Although I didn't get any online responses to the July 11 post requesting ideas for timeless songs to include in my upcoming music course, the suggestions I received offline were very helpful - thanks to those folks.
Then, as I began constructing the playlist for my course, it became clear the Mt. Rushmore series is a perfect vehicle to continue in this vein. Your mission, should you decide to accept it - Which four songs from each decade from 1920 to 1980 would you enshrine on an iteration of Mt. Rushmore? I'm opting to not repeat any one composer in any decade but you can ignore that when you chime in. And stay tuned for the 30's-80's in the coming months.
1.) Bye Bye Blackbird (1926): Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon - Tie for my favorite version of this durable chestnut: Rickie Lee Jones vocal and Miles Davis instrumental.
2.) Someone To Watch Over Me (1926): George and Ira Gershwin - No tie this time: Blossom Dearie's take has no competition. Also: Good creepy movie with same title, starring Tom Berenger and Mimi Rogers.
3.) Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man (1927): Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II - This song is so good, I cannot pick any version as a favorite; no matter who does it the tune wins.
4.) More Than You Know (1929): Vincent Youmans, Billy Rose, and Edward Eliscu: Although Jane Monheit's read on this chromatic masterpiece is hard to top, in my mind the song will always be inextricably linked to Michelle Pfeiffer (yes, she sings well too, damn her) and her first scene in my favorite movie about musicians - "The Fabulous Baker Boys".
Come on, you've got to have ideas for this.