Saturday, May 14, 2011

Harold Arlen & Billy Barnes revisited...with a little Streisand just for fun!

Happy Saturday! If you follow my blog, you know that yesterday there were issues with the official blog site. In the process, my blog from Thursday is destroyed. Only a very small portion remains. I spent five hours creating that blog! And the response to that blog was incredible. It was about the Billy Barnes tribute that took place at The Pantages Theatre Monday night in Los Angeles and the efforts of Fred Barton and Scott Thompson to bring ONE FOR MY BABY to Broadway. Thank you for your continued support!
With grateful XOXOXs!
Richard Skipper 845-365-0720 What do we Harold Arlen, Billy Barnes, and myself have in common? We are are all Aquarians!

Harold Arlen was a life-long camera buff. He shot this 16mm footage during the portrait sittings for the film and visits to the set.

Judy Garland
Ray Bolger Jack Haley
Bert Lahr
Margaret HamiltonHAROLD ARLEN
(Born Hyman Arluck)
February 15, 1905 - April 23, 1986

His music is everywhere! You have probably heard, and maybe even hummed, a Harold Arlen song today and didn't even know it! Though he is most noted for composing the songs for the film "The Wizard of Oz," particularly Over the Rainbow,
which was recently named the Number One Song of the Century,
he has written over 400 songs including favorites like: It's Only A Paper Moon, Stormy Weather,
I've Got the World on A String - Michael Bublé - "I've Got The World On A String" Live at Madison Square Garden, and Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive. With this blog, I invite you to learn a little bit more about Harold Arlen, one of the Great Twentieth Century Composers, and his music. At the official Harold Arlen website,, you can discover how Harold developed his musical career, browse through his catalogue of compositions, and listen to several samples of his works. Take a look at his life in pictures by visiting their on-line photo album. Find out where you can see and hear Harold Arlen's works performed in "What's New" and then shop for your favorite Harold Arlen tunes from the comfort of your own home. For the media, we have provided an avenue for licensing and easy access to press releases and updates on various projects.
With over 400 songs to his credit, it is impossible to mention every song and show ever written by Harold Arlen in this blog.There is a wonderful biography of Harold Arlen called Rhythm, Rainbows and Blues by Edward Jablonski and is a great read.Portions of this blog are adapted from that book. On February 15, 1905, Samuel and Celia Arluck gave birth to twin boys; one weighing seven pounds and the other, a mere four pounds. The larger of the two sadly died the following day. The Arlucks quickly changed their surviving son's name to "Hyman," after his twin that passed. Seven years later, on November 11, 1911, the Arlucks had their second and last son, Julius. The family of four resided in a modest two-family home in Buffalo, New York.Father of the household, Samuel Arluck, was a celebrated cantor in Buffalo's rapidly growing Jewish community. Around the time when Julius was born, Samuel Arluck took a position as cantor of the Pine Street synagogue where he directed the choir. It was here that Hyman first started singing and developing his musical talents.Hyman loved to sing, but was extremely shy. In hope that her eldest son would become a music teacher, Celia introduced a piano into the Arluck home. Hyman began studying around the age of nine and quickly outgrew the neighborhood piano teacher. He therefore went on to study with the leading local teacher, who was also a conductor, organist and composer.Hyman, like most nine and ten year-old piano students, did not like to practice. Though he found the classical pieces that he studied beautiful, he was much more interested in modern music. Hyman was twelve years old when he played his first popular composition, Indianola. Something about the ragtime syncopation and unconventional harmonies stirred and captured his imagination. He began to collect jazz records, which sounded strange coming from the Victrola accustomed to playing what his father liked - traditionally Hebraic melodies and Italian opera. Desperate to hear more modern music, whenever a new jazz band came to Buffalo, Hyman Arluck managed to see them perform. Today is my friend Audrey Lavine's birthday. In honor of her birthday, here she is singing a Harold Arlen classic: Audrey is one of my favorite singers! But don't take my word for it:
2001 Bistro Award, Outstanding Vocalist for "Dancing"
2001 MAC Award, Female Vocalist for "This is No Dream"
2002 Nightlife Awards Finalist, Outstanding Cabaret Female Vocalist for "Simply Lavine"
2003 MAC Nominee, Female Vocalist for "Simply Lavine"
2003 MAC Nominee, Recording of the Year - Female Vocalist for "At Home With Arlen"
2004 MAC Nominee, Female Vocalist for "Old Postcards"
2004 MAC Nominee and 2003 Nightlife Awards Finalist,
Vocal Duo for Goin' Home: Songs of the South (with Scott Coulter)(At home with Harold Arlen is available at Amazon)

