Lady Be Good

Reviewed by mojo

This became one of Ella's standards--just not in the incarnation heard here.

THIS "Lady Be Good" is a slow, standard ballad, which Ella sings as magnificently as always. And it being a ballad, Nelson Riddle brings out the strings big time, resulting in this lush, romantic sort of lullaby. Which is okay, even though we all privately know Mojo is not inordinately fond of slow aching ballads and we all know she is biting her tongue so as not to needlessly upset those who DO like ballads. As Seinfeld once said, not that there's anything wrong with it.

What *I* sometimes wonder, in my artless Mojo fashion, is how on EARTH did this Ella Woman take this slow, gentle, romantic ballad and turn it into the "Lady Be Good" of her many, many live performances? You listen to the music clip from Amazon there on the right and you're ready to lay your head on the shoulder of your beloved and sigh. Then you check out all the YouTube clips of her, and your jaw just drops.

Yep, that's your homework assignment. Go to the song's main page and look at all the clips. It'll take a while....but it will SO be worth it. You know it. I know it. So go do it! NOW!

Oh, Lady be Good! (1959)

in
Click below to hear a sample--or scroll down for associated media: 
Disc Number: 
1
Composer: 
George Gershwin
Lyricist: 
Ira Gershwin
Time: 
3:48

From Wikipedia:

 

"Oh, Lady be Good!" is a 1924 (see 1924 in music) song by George and Ira Gershwin.

The song was introduced by Walter Catlett in the Broadway show, Lady, Be Good!, written by Guy Bolton, Fred Thompson, and the Gershwin brothers, starring Fred Astaire and Adele Astaire. It ran for 330 performances in its original Broadway run. The song is also performed in the 1941 film, Lady Be Good, though the film itself is unrelated to the musical play.

A 1947 recording of the song became a hit for Ella Fitzgerald, notable for her scat solo. The song became readily identified with Fitzgerald, and she sang it many times in live performance. For her album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook (1959), Oh, Lady be Good! was sung as a ballad, arranged by Nelson Riddle.