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57 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 07 October 2012

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Music Played

13 items
  • Image for Julie Covington

    Julie Covington The Friendly Island Song

    “Julie Covington – The Beautiful Changes…Plus”

    See For Miles, SEECD 687

  • Image for Edmundo Ros

    Edmundo Ros The Queen Of Tonga

    “Edmundo Ros Album Of Calypsos, Boleros & Baiaos”

    Vocalion, CDLK 4187

  • Image for Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians

    Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians Pink Elephants

    Recorded 7th October 1932

    Brunswick, 6399 [78 RPM Single]

  • Image for Chris Connor

    Chris Connor Try A Little Tenderness

    “Chris Connor’s Complete Bethlehem Recordings”

    Fresh Sound, FSRCD 454

  • Image for Kay Starr

    Kay Starr Side By Side

    “Songs By Kay Starr” Excellent 2-CD 54 Track Set

    Jasmine, JASCD 451

  • Image for Suggs

    Suggs Hang Out The Stars In Indiana

    “From Soundtrack Of ‘The Edge Of Love”

    UME Imports, 1780244

  • Image for Fats Waller and His Rhythm

    Fats Waller and His Rhythm When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful

    “Fats Waller – Ain’t Misbehavin’ ”

    Vocalion, CDVS 1942

  • Image for Ella Fitzgerald

    Ella Fitzgerald Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered

    “Ella At The Opera House”

    Verve, 8312692

  • Image for Dick Haymes

    Dick Haymes Somewhere In The Night

    “Dick Haymes – Keep It Simple”

    Audiophile, ACD 200

  • Image for Frank Sinatra

    Frank Sinatra Somewhere In The Night

    “Sinatra – The Complete Columbia Years [12 Discs]”

    Columbia Legacy, CK 52869

  • Image for Jo Stafford & Gordon Macrae

    Jo Stafford & Gordon Macrae Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere

    “Jo Stafford & Gordon Macrae: The Old Rugged Cross”

    EMI Gold, 7243 5 33881 2 6

  • Image for Connie Francis

    Connie Francis Somewhere My Love

    “The Connie Francis Collection”

    Castle, CCSCD 325

  • Image for Dick Haymes

    Dick Haymes The Way We Were

    “Keep It Simple” Dick W. Loonis Mcglohon 1978

    Audiophile, ACD 200

  • This Week's Show:

    Our little portrait of Harry Woods only scratched the surface of his busy life so - a few more details here: He went to Harvard and before turning his hand to the music industry was, briefly, a ‘gentleman farmer’. He had a tendency to disappear for, sometimes, weeks at a time and Mark White, in his “You Must Remember This”, described Woods as a maverick who never took song writing seriously. Here’s a telling glimpse from Jule Styne: “My band was playing at the College Inn in Chicago. Harry walks up and says: “You have a wonderful band and you play very well. One day you’ll be writing songs … I’ll tell you what you have to do: You have to write simple. I write on three notes. Anybody can write all over the place – You have keep it simple but harmonically attractive.” (Jule commented “I loved that ‘harmonically attractive’) They became firm friends.

    And in that simple way here are a few more songs that Harry wrote: ‘I’ll Never Say ‘Never Again’ Again”, “Over My Shoulder”, “Paddlin’ Madeleine Home”, “What A Little Moonlight Can Do”, “River Stay’ Way From My Door”, “A Little Kiss Each Morning”, “The Clouds Will Soon Roll By”, “We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye”, “I’m Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover”.

    Harry spent some years in Great Britain, writing for movie musicals of the mid ‘30s, notably ‘My Hat’s On The Side Of My Head’ for Jack Hulbert in ‘Jack Ahoy’ and ‘When You’ve Got A Little Springtime in your Heart’ and ‘Over My Shoulder’ for Jessie Matthews’ star vehicle “Ever Green”.

  • Mentioned On This Week's Show: Clive James

    Mentioned On This Week's Show: Clive James

  • Recommendations:

    Julie Covington’s album “The Beautiful Changes” was re-issued, along with two additional tracks, on the See For Miles label (SEE 687) back in 1999: We recommend it not just because Mr Davies appears on it in a minor capacity but because we think Julie’s voice is sensational and the quality of the writing (by lyricist Clive James and composer Pete Atkin) the sort of material she deserves. On some tracks one recognises in her voice influences of the time – Carol King, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, while on others she proves herself up to the challenges of Pete’s quirky writing and Clive’s brilliant, witty words. Well worth hunting for.

    Jasmine’s collection of “Songs By Kay Starr” (JASCD 451) is a 2 CD set of sides recorded between 1947 and 1956, opening with ‘Steady Daddy’ from December 1947 where, with Dave Cavanaugh’s band, she proves in a single chorus her understanding of the blues – of which there’s too little here! Still, that deficit is more than made up for her great interpretations of a host of good ol’ jazz tunes: ‘Too Busy’, ‘Poor Papa’, ‘After you’ve Gone’, ‘I Just Couldn’t Take It, Baby’, ‘Someday Sweetheart’ and more. There are rarities like ‘Was That The Human Thing To Do’ and a Harry Woods number – “Honeymoon” and while hits are few in this collection that doesn’t signify a drop in standards – great accompaniments from Cavanaugh, Hal Mooney, Frank De Vol and others and, throughout the 54 tracks, that ‘big accurate voice with lots of personality’ – Miss Kay Starr.


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