Pamela Rose with Wild Women of Song – Great Gal Composers of the Jazz Era
By: Linda Amiel Burns
Pamela Rose brought a terrific show to Feinstein’s at The Regency Hotel on January 7, 2011 for one night only! She and her band are from San Francisco really rocked the room. Her musicians were superb with Tammy Hall on piano, Ruth Davies on bass, Kent Bryson on drums and Kristen Strom on Sax. The theme was about the women of the Jazz era who wrote great songs and have not been given the credit or recognition they deserve.
This show was well put together and next to the stage was a screen with photos, info and the names of the songs these “wild women” woman wrote. Pamela, aside from being a wonderfully expressive singer, was very natural with her patter and the info she imparted was so interesting that I was riveted and learned so much. We all know about the talented Dorothy Fields, but did you ever hear of Bernice Petkere, Doris Fisher, Tot Seymour, Maria Grever and Ida Cox?
Pamela opened up with a lively version of “I’m in the Mood For Love” (Dorothy Fields & Jimmy McHugh) and she even added some great scatting. After the first number, we all knew that we were in for a great evening with a superb singer and incredible musicians and arrangements. Pamela told us about Doris Fisher ((1915-2003) who was a member of a songwriting family. Her father, Fred Fisher wrote, “Your Feet’s Too Big and “Chicago, her brothers Dan and Marvin wrote “Good Morning Heartache” and “When Sunny Gets Blue.” Doris wrote many songs including “You Always Hurt the One You Love,” Put The Blame on Mame” and the song that Pamela sung from 1944 “That Ole Devil Called Love.”
We also learned about Maria Grever (1894-1951) who had a catalog of over 800 songs and was considered the Berlin of South America. Her song “Quando Vuelva a tu Lado” was translated in to English by Stanley Adams as “What A Difference a Day Made” and became a major hit.
Did you know about Bernice Petkere (1901- 2000) 1901) who Berlin dubbed the "Queen of Tin Pan Alley”? Her biggest hit was “Close Your Eyes” and Pamela and the band performed a fine job on that song. Peggy Lee (1920-2002) was not only a well-know singer with her big hit “Fever” – but also wrote many songs including a marvelous number that Pamela and the group did a bang-up job on called “I Don’t Know Enough About You” and the encore “It’s a Good Day.” We also learned about Kay Swift (“Fine and Dandy”) who had an affair with George Gershwin and was represented in the show with “Can’t We Be Friends.” There was also Alberta Hunter who in her youth wrote many songs including “Down Hearted Blues” and Lil Hardin (1898-1971) known as “Hot Miss Lil” who married Louis Armstrong and wrote “Just For a Thrill”. Pamela also told us about Ida Cox (1886-1867) a fascinating woman who wrote “Wild Women (Don’t Have The Blues)”. There was Tot Seymour (1889-1966) who composed for Fanny Brice, Mae West and Sophie Tucker and was represented in the show by a song called “Cross Patch.”
Pamela Rose’s Wild Women of Song was one of the best shows that I have seen in a long time. Pamela did her homework and research, and the show never felt like lecture but a loving tribute to these amazing ladies of the Classic Jazz era. I was told that Pamela Rose will return for a run in the spring and when that happens, do not miss this remarkable show!