Various Artists | Chip Deffaa's the Irving Berlin Duets Album, Vol. One

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Chip Deffaa's the Irving Berlin Duets Album, Vol. One

by Various Artists

Twenty-nine songs--including both famous songs and wondrous rarities--by America's number-one songwriter, Irving Berlin.... Selected by the foremost authority on Berlin's music, and performed by an all-star New York cast.....
Genre: Easy Listening: American Popular Song
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  Song Share Time Download
1. A Couple of Swells
Seth Sikes & Jon Peterson
2:21 $0.99
2. In a Cozy Kitchenette Apartment
Keith Anderson & Beth Bartley
2:02 $0.99
3. Alice in Wonderland
Peter Charney & Caroline Rose McFee
2:39 $0.99
4. I Love to Quarrel with You
Matthew Nardozzi & Emily Bordonaro
2:25 $0.99
5. I Hate You
Alec Deland & Gabriella Green
2:49 $0.99
6. You're Just in Love
Erich Schuett & Emily Bordonaro
2:29 $0.99
7. Do It Again
Peter Charney & Caroline Rose McFee
2:27 $0.99
8. We Have Much to Be Thankful For
Jack Corbin & Meghan Jenkins
2:34 $0.99
9. There's Something Nice About the South
Erich Schuett & Chip Deffaa
4:23 $0.99
10. Some Sunny Day (feat. Michael Townsend Wright)
Clark Kinkade
2:42 $0.99
11. The Schoolhouse Blues
Jackson Demott Hill & Alex Dreier
1:23 $0.99
12. The Circus Is Coming to Town
Jack Corbin & Chip Deffaa
2:17 $0.99
13. Say It with Music
Ellis Gage & Analise Scarpaci
2:34 $0.99
14. Simple Melody / Musical Demon
Ellis Gage & Analise Scarpaci
2:16 $0.99
15. I Wonder
Magnus Tonning Riise & Veronica Johnson
2:54 $0.99
16. The New Moon
Theron Johnson & Brianna Leigh Smail
2:04 $0.99
17. Settle Down in a One-Horse Town
Luka Fric & Rachel Hundert
3:17 $0.99
18. I'll Take You Back to Italy
Michael Townsend Wright
3:00 $0.99
19. Just One Way to Say I Love You
Mark William & Amy Londyn
2:32 $0.99
20. Furnishing a Home for Two
Bailey Cummings & Katherine Paulsen
2:38 $0.99
21. Always
Emily Bordonaro & Peter Charney
3:37 $0.99
22. Somebody's Coming to Our House
Olivia Chun, Logan Saby, Lawson Saby, Jeffrey Sewell, Veronica Johnson & Logan Applin
2:38 $0.99
23. Wasn't It Yesterday? (feat. Joan Jaffe)
Olivia Chun & Jon Peterson
2:17 $0.99
24. A Couple of Song and Dance Men
Erich Schuett & Chip Deffaa
2:24 $0.99
25. I Love a Piano
Giuseppe Bausilio & Erich Schuett
2:41 $0.99
26. When the Curtain Falls
Jack Corbin & Analise Scarpaci
3:31 $0.99
27. Oh How I Hate to Get up in the Morning
Tyler Duboys & Jack Saleeby
1:25 $0.99
28. This Is the Army, Mr. Jones
Alec Deland & Jed Peterson
2:23 $0.99
29. Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army
Stephen Bogardus & Jed Peterson
2:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Rare and wondrous songs by America’s number-one songwriter... ...selected by the foremost authority on Berlin’s music...
... with an all-star New York cast ....

Irving Berlin created the music and lyrics for all songs on this album. Richard Danley is the musical director/pianist on all tracks.

Musical Numbers...

1. A COUPLE OF SWELLS ... Seth Sikes and Jon Peterson

2. IN A COZY KITCHENETTE APARTMENT ... Keith Anderson and Beth Bartley

3. ALICE IN WONDERLAND ... Peter Charney and Caroline Rose McFee

4. I LOVE TO QUARREL WITH YOU ... Matthew Nardozzi and Emily Bordonaro

5. I HATE YOU ... Alec Deland and Gabriella Green

6. YOU’RE JUST IN LOVE ... Erich Schuett and Emily Bordonaro

7. DO IT AGAIN ... Peter Charney and Caroline Rose McFee

8. WE HAVE MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR ... Jack Corbin and Meghan Jenkins

9. THERE'S SOMETHING NICE ABOUT THE SOUTH ... Erich Schuett and Chip Deffaa

10. SOME SUNNY DAY ... Michael Townsend Wright and Clark Kinkade

11. THE SCHOOLHOUSE BLUES ... Jackson Demott Hill and Alex Dreier

12. THE CIRCUS IS COMING TO TOWN ... Chip Deffaa and Jack Corbin

13. SAY IT WITH MUSIC ... Ellis Gage and Analise Scarpaci

14. SIMPLE MELODY/MUSICAL DEMON ... Ellis Gage and Analise Scarpaci

15. I WONDER ... Magnus Tonning Riise and Veronica Johnson

16. THE NEW MOON ... Theron Johnson and Brianna Leigh Smail

17. SETTLE DOWN IN A ONE-HORSE TOWN ... Luka Fric and Rachel Hundert

18. I'LL TAKE YOU BACK TO ITALY ... Mary Cantoni Johnson and Michael Townsend Wright

19. JUST ONE WAY TO SAY I LOVE YOU ... Mark William and Amy Londyn

20. FURNISHING A HOME FOR TWO ... Bailey Cummings and Katherine Paulsen

21. ALWAYS ... Emily Bordonaro and Peter Charney

22. SOMEBODY'S COMING TO OUR HOUSE ... Olivia Chun, Logan Saby, Lawson Saby, Veronica Johnson, Jeffrey Sewell, and Logan Applin

23. WASN'T IT YESTERDAY? ... Olivia Chun, Jon Peterson, Joan Jaffe

24. A COUPLE OF SONG AND DANCE MEN ... Chip Deffaa and Erich Schuett

25. I LOVE A PIANO ... Erich Schuett and Giuseppe Bausilio

26. WHEN THE CURTAIN FALLS ... Jack Corbin and Analise Scarpaci

27. OH, HOW I HATE TO GET UP IN THE MORNING ... Tyler DuBoys and Jack Saleeby

28. THIS IS THE ARMY, MR. JONES ... Alec Deland and Jed Peterson

29. GEE, I WISH I WAS BACK IN THE ARMY... Stephen Bogardus and Jed Peterson

This album is dedicated by the producer to Tony Award-winner Betty Buckley–a great artist and a good friend. Whether she is singing a standard like Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies” in a concert, playing a straight dramatic role or carrying a big musical in a theater, she works with complete commitment and conviction. Currently touring the nation in “Hello, Dolly!,” she continues to wholeheartedly share her unique gifts–an inspiration for all of us who believe “there’s no business like show business.”



