Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Cab's search for a more "original" signature song led him to the very old folk song, "Willie The Weeper" which he and his songwriting collaborators transformed into "Minnie The Moocher" - a song with definite echoes of SJI in both its melody and instrumentation, and which owes an immense lyrical debt to "Willie the Weeper."
To me this presents an interesting contrast. SJI is a song that was stolen from the public domain. Minnie The Moocher is a song that was, uhm, to speak generously, inspired by a song in the public domain.
Anyway, you can read a more detailed story here, in an earlier post. My intent with this post is to offer you a compelling version of "Willie the Weeper," compliments of Max Morath.
On a fine CD titled Jonah Man, the original Piano Man, Mr. Ragtime himself, performed with a quintet in a tribute to the great Bert Williams. Among other treats the album includes a wonderful version of my favourite Bert Williams song, "Nobody." (Max has also recorded "Willie The Weeper" as a solo piece, but that recording is sadly no longer commercially available.)
Here we go, then. To listen (4:41 at 256 kbps), click here: Max Morath's "Willie the Weeper" MP3