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Russell opens with one of Duke Ellington's seminal compositions, before featuring recordings by Mae West, Blossom Dearie and the late Norman Wisdom [duetting with Joyce Grenfell].

Russell tells the story behind one of Duke Ellington's seminal compositions, Mood Indigo, recorded 80 years ago today (we hear Ella Fitzgerald's version from 1957) after which the focus turns to curious Ellingtonian vocals, the strangest surely being Mae West, whose My Old Flame follows.

This leads seamlessly to Blossom Dearie and Peel Me A Grape. Next, surely the oldest possible centenary connected to The Great American Songbook: that of Julia Ward Howe, born 1819, who wrote the words to Battle Hymn Of The Republic, which Andy Williams sings.

The recent death of Sir Norman Wisdom, coupled with our quest for the nation's favourite duet, gives us Wisdom's memorable meeting with Joyce Grenfell (Narcissus) and this is followed by a discussion of TV ads use of old songs: Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Tony Bennett/The Apprentice) is cited as is the US case of Astrud Gilberto vs the Frito Lay company. We hear the song in question: The Girl From Ipanema. The Sondheim send-up of same The Boy From ... comes next, via Millicent Martin, and then Russell remembers trombonist-bandleader Buddy Morrow (On The Old Potato Farm) and Morrow's co-writer Herb Hendler (The Kid's A Dreamer, sung by Joe Mooney).

Flagging up a concert celebrating vocal groups, Russell reminds us of Paul Whiteman's Rhythm Boys and we close with a neglected masterpiece by Mercer & Arlen, sung by Audrey Morris: I Wonder What Became Of Me.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 17 Oct 2010 21:00

Music Played

  • Ella Fitzgerald

    Mood Indigo

    “Ella Fitzgerald - The Duke Ellington Songbook”

    • Verve.
    • 314 519 838-2.
  • Mae West & The Duke Ellington Orchestra

    My Old Flame

    “Mae West – Come Up And See Me Sometime”

    • Living Era.
    • CD AJA 5604.
  • Blossom Dearie

    Peel Me A Grape

    “Blossom Dearie: My New Celebrity Is You” (2 LPS)

    • Daffodil.
    • BMD 103.
  • Andy Williams - Battle Hymn Of The Republic

    [Backed With ‘Ave Maria’]

  • Joyce Grenfell & Norman Wisdom - Narcissus

    “2nd House With Those Wonderful Comedians”

  • Tony Bennett

    The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

    Forty Years: The Artistry Of Tony Bennett

    • Columbia/Legacy.
    • C4K 46843.
  • Astrud Gilberto & Stan Getz

    The Girl From Ipanema

    “Hollywood Swing & Jazz” 2 CD Set

    • Turner Classic Movies/Rhino.
    • R2 79805.
  • Millcent Martin

    The Boy From …

    “Side By Side By Sondheim” Original London Cast

    • RCA Victor.
    • GD 81851.
  • Buddy Morrow and His Orchestra

    On The Old Potato Farm

    [Backed With ‘The Boogie Woogie March’]

    • HMV (78 RPM Single).
    • B 10199.
  • Nat King Cole

    Solid Potato Salad

    “Nat King Cole Trio: The Early 40’s 1940-1944”

    • Fresh Sound.
    • FSR 139.
  • Joe Mooney

    The Kid's A Dreamer

    “The Erteguns New York: New York Cabaret Music”

    • Atlantic.
    • 7 81817-2.
  • Paul Whiteman’s Rhythm Boys

    So The Bluebirds & The Blackbirds Got Together

    The Chronological Bing Crosby Volume 6: 1929

    • Jonzo.
    • JZCD 6.
  • Audrey Morris

    I Wonder What Became Of Me?

    “The Girls Of Bethlehem Volume One”

    • Bethlehem Classics Jazz Series.
    • 20-40052.