For five decades, Irving Berlin (1888-1989) was a major contributor to American popular culture–a giant.

Oh! He wrote more hits and made more money than any of his colleagues in the Golden Age of American Popular Song. He created songs that the average American could easily sing. An immigrant who never learned to read or write music, Berlin expressed the American spirit as well as any artist of his time. He composed the scores for 18 Broadway shows and 19 Hollywood films. His best stage and screen musicals–including “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Call Me Madam,” “Easter Parade,” and “White Christmas”–are pure Americana. His songs--rich and varied, and deceptively simple–have spoken to, and continue to speak to–generations of American people.

This album features Berlin duets, sung by terrific performers fro m the worlds of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and the nightclubs. You’ll find a few really famous Berlin duets here–as good as any numbers in the Great American Songbook. (And more of those famous Berlin duets will eventually be included on follow-up albums.) But you will also find many appealing numbers that will almost surely be brand new to you.

Because part of my mission, in producing this ongoing series of albums of Berlin’s music, is to help bring to light worthy rare--and in some cases, never-before-recorded--numbers. I’ve got one of the world’s major collections of Berlin sheet music. I’ve carefully gone through every song that Berlin is known to have written or co-written–more than 1,200 in all--searching for intriguing rarities. Many of the songs on this album are not well-known. But all offer rewards. And I’ve picked singers who have a feel for this music.

Berlin was amazingly prolific. And he was not always the best judge of his own abilities. He discarded many songs that he felt were not up to his personal standards. One of his greatest songs, “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” only survives because his secretary retrieved the crumpled first copy that he’d thrown into the waste basket. Another of his greatest songs, “God Bless America,” languished in his trunk for two decades before he finally decided to let it be heard.

Berlin has long been one of my favorite songwriters. George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, and George Gershwin were the first songwriters I knew by name as a boy. And when I was growing up, one very special friend and mentor–old enough to be my great-grandfather–was an ex-vaudevillian named Todd Fisher. He’d tell me tales of playing the Palace in 1913, and speak of showbiz legends he’d admired like Al Jolson, George M. Cohan, and Fanny Brice. In my youth, he directed me in shows. And he taught me, back then, song-and-dance routines–including early-20th-Century Berlin numbers that he’d fallen in love with when they were new. He taught me, from vintage sheet music, Berlin numbers like “You’d Be Surprised” and “Simple Melody.” And “A Couple of Song and Dance Men,” which I love singing to this day. (If you know that number and ever want to do it with me, I’m always happy to perform either part.)

As a boy, I just loved Berlin’s music. (I still do!) And I loved most of all the duets that he created. I was charmed by Berlin duets I saw in old movies on TV–Judy Garland and Fred Astaire in the film “Easter Parade”; Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in “Blue Skies”; Ethel Merman and Donald O’Connor in “Call Me Madam.” There were recordings that knocked me out, too, like Jolson and Crosby’s irresistibly rollicking, best-selling recording of “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.”

But the Berlin duet that had the greatest impact on me was one I witnessed “live.” Even as a boy, I read “Variety”–the showbiz Bible--regularly. And in my teens I was exited by the news that Berlin, although then nearly 80, was personally working on the first major revival of “Annie Get Your Gun” since its original Broadway run a couple of decades before. And he was writing a new song–a duet–for the new production. I could not wait to see the production.

I sat in the theater, spellbound, when Ethel Merman and Bruce Yarnell went into the new number, “An Old-Fashioned Wedding.” And this irresistible new song stopped the show. It was a counterpoint number–Berlin’s speciality; no one in the world ever wrote better “double songs” (as Berlin called them)–and it was as effective as any number Berlin had ever created. Merman and Yarnell had to do one encore chorus after another; the audience simply would not let them go. (That’s still one of my all-time greatest theatrical memories.) It was Berlin’s last hurrah–his last important song. But he was sure going out with a bang!

I was convinced, then and there, that no one could write better duets than Berlin. (I thought Berlin’s “Simple Melody” and “You’re Just in Love” were as perfect as any songs I’d ever heard.) I wondered why there was not an album consisting solely of Berlin duets. In one of his rare interviews, Berlin suggested he wanted to produce an album like that. But it never came to pass. Berlin lived to the ripe old age of 101, but in his final years he was reclusive, withdrawn.

One reason I’ve produced this album (and will eventually be producing other follow-up albums of Berlin-duets) is because I’ve wanted an album of Berlin duets since I was very young. And I simply couldn’t find any. I’ve included a few old favorites among the songs I’ve selected—and will include more on the follow-up albums–along with many more lesser-known (but thoroughly likeable) Berlin numbers.

The singers on this album include performers from Broadway--such as Stephen Bogardus, Jon Peterson, Giuseppe Bausilio, Beth Bartley, Matthew Nardozzi, Analise Scarpaci, Jackson DeMott Hill, Alex Dreier, Olivia Chun--and Off-Broadway and nightclubs–such as Seth Sikes, Jed Peterson, Keith Anderson, Ellis Gage, Luka Fric, Rachel Hundert, Mary Cantoni Johnson, Mark William, Amy Londyn, Magnus Tonning Riise.

Some of the singers you’ll hear are real veterans, with decades of stage/screen experience, such as Joan Jaffe and Michael Townsend Wright. Others are promising up-and-comers, just beginning to make names for themselves, such as Erich Schuett, Jack Corbin, Alec Deland, Analia Heredia, Jeffrey Sewell, Gabriella Green, Tyqaun White, Meghan Jenkins.

Some of the singers have impressed audiences in stage shows that I’ve written and directed myself–singers such as Clark Kinkade, Emily Bordonaro, Tyler DuBoys, Peter Charney, Bailey Cummings, Michael Kasper, Jack Saleeby. A few (Logan Saby, Lawson Saby, Logan Applin) are recording for me for the first time. But all share a love for this music. As do I. And I’m delighted, I might add, that I get to perform a Berlin song or two that I’ve loved since I was a youth.

I’m a great admirer of Berlin’s music–and of the man himself. I’ve actually written and presented six different musical plays about Berlin–a one-man play (“Irving Berlin: In Person”); a two-man play (“Irving Berlin’s America”); a three-to-five-person play (“Say it with Music”); a 10-person “Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue”; a biographical play for 12-16 actors, “Irving Berlin & Co.”; and a full-scale musical comedy, “The Irving Berlin Story,” for a cast of 20 or more players. All are available for licensing. Original cast albums for four of those shows have been released, with more to come.

I’m having great fun recording many of the lesser-known gems that I’ve found in the Berlin archive. This ongoing celebration of Berlin is a labor of love. I relish every part of the process, from picking the songs and the singers (and sometimes helping teach rare songs to singers), to the recording sessions at BeSharp Studios, and the mixing and mastering... to eventually turning on the radio one day and being caught happily by surprise when a host like David Kenney (WBAI-FM, New York) plays a selection from the album for the first time. And I’ll be remembering the day we recorded it.

