The whole America as melting pot thing was big when I was growing up. The fact that a Jewish songwriter, Irving Berlin, wrote two classic songs about Christian holidays was often cited in support of the melting pot.
As for me, I’m dreaming of a White Christmas after the Easter Parade. Should I wear a Santa hat or an Easter bonnet? Beats the hell outta me.
Back to Irving Berlin month. It continues with a song that went through many changes after it was written in 1917. The melody was originally used for a sappy sounding ditty called Smile and Show Your Dimple. In 1933, Berlin wrote new lyrics for the melody, and it became this week’s song, Easter Parade.
I didn’t know the story of the song before reading its Wikipedia entry, I know it as the theme song for the 1948 Astaire-Garland musical. That’s where we begin this week’s Irvingfest or is that Berlinpalooza?
Sarah Vaughan and Billy Eckstein’s Irving Berlin album is a classic. I love the sound of their two big voices intertwined. It’s magic.
Next up, my homey, Antoine Domino:
Peter Cottontail? I was teased about that as a kid, but it didn’t bother me because Rosie Clooney wasn’t involved.
Steve Goodman is best known as a folkie, but he turned his hand to the seasonal Berlin classic:
What’s a Good Friday Cocktail Hour without a jazz instrumental version of the week’s song? This time, trumpet titan Roy Eldridge and FCH regular Oscar Peterson.
Have I told you lately how much I love Oscar Peterson?