Monday, February 2, 2009

Birthday Boy: Broadway Baby

So this started off as a quick tribute to a great American composer, Burton Lane, who brought us songs like "That Old Devil Moon" and musicals like On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. He was a fixture of American theatre from the early thirties, when he wrote for Earl Carroll's Vanities, through 1979's somewhat less successful Carmelina.

Thanks to Hollywood, he's best remembered today, probably, for Clear Day, which made a rather turgid film if a spectacular showcase for the young Barbra S. (and of course for Café favorite Mabel Albertson). Other than that, he seems to have had a pretty quiet private life.

All of which provides excellent reasons to look at the work more than the man. Here we have a live 1970 performance by the lady herself, in a clip from an awards show:

I like how we get to see La Streisand bifurcated, as it were. In the song itself, recorded in Las Vegas, she's at the very end - and apex - of her High Glamour Bouffant era. Back in New York, accepting her tribute from Mayor Lindsay, she looks poised to break out at any moment into "Stoney End."

All of which is just a way to say: Happy Birthday, Burton Lane!

1 comment:

  1. what a coinkydink. Just the other night, I heard quite a few Burton Lane songs, sung quite beautifully by Steve Ross at the Oak Room. All lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner.