A while back I posted some observations on what my ears heard as the influence of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Bali Ha’i” (from the 1949 South Pacific soundtrack) on Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and some others. A deleted scene from The Wizard of Oz (1942), though, has me wondering if Rodgers and Hammerstein actually borrowed from Harold Arlen. The expensive, elaborate scene included an Arlen song (lyrics by E.Y. Harburg) called “The Jitterbug,” in which Dorothy and friends dance frenetically under the influence of the song title’s creatures (only the grainy version above, shot by Arlen himself, exists). Although “The Jitterbug” never made it to the final cut of the film, it did appear in a 1942 stage musical version, which is one way it might have seeped into Rodgers and Hammerstein’s consciousness.
Archive for January, 2014
Pete Townshend says this about the Everlys in his Who I Am:
“Best of all, I found two great albums by the Everly Brothers, one was called Rock and Soul, the other Rhythm and Blues… The Everly Brothers played a number of R&B classics, but it was their original material–or the very obscure material they introduced as covers–that I thought exceptional. ‘Love Is Strange’ is an eerie bluegrass song that the Everlys transformed into a driving showcase for jangling electric guitars and nasal vocals…There were few artists that all four of us respected and enjoyed, and the Everly Brothers were among them.”
Townshend’s actually talking (I assume) about the Rock’n Soul and Beat & Soul albums, both great. As for the “bluegrass” origins of Mickey and Sylvia’s “Love Is Strange” (written by Bo Diddley), I’m all ears. Anyone?