If I Loved You

If I Loved You was written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein for the 1945 musical Carousel. I’m on the record as preferring Rodgers and Hart but Carousel wins my personal Oscar as it reflected the darkness of the age. It’s when the film noir movement kicked into high gear. I’m not sure if it’s really a movement but Eddie Muller calls it one and who am I to argue with the Noir Czar?

The featured image is of Gordon McRae and Shirley Jones riding and singing. It’s what characters in musicals do. I’ve never broken out in song when seated on an amusement park ride. I skip rollercoasters because of my fear of heights but enough about me: on with the show, this is it.

Frank Sinatra cut an earlier version when he was a skinny teen idol. He was something of a string bean back then, which may have inspired the string dominated arrangement of this version. I made that last bit up.

I’m surprised that there’s not a Dinah Washington cult like that surrounding Billie Holiday. Dinah was a great singer who died tragically at the age of 39. She was married to another famous person: football hall of famer Night Train Lane who outlived her by 59 years. Diana Ross and Billie Dee Williams would have been perfect in those roles too. How does Night Train Sings The Blues strike you for the title of a movie that will never be made?

End of marginally relevant but interesting digression. Back to the music. Quincy Jones. Say no more.

Annie Haslam was the lead singer of the folk rock band Renaissance. I dig her take on Dick and Oscar’s song:

Finally, the reason I selected this week’s tune. A 21st Century version by ELO honcho Jeff Lynne:

What would a Friday Cocktail Hour be without jazz Instrumental versions of the week’s tune? Jazz musicians loved Rodgers’ melodies. Who doesn’t?

This time, we have the Benny Carter Quartet and the Ray Brown Trio but who’s counting? I guess they are.

That’s it for this week. I propose a toast to Richard Rodgers. Thanks for all the great music. It’s what Rodgers and Hart would want. Never argue with them.

One thought on “If I Loved You

  1. Richard Rogers, of average height, worked with Oscar Hammerstein II (who was quite tall) and Lorenz Hart (who was rather diminutive). Late in his career, Rodgers was asked what the difference was in working with Hammerstein and Hart. He said, “Well, when I worked with Oscar, people would say, ‘the tall guy’s all right, but keep your eye on that short son of a bitch.’ When I worked with Lorenz, they said, “the short guy’s all right, but keep your eye on that tall son of a bitch.'”

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