top of page

Sunday, April 3, 2022

I worked most of Saturday on today’s post and then accidentally deleted it. Since we are on our way to Arezzo for the antique fair, I will not have time to rewrite much of what I really loved.

Most of my draft was musical in nature. I wrote what I thought was an excellent essay about Barbara Cook, her arranger conductor Wally Harper, and the great lyricist Dorothy Fields. I will try to quickly recreate some of my thoughts.

I first saw Cook in 1955 in a show called “Plain and Fancy.” She was very good. Then, in 1957, she originated the role of Marian the Librarian opposite Robert Preston is the original ”Music Man”. Cook was a pretty, petite ingenue and had a distinguished career on Broadway.

Primarily due to a serious drinking problem successfully resolved in 1977 or so, she put on a good deal of weight, ending her days as an ingenue.

She then, with the help of the brilliant Wally Harper, established a great career as a concert/cabaret star. We saw her dozens of times, primarily at the Cafe Carlyle. Cook never hit a bad note. Only Sinatra was in her class when interpreting a lyric. She was brilliant, and ultimately was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor. No one arranger/conductor was as influential in creating a superstar than Wally Harper. Cook was still great after Harper died, but a great deal was lost. I think Ralph Sharon was tremendously influential in making Tony Bennett’s career but Bennet also managed to find other great arranger/ conductors.

Cook recorded many great albums, and you cannot go wrong getting any of them. Probably my very favorite is “Close as Pages in a Book”. It is a compilation of 13 of the great lyrics written by Dorothy Fields. If you are not familiar with her, I suggest you start learning. Fields also wrote the Book of many well-known musicals, the best known being “Annie Get Your Gun”.Fields came from a very prominent theatrical family and wrote with many composers. Many of her great songs are written with Jimmy McHugh. If that name is not familiar, more education is needed.

The album I analyzed so carefully, but then lost, contains what I think is the best recorded version of a great song called “Don’t Blame Me”. It is also Harper at his best, and has a great jazz fiddle. Cook does this song in a faster tempo than I usually prefer, but this is great.

On the album are also great versions of “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”, “On The Sunny Side of the Street”, “I’m In The Mood For Love”, and “Exactly Like You”. Be honest: how many of you know all these great standards were written by one woman who is not, but should be, a household word.

I am jealous of those who are not familiar with the work of Cook and Fields. You have a great deal of entertainment pleasure awaiting you.

I also wrote about Bob Scobey and his Frisco Jazz Band but I will rewrite those comments another time.


In the real world, Governor Ron DeSantis is going to go to war with Disney. He does not like Disney’s opposition to the "don’t say ’gay’” legislation De Santis just signed into law. How that can meet constitutional muster is beyond me.

Florida has become a very scary place and it is getting scarier all the time. The vast majority of our Legislature all seem to have had frontal lobotomies. When I moved to Florida in 1965, the population was not the most intelligent in the nation, but we did not have as many people who are either idiots and/or just do not care.

I used to say De Santis was “Trump Light”. Now I say Trump is “DeSantis Light”. I am also beginning to regard Florida as one of those backwards States where if you get divorced, you are still brother and sister. Yes, Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough and a few other areas have liberal thinking citizens, but even in these places there are way too many who do not realize and/or care that Florida and the entire country is going down the toilet.

Fox News, apparently, favors De Santos over Trump for President.

Wonder what Trump has to say after he finished talking to war criminal Putin to undermine President Biden. People, whether you like our President or not, as Americans is it not our patriotic duty to support him and our country on the world stage? Other great civilizations throughout history have come and gone. I truly think that, unless we take our collective heads out of our asses, and pull together, we could well be coming to the end of this civilization. Almost half of America just does not care.


The Republicans care only about one thing and that is winning. They do not care how they do it. The Democrats need a strong message and they need to act fast. What do you think that message should be?


I rewrote this post between 1 and 2 am when I should be sleeping. I noted that Kansas was all over Villanova from the opening gun. I am surprised.


In a few hours, we venture out for the first time in two weeks to go with Stefano and Luca to the antique fair in Arezzo. Let’s hope I do okay. Remember I have not walked more than 3000 steps in any day since I got sick. Think I am all right now.

It is now 2:10 a.m. I got something rewritten. Yeah Jimmy! Anything more that follows after this will be written when I get up in a few hours. I do not intend to take my I Pad on the train.


Woke up to see Duke lost.

Off to Arezzo

Go Ukraine.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page