Deep thanks to the singers–young and old--who’ve joined me on this first “Irving Berlin Duets Album.” (There will be more.) And deep thanks, too, of course, to the inimitable Mr. Berlin himself and the music he gave us in his 101 years.

* * *

1. A COUPLE OF SWELLS .... I believe it’s important to get an album (or a concert or a show) off to the strongest possible start. And to also have the strongest possible ending. (George Burns taught me that, in talks long ago.) And I’m starting this album with two of the strongest performers I know: Seth Sikes and Jon Peterson.

Sikes is the hottest singer in the nightclubs these days. His appearances at New York’s top nightclub, Feinstein’s/54 Below, invariably sell out. And fans flock to see him, whether he’s singing in NYC or London, or on Fire Island or in Provincetown, or anywhere else. (He’s also achieved success in the field of directing--most recently serving as Assistant Director of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “The Band’s Visit.”)

And for my money, there isn’t a greater song-and-dance man working in the theater today than Jon Peterson. He dazzled audiences in assorted shows in his native England before he was called to the U.S. to star as the Emcee in the national tour of “Cabaret.” He’s played that role to perfection in countless cities of the U.S., as well as on Broadway. He’s starred in my own show “George M. Cohan Tonight!” in New York, all across the U.S., and internationally.

I think the world of both Seth Sikes and Jon Peterson. Both have long professional associations with me–going back more than a dozen years. Both are on many albums of mine. (Getting them into the recording studio together is always a special treat for me.) Both are great admirers of Judy Garland (who will, of course, be forever associated with Berlin’s song “A Couple of Swells”). And both understand well the old-time Music Hall tradition. Their sheer delight in performing this song comes through from the first notes.

2. IN A COZY KITCHENETTE APARTMENT .... Two of my favorite singers, Keith Anderson and Beth Bartley, team up on this lovely, lilting, little-known Berlin ballad, originally introduced in “The Music Box Revue of 1921.” Anderson and Bartley have performed individually in shows and on recordings of mine, and–along with Seth Sikes and Jon Peterson--they jointly helped me develop “The Johnny Mercer Jamboree.”

Even before Beth Bartley made her Broadway debut in “Fortune’s Fool,” I used to take Keith Anderson with me to hear her singing “live” at a midtown New York nightspot; I loved that rich, vibrant voice of hers–just as I loved Anderson’s peerless tenor--and knew I wanted the two of them to work together with me someday. This is the first recording they’ve made together; it won’t be the last.

They’re both unusually versatile artists, with eclectic credits. Anderson–whose singing has knocked me out since he graced the Off-Broadway musical “Fairy Tales” (and its fine cast album)--has sung “The Star Spangled Banner” for the Cubs; narrated “Billy Idol” for TV’s Biography Channel; performed at the Kennedy Center; enlivened my “Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue” at the 13th Street Rep (and our original cast album); and has toured with Perry Como, among many other credits.

A Juilliard-trained actress, Bartley is equally adept at musicals and serious drama. (And I just chanced to spot her in an episode of television’s “NCIS-New Orleans.” ) I wrote the role of “Mrs. Foy”–which she played so poignantly in my musical comedy “The Seven Little Foys” (in New York and on the cast album)–especially for Beth Bartley. She has toured in works of Tennessee Williams, her favorite playwright. I most recently enjoyed her appearance, Off-Broadway, starring in Williams’ “Orpheus Descending,” directed by Austin Pendleton.

3. ALICE IN WONDERLAND .... Peter Charney and Caroline Rose McFee. I really love this Berlin rarity, which has only been recorded once before; it’s so sweet, pure, melodic, and innocent. [PHOTOS #3a Peter Charney and #3b Caroline Rose McFee] And when I saw Peter Charney and Caroline Rose McFee singing together in a production of “Fiddler on the Roof”–their earnest young voices blending so tenderly–I knew that they were the singers I wanted for this song of young love.

4. I LOVE TO QUARREL WITH YOU .... This little-known Berlin number is a fun showcase for Matthew Nardozzi and Emily Bordonaro. They have been heard on many albums of mine, including “The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” “Irving Berlin Revisited,” and “The Irving Berlin Songbook,” among others. And it’s always a treat for me to work with them, on stage or in the recording studio.

They’ve impressed me since I first saw them on stage--in “Dracula” and “Inherit the Wind” on Broadway, in Matt Nardozzi’s case; in “Les Miserables”and “West Side Story” at Connecticut’s Thomaston Opera House, in Emily Bordonaro’s case. I’m glad I was able to get the two of them together in the studio to record this number. Lately, Bordonaro has been busy touring (under the stage name of “Emily Victoria”), performing her own contemporary original songs. And Nardozzi came in to record after finishing up a new motion picture (which I’m looking forward to seeing), “Exhume.”

5. I HATE YOU .... Alec Deland and Gabriella Green have fun with this clever, unusual Berlin ditty. I always like hearing these two terrific musical-comedy performers together. [PHOTO #5. Alec Deland and Gabriella Green.] A few years ago, I chanced to see them co-starring in a production of “Mack and Mabel.” I was so taken with their individual voices, as well as their terrific rapport, I created some special material just for them--“A ‘Stage-Door’ Kind of Love,” which they recorded for my album “The Chip Deffaa Songbook.” And they’ve both been recording for me steadily since then.

6. YOU’RE JUST IN LOVE is one of Berlin’s greatest (and most celebrated) double-songs, famously introduced by Ethel Merman and Russell Nype in the 1950 Broadway musical “Call Me Madam.” An original cast recording by Merman and Nype would have been an instant classic–the definitive recording of the song. But, due to a quirk of fate, there never was an original cast recording. RCA Victor acquired the rights to make an original Broadway cast album of “Call Me Madam.” However, the show’s dynamic star, Ethel Merman–then Broadway’s reigning queen--was under exclusive contract to Decca Records, and Decca refused to give her a release. So RCA Victor had to settle for recording a pseudo-cast-album, featuring members of the original Broadway production, with Dinah Shore–a pleasant, amiable singer, who had a much lighter pop-music sound–taking the place of of the brassy, inimitable Merman. And then Decca had Merman–without her Broadway castmates–record an album of songs from the show. Neither album was wholly satisfactory. But the song “You’re Just in Love”–one of Berlin’s best–found its audience nevertheless. It remains a pure delight.

To try something a little different with this song, I’ve turned it over to two of my best younger singers. Erich Schuett–a teen who’s just young enough to be new to love–starts the song off. Then Emily Bordonaro--who’s a little bit older and wiser to the ways of the world–comes in to set him straight. I love both of these singers very much.

