Noel/Cole: Letís Do It (Recording)

Louise Gold starred as herself, on the Original Chichester Cast Recording of this David Kernan revue, recorded on 27 & 29 May 1994 at Whitfield Street Studios, produced by Silver Screen Records Ltd

Catalogue number: (Original CD) SONGCD 910, (Cassette) SONGC 910, (2008 Reissued CD) SILCD1259

 

Cast

Singers - Liz Robertson, Louise Gold, David Kernan, and Robin Ray

Guest Appearance by - Peter Greenwell

Special Guest Star - Pat Kirkwood

 

Production Team

Music and Lyrics by - Noel Coward and Cole Porter

Arrangers - Jason Carr, Paul Bateman, Peter Greenwell, and, Matthew Freeman

Compiled by - David Kernan

Scripted by - Robin Ray, and, Dick Vosburgh

Pianos - Jason Carr, and, Paul Bateman

Bass - Steve McManus

Drums - Richard Coles

Album produced by - David Kernan, and, James Fitzpatrick

Executive Producer - Reynold de Silva for Silva Screen Records

Engineered by - Mike Ross-Trevor

Editing by - Steve Shin

 

Track Listing

SONGCD 910

1. Opening Medley:

†††† Where Are The Songs We Sung? (by Noel Coward from Operette in 1938)

†††† / From This Moment on (by Cole Porter from Out of This World in 1950)

†††† / Play, Orchestra, Play (by Noel Coward from Tonight At 8:30 in 1936)

†††† / Another Opínin, Another Show (by Cole Porter from Kiss Me Kate in 1948)

- David Kernan, Liz Robertson, and, Louise Gold (arranged and played by Jason Carr & Paul Bateman)

2. My Heart Belongs To Daddy (by Cole Porter from Leave It To Me in 1938) - Liz Robertson (arranged by Jason Carr, played by Jason Carr & Paul Bateman)

3. Matelot (by Noel Coward from Sigh No More in 1945) - David Kernan (arranged and played by Jason Carr)

4. Blow Gabriel Blow (by Cole Porter from Anything Goes in 1934) - Louise Gold (arranged by Jason Carr, played by Jason Carr & Paul Bateman)

5. Mrs Worthington (by Noel Coward from Miscellaneous) - Peter Greenwell (arranged & played by Peter Greenwell

6. 3 Coward Waltzes:

†††† Someday Iíll Find You (by Noel Coward from Private Lives in 1930)

†††† / Iíll Follow My Secret Heart (by Noel Coward from Conversation Piece in 1934)

†††† / Iíll See You Again (by Noel Coward from Bitter Sweet in 1929)

- David Kernan, Liz Robertson, and, Louise Gold (arranged by Jason Carr, played by Jason Carr & Paul Bateman)

7. The Physican (by Cole Porter from Nymph Errant in 1933) - Louise Gold (arranged and played by Paul Bateman)

8. Itís Delovely (by Cole Porter from Red Hot & Blue in 1936) - David Kernan, Liz Robertson, and, Louise Gold (arranged by Jason Carr, played by Jason Carr & Paul Bateman)

9. Chase Me Charlie (by Noel Coward from Ace Of Clubs in 1950) - Pat Kirkwood (arranged and played by Matthew Freeman)

10. You Donít Know Paree (by Cole Porter from Fifty Million Frenchmen in 1929) - Liz Robertson (arranged and played by Jason Carr)

11.

†††† London Pride (by Noel Coward from Miscellaneous) - David Kernan

†††† / I Happen To Like New York (by Cole Porter from The New Yorkers in 1930) - Liz Robertson and Louise Gold

- (arranged by Jason Carr, played by Jason Carr & Paul Bateman)

12.

†††† Iím Throwing A Ball Tonight (by Cole Porter from Panama Hattie in 1940)- David Kernan, Liz Robertson, and, Louise Gold

†††† / Iíve Been To A Marvellous Party (by Noel Coward from Set to Music in 1939) - Peter Greenwell, David Kernan, Liz Robertson, and, Louise Gold

- (arranged and played by Jason Carr & Paul Bateman)

13. Useless Useless Phrases (by Noel Coward from Sail Away in 1961) - Peter Greenwell (arranged and played by Peter Greenwell)

14. Nina (by Noel Coward from Sigh No More in 1945) - David Kernan (arranged and played by Jason Carr & Paul Bateman)

15. Youíre The Top (by Cole Porter from Anything Goes in 1934) - Pat Kirkwood (arranged and played by Matthew Freeman)

16. I wonder What Happened To Him (by Noel Coward from Sigh No More in 1945) - David Kernan, and, Peter Greenwell (arranged and played by Paul Bateman)

