Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

WHERE WOULD YOU GET YOUR COAT? — Cole Porter — 1929

February 15, 2012

This is a splendid example of how Cole successfully worked around the censorship of the day — resulting in an incredibly sly, sexual, naughty and brilliant piece of songwriting. From the musical “Fifty Million Frenchmen”…

As a buyer for a firm that deals in ladies’ fur coats
I get sort of pessimistic now and then
‘Cause so many women who invest in our coats
Spend so many evenings out with other men.
I wish they’d simply take a few notes
From the animals who make their coats.

For if dear little ermines in Siberia
On their dear little husbands didn’t dote,
If the dear little ‘possum
Didn’t let their husbands boss ’em,
Tell me where would you get your coat?
If the dear little caraculs in Syria
All their time to their mates did not devote,
If the dear little sables ever told their husbands fables,
Tell me where would you get your coat?
If you modern wives led more domestic lives
And started singing “Home, Sweet Home”
There’d be no divorce in Paris and
Of course there’d be no more annulments in Rome.
For if the dear little foxes had hysteria
When their mates fondly grabbed them by the throat,
If the dear little rabbits weren’t so bourgeois in their habits,
Tell me where would you get your coat?

If the dear little lamb in Lithuania
Ever had a flirtation with a goat,
If home life didn’t thrill a South American chinchilla,
Tell me where would you get your coat?
If the dear little skunk in Pennsylvania
Over her dear little husband didn’t gloat,
If the dear little beaver
Were a birth control believer,
Tell me where would you get your coat?
Now if each wife I see
Would only try to be
Content to make her husband’s bed,
Cholly Knickerbocker might have nothing more to write
And Town Topics would cease to be read.
For if the dear little mink should get a mania
For some hell-raising gigolo of note,
If the dear little squirrel
Quit her mate
‘Cause he was virile,
Tell me where would you get your coat?

Now, you can’t get much more brilliant than that, in my humble opinion…

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TRUE LOVE — Cole Porter — from the film, “High Society” — 1956

February 14, 2012

Of my very favourity Cole Porter music and lyrics — simple, straightforward, breathtaking and beautiful…

Sun-tanned, wind-blown
Honeymooners at last alone,
Feeling far above par,
Oh, how lucky we are
While

I give to you and you give to me
True love, true love.
So on and on it will always be
True love, true love.
For you and I
Have a guardian angel on high
With nothing to do
But to give to you and to give to me
Love forever true.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

I INTRODUCED — Cole Porter — 1919

January 30, 2012

Written the same year that Cole married Linda.  From the stage production “Hitchy-Koo of 1919” and introduced by Raymond Hitchcock.  This is the type of Porter I adore — his clever knack of taking names and references of current day and weaving them into song.  Other songs of note from this production include OLD FASHIONED GARDEN and MY COZY LITTLE CORNER OF THE RITZ.  The song, I INTRODUCED was used in the 1965 production of Ben Bagley’s “The Decline and Fall of the Entire World as Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter”, which starred Kaye Ballard and Harold Lang.

Though it’s not quite generally known

That I’m a one-horse power behind the throne,

Yet lots of people are in clover,

Simply due to things that I’ve put over.

Just pick up your fav’rite magazine,

Peruse the ads and you’ll see what I mean,

For ev’ry partnership you see is wholly owing to me.

 

For I presented Mister Morgan to Mister Harjes,

I presented Mister Peet to Mister Rogers,

I introduced Mister Cross to Mister Mark,

Mister Lord to Mister Taylor,

Mister Tilford to Mister Park.

It’s entirely thanks to me,

Though few people know it,

That that dear old Mister Chandon

Met that dear old Mister Moet,

But the greatest introduction that I ever put through

Was when I presented myself to you.  

CA, C’EST L’AMOUR — Cole Porter — Sept 1957

January 27, 2012

From the film Les Girls starring Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall, and Taina Elg — this was introduced by Taina Elg…

When suddenly you sight

Someone for whom you yearn,

Ca, c’est l’amour.

