And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going...
June 29, 2006 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Jennifer Holliday's seismic performance of "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" from the 1982 Tony Awards (YouTube link) brought Broadway to its knees. Holliday not only captured the Tony, her recording of the song became a Billboard Top 30 hit. The new Dreamgirls film, cast with a who's who of modern music stars, will open this winter. "American Idol" contestant Jennifer Hudson will attempt to fill Holliday's formidable shoes.
posted by hermitosis (33 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
*For the short of attention-span or musical-theatre-intolerant: the intro ends at 3:10.
posted by hermitosis at 12:03 PM on June 29, 2006

Here's hoping the movie will do well. If nothing else, I applaud their innovative marketing effort: DreamWorks will cover the licensing fees for all 2006 amateur productions of DreamGirls.
posted by grabbingsand at 12:09 PM on June 29, 2006

That's pretty cool, grabbingsand.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:33 PM on June 29, 2006

So is she going, or not?
posted by staggernation at 12:42 PM on June 29, 2006

Isn't that Hudson's voice we hear singing in the Dreamgirls trailer? 'Cause if it is, I'm thinking that Holliday's shoes were not only filled, but Hudson's running away with the performance.
posted by likorish at 12:55 PM on June 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

I'm so glad this made it onto YouTube. Apparently her estate won't release it onto any of the Best of the Tony's anthologies (yes, there are nerds like me who watch stuff like that!!). Absolutely mind-blowing- she used to do this 8 times a week??? How did she survive?!?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:55 PM on June 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Billboard Top 30?
posted by mrgrimm at 1:16 PM on June 29, 2006

Her estate? Jennifer Holliday isn't deceased, is she?
posted by pinky at 1:39 PM on June 29, 2006

My friend Chris says: "You might want to reply (since I cannot) to the poster who asked if Jennifer Hudson's voice is heard in the Dreamgirls movie trailer. Assure this poor lost soul that the movie trailer is using audio of Jennifer Holliday from the Original Broadway Cast Recording, and that Jennifer Hudson's rendition of the has not yet been released."
posted by hermitosis at 1:42 PM on June 29, 2006

Thanks for this. I'd never actually seen Holliday perform but this explains what motivates every third contestant on Showtime at the Apollo to have a go at the song. Wow.
posted by well_balanced at 1:45 PM on June 29, 2006

Mrgrimm, perhaps I should have phrased that "a Top 30 hit on the Billboard Hot 100".
posted by hermitosis at 1:58 PM on June 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Amazing. I wonder if the actor playing opposite her has recovered his full hearing yet.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 2:02 PM on June 29, 2006

Chills going down my spine watching that.

Reminds me of the scene in Hustle and Flow, where the main character is sitting in the church watching the choir, and for all his anger and power, he's completely humbled by the voice of the woman singing gospel for the recording.
posted by thanotopsis at 2:20 PM on June 29, 2006

By about 4:20 into it, when she starts making Buddy Hackett faces and lurching towards him, I'm thinking run, man, run! She's going to eat you if you don't get the hell out of there. But he's petrified. Then about 5:40 into it, he snaps out of it and he actually does break into a run, but she stops him. He waited too long. He's dead! But then she kisses him and that's all he can take: zoom! Gone!

That was 1982, but I bet he's still running.
posted by pracowity at 2:21 PM on June 29, 2006

Hardly a poor lost soul, but I think it's not an illogical assumption that since there's a movie coming out that they'd use music that from a performer who is actually in said film.

Musical theatre snobs are the worst.
posted by likorish at 2:29 PM on June 29, 2006

it was such a great show, and Jennifer Holliday was amazing--people say it started a whole trend (see Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray--"I know where i've been"-- and many many others in many many other shows--a showstopper preferably sung by a large black woman at a pivotal point in a show).
posted by amberglow at 2:32 PM on June 29, 2006

Really a great, great, wonderful show. Stage Managed an amateur production of this many moons ago -- found such a talented singer to attempt that song. She did really well most nights, but it was actually one day in a matinee where she absolutely nailed it. The crowd practically ripped up their seats and threw them in the air it was so electric. Good times. The purist in me is scared to see there's a movie being made, but anything to tune more people into Dreamgirls.. the better.

Dreamgirls, we'll never leave you! All you have to do is dreeeaaammm....
posted by cavalier at 2:58 PM on June 29, 2006

Oh, man, I've listened to the recording of that song a million times, and knew about the '82 performance, but never saw it live before. So amazing that I'm speechless. Damn.
posted by Zosia Blue at 3:01 PM on June 29, 2006

And FYI, I just watched the trailer, and that is absolutely the audio of the original cast recording -- Ms Jennifer Holliday.
posted by cavalier at 3:01 PM on June 29, 2006

I don't care what you say, nothing will ever equal Nell Carter in a genie costume singing "Friend Like Me" from Aladdin at the Oscars.
posted by staggernation at 3:09 PM on June 29, 2006

Pretty amazing...thanks.
posted by bullitt 5 at 4:30 PM on June 29, 2006

I'd never seen that before, but I can't imagine anyone else doing a job like THAT.
posted by Addlepated at 4:33 PM on June 29, 2006

Thanks for that. The performance was the most marvellous way for me to start my day with my coffee and toast. The rest of the day will pale in comparison, I think.
posted by chronic sublime at 5:13 PM on June 29, 2006

God, I hate that song. Cranked-up, contrived, stagey histrionics masquerading as soul. The sort of thing your parents shed a tear of ersatz emotion to on their once-a-year big theater trip treat. Yuk.
posted by Decani at 5:21 PM on June 29, 2006

Thank you for the link. It still gives me a chilly feeling of awe to see someone own a song like that.
posted by ltracey at 5:26 PM on June 29, 2006

Not to take anything away from Jennifer Holliday here, but Lillias White also did a bang-up job on the song at the September 2001 Actor's Fund Benefit Performance of "Dreamgirls". That video is not online yet, unfortunately, but her performance of "I Am Changing" from the same concert is here.

In other words, don't underestimate the craft that went into those songs as being an integral part of their power. Heck, they even stand up okay when being performed by a bunch of mostly-white high school students!
posted by Asparagirl at 5:51 PM on June 29, 2006

I'm pretty fond of that adjective "seismic" in the original post, hermitosis. Well done!
posted by cgc373 at 8:36 PM on June 29, 2006

Her estate? Jennifer Holliday isn't deceased, is she?

Not even a little, thankfully.

posted by deadmessenger at 9:04 PM on June 29, 2006

I thought the "mostly white high school students" link would go here. And now I'm a bit embarrassed to admit to any knowledge of that movie.
posted by emelenjr at 2:31 AM on June 30, 2006

I generally avoid musicals (hell, theaters in general), but that was some performance. Thanks hermitosis for the post.

and I'm happy to see that the usual suspects haven't shown up to crap in this thread
posted by intermod at 4:28 AM on June 30, 2006

Did anyone else get blown away by Bianca Ryan's version on America's got talent?

This girl is 11 years old

Youtube Linkage
posted by HyperBlue at 6:59 AM on June 30, 2006

HyperBlue - Holy Moly - yes I was TOTALLY blown away by that girl.

I can't say I'm not a little concerned about her perhaps developing nodes at some point down the line if she doesn't work on her belt a bit, but she didn't really sound like she was singing from her throat, so she may not have a problem.

So, um, yeah - Bianca kicked serious ass.
posted by OhPuhLeez at 7:38 AM on June 30, 2006

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