Monday, February 13, 2012

Dark Monday • Broadway Valentine

Annie Lennox Mandy Patinkin Chaka Khan
Ella Fitzgerald Daniel Boys John Barrowman
Clockwise: Annie Lennox, Mandy Patinkin, Chaka Khan, John Barrowman, Daniel Boys, and Ella Fitzgerald.

It is the night before Valentine's Day, so I thought I would pony up to the bar with a few love songs that were from Broadway musicals. But I thought I would offer different interpretations, other than the Broadway cast. I will start out with a fairly famous song, a standard unto itself. It has been sung by many, but few quite like this version, sung by Annie Lennox on New Years Eve 2009. She sings Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man from the 1927 musical Showboat, with music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.

This next song is another great song, sung by some great voices in productions. It is a bit harder to sing, so it doesn't have nearly the amount of covers that the first did, but they are pretty special. This is If I Loved You from the Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II musical from 1946, Carousel. It is being performed by Mandy Patinkin in a live show. He blows me away.

The next entry is from the musical 1937 Babes in Arms, and written by the great songwriting team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. It is truly one of the great songs in the Great American Songbook, with covers by countless singers. This is My Funny Valentine by Chaka Khan, recorded to be a part of the soundtrack to the 1995 film, Waiting To Exhale.

Then next song was written for a 1943 musical that few people have heard of, Speak Low from the 1943 musical One Touch Of Venus composed by Kurt Weill, with lyrics by Ogden Nash. This is an incredible performance by Ella Fitzgerald and Jazz guitarist Joe Pass.

The song I Know Him So Well was an incredible love song from the 1986 show Chess, music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, formerly of ABBA, and with lyrics by Tim Rice. It was sung by the two female leads, about a man who they both loved. I love this version by John Barrowman & Daniel Boys, singing about the man they both loved.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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