"Ill Wind (You're Blowin' Me No Good)" is a song composed by Harold Arlen, with lyrics by Ted Koehler, it was written for their last show at the Cotton Club Parade, in 1934.

In the 1940s, he teamed up with lyricist Johnny Mercer, and continued to write hit songs like "Blues in the Night", "That Old Black Magic," "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive," "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" and "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)".

"As Long as I Live" composed by Harold Arlen, with lyrics by Ted Koehler, it was written for their last show at the Cotton Club Parade, in 1934. It was introduced by Avon Long and Lena Horne.

Thank you Harold Arlen for the gifts you have given us!

Revisiting Billy BarnesBilly Barnes (born January 27, 1927) is a composer and lyricist from Los Angeles, California. His hit songs include "(Have I Stayed) Too Long at the Fair" recorded by Barbra Streisand (in her album "Color Me Barbra"), and "Something Cool", recorded by jazz vocalist June Christy. Barnes is best known for his theatrical revues, including The Billy Barnes Revue, Billy Barnes' People, Billy Barnes' Party, Billy Barnes' L.A.,and Billy Barnes' Hollywood. Other productions with Barnes' songs include Movie Star, and Blame It on the Movies (1988).An assertive composer and skillful pianist, Barnes is affectionately known as the "Revue Master of Hollywood." (Barry Williams hosted a musical tribute last Monday night in Los Angeles at The Pantages Theatre for The Actors' Fund).
Barnes started writing musical comedy sketches while still in high school, and continued while at UCLA. He started collaborating in college with Bob Rodgers, and their first professional revue, a Cabaret Concert Show, was staged in 1956 in Los Angeles. His revues were the springboard for many talented comics and singers, including Bert Convy, Ken Berry, Jo Anne Worley, Jackie Joseph, Ann Morgan Guilbert, Donald Ross, Dick Patterson, Dave Ketchum and Barnes' former wife, Joyce Jameson.On television he wrote special material and original musical production numbers for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, The Danny Kaye Show,The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, Cher and The Carol Burnett Show. He wrote opening production numbers for several Academy Awards telecasts. He has composed comedic and topical songs for many of show business's greatest personalities including Lucille Ball, Bette Davis and Angela Lansbury. He wrote the songs for the 1976 television musical adaptation of Pinocchio starring Sandy Duncan in the title role, Danny Kaye as Mister Geppetto and Flip Wilson as the Fox.Barnes had a recurring acting role on Mad About You in the 1990s as "Mr. Edlin", the musical director and pianist of a community theatre.Barnes received The Los Angeles Theatre Alliance Governor's Award for his lifetime achievement in the theatre. He resides in the Hollywood Hills above Los Angeles.Barbra in 2006 - an awesome rendition of this song - maybe a lot more meaningful this time in her career.
She originally sang it in Color Me Barbra which is the title of the seventh studio album by Barbra Sreleased on Columbia Records in 1966. It reached #3 in the US albums charts and was certified GOLD by the RIAA. It was also the title of Streisand's second CBS TV special on March 30, 1966
and the first in color when it was still a novelty for TV, hence the title.
Here is another number from that Special (not by Billy Barnes)In one of her most powerful vocals, Barbra ends her 2nd television special singing about new love and new beginnings.
The beginning clip of Barbra's 2006 concert including the first song, Starting Here, Starting Now.
"Yesterdays" is a 1933 song composed by Jerome Kern, with a lyric by Otto Harbach.
It was written for the show Roberta (1933), where it was introduced by Irene Dunne.

