Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
"I feel like soundtrack music is almost like seeing the movie again, but with my ears."
It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.
The weekend has finally arrived.
The sun has set.
The evening sky has erupted.
Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.
Tonight, in observance of the 85th annual Academy Awards, music from one of the very best.
Casablanca is one of the greatest films to ever come out of Hollywood.
The American Film Institute rates the following for Casablanca:
Greatest Movie of All-Time: #3
Best Hero: Rick Blaine (#4)
Top Movie Song: “As Time Goes By” (#2)
Best Movie Quote: “Here’s looking at you, kid” (#5)
Most Passionate Film: #1
Most Inspiring Film: #32
Most Thrilling Film: #37
Greatest Screen Legend, Men: Humphrey Bogart (#1)
Greatest Screen Legend, Women: Ingrid Bergman (#4)
There are some classic tunes in that movie, some merely background music performed by Dooley Wilson and the cafe's (Warner Bros. Studio) orchestra. Tonight we feature, not the original soundtrack, but other renditions of those timeless standards.
Our first selection dates back to Al Jolson in 1920. Jazz musician and historian Chris Tyle writes,“’Avalon’ is practically an advertisement for the resort town on Catalina Island off the coast of California which was a popular resort destination for the film community of Hollywood. The song not only relates missing the place ‘beside the bay’ but dreaming ‘from dusk ‘til dawn’ of someone left behind. One of the cleverest parts of the lyric is the rhyme ‘I’ll have to travel-on, to Av-a-lon’.”
Famed guitarist John Pizzarelli performs.
Next up, a 1924 song that had a 1940’s sophisticated sound to it. This masterpiece was written by Gus Khan who also wrote “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” a big hit for Cass Elliot in the 1960’s.
Almost 90 years after this next song first appeared, an unusual duo walked into a studio to sing their take.
From the Blue Note NYC blog:
“Many people often think of tunes that are today considered jazz standards as being originally written for something; for a play, for a film, etc. I once saw a show in which jazz musicians paid tribute to Broadway. ‘The Very Thought of You’ was a featured tune. However, ‘The Very Thought of You’ was never on Broadway. It was never featured in a play - it wasn't written for one - and it wasn't on film until 1950, in Young Man With A Horn. It was written by Ray Noble for his orchestra for the purpose of performance.
“Noble led a very successful English orchestra whose records sold very well in America. Upon arriving in America, Noble hired Glenn Miller to recruit American musicians for his new band. While they did have a successful run at the Rainbow Room, his American band wasn't as successful; the musician's grew to look up to Miller and resent Noble.”
Noble's 1934 tune lives on, sung here in the mid-60’s on ABC’s “Hollywood Palace” by Nancy Wilson.
A server brings a plate as Rick’s Café pianist Issam, rear center, performs for customers at the Rick’s Café in Casablanca, Morocco. Morocco’s commercial capital has a nightlife that is a fitting tribute to Rick’s Café Americain from the Hollywood classic “Casablanca.” At left is a poster announcing the 70th anniversary tribute to the movie. Photo: Abdejalil Bounhar/Associated Press. Read more here.
That’s it for this week’s installment.
Have a great weekend.
We close with, of course...
Play it again, Kev.