Schuett, who memorably sang “Homesick” and “I’m Down in Honolulu” on my album “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” is about as appealing a singer as any fellow his age I know. (I’m still grateful to manager Jody Prusan for calling my attention to him in the first place.) He was featured in the national tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The Sound Music.” His motion picture credits include “18 to Party,” “Evil Intentions,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles,” and “Dolphin Tale 2.” His TV credits include “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “ A Crime to Remember,” “Homicide for the Holidays,” “Shattered,” “Clarissa’s World,” and “Outdoor Wild.” He’s sung popular music at the West End Café and classical music at Carnegie Hall. And I’ve greatly enjoyed seeing him sing on Harry Connick’s television show, “Harry.” As I jot these notes, he happens to be in Australia, singing at the Sydney Opera House.

Bordonaro was just 11 the first time I saw her on stage, in a production of “Les Miz” at the Thomaston (Connecticut) Opera House. But she was a standout–my favorite performer in that huge, talent-filled production. The voice, the light in the eyes, the rare quality of being wondrously “alive” on stage--even as a child, she just had it all. I introduced myself to her and to her mother, and said I wanted to work with her. It’s been a joy witnessing her growth in the years since then. She’s done assorted readings, productions, and recordings with me, while simultaneously developing her own thriving career as a contemporary singer/songwriter, performing and recording fresh originals under the stage name of “Emily Victoria.” As I type these notes, she’s touring with the rock band “Uprooted.”

7. DO IT AGAIN .... This is a wonderfully infectious Ragtime-Era song of Berlin’s (not to be confused with the later, better-known song of the same name by the Gershwins). It’s a joy to hear. And I’m glad to have Peter Charney and Caroline Rose McFee return to the microphones to put this engaging song over.

8. WE HAVE MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR – a hit in its day– is forgotten now. It was promoted as “the ballad sensation of the century,” when Berlin originally wrote and published it, back in 1913. There may have been some hyperbole in that claim–and the 20th century, of course, was then only 13 years old--but this sincere, sentimental ballad deserves to be better known. There’s beauty in both the melody and the lyrics. At age 25, Berlin was an accomplished balladeer--even if he said it was harder for him to write ballads than rhythmic numbers, and it took him longer to master the craft of ballad-writing. It’s good to hear this song again.

I’m very happy to have Jack Corbin and Meghan Jenkins–their sterling voices ringing true, and rich with feeling–join forces for this love song. They “get” this song.

Corbin made his recording debut on my album “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” singing “Araby” and “Montmarte” with great beauty. And I’m delighted to have him return to the recording studio. He’s performed in New York at the Knitting Factory, the Galapagos Art Space, the Metropolitan Room, and Carnegie Hall. His film credits include “Stewart” and “Early Learnings.” His TV credits include HBO’s “How to Make it in America” and “Last Week Tonight,” Adult Swim’s “The Jack and Triumph Show,” and NBC Universal’s “Mr. Robot” (playing “Young Elliot” in the pilot). A student of Badiene Magaziner, he also sings German Lieder and rock. In addition, he releases his own fine recordings–both covers and originals--on Spotify and Soundcloud. A noteworthy young talent-to-watch.

This marks Meghan Jenkins’ first appearance on an album of mine, and I’m happy to welcome her to my theatrical family. I like the voice, I like the spirit; I look forward to working with her again. (And I thank Erich Schuett, who records regularly with me, for calling her to my attention in the first place.) She’s sung at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, Trumpets Jazz Club, and more. As I type these notes, she’s currently appearing in the Vanguard Theater Company’s production of “Runaways” at the American Theater of Actors in New York.

I really like the way Meghan Jenkins and Jack Corbin sound together; the voices and personalities complement each other well. They sound so nice together on this song, I’m also recording them together on some special material of mine, “A ‘French Woods’ Kind of Love,” which has just been released as a single on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, etc. , and will eventually also be on an album.

9. THERE'S SOMETHING NICE ABOUT THE SOUTH ... Erich Schuett and Chip Deffaa.... A bit of vaudeville fun, with the spirited Erich Schuett aided and abetted–if you want to call it that–by yours truly. [PHOTOS #9a. Chip Deffaa and #9b. Erich Schuett.] I love this jaunty song (which I’ve recorded before). It’s perhaps my own personal favorite, out of all the many appealing numbers Berlin wrote about the South. And of course I love working with Erich. The good vibe sure comes through. We really had a great time recording this. Special thanks to Erich’s faithful dog, Apollo/Astro, for his assistance with this recording. And to our indefatigable music director, Richard Danley, whose gift for accompanying performers--even ones prone to ad lib--is unsurpassed.

10. SOME SUNNY DAY .... Michael Townsend Wright and Clark Kinkade team up for this irresistible 1922 Berlin song. And it does my heart good to hear these performers–both longtime favorites of mine–singing this number once again. About a decade ago, I cast them both in the first production of my musical comedy, “The Seven Little Foys.” (In fact, I created their roles with them in mind.) And this number was featured, as a group number in that show. Here these two talented pros have fun revisiting this song–which they both know so well, and have long loved--as a duet. Their warm affection for one another sure comes through.

I was enjoying Wright’s work on stage, screen, and television long before we met. He has a rare feel for oldtime show business and a knack for making the most of any opportunity offered to him, whether it’s in a motion picture (such as “Lansky” or “The Rat Pack”), on TV (“The Uncle Floyd Show,” “Emergency,” “The Naked Brothers Band”), or on stage (including such musicals of mine as “George M. Cohan: In His Own Words” and “Yankee Doodle Boy”).

Besides acting in shows, Kinkade is a member of the popular vocal group “RANGE a capella,” which has sung everywhere from Radio City Music Hall to the red carpet of the Emmy Awards. Their recent video of songs from “Hamilton” has gotten more than five million YouTube hits! And of course, Kinkade records regularly for me. You can hear more of Kinkade’s engaging singing on such albums of mine as “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” “The Boy Next Door,” Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” “Gay Love,” “Mad About the Boy: the Festival Cast,” and “The Chip Deffaa Songbook.”

11. THE SCHOOLHOUSE BLUES ... Jackson Demott Hill and Alex Dreier.... Oh! It’s always a treat to work–either separately or together–with Jackson DeMott Hill and Alex Dreier. And they bring to the recording studio just the right mix of seriousness and zest. They have a terrific rapport, developed during the years they played brothers in the Broadway musical “Finding Neverland.” They bonded during the run of that hit show, and they’re like brothers in real-life today. And it comes through in their recordings. In fact, the track they performed on the last Berlin album (“An Irving Berlin Travelogue”)–a song called “I Beg Your Pardon, Dear Old Broadway”–was named by music expert Andy Propst ( as the highlight of that album! And it’s good to have them back again.

Alex Dreier’s other Broadway credits include “Billy Elliott” and “The Assembled Parties.” And he was in my presentation of “The Seven Little Foys” at the York Theater. He also did the very first reading of my show, “The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue.” So he’s certainly no stranger to Berlin!

Jackson Demott Hill has likewise long impressed me. He just shines, whether appearing in a drama like Tina Howe’s “Singing Beach” on the New York stage or in a commercial for Brooks Brothers. Dreier and Hill bring a good vibe to the recording studio.

