Dynamic Duos:
The Greatest Musical Partnerships

April 2019

Program Notes

Rodgers & Hammerstein, arr. Patrick Sinozich: Dames Medley
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are Broadway songwriting royalty.  Rodgers wrote the music and Hammerstein the lyrics to hit shows in the 1940s and ‘50s including “Oklahoma,” “Carousel,” “South Pacific,” “The King and I,” “Cinderella,” and “The Sound Of Music.”  Among their many awards are included thirty-four Tony Awards, fifteen Academy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize and two Grammy Awards.  Their musical theater writing partnership has been called the greatest of the 20th century.

Mozart, arr. Jonathan Miller: Soave sia il vento
Lorenzo Da Ponte was an Italian opera librettist, poet, and Catholic priest who wrote the librettos for three of Mozart’s most celebrated operas: “Don Giovanni,” “The Marriage of Figaro,” and “Cosi Fan Tutte” (and our selection comes from the latter).  Though he collaborated with 10 other composers in the world of opera, his work with Mozart moves him into the “dynamic” category in our view. Arranged by our own Jonathan Miller, “Soave Sia Il Vento” depicts the two heroines, Dorabella and Fiordiligi, as they bid a bittersweet farewell to their lovers departing by sea.

Traditional English Folk, arr. Paul Langford: Scarborough Fair
We included this song because it was made famous by the dynamic duo of Simon and Garfunkel in 1966.  Their version was combined with the anti-war song “Canticle” in a sort of contrapuntal form, while our version is a new setting created especially for this program. The song talks of a man who instructs a third party to tell his lover to perform a series of impossible tasks as proof of her devotion.  The haunting melody and lyric have their origins as a traditional English folk song, having gone through countless lyric variations over the centuries.

Lennon & McCartney, arr. Keith Abbs: Can’t Buy Me Love
Much has been written about the great songwriting duo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who collaborated on an estimated 180 songs.  The list of other famous artists who have recorded their own versions of these songs is staggering, belied by the humble, blue-collar Liverpudlian origins of the writers and the neighborhood homes where the songs were birthed.  Unique to their partnership was the fact that they both contributed both lyrics and music to their creations, and shared credit on all collaborations, regardless of exactly “how much” either one contributed on a particular song.

Lennon & McCartney, arr. Gene Puerling: Yesterday
Hailed as the most recorded pop song in history (boasting some 2,200 cover versions), Lennon and McCartney’s “Yesterday” has been lovingly re-set here by legendary vocal jazz arranger Gene Puerling, originally for his iconic group The Singers Unlimited.  The original version featured McCartney’s solo vocal and acoustic guitar accompanied by string quartet.  The song is the fourth most successful song of all time in terms of royalties paid, having amassed a total of 19.5 million pounds.

Bacharach & David, arr. Paul Langford: (They Long To Be) Close To You
Written by the dynamic duo of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and recorded by the dynamic duo of Richard and Karen Carpenter, this song seems like no-brainer for our show.  The great songwriting duo had many top 40 hits during the ‘60s and ‘70s, primarily with Dionne Warwick but with a host of other artists, too.  The Carpenters’ version of the song has become the best known and is signature to their sound and style, including the pair’s multi-tracked group vocals.

Fred Karlin, Robb Wilson and James Griffin, arr. Teena Chinn: For All We Know
Karen and Richard Carpenter had 32 top 40 hits in the 1970s and ‘80s, including this song in 1971. Karen’s one-of-a-kind voice, combined with Richard’s arranging and orchestrating, and their flawless multi-tracked group vocals became the duo’s signature sound and captured the hearts of pop music listeners at the time.

Daniel & Adamson, arr. Paul Langford: I Love Lucy
The theme song to the beloved TV sitcom that ran from 1951 to 1957 was written by the duo of Eliot Daniel (music) and Harold Adamson (lyrics).  The duo of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz was certainly dynamic and produced as much as heat as they did light.  Their tumultuous 20-year relationship is well documented but also produced some of the greatest and most memorable comedic moments in television history.

Lerner & Loewe, arr. Paul Langford: How To Handle A Woman
This elegant song comes, of course, from the great musical “Camelot,” one of many Broadway smashes by the dynamic duo of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.  Lerner wrote the words and Loewe the music, and their masterful creations also include the musicals “My Fair Lady” and “Brigadoon” and a string of hit songs from those and other shows, recorded by countless artists.  The two met “by chance” in 1942 when Loewe took a wrong turn at a restaurant on the way to the men’s room, and happened by Lerner’s table instead.  A conversation ensued and the rest is, as they say, history.