Barbra Streisand performed the song in her TV special "Color Me Barbra" and included a recording on her album Color Me Barbra (1966).
Marianne Faithfull recorded it on her 1987 album Strange Weather.

Barbra Streisand And Ray Charles, Live - November,03,1973! Incredible voices! Wonderful!Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), better known by his shortened stage name Ray Charles, was an American musician. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records.He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums.While with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company.Frank Sinatra called Charles “the only true genius in show business.”

Barbra Joan Streisand (pronounced /ˈstraɪsænd/; born April 24, 1942) is an American singer, actress, film producer and director. She has won two Academy Awards,eight Grammy Awards,four Emmy Awards,a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award,a Peabody Award,and is one of the few entertainers who have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award.She is one of the most commercially and critically successful entertainers in modern entertainment history, with more than 71.5 million albums shipped in the United States and 140 million albums sold worldwide.She is the best-selling female artist on the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) Top Selling Artists list, the only female recording artist in the top ten, and the only artist outside of the rock and roll genre.Along with Frank Sinatra, Cher, and Shirley Jones, she shares the distinction of being awarded an acting Oscar and also recording a number-one single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.Streisand holds the record for the most top ten albums of any female recording artist - a total of 31 since 1963.Streisand has the widest span (46 years) between first and latest top ten albums of any female recording artist. With her 2009 album, Love Is the Answer, she became one of the only artists to achieve number-one albums in five consecutive decades.She has released 51 Gold albums, 30 Platinum albums, and 13 Multi-Platinum albums in the United States."Funny Girl to Funny Lady" Tv special, 1975: "I Like Him/It's Only A Paper Moon". Duet with James Caan.
Barbara Joan Streisand was born on April 24, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York, to a Jewish family, the daughter of Emmanuel and Diana (née Rosen) Streisand. She is the second of two children fathered by Emmanuel (the elder child is Sheldon), who was a respected high school teacher. Fifteen months after Streisand's birth, Emmanuel died of a cerebral hemorrhage and the family went into near-poverty.She attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn and joined the Freshman Chorus and Choral Club. Diana Rosen Streisand remarried Louis Kind in 1949 and gave Streisand a half-sister, the singer Roslyn Kind. (Kind "is 9 years younger" than Barbra)
Barbara Streisand became a nightclub singer while in her teens. She wanted to be an actress and appeared in summer stock and in a number of Off-Off-Broadway productions, including Driftwood (1959), with then-unknown Joan Rivers. (In her autobiography, Rivers wrote that she played a lesbian with a crush on Streisand's character, but this was later denied by the play's author.) Driftwood ran for only six weeks.When her boyfriend, Barry Dennen, helped her create a club act—first performed at The Lion, a popular gay nightclub in Manhattan's Greenwich Village in 1960—she achieved success as a singer. While singing at The Lion for several weeks, she changed her name from Barbara to Barbra.One early appearance outside of New York City was at Enrico Banducci’s hungry i nightclub in San Francisco. In 1961, Streisand appeared at the Town and Country nightclub in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, but her appearance was cut short; the club owner did not appreciate her singing style.Streisand appeared at Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit in 1961.(Q&A Session at the Vienna concert of Barbra Streisand, June 22nd 2007.)Streisand's first television appearance was on The Tonight Show, then hosted by Jack Paar, in 1961, singing Harold Arlen's "A Sleepin' Bee".
Orson Bean, who substituted for Paar that night, had seen the singer perform at a gay bar and booked her for the telecast (Her older brother Sheldon paid NBC for a kinescope film so she could use it in 1961 to promote herself. Decades later the film was preserved through digitizing and is available for viewing on a website).Jack Harold Paar (May 1, 1918 – January 27, 2004) was an American radio and television comedian and talk show host, best known for his stint as host of The Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962. Time magazine's obituary noted that: "His fans would remember him as the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: Before Paar and Below Paar."