12. THE CIRCUS IS COMING TO TOWN ... Chip Deffaa and Jack Corbin .... This infectious, little-known song is a treat to sing. And Jack Corbin and I relished bringing it back to life. I have great faith in Jack Corbin. I think he’s as talented a singer as anyone his age. It’s not just that he hits the notes correctly, there’s an open-hearted quality to his singing that I really like. I could listen to him sing all day.... This Berlin rarity will be new to most listeners. I’m including it in my show “Irving Berlin’s America.” I might add, I’d love to see Jack in a production of that show someday; he’d be terrific for the role. (And now he already knows one song in the score!)

13. SAY IT WITH MUSIC was written by Irving Berlin to serve as the theme song of his “Music Box Revues” in the 1920s. Bandleader Red Nichols also used it as the theme song for one of his radio programs. “Say it with Music” was also to be the title song of a big-budget, all-star Berlin musical that MGM was planning to produce in the 1960s. MGM paid Berlin a million dollars for the music for the proposed picture–and then MGM scrubbed the whole project when new management came in and questioned the film’s financial viability. (Berlin got to keep his million dollars, but the motion picture “Say it with Music”–which was to have starred Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Julie Andrews--never got made. The times, they were a-changing.)

“Say it with Music” remains a pretty song. Here to sing the original published lyrics are Ellis Gage and Analise Scarpaci. I’ve appreciated both of these young pros’ work on stage and on YouTube videos, and I’m always happy when I have a chance to get them into the recording studio.

Analise Scarpaci’s Broadway credits include “A Christmas Story” and “Matilda.” (And as I type these notes, she’s singing in a show at the nightclub Feinstein’s/54 Below.) She may be heard on the album “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities.” Ellis Gage may be heard on the albums “Gay Love” and “The Boy Next Door.” They both sang together on my album “An Irving Berlin Travelogue.”

14. SIMPLE MELODY/MUSICAL DEMON is one of the greatest of all counterpoint numbers in American popular music. It was the first “double song” Berlin created. He said it served as the model for all those he created afterwards. Irresistibly infectious, it’s been performed many times–by many different singers--since Charles King and Sallie Fisher first introduced it in Berlin’s hit 1914 Broadway musical “Watch Your Step.” And each pair of singers who tries this song gives it a slightly different feel. We're happy to have Ellis Gage and Analise Scarpaci return to put their own spin on this classic Berlin song.

15. I WONDER .... This 1920 Berlin ballad is so beautiful, I’m surprised it did not become a hit. It’s only been recorded once before. I’ve entrusted it here to Magnus Tonning Riise and Veronica Johnson. They have the sensitivity and the tonal purity that this song calls for.

Riise, a recent transplant from Norway, has an immediately recognizable sound all his own. (I love that timbre.) He's winning fans via appearances in such clubs as Birdland and Feinstein's/54 Below. He may be heard, too, on these albums: “Gay Love,” “The Irving Berlin Songbook,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” and “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities.” He's also the co-founder of the NextGen Theatre Company, whose recent production of “Zombie Prom” I enjoyed very much.

Born into an unusually musical family, Veronica Johnson first worked with me (and her brother, Theron Johnson, and their mother, Mary Cantoni Johnson) when I was developing my musical play “Presenting Fanny Brice” (now published and licensed by Eldridge Plays). I actually met the Johnsons even earlier, when I was developing “The Seven Little Foys.” But the Fanny Brice project gave me my first chance to work with all three. Veronica Johnson–like her mother and brother–has appeared in many shows. And occasionally she even gets to star in a show--like “Kiss Me, Kate”--that her mother has starred in, in years past. I love that kind of continuity.

16. THE NEW MOON .... This is a pretty song, not well-known. It’s only been recorded once before. The song, Berlin said, was inspired by the motion picture, “The New Moon,” starring Norma Talmadge, and produced by Joseph Schenk. I’m glad that Brianna Leigh Smail and Theron Johnson, who’ve worked together in theater in Connecticut–and have the straightforward, sincere approach that this vintage love ballad calls for–were available. Both Smail and Johnson first caught my attention via appearances at the Thomaston Opera House. Smail has been heard previously on “The Irving Berlin Songbook.” This is Theron Johnson’s first recording for me.

A bit of background info on the song.... Norma Talmadge, one of the great stars of the silent-film era–fans bought Norma Talmadge perfumes and Norma Talmadge cosmetics–was married to Berlin’s lifelong friend, film tycoon Joseph Schenck. (Schenk and Berlin both rose to success from the rough streets of New York’s impoverished Lower East Side.) At the time that Berlin wrote this song, incidentally, Berlin was linked romantically to Norma Talmadge’s younger sister, film star Constance Talmadge; some newspapers reported they were engaged. (One newspaper printed that they were, in fact, married!) Their relationship did not last. But this song comes from a time when Berlin’s ties to the Talmadges and Schenks certainly were strong.

17. SETTLE DOWN IN A ONE-HORSE TOWN .... Berlin created this charming rarity for his hit production “Watch Your Step”–billed as “a Syncopated Musical Show in Three Acts”-- which opened on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theater in 1914, and at the Empire Theater on the West End in London the following year. It’s sung here by two international musical-theater performers I’m always glad to work with–and have often recorded–Luka Fric and Rachel Hundert. I’ve worked with both on stage productions (with Fric on “Mad About the Boy”; with Hundert on “One Night with Fanny Brice”), and they’ve sung on such albums as “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” “An Irving Berlin Songbook,” and “Irving Berlin Revisited.”

18. I’LL TAKE YOU BACK TO ITALY .... This vintage Italian-American comic duet–so old that it will be brand new to listeners today--is put across with gusto by Michael Townsend Wright and Mary Cantoni Johnson. And they both certainly have a feel for vaudeville-era material. Townsend has been singing such songs since he was a regular on television’s “Uncle Floyd Show,” and he’s starred in productions of my shows “The Seven Little Foys” and “Irving Berlin’s America.” Johnson, who has starred in regional productions of such shows as “Gypsy” and “Kiss Me, Kate,” scored a great success starring in my own show “One Night with Fanny Brice,” both in New York and regionally (and on a cast album, as well). And they have fun with this one.

19. JUST ONE WAY TO SAY I LOVE YOU is a smooth, little-known Berlin ballad from his 1949 musical “Miss Liberty.” A modest success, the show ran on Broadway for about eight months. It had some good songs, but critics felt the show, overall, didn’t quite come off. Berlin, incidentally, agreed with the critics. But this song–which Al Jolson first recorded--is well worth hearing again.