17. Mad Dogs & Englishmen (by Noel Coward from Words And Music in 1932) - Robin Ray (arranged by Jason Carr, played by Jason Carr & Paul Bateman)

18. 20TH Century Blues (by Noel Coward from Cavalcade in 1931) - Liz Robertson and Louise Gold (arranged by Jason Carr, played by Jason Carr & Paul Bateman)

19. Finale:

†††† Come The Wild Wild Weather (by Noel Coward from Waiting In The Wings in 1960)

†††† / Evíry Time We Say Goodbye (by Cole Porter from Seven Lively Arts in 1944)

†††† / Iíll See You Again (by Noel Coward from Bitter Sweet in 1929)

- David Kernan, Liz Robertson, and, Louise Gold (arranged by Jason Carr, played by Jason Carr & Paul Bateman)

 

The Cassette SONGC 910 follows the same listing as the CD SONGCD 910, but with tracks 1 to 11 on Side A and tracks 12 to 19 on Side B.

All the performers on this album, of course appeared in Noel/Cole: Letís Do It on stage, at least at Chichester, and most of them elsewhere as well. They also all contributed to an edition of The Radio 2 Arts Programme Chichester Festival 1994.

The Trio, David Kernan, Liz Robertson, and, Louise Gold are all left-handed.

It is perhaps worth noting that Paul Batemanís arrangement of The Physician, at least, was one which he never wrote down, but played from memory every time they did the show.

David Kernan, Liz Robertson and Louise Gold went on to appear together in Side By Side By Sondheim, and in the Side By Side By Sondheim 25th Anniversary Gala, and, Side By Side By Sondheim 30th Anniversary Gala.

Liz Robertson had previously appeared in The Royal Variety Performance (1982), and, CLICís 18th Birthday Celebration she went on to appear in Regents Park 70th Anniversary Gala

Liz Robertson and Louise Gold had previously appeared separate halves of Chicago & Company, which was produced by David Kernan, and had musical accompaniment by Jason Carr.

Liz Robertson, Louise Gold, and, Peter Greenwell all appeared quite separately in A Time To Start Living, which were produced by David Kernan, and had musical accompaniment by Paul Bateman, Jason Carr, and, Steve Mcmanus, and in which Louise Gold also sang The Physician.

Steve McManus also did musical accompaniment for Defiant Dames, and played on Oliver! (Recording).

Louise Gold also appeared in Kids At Heart, which was directed by David Kernan, and had accompaniment by Paul Bateman.

Louise Gold and David Kernan had previously appeared in Sondheim At The Barbican

Louise Gold, David Kernan, and, Steve McManus may have also appeared in Comedy Tonight

Louise Gold, David Kernan and Jason Carr had previously worked on Broadway To Brighton

Louise Gold and Liz Robertson may have previously appeared together, along with David Kernan in Will-Aid, which David Kernan also directed.

Peter Greenwell composed and arranged some of the music for Will-Aid.

Paul Bateman and Matthew Freemanís conducting talents can be heard on The Greatest Musicals of the 20th Century.

Matthew Freemanís conducting talents can also be heard on The Great Musicals Ė Dashing Heroes, Blushing Maidens.

Louise Gold had previously appeared in Ziegfeld, a show for which Paul Bateman was also involved with the musical direction, and they both feature on the album Ziegfeld (recording).

Louise Gold, Liz Robertson, and, Steve McManus were all involved with Happily Ever After.

David Kernan, and, Liz Robertsonís recording credits include The Great Musicals Ė Laughter And Tears; which also features Matthew Freemanís conducting talents.

Louise Gold and Liz Robertson both sing Cole Porter on Cole Porter - Night And Day, which includes Ms Goldís other version of Blow Gabriel Blow, and another recording Ms Robertson made of From This Moment On.

Louise Gold has appeared in seven and a half Cole Porter shows, namely the five shows he wrote for Ethel Merman: Anything Goes, Red Hot & Blue, Du Barry Was A Lady (see: Du Barry Was A Lady (1993 Production), and, Du Barry Was A Lady (2001 Production)), Panama Hattie, and Something For The Boys, as well as Kiss Me Kate, and, Mexican Hayride; the half being Noel/Cole: Letís Do It (since it is half by Cole Porter and half by Noel Coward). She has also sung Cole Porterís songs on stage on various other occasions, such as: A Time To Start Living, A Lost Musicals Occasion, and, her own cabaret ďLouise Gold Sings Some Nice SongsĒ. Unfortunately she has seldom recorded Cole Porter. In 2001 she starred on BBC Radio in a broadcast of Du Barry Was A Lady, but the only actual albums she has recorded are this one, and the JAY/TER version of Anything Goes - Website Recommended Album, various excerpts from the latter have also turned up on a number of compilation albums.

