November 13, 2013

101 Reel-To-Reel Tapes 22: Ella Fitzgerald ~ The George & Ira Gershwin Song Book Vol. 2

album cover painting by Bernard Buffet
photo by Styrous®

In addition to my vinyl collection I'm selling, I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes I'm selling. This is an entry about one of them that was for sale on eBay (see link below for others). I have the vinyl LP version of Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George & Ira Gershwin Song Book Vol. 2 as well. Interested? Contact me.

album cover painting by Bernard Buffet
photo by Styrous®

The George and Ira Gershwin Songbook is a 1959 five album set by the American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, focusing on the songs of brothers George and Ira Gershwin. It was recorded with Nelson Riddle and his orchestra, marking the first time that Fitzgerald and Riddle had worked together. This album is the largest single recording project that Ella worked on, and it is considered to be one of the most ambitious achievements in Western popular music.

The album cover is an original portrait of Fitzgerald by the French artist Bernard Buffet. Ira Gershwin said "I had never known how good our songs were until I heard Ella sing them".

All are love songs, except, By Strauss, a waltz (what else) and The Real American Folk Song, a delightful, bouncy, saloon-feeling (because of the rinky-tink piano) tune. This is my favorite song on the album.

The songs are three types:

1 - Looking for love: 
Looking for a Boy, Somebody from Somewhere (a dreamy ballad of waiting for the right one to come along), The Man I Love and Someone To Watch Over Me (both slow ballads about searching).

2 - Love found in spite of all opposition:  
Who Cares? from the 1939 musical, Of thee I sing (a sweet love song) and They All Laughed, a bouncy kind of "Ha! Ha, so there!"

3 - And love is here to stay: 'S Wonderful.

Near the bottom of this post there are links to the songs mentioned on YouTube so you can hear them for yourself, if you'd like. 

art direction: Sheldon Marks
back cover photographer unknown
photo by Styrous®

back cover detail
photo by Styrous®

photo by Styrous®

 reel-to-reel label detail
photo by Styrous®
 Track listing:
Side 1:

1. Who Cares? - 3:05  
2. Looking for a Boy - 3:02
3. They All Laughed - 3:02
4. My Cousin in Milwaukee - 3:07
5. Somebody from Somewhere - 3:06

Side 2:

1. 'S Wonderful - 3:30
2. The Man I Love - 3:39
3. That Certain Feeling - 3:04
4. By Strauss - 2:32
5. Someone To Watch Over Me - 3:13
6. The Real American Folk Song - 3:43

All Tracks composed by George Gershwin and all lyrics written by Ira Gershwin.

Recording dates and personnel:

Los Angeles, CA, January 5, 7 & 8, 1959 
The Man I Love
[Personnel: Don Fagerquist (trumpet) Bob Cooper (tenor sax) Alvin Stoller (drums) Ella Fitzgerald (vocal) Nelson Riddle (arranger, director) unidentified strings, and others]

Los Angeles, CA, March 26, 1959 
Someone To Watch Over Me
Looking For A Boy
They All Laughed
[Personnel:Ella Fitzgerald (vocal) Nelson Riddle's Orchestra]

Los Angeles, CA, July 15, 1959 
That Certain Feeling
[same personnel]

Los Angeles, CA, July 16, 1959 
'S Wonderful
Who Cares?
By Strauss
[same personnel]

Los Angeles, CA, July 17, 1959 
My Cousin From Milwaukee
[same personnel]

Los Angeles, CA, July 18, 1959 
Somebody From Somewhere
The Real American Folk Song
[same personnel]

Music links:

The Real American Folk Song on YouTube 
Somebody from Somewhere on YouTube
Looking for a Boy on YouTube
The Man I Love on YouTube
Someone To Watch Over Me on YouTube
'S Wonderful on YouTube
By Strauss on YouTube

reel-to-reel listings on eBay

more reel-to-reel tapes on the Styrous® Viewfinder:
                                             reel-to-reel tape archive

Styrous® ~ Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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