This is the first time I’ve paired Mark William--who was in my musical production “Mad About the Boy,” and often records for me--with Amy Londyn--who captured my heart when she starred charmingly in the Off-Broadway musical “Lili Marlene” (which William directed) at St. Luke’s Theater. They sound good together, and I hope I’ll have more chances to record them together. Londyn continues to appear in theater in New York, most recently in “Frankenstein.” She’s also sung at Lincoln Center. And watch for William’s appearances in cabaret. His most recent show in New York, “Come Croon with Me,” directed by Preston and Richard Ridge, sold out quickly. And the star-studded audience that came to see his cabaret show included Sandy Duncan and Don Correia, Donna McKechnie, Anita Gillette, Lynn Ahrens, Jill O'Hara, and Jim Brochu!

20. FURNISHING A HOME FOR TWO ... Bailey Cummings and Katherine Paulsen.... Oh! I like this little-known number a lot. It’s only been recorded once before. Berlin wrote it for a musical sketch called “The Society Buds,” starring Henry Bergman and Gladys Clark, presented on the vaudeville circuit by Jesse Lasky (best remembered as a film mogul).

this recording. The first pure voice we hear is that of Bailey Cummings. (He sings with such grace!) He may also be heard on such albums of mine as “The Seven Little Foys,” "The Chip Deffaa Songbook," and "Gay Love.” In addition, Bailey did the very first reading of my show "Irving Berlin's America." Bailey is joined here by Katherine Paulsen. With her warmth and sly wit, she enlivened my show "Mad About the Boy." You can hear her on the cast album of that show, as well as such albums as "The Irving Berlin Songbook,” "Irving Berlin Revisited,” "The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” and "Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities.”

21. ALWAYS .... Emily Bordonaro and Peter Charney–whom I’ve been lucky enough to have work with me in shows (like “The Seven Little Foys” and “The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue”) and on recordings (far too many to list here)--team up to sing one of the best songs Irving Berlin ever wrote. Which is to say, one of the best songs in the Great American Songbook. A short, sweet ballad that is perfect in every way: “Always.” Berlin gave this terrific song to his second wife–a unique wedding present, a testament to his enduring love for her. All of the royalties this song brought in (more than a quarter-million dollars) went to her, not to him.

22. SOMEBODY'S COMING TO OUR HOUSE ... Olivia Chun, Logan Saby, Veronica Johnson, Logan Applin, Jeffrey Sewell, and Lawson Saby.... In a 1913 article on Irving Berlin in “Green Book Magazine,” Rennold Wolf reported that Berlin was working on “a song somewhat different from his previous themes” with lyrics relating “to the arrival of a baby in the house.” That unusual song--about the impending arrival of a baby--surfaced and vanished quickly. It was overshadowed by two Berlin hits released that same summer, “We Have Much to be Thankful For” and “The International Rag.” (The prolific Berlin often wound up competing with himself in the marketplace.) But it’s a cute number–and one of very few Berlin songs intended to be sung by kids. It deserves to be heard again. So I rounded up a half-dozen of the sassiest, spunkiest kids I could find. I picked first Olivia Chun, who at age nine was already stealing scenes with aplomb in “School of Rock” on Broadway. And I love the energy she brought into the studio when she planted herself in front of the microphone and began belting out, in that small but mighty voice of hers, the opening words: “Ev’ryone’s excited, down at our house....” Ten-year-oldn Logan Saby had plenty of brass, too, letting us know that the expected baby “will be President soon.” And all of the other kids, Logan Applin, Veronica Johnson, Jeffrey Sewell, and Lawson Saby–who have all impressed me in shows, here and there–got well into the spirit. I told the kids they were making a bit of history here. They were probably the first kids in a century to sing this Irving Berlin rarity, and surely their recording will be the only recording of the song in print. I’m not certain that all of those good kids even knew who Irving Berlin was. But Logan Saby told me he’d had a VERY good time, and–as a kind of thank-you present–he gave me a little robot, which is standing on my desk as I type this. (I’ve named the robot “Irving.”) A good–and memorable--recording session indeed.

23. WASN'T IT YESTERDAY? ... Olivia Chun, Jon Peterson, Joan Jaffe .... Here’s a more thoughtful side of Irving Berlin. This wonderful, reflective number (which has only been recorded one other time) features veterans Jon Peterson and Joan Jaffe as a married couple in their twilight years, with young Olivia Chun, portraying their granddaughter, providing the introduction. Recording this number was an especially rewarding experience. I really like this little-known number--a reflection on the cycle of life, and the endurance of love.

The first voice we hear (the grandchild) is that of young Olivia Chun (who’s already a veteran of two well-received Broadway shows, “The King and I” and “School of Rock”).

The grandparents are played by two valued members of my theatrical family, whom I’ve known for almost two decades. Jon Peterson has starred in assorted musicals in both his native England and the U.S. He’s starred in my show “George M. Cohan Tonight!” in New York and in many other cities. For his portrayal of Cohan, he’s been honored by the Drama League, earned a Drama Desk nomination, and won a Bistro Award, a Connecticut Critics Circle Award, and a Fringe Festival Award.

Joan Jaffe’s many credits include Broadway (“Much Ado About Nothing,” Bajour”), national tours (“On a Clear Day...,” “Sweet Charity”), films (“Hello, Dolly!,” “The Producers,” “Enchanted”), and TV (“Conan O’Brien,” “Autopsy”). She’s currently playing a recurring character on the television show “Orange is the New Black.” And she’s won the MAC Award for her work in cabaret. A consummate pro, she arrives totally prepared, and delivers a finished performance on the first take. Jon and Joan have worked together in shows of mine; their rapport has developed over many years. I’m very happy t have them on a recording together.

24. A COUPLE OF SONG AND DANCE MEN ... Chip Deffaa and Erich Schuett .... I get to have some good-natured fun, taking a crack at this cheerful Berlin duet, along with my pal Erich Schuett, one of the best singing actors his age.... These days, of course, I mostly work as a playwright, director, and producer. But I started out as a performer, sharing stages in my youth with the likes of David Hartman, William Devane, and M. Emmet Walsh, and learning song-and-dance routines from an ex-vaudevillian, Todd Fisher, who’d shared stages in his youth with Gypsy Rose Lee and her sister, Dainty June. I like making cameo appearances in shows or on albums, when opportunities arise. And it’s always a joy to work with Erich Schuett.... Keep a song–and a dance–in your soul!

25. I LOVE A PIANO is one of the most beloved of all Irving Berlin songs. This rollicking number is simply great fun. We hear Giuseppe Bausilio and Erich Schuett on this new recording. I like their high-spirited youthful enthusiasm, and their musicality. They were last heard together singing “I’m Down in Honolulu” on my album “The Irving Berlin Travelogue,” and I’m happy to have one more sample of their work. I just love their voices–naturally brimming with good will. And they think the world of one another. We’ve already discussed Erich’s background. Let me tell you a bit about Giuseppe.

