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Big Band Vocalists.

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Big Band Vocalists.

Post by Merlin on Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:48 am

The latest entry in the PBS fund raising series My Music is an anthology of what they call "the greatest singers of the 1940's at the dawn of their careers," Big Band Vocalists. Hosted by Nick Clooney and Peter Marshall, the special uses vintage performances from motion pictures and television shows both in black and white and color. This is nostalgic footage that will bring back a lot of fond memories for the grandparents among us and perhaps a raised eyebrow or two on any youngsters accidently tuned in.

The audience for this kind of show must inevitably skew old, and since it couldn't skew much older than me, I must acknowledge that I found watching it a joyful journey back in time. Frank Sinatra is a smooth cheeked young boy with dark wavy hair. Peggy Lee is a fresh faced blond. Their voices and their songs are the sounds of my youth, and what could be more endearing. Singers you haven't thought about in years—Buddy Clark, Dick Haymes—come back to awaken great memories. Fifty years from now, I would imagine a new crop of old timers will feel the same about Adele and Katy Perry.

Featuring twenty or so performances, highlights include Bob Eberle and Helen O'Connell singing "Green Eyes" with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Andrews Sisters decked out in WACS uniforms doing their classic "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" with the Harry James band, and Dinah Shore taking an uncharacteristic blues turn with Duke Ellington's Orchestra with "Blues in the Night." Perry Como pokes some fun at his famous laid back image as he fronts the Ted Weems Orchestra in "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now." The younger Crosby boy, Bob, does his "Big Noise From Winnetka" along with a bravura turn by its composer bassist Bob Haggart and drummer Ray Bauduc.

Nat 'King' Cole and Tony Martin do a song and dance routine with "On the Sunny Side of the Street," and Martin does a little impression of Ted Lewis. Louis Armstrong is at his wild eyed best in "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." It seems somewhat odd if not downright absurd that with all the great black vocalists of the period, these are the only singers who managed to make it into the special. The same could be said for the fact that the Duke Ellington Orchestra is the only black band included.

Frank Sinatra sings Cole Porter's "Night and Day" strolling amongst a bevy of beauties playing grand pianos and violins dressed in elegant tales in a typical over the top '40's production number. Helen Forrest, and a largely augmented Harry James Orchestra, do "I Had the Craziest Dream" to open the show in another Hollywood production with a few extras dressed as Indians alongside the bandstand. Alice Faye's "You'll Never Know" and Dick Haymes' "You Send Me" are more subdued and spotlight the singers. Clearly the great moment of the show is the glorious Kate Smith with orchestra and chorus singing Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" complete with the rarely heard verse.

Big Band Vocalists (My Music) is set to air in March as part of special programming on PBS stations. Viewers will have to check local listings for time and date in their area.



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Merlin
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Re: Big Band Vocalists.

Post by it's me on Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:16 am

thanks!
hope we will have some vids! Thumbs up!

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Re: Big Band Vocalists.

Post by melbert on Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:45 pm

Thanks Merlin for the article. I'll have to pay attention to my listings.

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Re: Big Band Vocalists.

Post by LornaDoone on Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:00 pm

Um, no Rosemary Clooney? That's odd.

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Re: Big Band Vocalists.

Post by Merlin on Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:53 pm

Yes LornaDoone she's there...just not mentioned in that article...


"BIG BAND VOCALISTS: MY MUSIC" Premieres March 3 on PBS

NEW SPECIAL PROVIDES A RARE GLIMPSE OF DORIS DAY, PEGGY LEE AND THE GREATEST SINGERS OF THE 1940s AT THE DAWN OF THEIR CAREERS

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TJL Productions announced today that BIG BAND VOCALISTS, the latest installment of the popular MY MUSIC series, will premiere on PBS stations nationwide March 3, 2012. Hosted by Nick Clooney (whose sister, Rosemary Clooney, is among those featured on the show) and Peter Marshall, BIG BAND VOCALISTS showcases the timeless "crooners and canaries" of the 1940s when they started their careers performing with orchestras and dance bands, before they became stars on their own.
(Photo: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] )
Featuring rare archival film footage not seen in years, this nostalgic look back offers romantic favorites from an all-star roster of legendary artists including The Andrews Sisters, Louis Armstrong, Perry Como, Doris Day, Helen Forrest, Dick Haymes, Peggy Lee, Dinah Shore, Kate Smith, Jo Stafford & The Pied Pipers and many more. Among the classic World War II era bands backing up these iconic voices are groups led by Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Harry James and Stan Kenton.
"This music has never gone away and these singers are the reason why," says co-host Nick Clooney. "They are the finest popular vocalists we've ever known."
Highlights include Doris Day singing "It's Magic" in her film debut, Romance on the High Seas, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song; the earliest known footage of Peggy Lee with a big band, singing "Why Don't You Do Right"; and a rousing rendition of "God Bless America" delivered by Kate Smith.
As a companion to the television special, MY MUSIC executive producer TJ Lubinsky has also compiled a new CD collection of Big Band favorites exclusively for PBS. The 5-CD set, available exclusively at PBS.org, offers three volumes of the most popular singers from the era – original classics mastered from first generation tapes – plus two discs featuring new stereo orchestra recordings of timeless Big Band hits.
BIG BAND VOCALISTS: MY MUSIC premieres March 3, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. on PBS nationwide and airs throughout the March pledge period. Check local listings for stations and times.

Merlin
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Re: Big Band Vocalists.

Post by LornaDoone on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:49 am

Thanks Merlin!

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Re: Big Band Vocalists.

Post by Atalante on Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:00 pm

I'd like a worldchannel on youtube because ... Blow horn

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