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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

#29: The Mt. Rushmore Series (1940's version)

Which four songs written in the 1940's would you enshrine on Mt. Rushmore? So far, I've offered my four - with sparkling annotation for each - from the 1920's (in August) and 1930's (November). Don't leave me alone out here. And no fair saying you don't know when a favorite song was written; Google long ago made that an obsolete excuse.

1.) Take The "A" Train - Billy Strayhorn (1941) - Although arguably Duke Ellington's most well known tune, it still sounds wonderfully fresh. For my money, Billy Strayhorn was Duke's most reliable collaborator.

2.) At Last - Harry Warren and Mack Gordon (1941) - Etta James' massive hit did not occur until many years after Warren & Gordon wrote this gem. "I Only Have Eyes For You" and "The More I See You" are just two more of that longstanding team's winners.

3.) Round Midnight - Thelonious Monk (1944) - If you're interested to know of the others who get co-credit with Monk for this amazing & complex ballad, use Wikipedia. This song is so much fun to play.

4.) But Beautiful -  Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke (1947) - If I'd constructed this Mt. Rushmore just five years ago, this chromatic giant wouldn't have had a spot - it's a recent discovery for me. Thank you to Shawn Colvin for leading me to this treasure.

As with the two earlier iterations of Mt. Rushmore timeless songs, I've opted not to repeat any composers in this decade either. Ignore that guideline when you offer your choices. But do offer something, willya please?

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