Monday, November 5, 2012

Dark Monday • St. Louis Woman

St Louis Woman

For today's tribute to Broadway musicals, I thought to feature 'St. Louis Woman', a musical with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It was based upon the novel 'God Sends Sunday' by African-American writer Arna Bontemps. The musical opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York on March 30, 1946 and ran for 113 performances. The original cast included Robert Pope, Harold & Fayard Nicholas, June Hawkins, Pearl Bailey, Ruby Hill, Rex Ingram, and Milton J. Williams. While many may not react when hearing the title, I know there are at least three songs that are great American Songbook standards. I will start with the wonderful Pop/Jazz classic, "Come Rain Or Come Shine". It is a wonderful song, and today I will bring you a performance by the glorious Mary J. Blige.

The next song you should know is the delicious "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home". The song was written for a character playing a women of, shall we say, questionable virtue. After all, "free and easy, that's my style" says a lot about a character in the 1940s. It was sung by many different singers, from Judy Garland to Sammy Davis, Jr. It was also featured on 'The Second Barbra Streisand Album', and also on her television special, 'Color Me Barbra'. Sit back and enjoy a 24-year-old Barbra singing "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home".

Now, I loves me some Audra McDonald, especially when she raises that amazing voice to a classic by Arlen and Mercer. So when I found the clip of Audra singing "I Had Myself A True Love", I was delighted. This song, a beautiful look at lost love and heartache, is perfect for Audra, and perfect for me to hear.

Hope your Monday was great!

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