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Harold Arlen sings Harold Arlen May 18, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Harold Arlen, Jazz, Music, Musicals, Theater.

Harold Arlen

I don’t know why no one ever put out an album of Cole Porter doing his own songs — by all accounts he was a wonderful performer. On the other hand, if you ever heard Irving Berlin’s rendition of “Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning,” it would be obvious why he never did an album 😉

Almost none of the classic Broadway songwriters were known for performing their own works — with the conspicuous exceptions of Comden and Green and Harold Arlen.

In the same CD package with the reissue of the original cast of St. Louis Woman, Decca Records is offering Harold Arlen and His Songs, a 1957 album of Arlen performing his best-known songs.

These are wonderful orchestrations and performances, and although I’m not totally in love with his vocal style, there’s certainly enough for any Arlen fan to feast on. Here’s “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive”, another song with lyrics by Johnny Mercer:

Two songs from the period when Arlen and lyricist Ted Koehler wrote for the Cotton Club: “I’ve Got The World On A String”, from 1933:

And also from 1933, “Let’s Fall In Love”:

Although the song is more universally identified with Lena Horne, she was only sixteen years old when Ethel Waters debuted “Stormy Weather” at the Cotton Club. Horne first performed it in the movie of the same name ten years later:

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