It began with an idea: for many years, I had wanted to create a song inspired by The Carpenters’ Merry Christmas, Darling—one of the all-time great holiday classics that was written by Richard Carpenter and Frank Pooler and recorded in 1970
“Where did you find her, Miss Crawford?” the interviewer asks of Carol, the terrified six-year-old placed on Joan’s lap as a prop—sort of like the crumpled flowers. One feels for the bewildered child, whom Joan now asphyxiates in the fetid brew of her alcohol- perfume- and cigarette-drenched plane ride. “Oh, I just always pick up children,” the star replies without a hint of irony, clearly unaware that George Cukor is not, in fact, the man behind the camera and that it is no longer 1940.
In today’s digital era, where songs have become “tracks,” we have access to most everything but we all program our playlists in isolation.
Here we have a clip of show business legend Leslie Uggams struggling through Rogers & Hammerstein’s “June is Bustin’ Out All Over,” a video that was being traded by gay collectors and folks in the Broadway community (redundant?) years before anyone thought up YouTube.
In the days after a tragedy like Orlando where it seems that the world (and certainly the world of Stargayzing readers) are grieving, the usual topics of the blog would seem rather tone deaf. I have struggled to find a way back to Stargayzing in this heightened atmosphere of anger, confusion, and pain. After ruminating for several days, I knew the answer must be musical, hence a list of 16 musical messages of hope, empathy, and peace.