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|Song by Kurt Weill|
|Text||by Bertolt Brecht |
translated by Elisabeth Hauptmann
|Language||English, trans. from German|
The "Alabama Song"—also known as "Moon of Alabama", "Moon over Alabama", and "Whisky Bar"—is an English version of a song written by Bertolt Brecht and translated from German by his close collaborator Elisabeth Hauptmann in 1925 and set to music by Kurt Weill for the 1927 play Little Mahagonny . It was reused for the 1930 opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and has been notably covered by The Doors and David Bowie.
|Single by Lotte Lenya|
|B-side||Denn wie man sich bettet|
|Recorded||24 February 1930|
|Songwriter(s)||Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill|
The "Alabama Song" was written as a German poem and translated into idiosyncratic English for the author Bertolt Brecht by his close collaborator Elisabeth Hauptmann in 1925 : Hauspostille), a parody of Martin Luther's collection of sermons. It was set to music by Kurt Weill for the 1927 play Little Mahagonny (Mahagonny-Songspiel) and reused for Brecht and Weill's 1930 opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny), where it is sung by Jenny and her fellow prostitutes in Act I. Although the majority of all three works is in German, the "Alabama Song" retained Hauptmann's broken English lyrics throughout.and published in Brecht's 1927 Home Devotions (German
Brecht and Weill's version of the song was first performed by the Viennese actress and dancer Lotte Lenya, Weill's wife,in the role of Jessie at the 1927 Baden-Baden Festival's performance of Little Mahagonny. The first recording of the song—by Lenya for the Homocord record label—came out in early 1930 under the title "Alabama-Song"; it was rerecorded the same year for the Ultraphon record label for release with the 1930 Leipzig premiere of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, despite Lenya not being a member of that cast. She continued to perform and record the song throughout her life, including for her 1955 album Lotte Lenya Sings Kurt Weill (Lotte Lenya singt Kurt Weill), released in the United States under the title Berlin Theater Songs.
|"Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)"|
|Song by The Doors|
|from the album The Doors|
|Released||January 4, 1967|
|Songwriter(s)||Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill|
|Producer(s)||Paul A. Rothchild|
The song was recorded in 1966 by the rock group The Doors, listed as "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)". The melody is changed and the verse beginning "Show me the way to the next little dollar..." is omitted. On the album version, lead singer Jim Morrison altered the second verse from "Show us the way to the next pretty boy" to "Show me the way to the next little girl"but, on the 1967 Live at the Matrix recording, he sings the original "... next pretty boy".
For The Doors' version, keyboardist Ray Manzarek plays the Marxophone along with the organ and keyboard bass.
|Single by David Bowie|
|B-side||"Space Oddity (1979 version)"|
|Released||15 February 1980|
|Recorded||2 July 1978|
|Studio||Good Earth, London|
|Songwriter(s)||Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill|
|Producer(s)||David Bowie, Tony Visconti|
|David Bowie singles chronology|
Bowie, a Brecht fan, incorporated the song into Isolar II, his 1978 World Tour. He cut a version at Tony Visconti’s studio after the European leg of the tour, and in 1980 it was issued as a single to hasten the end of Bowie’s contract with RCA.
With unconventional key changes, the track "seemed calculated to disrupt any radio programme on which it was lucky enough to get played".Nevertheless, backed with a stripped-down acoustic version of "Space Oddity" recorded in December 1979, the single reached No. 23 in the UK. Although Bowie also changed the "pretty boy" line like Morrison, he sang Weill's original melody.
Bowie would appear in a BBC version of Brecht’s Baal , and release an EP of songs from the play. He performed "Alabama Song" again on his 1990 Sound+Vision Tour and 2002 Heathen tours.
The German 1982 rerelease of the single included Jacques Brel's song "Amsterdam" as an additional B-side.
The song has been covered often:
Linda van Dyck performed it on Swedish television show Forsta Samlek on May 10 1972.
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny is a political-satirical opera composed by Kurt Weill to a German libretto by Bertolt Brecht. It was first performed on 9 March 1930 at the Neues Theater in Leipzig.
The Threepenny Opera is a "play with music" by Bertolt Brecht, adapted from a translation by Elisabeth Hauptmann of John Gay's 18th-century English ballad opera, The Beggar's Opera, and four ballads by François Villon, with music by Kurt Weill. Although there is debate as to how much, if any, Hauptmann might have contributed to the text, Brecht is usually listed as sole author.
Kurt Julian Weill was a German composer, active from the 1920s in his native country, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht. With Brecht, he developed productions such as his best-known work The Threepenny Opera, which included the ballad "Mack the Knife". Weill held the ideal of writing music that served a socially useful purpose. He also wrote several works for the concert hall. He became a United States citizen on August 27, 1943.
"Mack the Knife" or "The Ballad of Mack the Knife" is a song composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for their 1928 music drama The Threepenny Opera. The song has become a popular standard recorded by many artists, including a US and UK number one hit for Bobby Darin in 1959.
Lotte Lenya was an Austrian-American chanteuse, diseuse, and actress, long based in the United States. In the German-speaking and classical music world, she is best remembered for her performances of the songs of her first husband, Kurt Weill. In English-language cinema, she was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as a jaded aristocrat in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961). She also played the murderous and sadistic Rosa Klebb in the James Bond movie From Russia with Love (1963).
