Sunday, November 06, 2005

More from Mark the Music Geek (self-proclaimed)

Mark Messersmith, besides being an active performer in the Bay Area, is also a huge aficianado of classic movies and music, as evidenced by another message I got from him:

"Readers may be interested to know that [Miss Liberty musical director] Brandon Adams wrote and arranged a vocal trio that bridges the dance/dream ballet and vocal chorus of 'Paris Wakes Up and Smiles' - it's quite beautiful and I feel honored to be singing it with Chris Macomber and Paul Ziller.

I'm a big opening gift person, especially during musicals and created a special cd for cast and crew of a rare 1949 Fred Waring set of 8 sides from MISS LIBERTY. Originally released as a short EP(and available NOwhere nowadays), these are arranged by Waring with a choral/soloist approach and are much more interesting to listen to than the original cast LP/CD. There's a great swing track of the 'Policeman's Ball' and 'Homework' is done by four female soloists as a group a la Chordettes. You can also find cuts of 'You Can Have Him' by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Doris Day with Dinah Shore and my favorite, Nancy Wilson; Perry Como had a hit with 'I Love You' and 'Old Fashioned Walk', as did Doris Day with Frank Sinatra. Buddy Clark seems to have cornered the market with the only outside recording of 'Me & My Bundle' and an audience member at the talkback reminded me that Fran Warren had a hit with '...Have Him/Homework' on MGM - a few minutes after she said this, my jukebox brain remembered seeing the 45 at a radio station I once worked at. All of this exemplifies how geeky I am about music:>

See, he said it, not me. Im' probably equally geeky about 80's msuic :)

Mark's gift brings up an excellent point to me, if I may swerve into the semi-political for a moment. What Mark did by copying this music should fall under fair-use rules for music one owns. But if the record companies (and movie studios) get their way...such fair use will be absolutely tossed out the window.

As Mark points out, the actual recordings he copied are no longer available. But receiving their copies of them may inspire the recipients to go out and purchase other music by those artists or songwriters. Music like this will die out unless "music geeks" like Mark keep people interested in it.

I write this because I think it's pathetic that my very first thought upon reading Mark's story was to wonder if what he did was illegal! And my second thought was: how ridiculous if it is!

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