"I'll be up like a rose bud, high on the vine."
September 9, 2013 7:55 PM   Subscribe

Though Cy Coleman enjoyed early success as a jazz pianist, the songwriter would eventually make his biggest mark on Broadway with scores for musicals such as "Wildcat" and "Sweet Charity". Before he died in 2004, he had won five Tonys, two Emmys and the lasting admiration of a great many artists. But enough of the balloon juice; get to the music!

Some early videos of the man himself performing can be found on YouTube:

His first filmed performance at the age of 22 and just tearing it up.
Performing his own "Witchcraft" and "The Best Is Yet To Come" next to a pipe-puffing Hugh Heffner on "Playboy's Penthouse".
And here he is performing "Will You Still Be Mine" on "Art Ford's Greenwich Village Party".

More recently, a spectacular tribute album was released in 2009 featuring renditions by a gathering of great female artists. The complete track listing:

"The Best Is Yet To Come" by Patty Griffin
"I've Got Your Number" by Jill Sobule
"Why Try To Change Me Now" by Fiona Apple
"I Live My Love" by Madeleine Peyroux
"Then Was Then And Now Is Now" by Ambrosia Parsley
"I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life" by Julianna Raye
"You Fascinate Me So" by Sam Phillips
"Hey Look Me Over" by Perla Batalla
"Too Many Tomorrows" by Sara Watkins
"I Walk A Little Faster" by Fiona Apple
"Where Am I Going?" by Sarabeth Tucek
"The Rules Of The Road" by Nikka Costa
"I'm In Love Again" by Missy Higgins
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (10 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
The Rhythm of Life is, without doubt my favorite song from Sweet Charity.
posted by HuronBob at 8:04 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

And, if anyone is wondering if Hugh Marston Hefner is still alive, the answer is yes. Evidently pipe smoking, booze, and women help you live until you're 87.

Thanks for the post, this is good stuff...
posted by HuronBob at 8:17 PM on September 9, 2013

OK, I'll quit after this one... Here's Cy playing New York State of Mind (vocals by some guy named Mel Torme)
posted by HuronBob at 8:31 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm partial to City of Angels

What You Don't Know About Women is a great song.

As is You Can Always Count On Me.
posted by brookeb at 8:32 PM on September 9, 2013

I always loved Join the Circus from Barnum.
posted by bakerina at 8:50 PM on September 9, 2013

Fun! Laughs! Good times!
posted by mintcake! at 9:31 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's hard to beat The Oldest Profession, from The Life. from There's a great instrumental version of it played by Coleman on the concept recording of The Life, but that one doesn't seem to have been digitized, which is a shame.

I'm listening to the tribute album now, thanks.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:55 AM on September 10, 2013

A few songs from cast recordings of Cy Coleman shows, sung by people you probably don't associate with musicals:

Hey! Look Me Over, Lucille Ball, from Wildcat
Never Met a Man I Didn't Like, Keith Carradine, from The Will Rogers Follies
Real Live Girl, Sid Caesar, from Little Me (Spotify link). There's a surprisingly charming version by Martin Short, but I can't find it online anywhere.

Mine, John Collum and Kevin Kline, from On the 20th Century (Spotify link)
Never, Madeline Kahn, from On the 20th Century
Repent, Imogene Coca, from On the 20th Century

The Colors of My Life, Glenn Close, from Barnum
There is a Sucker Born Every Minute, Jim Dale, from Barnum
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 9:07 AM on September 10, 2013

He's the best! Great post!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:07 AM on September 10, 2013

The Fiona cover of "Why try to change me now", paired with her IMHO superior-to-the-original cover of "Across The Universe" makes me wish she spent more time reinterpreting others compositions.
posted by softlord at 8:00 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

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