WBEZ | Sarah Vaughan http://www.wbez.org/tags/sarah-vaughan Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago says goodbye to ‘queen of jazz’ Geraldine de Haas http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-07/chicago-says-goodbye-%E2%80%98queen-jazz%E2%80%99-geraldine-de-haas-108113 <p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-6cbf8540-f7b7-6457-6d75-65ffea13a338"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/geraldine%20de%20haas.jpg" style="float: right; height: 366px; width: 300px;" title="Geraldine de Haas as a jazz vocalist (photo courtesy Darian de Haas)" />If you&rsquo;ve ever been to the <a href="http://southshorejazzlives.com/">South Shore Jazz Festival </a>on Chicago&rsquo;s lakefront, you probably met or at least caught a glimpse of Geraldine de Haas.</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas, a slim, petite woman with bright eyes, would wander the crowd behind the South Shore Cultural Center to say hello and delight in the scene.</p><p>&ldquo;That was the beauty of what happened at South Shore,&rdquo; said de Haas. &ldquo;Some children grew up with the festival. And when I see them now, they say &lsquo;You know, I remember my mother used to take me there when I was a little baby!&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">But this week, Geraldine bid her final farewell to the city she&rsquo;s called home for 45 years. De Haas has retired, and she and her husband moved to New Jersey to be closer to their children.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, her presence will remain strong here. Geraldine de Haas not only started her own festival, she helped build the Chicago Jazz Festival, and to save the South Shore Cultural Center from being razed and turned into a field house.</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas started her fest back in 1981. But her passion for jazz began much earlier, when she was growing up in New Jersey with eight brothers and sisters.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I used to sit there and watch them enjoy themselves dancing to the music of Ellington and Count Basie, and Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae,&rdquo; said de Haas. &ldquo;Everyone had their own way of expressing themselves.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas eventually got to meet some of those stars when she and two siblings formed a trio: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVrB0TqRkEU">Andy Bey and the Bey Sisters.</a> In the &lsquo;50s and &lsquo;60s they toured Europe and had a regular gig at the Blue Note in Paris.</p><p dir="ltr">They played with jazz greats and made a movie with Roger Vadim. Marlon Brando even &nbsp;tried to pick Geraldine up.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;At the end of the show, he came up to me and helped me get into my coat,&rdquo; said de Haas. &ldquo;He said &lsquo;What are you going to do tonight young lady?&rsquo; I said &lsquo;I&rsquo;m going home!&rsquo; (laughs). My son teases me. He said, &lsquo;Ma, Marlon could have been my father.&rsquo; I said, &lsquo;Right, that&rsquo;s what I was afraid of!&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Instead de Haas married jazz musician <a href="http://www.allmusic.com/artist/eddie-dehaas-mn0001190709">Eddie de Haas</a> and moved to Chicago in 1968. Eddie kept playing bass, but Geraldine eventually stopped performing to raise their children and pursue a degree.</p><p dir="ltr">But her jazz connections soon came in handy.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/geraldine%20de%20haas%20performing%281%29.jpg" style="float: left; height: 402px; width: 300px;" title="Geraldine de Haas performs as a vocalist with the trio Andy Bey and the Bey Sisters. (Courtesy of Darian de Haas)" />It was 1974, and Duke Ellington had just died. The Chicago jazz community wanted to pay tribute. A group of musicians was planning a concert on the South Side. Then de Haas showed up at the meetings.</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas recalled &ldquo;I said, but you have to remember Duke Ellington should be in the main park where people from all persuasions would come to it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas won the musicians over. But then she had to convince the Chicago Park District. They were worried about crowd control, and pointed to <a href="http://blast-from-thepast.com/blog/?tag=sly-and-family-stone-riot">a riot at a Sly and the Family Stone concert in 1970.</a></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I said Duke Ellington music would never create that kind of situation,&rdquo; said de Haas. &ldquo;People would come out here and enjoy his music because they loved his music!&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">With some help from then-Cook County Commissioner John Stroger, de Haas got her way. The Ellington concert was held in Grant Park. And she earned a reputation.