Posts Tagged ‘Dorothy Fields’

Pearl Bailey – Big Spender

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Born in 1918 in Newport News, VA, Pearl Bailey was more than an Emmy-winning actress and a singer. She was an author of six books, received a bachelor’s degree in theology from Georgetown University at the age of 67, and served as special ambassador to the United Nations. Last, but certainly not least, she was funny.

Bailey began singing and dancing in Philadelphia’s black nightclubs in the 1930s, opened for Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington in New York in the 1940s, and made her Broadway debut in St. Louis Woman in 1946. Bailey recorded a number of sides for Columbia Records in the 40s and didn’t return to the label until 1966 cutting “If My Friends Could See Me Now” and this week’s signature comedic take on “Big Spender”, both written by composer Cy Coleman and lyricist Dorothy Fields for the hit musical Sweet Charity.

pearl bailey big spender columbia 300x300 Pearl Bailey   Big Spender

Contact & Licensing info:
Published by Notable Music Co. (ASCAP) & Lida Enterprises (ASCAP). Contact: Damon Booth / info@notablemusic.net
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing.
Contact: Sean McGraw / seanmcgraw@dmpgroup.com
Master Controlled by Sony Music Group.

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Sylvia Syms – Poor Everybody Else

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Frank Sinatra loved saloon singers. In fact, it’s all he said that he wanted to be. One he loved most of all was the singer of this week’s top tune, Sylvia Syms. Syms sang tough, sentimental songs in joints in Harlem and on New York’s 52nd Street for years and as a teenager received informal training from the likes of Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie. Sinatra became such huge fan that he later personally conducted one of her albums.

This week’s tune was recorded by Sylvia for Columbia Records and released in support of composer Cy Coleman and lyricist Dorothy Fields‘ smash 1966 Broadway musical Sweet Charity. Columbia who also had the original cast album, went all out in its single’s barrage of the score. Recordings by Barbra Streisand (“Where Am I Going?”, “You Wanna Bet”), Tony Bennett (“Baby Dream Your Dream”), Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme (“If My Friends Could See Me Now”), Jerry Vale (“Too Many Tomorrows”) all notched Top 40 Easy Listening chart positions in time for the show’s debut on Broadway. Interestingly, “Poor Everybody Else” would be cut from this particular show but found a home a few years later in 1973′s Seesaw based on the William Gibson play, Two For the Seesaw.

sylvia syms poor everybody else columbia 300x300 Sylvia Syms   Poor Everybody Else

Contact & Licensing info:
Published by Notable Music Co. (ASCAP) & Aldi Music (ASCAP). Contact: Damon Booth / info@notablemusic.net
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing.
Contact: Sean McGraw / seanmcgraw@dmpgroup.com
Master Controlled by Sony Music Group.

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Barbara Cook – It’s Not Where You Start

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Barbara Cook, the legendary Soprano from Atlanta, a Broadway icon and recipient of a Kennedy Center honor in 2011, has passed away this past week at her home in NYC at age 89. Cook emerged onto the Broadway scene in 1957′s The Music Man for which she earned a Tony and originated performances in Candide, She Loves Me, Carousel, The King and I, and Show Boat.

After a battle with depression and alcoholism in the late 1960s, Cook would make a comeback in the mid-1970s in nightclubs, cabarets and concert halls that would last for the rest of her life. Cook sang for every US President from Carter to Clinton and won a Drama Desk Award for her solo 1987 show, A Concert For Theatre.

This week’s tune was recorded live at a 2004 Lincoln Center concert compiling some of Barbara’s favorite musical-theater tunes. “It’s Not Where You Start (It’s Where You Finish)” comes from the 1973 hit musical Seesaw with a score by Cy Coleman & Dorothy Fields.

When teaching master classes at the Julliard School in recent years, it’s been said that Cook often waved off her students’ preoccupation with vocal perfection, pushing them instead to get at the pain and joy beneath the notes. We had the pleasure of seeing the master at work one night performing at the Cafe Carlyle in 2008. Cook’s ability to transform a room and leave you hanging on every word is something we’ll never forget. Simply one of the most moving performances we’ve ever seen. Goodbye Barbara, thank you for your artistry!

Kitt Cook 300x295 Barbara Cook   Its Not Where You Start
(Eartha Kitt, Cy Coleman, Barbara Cook)

Contact & Licensing info:
Published by Notable Music Co. (ASCAP) & Lida Enterprises (ASCAP). Contact: Damon Booth / info@notablemusic.net
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing.
Contact: Sean McGraw / seanmcgraw@dmpgroup.com
Master Controlled by DRG.

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Dionne Warwick – Where Am I Going

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Brill Building songwriter Burt Bacharach noticed one particular back up singer on a Drifters session harmonizing on tune he wrote and would sign the singer to the production company he owned with his lyricist partner, Hal David in 1962. Dionne Warwick and her new writing team would go on to make pop music history, scoring massive hits with “Walk On By”, “Make It Easy On Yourself”, “Alfie”, and dozens more. Warwick is second only to Aretha Franklin as the most-charted female vocalist of all time with over 80 singles making all Billboard charts combined.

This week’s Top Tune appears on her 1968 album Promises, Promises. Her 11th studio album, it was produced by Bacharach and David which included three songs from the musical they composed of the same name. “Where Am I Going” had been a big hit for composer Cy Coleman and lyricist Dorothy Fields from their own smash musical Sweet Charity two years earlier and the tune would enjoy more success with cuts by Barbara Streisand and Dusty Springfield during the same period.

6a66c0888adf449796bcf8111e9e2f89 300x300 Dionne Warwick   Where Am I Going

Contact & Licensing info:
Published by Notable Music Co. (ASCAP) & Lida Enterprises (ASCAP). Contact: Damon Booth / info@notablemusic.net
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing.
Contact: Sean McGraw / seanmcgraw@dmpgroup.com
Master Controlled by Warner Music Group.

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