Streisand became a semi-regular on PM East/PM West, a talk/variety series hosted by Mike Wallace, in late 1961.
Westinghouse Broadcasting, which aired PM East/PM West in a select few cities (Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago and San Francisco), has since wiped all the videotapes because of the cost of videotape at the time.Audio segments from some episodes are part of the compilation CD Just for the Record, which went platinum in 1991. The singer said on 60 Minutes in 1991 that 30 years earlier Mike Wallace had been "mean" to her on PM East/PM West.He countered that she had been "self-absorbed." 60 Minutes included the audio of Streisand saying to him in 1961, "I like the fact that you are provoking. But don't provoke me."
In 1962, after several appearances on PM East/PM West, Streisand first appeared on Broadway, in the small but star-making role of Miss Marmelstein in the musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale. Her first album, The Barbra Streisand Album, won two Grammy Awards in 1963. The Barbra Streisand Album is the debut album by Barbra Streisand, released in 1963 on Columbia Records, catalogue CL 2007 in mono and CS 8807 in stereo. It peaked at #8 on the Billboard pop albums chart, and has been certified a gold album.
Following her success in I Can Get It for You Wholesale, Streisand made several appearances on The Tonight Show in 1962. Topics covered in her interviews with host Johnny Carson included the empire-waisted dresses that she bought wholesale, to her "crazy" reputation at Erasmus Hall High School.It was at about this time that Streisand entered into a long and successful professional relationship with Lee Solters and Sheldon Roskin as her publicists with the firm Solters/Roskin (later Solters/Roskin/Friedman).
Streisand returned to Broadway in 1964 with an acclaimed performance as entertainer Fanny Brice in Funny Girl at the Winter Garden Theatre.
The show introduced two of her signature songs, "People" and "Don't Rain on My Parade." Because of the play's overnight success she appeared on the cover of Time. In 1966, she repeated her success with Funny Girl in London's West End at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
From 1965 to 1967 she appeared in her first four solo television specials.
Streisand has recorded 35 studio albums, almost all with Columbia Records. Her early works in the 1960s (her debut The Barbra Streisand Album.
Initially, Columbia label president Goddard Lieberson resisted signing Streisand to a contract, finding her style too close to the cabaret singers he disliked and too far from the understated approach of Jo Stafford or Rosemary Clooney(Rosie singing one of my favorite Christmas songs.), having recorded for the label in the 1950s.
After exposure to a television interview of Streisand by Mike Wallace on PM East/PM West and pressure from associates, Lieberson relented and agreed to sign her.
In Just For the Record..., Streisand indicated that The Second Barbra Streisand Album, The Third Album, My Name Is Barbra, etc.) are considered classic renditions of theater and cabaret standards, including her slow version of the normally uptempo Happy Days Are Here Again. My Name Is Barbra is the first of two studio album tie-ins to Barbra Streisand's Emmy Award-winning CBS debut My Name Is Barbra television special, which aired on 28 April 1965, directed and choreographed by Joe Layton. Barbra's brother shot the front cover photograph when she was five.
She performed this in a duet with Judy Garland on The Judy Garland Show. Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand sing "Get Happy" and "Happy Days Are Here Again" in a counterpoint duet. This performance is from episode 9 of the Judy Garland Show, broadcast on October 6, 1963. It is available in a number of DVD "Judy Garland Show" collections which seem to go in and out of print. U.S. viewers can probably buy or rent one of these DVDs online; worldwide viewers are probably out of luck.
Garland referred to her on the air as one of the last great belters. They also sang There's No Business Like Show Business with Ethel Merman joining them.( you have to do today is bask in the LOVE and talent that surrounds you!
(Buy Rhythm, Rainbows and Blues by Edward Jablonski at Amazon)
(Thanks to Wikipedia as my main source for information)

Tomorrow's blog will be YOU TELL ME...the first three suggestions I receive!

Richard Skipper,

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