"Anyone who can bring even a pinprick of light into a dark landscape is obligated to do so."
115 - Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1955)
November 14, 2007 10:55 PM PST
Words by Fred Ebb, Music by Alec Wilder114 - Dear World (2006)
October 30, 2007 11:49 PM PDT
Words by William Engvick, Music by Alec Wilder
The music was originally composed as Slow Waltz, or Sand Castle Waltz, for Jerome Hill's 1960 film The Sand Castle. It was used during the color dream sequence in the film, but was not included on the soundtrack LP, and lay dormant until words were added in 2005
Jimmy Bennett vocal, Dorothy Martin piano from the Friends of Alec Wilder Concert in New York on March 11, 2006
Dear World has just been published - along with three other freshly-minted Wilder-Engvick collaborations - for the first time in The Richmond Organization's brand new The Alec Wilder Song Collection Centennial Edition (pictured above), now available from Hal Leonard
Today marks one year since the launching of wilderworld, 100 records in 100 days to celebrate 100 years of Alec Wilder. So far over 21,000 visitors, from Denver to Beijing to Haifa to Caracas to Zagreb to just about everywhere, have stopped in to check out some of the most witty, poignant and profound music ever composed and committed to vinyl (or shellac). Thank you all! Special thanks to those who have contributed (sometimes unknowingly) to this podcast, thus furthering the noble cause of quality in a world that often has difficulty recognizing it
Alec Lives!! (see wilderworld 103)113 - Moon in the Sea (1941)
October 24, 2007 12:59 AM PDT
Words by Alec Wilder, Music by Enric Madriguera
Recorded March 28, 1941112 - Jack, This Is My Husband (1949)
October 16, 2007 01:42 AM PDT
Alec Wilder Octet as on wilderworld 59
From LP Alec Wilder Octets (Mercury 25008)111 - Pinocchio (1957)
October 13, 2007 09:52 PM PDT
On October 13, 1957 - 50 years ago today - NBC aired a live, nationally-televised production of Pinocchio featuring music composed by Alec Wilder. It is widely considered one of the classics from "the Golden Age of Television"
wilderworld recently asked Pinocchio lyricist William Engvick to share his recollections of the production. Here is some of what he related:
“I thought it was pretty good. The night of the broadcast I was in the studio. I watched it from a room - I wasn’t with the players. Mickey Rooney was friendly and nice. I can’t remember if Alec was there. Even if he was, he always pretended he wasn’t. They had never done it live before, and it had to be perfect because you couldn’t edit like you can today. There were a number of rehearsals of which I attended a few.
“It might have been a more pleasant experience were it not for the 'producer' [and scriptwriter], a terrible guy named Yasha Frank who resented us because he wanted to do it all himself. He’d been successful with Pinocchio in WPA days. The real producer was David Susskind of Talent Associates. He was a nice guy. He liked us. He also hired us for Hansel and Gretel [broadcast in April of 1958].
"I worked on Pinocchio from July to September. The Lullaby was something Alec and I had written a while before called Simple As ABC. I thought it would work in the show, suggested it and changed the words. Alec wrote all the music very quickly. It takes me longer to write, so Alec took off for Rochester - or wherever - and left me alone with these monsters! I felt like I was doing all the work. Sometimes he’d never say where he was. I think it was a real weakness of his: he simply couldn’t be tied down to anything, or own anything. Except for books. Bookstore owners loved Alec. He bought loads of books and gave most of them away.
“After Hansel and Gretel, Alec and I decided not to do anymore. We were offered a third program [Hiawatha] but turned it down. The drug company [Rexall] that sponsored them pulled out. Yasha Frank killed himself shortly after that. Several years later his son called me for permission to produce Pinocchio again. I said that would be fine, but nothing came of it.
“That was a long time ago. It’s all part of a dream.”
