Duane Keilstrup Broadcast Archives
August 2018

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 8-5-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 309


Here once again is one of Eddie Hubbard’s best DJ shows. It highlights, as Eddie points out, one of the most loved and greatest lyricists of American music, whose songs truly remain among the best in the Great American Songbook.

Songs with Mercer's lyrics that Eddie chose to feature on this show from June 18, 1989, are among his best and include "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," "In the Cool, Cool ,Cool of the Evening," "Moon River," "Charade," "Days of Wine and Roses," "The Aitchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe," "GI Jive," and "I'm Old Fashioned." Five of the songs are among my favorite songs by any composer, namely, "Accentuate the Positive," "Dream," "Blues in the Night," "And the Angels Sing," and "Glow Worm." Johnny's new lyrics to "Glow Worm" are simply the work of a wordplay genius, and the lyrics of these favorites and others rank among the most brilliant ever written and enhance the brilliance of the music by composers like Jerome Kern, Henry Mancini, Harry Warren, Barry Manilow, Harold Arlen, and Ziggy Elman,

Artists who perform the songs include Hoagy Carmichael, Rosemary Clooney, Andy Williams, Dinah Shore, the Mills Brothers, Bing Crosby and Jane Wyman, and Woody Herman.

Eddie had less than an hour to focus on Johnny's songs, so countless tunes had to be left out, like "Lazybones," "I'm an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande," "That Old Black Magic," "Wings Over the Navy," "Satin Doll," "The Summer Wind," "My Shining Hour," "Jeepers Creepers," "Goody Goody," "Autumn Leaves," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Something's Gotta Give," "Hooray for Hollywood," and "P.S. I Love You."

From Wikipedia: "Mercer wrote the lyrics to more than fifteen hundred songs, including compositions for movies and Broadway shows. He received nineteen Academy Award nominations, and won four.Well regarded also as a singer, with a folksy quality, Mercer was a natural for his own songs such as "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive", "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe", "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)", and "Lazybones". He was considered a first-rate performer of his own work. [Concerning] When October Goes," a melancholy remembrance of lost love. [Barry] Manilow applied his own melody to the lyric and issued it as a single in 1984, when it became a top 10 Adult Contemporary hit in the United States. The song has since become a jazz standard, with notable recordings by Rosemary Clooney, Nancy Wilson, and Megon McDonough, among other performers. For the occasion of Mercer's 100th birthday in 2009 Clint Eastwood produced a documentary film on Johnny Mercer's life and work called ‘The Dream's on Me’ (Turner Classic Movies)."

Mercer's own lyrics found in the title of a song composed by Richard Whiting best describe the man himself and the work of this gifted performer, producer, and lyricist: "Too Marvelous for Words."

Johnny opened his "Johnny Mercer Music Shop" on the Armed Forces Radio Service in 1944 with these words -- words fitting to start Eddie's tribute to Johnny who still makes listeners "feel tip-top:"

"Hi there fellows, won't you feel tip-top? This is Johnny Mercer and his Music Shop All you soldiers, sailors, and Marines out there All you gals in the service, we're on the air."


Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 8-12-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 310


Eddie Hubbard's series on Great American Songwriters returns with a tribute to Irving Berlin. Eddie plays some of Berlin's great hits like "The Girl That I Marry," "Always," "Remember," "Easter Parade," "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "How Deep Is the Ocean," and "Say It with Music." Artists include Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Tony Martin and Fran Warren, Howard Keel, jazz pianist Lou Stein, Ethyl Merman, and Eydie Gorme.

Eddie plays the recordings, first, of Al Jolson singing "I'm Happy" during a tribute event in Berlin's honor and, second, of Irving explaining how he first wrote a song called "Smile and Show Your Dimple" that he turned into "Easter Parade.”

Poignant is his first ballad "When I Lost You,' which Berlin wrote after his first wife Dorothy passed away shortly after their honeymoon. And Eddie adds a tune that Berlin referred to as one of his own top ten songs, "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me."

Throughout the show Eddie plays background music featuring Berlin's "Together," and the tribute concludes with "The Song Is Ended, But the Melody Lingers On," which speaks of Berlin's legacy of songs that undoubtedly will linger forever in the Great American Songbook. Who could forget songs that could have extended Eddie's show easily for another hour, such as "White Christmas," "Puttin' On the Ritz," ""Blue Skies," "God Bless America," "Cheek to Cheek," "I've Got the Sun in the Morning and the Moon at Night," "it's a Lovely Day Today," and "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody."

Berlin often pointed out that he wrote far more songs that did not become hits, such as "I've Got to Go Back to Texas" and "Jake, Jake, the Yidissher Ball Player." But, as "NY Times" reporter Marilyn Berger observed in Berlin's obituary in 1989, "According to Ascap records, 25 Berlin songs reached the top of the charts. By the time he was 30 he was a legend, and he went on to write the scores for 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films.

"Throughout his long life in the world of music he never learned to play in any key but F sharp, but he could tap out tune after tune on the keys of a piano, leaving it to arrangers to write the harmony and to transcribe his melodies. His songs were by turn romantic and tragic, feisty and sentimental, homespun and sophisticated.

'''I really can't read music,' Mr. Berlin once said. 'Oh, I can pick out the melody of a song with one finger, but I can't read the harmony. I feel like an awful dope that I know so little about the mechanics of my trade.' To overcome his inability to play in any key but F sharp, he used a specially built piano that had a hand clutch to change keys. He called it his ''Buick'' and for years he took it with him on trips to Europe. It is now in the Smithsonian Institution.

