“They saw their injured country's woe;
The flaming town, the wasted field;
Then rushed to meet the insulting foe;
They took the spear, - but left the shield.”
When I think of music for my native city the first thing that always pops in my head is Leonard Bernstein's "Rhapsody in Blue." If Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind" is on the radio, it's staying on. And I always loved "New York Groove," Ace Frehley's version, a delight of rock n roll silly. Personally, Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" always reminds me of the city in general, with specific memories of listening to the song connected to scenery I was taking in and how I was feeling at the time (drive over any of the bridges or skyways around NYC at night with that song on and you'll see what I mean). Paul Simon had a few good songs about or at least having to do with New York, like "The Boxer," or "The Only Living Boy in New York."Not a fan of "New York, New York." And I can't stand some of these modern pop anthems. This song you have here is pleasant, but it doesn't project the imagery of the city, for me. I always wanted to write a New York song, and I have one that's been rolling around my head most of my life, but I never could capture it. It has, ironically, this sort of "country" sound to it, so maybe one day I'll finally get around to it, maybe a "country boy in New York" kinda theme... Fun post!JMJ
Alicia Keyes is a fave of mine, now...
Billy Joel, Paul Simon... I'm with ya. Not sure "country" could do it... but I'm willing to listen!
"GOTHAM" has been transformed into Hill Billy Junction?How sad!I have always missed my home town, but now realize I left it just in time to avoid seeing it transformed into the Biggest Hick Town in the Universe.If only the country could have remained as it was in 1948! New York was sheer magic back then –– at least for me.Thank God I have rich, coloruful, beautiful, thrilling, charming and funny MEMORIES to sustain me –– along with great black and white movies, old MGM Technicolor musicals, old radio shows, and antique popular music on YouTube from the period when America was still America.
Jersey, you were right in citing Gershwin (Bernstein only PLAYED and CONDUCTED Gershwing's Rhapsody in Blue, he did not compose it), but Gershwin's music captured the spirit –– the essence –– of what it once meant to be a New Yorker. Gershwin's songs, his musical comcedies, his opera Porgy and Bess, though set in a Southern Negro Community, were ALL part of the sheer VIBRANCY, tje creative HUM, the THRILL and sometimes the HARTBREAK of being part of the New York scene. The piece that captures it best in my informed opinion, however, is Gershwin's Concerto in F. Here's OSCAR LEVANT, a superb pianist who was a great personal friend of George Gershwin, (they virtually grew up together),performng the Conerto n F –– it's still considered the Definitive Performance by most who are "in the know" –– including me.https://youtu.be/5RdmR_5kbDcGive it a try. I know you'll love it, if you don't already. It's one of those things I enjoy more every time I take the time to hear it. My thinking may be "dated," but THIS PIECE will NEVER fall into that category. It's like Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms & CO. in that reagard –– IMMORTAL..
I love Rhapsody in Blue too, guys.Here's OSCAR LEVANT playing the bleeding tar out of it in 1945.https://youtu.be/YiI5WmiIVrY This is how Gershwin, himself MEANT it to BE. Many have played it well, but NO ONE including Gershwin, himself, has ever surpassed OSCAR.
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