Joe and Simon

Joe and Simon

Following their very successful Flanders and Swann evening during StonyLive, Joe Laredo and Simon Woodhead gave a wonderful evening of 1930s music on 12 October, called Plenty 'o Nuttin', reflecting the hard times experienced by many in the 1930s era after the financial crash in 1929. The programme items were introduced with interesting information about the era by Claire so that Joe and Simon could concentrate on making the music (the song titles are in bold).

Simon Woodhead

Simon Woodhead

Why am I smiling - I’m singing in the rain with lyrics by Arthur Freed and music by Nacio Herb Brown (1929) - 29 Oct 1929 was the start of the 1930s and the Great Depression.

Forget your troubles and just ‘Get happy’ (sung by Judy Garland in 'Meet me in St Louis') - music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Ted Koehler.

Claire announcing the next song

Claire announcing the next song

What good is melody, what good is music ... Something else - It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing - music by Duke Ellington, lyrics Irving Mills (1931).

Not working had become a way of life .... you’re just made that way: Lazy bones, sleeping in the sun - a tin pan alley song with lyrics by Johnny Mercer and music by Hoagy Carmichael (1933).

Joe and Simon take their bows before the interval

Joe and Simon take their bows before the interval

Nuttin’ was just plenty - I got plenty o’ nuttin’ - music by George Gershwin (1934) for 'Porgy and Bess', lyrics DuBose Hayward.

More important things in life than jobs: Nice work if you can get it - music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, the song was published in 1937 (though a nine-bar phrase first emerged in 1930) ('A Damsel in Distress' movie).

Canapes during the interval

Canapés during the interval

Main theme from the movie 'Goldwyn Follies' (1938) was that old devil called love (love lasts for ever) Love is here to stay - music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin.

I don’t care what the weather man says: Jeepers Creepers by music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Johnny Mercer (1938 movie 'Going places').

Serving the wine and juice

Serving the wine and juice

You think about them night and day .... Night and Day - Cole Porter (1932 musical 'Gay Divorce').

Champagne ... I get no kick from Champagne - I get a kick out of you - Cole Porter - 1934 'Anything Goes' (broadway), 1936 film sung by Ethel Merman.

Always pretend you’re getting along just fine .... I get along without you very well - music by Hoagy Carmichael (poem by Jane Brown Thompson) (1939), tune based on Chopin Fantasie-Impromptu in C# minor.

Portraits of the 1930s songwriting masters

Portraits of the 1930s songwriting masters

Nothing wrong with being a vagabond ... The Lady is a tramp - Rodgers & Hart musical 'Babes in Arms' (1937) (sung originally by Mitzi Green).

There was an interval with wine, canapés (and tea).

Slap that Bass - music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin from the film 'Shall We Dance?' (1937).

Listening intently to the music

Listening intently to the music

The 1930s was an era of new inventions despite austerity, including the automatic breadslicer and artificial pacemaker ... I’ve got you under my skin - Cole Porter (1936 ‘Born to Dance’ musical).

Hearts and heart beats - rhythmic number ... I’ve got rhythm - music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin (1930).

Joe Laredo playing 1930s music

Joe Laredo playing 1930s music

The 1930s was also the time of commercial frozen foods - Clarice Birds Eye .... I can weather the storm - I’ve got my love to keep me warm - Irving Berlin (1937).

Blue Moon - a ballad about the newly discovered Pluto by Rodgers and Hart (1934).

The world had simply gone mad and music reflected this ... times have changed ... Anything Goes - Cole Porter (1934) for his musical of the same name.

Simon Woodhead singing 1930s music

Simon Woodhead singing 1930s music

This concert was raising funds for improved disabled access to the church (Cole Porter spent much of his life in a wheelchair).

Do you love me as I love you? In the still of the night (Cole Porter) 1937 for the film 'Rosalie'.

Georgia on my mind (1930) music by Hoagy Carmichael and lyrics by Stuart Gorrell.

Joe and Simon take their bows at the end

Joe and Simon take their bows at the end

Certain things would always stick in the mind ... No, no ‘They can’t take that away from me’ (1937) music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin - 'Shall we dance?' (film) with Fred Astaire.

It was a time of Deja vu and irretrievable loss .... All of me (why not take all of me) - Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons (1931) (published by Irving Berlin).

Encore!

Encore!

Joe and Simon did an upbeat song to end the concert, people somehow managed to keep on laughing .... They all laughed by George and Ira Gershwin (1937) from the film 'Shall we dance?'

Joe and Simon gave an encore, which was a reprise of Forget your troubles and just get happy.

It was a superb evening of fine singing and piano playing by Simon and Joe, inspired by the songwriters of the 1930s, some of whose portraits were displayed on the piano.

Words and photos by Anna Page