Saturday, December 1, 2012

Keeping Warm This Winter

Ella Fitzgerald Peggy Lee
Billie Holiday Patti Page
Clockwise: Ella Fitzgerald; Peggy Lee; Patti Page; and Billie Holiday.

As the mercury in the thermometer slowly drops, I was wondering what I might do to keep warm. And when I turned to the ladies of song for an answer, several had answers for me. None less than the brilliant Jazz artist, Ella Fitzgerald. Singing a song written by Sonny Burke, and with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, Ella thought we all just needed a nice cup of "Black Coffee".

However, not everyone thought turning up the heat was the answer. Take, for example, the 1941 recording by Benny Goodman and his orchestra, featuring Peggy Lee & Art Lund on the lead vocals. In a song written in 1941 by Tin Pan Alley writer Ted Shapiro, Peggy tells you right off the bat that she loves the "Winter Weather".

The great Irving Berlin wrote "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" for the 1937 film 'On The Avenue' where it was sung by Alice Faye and Dick Powell. That same year, the song was recorded by the immortal Billie Holiday, once again adding that special touch only Billie could bring to a song.

In 1954, the musical 'The Pajama Game' premiered on Broadway. The show, written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, was an instant hit. That same year, recording star Patti Page recorded the memorable "Steam Heat" and scored a big hit with the tune.

Hope you are staying warm this weekend!

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