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;They used to call me the pit bull,&rdquo; said de Haas. &ldquo;But that&rsquo;s alright (laughs). I grab ahold of something and don&rsquo;t let go until it happens.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas said her tenacity comes from a desire to unite the community.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;When I first moved here I thought the city was so divided in terms of black people on one side and white people on the other, and it seemed like the two couldn&rsquo;t get together.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas thinks the jazz scene now is less divided: Blacks and whites play in each other&rsquo;s clubs and communities.</p><p dir="ltr">But de Haas has struggled to keep jazz going. Though she brought big stars like Count Basie and Dianne Reeves to the South Shore Jazz Festival, it never made much money. Last year it was almost canceled.</p><p dir="ltr">Then this year, it was.</p><p dir="ltr">The new organizers &ndash; and the Park District &ndash; say they&rsquo;re working to bring it back next year. They&rsquo;ve even renamed the fest after de Haas and her husband as a parting gift.</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas said the best gift would be keeping her festival alive. She sees her legacy as an effort to expose young people to the music, and to their history.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The history of the music really deals with the life of black people in this country,&rdquo; said de Haas. &ldquo;And that is what drives me. You know, that&rsquo;s why this festival must continue. It must continue.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter and co-host of <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2">Changing Channels,</a> a podcast about the future of television. Follow her on<a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> Twitter</a>,<a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn"> Facebook</a> and<a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 19 Jul 2013 11:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-07/chicago-says-goodbye-%E2%80%98queen-jazz%E2%80%99-geraldine-de-haas-108113 Prayers, promises and Tulsa: The words of Hal David http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/prayers-promises-and-tulsa-words-hal-david-102196 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/7910661976_5b5f5fba77_z.jpg" style="float: left; height: 225px; width: 300px; " title="Hal David, right, with Burt Bacharach, middle, and Ed Ames, center. (Flickr/Tim Faracy)" /><strong>Tony Sarabia:</strong></p><p>When I was working at Domino&rsquo;s Pizza during my college days, one of my co-workers remarked during a conversation about music that he was more into words of a song than the music. Well, being deep into my Blue Note jazz love affair I strongly disagreed; not remembering my enthusiasm for Bob Dylan&rsquo;s poetry in high school or Tim Rice&rsquo;s &ldquo;Everything&rsquo;s Alright&rdquo; and his other gems from Jesus Christ Superstar, of which I knew all the words.</p><p>Boy we&rsquo;ve sure had some great lyricists throughout our country&rsquo;s musical history: Gershwin, Cole, Smokey, Joni, Cash and David.</p><p>For many, Hal David doesn&rsquo;t come to mind as quickly as the others but the titles of his songs are familiar even if you can&rsquo;t recite an entire Hal David song; he&rsquo;s written or co-written more than 700 tunes!</p><p>Among his more classic tunes: &quot;One Less Bell To Answer,&quot; &quot;Alfie,&quot; &quot;Walk On By,&quot; &quot;Close to You&quot; and &quot;A house Is Not A Home.&quot;</p><p>Hal David once said that unless he can create an emotion to which he can respond, he throws away the lyric. No wonder he was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame; he had high standards.</p><p>David was most associated with Burt Bacharach, who wrote the music to many of David&rsquo;s most memorable songs. They met at the famous Brill Building in 1956 and scored their first hit, writing &ldquo;The Story of My Life&rdquo; for country singer Marty Robbins.</p><p>The songwriting pair&rsquo;s number one vehicle for their work was Dionne Warwick, whom David described as their &ldquo;magical interpreter.&quot; But Hal David&rsquo;s words were sung by scores of others from Sarah Vaughn and the Beatles to disco diva Gloria Gaynor and The Dells.</p><p>This week Richard and I (joined by&nbsp;Chicago-based singer Joanie Pallatto on<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em>)&nbsp;will survey some of David&rsquo;s notable songs as we pay tribute to a songsmith who was recently honored -- along with Bacharach -- by President Barack Obama, who said of the pair, &ldquo;there&rsquo;s an unmistakable authenticity, they captured the emotions of our daily lives &mdash; the good times, the bad times, and everything in between.