As the lines for early voting keep getting longer and longer, “Un-Block The Music” is posting a video to infuse you with enthusiasm to exercise your right no matter how long it takes. Melissa Errico and Lara Downes’s rendition of “Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe” is part of “Broadway for Biden”’s efforts. (www.BroadwayForBiden.com). This grassroots organization is dedicated to boosting awareness on key issues in the election, increasing voter turnout, and raising funds to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House.
“Happiness is a Thing Called Joe” was composed by Harold Arlen, with lyrics written by Yip Harburg (who also wrote all the music for The Wizard of Oz). It was written for the 1943 film musical Cabin in the Sky and recorded by the legendary Ethel Waters.
“Un-Block The Music” has written a lot about Melissa Errico (and will continue to do so, cause she’s amazing). Check this out: https://unblockthemusic.blog/2020/09/09/women-wednesdays-my-fair-ladys-melissa-errico-shares-success-with-her-mentors-who-prod-her-cheer-her-prod-her-again-part-1/
The other video artist is pianist Lara Downes who has worked with Grammy-winners Yo-Yo Ma, Judy Collins, Rhiannon Giddens and Thomas Hampson. She has been part of projects about race and American unity with NPR and The Met Museum as well. (If you read “Un-Block The Music” regularly, you know I will be chasing Lara for a possible Women Wednesdays post! Fingers crossed.)
Anyway, Yip Harburg, is also one of the great liberal voices of the American musical theater. He engaged in a life-long fight for social progress that made him create the pioneering egalitarian musical Finian’s Rainbow — and ultimately led to his blacklisting in the McCarthy period. “Un-Block The Music’s” hero!! Anyway… watch the new video here: https://youtu.be/KU0AloVECXY. On December 4, the official single will be released for the Holidays.
In the meantime, follow the progress of the class action suit filed this week by several smaller NYC venues who are seeking a definitive date to when they can open their doors. Check out the story, posted yesterday. https://unblockthemusic.blog/2020/10/27/small-nyc-venues-file-class-action-lawsuit-pushing-for-reopening-date/
Stay informed and support the arts. We can’t survive without them!