Russell Davies opens The Song Show this week with some interesting new/old releases, such as an unusual two-tempo treatment of Jule Styne's oldie, 'Sunday' sung by Kay Starr. There's a rare performance of Rodgers and Hart's 'Johnny One Note' from their show 'Babes In Arms' by the under-celebrated Wynn Murray (she was in the original cast and her ultimately sad story is recounted by Russell) which comes from a set of Richard Rodgers classics on Retrospective and, in another release from the same company, Jack Teagarden sings a song by John Thomas entitled 'Say It Simple', which in turn sparks an investigation into the phrase 'Say It' in song lyrics: We hear Dick Haymes with Irving Berlin's famous 'Say It With Music'; Billie Holiday and 'Say It With A Kiss', (Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren wrote that); Martha Tilton singing 'Say It With Your Kisses' written by Fred Spielman, while John Pizzarelli gives us the more familiar 'Say It (Over And Over Again) written by Frank Loesser and Jimmy McHugh.
Songs with a similar starting-point include Fran Landesman and Tommy Wolf's 'Say Cheese', which we hear sung by composer Tommy; Jerome Kern's 'She Didn't Say Yes', performed by Margaret Whiting and an earlier, much rarer one of almost the same title ('She Didn't Say Yes, She Didn't Say No, She Only Said Maybe') cut in 1928 by 'The All Star Orchestra' - could this be the song's only recording, asks Russell? Oscar Peterson gives us one of his rare vocal outings on 'What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry', Lee Wiley sings 'You Said It' and The Boswell Sisters wrap things up with 'I'll Never Say 'Never Again' Again'. Oh - and somewhere along the line Doris Day introduces another Fred Spielman song - 'A Purple Cow'!