Thou Swell

Last updated
"Thou Swell"
Song from A Connecticut Yankee
Published1927
Composer(s) Richard Rodgers
Lyricist(s) Lorenz Hart

"Thou Swell" is a show tune, a popular song and a jazz standard written in 1927. [1]

Show tune genre

A show tune is a song originally written as part of the score of a musical stage show or musical, especially if the piece in question has become a standard, more or less detached in most people's minds from the original context. Particular musicals that have yielded popular “show tunes” include:

Jazz standards are musical compositions that are an important part of the musical repertoire of jazz musicians, in that they are widely known, performed, and recorded by jazz musicians, and widely known by listeners. There is no definitive list of jazz standards, and the list of songs deemed to be standards changes over time. Songs included in major fake book publications and jazz reference works offer a rough guide to which songs are considered standards.

Contents

History

The music was written by Richard Rodgers, with words by Lorenz Hart, for the 1927 musical A Connecticut Yankee . The lyric is notable, as indicated by the title, for its mix of archaic English and modern slang as the story takes place in both contemporary times and in King Arthur's court.

Richard Rodgers American composer

Richard Charles Rodgers was an American composer of music, with over 900 songs and 43 Broadway musicals, leaving a legacy as one of the most significant composers of 20th century American music. He is best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. His compositions have had a significant impact on popular music.

Lorenz Hart lyricist

Lorenz Milton Hart was the lyricist half of the Broadway songwriting team Rodgers and Hart. Some of his more famous lyrics include "Blue Moon," "Mountain Greenery," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "Manhattan," "Where or When," "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," "Falling in Love with Love," "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "My Funny Valentine," "I Could Write a Book", "This Can't Be Love", "With a Song in My Heart", "It Never Entered My Mind", and "Isn't It Romantic?".

<i>A Connecticut Yankee</i> (musical) musical

A Connecticut Yankee is a musical based on the novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by American writer Mark Twain. Like most adaptations of the Twain novel, it focuses on the lighter aspects of the story. The music was written by Richard Rodgers, the lyrics by Lorenz Hart, and the book by Herbert Fields. It was produced by Lew Fields and Lyle D. Andrews. It enjoyed an original run on Broadway in 1927 of 421 performances and a number of revivals.

Recordings

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Nat King Cole American singer and jazz pianist

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Natalie Cole American singer and songwriter

Natalie Maria Cole was an American singer, voice actress, songwriter, and actress. Cole was the daughter of American singer and jazz pianist Nat King Cole. She rose to success in the mid-1970s as an R&B singer with the hits "This Will Be", "Inseparable" (1975), and "Our Love" (1977). She returned as a pop singer on the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac". In the 1990s, she sang traditional pop by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable... with Love, which sold over seven million copies and won her seven Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide. On December 31, 2015, Cole died at the age of 65 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, due to congestive heart failure.

Bing Crosby American singer and actor

Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was an American singer and actor. The first multimedia star, Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings, and motion picture grosses from 1931 to 1954. His early career coincided with recording innovations that allowed him to develop an intimate singing style that influenced many male singers who followed him, including Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes, and Dean Martin. Yank magazine said that he was "the person who had done the most for the morale of overseas servicemen" during World War II. In 1948, American polls declared him the "most admired man alive", ahead of Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII. Also in 1948, Music Digest estimated that his recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.

Technicolor color motion picture process

Technicolor is a series of color motion picture processes, the first version dating to 1916, and followed by improved versions over several decades.

<i>Words and Music</i> (1948 film) 1948 film by Norman Taurog

Words and Music is a 1948 American biographical musical film loosely based on the creative partnership of the composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart. The film stars Mickey Rooney as Hart and Tom Drake as Rodgers, along with Janet Leigh, Betty Garrett, Ann Sothern and numerous musical stars. It was the second in a series of MGM biopics about Broadway composers; it was preceded by Till the Clouds Roll By and followed by Three Little Words and Deep in My Heart.

June Allyson actress from the United States

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Rowland Charles Wentworth Greenberg was a Norwegian jazz musician (trumpet), seen by many as one of the foremost names in Norwegian jazz in the 1940s and 1950s.

Trumpet musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family

A trumpet is a brass instrument commonly used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group contains the instruments with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpet-like instruments have historically been used as signaling devices in battle or hunting, with examples dating back to at least 1500 BC; they began to be used as musical instruments only in the late 14th or early 15th century. Trumpets are used in art music styles, for instance in orchestras, concert bands, and jazz ensembles, as well as in popular music. They are played by blowing air through nearly-closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound that starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument. Since the late 15th century they have primarily been constructed of brass tubing, usually bent twice into a rounded rectangular shape.

Trombone type of brass instrument

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"Blue Moon" is a classic popular song traditionally regarded as written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1934, though its authorship is disputed. It may be the first instance of the familiar "50s progression" in a popular song and has become a standard ballad. The song was a hit twice in 1949 with successful recordings in the US by Billy Eckstine and Mel Tormé. In 1961, "Blue Moon" became an international number-one hit for the doo-wop group The Marcels, on the Billboard 100 chart and in the UK Singles chart. Over the years, "Blue Moon" has been covered by various artists including versions by Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Elvis Presley, The Platters, The Mavericks, Dean Martin, The Supremes, Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart. Bing Crosby included the song in a medley on his album On the Happy Side (1962). It is also the anthem of English Football League club Crewe Alexandra and English Premier League football club Manchester City, who have both adapted the song slightly.

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References

  1. "Thou Swell (1927)". jazzstandards.com. Retrieved 4 December 2017.