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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 25, 2005 / 14 Adar II, 5765

Bobby Short was much more than a saloon singer

By Diana West


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Every so often, my dad laughs about a kid he served with in the Army during World War II. This fellow wasn't a big pal; just a guy he knew from New Jersey, 18 or 19 years old. One day, kidding around, this young GI started to dance my dad, also 18 or 19 years old, around the barracks singing, "Cheek to Cheek" — a perfect if unconventional standard by Irving Berlin, introduced by Fred Astaire in "Top Hat." Now consigned to the rarefied, quite narrow stratum of cabaret, this was the kind of tune that was playing in the head of the American enlisted man circa 1943.

This anecdote occurred to me this week at the news that Bobby Short had died, age 80. As the cabaret singer nonpareil — he preferred the job description "saloon singer" — Bobby Short and his passing were duly noted with deservedly generous obits and glowing appreciations. His flair, his sophistication, his giant musicality made all the papers, as did his high-society status as a New York institution, commemorated on film by another New York institution, Woody Allen, who featured the pianist in "Hannah and Her Sisters." His elegance in a dinner jacket, his insouciance with a song, all received their due. But his salient contribution to society — high, low and otherwise — went completely unmentioned.

That contribution was the leading role Bobby Short played in saving the American popular song. Once upon a time, the music Bobby Short played for the mink-and-mimosa set — the marvelously vital and enchanting songs of Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Noel Coward, Frank Loesser, Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen and many others — flowed along just fine in the meat-and-potatoes mainstream, dancing GIs included. Then came the rock 'n' roll flood that washed away everything that came before it. "I barely kept the wolf from the door!" Bobby Short told one reporter, recalling the 1960s as the most difficult time in his life. But just as the Irish monks on their windy crags preserved the texts of Western civilization through the Dark Ages, Bobby Short at his piano in the Cafe Carlyle on the Upper East Side of Manhattan preserved the American standard through the Rock Ages — albeit more glamorously.

Twice a night, five nights a week, six months a year, starting in 1968 — the year of the Tet Offensive, "Hair" and Richard Nixon — Bobby Short played, sang and breathed life into the American popular songbook that the new rock culture had slammed shut.

And he didn't just play, sing and breathe life into the 100 most familiar songs of the genre — the showstoppers and signature tunes that make up the less adventurous repertoires of more pedestrian performers.

On the contrary, Bobby Short sought out tunes no one had heard before (and there are hundreds) — or at least hadn't heard since the 1930s when they were cut from the overlong scores of pre-Broadway shows playing out of town. On sides one through four of "Bobby Short Loves Cole Porter," for example, he never sings the familiar Porter tunes "Night and Day" or "I Get a Kick Out of You," but he does sing the freshly effervescent "Rap Tap on Wood," "How's Your Romance?" and "Let's Fly Away." His albums and set lists always contained some "new" gem, something a musicologist might have dug out of the vaults. Indeed, along with the unsurpassable zest and grace that made him a dazzling performer, Bobby Short approached the pop oeuvre with the care and diligence of the archivist.

Sure, the modern mainstream left Bobby Short high and dry. But having managed to paddle into the posh pond of the Carlyle, he was able to lure all the big fish in New York — the movers and socials, the royals and shakers — to hear him play the songs he so infectiously adored. (And me. I got there twice.) That swank boite of a living laboratory kept this music going, endowing it with presence and cachet in a time otherwise dead to it. I'm not sure anyone else could have done it. Younger cabaret singers notwithstanding, I'm not sure anyone else can do it now.

Bobby Short, R.I.P. "Easy Come, Easy Go"? (As that song by Eddie Heyman and Johnny Green says.) Hardly. This was, as Cole Porter's tune states, "At Long Last Love." And, to borrow a title from a new (to me) Rodgers and Hart song, "How Can You Forget?"

One more thing. Heading uptown to see Bobby Short may well have been a bow to Western civ, but a pilgrimage to the Carlyle was nothing but fun.

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JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.




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