First Take

photo and text from pbs.org

Mighty, elemental forces molded North America—fiery eruptions, titanic floods, the grinding of great ice sheets, and massive impacts from space all shaped our homeland. 

NOVA's epic three-part series unfolds in a forgotten world that existed long before our own, crossed by long-lost mountain ranges, deserts the size of Africa, and vast inland seas spanning the length of the continent. Explore beloved landmarks like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park from the inside out as we witness the clash of nature’s creative and destructive forces.

"Emily" | Stories of Standards

Nov 9, 2015
twentyfourframes.wordpress.com

“Emily” - composed by Johnny Mandel, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, in 1964 - was the theme song of the 1969 movie "The Americanization of Emily."

This tune’s popularity may have played a role in the re-titling of the movie to "Emily" when it was re-released in 2005.

“Emily” was recorded by a number of noteworthy artists, including Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennet. This song became one of Bill Evans’s iconic pieces.

Jazz Man for the New World Phil Woods on DVD

Nov 5, 2015

“I love the triumvirate—Benny [Carter], [Johnny] Hodges, and Bird, but Bird spoke of the new world and as a young man I wanted to be involved in the New World.”

“Royal Garden Blues” | Stories of Standards

Nov 2, 2015
chicagosouthsidepiano.com; info from jazzstandards.com

New Orleans pianists Clarence Williams and Spencer Williams (no relation) composed "Royal Garden Blues" in 1919. Named for the Royal Garden Dance Hall in Chicago, the tune was first recorded in 1920 by Denver‘s George Morrison Jazz Orchestra.

The song did not gain popularity until several years after its introduction, with two recordings hitting the charts – once with the Dixieland Jazz Band and again with Mamie Smith and her Jazz Hounds. 

"Nice Work If You Can Get It" | Stories of Standards

Oct 27, 2015
biography.com; info from jazzstandards.com and amazon.com

George and Ira Gershwin composed "Nice Work If You Can Get It" for the 1937 P. G. Wodehouse film, A Damsel in Distress. This film depicts a light-hearted foray into mistaken identity and love at third or fourth sight through song and dance.

Fred Astaire introduced the song while dancing and playing around a drum set in a segment still regarded by many as a highlight of the film. Astaire’s recording climbed to first in the charts in 1938.

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