30 Days of Sheet Music: Day 3, Fly Me to the Moon


Yesterday’s sheet music selection was a classic from the “Great American Song Book,” one of the Gershwins’ best.  Today, despite the astronomical theme of the song, we don’t really hit the musical heights. “Fly Me to the Moon,” is pretty thin musically, but I do love this cover. It may be because it uses that 1960s color palette so evocatively. Children’s writer & illustrator Brian Wildsmith used a similar approach in many of his books.  I also have a soft spot in my heart for the main tune in this particular piece of lounge music lassitude, as I could pick it out on the piano years before I took a single lesson. It is just a basically a scale refracted through a gin fizz.

Seems like there really isn’t any other choice other than Frank Sinatra for a performance.

30 Days of Sheet Music: Day 2, Love is Here to Stay

Love is Here to Stay

George and Ira Gershwin’s “Love is Here To Stay” was first written for a movie, but is remembered as one of the many wonderful songs in the rather silly “An American in Paris,” a movie starring Gene Kelly and directed by Vincent Minnelli. (The score is all Gershwin.) Oscar Levant has a scene-stealing role as pianist buddy of Gene Kelly.

Of course, the tune is marvelous. But I think the words are great, particularly that last verse, “In time the Rockies may crumble/Gibraltar may tumble/They’re only made of clay/But our love is here to stay.”

Here is Blossom Dearie’s performance, one of many worth exploring on YouTube or elsewhere.

30 Days of Sheet Music: Day 1

Smoke_Gets_In_Your_Eyes_smallMy November gig is to raid my large collection of sheet music and post them for my own and possibly others’ amusement.  I’ll say more about the collection as the month winds on–it came down  mostly from my mother and father, both amateur musicians, as am I.

But to start, for people who may not know, sheet music is typically a single printed song with musical notation and lyrics.  It was once the main way songs were distributed, with song pluggers in the early years of say Irving Berlin’s long career, selling sheet music on the street, not recordings.  You would buy the music, go home and plunk through it on your piano.  That world has changed needless to say (well not for so much for me) but the sheet music is still around. Much of it sitting on my piano right now.

The first selection is from Jerome Kern’s “Roberta,” a throwback in many ways (using smoking to evoke a romantic aura?), but still a lovely tune.  Hit the link for a wonderful bit of dancing to the tune by Astaire and Rogers.

And a nice version by Nat King Cole.

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