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.

Boogie-Woogie that’ll knock your socks off

In St. Pancras International Train Station in London, Henri Herbert sat down at an open piano. After a few flourishes, somewhat like a speaker first clearing his throat, Herbert went to work — and what he did will knock your socks off. Passers-by at St. Pancras seemed blasé about it, but Herbert is getting the attention he deserves thanks to the internet: