Episode 34. Charm

Episode 34. Charm



Elisabeth Welch

I have planned a series on five different artistic traits that guide a singer through their artistic journey. The designations are my own, and as such, purely idiosyncratic. Charm is defined as “the power or quality of giving delight or arousing admiration.” In this episode, we examine singers of many genres singing music from many lands. Featured artists include Bidú Sayão, Carlos Gardel, Mary Martin, Régine Crespin, Richard Lewis, Victoria de los Angeles, Eileen Farrell, Ezio Pinza, Patachou, Judy Holliday, Hugues Cuenod, Elisabeth Welch, Ninon Vallin, Richard Dyer-Bennett, Jorma Hynninen, Susannah McCorkle, Barbara Cook, Ninon Vallin, Teresa Berganza, Yvette Guilbert, and many others. Because there is so much charm and enchantment in the world, the episode threatened to stretch to an untenable length, I will present additional examples of Charm in the next episode. I also pay tribute to the Lebanese-American mezzo-soprano Rosalind Elias, who died a week ago at the age of 90.


Stephen Schwartz: No Time At All. Elisabeth Welch with Jonathan Cohen, piano; David Rose, bass; Will Hill, drums

John Waters: The Dashers arrive at Dawn Davenport’s (Female Trouble). Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce

Wally Harper, Paul Zakrzewski: Sing a Song with Me. Barbara Cook with Wally Harper (Live at Carnegie Hall, 26 January 1975)

Anna Wheaton

Jerome Kern, P.G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton: Till the Clouds Roll By (Oh, Boy!). Anna Wheaton, James Herrod

Edith Massey as Aunt Ida in Female Trouble, freshly sprung from her birdcage

Bob Crewe, Bob Gaudio: Big Girls Don’t Cry. Edith Massey

Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields: On the Sunny Side of the Street. Eileen Farrell, Luther Henderson and His Orchestra

Herbert Stothart, Harry Ruby, Bert Kalmar: I Wanna Be Loved by You (Good Boy). Marilyn Monroe

Vincent Youmans, Buddy De Sylva, arr. Ben Ludlow: I Want To Be with You (Take a Chance). Mary Martin; Lehman Engel,

Ezio Pinza and Lana Turner in a still from Mr. Imperium (1951)

Harold Arlen, Dorothy Fields: Let Me Look at You (Mr. Imperium). Ezio Pinza; Johnny Green

Martha Flowers photographed by Carl Van Vechten

George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin: Love Walked In. Martha Flowers; Don Shirley

Arthur Schwartz, Howard Dietz, arr. Glenn Osser: Confession. Judy Holliday, Buster Davis

Yvette Guilbert as drawn by Henry Toulouse-Lautrec

Léon Xanrof: Le fiacre. Yvette Guilbert

Jacques Offenbach, Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy: Ah! quel dîner je viens de faire! (La Périchole). Régine Crespin, Alain Lombard, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Marcel Delannoy, Jean Limozin, Henri Lyon: Complainte de l’homme serpent (Philippine). Hugues Cuenod, Maurice Jaubert

Seymour Barab, Robert Louis Stevenson: The Swing (A Child’s Garden of Verses). Russell Oberlin; Seymour Barab

Traditional, arr. Richard Dyer-Bennet: The Quaker Lover. Richard Dyer-Bennet, voice and guitar

Reynaldo Hahn. For all you lovers of Venezuelan bears.

Charles Gounod: Chanson de Printemps. Reynaldo Hahn, voice and piano

Reynaldo Hahn: Tyndaris (Études latines). Ninon Vallin; Reynaldo Hahn, piano

Eduardo Calvo, Osvaldo Fresedo: Arrabalero. Carlos Gardel; José Ricardo, Guillermo Barbieri, guitars

Jorma Hynninen’s tango album

G.H. Maros Rodriguez: La Cumparsita. Jorma Hynninen; Markku Johansson, Vantaan Viihdeorkesteri

Antônio Carlos Jobim: Águas de Março [Waters of March]. Susannah McCorkle

Elly Ameling’s second crossover album, from which this gem stems.

Antônio Carlos Jobim, Vinícius de Moraes: Garota de Ipanema. Elly Ameling; Louis van Dijk, piano; John Clayton, bass

Bidú Sayão being sculpted by Waylande Gregory.

Brazilian Folk Song, arr. Ernani Braga: São João da Ra Rão. Bidú Sayão; Milne Charney, piano

Anonymous, 16th Century: Dindirindín. Teresa Berganza; Narciso Yepes, guitar

Vicky of the Angels

Ernesto Fusté, Aurelio Rioja: Hablame de amores. Victoria de los Angeles; Gerald Moore, piano

Victor Herbert, Rida Johnson Young: ‘Neath the Southern Moon (Naughty Marietta). Rosalind Elias; Lehman Engel

George Brassens: Maman, Papa. Patachou, George Brassens; Léo Clarens et son orchestre

Georges Brassens and canine pal.
The rare LP from which this performance comes.

Juan de Anchieta, arr. Arne Dørumsgaard: Con amores, la mia madre. Gérard Souzay; Dalton Baldwin, piano

Welsh Folk Song: Ar hyd y nos [All Through the Night]. Richard Lewis, Charles Mackerras

1 thought on “Episode 34. Charm”

  1. Dearest Daniel, I very much enjoyed this episode on Charm. When you solicited suggestions, my mind was blank. Today I cannot believe I let you get away with crafting an episode on Charm without including JULIE ANDREWS! Or is it only Lesbians whose pants are CHARMED RIGHT OFF by her singing? XOXOXO, K.

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