Louise Gold of course also sang Itís Delovely, in its proper original form when she appeared in Red Hot & Blue, and, Iím Throwing A Ball Tonight when she appeared in Panama Hattie, both at The Barbican.

Jason Carr had previously worked on Chicago & Company and A Time To Start Living. He has gone on to, help out on 110 In The Shade, and, One Touch of Venus (2000 Production) and provide musical accompaniment, for Louise Gold, on: Broadway To Brighton, Oh Kay, , A Lost Musicals Occasion, Final Chic Cabaret 2003 , Defiant Dames, Dead By 12 and Louise Goldís cabaret act Louise Gold ... By Appointment While Louise Gold has gone on to star in the inaugural production Jason Carrís musical The Water Babies

Steve McManus went on to play in the pit orchestra for the London Production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang whose cast Louise Gold joined for the last year and a half.

Liz Robertson went on to get Louise Gold to take part in Shopping With The Stars 2008, and, Shopping With The Stars 2009.

Louise Gold and Liz Robertson went on to pay tribute to Dick Vosburgh by taking part in A Celebration Of The Life And Work Of Dick Vosburgh.

David Kernan, and, Jason Carr may have previously taken part in Thing A Thon.

David Kernanís recording credits include The Great Musicals - From Broadway to Hollywood.

Steve McManus went on to work (along with Louise Gold) on Oliver!.

 

Review

by Emma Shane, 31 July 2002

At first glance this album may appear to be just another album from one of those compilation revues, in genre the popularised by Side By Side By Sondheim. At first glance perhaps nothing remarkable. But initial appearances can be deceptive, and sometimes these sort of albums can contain some truly remarkable fresh performances, even of songs that have become standards. Fortunately this is one such album. It also happens to be one of the few recorded examples of Louise Gold singing Cole Porter that has actually been fairly widely available, making it a Ďmust haveí for anyone who enjoys that particularly delovely combination. The various tracks on this album vary in quality, mostly from the pleasant or nice-enough to the truly stunning, with a minority on the tediously less than good side. That said, some of the numbers, especially some of those arranged by Jason Carr do lean to the weird, fortunately he gets away with it, because, these are performed by a trio of singers who can make that kind of thing work. Liz Robertson is an experienced performer in songwriter compilation shows, while David Kernan and Louise Gold both possess a wealth of experience from the zany world of television comedy-variety.

Medleys of songs are standard fare for this sort of compilation shows. In this one perhaps they went a little overboard with the medleys, but on the other hand it is a rather effective way of presenting snippets of a lot of well known songs which sometimes when done in their entirety either become tedious, or get done to death by trying to make them interesting (although performers such as Liz Robertson and the wonderful Louise Gold could almost certainly sing them in their entirety without either of those fates befalling the songs). The Three Coward Waltzís and the finale are the least remarkable of the medleys. They are pleasant and they are very well sung, by three singers who really know what they are doing. The only trouble is they sing the songs so well, one almost wishes they were doing them as solos rather than medleys. For this medley the trio basically sang one song each. David Kernan sang an entirely passable rendition of Someday Iíll Find You, While Liz Robertson sang Iíll See You Again very nicely. The surprise of the trio was Iíll Follow My Secret Heart, in which the reputedly gutsy Louise Gold demonstrated the really beautiful exquisite quality of her voice.Iíll See You Again resurfaced later in the finale medley, where it was mainly sung, very sincerely, by Louise Gold, that medley also included Come The Wild Wild Weather mostly inhabited entirely satisfactorily by David Kernan and Every Time We Say Goodbye largely sung by Liz Robertson, with some assistance from the other two. The other major medley on the CD is of course the Opening Medley, this too is sung by the trio, and in this medley they basically sing the bulk of each song in harmony together. They start with David singing Where Are The Songs We Sung, he is soon joined by the girls, and the trio move on to From This Moment On, and then Play, Orchestra Play, Louise then branches into Another Opínin Of Another Show, for a time the other two continue with Play Orchestra Play, before joining her in Another Opínin Of Another Show. The medley ends with a compote of reprises from earlier bits of the medley. One thing that struck me listening to this track, especially Louise Goldís rasping of Another Opínin Of Another Show, was how it sounded uncannily like something from The Muppet Show! One canít help wondering if this has something to do with a certain arrangerís excellent taste in TV comedy, or a certain singerís past, which cannot be forgotten! (And why should such a wonderful past be forgotten anyway?) One thing noticeable about both the opening and closing medleys is how David and Liz often seem to get paired together, leaving Louise to stand-alone. However, if they had to split the trio into a one and a two, for a counterpoint, then that is probably the most sensible way of doing it, as judging by the way she dominates when they are singing together, for example in From This Moment On in the Opening Medley, it needs the combined forces of the other two to match to her astounding abilities. Another function of medleys in compilation shows, and compilation show albums, such as this, is to compare and contrast different songs that broadly speaking fulfil a similar, or contrasting function, a particularly notable example of this occurs in the Act 1 finale medley of David Kernan singing a pleasant rendition of London Pride, and the two women performing I Happen To Like New York, needless to say Mr Kernan is somewhat drowned by those strong voiced females.

