Welcome to My Combined Post!
This entry on Tossing It Out is a joint posting that will combine the Insecure Writer's Support Group with the Battle of the Bands. I do this when the two events coincide or are so close together that I prefer to merge the two for the sake of expediency.
If you're new to either concept I'll briefly explain: #IWSG is the event that occurs on the first Wednesday of each month where writers talk about the worries, concerns, and travails of the writing life. To find out more and access the list of participants, visit the blog of the host Alex J. Cavanaugh. Keep in mind that the official posting day is on Wednesday.
BOTB takes place on the 1st and 15th of each month. In this event different versions of one song are presented and you are invited to vote on the version that you prefer the most. This event is hosted by Stephen T McCarthy and Far Away Eyes. After you finish here, visit their blogs to vote on their battles. Additional possible participants are listed at the end of this post.
Initially I chose this wistful classic because I'm presenting it on the first day of September--how fitting. Then the sad passing of our A to Z Challenge co-host Tina Downey as well as some health issues affecting some of my own family members turned my thoughts to the fragile temporal nature of our lives.
I keep putting off so many things I want to do and I know that some of you do the same. Time is a death sentence from which there is no reprieve. Sometimes we are fortunate to have an extension, but rarely do we know exactly when our time is up. Laziness and distractions are my enemies now.
You who are young now I exhort you not to wait until you are older or better opportunities come your way to allow you to capture your dreams. The time for action is now. I'm talking to myself, but this is one of those times when I hope others who need the message are listening and taking heed. My door to the future could close at any time. It's a cause for some insecurity, but it's also a fact of life that I must accept.
September Song treats the passing of a year as a lifetime. The song is metaphorical and typically is most effectively sung by middle-aged or older performers. Originally the song was written by composer Kurt Weill with lyrics by writer Maxwell Anderson for famed actor Walter Huston to sing in a short-lived 1938 musical Knickerbocker Holiday. The show closed after a six month run and the song was mostly neglected for the next decade. If you're curious to hear Huston's original version you can hear it by clicking here.
In 1950 Huston's recording of the song was used in the soundtrack of the dramatic romance film September Affair. The popularity of the film put Huston's recording at the top of the Hit Parade charts and the song became established as a classic with many recordings being made over the next six decades. Walter Huston was an acclaimed actor of stage and screen from 1924 to 1950 and not known for his singing. He is most known now as the grizzled prospector in the great Humphrey Bogart film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre which was directed by Walter's son John Huston. Walter Huston died before he could enjoy his fame as a Hit Parade charting artist.
Many artists have done their own versions of September Song with the recording by Willie Nelson being one of the most notable. Frank Sinatra also covered the song rather nicely on more than one occasion. My personal favorite is the rendition by Jimmy Durante. With so many choices of great versions, it was tough to come up with a particularly unusual "boys against the girls" match-up (oh yeah, I've been carrying on with a male version against female version in my last few battles and I'm continuing in that vein for a while). I hope you find my pairing interesting as well as entertaining.
Anjelica Huston "September Song" (2012)
Since Angelica's grandfather Walter first introduced the song in 1938, I thought it might be somewhat poignant to have the girls side represented by her updated version. Her arrangement is simple and traditional. This was used in an NBC series called Smash--I'd never heard of this show, but it ran during the 2012-2013 seasons. Give this one a listen--it's short.
Lou Reed "September Song" (1985)
In 1985 a unique tribute album honoring the music of Kurt Weill was compiled by music producer Hal Willner. Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill is a collection of songs as interpreted by a number of different artists. I'll probably get around to using a few other cuts from this album in future BOTB installments just because I like the album.
Lou Reed takes a walk on the wild side with his interpretation of September Song. It's a bit of a different turn than most artists take. I hope you'll get a kick out of it.
Time to Vote!
Which do you prefer? Do you like the more traditional take by Angelica Huston better? Or are you a bit more turned on by the more cutting edge version by Lou Reed? Please take time to vote in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the one you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.
‘FAR AWAY SERIES’
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’
'A WRITER'S LIFE IN PROGRESS'
‘CREATIVE OUTLET OF STRATPLAYER’
The results of my Battle will be announced on Monday September 8 at which time I'll also be participating in the Sunflower Tribute for Tina Downey. More about that tribute can be found here.
What are your thoughts about getting everything done that you want to accomplish before you leave this Earth? Have you seen the great John Huston film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre? To what extent have you followed the career of Lou Reed?