A video or DVD of the Pinocchio broadcast has never been released commercially, although a kinescope copy of it exists at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Listen to Your Heart, Happy News, Pinocchio's Song, Lullaby, The Fox's Pitch, The Jolly Coachman, The Birthday Song from LP Pinocchio (Columbia CL 1055); Sung by Fran Allison, Stubby Kaye, Mickey Rooney, Gordon B. Clarke, Martyn Green, Jerry Colonna and chorus110 - It's So Peaceful in the Country
October 01, 2007 04:31 PM PDT
It's So Peaceful in the Country words and music by Alec Wilder (see wilderworld 15)
by the Delta Rhythm Boys (1941), Creed Taylor Orchestra from LP Shock Music in Hi-Fi (ABC Paramount ABCS-259 1958), Tak Shindo from LP Accent on Bamboo (Capitol ST-1433 1960) and Bill Mays from Alec Wilder Centennial Concert in New York April 29, 2007
Poor Mr. Flibberty-Jib words by Marshall Barer, music by Wilder; Anne Lloyd, Gilbert Mack, Dick Byron, The Sandpipers, Mitchell Miller and Orchestra (Golden Records R53A 1951)
A Month in the Country words by William Engvick, music by Wilder; Frank Baker vocal, Walter Gross piano (1939)
I'm Headin' West (For a Rest) words by Barer, music by Wilder; Dick Jurgens and his Orchestra (Columbia 1-628 1950)
Picture above is an excerpt from Alec Wilder's June 12, 1959 appearance before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C. where he spoke in favor of repealing the performance royalty fee exemption enjoyed by jukebox operators109 - Chicago Centennial Concert (2007)
August 19, 2007 12:07 PM PDT
On August 3 the majestic Harold Washington Library was the site of a marvelous tribute to the music and words of Alec Wilder. The brainchild of Chicago native Richard Wyszynski, conductor and friend of Wilder, the free concert featured orchestral pieces, selections from the Lullabies and Night Songs (see wilderworld 96) and a few Octets. Here are some highlights of that afternoon
All music by Alec Wilder
Air for English Horn (1945) was transcribed for and performed on clarinet by Gail Schechter, with the Cardinal Chamber Orchestra
Star Wish (words traditional), The Answers (words by Robert Clairmont), The Journey (words by William Engvick), and The Cottager to Her Infant (words by Dorothy Wordsworth) feature Alyssa Bennett vocal and Lisa Pustina piano; excerpts from Wilder’s Clues to a Life: Letters I Never Sent read by Wyszynski
The Children Met the Train written in 1940
While in Chicago be sure to visit the Alec Wilder display on the 8th floor of the Harold Washington Library through October 31 (pictured above)108 - Where's the Man (1948)
August 11, 2007 12:38 PM PDT
Words and music by Alec Wilder
Recorded May 24, 1948107 - I Wish I Had the Blues Again
July 29, 2007 04:25 AM PDT
Many are familiar with I Wish I Had the Blues Again, the Alec Wilder-Loonis McGlohon song written in 1978 and memorably performed by Marlene VerPlanck. Fewer are aware that 30 years earlier Alec co-wrote a completely different song with the same title: I Wish I Had the Blues Again. With music by Eddie Finckel (see wilderworld 13), it was recorded by Nat King Cole and his trio on November 29, 1947 but rejected by Capitol Records. Alec, not one to let a good idea go to waste, scavenged the title and a line or two
From Nat King Cole 1947-1949 (Classics 1155 2000) Cole (piano), Irving Ashby (guitar), Johnny Miller (bass)
From LP Marlene VerPlanck Sings Alec Wilder (Audiophile AP 218) Loonis McGlohon (piano), Rick Petrone (bass), Mel Lewis (drums) Recorded March 1986106 - Beguiner's Luck (1956)
July 24, 2007 02:51 AM PDT
“Beguiner’s Luck is a seldom-heard composition from the pen of Alec Wilder. An exciting beguine strongly flavored by the incessant rhythmic sounds of the bongo drums with bass figures predominant in the low-pitched marimbas of the ensemble. An excellent yardstick to guage the low frequency response of any high fidelity system.”
From LP Leo Arnaud and His Orchestra Spectra-Sonic-Sounds!! (Liberty LRP 3009)
Recorded January 1955
100 records to celebrate 100 years of Alec Wilder...and more!
Born February 16, 1907
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