miss Ella Fitzgerald & Mr Gordon Jenkins Invite You to Listen and Relax
Miss Ella Fitzgerald & Mr Gordon Jenkins Invite You to Listen and Relax is a collection of material recorded by Ella Fitzgerald between 1949 and 1954, all tracks were arranged by Gordon Jenkins. All tracks were only available on 78rpm singles; the album was compiled and released by Decca in 1955. "I Wished on the Moon" – 3:08 "Baby" – 2:44 "I Hadn't Anyone Till You" – 3:02 "A Man Wrote a Song" – 3:11 "Who's Afraid" – 2:45 "Happy Talk" – 2:25 "Black Coffee" – 3:03 "Lover's Gold" – 3:04 "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" – 2:53 "Dream a Little Longer" – 2:59 "I Need" – 2:40 "Foolish Tears" – 2:57 Ella Fitzgerald – vocal Gordon Jenkins – arranger
Mack the Knife
"Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" is a song composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for their music drama Die Dreigroschenoper, or, as it is known in English, The Threepenny Opera. It premiered in Berlin in 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm; the song has become a popular standard recorded by many artists, including a US and UK number one hit for Bobby Darin in 1959. A Moritat is a medieval version of the murder ballad performed by strolling minstrels. In The Threepenny Opera, the Moritat singer with his street organ introduces and closes the drama with the tale of the deadly Mackie Messer, or Mack the Knife, a character based on the dashing highwayman Macheath in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera; the Brecht-Weill version of the character was far more cruel and sinister and has been transformed into a modern anti-hero. The play opens with the Moritat singer comparing Macheath with a shark and telling tales of his crimes: arson, rape, murder; the song was a last-minute addition, inserted before its premiere in 1928 because Harald Paulsen, the actor who played Macheath, demanded that Brecht and Weill add another number that would more introduce his character.
However and Brecht decided the song should not be sung by Macheath himself, opting instead to write the song for a street singer in keeping with the Moritat tradition. At the premiere, the song was sung by Kurt Gerron. Weill intended the Moritat to be accompanied by a barrel organ, to be played by the singer. At the premiere, the barrel organ failed, the pit orchestra had to provide the accompaniment for the street singer; the song was translated into French as "La complainte de Mackie" by André Mauprey and Ninon Steinhoff and popularized by Catherine Sauvage. The song was first introduced to American audiences in 1933 in the first English-language production of The Threepenny Opera; the English lyrics were by Jerrold Krimsky. That production, was not successful, closing after a run of only ten days. In the best known English translation, from the Marc Blitzstein 1954 version of The Threepenny Opera, which played Off-Broadway for over six years, the words are: Blitzstein's translation provides the basis for most of the popular versions heard today, including those by Louis Armstrong and Bobby Darin, most subsequent swing versions.
Weill's widow, Lotte Lenya, the star of both the original 1928 German production and the 1954 Blitzstein Broadway version, was present in the studio during Armstrong's recording. He spontaneously added her name to the lyrics, which named several of Macheath's female victims; the Armstrong version was used by Bobby Darin. The heard final stanza — not included in the original play, but added by Brecht for the 1931 movie—expresses the theme and compares the glittering world of the rich and powerful with the dark world of the poor: In 1976, a brand-new interpretation of "Mack the Knife" by Ralph Manheim and John Willett opened on Broadway made into a movie version starring Raúl Juliá as Mackie; this version known as "Moritat", is an extension of the story with new lyrics that expound upon the tales of Macheath's trail of activity. Here is an excerpt: This version was performed by Lyle Lovett on the soundtrack of the 1994 film Quiz Show. Darin's and Lovett's versions play over the closing credits, respectively.
This interpretation was recorded by Sting and Nick Cave in the part of the 1990s. A much darker translation by Robert David MacDonald and Jeremy Sams into English was used for the 1994 Donmar Warehouse theatrical production in London; the new translation attempted to recapture the original tone of the song: "Mack the Knife" was introduced to the United States hit parade by Louis Armstrong in 1956, but the song is most associated with Bobby Darin, who recorded his version at Fulton Studios on West 40th Street, New York City, on December 19, 1958. Though Darin was reluctant to release the song as a single, in 1959 it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number six on the Black Singles chart, earned him a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. Dick Clark had advised Darin not to record the song because of the perception that, having come from an opera, it would not appeal to the rock and roll audience. In subsequent years, Clark recounted the story with good humor. Frank Sinatra, who recorded the song with Quincy Jones on his L.
A. Is My Lady album, called Darin's the "definitive" version. Billboard ranked this version as the No. 2 song for 1959. Darin's version was No. 3 on Billboard's All Time Top 100. In 2003, the Darin version was ranked #251 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list. On BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, pop mogul Simon Cowell named "Mack the Knife" the best song written. Darin's version of the song was featured in What Women Want. Both Armstrong and Darin's versions were inducted by the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry in 2016. Brecht's original German language version was appropriated for a series of humorous and surreal blackout skits by television pioneer Ernie Kovacs, between skits, the soundtrack displayed on an oscilloscope. Ella Fitzgerald made a famous live recording in 1960 in which, after forgetting the lyrics after the first stanza, she improvised new lyrics in a performance that earned her a Grammy Award. Robbie Williams recorded the song on h