Top 10 Oscar Hammerstein Videos

Friday, July 11, 2014

(left to right) Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin and Oscar Hammerstein II (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division/Wikipedia Commons)

This weekend is Oscar Hammerstein’s birthday. To get ready for the celebration we’ve collected ten videos of some great interpretations of his songs. Leave us a comment and let us know which one is your favorite - or if we missed a great one – and listen to The Jonathan Channel this Saturday at 4pm for an Oscar Hammerstein celebration!

1) In addition to being Hammerstein’s birthday this weekend, the World Cup final will be played in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Here’s Sinatra, in Rio, singing “The Song Is You".

2) Here we have Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones singing “If I Loved You.” He would like that, but she’s not convinced… or is she?

3) Michael Feinstein knows a lot about the American Songbook. This video, from the Rodgers and Hammerstein collections at the Library of Congress, shows how the melody to “It Might As Well Be Spring” changed when Hammerstein put his lyric to it.

4) "Hello Young Lovers” is a beautiful song from The King and I. Rebecca Luker is a favorite of The Jonathan Channel and delivers a great performance in this clip.

5) In this version of "Hello Young Lovers", we get a completely different take of the same song by The Temptations.

6) Jack Jones thinks it’s just fine if “People Will Say We’re In Love.” In this performance from 1966 he’s swinging up a storm, backed by a big band and strings.

7) Dave Brubeck was most definitely a citizen of jazz. His quartet with Paul Desmond exported a West Coast style of swinging that was light, airy and they also pioneered the use of odd-time meters in jazz. Here they are joined by Gerry Mulligan in a version of “All The Things You Are.”

8) Brian Stokes Mitchell and Reba McEntire sing “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific at Carnegie Hall? See for yourself.

9) “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” is performed here by Lena Horne, dressed to kill, in the feature film Till The Clouds Roll By. The movie is a fictional biography of Jerome Kern that included this hit from Showboat.

10) In our final video honoring the birthday of Oscar Hammerstein II, we return to Sinatra, singing “Old Man River” in 1946.


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Comments [3]

Mayda Rumberg from New York

Shirley Jones and Gordon McCrae sound the most authentic to me, for obvious reasons, after which Brian Stokes Mitchell is tops.

Jul. 09 2014 01:51 PM
Ken from Chapel Hill, NC

All 10 are wonderful selections, but for me, “Some Enchanted Evening” rises above the rest. Or maybe anything sung by Brian Stokes Mitchell rises above the rest.

Jul. 09 2014 11:03 AM
Barry Qualls from Highland Park, NJ

I have long listened to Jonathan Schwartz on Saturdays and Sundays on WNYC. The JONATHAN CHANNEL is quite wonderful.

But: sometimes, when I consider these playlists, etc., I want to remind Mr Schwartz that a Streisand is a key reason for the continued survival of the American songbook into this century. I realize her voice isn't his particular kind of voice, but really: listen to "can't help loving that man of mine" for example of what I mean.

Jul. 09 2014 12:03 AM

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The sounds of Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday and other masters of the American songbook can be heard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in the world.

“The Jonathan Channel” provides an unparalleled showcase for this timeless music, presented by its strongest advocate, Jonathan Schwartz, in his intimate, insightful, and utterly original approach that combines impeccable taste with countless personal tales, colorful anecdotes and encyclopedic knowledge

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