Five For Friday: Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart

Composer Richard Rodgers worked with two notable lyricists in his long career. His first partner was Lorenz Hart, with whom he worked from 1920 to Hart’s death in 1943. Together, they wrote 26 musicals and more than 500 songs, most of which are included in the Great American Songbook. Here are five by Rodgers and Hart for your Friday enjoyment. I’ve listed the shows the songs come from below, for further enjoyment.

  1. Ella Fitzgerald, "The Blue Room" (The Girl Friend, 1926)
  2. Jeanette MacDonald, "Isn’t It Romantic" (Love Me Tonight, 1932)
  3. Frank Sinatra, "Have You Met Miss Jones" (I’d Rather Be Right, 1937)
  4. Chaka Khan, "My Funny Valentine" (Babes In Arms, 1937)
  5. The Marcels, "Blue Moon" (Manhattan Melodrama, 1934)

And that’s Five For Friday for December 2, 2022.

Five For Friday: Lerner & Loewe

I profiled the songwriting team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick "Fritz" Loewe back in 2015 and said this at the time:

Alan Jay Lerner (librettist) and Frederick “Fritz” Loewe (composer) wrote ten musicals together, but those shows contained some of the most memorable songs of all time. They met at the Lambs Club in 1942; Loewe was on his way to the restroom, saw Lerner, and asked him if he wrote lyrics, which Lerner confirmed. Lerner was definitely the more dominant member of the team, often rejecting Loewe’s music even though it was perfect, believing that Loewe could do better. Nevertheless, the two men considered each other the best of friends.

Here are five songs by Lerner and Loewe for your listening enjoyment.

  1. Lee Marvin, "Wand’rin’ Star" – from Paint Your Wagon
  2. Frank Sinatra, "Almost Like Being In Love" – from Brigadoon
  3. Stanley Holloway, "With A Little Bit Of Luck" – from My Fair Lady
  4. Leslie Caron, "The Night They Invented Champagne" – from Gigi
  5. Richard Harris, "I Wonder What The King Is Doing Tonight" – from Camelot

Lerner & Loewe, your Five For Friday, November 25, 2022.

Five For Friday: Burt Bacharach and Hal David

I originally wrote about Burt Bacharach and Hal David in 2015. Here’s what I said about them then…

I feature the music of composer Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David a lot here, mostly because they’ve written songs that have been covered by many artists. And the reason they’ve been covered by so many is because they’re good and popular with listeners. Wikipedia tells me that Bacharach has written 73 US and 50 UK Top 40 hits, mostly with David (a full list is here). Besides working with Hal David (who died in 2012), Bacharach has also worked with Bob Hilliard, Carole Bayer Sager, and Hal’s older brother Mack. David also worked with Albert Hammond, Sherman Edwards, and Paul Hampton.

Here are five songs I’ve chosen to represent their work. With as much great music as these two men have produced, it’s hard to pick just five, so I picked the ones I liked best.

  1. Dionne Warwick, “What Do You Get When You Fall In Love”
  2. Gene Pitney, “Only Love Can Break A Heart”
  3. Linda Ronstadt, “Anyone Who Had A Heart”
  4. Sandie Shaw, “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me”
  5. B. J. Thomas, “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”

That’s Five For Friday, November 18, 2022.

Five For Friday: Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil

I wrote about the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil in 2015. This is what I said then:

The husband and wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil met when both were working for Aldon Music, owned by Al Nevins and Don Kirshner. They were elected to the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 1987 and to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, and have received 112 pop, R&B and Country awards from Broadcast Music, Inc. Their website has all of the details of their incredible careers, both as a songwriting team and in collaboration with other songwriters. A partial list of the songs can be found on Wikipedia, where you can see the list of artists who made their songs into hits over the years.

Here are five songs that they have written together. They’ve also written songs separately, along with other songwriters or, in the case of Barry, by himself.

  1. Eydie Gormé, “Blame It On The Bossa Nova”
  2. Paul Peterson, “My Dad”
  3. The Animals, “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place”
  4. The Righteous Brothers, “(You’re My) Soul And Inspirattion”
  5. Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Hungry”

That’s Five For Friday for November 11, 2022.

Five For Friday: Felice and Boudleaux Bryant (Songwriting Teams)

Felice and Boudleaux Bryant were a songwriting team that wrote a lot of songs that were done by The Everly Brothers, but their songs were done by singers as diverse as Little Jimmy Dickens, Tony Bennett, and the Scottish rock band Nazareth (they covered "Love Hurts," which had originally been done by the Everlys). They wrote the songs I’ve chosen for today together, but they wrote songs separately (primarily Boudleaux) and with other collaborators such as Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer, and Mark Webb.

I used the track listing from the album The Hit Songs of Felice & Boudleaux Bryant: 1949-1962 to choose the songs. Unfortunately, the album doesn’t seem to be available on any of the streaming services, but the listing on Allmusic is a good place to start. Here are six songs by them, "Rocky Top" added at the last minute.

  1. Little Jimmy Dickens, "Country Boy"
  2. Tony Bennett, "Have A Good Time"
  3. The Everly Brothers, "All I Have To Do Is Dream"
  4. Buddy Holly, "Raining In My Heart"
  5. Kitty Wells, "I’d Rather Stay Home"
  6. Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, "Rocky Top"

Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, your Five For Friday, November 4, 2022.