Sunday, April 28, 2024

Soubrette Heart: Blossom Dearie 100

Blossom Dearie - My New Celebrity Is You

All right, we're gonna end April in torrential style, with the rare three in a row from me, beginning with a much needed interruption of the sausage fest that is my page.

Today we'll start the trifecta of birthday goodness by unpacking our adjectives for another undersung star of the firmament.

And wouldn't you know it, she's the third centennial of the month! April 1924 was quite a time, apparently, with Charlie Rouse, Hank Mancini and Blossom Dearie all hitting the C-Note in 2024.

Of course most people associate Blossom Dearie, if they know of her at all, from her cameo on several Schoolhouse Rock! songs from the early 1970s, when her friend Bobby Dorough -- I will cover him someday, I promise -- enlisted her to sing about the Number 8 and the Scary Bear, much to the delight of then-seven-year-olds such as I.

Of course we know she's about quite a lot more than grammar lessons via cartoons, as good as she was in that series.

As identifiable from one syllable as any vocalist who'll ever open their mouth to sing, she started wayyyyy back in the 1950s with her unique brand of coquettish, playful little-girl-gone-astray voicings.

The French call this type of character a soubrette, who can transmit a flirtatious, naughty vibe even when reading the phone book.

She forged a whole, decades-long career with her one-off style of swinging piano stylings accompanied by her unmistakable vocals, until she left our plane in 2009.

ROIOs of Blossom Dearie are hard to come by -- dare I say, nonexistent -- but here she is invading Marian McPartland's utterly ecstasy-inducing Piano Jazz radio program back in the 1980s, dragged by me off the archive site of that wonderful show and supplied here for your enjoyment.

Blossom Dearie
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
probably Manhattan Beach Studios
New York City, NY USA

01 NPR "Piano Jazz" intro
02 talk
03 My New Celebrity Is You
04 talk
05 I'm Shadowing You
06 talk/NPR ID
07 talk
08 Surrey with the Fringe On Top
09 talk/NPR ID
10 talk
11 Inside a Silent Tear
12 talk
13 Bye Bye Country Boy
14 talk/NPR ID
15 talk 
16 Everything I've Got Belongs to You
17 talk
18 The Things We Did Last Summer
19 talk
20 If I Were a Bell
21 NPR outro & ID

Total time: 57:23

Blossom Dearie - piano & vocals
Marian McPartland - piano

192/48k HD webstream captured from the Piano Jazz archive site
converted to 16/44 CD Audio and tracked by EN, April 2024
243 MB FLAC./direct link

Anyway I shall return in 24 with something completely different, yet similar in that it's another milestone b'day for another long-gone luminary.

Before we do that, we remind you to feel free to use any and all praiseful adjectives as we fondly remember Blossom Dearie on her 100th birthday!--J.

4.28.1924 - 2.7.2009

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