The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Present Day Composer #37

Noel Coward (1899-1973)


Vanwall said...

This must be towards the end of a remarkably urbane career.

Tom Sutpen said...

I think it's a Life magazine photo from the time Coward was doing his Vegas gigs; late 50s.

You know, it's pretty amazing that Noel Coward's act went over as well as it did in Las Vegas. I mean, he actually brought in gamblers. Not as many as Sinatra or Joe E. Lewis, but certainly more than Danny Kaye and Elvis Presley (the 1956 engagement at the New Frontier specifically) combined.

swac said...

There's another photo from this session with Coward having a cup of tea in the middle of the desert. I think that might be the image on the cover of the Noel Coward in Las Vegas LP on Columbia.

Coward's live recordings for Columbia were later combined in the double-LP The Noel Coward Album (and on a slightly edited version on CD), but the packaging wasn't nearly as spiffy.