OK, I need to find some consistency here again…I’ll get back to that Song Challenge thing soon, but for now, here’s a favorite musical number of mine. This comes from the movie High Society, which is a musical remake of The Philadelphia Story, this time with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly in the parts played originally by Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, and with Frank Sinatra playing the nosy reporter originated by Jimmy Stewart in the original. High Society justifies its musical numbers by relocating the story to Newport, Rhode Island and a jazz festival that takes place there as Kelly’s Tracy Samantha Lord is remarrying after earlier divorcing Crosby. It’s a fine movie, and the musical numbers are all terrific (the film also makes good use of Louis Armstrong and his band), but I’m somehow never quite able to find Bing Crosby convincing as a romantic lead, and when you make a musical with Crosby and Sinatra, it seems odd to me that those two gentlemen are brought together for only one number.
But at least it’s a great number.
“Well Did You Evah” lampoons the kind of gossip that takes place in the rich-folks circles of those eastern communities, and the song itself catalogs the growth of a friendship in about four minutes between two men who are vaguely antagonistic toward each other at the beginning. By the time they reach the song’s final flourishes both Crosby and Sinatra appear to be having a blast, with one of my favorite lyrics ever: “Have you heard? It’s in the stars–next July we collide with Mars!”
Here’s “Well Did You Evah.”