&rdquo; Indeed. &nbsp;Farewell Hal David.</p><p>Here are few of my favorite interpretations of Hal David hits:</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe frameborder="0" height="250" src="https://rd.io/i/QX9-5DNNz8I" width="500"></iframe></p><p><strong>Isaac Hayes</strong> was a behind the scenes guy before releasing the 1969 landmark soul album <em>Hot Buttered Soul</em>, which kicks off with his rendition of <strong>&quot;Walk On By.&quot;</strong> He takes the pop flavored song made famous by Dionne Warwick and turns it inside out; complete with his baritone sing/speak and occasional wah- wah and fuzz guitar, wicked organ, strings &nbsp;and a trio of back up female backup singers. This version is a killer that&rsquo;s been sampled many times. &nbsp;&ldquo;Sock it to me Mama!&rdquo;</p><p>Canadian country-rock and folk duo <strong>Ian &amp; Sylvia </strong>recorded <strong>&quot;Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa&quot;</strong> in 1966, three years after the original recording by Gene Pitney three years earlier. The song has been covered by, among others, Dusty Springfield and Chet Baker, who keeps the southwest feeling with the addition of Mariachi brass. On their version, the duo replace the strings electric and acoustic guitar and some well-placed organ riffs. &nbsp;The song is mostly a showcase for Ian&rsquo;s voice with Sylvia provided falsetto harmonies.</p><p>We hit the dance floor for this take on<strong> &quot;I&nbsp;Say A Little Prayer&quot;</strong> by disco and soul diva <strong>Gloria Gaynor</strong>. It&rsquo;s got a Soul II Soul feel and her voice still hits the mark. Nothing more to say, gotta go dance now.</p><p><strong>Richard Steele:</strong></p><p>The late Hal David, who died Saturday, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1921. He was a lyricist who became one half of a very successful songwriting team with Burt Bacharach in the late &lsquo;50s through the early &lsquo;70s. Some of his and Bacharach&rsquo;s greatest successes were the result of a musical alliance with a former session singer named Dionne Warwick, which resulted in a long string of hits in the 1960s.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP520925018.jpg" style="height: 387px; width: 300px; float: right; " title="Sarah Vaughan in 1952. (AP/ho)" />Several years before he became Burt Bacharach&rsquo;s songwriting partner, David wrote a song called <strong>&ldquo;Broken Hearted Melody&rdquo;</strong> with Sherman Edwards. Jazz diva <strong>Sarah Vaughan</strong> recorded it in 1959, and it became a huge pop hit that gave Vaughan her first gold record. According to her bio, she wasn&rsquo;t that thrilled with the song and thought it was kind of silly. It was quite a departure for someone who is now in the Jazz Hall of Fame. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>The team of&nbsp;<strong>David and Bacharach</strong> came up with the title song for the movie <strong><em>Alfie</em> </strong>that starred Michael Caine. The backstory is a bit complicated. When the musical duo were approached about doing the song, they immediately thought of their vocal muse, Dionne Warwick. But the movie producers said no. Since the film was being done in England, they insisted on a British vocalist. Hal and Burt went with Cilla Black instead. She really disliked the &ldquo;Alfie&rdquo; song -- with her British sensibility, she thought Alfie sounded like a dog&rsquo;s name. She did it anyway, and it had some success, but it wasn&rsquo;t used in the film. Actually, the song was only heard over the end credits, and that version was sung by Cher. That&rsquo;s because Cher was signed to a label that had a relationship with the film company. Her single was a non-starter. But finally, after countless unsuccessful versions by other singers, Dionne Warwick recorded it and the song became an &ldquo;instant&rdquo; classic. It was nominated for an Academy Award, and Warwick&rsquo;s performance at the Oscars was a show-stopper.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>David and Bacharach teamed up to write the song<strong> &ldquo;Wives and Lovers&rdquo;</strong> for a 1963 movie of the same name. You may be surprised to know that the song was not heard in any part of the movie, nor &nbsp;was it on the soundtrack. There was a little- known practice back then of writing movie &ldquo;exploitation songs.&rdquo; These were songs written using the title of the song (which, not so coincidentally, was also the movie title), as a device to promote a film. Every time you heard the song on the radio, you&rsquo;d think of the movie. The guy who recorded the song was a successful pop vocalist named Jack Jones, and he won a Grammy for his efforts.</p></p> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/prayers-promises-and-tulsa-words-hal-david-102196