John & Taupin, arr. Paul Langford: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton John (music) and Bernie Taupin (lyrics) met in 1967 through an ad posted in a London music industry magazine, and they have been writing together for nearly 50 years.  Their collective body of work is one of the most impressive and long lasting in pop music history, with their song creations being veritable household names.  The pair generally write in separate locations at separate times, with Taupin creating lyrics first and then John setting them.  They have collaborated on 31 albums and one Broadway musical, sold more than 300 million records, and had more than 50 top 40 hits.

Sedaka, arr. Paul Langford: Love Will Keep Us Together
Penned by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield and popularized by the great duo of Captain and Tennille, the backing track of this hit record was performed entirely by “Captain” Daryl Dragon, with the exception of the drums, which were played by legendary Wrecking Crew drummer Hal Blaine.  The title cut of the duo’s debut album, the song became a number one hit for them in 1975 and also earned Sedaka and Greenfield a Grammy nomination.  Captain and Tennille also released a Spanish version of the song, entitled “Por Amor Viviremos.” That version rose to number 49 on the Billboard Top 100 and gave the duo the distinction of having two songs on the list at the same time, in different languages.


INTERMISSION

Fagen & Becker, arr. Patrick Sinozich: Reelin’ In the Years
Released as the second single from their 1972 album “Can’t Buy A Thrill,” this hit song from the jazz rock band Steely Dan hit number 11 on the Billboard charts.  Steely Dan is really Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of course, along with a host of studio musicians guesting on different songs.  If you have the necessary sound system equipment at home, you can purchase the quadraphonic mix and hear extra lead guitar fills not heard on the standard, stereo version!

Jobim & Gimbel, arr. Paul Langford: The Girl From Ipanema
Written by the duo of Antonio Carlos Jobim (music) and Norman Gimbel (English lyrics), and made famous by the duo of Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto, this gem forever stands as the iconic Brazilian Bossa Nova song, and  it won a Grammy in 1965.  It is believed to be the second most recorded song in history, after the Lennon-McCartney hit “Yesterday,” which is also on our program.

Tchaikovsky, Rota, Kuzik, & Snyder, arr. Paul Langford: Romeo and Juliet/A Time For Us
Based on the famous play by Shakespeare, Tchaikovsky premiered his now-legendary orchestral ballet in 1870 to lukewarm reception.  The love theme from the 1968 movie Romeo and Juliet was composed by Nino Rota with English lyrics by Larry Kusik and Eddie Snyder, and it was Jonathan Miller’s brilliant idea to combine the two for this show.


Hall & Oates, arr. Paul Langford: I Can’t Go For That
It is with a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek that we include Darryl Hall and John Oates on a program of dynamic duos with the likes of the other greats featured here.  In truth, the duo have sold an estimated 40 million records and had a string of hits in the 1970s and ‘80s, including “Rich Girl,” “Kiss On My List,” “Private Eyes,” and “Maneater.” In total they had 34 hits on the Billboard Top 100.  The two met in Philadelphia in 1967 at a battle of the bands when gunfire broke out between rival gangs and they both hid in the same service elevator!


Gershwin & Gershwin, arr. Paul Langford: They All Laughed
This song was composed by the dynamic Gershwin brothers duo for the 1937 film “Shall We Dance,” featuring  the dynamic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers duo.  The list of notable recordings of the song by the legendary American songwriting team reads like a who’s-who of great American singers, including Carmen McRae, Bing Crosby, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, Patti Page, Sarah Vaughan, Dick Van Dyke, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and Frank Sinatra.  This arrangement is one of many CAC debuts on the program.


Rodgers & Hammerstein, arr. Kerry March: We Kiss In A Shadow
Another Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece, this time from the great Broadway musical and movie “The King and I,” has been beautifully treated by master vocal jazz arranger Kerry Marsh.  In the story, the song conveys the agony and beauty of the hidden love between Tuptim and Lun Tha.


Gilbert & Sullivan, arr. Paul Langford: Gilbert and Sullivan Medley
The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado are among the best known. Gilbert wrote the words and Sullivan the music, and their self-deprecations, humor, and innovative departures from “real” opera have influenced musical theater ever since.  Our epic medley serves as a vehicle to display some of their most memorable melodies and to give each of our fine singers a chance to shine as soloists.