And when to your delight

She loves you in return,

Ca, c’est l’amour.

Then dawns a dreary day,

Your darling goes away

And all is over, you are sure.

But, oh, when she returns

And loves you as before,

You take her in your lonely arms

And want her even more,

Ca, c’est l’amour,

Ca, c’est l’amour. 

PILOT ME — Cole Porter — Published August 1928

January 26, 2012

There is a fine version of this song out there as recorded by the late, great Bobby Short!!

I’ve got an aeroplane,

Entirely new,

A cozy, narrow plane,

Just built for two.

I’ll let you drive it, dear,

And when you do,

Up where it’s private, dear,

We’ll bill and coo.

 

Pilot me,

Pilot me,

Be the pilot I need.

Please give my ship

A maiden trip,

And we’ll get the prize for speed.

So cast away your fears,

Strip my gears,

Let me carry you through.

And when afraid you are

Of going too far,

Then I’ll

Just pil-

Ot you.

 

 

Dedicating 2012 to Cole Porter…

January 24, 2012

Anyone who knows me and the music I love to sing won’t be surprised if you tell them that I have an immense affection for Cole Porter.  The affair began many years ago.  Love his music…love his lyrics.  What’s not to admire?  The man was nothing short of brilliant when it came to songwriting.  For sometime now I’ve thought that I should do my part and share with the world out there the deliciousness that is and was “Cole Porter” — and for this reason I have decided to spend some time posting lyrics of Mr. Porter’s creation, with the hopes that perhaps you – out there – might dig a little deeper, and enjoy the work of this incredible tunesmith. 

I’ve decided that my first posting of a Cole Porter lyric must be that of I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU.  In an era where it was quite fashionable for the upper set to arrive at the theatre 15 or 20 minutes after the curtain had gone up – so that everyone could get a good look at what you were wearing to the show, Cole positioned this song within the first few minutes of the first scene.  The show was 1934’s Anything Goes, and this composition was regarded as the best in the show:  

My story is much too sad to be told

But practically ev’rything leaves me totally cold

The only exeception I know is the case

When I’m out on a quiet spree

Fighting vainly the old ennui

And I suddenly turn and see

Your fabulous face.

 

I get no kick from champagne.

Mere alcohol doesn’t thrill me at all,

So tell me why should it be true

That I get a kick out of you?

Some get a kick from cocaine.

I’m sure that if I took even one sniff

That would bore me terrific’ly too

Yet I get a kick out of you.

I get a kick ev’ry time I see

You’re standing there beside me

I get a kick though it’s clear to me

You obviously don’t adore me.

I get no kick in a plane

Flying too high with some guy in the sky

Is my idea of nothing to do,

Yet I get a kick out of you.    

singing…For the Love o’ Nat

April 12, 2011

I’m not certain when Nat King Cole became my favourite male vocalist…but he did. So, in 2005 — the year marking the 40th anniversary of his passing — I put together a program of songs, hired a piano player, and sat in a little restaurant in Collingwood and sang the songs.

The evening was wonderful! An evening of memories and melodies, all tied together by one man — that tremendous crooner of the twentieth century, Nat King Cole. The songs, of course, are rather timeless: “A Blossom Fell”, “Route 66”, “Mona Lisa”, “Straighten Up and Fly Right”, “Pretend”, “Nature Boy”, “Paper Moon”, “Autumn Leaves”, “When I Fall In Love” and, yes, many, many more. I should mention “Stardust”, too! How appropriate that one of the most regarded compositions of the twentieth century, be recorded to such great effect (the best version, in my humble opinion) by one of the greatest vocalists of the same century.

So, more recently I ventured to make it more a “show” rather than merely a “program”. The song-list remains very much the same as it was those few years back, however, the accompaniment has grown somewhat. I decided to add both rhythm guitar and upright bass — in direct keeping with the instrumentation of the original Nat King Cole Trio. Decided to add some rather large, projected images of Nat during his life, to join me on stage — and there we have it — “For the Love o’ Nat”. That’s why I sit and sing this particular music and tell these particular stories — for the love of that music, performed so wonderfully by such an inspiring entertainer — Nathaniel Adams Coles.

