Monday, January 13, 2014

19 of 1001 Songs: Bing Crosby's Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

So most likely if you were alive in the 30's jazz would have been the cool thing to listen to because there is a lot of it early on in this list! It makes sense though. Bing Crosby was an artist who would release his hit song "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" in the world of jazz. Considering the history of the 30's, The Great Depression, it makes sense why audiences were loving this song and making it a hit.

Summary: The song was first part of a 1932 musical, Americana, but when Bing Crosby did a recording with the The Brunswick Crosby recording company that is when the song would take off to be a huge hit. The song was made to be sung on broadway, but obviously found a popular audience outside of that genre as well, and probably fit better as well considering the elements of the song didn't adhere to traditional broadway format.

Vocals: Bing Crosby has very recognizable baritone vocals, and this song does showcase them well. I felt that he also put a very unique spin on the song that sounds like a cross between it's broadway roots, and it's jazz backing band. Crosby vocals are very 30's though, and over time they don't sound like something you could easily listen to. I could imagine if the song was in better shape recording wise though that it might highlight his vocals a lot better. He has a great voice though, and one that has a range within it's key.

Instrumentals: The instrumentals consist of a jazz arrangement. I thought the brass sounded great, and gave the song a more romantic tone with the way they were played. They were very hard to hear behind the vocals though, so if you listen to the song it's going to be more about Crosby's vocals that what is happening in the instrumental section. While the song sounds goods as a good a whole I wish the instruments were more projected so you could hear a lot more emotion in the arrangement.

Lyrics: This song has some well written lyrics. I enjoyed how Crosby's voice gives the lyrics a lot of personality as well. He sounds like the guy the song could be singing about. It plays out as a story that reflects the events and stories of the people living in the 30's well, and after listening to the lyrics it makes more sense as to why people in the 30's would consider this one of their favorites, especially if you were a man.

Bing Crosby's is a name you most likely are familiar with as I was, and he continues the trend of showing some of the best music of the 30's. The 30's features a lot of great music though, and in comparison to what I've heard I can't say this was my favorite, especially after the very strong Bessie Smith the other day. What is likable though is how these lyrics sing about real people with real feelings whether in poverty or wanting love it gives real emotions.

Rating 7 of 10.

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