Monday, January 20, 2014

Before There Was Either Rock OR Roll (An Occasional Series): Special A Warner Brothers Television Production Edition

If you saw my piece on Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries last Friday, you probably won't be surprised to hear that I've been obsessing suddenly on pre-rock pop music, particularly of the late 20s and early 30s.

In that spirit then, from 1960, and the vastly entertaining period TV drama The Roaring '20s, please enjoy the adorable and sexy Dorothy Provine performing the 1926 George and Ira Gershwin classic "Someone to Watch Over Me."

This is from an episode of the show called Lucky Charm, starring Cesare Danova (best known as Mayor Carmine DaPasto in Animal House) as Provine's no-goodnik gambler boyfriend; Provine, who plays speakeasy proprietor and star performer Pinky Pinkham, sings the Gershwin classic straight through beginning at the 36minute/55second point, and reprises it at the show's finale, after said gambler boyfriend has been unceremoniously rubbed out. (Or so Pinky thinks.)

I saw this, originally, as a thirteen year old kid, and I remember being absolutely slain by Provine's rendition of the song (which is one of the most gorgeous ever written in English in the first half of the 20th century). When I finally saw the episode again -- last year -- I was pleasantly surprised that I still found it hugely affecting. Why Provine, who was an even better dancer than she was a singer, isn't better remembered these days is beyond me, frankly.

And because I love all of you guys more than food, here -- in glorious 60s stereo -- is the soundtrack LP version.

Said soundtrack is finally on CD, by the way, and you can order it from Amazon over HERE.

You're welcome.


buzzbabyjesus said...

The first record my parents bought when they got married in 1954 was "Louis Armstrong Plays WC Handy". I was born in 1957, and it was some of the first music I ever heard. The opener, St Louis Blues, rocks like a mofo. His phrasing reminds me of electric guitar. Just listen to the first two minutes, and you'll see what I mean. At the seven minute mark Trummy Young launches into the dirtiest trombone solo I know, as rockin as anything Ron Wood, Keith, Duane, or anyone has played with a bottle neck. The end is pure mayhem.

I went to YouTube and turned up this earlier version, which is shorter, faster, and also practically Rock N Roll.

Elroy said...

She was great in The Great Race and It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

misterW said...

He may have been most exposed as the extortionist mayor, holding up poor Faber College for an honorarium, but he's best known as "Actor" on ABC Television's Garrison's Gorillas.

I'm sure of it.

Quite sure.