The wonderfully talented Giuseppe Bausilio–a genuine triple-threat--first gained notice starring in “Billy Elliott” on Broadway. Since then, he’s enlivened one Broadway show after another: “Newsies,” Aladdin,” “Cats,” “Hello, Dolly!” (sharing the stage with both Bette Midler and Bernadette Peters), as well as being featured on the TV series “The Next Step” (The Family Chanel). He co-starred with Michael Townsend Wright in my show “Irving Berlin’s America,” and may be heard on our cast album, as well as on such albums as “The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” “Irving Berlin Revisited,” “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” “The Irving Berlin Songbook,” and “Irving Berlin Rediscovered.” As I write these notes, he’s appearing in the hit musical “Hamilton” in Chicago. And he recently completed the movie “Festivals of Patience.” He’s begun directing, as well. I think he’s got unlimited potential.

26. WHEN THE CURTAIN FALLS .... I like this sweet/sad Berlin ballad, which has only been recorded once before. This fine, little-known song was introduced in the Broadway musical “Going Up,” at the Liberty Theater in 1917. It is sung here by Jack Corbin and Analise Scarpaci. They both relate well to these timeless old-style love songs. Scarpaci’s Broadway credits include “A Christmas Story” and “Matilda.” Off-Broadway, she’s been seen in “Lolita My Love.” She may be heard on such albums of mine as “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities”and “An Irving Berlin Travelogue”–with more to come.

27. OH, HOW I HATE TO GET UP IN THE MORNING was Irving Berlin’s huge hit from World War One. (We’re going to conclude this album with several of Berlin’s servicemen-inspired songs.) Berlin introduced “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning” himself in the all-servicemen show he created during the First World War, “Yip Yip Yaphank,” and he revived it (once again singing it himself) in the all-servicemen show he created during the Second World War, “This is the Army,” and its subsequent film adaptation. Berlin was justifiably proud of his patriotic contributions.

The good-natured fellows who are rendering “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Army” here are Tyler DuBoys and Jack Saleeby. Both have assorted credits with me, in terms of shows, readings, and recordings– and they have known each other for a decade.

DuBoys has sung and/or tap-danced on such albums of mine as “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” “The Seven Little Foys,” “The Boy Next Door,”“Irving Berlin Revisited,” “The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” “Irving Berlin’s America,” “Gay Love,” and “Irving Berlin Rediscovered.” He’s worked with me not just as a singer and dancer, he’s also choreographed shows for me. I think the world of this widely-traveled NYU-trained artist.

As for Saleeby, I spotted his potential even before I cast him in a key role in the world-premiere production of my musical “The Seven Little Foys.” He’d impressed me, the previous Spring, performing at the Halo Awards in Connecticut. I wrote the role of “Jack” in my musical play “Irving Berlin’s America”–which he introduced in the first public presentations in New York–specifically for him. His most recent credits include playing the Scarecrow in the national tour of “The Wizard of Oz,” and appearing in the first staged reading of an original musical, “Bright and Brave,” that he is developing in collaboration with Peter Charney. (And I liked very much what I witnessed at their first staged reading of that new musical. I’ll be eagerly watching its development.)

28. THIS IS THE ARMY, MR. JONES .... Two more of my favorites--Alec Deland and Jed Peterson–join forces to sing this famed song from Berlin’s World-War-Two all-servicemen show (and its subsequent film adaptation), “This is the Army.” Berlin conceived, wrote, and starred in the morale-boosting show, presented in New York, and then England, and then Italy, and then the South Pacific. “This is the Army” raised more than $10 million for the Army Emergency Relief Fund. (Berlin would not take a penny for his patriotic work.)

Alec Deland has sung on such albums of mine as “The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” “Gay Love,” “The Boy Next Door,” “The Irving Berlin Songbook,” “Irving Berlin Revisited,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities,” and “An Irving Berlin Travelogue.” Currently attending Princeton University, Deland is a member of Princeton’s signature a capella vocal group, the Tigertones, and is busy making his mark in theater, following in the footsteps of Princeton actors from Jimmy Stewart to Stephen Bogardus. I’ve enjoyed seeing him on stage at Princeton in such shows as “Next to Normal,” “The Last Five Years,” and “Legally Blonde.” He has a fine voice, an essential likability on stage, and enthusiasm–all assets for an actor.

Jed Peterson has performed with such New York theater companies as Prospect Theater Company, Studio Six, the Abingdon Theatre, the New York Theatre Barn, and the Cell. He has starred on stage, Off-Broadway in New York, in such shows as “Hard Times,” “Our God’s Brother,” “Nevsky Prospect,” and “Flirtation.” He has starred regionally in such shows as “Nureyev’s Eyes,” “Zorro,” and “Sherlock Holmes.” He’s won the NFAA youngARTS Award and the Continental Rising Star Award, and the Louis Sudler Prize for acting. His training includes the Moscow Art Theatre School, Princeton University, LaGuardia High of the Performing Arts, and the School of American Ballet. I’m always happy to see him, whether he’s acting on stage or making a guest appearance on a TV show like “Madame Secretary.”

29. GEE, I WISH I WAS BACK IN THE ARMY.... The final track features two terrific
performers, Stephen Bogardus and Jed Peterson, singing a number that Berlin
wrote for the classic motion picture “White Christmas.” Bogardus and Peterson are hardly new to Berlin’s music. Both have sung memorably on other albums of mine celebrating Berlin. And Bogardus co-starred in the original Broadway production of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” I hold these seasoned pros–both of whom, incidentally, I’ve known since they were teens–in the highest regard. And while they’ve known each other a long time–and are both, I might add, trustees of the Princeton University Triangle Club–this is their first recording together.

I think Jed Peterson may have been destined for a career in the theater; his parents named him “Jed” after the famous American theatrical producer Jed Harris. And he made his New York stage debut when he was just a boy, dancing in the New York City Ballet’s celebrated production of “The Nutcracker.”

Peterson is one of only two American actors ever to have performed on the main stage of the Moscow Art Theatre with the Russian theatrical company. I always relish his work; he commits totally to a part. I particularly loved his compelling portrayal of songwriter Stephen Foster in the Off-Broadway musical “Hard Times” (produced by the New York Theatre Barn/The Cell). He may be heard on such albums of mine as “Mad About the Boy: The Festival Cast...,” “The Irving Berlin Songbook” and “Irving Berlin: In Person–the Premiere Recording.”

Stephen Bogardus has given memorable performances in many Broadway shows, including “Bright Star,” “Old Acquaintance,” “Man of La Mancha,” “James Joyce’s The Dead,” “High Society,” “King David,” “Love! Valour! Compassion!,” “Falsettos,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” “Safe Sex,” “Les Misérables,” and “West Side Story.” I’ve always loved Bogardus’ honest, heartfelt work. He enhances any show he’s in. (As I type these notes, I’ve just enjoyed seeing him in the striking new musical play at The Public Theater in New York, “The Girl from the North Country.” )

Long before I saw Bogardus starring in shows on Broadway or making guest appearances on TV dramas, I was impressed with his work. I can close my eyes and still see him, at the tender age of 19, running about the stage at Princeton University, starring in the student musical production “Mugs Money.” He was already a standout even then–a solid performer-- and he’s grown in depth in the years since.

