Just Because Music: Irving Berlin’s “How About A Cheer For The Navy?”

I’m doing something very wonderful and exciting today:  I’m attending the commissioning ceremony for the USS America.  If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to convince my companion at the ceremony to stick around in the City to watch the Blue Angels fly.  (My sister, who lives in a town where the Blue Angels never fly, thinks that they should visit every city in America to inspire patriotism and affection for our military.) If I’m not lucky . . . well, I’ll just come home and enjoy the memories of the morning.

I’ll write about the ceremony later, but I thought that a little music couldn’t hurt to set the mood.  Sorry about the horrible video quality, but it’s all that I could find:

Just Because Music: Two versions of “Oklahoma”

I’ve got an ear worm, so I naturally have to pass it on to you.  I’m very fond of Gordon McCrae, so I prefer his open, mellow voice to Hugh Jackman’s tight, clipped voice.  They both do a fine job, though, and it’s rather interesting to see the two performances back-to-back:

Incidentally, I saw John Raitt — one of the original Curlys — perform the song live when he was about 60 years old. I was at a Bonnie Raitt concert, and he came on and the two of them performed it as a duet. The concert was at UC Berkeley’s Greek Theater back in the late 1970s. I was surrounded by a lot of very stoned people who somehow managed to rouse themselves to holler out “Oklahoma” for the chorus. I found it quite amusing. Looking back, I suspect I was witnessing the last generation which had a shared culture that included the musical Oklahoma.

If you want a sense of John Raitt’s style in an enthusiastic song, you can see him here, in “There Once Was A Man,” from The Pajama Game.