Acoustic Guitar Masters
R&B, Soul and Funk
Great version of Master of the House from Les Misérables from the tenth anniversary concert, which was taped in October, 1995 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Wikipedia says that Alun Armstrong is Thénardier and Jenny Galloway is Madame Thénardier.
This is from a 1934 Broadway show of the same name. It is old — very old — but brilliant. The contemporary references certainly are lost on most of us. But I can’t think of a more effective song in commenting on the passage of time, the changes in mores and the transition of a culture — all done with a light touch and great humor.
The two-word phrase “anything goes” nails what Cole Porter wants to portray about the era. For my money, Anything Goes is one of the best lyrics ever. Consider these two verses, adjusting of course for when the song was written:
In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Good authors too who once knew better words,
Now only use four letter words
Writing prose, Anything Goes.
Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love) — here sung by Alanis Morissette — is another example of the tremendously sophisticated lyrics of Cole Porter. It’s one long and clever double entendre. The list of great singers who have sung Porter songs essentially is endless.
Eubie Blake was 97 when this recording was made of him playing his Charleston Rag. The audio is only passable.
Blake composed I’m Just While About Harry (long-time collaborator Noble Sissle was the lyricist). The song was written for the musical Shuffle Along, which Wikipedia describes as the first successful Afro-American musical. It opened in 1921.
Fiorello!, a show about New York City mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, is fabulous. Check it out, even if you are not interested in musical theater.
Two of the best tunes are Little Tin Box and Politics and Poker. The show straddled the 1950s and 60s: According to the notes on YouTube–which are from Wikipedia–it opened on Broadway in November 1959 and ran until 1961. The original cast included Howard DaSilva and Tom Bosley, who won his greatest fame as Mr. Cunningham on Happy Days.