Hope you can make it out for one of my concerts this May. Check out my Calendar for dates and locations!

Cheers!

Dean

Happy 111th!!

November 23, 2010

I often think of Hoagy Carmichael and his music — his music, and the music of Porter, Kern, Arlen, Rodgers & Hart, Mercer and the like are a great passion of mine.   But today is Hoagy’s day.  Born on November 22nd, 1899 in Bloomington, Indiana, his is still a brilliance worth celebrating today.  I must admit, however, that as time marches on, and generations pass, his name is not as commonplace as it once was.  

While this musical genius’ name might not readily ignite recollection to the average Joe, any number of his songs usually do!  “The Nearness of You”, “Heart & Soul”, “Georgia On My Mind” and “Stardust” remain four of the most recorded songs of the last 100 years.  Add to that treats like “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening”, “Skylark”, “Riverboat Shuffle”, “Ole Buttermilk Sky”, “Lazybones”, “Two Sleepy People” and so many more…

So the next time you hear one of these classics — still being recorded today — think not of only the performer lovingly translating them, but the man who created them, for our great enjoyment.  Happy Birthday Hoagy!!

Old spaces…

April 20, 2010

I was recently in the Hamilton area for the purpose — in part, anyway — of promoting my Burlington performance of “For the Love o’ Nat”. Following my performance in Collingwood (May 7) I will be in Burlington, May 8th and then in London on Mother’s Day Sunday the 9th. What began as a day of delivering posters and brochuers to various community theatre groups turned into a visitation of four spaces which bore witness to my development as an entertainer.

Burlington Little Theatre (Theatre Burlington), Village Theatre in Waterdown, The Players’ Guild of Hamilton and my main haunt, Hamilton Theatre Inc (HTI) are all community theatre groups with slightly different bents, and who’ve all been around for various numbers of decades. Through working with these groups I learned so very much and carry with me so many wonderful memories. It was good for my soul just to stand in those performance and rehearsal spaces and it was a treat to catch up with some fellow actors, directors and the like from my ‘teeth-cutting’ days. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been part of it all.

Peter, Frank and Nat…

February 24, 2010

Last week’s Pretty River Academy production of Peter Pan was a wonderful success! Congratulations to the grade four, five and six classes for a really super job!

Back in 2005 I performed my first tip of the hat to the great Nat King Cole. That year marked the 40th anniversary of his passing, so I put together a program of some of his greatest (and some of my favourite) songs and performed them in a local Collingwood dining establishment. Accompanied by a piano, the evening was very well received — an absolute pleasure to sing!! This past year I resurrected the ‘Nat’ program for a couple of local audiences including a visiting bus tour from the Niagara area — again, to wonderful, wonderful feedback. I cannot tell you how I adore the timber and cadence of that man’s magnificent voice!

So…the development stage continues as I now prepare to perform — I have given it an official name now — “For The Love o’ Nat – Chronicling the Life, Times and Music of Nat King Cole” with not just piano, but piano, upright bass and rhythm guitar. This band formation reflects the instrumentation of the original “King Cole Trio” and promises to add significantly to the program. I perform the show at Pretty River Academy on Saturday March 6th — tickets are available by calling 705 444-5376. Longtime friend and stellar musician/writer/arranger/etc Steve Thomas is once again my Musical Director — very, very happy about that!

Within days of the March 6th concert, I’m back in Rat Pack Land, performing the role of Frank Sinatra in the C2 Entertainment production of “Memories of the Rat Pack”. March and into early April are busy with dates that take us from London Ontario to Germany, then Austria, back to Germany, back to London followed by a couple weeks at the Rockton Fairgrounds in Ontario! You can check out the Calendar on the site here to get specific dates. Perhaps we can connect in Vienna?

Dean