Monday, December 22, 2014

Playlist for Sunday, Dec. 28th, 2014: A Fred Astaire New Year's!

 When I was a little girl, my parents used to take me to a very glamorous (well, in my little girl opinion) restaurant that had a dance floor, low lighting, a bank of raised tables all around the perimeter... and a band playing every Saturday night. Enamored as I was with movie musicals, this seemed like a nightclub right out of a Ginger Rodgers/Fred Astaire movie, or one where William Powell would walk in with Myrna (dripping in fox furs) on his arm and ask for "two martinis, very dry...and a table not too near the band." Top hats, white tie, and tails...what an imagination!  I mean, this was (and still is) upstate New York! 

But with that in mind, and New Year's Eve on the horizon, let's envision a little nightclub like that and set Fred Astaire spinning on the "hifi." Stuff that everyone knows, like "Cheek to Cheek" and "The Way You Look Tonight," and stuff that not too many of us know..."The Shorty George," "Got a Brand New Suit," "The Yam," and "I Love Luisa."  Some are from recordings done by Fred, others right from the soundtracks of his many movies...solos, duets, some with the sounds of tap breaks (or roller skate breaks!), others are just Fred's voice, which was soft, expressive and very musical. 

We'll also enjoy three selections from Bobby Short, another "nightclub" bon vivant,  some champagne/party songs, like "The Night They Invented Champagne," and "You Go To My Head," plus three of my favorite character songs, just to get 2015 started in the right way.

Happy New Year, and don't forget your hat and cane when you go out to celebrate!

Top Hat, White Tie and Tails (Fred Astaire, Top Hat)
Steppin' Out With My Baby (Fred Astaire, Easter Parade)
Cheek to Cheek (Fred Astaire, Top Hat)
By Myself (Fred Astaire, The Band Wagon)
Slap That Bass (Fred Astaire, Shall We Dance)
Open a New Window (Angela Lansbury, Mame)
Gooch's Song (Jane Connell, Mame)
It's Today (Angela Lansbury, Mame)
Got a Brand New Suit (Nanette Fabray, Fred Astaire, The Band Wagon)
The Shorty George (Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, You Were Never Lovelier)
The Way You Look Tonight (Fred Astaire, Swing Time)
Let's Call the Whole Thing Off (Fred Astaire, Ginger Rodgers, Shall We Dance)
Things Are Looking Up (Fred Astaire, A Damsel in Distress)
The Yam (Fred Astaire, Carefree)
The Night They Invented Champagne (Karen Wolf, Ensemble, Gigi)
Well, Did You Evah? (Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, High Society)
You Go to My Head (Doris Day, Day by Day)
The Life of the Party (David Wayne, The Happy Time)
S'Wonderful (Bobby Short, Funny Face)
Delishious (Bobby Short, Nice Work if You Can Get It)
But Not for Me (Bobby Short, Girl Crazy)
Let's Misbehave (Helene Yorke, Brook Ashmanskas, Bullets Over Broadway)
I'll Be Glad When You're Dead (You Rascal, You) (Ensemble, Bullets Over Broadway)
I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle (Marin Mazzie, Bullets Over Broadway)
I Love Luisa (Fred Astaire, Oscar Levant, Nanette Fabray, The Band Wagon)
They All Laughed (Fred Astaire, Shall We Dance)
We're a Couple of Swells (Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Easter Parade)
How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I've Been A
              Liar All My Life (Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Royal Wedding)
I Was a Shoe-In (Phyllis Newman, Subways Are For Sleeping)
Confession to a Park Avenue Mother (Charles Nelson Reilly, Parade)
Just One Step (Jessica Molasky, Songs for a New World)
Puttin' On The Ritz (Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Young Frankenstein)
Puttin' On The Ritz (Roger Bart, Shuler Hensley, Young Frankenstein)
Puttin' On The Ritz (Fred Astaire, Blue Skies)

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