Baal is an EP by David Bowie, comprising recordings of songs written for Bertolt Brecht’s play Baal. It is sometimes referred to as David Bowie in Bertolt Brecht’s Baal, as credited on the sleeve. The EP was Bowie's final release of new material for RCA Records; he signed with EMI Records for his next album.
The Seven Deadly Sins is a satirical ballet chanté in seven scenes composed by Kurt Weill to a German libretto by Bertolt Brecht in 1933 under a commission from Boris Kochno and Edward James. It was translated into English by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman. It was the last major collaboration between Weill and Brecht.
Rare was a compilation released by RCA Records to cash in on David Bowie for the 1982 Christmas market. The artist's relations with the company were at a low – Bowie had recorded his last music for RCA with the Baal EP, and had been annoyed by the release of a five-year-old duet with Bing Crosby as a single without his consultation. Bowie let it be known he was unhappy with the Rare package, and would sign with EMI for his next album. All of the songs were being issued for the first time on an LP and cassette.
Nina Simone in Concert is an album by jazz singer Nina Simone. It was her first album for the record label Philips and consisted of three live recordings made at Carnegie Hall, New York City, in March and April 1964. She recorded Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall in 1963 for Colpix. This album marked the beginning of "Nina Simone, the Civil Rights singer" in her recording career; she had already incorporated the civil rights message in her performances. Included on the album are political songs, such as "Mississippi Goddam", released as a single at the time. "Old Jim Crow", "Go Limp", and "Pirate Jenny" contributed to the message in a covert or metaphorical way. The album was rated 94th best album of the 1960s by Pitchfork.
Live at the Hollywood Bowl is the third official live album by the American rock band the Doors, released in May 1987 on Elektra Records. The concert was recorded on July 5, 1968, at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, the Doors' hometown. The 1987 LP release of this album is the Doors' shortest official release, at just 22 minutes and 19 seconds. A VHS video of the concert was also released, containing 14 songs.
LoveMusik is a musical written by Alfred Uhry, using a selection of music by Kurt Weill. The story explores the romance and lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, based on Speak Low : The Letters of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, edited and translated by Lys Symonette & Kim H. Kowalke. Harold Prince had read Speak Low and suggested the idea for a musical to Uhry. Uhry and Prince worked on LoveMusik for four years to develop it into a stage work. The story spans over 25 years, from the first meeting of Lenya and Weill as struggling young artists, to their popularity in Europe and America, to Weill's death from a heart attack at age 50.
Mahagonny-Songspiel, also known as The Little Mahagonny, is a "small-scale 'scenic cantata'" written by the composer Kurt Weill and the dramatist Bertolt Brecht in 1927. Weill was commissioned in the spring to write one of a series of very short operas for performance that summer, and he chose to use the opportunity to create a "stylistic exercise" as preparation for a larger-scale project that they had begun to develop together, their experimental 'epic opera' The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (1930).
"When the Ship Comes In" is a folk music song by Bob Dylan, released on his third album, The Times They Are a-Changin', in 1964.
"Pirate Jenny" is a well-known song from The Threepenny Opera by Kurt Weill, with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht. The English lyrics are by Marc Blitzstein. It is probably the second most famous song in the opera, after "Mack the Knife".
The David Bowie Heathen Tour was a 2002 concert tour in support of the album, Heathen, and was also notable for the performances of all songs from the 1977 Low album.
Live in New York is a six-disc box set of four complete concerts performed American rock band the Doors on January 17 and 18, 1970 at the Felt Forum in New York City. Two shows were played each night, with 8:00pm and 11:00pm scheduled start times on January 17, and 7:30pm and 10:00pm scheduled start times on January 18. The final show featured an extended encore with guests John Sebastian (harmonica) and Dallas Taylor (percussion) that concluded around 2:30am. Select tracks were previously released on the Doors' live album In Concert and as part of The Doors: Box Set. About a third of the material was previously unreleased.
20th Century Blues is a live 1996 album by British singer-actress Marianne Faithfull, in collaboration with pianist Paul Trueblood.
"What Keeps Mankind Alive?" is a song composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for their music drama The Threepenny Opera which premiered in Berlin in 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm. The title refers to the central line from the finale of act 2, Denn wovon lebt der Mensch?. In the opera, the two stanzas of the strophic piece are sung by Macheath and Mrs Peachum and the final line is sung in fortissimo by the chorus.
Viza or VI·ZA is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California, using oud, duduk and percussion fused with more conventional rock elements such as guitar, bass and drums. The band has released various EPs and full-length albums. The band's music mixes Armenian and Greek-inflected styles with elements of modern aggressive rock and traditional music. The band sometimes blends these various flavors with dance and satirical social commentary.
Bertlies "Lys" Symonette was a German-American pianist, chorus singer and musical stage performer. In 1945 she took a job as rehearsal pianist, coach, understudy or multi-tasking "swing-girl" for The Firebrand of Florence, a Kurt Weill musical making its Broadway debut. This proved to be the start of a new career as Weill's musical assistant: from that point a principal focus of her professional life was on the composer and, more particularly after his early death in 1950, the career of his widow, the stage performer Lotte Lenya. When Lenya died, in 1981, Lys Symonette was appointed vice-president of the Kurt Weill Foundation, also serving as its "musical executive". When she died her friend and frequent collaborator, Prof. Kim H. Kowalke, published an affectionate tribute in which he described her as "the last and irreplaceable link to the inner artistic circle of Weill and Lenya".