Medley form is not the only means of making a classic song interesting in a show such as this, the effect can sometimes be derived by individual performers doing the number Ďdifferentlyí, which is not necessarily a bad thing, or by taking what is normally a solo or duet and turning it into a funny ensemble piece. There are a number of examples of these sorts of things on the album, using some of Cole Porterís songs, the most effective of which is the trio singing Itís Delovely, which must be one of the few numbers by Cole Porter, and certainly numbers written for Ethel Merman, which is actually able to withstand this sort of treatment. The least effective is Pat Kirkwoodís rendition of Youíre The Top, other than trying to turn what was originally a duet into a solo there is nothing really wrong with her performance of it, but to my ears, at least, it just doesnít quite make it, perhaps Iím too much of a perfectionist when it comes to songs written by Cole Porter (and especially those written for Ethel Merman). Yet another Merman song that gets a Ďfunnyí treatment in this show is Iím Throwing A Ball Tonight, although the trio, and in particular Louise, put it across with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm, I would have much preferred to hear this song done as a solo by the magnificent Louise Gold, since she could have done this justice on her own, without any help from the other two.

Good solo performances, however, is not something this album is in any way short of. the Chichester showís narrator Robin Ray, gets a fine chance to demonstrate his singing talents with that wonderful Coward classic, Mad Dogs And Englishmen, a song which though written in 1932, is in many ways astonishingly up to date, in the way its comments about avoiding harmful UV rays). Then there are the guest artistes. Pat Kirkwood quite rightly shines with a Coward song that was written for her, Chase Me Charlie. Peter Greenwell does a brilliant Cowardesque job with his two solos: Mrs Worthington is a fantastic number to the kind of woman that Styne and Sondheim would later immortalise in Gypsy, the stage mother (Noel Coward himself had been to stage school and was a child actor). Somewhat ironically on this album, the track comes immediately after a stunning performance from a tall loud-voiced actress with a wide smile who actually was stage school trained; although fortunately there the similarities between that actress, and the character in this song end (this lady actually has clear bright eyes, very good legs, and she really can sing and dance). In my opinion (whatever that says about a persons sense of humour), Useless Useful Phrases is one of the funniest songs that Noel Coward ever wrote, I can only hope that he intended the song to be humorous, because if he did not, then I regret I do not comprehend it. Peter Greenwell also sings a duet with David Kernan, I Wonder What Happened To Him, the song is really rather funny, although one has to bear in mind the era in which it was written (the days of British India), but then ending seems surprisingly modern. Did Noel Coward really write a lyric about gender-changes? There is one more shining Noel Coward excerpt on this album to which Peter Greenwell makes a contribution, Iíve Been To A Marvellous Party, this number is also hilariously funny, mainly thanks to the comedy skills of the trio, especially such expert performers as David Kernan and Louise Gold, the latter being particularly splendid, because she is just so good at delivering lines.

