Saturday Morning Swing: Duets!

Good morning everyone! Today I’m feeling romantic…maybe it’s because Mr Eclipse and I are going on our honeymoon this week! Yay! But, on to the music. These tracks are not necessarily romantic but they are some of my favourite duets!

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off (1937)

I can’t think of duets without thinking of Fred and Ginger! Although this doesn’t make me want to swing out, I love the wordplay between these two and who can pass up rollerskating tap dancing!

Bing Cosby and Louis Armstrong – Now You Has Jazz (1956)

This is one of my favourite clips. A real pleasure to watch as well as listen to! I like how the musicians are showcased and how it explains the ways the instruments come together to form jazzzzzzzz!

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – Oops (1956)

Ok, so maybe we’re getting a little romantic now. This is my favourite duet because it’s just so darn cute, and it was also the song we used for our wedding dance….nawwww. Ella and Louis, just perfection ❤

Thanks for listening! If you’d like to listen to these in a playlist, you can here.

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Last night I sang in front of people and I didn’t die

I have this crazy anxiety about singing in front of other people. I don’t know why – I enjoyed singing as a kid and was in my primary school choir, but I also have memories of feeling like I wasn’t very good and feeling ashamed of that. I think I stopped singing fairly early on. Up until recently I couldn’t even bring myself to sing in front of my husband – not without putting on a funny voice and making a joke out of it.

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Ella Fitzgerald – one of my favourite vocalists.

When we were writing The Gin Sisters the plan was to have a couple of songs in there, and I was going to do a song by myself. The idea terrified me but I was determined to give it a go and get over my fear. The first time I tried to sing in front of our director I was a mess – as soon as I stood up the anxiety washed over me and I could barely get anything out. The next few times I got a bit better, but my voice was still shaky and I was so nervous that we pulled it from the show. I was bitterly disappointed in myself and angry that I was letting my own self-doubt get in the way of my goals. I put it away for months while we focused on the rest of the show, and said to myself “well that’s just one skill you can’t do”. I beat myself up so badly over it – ridiculous right? I stopped practicing and became shy about singing at home again.

I played my uke in The Gin Sisters but didn't sing!

I played my uke in The Gin Sisters but didn’t sing!

We did two runs of the show – Perth Fringe World and Adelaide Fringe, and I tried to see as many shows as possible. I’ve been so inspired by the work I’ve seen that I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone even further than I had with The Gin Sisters (where I still have my partner in crime Sapphire to rescue me when I forget my lines!) and do a one woman show, which I am writing at the moment and will be performing in the Cabaret Fringe Festival in June. In that vein, I have been trying to do new and scary things and so I decided that I would try singing a little song in our amateur night, Bloomers.

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Some of the gals performing in Bloomers with Sapphire – some for the very first time!

One of my biggest problems is that if I don’t start in the right place, I can be singing way out of tune but not know how to get back in tune. Sometimes when I hear notes next to each other I can’t tell which one is higher or lower, and I also struggle to tell when I am doing it right. The fear of being out of tune really puts me off. So, to get over that, I sang accompanied by two egg shakers (skilfully manned by audience members), so I wouldn’t have to stress about being in tune with anything except myself. I didn’t tell anyone I was going to do it so I could back down shame free, but I also didn’t bring a plan B which meant I pretty much had to do it.

You know what, I was ok. My voice didn’t break, I think I hit the right places and my words didn’t come out muffled. I’m not going to be doing musicals any time soon, but I did it. And I’m really proud of myself. It was just a silly little song that lasted all of a minute, but it’s a wall I’ve been running into for years, and it feels great to have broken through a little, and I’m interested to see what’s on the other side.

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Saturday Morning Swing: It wouldn’t be make believe….

I’ve had a song stuck in my head for what feels like a week now, but that’s ok because it’s one of my favourites! So cute and sweet.

Ella Fitzgerald & The Delta Rhythm Boys – It’s Only A Paper Moon (1945)

We’ll open this morning with my favourite version of this song. Although it’s a bit cheesy, I adore the barber-shop backing to this track! I love shuffling around the dance floor to this with my sweetheart 😉

The Manhattan Jazz Orchestra: It’s Only A Paper Moon

This rendition is almost a little too “jazzy” for me, but by the end of the trombone section I am all over this with some head bobbing and toe tapping.

Django Reinhardt – It’s Only A Paper Moon (1949)

Let’s take a wander over to some strings! This song makes me want to do some balboa or run around in circles waving my arms. Either way I’m having fun.

If you want to listen to these in a playlist you can here.