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

Intervista #5
When Legends Gather #410


Well, here's a strange bit of audio I've had hanging around for a while: An interview (I think) conducted in November of 1961 for (get this) Redbook magazine. The principals are playwright/composer/actor/diarist/Vegas headliner Noel Coward, and Vincente Minnelli's ex, Judy Garland. Now, whom is supposed to be interviewing whom is not entirely clear to this reporter. If any of our visitors have the backstory on this lively exchange, feel free to drop me an email; or, better still, t'row it in the Comment section. We'll be glad you did.

Update (07/01/08)

Lloyd Fonvielle of the frequently amazing and highly-recommended blog Mar de Cortes Baja, makes the following case:

"I'm guessing this was recorded in Boston during the out-of-town tryouts for Coward's musical Sail Away, which ended up running for 167 performances on Broadway. Could the Kay who sometimes moderates be Kay Thompson, vocal arranger and vocal coach to Judy when she was at MGM, later a nightclub chanteuse and author of the "Eloise" books?"

Pursuing that line of (good) speculation, Lloyd continues:

"There seems to be some guy from the magazine there, in addition to 'Kay'. At one point, 'Kay' offers to moderate the discussion -- 'You can cut me out later,' she says. Then Coward says to Kay and Judy that the last time they came over to his apartment his neighbors almost asked him to leave the building.

"Kay Thompson was known as something of a character -- it's said that Auntie Mame was based on her -- and she and Garland remained friends after both had left Metro. Thompson did the vocal arrangements for a TV special Garland appeared on a year after this conversation.

"So this 'Kay' could very well be her."

I'll buy that. Well reasoned and well done, monsieur.

No comments :