The trio too each get their individual moments of glory on the album, each has at least one solo in which they shine, and Louise Gold, in fact has two. David Kernan sings an entirely passable version of Matelot, in much the same way that he has sung Anyone Can Whistle in various performances of Side By Side By Sondheim. His real triumph. however, is Nina. He sings it brilliantly, with all the style the number demands (and I have to say I agree with Nina on the subject of Carman Miranda). I would very much like to know who yelled ďOhlayĒ at the end of the track though? Liz Robertsonís strong number is My Heart Belongs To Daddy, she does not sing it in any way innocently, but she does sing it with sincerity, as if she genuinely means it (in a rather Pygmalion kind of way). Her performance of You Donít Know Paree, is that of a more mature woman (possibly a widow), she sings this with a lot of sincerity too, although it seemed to me the less remarkable number. To my mind Liz Robertsonís most outstanding performance on this album, actually occurs in a duet with Louise Gold, 20TH Century Blues. One often expects Louise Gold to be gutsy, and one expects her to do unrecognisable accents. The real surprise on this track is Liz Robertson. For once Liz has managed to match Louise, gutseiness for gutsieness, indistinguishable accent for indistinguishable accent. On this track their voices blend together so extraordinarily well that even their loyalist fans would be hard put identify them individually, I know there are some moments on this track where I certainly canít untangle them! And that really is due largely to Liz Robertsonís performance of the number, although naturally Louise Gold plays her part brilliantly too, and Jason Carrís extraordinary arrangement must have been a contributory factor.

And what of Louiseís solos? The Physician, arranged and played by Paul Bateman, is by far the more straightforward of the two, well in a way it is. Paul has given the number a fairly straightforward arrangement, but one which suits Louise Goldís voice extremely well. However, such simplicity can be deceptive, especially with Louise Gold around, and this number is absolutely no exception, as it gives Louise a marvellous opportunity to indulge in vocal acrobatics with her gift for doing voices, quickly and effectively. On this number she seems to be changing voices practically every other line of the song. One word of warning, if you play this track, do make sure your CD and player are clean, otherwise you can get quite a shock if it jumps while Louise does the stunning octave leap. In fact Louise sings The Physician almost too well, after hearing this version if it one doesnít want to hear anyone elseís version, because they sound so tame by comparison. Louiseís other solo, Blow Gabriel Blow, might be described as Louise Gold and Jason Carr being weird. For it is certainly one of his weirder arrangements, and she responds to that by giving it one of her weirder renderings. It is so unusual that it does take a bit of getting used to, and, your initial reaction may very well be not to like it. I know I was unsure about it when I first heard it, and even now, I think I actually prefer the more standard version that Louise recorded with John Owen Edwards for JAY/TER. But, that said, this version of Blow Gabriel Blow is worth persevering with getting acquainted with, for what Louise and Jason have achieved with it is truly remarkable. Naturally Louise ends with an example of that wonderful ability she has of being able to go from chest tones to head tones without shifting gears, although she does not do it quite as spectacularly as she did on the JAY/TER recording; and naturally, the instrumental part gives Jason Carr an opportunity to put his own arrangers mark on the piece. In this particular case that instrumental included some distinctively well executed piano playing (I canít help wondering if that is the arrangerís own playing?). But there is much more to this track than just a good arrangement and a singer with the perfect abilities for the number. Quite simply in this performance Louise Gold, with the assistance of Jason Carrís unusual arrangement, achieves the impossible, she makes the song completely her own. Generally when singers do numbers written for Ethel Merman, even if they (quite sensibly) try to do the numbers in their own way, they rarely succeed in making the songs their own, the song still has Ethel Merman stamped all over it. Normally when Louise Gold sings a song written for Ethel Merman she sings it very much in Ethel Mermanís style, and she (alone) manages to sound uncannily like that unique lady. On this track however, apart from her passing vocal similarity, and her sheer vocal power, she doesnít do Merman at all, she almost entirely erases that indelible Merman stamp, and truly sings the number as though it had been written for her, the song is transformed into being complete and utter pure Gold!

 

Critics Comments

 . ďI am beginning to think, though I am obviously out of step, that we should draw a temporary halt to compilations of this kind, but this one does have an interesting cast, with Pat Kitkwood, who sounds as youthful as ever in Youíre The Top, cabaret whiz Peter Greenwell, David Kernan, the compilation king, Liz Robertson and the gutsy Louise Gold, with Robin Ray, the narrator, racing through Mad Dogs and Englishmen.Ē Peter Hepple, SILLY STORIES GREAT SONGS in THE STAGE, 3 November 1994, p13.

 

Links about Noel/Cole: Letís Do It (Recording)

 The Cole Porter Reference Guide (includes a piece about Noel/Cole: Letís Do It, and the recording): http://www.geocities.com//porterguide/

 Silva Screen Recordsís entry for various Cole Porter tracks, including some from this album: http://www.silvamasters.com/master_search_results_two.cfm?Searchtype=COMPOSER&Search=Cole%20Porter

Silva Screen Recordsís official downloadable tracks from the album: http://www.silvascreenmusic.com/ishop/299/Various-Artists/313454/Noel!Cole-Lets-do-it!.aspx

Cast album.org databaseís entry for this album: http://www.castalbums.org/recordings/2351

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