Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.
The weekend has finally arrived.
The sun has set.
The evening sky has erupted.
Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.
Songwriter/musician Sammy Cahn once said Irving Berlin was one of the two most gifted men of American words and music. The other, said Cahn, was Cole Porter. One of the greatest contributors to the Great American Songbook, Cole Porter died 46 years ago this month.
Tonight, the music and lyrics of Cole Porter.
In his book American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950, Alec Wilder writes about this Porter tune, “This is a very good, essentially simple song, in spite of its half note triplets, but, as is almost always the case with Porter songs, it is popular as much because of its lyric as its melody. This, however, is not true for jazz musicians who like it for its looseness, which provides ample room for improvisation. Needless to say, the half note triplets are, for the most part, ignored by them.”
Max Morath writes in The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Popular Standards, “Jazz musicians go for it--they love most anything of Porter’s--those long melody lines and the beat, often Latin-tinged, that is so often implicit in his theater songs.”
“My story is much too sad to be told,
but practically everything
leaves me totally cold.
The only exception I know is the case,
when I'm out on a quiet spree,
fighting vainly the old ennui
and I suddenly turn and see,
your fabulous face…”
I had the pleasure of working with a talented radio personality and writer during the 1980’s at WUWM and he and I became wonderful friends. Obie Yadgar approached me one day and inquired if he could produce a news segment for the all-news morning drive format. This request was unusual because Obie was our premier classical music announcer, not a reporter, though I knew he was an exceptional writer.
Sure, I said, what have ya got?
Seems one of the biggest of the big band era stars had stopped in
Artie Shaw was a bona fide superstar during the height of the big bands making him a favorite of the gossip columnists. His wives included actresses Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, and Evelyn Keyes (“Gone with the Wind”).
I’ll never forget Shaw telling Obie on tape about the heydays of the big bands when his orchestra would fill a ballroom far beyond fire department regulations. The dance floor would get so crowded and so hot that women would pass out. With nowhere to go, since they were held up from hitting the floor by the mass of dancers, the bodies would be hoisted up and passed like students at a football game and deposited on the stage.
Mom, this one’s for you.
"When they begin
it brings back the sound
of music so tender
it brings back a night
of tropical splendor
it brings back a memory of green
I'm with you once more
under the stars
and down by the shore
an orchestras playing
and even the palms
seem to be swaying
when they begin
to live it again
is past all endeavor
except when that tune
clutches my heart
and there we are swearing to love forever
and promising never
never to part
a moments divine
what rapture serene
to clouds came along
to disperse the joys we had tasted
and now when I hear people curse the chance that was wasted
I know but too well what they mean
so dont let them begin the beguine
let the love that was once a fire
remain an ember
let it sleep like the dead desire I only remember
when they begin the beguine
oh yes let them begin the beguine
make them play
til the stars that were there before
return above you
till you whisper to me
once more darling I love you
and we suddenly know what heaven we're in
when they begin
Next up, another timeless treasure.
Trumpeter Chris Botti is joined by a young lovely he knows "Everyone in the world has a crush on."
Yep, I think I've got a crush on her as well.
Katharine McPhee was named one of the 100 Most Beautiful People of 2007 by People magazine. She was voted No. 2 on FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in The World of 2007, and was also No. 47 on Maxim's Hot 100 Women of 2007.
It's natural McPhee would be paired with Botti who People Magazine voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in 2004.
Time for one more.
It's impossible to select a Cole Porter composition and declare it his best.
But this one comes mighty close.
That’s it for this segment.
Have a great weekend.
We close with a song that displays that Cole Porter was not just an excellent composer, but he was a prophet, too.
These lyrics were perfect in 1934, and they’re just as perfect today.
"In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
was looked on as something shocking.
Now heaven knows, anything goes.
Good authors too who once knew better words,
now only use four-letter words writing prose,
The world has gone mad today,
and good´s bad today, and black´s white today,
and day´s night today,
When most guys today that women prize today
are just silly gigolos.
So though I´m not a great romancer,
I know that you´re bound to answer
when I propose, anything goes."
Cole Porter ( 1891-1964)