First Take

In our ongoing search for holiday food traditions, a co-worker told me about her Venezuelan favorite, Hallacas.  The hallaca is more than a tamale, WAY more, involving stew, making dough, wrapping in banana leaves, and lots of family members to do all the work.

The most insight I gained was from watching the three-part tutorial on YouTube, posted by Bay area chef and cultural anthropologist Adriana Lopez.

Here's the link to Part 1 of 3 on YouTube.  You will want to watch them all!

Duke Ellington composed “I’ve Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good” in 1941 for the musical revue Jump for Joy shortly before production started. Lyrics were added by Paul Francis Webster. 

The revue “aimed at banishing forever the stereotypical eyerolling, dialect, and shuffling gait,"  according to Patricia Willard, Ellington’s publicist.

Disappointingly, this revue never made the journey from the West Coast to Broadway, although this song later did so.

“You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To” was written by Cole Porter in 1942 for the movie “Something to Shout About," where it was debuted by Don Ameche and Janet Blair.

Tune in to First Take with Lando and Chavis - weekdays from 6-9 am MT - for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long!

There’s no reference to Christmas or Santa, but “Cabin in the Sky” is full of heavenly imagery and the spiritual struggles within a man.  In the seasonal tug between materialism and morality, I find it the perfect holiday film.

Little Joe Jackson has money problems, gambling with some dangerous gangsters… and he has woman problems too.  But after taking a bullet at a nightclub, Joe has some business to do with the Almighty.  As he lays at the brink of death, which way will he go - the redemptive path of righteousness and salvation, or the drinking and womanizing of his past?

"Well, You Needn’t" | Stories of Standards

Dec 1, 2015

"Well, You Needn’t" was written in 1944 by Thelonious Monk. According to biographer Robin Kelley, Monk was inspired by singer Charlie Beamon, who, when told the song would be named for him, replied “Well, you need not” or words to that effect.

Tune in to First Take with Lando and Chavis - weekdays from 6-9 am MT - for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long!