Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

The Beatles Sing The Standards

George Harrison sings Hoagy Carmichael, Paul McCartney performs Irving Berlin, Ringo Starr taps the Johnny Mercer songbook, and more.

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Ringo Starr standards album

Photo: Album cover art

Pacesetting the standards album: Ringo Starr and his 1970 LP SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY.

You may have heard John Lennon’s famous quote that he hated jazz, but did you know that George Harrison loved Hoagy Carmichael? That Paul McCartney harbored a lifelong affection for 1930s and 40s popular song? That Ringo Starr was the first rock icon to record an album of standards? In the 1960s the Beatles played a major role in upending the world of American popular song, but from the beginning they themselves made occasional forays into it that continued throughout their post-breakup solo careers. On this episode of Afterglow it’s the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and other Great American Songbook composers, sung and played by members of the Fab Four.

Watch Paul McCartney performing “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter” with Diana Krall’s trio:

Listen to the full-length version of Ringo Starr’s “Bye Bye Blackbird” (excerpted in the show):

Watch Ringo Starr’s 1970 promotional video for Sentimental Journey:

Music Heard On This Episode

September In The Rain
Beatles — Lost Decca Sessions (Recall Records)
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September In The Rain
Beatles — Lost Decca Sessions (Recall Records)
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Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing
Ringo Starr — Sentimental Journey (Capitol, 1995)
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Ain't She Sweet
Beatles — Anthology 1 (Capitol, 1995)
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Till There Was You
Beatles — With The Beatles (Capitol, 2009)
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When I'm Sixty-Four
Beatles — Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (EMI, 2009)
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Sentimental Journey
Ringo Starr — Sentimental Journey (Capitol, 1995)
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Night And Day
Ringo Starr — Sentimental Journey (Capitol, 1995)
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Summertime
Paul McCartney — Choba B CCCP (Back In The USSR) (Capitol, 1991)
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Don't Get Around Much Anymore
Paul McCartney — Choba B CCCP (Back In The USSR) (Capitol, 1991)
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Bye Bye Blackbird (midpoint music bed)
Ringo Starr — Sentimental Journey (Capitol, 1995)
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Baltimore Oriole
George Harrison — Somewhere In England (Capitol, 2004)
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Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
George Harrison — Brainwashed (Capitol, 2002)
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Blue Turning Grey Over You
Ringo Starr — Sentimental Journey (Capitol, 1995)
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Dream
Ringo Starr — Sentimental Journey (Capitol, 1995)
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It's Only A Paper Moon
Paul McCartney — Kisses On The Bottom (Hear Music, 2012)
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Always
Paul McCartney — Kisses On The Bottom (Hear Music, 2012)
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Stardust
Ringo Starr — Sentimental Journey (Capitol, 1995)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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