“Hello Dolly” - Louis Armstrong
From The Definitive Collection
Download the mp3.
I wouldn't begin to call myself a theatre buff. I performed in a few plays in high school. I worked for a dinner theatre in college where I did everything from run the box office, served as a waiter, ran the light board, and even acted as a corpse in Big River. I love to go to the theatre, but I my knowledge is slight.
A few years back while I was walking across my alma mater's campus, a friend of mine pulled his car up, rolled down his window, and asked, “I've got two tickets to see Hello Dolly in Birmingham with Carol Channing, wanna come?” I might not be that knowledgeable on all things theatre, but I knew enough to say "sure" and jumped in his car.
I don't remember much about that show now, but Channing was a hoot. She was way past her prime, but she still managed to charm the audience straight through. She even gave a funny little speech in the end.
“Hello....(looking down at a note card)...uh, Birmingham. It is so good to be in this fine city.”
Having turned down any number of invitations to see things I now fully regret having missed, I treasure being able to see Carol Channing in her signature show.
There was a time when Louis Armstrong got slagged for performing such a commercial pop song (musicals aren't jazz, don't you know?) but it became a huge hit (knocking The Beatles off the number 1 spot.) It's great fun, too. Not as crazy inventive as his early work, maybe, but still a fun song by a great musician.
“Hook” Blues Traveler
Download the mp3.
In college, like so many others, I spent my first couple of years living in dormitories. Small, rectangular rooms made from cinder blocks and duct tape. We never minded the dankness of our rooms though for we were having quite literally the times of our lives.
There are stories upon stories to tell about those days and at this very moment I am planning a reunion with those boys this summer and I look forward to long nights talking about the time we hunted for panthers in the field behind the dorm, or the “Peanut Butter Movie” and the time Mullins cranked up “Give Peace a Chance” put it on repeat and then left for the day, or the face on Pat Tidwell when he came into his room after we had plastered copies of “Black Tail” all over his walls.