[Dixielandjazz] This is a public service announcement.

Richard Broadie richard.broadie at gte.net
Sat Aug 2 21:27:37 PDT 2003

A very fine jazz pianist just emailed this to me.  Thought you might enjoy
the contents.  I look forward to your comments.

Dick Broadie


This is a public service announcement.

It has come to my attention that at any given gig, people will request that
the band play certain songs. There is a depressing inevitability to the
songs that get requested. Following is a list of many of those songs, and
probable reasons why your request didn¹t get honored.

"In The Mood":

This is the bane of every big band, as well as most small Jazz combos and
wedding bands of every stripe. It's a song that most musicians learn to play
at a very early stage of their career, and by the time they've become
professionals they're already sick of the song. They don't care what event
in your life you associate it with, their souls just shrivel when they hear
the name.

Inside musician joke (if you don't understand it, next time you request this
song, also ask to have the joke explained to you): There's good news and bad
news. The good news is that Glenn Miller's plane went down. The bad news is
that they saved the book.

"Mack The Knife":

If Ute Lemperer or Marlene Dietrich is singing it to the Original Kurt Weill
orchestrations it's a cool song. If a wedding band is playing it and trying
to make it swing it's just horrible. Have you ever listened to the lyrics?

"Jump, Jive and Wail":

In a very short time this song has almost eclipsed "In The Mood" in
odiousness (odiosity?). We don't care if it makes you feel hip, a request
for this song just sucks the spirit out of a band. Hey, big news, the
"neo-swing" craze ended a few years ago, pretty much the moment this song
appeared in a commercial. Louis Jordan was cool, no argument there. A
wedding band playing this song is not, and furthermore they're probably not
happy either.

"Girl From Ipanema":

This is a lovely song, and frankly we really don't mind Playing it as much
as some of this other dreck, but there are a ton of other Antonio Carlos
Jobim songs that are more fun to play. And what usually happens when we do
play it, some young, white yuppie idiot goes into his or her 'Latin'
routine -- you know what I'm talking about. They get this silly look on
their face and they do their idea of a samba. To be honest, even if we're
not Latino it's insulting, racist and ignorant.

"Proud Mary":

Again, not a bad song. We¹re just sick to death of playing it.


What is it with this song? Unless you live below the Mason-Dixon line and/or
the band is honest-to-God Southerners, there is no earthly reason to want to
hear this song.

"Linus and Lucy":

Again, a charming song, but it's really not jazz, as so many of You seem to
think it is. Most pianists have learned how to play this purely out of
self-defense; it's just easier (and faster) to play the damn thing than to
weasel out of it. Vince Guaraldi, the song's author, is well-regarded
amongst jazz musicians, and one of his other Peanuts songs: "Christmastime
Is Here" is one of our favorites.

"My Way":

Unless it's the Sid Vicious version, or unless you and/or the Band is either
Italian or from New Jersey, it's just not a great song.

"The Chicken Dance" or "The Hokey Pokey":

Unless you're 10 years old or live in Wisconsin (cheeseheads get a special
dispensation), don't you think the whole idea is kind of ridiculous?

"The Macarena":

Hey, it's already 2003. The stinking carcass of the song should have been
cremated years ago.

Anything by Kenny G:

To ALL self-respecting jazz musicians, Kenny G is the Anti-Christ.

99.9% of saxophonists in America would sooner climb into a cage filled with
rabid weasels (or booking agents) than play "Songbird".

Anything by Andrew Lloyd Webber:

I have it on good authority that this is a true story. Webber Was introduced
to Frank Loesser, a certified giant among American theatrical composers, at
a party in Manhattan. He asked Loesser why people seemed to have an
immediate dislike for his (Webber's) work, and Loesser said, "It saves

If you put 20 orangutangs in a hotel room with word processors it'd take
them less than a day to write an A.L.W. lyric.

Anything by Celine Dion:

Well, maybe some of the female vocalists out there wouldn't Mind the
opportunity to sho-off their chops, but they don't count. Us players hate
the stuff. A 'C.D.' song is a locomotive whose emotional throttle is jammed
wide open.

Feel free to contribute your own, or to argue.


No explanation needed for the following: (see "Proud Mary," Which I think IS
a bad song) "When the Saints Go Marching In" "Happy Birthday" "New York, New
York" "Tie A Yellow Ribbon" "Leroy Brown" "Color My World" "You Light Up My
Life" "Feelings"

Carole with an "e"

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