"''My ambition is to reach the heart of the average American ... Not the highbrow nor the lowbrow but that vast intermediate crew which is the real soul of the country. The highbrow is likely to be superficial, overtrained, supersensitive … My public is the real people.'"

"Morton Gould, the president of Ascap, said …'Irving Berlin's music will last forever,' he said. ''Not for just an hour, not for just a day, not for just a year, but always.'"


Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 8-19-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 311


This week Eddie Hubbard renews his salute to Great American Songwriters, and the introductory theme for this show is appropriately Barry Manilow's "I Write the Songs." In the past two episodes, which are also in our Archives, we featured Eddie Hubbard's tributes, first, to Johnny Mercer and, then, to Irving Berlin. This week Eddie salutes Hoagy Carmichael and gives a special nod to Paul Simon.

While Simon wrote some really good songs, it’s perhaps a bit curious why Eddie chose to include him along with Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael, and, soon, George Gershwin. I never got a chance to ask Eddie before his fatal car accident, but it’s likely Eddie's intention was to recognize a talented modern composer for a growing younger audience. Certainly Simon's songs like "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," "59th Street Bridge," "Scarborough Faire," and "The Sound of Silence" do rank among the best of later 20th century songs.

Hoagy Carmichael's many musical compositions from earlier in the century include songs like "Heart and Soul," "Lazy River," "Lazy Bones," "Skylark," "Georgia on My Mind," "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief," "Rockin' Chair," "In the Still of the Night," "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," "How Little We Know," and perhaps the most popular as well as most recorded American song ever: "Stardust!" Still more tunes by Hoagy, not included in the show, are "Am I Blue," "Darktown Strutter's Ball," "I'll Dance at Your Wedding," "The Nearness of You," "Small Fry," "Two Sleepy People," "Old Folks" [a favorite of mine] and countless more cute or clever novelties like "Little Old Lady" "Sing Me a Song of Nonsenses," and "Huggin' and Chalkin'." Not bad for a guy who was a lawyer.

As with Irving Berlin, not all of Hoagy's songs were big hits even if clever and catchy, such as "Grandma Teeter Totter," "I'm in Dallias Texius," "When the Wild Wild Women Go in Swimmin' Down in Bimini Bay," and even "He's Dead, But He Won't Lie Down."

Artists performing include Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Bea Wain and Larry Clinton, Ray Charles, Bing Crosby and Jane Wyman, Bobby Hackett, and Isham Jones, along with Hoagy, Paul, and Art Garfunkel.

When Hoagland Howard Carmichael wrote "Stardust" in 1927 the American president was Calvin Cooledge and the musical "Showboat" was a hit on Broadway with songs like "Old Man River." Hoagy was a student then at Indiana University and wrote "Stardust" as a jazz melody with his hero Bix Beiderbecke in mind, but Isham Jones and arranger Victor Young soon turned it into a beautiful ballad. Duke Ellington performed it at the Cotton Club, and Cab Calloway and other bands also added it to their performances. Publisher Irving Mills decided it needed lyrics, and soon Mitchell Parish, the "poet laureate of the songwriting profession" wrote the amazingly poetic words which "touch the spirit of anyone who hears [them]." (NPR) So, actually, the lyrics can be enjoyed not only with the classic melody but also as a piece of literature with creative images expressing dreams, desires, longing, and love:

And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadows of my heart.
High up in the sky the little stars climb
Always reminding me that we're apart.
You wander down the lane and far away
Leaving me a song that will not die.
Love is now the stardust of yesterday,
The music of the years gone by.
Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely night dreaming of a song.
The melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you
When our love was new
And each kiss an inspiration.
But that was long ago;
Now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song.
Beside a garden wall
When stars are bright
You are in my arms.
The nightingale tells his fairy tale,
A paradise where roses bloom.
Though I dream in vain
In my heart it will remain
My stardust melody,
The memory of love's refrain.


Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 8-26-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 312


This episode concludes Eddie Hubbard's current series devoted to Great Song Writers, this week featuring George Gershwin in a broadcast from May 20, 1990. Of course, Eddie had many songs to pick in Gershwin's discography including "I Got Rhythm," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Embraceable You," "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," "Love Walked In," "But Not for Me," "They All Laughed," "A Foggy Day in London Town," "Our Love Is Here to Stay," "Nice Work if You Can Get It," "Summertime," "They Can't Take That Away from Me," "Swanee," "Fascinating' Rhythm," "Oh, Lady Be Good," "Fidgety Feet," "(I'll Build a) Staircase to Paradise" (an example of Gershwin's significant role in the development of jazz and blues in American popular music), and "'S Wonderful," and more.

Eddie selected several songs from Gershwin's stage and film compositions, along with a medley from "Porgy and Bess" and Paul Whiteman's recording of "Rhapsody in Blue." Joining Whiteman in performing some of Gershwin's songs are Lena Horne, Mel Torme, Buddy Clark, Michael Feinstein, Jane Froman, Artie Shaw, Ray Conniff, Jack Jones, Sarah Vaughn, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Eddie talks about George's life and also plays a tape recording of George's older brother Ira who wrote many of the lyrics for George's music. Ira talks about the song "A Foggy Day in London Town." Concerning his compositions George said that "'true music must reflect the thought and aspirations of the people and time. My people are Americans. My time is today'." (Wikipedia)

George and Ira Gershwin (with lyricist Buddy De Sylva) proclaimed in a joyful show-stopper song that they'd "Build a Staircase to Paradise with a new step every day." Not exactly sound theologically, but Gershwin's songs did indeed build a staircase to musical paradise with a new song virtually every day! .