Wonderful Tunes Provided By Friends. Wild Tangents Provided By Me.

Posts tagged ‘Cole Porter’

Betty Hutton’s Discourse on Discourse

I just read a cool little bio on Betty Hutton and I’ve officially added her to my list of girl crushes! This nifty performance is from the 1943 movie “Let’s Face It” and the song is Cole Porter’s “Let’s Not Talk About Love.” The song was first performed on Broadway and the lyrics were a bit more risque. They were changed in the movie to comply with the Hays Code. You can read the original lyrics here. They contain references to drugs, nudity and something called “spermatology” so you know they’re good!

When I get together with my girlfriends conversation almost invariably turns to matters of love but that seldom happens with my guy friends. That’s probably because most of my guy friends are “not on the market” for one reason or another so such conversations could get awkward fast. But like the song says there are lots and lots of other things to talk about. Most of my guy friends are nerds like me so most talk quickly reverts to The Dork Side. That’s better than squishy old girl talk any day ’cause there’s spaceships, and super powers and sometimes you get to wear your underpants on the outside of your clothes! And yes I realize that last part talks about underpants but it’s still totally geek speak. Such is the power of The Dork Side.

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Cole Porter And The Big Apple

Cole Porter died in 1964 but it seems back in 1991 the world celebrated his 100th birthday in a big way! There are at least 7.2 trillion Cole Porter centennial collection CDs. (Hyperbole? What’s that?) Happily a friend posted a video of one of his favorite songs on Facebook. From the 1930 musical “The New Yorkers,” here’s Lee Wiley singing “Let’s Fly Away.”

That song only seems to appear on the 1992 3-disc set “You’re The Top: Cole Porter in the 1930’s – Cole Porter Centennial Collection.” This set focuses on Porter’s most prolific decade. It contains a lot of songs I’ve never heard. For example here’s a nifty video I found of another song from this collection. It’s from the movie “Broadway Melody 1940.” Fred Astaire and George Murphy performing “Please Don’t Monkey With Broadway.”

I sure wish I was going to New York freakin’ City man! I don’t have a complete “B Goes to NYC” plan in place yet but I’m working on it. Tell me what you think so far:

1. Purchase straw hat, red gingham shirt, and one button overalls

2. Practice hanging onto my hat and gazing up in slack jawed wonder at the tall buildings.

That’s all I have so far but if I can just work in “befriend a street wise orphan and a hooker with a heart of gold,” I think I might just have a recipe for success!

Art Tatum

NOTE: My friend had made a comment about a trip to The Farmer’s Market. Amazing place, do go if you’re ever in LA.

“Begin the Beguine” is a Cole Porter composition that was first introduced by June Knight in the Broadway musical Jubilee. The Beguine is a Latin dance similar to the rumba. I’d always wondered about that but apparently never enough to Google it until now. The song was also featured in the movie “Broadway Melody of 1940”. Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell did a fantastic dance number to the piece.

I had heard of Art Tatum but I’d never listened to him play before. He’s amazing. He was mostly blind and he died young. There’s not much written about him and not much video footage exists either. He was in the 1947 movie “The Fabulous Dorsey Boys” so I found it streaming online and watched it too just to see the man at work. Here’s a YouTube slide show with Art doing “Begin the Beguine”

I try to keep it family friendly on this thread so let me just say if you are a foodie, you are definitely going to need a cigarette after a visit to the LA Farmer’s Market! I am a bit of a foodie and I’d be more of one if there wasn’t so much clean up involved. I regret that I couldn’t spend more time at the Farmer’s Market when I lived close but most of the time I lived there I didn’t have a car. In LA you go nowhere without a car!

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