Schoolhouse jazz / show tunes / and rock.

It's easy to wish endless pain and torment on the criminals behind advertising, but occasionally they do screw up and accidentally give the world something clever and charming. Let's forgo the nostalgic gushing. That base has been covered by everyone else over the age of 35. However, if you're in the SR wheelhouse, the voices of the singers in the cartoons are iconic and beloved. What if you feel like listening to a little "Figure Eight" without feeling like a juvenile?

Maybe these suggestions come a little late for actual Pointy Tree Day shopping, and maybe not. Maybe call them New Years gift ideas for yourself?

Most of the vocalists involved in the project had careers before Schoolhouse Rock, with the exception of Lynn Ahrens, who worked at the ad agency heading up the project, and was a musical hobbyist until it gave her a Big Break. More on her later.

Blosson Dearie, the woman who sang "Figure Eight" sang jazz, starting out in The Fifties. Here's a link to her self-titled album on Amazon. Here's a link to another one of her albums, My gentleman Friend on Amazon. Both are wonderful. Definite recommendo, unless you just hate jazz or something.

Bob Dorough, the guy who sang "Three is a Magic Number". Here's a link to one of his albums on Amazon. There is a Dorough-shaped hole in my music collection. I need to fix this, pronto.

Jack Sheldon, the guy who sang "Conjunction Junction". Here's a link to one of his albums on Amazon. He looks like Rush Limbaugh (a bad thing), but he sings like Ray Charles (a really great thing). Crazy, man.

Lynn Ahrens was the singer you know from "Adjectives". Here's a link to a collection of Ahrens & Flaherty songs on Amazon. Her work is more "show tuney" than anything else, so if you love broadway, this may be your thing. Jump to 3:01 to skip the talking and get straight to a song. (Blogger doesn't allow time indexing on embedded code.)

Essra Mohawk was the Jnice Joplion of the Schoolhouse rock singers. She's still yanking and cranking. Here's an Amazon link to her stuff, and below is some FaceTube of her. She's very much of the 1970's "freedom, man!" school of rock & roll.I don't have any of her music, but maybe I'll get around to it. Here's a FaceTube link to her cover of the jazz standard "Summertime", which doesn't allow embedding. Boo, for uncooperative record labels. But here's an embeddable clip her covering Bowie's Golden Years. Pretty nice!


Jim D. said...

I heard an interview with Blossom Dearie on that famous NPR interview show from Philadelphia. I always assumed her singing voice was affected, but no, she talked the same way. And it came out in the interview that she was a very intelligent woman. I walked away very impressed.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Oh man. If If I found out Dearie's voice was phony, I'd sour on her completely. Strange that it never occurred to me to wonder about that, but yeah you're totally right. It could have easily been a put-on. I'm glad she's for real.

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