Episode 15: Laughing at Life, track by track! "Strip Polka"
IN THIS EPISODE:
Melissa discloses that she likes the gavotte (don't get too excited; it's an 18th century French dance), we speculate on the life of Queenie (the stripper with a heart of gold), our sax player's solo would fit right in on Saturday Night Live, and we discuss the pronunciation of "thee-yay-ter" vs. "theatre." If you haven't guessed it already, we're talking about our version of the Johnny Mercer penned novelty tune, "Strip Polka."
THE SENTIMENTAL GENTLEMAN FROM GEORGIA: JOHNNY MERCER
Composer/lyricist/singer/Capitol Records co-founder Johnny Mercer was born in Savannah, GA and moved to New York City's Greenwich Village at just 19 years old. When he wasn't collaborating with Hoagy Carmichael, Harold Arlen, and Harry Warren (to name but a few), he was writing for Hollywood. His songs were immortalized by the biggest stars of the day: Fred Astaire, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, and countless others. His legacy continues today, with the Johnny Mercer Foundation, which supports songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook with far-reaching educational initiatives and charitable outreach.
ABOUT THAT SAX SOLO...
That bump-n-grind, no-holds-barred, SNL-opening-credits-worthy saxophone solo you hear on this track is courtesy of our friend and colleague Jeff Lederer. His freewheeling romp of a solo really gives this track a special je ne sais quoi...we are certain Queenie herself would approve!
QUEENIE...QUEEN OF THEM ALL!
It's impossible to know if Johnny Mercer was imagining any one particular dancer when he wrote "Strip Polka," but we like to think he was picturing someone like these gals.