Duane Keilstrup Broadcast Archives
November 2018

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 11-4-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 321


Presenting, again, one of the best Eddie Hubbard DJ shows and the first in a series highlighting great songwriters. This show features Johnny Mercer while future shows will follow with Irving Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael, and George Gerschwin. Mercer, as Eddie points out, was one of the most loved and greatest lyricists of American music, and his songs 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 Johnny’s 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 whose music 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 11-11-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 322


Eddie Hubbard's series on Great American Songwriters continues once more 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 of Al Jolson singing "I'm Happy," during a tribute event in Berlin's honor and 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 11-18-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 323


Welcome again to a traditional Classics & Curios Big Band Thanksgiving Special from our Archives. If you're thankful for great Big Band recordings from all the way back to 1929, this is a show for you. Andy Griffith begins the show by asking you to "Turn Your Radio On" as we "tune" into God, the generous Giver of our blessings. We'll begin by jumping back to the 1940's as we listen to Evelyn Knight and the Stardusters perform "Powder Your Face with Sunshine." This recording was on "Your Hit Parade" for 15 weeks in 1948-1949, 2 weeks at number 1. Evelyn had a bunch of top 40 hits and was a pioneer in early TV, appearing on shows such as "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Colgate Comedy Hour," and "Abbott and Costello."

Peggy Lee blessed us with many songs, including one back in 1947 with the title "It's a Good Day." This is a song that will pick up your spirits and inspire you to sing right along with Peggy, who incidentally wrote the lyrics. Not surprisingly it was on "Your Hit Parade" for 11 weeks. Peggy hit the big time with Benny Goodman, taking Helen Forrest's place in 1941. Her first million seller was "Why Don't You Do Right" in 1943, and she went on to have top 10 hits in 3 consecutive decades. She had success on radio (for example, "Chesterfield Supper Club" and "Jimmy Durante Show"), wrote several song hits, and even mentored artists such as Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra in the art of jazz singing.

Another feel good tune takes us into the snow season and gets us looking not only at Thanksgiving but also toward Christmas. One of my favorite bands had a really great instrumental version of it: Les Brown's 1946 recording of Irving Berlin's "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," and Les sent the tune on a "Hit Parade" sleigh ride serenade for 7 weeks. It first appeared in the film "On the Avenue" with Dick Powell and Alice Faye and was recorded first by the Mills Brothers in 1938. Later Les and his band of renown performed the song on the Bob Hope's Show, and the reaction was so great that Les' recording company, Columbia, asked him to record it. His response was to tell Columbia to check its vault of recordings because it was already there and had never been released. The Lloyd "Skip" Martin arrangement made it a true classic, and the song was one of the last great big band instrumental hits. Later in 1949-1950 the amazing Mills Brothers put the song back on "Your Hit Parade" for 11 more weeks.

The Mills Brothers give us cause to give thanks for their countless hits, many radio performances, and films. We hear them get softly sentimental with a tune called "Put Another Chair at the Table." A loved one coming home is a special heartfelt blessing, and the Mills Brothers make the most of it, first, as a ballad and, then, in their upbeat swing-touched style making us feel the joy of anticipation of reunited loved ones, as when soldiers return home from war. No group could sing better, ever!

Fred Waring was known as "the man who taught America how to sing" and "America's singing master." President Reagan appropriately awarded him the "Congressional Gold Medal" for his musical contributions to American society. His Fred Waring Banjo Orchestra in the 1920's eventually became Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians. His band performed "You Gotta Be a Football Hero" on radio in 1933 to great acclaim, and he went on to sell millions of records in the 1940's and 1950's. I especially enjoy his early band recordings, and also his popular later choral works like "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." One of my Mother's favorite songs was one that she would often hum in the kitchen, and to her it told of her deep love for her family. That beautiful song: "I'll Always Be in Love with You." She first heard Fred Waring performing it on his 1929 recording. Now she sings it in the Lord's heavenly choir, and the message is still true.

As the great English author Thomas Carlyle said, "Music is well said to be the speech of angels." So it follows that through good music angels often remind us of precious past blessings and anticipate future blessings together. Appropriately Andy Griffith sings "Precious Memories" to end our show as we briefly celebrate Thanksgivings past and present with some of God's blessings in music. My Thanksgiving wish for you, in the words of a Meredith Willson song title, is: "May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You."

On a personal note, I am especially thankful for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who enables us to sing and soar in His glory, grace, love, joy, and eternal hope. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! And please pray in the name of the Lord for the USA! .

Philco Radio Click to hear the Program of 11-25-18

This Week's Classics & Curios Show:

"Echoes of Songs and Laughter"

Episode 324


Eddie Hubbard continues his salute to Great American Song Writers, and the introductory theme for this week's show is appropriately Barry Manilow's "I Write the Songs." We earlier featured Eddie Hubbard's tributes, first, to Johnny Mercer and then to Irving Berlin. This week Eddie salutes Hoagy Carmichael and Paul Simon.

While Simon wrote some really good songs, I'm not quite sure 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 was probably Eddie's intention 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 late 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, 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 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