Episode 81. Happy Songs (straight up)

Episode 81. Happy Songs (straight up)



Conchita Supervia and Joey, London Zoo, 1930

This week I offset the gloom of last week’s music with straight-up joy. No gimmicks, no goofiness, no weird accents. Whether the composer is Giuseppe Verdi, Ralph Benatzky, Aaron Copland, Oleta Adams, or Harold Arlen, and whether sung by Nancy Wilson, Dorothy Maynor, Tina Turner, Maria Callas, Max Hansen, Conchita Supervia, Barbra Streisand, Mahalia Jackson, Lisa Della Casa, or the Pointer Sisters, all today’s selections are guaranteed to make you feel a little lighter, a little more joyous. And in today’s continuing climate of pandemic uncertainty, who doesn’t need a little more of that?


Richard Strauss, Hermann von Gilm: Dedication [Zueignung], Op. 10/8. Dorothy Maynor; Leopold Stokowski, NBC Symphony Orchestra [Command Performance radio broadcast 15 November 1942]

Richard Strauss, Heinrich Hart: Cäcilie, Op. 27/4. Christa Ludwig; Gerald Moore [Celebrity Recital telecast, first shown 11 July 1962]

Jeff Barry, Andy Kim: Sugar Sugar. The Archies (Ron Dante, Toni Wine, Andy Kim) [1969]

Nina Simone, photographed in July, 1969.

Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse: Feeling Good (The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd). Nina Simone [1965]

Traditional Spiritual, arr. Margaret Bonds: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. Kathleen Battle; James Levine [live Salzburg August 1984]

Kathleen Battle and Leontyne Price

Johnny Nash: I Can See Clearly Now [1972]

Giuseppe Verdi, Eugène Scribe, Charles Duveyrier, Ettore Caimi: Mercè, dilette amiche (I vespri siciliani). Maria Callas; Tullio Serafin, Philharmonia Orchestra [1954]

Alberta Hunter: I’m Having a Good Time [1980]

Orlando de la Rosa, Bobby Collazo, Jose Carbo Menendez, Henri Lemarchand [French text]: C’est ça le vrai bonheur [Esto es felicidad]. Joséphine Baker; Jo Bouillon et son orchestre [1953]

Gioacchino Rossini, Jacopo Ferretti: Nacqui all’affanno… Non più mesta (La Cenerentola). Conchita Supervia; Orchestra conducted by Angelo Albergoni [1927]

Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg: Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe (Cabin in the Sky – film). Frances Wayne; Woody Herman and His Orchestra [1945]

Barbara [née Monique Serf]: Ma plus belle histoire d’amour [telecast Le petit dimanche illustré (17 December 1967)]

John Williams, Marilyn and Alan Bergman: Make Me Rainbows (Fitzwilly). Nancy Wilson; Orchestra conducted by Jimmy Jones [1968]

Johannes Brahms; Felix Schumann: Meine Liebe ist grün [Junge Lieder I], Op. 63/5. Lisa Della Casa, Árpád Sándor [live Salzburg 11 August 1957]

Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler: When the Sun Comes Out. Barbra Streisand; Orchestra conducted by Peter Matz [1963]

George Frideric Handel: Myself I Shall Adore (Semele). Janet Williams; René Jacobs [live Berlin November 1997]

Rube Bloom, Harry Ruby: Give Me the Simple Life. Carmen McRae [1956]

Andy Goldmark, Bruce Roberts: Goldmine. The Pointer Sisters [1986]

Franz Lehár, Bela Jenbach, Heinz Reichert: Einer wird kommen (Der Zarewitsch). Arlene Saunders; Franz Allers, Orchester der Wiener Volksoper [1971]

Ralph Benatzky, Robert Gilbert: Es muß ‘was Wunderbares sein (Im Weißen Rößl). Max Hansen; Paul Godwin Künstler Orchester [1930]

Oleta Adams: Window of Hope [1993]

Charles H. Gabriel, Civilla D. Martin: His Eye Is on the Sparrow. Mahalia Jackson [1958]

Aaron Copland, Horace Everett: It promises to be a fine night… The promise of living (The Tender Land). Joy Clements, Claramae Turner, Richard Cassilly, Richard Fredricks, Norman Treigle; Aaron Copland, New York Philharmonic [1965]

Aaron Copland as photographed by his then-lover Victor Kraft (1915 – 1976).

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