Monday, July 14, 2008

Harold Arlen...

Earlier in the year, Beckie Menzie asked me to take part in a Composers show that CCP was producing at the downtown Drury Lane Watertower Theatre. Happily, I was asked to represent Harold Arlen. I will be singing one of my favorite songs he wrote, “I love to Sing-a”. I have been “sing-a' ing” this song for years and years. I originally heard it as part of a Warner Brothers cartoon of the same name featuring a character named, Owl Jolson. In the 80's working with Eric Lane Barnes, I developed the arrangement that I still do to this day. Beckie Menzie's accompaniment sends it into orbit.
In addition to that song, I am paying tribute to the reason I discovered Arlen (and the rest of his music...) MGM's “The Wizard of Oz.” A little known movie... have you heard of it perhaps? I recount my approaching sixth birthday and my request to own a copy of the original soundtrack (just like Miriam Lamp had...). My Mom made two or three attempts. First with some very strange versions of the story... Dorothy with a brooklyn accent, stupid baby songs that were definitely NOT Arlen. Thankfully on July 24th, 1967 the REAL version was in my hands.

The show is tonight and tomorrow. Hope to see you there!