I wants to beg for chance just to camp by his door

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The song “Porgy” was written by Jimmy McHugh (music) and Dorothy Fields (words) for the hit Broadway musical revue Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds of 1928. I published a page today on the song, in response to a request from a visitor. Here’s a link to the new page:

Porgy (McHugh. Fields) – © 1928

From Pick Yourself Up: Dorothy Fields and the American Musical, Charlotte Greenspan (2010), Chapter 4 “Give My Refrains to Broadway,” p. 48:

A different slice of southern black life is offered in the song “Porgy.” Dorothy Heyward and DuBose Heyward based their play Porgy on DuBose’s eponymous novel of 1925. The Theatre Guild produced the play, which opened on Broadway in October 1927, just a few months before Dorothy Fields’s first songs were heard in the Cotton Club. She may well have seen Porgy as part of her research into black turns of speech. Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, following their success with Show Boat, had considered writing a musical version of Porgy, which would have had Al Jolson as its star, but they did not follow through with this plan. George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess opened in 1935, seven years after McHugh and Fields wrote the song “Porgy.” A second engagement of the play Porgy opened at the Republic Theater on May 28, 1928 less than two weeks after Blackbirds of 1928 had opened.

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Recordings included in the page:

  • Ethel Waters — recorded on 1 April 1930; originally issued on Columbia 2184D, c/w “(What did I do to be so) Black and Blue”
  • Auld-Hawkins-Webster Saxtet — recorded in NYC on 17 May 1944; issued on Apollo Records 754, as the B-side of “Pick-Up Boys” (Leonard Feather)
  • Adelaide Hall — radio transcription, 1945(?)
  • Louis Prima and his Orchestra, vocal: Lilyann Carol  —  issued in June 1946 on the 78 rpm single Majestic 1051, as the B-side of “Boogie in Chicago” (Louis Prima); recording date disagreement: March 1946 (Discogs.com), April 1946 (78discography.com, 45Worlds.com); VBR MP3 files, archive.org
  • Chris Barber’s Jazz Band with Ottilie Patterson ‎– originally issued on the 1955 album Echoes Of Harlem, (UK) Pye Nixa NJL 1, Pye Nixa NJL.1
  • Anita Ellis — originally released on her 1957 album Hims, Epic LN 3914
  • Teddi King — from her 1957 album A Girl and Her Songs, RCA Victor LPM-1454
  • Abbey Lincoln — from the 1957 album That’s Him!, Riverside RLP 12-251, recorded in NYC on 28 October 1957 — An alternate take (take 1) was released on the 1988 CD reissue of the album, and also included on the compilation album La chanteuse de jazz idéale, released in 1996 in France on the Wea Music label.
    • take 1
  • Nina Simone — recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival, 30 June 1960; released on the 1960 album Nina At Newport, Colpix Records CP 412 (Mono) SCP 412 (Stereo) — For unknown reasons, some pressings of the album give the title of the song as “Blues For Porgy” on both the back of the album cover and the label.
  • Dakota Staton — originally issued on her 1974 album Ms. Soul, Groove Merchant GM 532
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like a half forgotten song

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Today I published four new pages. Here are links to them:

See also the recent page: Alec Wilder slide show and gallery — published 11 April.

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Blackberry Winter (Alec Wilder, Loonis McGlohon)

In the book Alec Wilder in Spite of Himself: A Life of the Composer, by Desmond Stone (1996), in discussing the 1976 collaborations between Alec Wilder and Loonis McGlohon, the author says on page 206:

“Where’s the Child I Used to Hold?” has not been widely performed since Dick Haymes sang it, but that is certainly not true for “Blackberry Winter,” another 1976 Wilder-McGlohon collaboration, one set apart by its haunting sixteenth-note motive and its unexpected harmonic and rhythmic progressions…

Wilder has recalled that he wrote the tune on a day when he was visiting McGlohon and fussing at the piano:

Something I played pleased him so I worked out the idea into a full length melody. He expressed interest in putting a lyric to it. I was convinced that my rhythmically unconventional devices would seriously hinder any attempt to find adequate words. Not at all. Mr. McGlohon, in his usual impeccable taste, found all the right words even if the phrase “blackberry winter” is unfamiliar to Northerners.

Recordings included in part 1, 1976-2009:

Teddi King – vocal
Loonis McGlohon – piano, arrangement
Mel Alexander – bass
Jim Lackey – drums

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  • Keith Jarrett Trio — from sessions recorded at Generation Sound Studios, NYC, October 14, 15 & 16, 1976; released on the 1977 album Bop-Be, (US) Impulse! Records AS-9334, IA-9334, (UK) ABC Records IMPL 8053 — Keith Jarrett – piano, Charlie Haden – bass, Paul Motian – drums
  • Roland Hanna — from the 1980 LP Plays the Music of Alec Wilder, Inner City Records IC 1072
  • Dolly Dawn — from her 1981 album Memories of You, Dawn Records DDI 2001, Audiophile Records ACD-201 — personnel for this  track: Dolly Dawn – vocal, Bucky Pizzarelli – guitar, Phil Bodner – flute
  • Joe Derise — from the 1981 LP House of Flowers, Audiophile AP-153
  • Loonis McGlohon — originally released on the 1981 or 1982* album Loonis in London, Audiophile Records AP-166 — A 1996 CD album titled Loonis and London, Audiophile Records ACD-166, features the eleven tracks from the original album, plus an additional ten tracks.
  • Mike Campbell & Tom Garvin — from the 1984 LP Blackberry Winter, ITI Records ‎JL 009
  • Joyce Breach with Jerry Melaga — recorded in 1985; released in 1995 on the CD album Songbird, Audiophile ACD-199 — personnel, this track: Joyce Breach vocal, accompanied by Jerry Melaga on piano
  • Marlene VerPlanck — from her 1986 album Sings Alec Wilder, Audiophile AP-218, Audiophile (D)AP-218 (gatefold cover)
  • Joyce Breach with the Loonis McGlohon Quartet — from her 1991 CD album Confessions, Audiophile Records ACD-269 — album personnel (from Jazzology.com): Loonis McGlohon – piano, arrangement; Joe Negri – guitar; Virgil Walter – string bass; Reid Hoyson – drums
  • Alexis Cole, accompanied by Harry Pickens on piano — from the 1999 CD album Very Early
  • Valerie Errante, Robert Wason, Ken Meyer, Aleck Brinkman ‎– from the 2000 album Songs Of Alec Wilder, Albany Records TROY 404
  • David Daniels and Craig Ogden ‎– from the 2003 album A Quiet Thing: Songs for Voice and Guitar, on Virgin Classics — album review by Raymond Tuttle at Classical.net
  • Jack Donahue — from the CD album Strange Weather, released in May 2004 on the PS Classics label — album review: Playbill
  • Stéphy Haïk — from the musical program Lambert Wilson chante la Nuit américaine, recorded live at the Opéra Comique in Paris on 7, 8 & 9 June 2005; released 20 October 2005 on the DVD “La Nuit Americaine” — music arranged by Régis Huby

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  • Thomas Marriott · Bill Anschell · Jeff Johnson · John Bishop — from the 2007 CD album The Cool Season – An Origin Records Holiday Collection, Vol. 2, Origin Records 82494
  • Marian McPartland — piano solo from her 2008 CD album Twilight World, Concord Music Group, Inc. ‎CCD-30528; album recorded on 11 & 12 September 2007
  • Solon High School jazz choir “Blame It On Our Youth,” of Solon, Ohio — published on YouTube, 10 May 2009 — featured soloists are video provider momomiller, Sami McAtee, Melanie Breza, and Kami Schmidt

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