Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book – Ella Fitzgerald

Released May 15, 1956. The idea behind this album was to transition Fitzgerald from a jazz singer with a cult following to a recognized popular singer. This kicked off her popular Great American Songbook series (eight albums total). The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000 and added to the National Historic Registry. [There were too many songs to type so I copy/pasted from wikipedia]

Jason: This album is looooooooooooong. Not in a bad way just that I rarely had the time so listen to it in one sitting.

Brad: Yeah, it is 1 hour and 49 minutes long! But not as long as a Marvel movie.

Jason: But much more relaxing. Because these are standards I knew most of the songs, albeit different versions.

Brad: Same here. I know all of these songs. I went through a “Cole Porter Phase” when I was in high school. I was inspired by the excellent AIDS benefit compilation “Red Hot + Blue”.

Jason: Is there a favorite standard of yours on here?

Brad: I’m not sure what the definition of ‘standard’ is but my favorite Cole Porter songs are “From This Moment On” and “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”.

Jason: A “standard” is a song that is so established in popularity that it is considered part of the “standard repertoire” of its genre and often serves as the basis for musical improvisation going forward.  Do you think that in 20 years songs like “Purple Rain”, “Like a Virgin” and “Nothing but a G Thang” will be considered standards?

Brad: ‘Purple Rain’ for sure! What are your favorite Cole Porter songs?

Jason: That’s hard. You know I am partial to the musical Anything Goes BUT I prefer the off-Broadway 1962 version with Hal Linden and Eileen Rodgers – especially “All Through the Night“. Six of the songs on this album are in that version.  Of the versions on here I like “I Get a Kick out of You”, “You’re the Top” and “I Love Paris” which I sing quite a bit to myself. 

Brad: Those three are all nice choices. In fact, I pretty much like all of this album. The only Ella version I don’t particularly care for is ‘In the Still of the Night’. Something about the arrangement of the music bugs me on her version.

Jason: I agree that’s not my favorite arrangement. A few of these song I exclusively associate with Bette Midler. Miss Otis Regrets being one. When I was in 12th grade 5 of us entered the talent show and did the Bette version of that song. We got 2nd place, I think.

Brad: Ha! Please post it on YouTube and include a link. 

Jason: I think it’s on VHS somewhere

Brad: I’m partial to the Kirsty MacColl and the Pogues version from Red Hot + Blue.

Jason: What do you think of Ella’s voice?

Brad: I love her voice. There is somethings so comforting and relaxing about her voice. I think that is why I’ve enjoyed this one so much. It is a very stressful time for the entire world right now. So I think a good escape is to listen to Ella. 

Jason: She’s good to have on in the background while you read a book and have a glass of wine. She doesn’t get to belt on any songs. Is she a belter? Mitchell would know.

Brad: Honestly, aside from her Christmas songs, I haven’t listened to a lot of her catalog. It is interesting that she recorded eight different Song Book albums exploring one composer on each of them. 

Jason: I’d like to listen to that series. It’s good for at work when I need something to soothe my aching scrum brain.

Brad: I was just remembering when I played you the Tom Waits version of “It’s All Right With Me” and you had such a viscerally horrible reaction to his singing. It was funny. I get a kick out of you. 

Jason: [Hey, I do the puns around here.] Ugh, Tom Waits it’s like listening to the Mucinex blob sing. Who ever gave him a record deal? What grade are you giving this album?

Brad: I would probably give this one an A-. How about you?

Jason: I agree. A- for me. I am looking forward to listening to more of her song book catalog. I bet it’s de-lovely.

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Below is the scratch-off artwork from the 100 Bucket List poster.

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