Saturday, May 13, 2006

Unforgettable 1938 Whiteman

A year following George Gershwin's death, Paul Whiteman conducted a radio tribute to the composer that this blogger considers one of the high points of pop music history. From that concert, a medley featuring Clap Yo' Hands, Do It Again, I Got Rhythm, and Somebody Loves Me. Another blow to the relentlessly-promoted myth that mood music began after WWII:

Gershwin Medley, Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra with Jack Teagarden, trombone; and the Lyn Murray Signers and The Modernaires, vocal. 1938, from radio performance.

What I like most about that arrangement is the way it so beautifully segues between joy and sorrow, thus speaking to the beauty of Gershwin's music and to the pain of the composer's passing. Mood music, indeed.



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