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You’d be SURPRISED Barbara Kennedy with Peter Lockwood (piano) GLOBE GLO 6045 [55:03]


Crotchet (UK)

Songs of Love and Laughter by Irving Berlin; George Gershwin; Marve Fisher; Cole Porter; Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern; Noel Coward; Stephen Sondheim; and Flanders and Swann.

This is a delicious treat of often naughty songs sung with great sly, coy wit by Barbara Kennedy, an experienced opera and operetta singer. How seductively she sings, "…I love to run my fingers over the keys" and "…Oh! Oh! I love an upright…" in the opening number - Irving Berlin’s I love a piano. Then she complains in Cole Porter’s The Physician that – "…he looked after my physical condition and his bedside manner was great…he said my bronchial tubes were entrancing…but he never said he loved me!" Returning to Irving Berlin we have the title song, You’d Be Surprised in which we learn that although Johnny is bashful "…when you get him alone…you can’t judge a book by its cover… You’d be Surprised!".

George and Ira Gershwin’s My Cousin in Milwaukee had boy friends by the dozen and "…when she sings hot, you can’t be solemn, it sends shivers up and down your spinal column..." Barbara then assures that she is Just an old-fashioned girl in Marve Fisher’s song but she dreams of being supported by an old fashioned millionaire. Let Me Sing and I’m Happy she then pleads to Irving Berlin’s music. Kurt Weill’s The Saga of Jenny tells of headstrong Jenny who leaves a trail of devastation behind her as she advances through life – "Jenny made her mind up at twenty-two that to get a husband was the thing to do… she got herself a husband but it wasn’t hers…" Jerome Kern is represented by his sentimental, Bill.

Two numbers from Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate are included: So in Love sung and played with heavy irony and I hate Men - "… In our democracy I hate the most the athlete with his manner bold and brassy, he may have hairs upon his chest, but, sisters, so has Lassie!" Porter’s My Heart Belongs To Daddy has Kennedy getting her comfortable priorities right. Flanders and Swann’s A Word in My Ear ("…I’m lauded, applauded, recorded but they seem to have missed that I’m Tone Death") is a brilliantly funny take-off of musical mannerisms. Noel Coward says We must all be very kind to Auntie Jessie for she has never been a mother or a wife. Stephen Sondheim is represented by two numbers. Losing My Mind is a song about loneliness and unrequited love sung by Kennedy with understated yet affecting poignancy. I Never Do Anything Twice is another comic pearl - "… no matter how nice, I never do anything twice…once, yes, once is delicious; but twice would be vicious or merely repetitious."

Bloody marvellous


Ian Lace

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Ian Lace

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