mellicious: pink manicure (fireworks)
[personal profile] mellicious
I have another four Music Advent videos to show you, so yay, I don't have to stop and consider what to write about next. (See here for the explanation of this year's "connections" theme.)

So where I stopped in the entry linked above was with "Wicked Game." And it wasn't a stretch from there to think "Wicked Witch" but using Wicked the Musical seemed like an uninteresting choice, and the Wicked Witch in the old movie doesn't sing. So the other thing that occurred to me was "The Wiz" which I'm not really familiar with at all. I looked it up and the Wicked Witch there is named Evillene and she does indeed have a song - apparently only the one, near as I could figure out. I knew (or well, I was prodded by the internet to remember, anyway) that Mary J. Blige did this role in the recent "Live" TV version, but again, that seemed like an obvious/less interesting choice. I hunted around and found this rather amazing version from the old Wiz movie. This is Mabel King, who apparently also did this same role in the original Broadway production. I love that costume, for one thing - how many crowns is she wearing? about five? - but also, going from the lead-in to the number, this full-on gospel-style number is just not what I expected. It's pretty awesome, and now I may have to (finally, after all this time) go back and watch the whole movie and find out if there are more gems like this there.


As I said, I planned out the first few days and after that I realized that this is not really all that hard, coming up with connections, and I could just wing it. The next day, I started poking around in the Wikipedia article about The Wiz, and what I found that I eventually used was that Mabel King was the Wicked Witch and Lena Horne was the Good Witch. So I decided to do a Lena Horne song, and pretty much the first thing I found was "Stormy Weather" (which I think may be from a 40s movie of the same name) which seemed thematically appropriate as well. Heck, the way the wind is blowing in the background for most of that song, it looks like there's gonna be another twister any time. Also, if you're interested in such things, be sure to stick around for the ballet number (!) that follows the song.


So then, the next night, I came home and read the Wikipedia article on Lena Horne for inspiration. I found connections to both Harry Belafonte and Tony Bennett, among others I could have used, but I also found that Janet Jackson was once cast as Lena in a biopic before Nipplegate put a stop to that. And I wasn't really wanting to stay with these really old songs that badly, so I went with Janet. I picked this one, just because I like it:


And then we come to this last night. I was driving home in the car thinking about this, and I went, well, if we're avoiding the obvious, the really obvious thing here would be to jump to Michael or the Jackson Five or something like that. And from there I thought, well, how about a different Jackson? Like Joe! And then "Steppin' Out" immediately started playing in my head, but I really never liked that song that much. I did really like Joe Jackson at some point, I remembered, though, and I knew there had to be some more songs to choose from even if I couldn't remember exactly what they were, at that exact moment. And luckily I was almost home by that point and didn't forget my new inspiration before I got there. So instead of that song I don't like (which I wouldn't have used, anyway - I would have gone to Janet's Wikipedia entry for more inspiration, rather than that), we have this, which is a live version from the Jools Holland show in 2003:

(From his reaction, this must be a much more enthusiastic response of "WHERE?" than he was accustomed to - he nearly cracks up both times.)

And I have no idea what I'm doing next. you'll have to check my Tweets (or the tag) or wait another four days to find out!

Holidailies - blue

Date: 2016-12-09 02:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mary wise (from livejournal.com)
Yes, Lena's "Stormy Weather" was indeed from a movie of the same name, made in 1943 with an all African-American cast. It also stars Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Cab Calloway, and Fats Waller. It was pretty much a showcase of talent, and included the most amazing tap routine by the Nicholas Brothers. The more you know... :)

Date: 2016-12-10 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellificent.livejournal.com
Thank you! I tried to look it up and got more than one answer. I think she must have sung it in more than one movie, which seems reasonable since it was such a big hit, but I wasn't having much luck figuring out which one was first.

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