“Secret Love” by Sammy Fain and Paul Webster from Calamity Jane, Sung by Claire Teal, BBC Proms 2011

Clare Teal is great and gorgeous. She’s a wonderful musician and a fine singer, in fact one of the best singers (along with Jane Monheit and soprano Venera Gimadieva) the JWO’s ever worked with, and her choice of material on her records and in her own shows is impeccable. At the time Teal sang in the 2011 Proms she was a little more popular than John and his orchestra; the Beeb seems to have been worked like the old Hollywood studio system in getting two of their stars—one established, the other rising—together in one show.

Calamity Jane (here seen in its entirety as a much-beloved 1963 TV version with Carol Burnett) was one of those films shown by the Gay & Lesbian Arts Alliance of San Francisco in their “Forbidden Hollywood!” series back in the early 90s, the movie print lent to them by none other than Doris Day herself. Took the Bograt to see it when he was 12. Not one of his favorite movies, he preferred Deanna Durbin in those days.


The Death Star and Dambusters Played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by John Wilson

A grand movie score by the prolific Eric Coates, very inspiring and very English. This is the kind of piece that cues you to proudly fly the Union Jack, which obviously some chap did, right in the middle of the Royal Albert Hall. I’m guessing this is some sort of tradition. The 2007 BBC Proms included the famous climactic shots from The Dambusters—you know, the movie George Lucas ripped off when he did Star Wars. Not the Death Star down there, though, it’s the Eder Dam in the heart of Nazi Germany (6:05).

“I Have Confidence”

And right around the time MGM was turning their historical music scores into LA landfill and baby John was home in Gateshead falling out of his high chair in excitement over the brand-new BBC news theme, forty-five years ago today—even down to the day of the week—I fled Minneapolis for New York (on the pretense of auditioning at Juilliard) and took a shared room at Sage House, a genteel women-only boarding house on 49 West 9th Street in Greenwich Village. With 2 meals a day included it came out to $33 a week. You read that right. A place in Greenwich Village, breakfast and dinner, for thirty-three dollars a week. Try to imagine the mischief I got into with all the money I had left over from my weekly paycheck from my first job at ASCAP, that it’s summer in NYC, it’s 1973, I’m eighteen, cute as a button and old enough to drink, and gorgeous men are everywhere. And imagine too that I’m singing a song (in my heart and sometimes while bounding down the street) that every American girl of my generation inspired by Julie Andrews sang:

I have confidence in confidence alone
Besides which you see I have con-fi-dence in meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Sage House NYC