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Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

Susannah McCorkle: Haunted Heart

With a style that fell somewhere between cabaret and jazz, late singer Susannah McCorkle is featured this week on Afterglow.

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Susannah McCorkle Album Cover

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Susannah McCorkle's album Most Requested Songs. She began her career as an interpreter of the Great American Songbook when such music was far from fashionable, and she developed a style that fell somewhere between cabaret and jazz.

This week on Afterglow we feature music from the late singer Susannah McCorkle, subject of a new biography by Linda Dahl.

McCorkle, who in addition to being a renowned singer was also a talented writer of fiction, shocked fans and friends in the spring of 2001 when she committed suicide at the age of 55; she had suffered for years from depression.

She began her career as an interpreter of the Great American Songbook when such music was far from fashionable, and she developed a style that fell somewhere between cabaret and jazz.

We’ll hear her melancholic take on Irving Berlin’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” her versions of standards such as “Skylark” and “Where or When,” and some lesser-known songs such as Johnny Mercer’s “My New Celebrity Is You.”

Also on the program: new music from saxophonist David Fathead Newman and singer Norah Jones, plus classic sides from Wes Montgomery, Carmen McRae, Fred Astaire, and more.

Music Heard On This Episode

My New Celebrity Is You
Susannah McCorkle — Songs of Johnny Mercer (Jazz Alliance, 1977)
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My New Celebrity Is You
Susannah McCorkle — Songs of Johnny Mercer (Jazz Alliance, 1977)
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The Girl That Got Away
Jackie Paris — Sings the Lyrics of Ira Gershwin (Time Records, 1960)
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Girl Talk
David Fathead Newman — Life (HighNote, 2007)

Notes: New release. Neal Hefti composition.

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Thinkin' About You
Norah Jones — Not Too Late (Blue Note, 2007)

Notes: New release.

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Night Mist
Howard McGhee — Trumpet at Tempo (Jazz Classics, 1947)
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Night and Day
Fred Astaire — Cole Porter: a Centennial Celebration (BMG, 1932)
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Oh, You Crazy Moon
Wes Montgomery — Impressions: the Verve Jazz Sides (Verve, 1965)

Notes: With the Wynton Kelly Trio.

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Last Night While We Were Young
Carmen McRae — Sings Great American Songwriters (GRP/Decca, 1955)
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There's No Business Like Show Business
Susannah McCorkle — Let's Face the Music: the Songs of Irving Berlin (Concord, 1997)
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I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire
Susannah McCorkle — Hearts and Minds (Concord, 2000)
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Skylark
Susannah McCorkle — Songs of Johnny Mercer (Jazz Alliance, 1977)
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'S Wonderful
Susannah McCorkle — Someone to Watch Over Me (Concord, 1998)

Notes: Also on the 2001 posthumous collection MOST REQUESTED SONGS.

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Candlelights
Charlie Byrd — Best of the Concord Years (Concord, 1994)

Notes: Bix Beiderbecke composition.

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Taru, What's Wrong With You
Lee Morgan — Taru (Blue Note, 1968)

Notes: Cal Massey composition.

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I Thought I'd Let You Know
McCoy Tyner — Expansions (Blue Note, 1968)

Notes: Cal Massey composition.

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I Don't Think I'll End It All Today
Susannah McCorkle — From Broadway to Bebop (Concord, 1994)

Notes: Yip Harburg-Harold Arlen song.

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Where or When
Susannah McCorkle — How Do You Keep the Music Playing
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Haunted Heart
Susannah McCorkle — Hearts and Minds (Concord, 2000)
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Where Do You Start
Susanna McCorkle — I'll Take Romance (Concord, 1992)
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If You Were Mine
Frankie Laine/Buck Clayton — Jazz Spectacular (Columbia/Legacy, 1956)
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The Words and the Days
Enrico Rava — The Words and the Days (ECM, 2007)

Notes: New release.

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Something I Dreamed Last Night
Helen Merrill — Lilac Wine (Sunnyside, 2004)
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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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