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Subject: Re: Barbara Cook retiring
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 8 May 2017 10:03:56 -0700
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But how high a note you can sing doesn't really correspond to how you handle technical difficulties and "My White Knight" with its repeated phrases on the upper break, is a difficult song. 

I've heard a number of sopranos with good high Cs and above come to grief in "Dove Sono."

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On May 8, 2017, at 08:40, Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> There's always been a bit of mystery about both "My White Knight" and "Being In Love" - 
> namely, that the former song was possibly ghost-written by Frank Loesser. (And the fact 
> that the show's score was published by Frank Music Corporation - Loesser's company - 
> also adds to the intrigue.) I can cite reasons why I think this might NOT be true, but 
> admittedly, it's feasible. 
> 
> So - one of the reasons that has been given, over the years, for the switch to "Being In 
> Love" is that Loesser refused to give the rights to the song for use in the film. Even though 
> the song's recit-like middle section ("All I want is a plain man" etc) remains in the film. 
> Could it be that Willson wrote that part and Loesser wrote the main tune? (Somehow that 
> seems backwards to me - that the recit-style writing would have come  more naturally 
> from Loesser - but??)
> 
> I would like to think that Willson wrote it all, but who knows? Whoever wrote it, there's no 
> question that "My White Knight" is a beautiful song through and through. ("Being In Love" 
> is nice too, but not as lush or expressive.)
> 
> In the meantime, I tend to think that Shirley Jones probably could have sung "My White 
> Knight" as is. Aside from the final Ab, the song never goes higher than an F - easy 
> tessitura for Jones, given her past film/stage credits. I'm sure the Ab wouldn't have been a 
> problem either. But, maybe indeed the song wasn't a good fit for her. (Also interesting to 
> note that the song was heavily transposed - down a fourth! -  for none other than legit 
> soprano Kristin Chenoweth in the horrid TV remake of the show with the horribly miscast 
> Matthew Broderick - the reason seemingly was that the legit range of the song seemed too 
> high for the intimacy of the TV film and for the style of the times - i.e. "no one wants to 
> hear sopranos anymore" lol.)
> 
> In any case, I agree with all that has been said about the inimitable and amazing Barbara 
> Cook. So sad to see her ending her career - but we were so blessed to have her voice for 
> so long. And still quite amazing to realize that her last full Broadway show (the revue 
> Sondheim On Sondheim) was only 7 years ago! A very remarkable lady. 
> 
> 
> 
>> On Sun, 7 May 2017 23:26:22 -0700, Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> I was very disappointed that she didn't do the "Music Man" movie, particularly when 
> Meredith Wilson had to rewrite one of my favorite songs, "My White Knight" into something 
> else that Shirley Jones could sing.
> 
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