1/27/15

JERRY LEWIS: A SCHVITZ ON YOUR SHOES


Continuing our examination of the 1956 long-playing (and I mean LONG playing) album "Jerry Lewis Just Sings", we come to Jerry's rendition of Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz's lovely "Shine On Your Shoes", immortalized by Fred Astaire in the film "The Bandwagon" (which I've posted below, for handy comparison). (The best recording of the song, for my money, is Mel Torme with George Shearing, done in the early 80s).

Listening to this song once Jerry gets hold of it, however, is like listening to a completely different tune. Jerry attacks the lilting and whimsical music and lyrics with all the grace and suavity of a pastrami sandwich (extra fatty), managing to nail down to the floor a song that wants to float--and which almost always, in the hands of any half-decent singer, does. Pay special attention to the "deedle-di-dies" as they embody, in just a quick phrase, everything that he doesn't get about swinging. I wrote to a friend about the album the other day, bemoaning the fact that there isn't filmed footage of this recording session, which must of been a doozy. He wrote back: "There is. Nuremberg rallies."


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