Pamela Rose : Wild Women of Song
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Dorothy Fields

    "One of the Guys"
    1905 - 1974

    A Fine Romance
    I'm in the Mood For Love

    When I mention Dorothy Fields' name on stage, I usually get a blank look from the patrons in the night club, perhaps a little polite applause. Then I start to bring up just a few of her over 400 titles: "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" "On the Sunny Side of the Street" "Pick Yourself Up", "The Way You Look Tonight" "Hey Big Spender" and I'm greeted by a powerful wave of applause and happy recognition.

    "It's hard slave labor. Ask anyone who writes... it's slave labor and I love it." Dorothy Fields, "An Evening with Dorothy Fields"

    Dorothy Fields was born in 1905 into the New York home of the well known vaudeville comic actor and producer, Lew Fields. Although her mother hoped to elevate her children beyond a life in show business, 3 out of 4 of her children ended up in the theatre. Her brother Herb in particular was a gifted wordsmith and was constantly recruiting talented friends (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) to join him in creating a song, a show, a revue. This world of young songsmiths proved irresistible to a shy but lyrically clever girl like Dorothy. She would lend an idea for a lyric, show, line so often that she was considered one of the guys, a role she enjoyed all of her life...

    Click to read the full bio of Dorothy Fields...

Suggested Listening

    Where to start? So many jazz vocalists have performed outstanding renditions of Dorothy Fields lyrics...I'm just going to have to limit myself to a few outstanding suggestions.

    '"A Fine Romance" - Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

    "The Way You Look Tonight" - Frank Sinatra (classic arrangement), Tony Bennett (gorgeous ballad), Madeline Peyroux, Michael Buble. But don't pass up the chance to listen to Fred Astaire sing this song, in his all so human, beseeching voice.

    "I Won't Dance" - Peggy Lee, Mink Jazz

    "Make the Man Love Me" - Dinah Washington.

    "I'm in the Mood For Love" - You must, of course, listen to James Moody's instrumental version of this song, and then the vocalese section written later by Eddie Jefferson, with lyrics to fit Moody's superb tenor solo. When King Pleasure released it just that way under the title "Moody's Mood for Love" (with Blossom Dearie singing along) , co-author Jimmy McHugh sued him for copyright infringement. They agreed to20split all proceeds. "Moody's Mood for Love" genuinely started something new in jazz and has been recorded by countless artists, including George Benson, Queen Latifah, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente and Van Morrison.

    "He Had Refinement" - (written for "A Tree Goes in Brooklyn" ) Check out the acerbic Elaine Stritch singing this very funny and clever song on you tube.


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