Before and "After You've Gone"

If you are just tuning in, Mark and I are in the middle of rewrites for Love Finds Judy Garland, our radio-style theatrical music show.  Last week’s project on my arranging desk was “After You’ve Gone,” based on a 1946 Bing Crosby recording with Eddie Condon and his Orchestra.  Our show takes place in April of ‘44, but the style is close enough — and much more in the groove than Bing’s 1929 recording of the same tune with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.  Why “After You’ve Gone”?  

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Which Pianist Is Playing What?

Well, that’s the twenty-thousand-dollar question when you are transcribing duo-piano parts note-for-note from 1920s recordings, made before stereo recording was invented.  It’s like solving a sonic Rubik’s Cube. 

When we set out to put together a fireworks-filled overture for our Gershwin show — I think it was in 2011, and the show was then titled Syncopated City (which was the original title of “Fascinating Rhythm;” yes we know, too obscure!) — I collected all kinds of marvelous recordings of duo-pianists playing Gershwin.  Listening to Ohman & Arden, Fray & Braggiotti, Fairchild & Rainger was the fun part.  

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"Probably I'll Meet Him at a Soda Fountain"

That’s my favorite line in “Where’s the Boy? Here’s the Girl!,” and it comes after a big romantic swell in the music — exactly the kind of charming songwriting we’d expect from the Brothers Gershwin.  But the song never really took off, perhaps because the show it was written for, 1928’s Treasure Girl, only ran 68 performances.  

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