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Fred Astaire - Three Evenings (TV) 2-CDs
Astaire, Fred

Price: $19.95

Audio CD (double)
SEPIA


NEW RELEASE


Product Description
In 1958 Fred Astaire embraced the newly-popular television medium for a one-off special entitled An Evening with Fred Astaire. One of his guests was jazz trumpeter Jonah Jones, whose then-recent recording of the blues number ‘St. James Infirmary’ inspired Astaire to invite him to perform it as an accompaniment to one of his most evocative dances. The climax of the hour was a medley of ten of Astaire’s greatest hits. To Astaire’s surprise, the reaction to the special was overwhelmingly positive, with Newsweek branding it ‘one of TV’s finest hours’. Even better, the production walked off with nine Emmys. Astaire won an Emmy Award for his performance.

So it was without hesitation that Another Evening with Fred Astaire was commissioned the following year. The special had a theme, namely ‘The Beat’, which Astaire announced at the beginning before launching into a number he’d written with Johnny Mercer called ‘The Afterbeat’. As before, the show ended with a medley of his greatest hits.

Not content to rest on his laurels, Astaire was back again a year later for Astaire Time, which added Count Basie and His Orchestra along with the blues singer Joe Williams. The big set piece of the evening was a blues medley in which Joe Williams and the Count Basie Band performed four rhythm numbers while Astaire interpreted the lyrics in a dance. Finally came the now-traditional ‘Fred Astaire Medley’, which this time included two slightly more unusual numbers such as Porter’s ‘Mrs Lowsborough Goodby’ and the title song from Flying Down to Rio.

This is the first time in the CD era that these important recordings have been made widely available. Complementing the soundtracks are eight unusual tracks, many of them unissued or alternate takes, from other periods in Astaire’s career. The earliest is an alternate second take of ‘I’ve Got You on My Mind’ from Cole Porter’s Gay Divorce (1932). The next two tracks take us from Broadway to Hollywood, with unusual versions of Jerome Kern’s songs from the Astaire-Rogers film, Swing Time: ‘A Fine Romance’ with a little-known verse and ‘The Waltz in Swing Time’ with Astaire tapping. His relationship with George Gershwin is celebrated in a track from the memorial concert held at the Hollywood Bowl in September 1937 to commemorate the composer’s early death; Astaire sang one of Gershwin’s final songs, ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me’.

One of Astaire’s other great friends, Irving Berlin, is also present in this collection in an unusual version of the elegiac ‘Change Partners’ from Carefree. Skipping forward a decade, we’re met with a real rarity: a duet with Benny Goodman on a novelty song called ‘The Astaire’ from 1947. Back in Hollywood for the next track, we find ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, a rarity from the unissued soundtrack of Frank Loesser’s underrated score for the Astaire-Betty Hutton movie Let’s Dance. Finally, we return to the time of the TV specials with a new arrangement of ‘Dearly Beloved’ from Jerome Kern’s You Were Never Lovelier: a suitably stylish performance that ties up the links between stage and screen in this Sepia tribute to the Astaire magic.


Three Evenings with Fred Astaire – SEPIA 1168

CD ONE:
AN EVENING WITH FRED ASTAIRE (1958)
1. Introduction / Morning Ride – David Rose and his Orchestra
2. Svengali / Frantic Holiday – David Rose and his Orchestra
3. Change Partners – Fred Astaire
4. Baubles, Bangles & Beads / Mack the Knife – The Jonah Jones Quartet

5. Man With The Blues / Young Man’s Lament / Like Young – David Rose and his Orchestra

6. Old MacDonald On A Trip / Holiday For Strings – David Rose and his Orchestra

7. St. James Infirmary – The Jonah Jones Quartet
8. Astaire Medley One: Lady Be Good / Cheek To Cheek / A Fine Romance / They Can’t Take That Away From Me / Nice Work If You Can Get It / A Foggy Day / I Won’t Dance / Something’s Gotta Give / Night And Day / Top Hat, White Tie And Tails – Fred Astaire
ANOTHER EVENING WITH FRED ASTAIRE (1959)

9. Like Fast – David Rose and his Orchestra
10. The Afterbeat – Fred Astaire
11. That Face – Fred Astaire
12. My Blue Heaven – The Jonah Jones Quartet
13. A Girl In Calico – The Jonah Jones Quartet
14. Night Train – Fred Astaire and The Jonah Jones Quartet
15. My Baby – Ken Nordine
16. Waltzing Matilda – David Rose and his Orchestra
17. Sophisticated Lady – David Rose and his Orchestra

CD TWO
1. Astaire Medley Two: Fascinating Rhythm / Dancing In The Dark / The Way You Look Tonight / Dearly Beloved / Steppin’ Out With My Baby / Let’s Face The Music And Dance / The Carioca / The Continental / One For My Baby / By Myself / Puttin’ On The Ritz / Top Hat, White Tie And Tails – Fred Astaire

2. The Afterbeat (reprise) – Company
ASTAIRE TIME (1960)
3. Romeo & Juliet Overture – David Rose and his Orchestra
4. Miss Otis Regrets – Fred Astaire and Barrie Chase
5. Not Now I’ll Tell You When – Count Basie and his Orchestra
6. Sweet Georgia Brown – Count Basie and his Orchestra
7. Valse Triste – David Rose and his Orchestra
8. We Have To Dance Or Else No Pay – Company
9. Sheik Of Araby – David Rose and his Orchestra
10. Blues Medley: Going to Chicago Blues / Everyday / Shake, Rattle & Roll / Hallelujah I Love Her So / It’s A Low Down Dirty Shame – Joe Williams with The Count Basie Band
11. Astaire Medley Three: Thank You So Much, Mrs. Lowsborough-Goodby / Funny Face / I Love Louisa / Flying Down To Rio / I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket / They All Laughed / Lovely To Look At / Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off / Easter Parade / Shine On Your Shoes – Fred Astaire
12. Anitra’s Shuffle – David Rose and his Orchestra
BONUS RARE TRACKS performed by Fred Astaire
13. I’ve Got You On My Mind (Alternate and previously un-issued take)

14. A Fine Romance (Alternate and previously un-issued take with verse)

15. Waltz in Swing Time (Previously un-issued take) – tap dance by Fred Astaire

16. They Can’t Take That Away From Me (“live” version)
17. Change Partners (Alternate version)
18. The Astaire (Previously un-issued track)
19. Jack And The Beanstalk (Previously un-issued take)
20. Dearly Beloved



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