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The Noel Coward Society is the trading name of Noel Coward Ltd, a company wholly owned by the Noel Coward Foundation, a registered charity. The Society is autonomous, run by an executive committee

Mad About the Man Carman McRae Sings Noel Coward
Record Company: Decca DL8662
Essentially, Carmen MeRae is a jazz singer, a product of the jazz environment. First 'discovered', when a teenager, by Irene Kitchings Wilson, the first wife of pianist Teddy Wilson, Carmen is not a novitiate at her craft.

A band singer with the Benny Carter, Count Basie and Mercer Ellington bands in the, 'forties', then an intermission pianist in various night-spots, and an associate of many of the great modern jazz musicians during and after the hop revolution in jazz, Carmen has tended to the musicianly, inventive approach to popular songs she found in the,inusic and musicians around her.

The jazz trail, not always smoothly paved or lined with gold, with many turnings in the road, rewards travelers with talent. The time spent paying tolls, however, is often long and wearying . . . There were those times for Carmen McRae, and detours made to clerical and typist jobs to pay for food and lodging.

In 1953, the tide started to turn: record sessions for small companies; the chance to sing with a good group-the Mat Mathews Quintet.

In 1954, the tide turned into a positive flood, and Carrhen played top jazz clubs, did several jazz concerts, won the Down Beat critics' poll -'Best New Female Singer of the Year'-and signed with DECCA Records.Since then, this singer who comes from jazz - the school whose graduates generally delineate the story content of a set of lyrics; value taste and musical integrity - has come to grips with material outside the jazz area, bequeathing it with all the 'soundness' and quality that have identified her jazz performances.

The combination of native warmth and musical intelligence, plus the wealth of understanding jazz has the peculiar facility of engendering in its devoted students, has made Carmen McRae more than just a jazz.

In her treatment of this assemblage of tunes by Noel Coward, her individual, emotionally-tinged sound and knowing lyric readings bring reality to the material, extending even to whimsey, i.e., "I Can't Do Anything At All," and the impression that this is not merely a 'hip' jazz singer is reinforced. The instrumental backdrops created by Jack Pleis are to he noted in that they simultaneously establish tenor of material, and flatteringly set off Miss McRae's voice ... A most memorable voice, at that.

"Noel," the late Gertrude Lawrence once remarked, "is a throwback."
As was noted in the preface to Mr. Coward's second volume of autobiography, Future Indefinite: "Once in a while there appears an individual who is the embodiment of the Renaissance man ... a personality so rounded, a life so full, a talent so varied that he seems not of our time at all. In an age of one-track specialists and earthbound experts, Noel Coward is such a man."

Prolific is the all defining word for Mr. Coward. In a recent interview with Ward Morehouse in Rex Magazine, Mr. Coward commented he was never completely happy when he wasn't working. Resultant of this drive to produce on various levels of creativity, he has written forty plays running from farce to serious drama, a novel, three volumes of autobiography, a book of verse and numerous short stories. In addition, he has written six musical revues, an operetta, and lyrics and music for eight hundred songs "ranging from the romantic to the ribald," as Mr. Morehouse so appropriately put it. As is the man, so is his music: romantic, "Loving is more important than being in love. If one can grow from the other, you're all right chic and intelligent -" not all
of the songs are immortal, but perhaps even my dear detractors will say some of my stuff has been better than fair."

This man who first found fame for the creation of 'naughty skits' for musical revues in London's West End, is an international figure of 'terrifying and purposeful chic'. For years, it was quite the thing to frown on Mr. Coward's competence as a song writer. However, the very durability of his songs has cleared the air of any clouds of doubt.

Though devastatingly clever in fashioning lyrics and melodies, there is insight into life in his songs, a perfection in the diction and balance of his lyrics growing out of a poetic quality we have come to associate with lyricists of the highest order- Hart, Ira Gershwin, Hammerstein.

For all his satirical irreverence, unconventional yet worldly wit, this is a man of depthful understanding ... And such understanding of the convolutions of romance. Burt Korall
I'll See You Again
Some Day I'll Find You
A Room With a View
World Weary
I Can't Do Anything At All
Mad About the Boy
Poor Little Rich Girl
I'll Follow My Secret Heart
If Love Were All
Why Does Love Get In The Way?
Never Again


Record Notes Index

1944-48 On The Air
20thCentury Blues
Ace of Clubs
After the Ball
Age of Style
Noel Coward on the Air
Apple Cart, The
Audio Biography
Best of Nole Coward, The
Bitter-Sweet 1988
Bright Was The Day
Cabaret Medley
Cavalcade - Play
Cavalcade - Songs
Cavalcade Suite
Compact Coward, The
Conversation Piece
Dear Madam Salvador
Girl Who Came To Supper
Got to Be Love, I'ts
Grand Tour, The
Great Shows, The
High Spirits
His Excellency Regrets
I Like America
If Love Were All
I'll See You Again
I'll See You Again
I'll See You Again
I'll See You Again
I'll See You Again
Invitation to the Waltz
At Las Vegas
London Morning
Mad About the Man
Medley - Noel Coward
In New York
Noel Coward Sings
Noel and Gertie
Noel and Gertie 1955
Noel, Gertie & Bea
Noel Coward Vocal Gems
One, Two, Three
Perfect Nostalgia
Poor Little Rich Girl
Poor Little Rich Girl
Poor Little Rich Girl
Pretty Littel Bridesmaids
Private Lives
Private Lives
Revues, The
Sail Away
Someday I'll Find You
Some Day I'll Find You
Songs of Noel Coward
Songs of Noel Coward
Songs of Noel Coward
Sophistication 2
Star Quality
Talent to Amuse, A
The Mster Sings
30 mins with Bea Lillie
This a Changing World
Together With Music
Tonight at 8.30.
Vocal Gems
Words & Music, The
Words & Music, Cole Porterl

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