I’d never turn down a chance to record Stephen Bogardus. Check out, if you can, his thoughtful rendition of “How Can I Forget?”–a never-before-recorded Irving Berlin ballad--on my album “Irving Berlin Rediscovered.” Or his masterly interpretation of Noel Coward’s “I’ll Follow My Secret Heart” on my album “Gay Love.” Or his sly rendition of Cole Porter’s “Nobody’s Chasing Me” on “The Boy Next Door.” I count my blessings whenever I get to work with a singing actor of this caliber. (I don’t forget what George Burns impressed upon me years ago: If you’re producing an album–or a concert or a show–take care to have as strong a start and as strong an ending as you possibly can. Bogardus and Peterson make a pretty strong team.)

And that’s it, ladies and gentlemen, till next time!

Garret Mountain, March 2019

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CHIP DEFFAA (producer/writer) is the author of 16 published plays and eight published books, and the producer of 27 albums. For 18 years he covered entertainment, including music and theater, for The New York Post. In his youth, he studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He is a graduate of Princeton University and a trustee of the Princeton "Tiger" magazine. He wrote and directed such Off-Broadway successes as "George M. Cohan Tonight!" and "One Night with Fanny Brice." His shows have been performed everywhere from London to Edinburgh, to Seoul. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, NARAS, and ASCAP. He’s won the ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award, the IRNE Award, and a New Jersey Press Association Award. Please visit:

RICHARD DANLEY (music director/pianist) is Chip Deffaa's first choice among music directors and has worked on many shows and/or albums of Deffaa's, including "Irving Berlin's America," “The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue,” "One Night with Fanny Brice," "The Seven Little Foys," "George M. Cohan Tonight!," “Mad About the Boy,” “Irving Berlin: In Person,” “The Irving Berlin Songbook,” “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities,” and "Theater Boys." Danley has performed everywhere from daytime dramas on television, to cruise ships, to clubs, to Carnegie Hall. He is on the faculty of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA).

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Chip Deffaa has written six different musical plays celebrating Irving Berlin. All are available for licensing. “Irving Berlin: In Person” is a one-man play. “Irving Berlin’s America” is a two-character play. “Say it with Music” is written for 3-5 actors. “Irving Berlin & Co.” is a biographical musical written for 12 or more players. “The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue,” featuring more than 40 ragtime songs, is a revue written for 10-14 players. “The Irving Berlin Story” is a full-sized biographical musical, written for 24 or more players.

Playwright/director/producer Chip Deffaa is represented by The Fifi Oscard Agency (attention: Peter Sawyer, President), New York City; Email:, tel. (212) 764-1100.

For additional information on any of Deffaa’s shows, please feel free to contact Chip Deffaa Productions LLC, 50 Quartz Lane, Paterson, NJ 07501-3345, telephone: 973-684-3340; Email:;

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Our thanks for the help provided, in various ways, by Carol Channing, Lee Roy Reams, Tommy Tune, Jack Corbin, Adriene Campos, Joceir Bell, Micah Wagner, Matthew Broderick, Oscar Williams, Cole Patno, Tiago Martins, Ryan Muska, Mariah Hill, Victor Calatayud, Adrian Carbajal, Michael Kasper, Timmy Thompson, Howard Cruse, Jeremiah Cruz, Axel Gonzalez, Yunis Alibrahimi, Adam Barki, Deborah Deffaa, Max Deffaa, Julia Deffaa, Louis Deffaa Sr., Christopher Hernandez, Josh Schaller, Ava Schaller,Nancy Sasso Janis, Marianna Vagnini-Dadamo, Joshua O’Connor, Brick Greenbean, Adem Kitapci, Mohammed Alqoq, the late John Wallowitch, the late Jack Gottlieb, the late Bob Dahdah. Public relations assistance by Ibby, Abraheem, and Cinnamon Abdelhaq. Food services/world’s greatest schwarma sandwiches courtesy of Rayan Rahmoun/Al-Kumah Restaurant. Music preparation by Donald Brown and Richard Danley; graphic design by Frank Avellino; all work completed for Chip Deffaa on a work-made-for-hire basis.


Chip Deffaa’s “The Irving Berlin Duets Album” (p) and © 2019 by Chip Deffaa.

If you’ve enjoyed this album, you might also enjoy these other Chip Deffaa albums (available from,, iTunes, etc.): “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” “The Boy Next Door,” “Gay Love,” “Mad About the Boy: 13th Street Theater Production,” “Mad About the Boy: The Festival Cast,” “Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities,” “Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” “The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” “Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin Revisited,” “Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin Songbook: Rare and Unrecorded Songs,” “The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue,” “George M. Cohan Tonight!,” “Irving Berlin’s America,” “One Night with Fanny Brice,” Irving Berlin: In Person,” “The Seven Little Foys” “Theater Boys,” “Presenting Fanny Brice,” “George M. Cohan: In his Own Words,”“The George M. Cohan Revue,”Irving Berlin & Co.,” “The Johnny Mercer Jamboree,” “George M. Cohan: Rare Original Recordings.”

Chip Deffaa’s


Stephen Bogardus, Jon Peterson, Seth Sikes, Giuseppe Bausilio, Emily Bordonaro, Joan Jaffe, Michael Townsend Wright, Jed Peterson, Clark Kinkade, Keith Anderson, Beth Bartley,
Magnus Tonning Riise, Matthew Nardozzi, Chip Deffaa, Erich Schuett, Jack Corbin,
Ellis Gage, Analise Scarpaci, Alex Dreier, Jackson Demott Hill, Tyler DuBoys,
Alec Deland, Gabriella Green, Bailey Cummings, Peter Charney, Olivia Chun,
Mary Cantoni Johnson, Analia Heredia, Rachel Hundert, Meghan Jenkins,
Caroline Rose McFee, Katherine Paulsen, Luka Fric, Mark William,
Amy Londyn, Theron Johnson, Veronica Johnson, Jeffrey Sewell,
Logan Saby, Lawson Saby, Logan Applin,
Jack Saleeby, Brianna Leigh Smail

Produced by CHIP DEFFAA; Musical Director: RICHARD DANLEY

Associate producer: Steve Garrin; recording engineer/mixing/mastering: Slau Halatyn/BeSharp Studios;
music prep: Don Brown, Richard Danley; graphic design: Frank Avellino; proofreading: Mateus Miranda;
music historian: Caleb Ordonez; international advisors: Ramsey Dalalsheh, Sukhee Jun, Juan Rendon;
aides-de-camp: Max Galassi, Jessee D. Riehl; pizzas courtesy of Mariano Campos, Gabriella Lantigua

Chip Deffaa Productions
Garret Mountain Records CDP JC0803
“The Irving Berlin Duets Album” (P) and © 2019 by Chip Deffaa



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