1001 Albums: Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Gershwin Songbook



Artist: Ella Fitzgerald

Album: Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Gershwin Songbook

Year: 1959

Length: ???

Genre: Vocal Jazz


“The man who only lives for making money
Lives a life that isn’t necessarily sunny
Likewise the man who works for fame
There’s no guarantee that time won’t erase his name”

This took me much longer to get done than it should have. I had started listening to this album on Friday and only completed it today, Thursday, almost a week later. Not because it was just that incredibly long, I only had two songs left when I had stopped on Friday. So why did it take me so long to finish it?

I had a rough week, that’s the simple answer. This week hasn’t been the best for me in any aspect, physically, mentally or emotionally.I hit a pretty bad down and apparently wasn’t hiding it that well as most of my co-workers noticed and were asking me if everything I was Ok. I guess that’s what happens when you’re usually a peppy, hyper person who is suddenly walking around in a zombified state. It got pretty bad, so bad to the point that I started to lose my motivation, enthusiasm and joy from anything I loved to do, including this blog. It’s hard when that kind of thing hits you and you have no idea what to do because you keep beating yourself down harder and harder and digging yourself deeper into your own hole. You just want to get out but you can’t seem to figure out how to.

I’m dealing with some stuff in my life and trying to figure out how to keep moving forward and bit by bit, it’ll come to me and I’ll be able to do it. Today hit and I thought back to this blog and how I hadn’t written a post all week yet. I didn’t like that, but for the most part I just couldn’t get myself to just do it, I couldn’t do it. But today, I refused to let that happen because I know if I continue like this, then that’ll mostly be the end of this blog and I promised myself I would finish it and not give up like I do with most things. I will finish what I started (even if I’m only 19 songs in out of 1001, a little early in the game for this, but it’s not a pep talk to finish this, it’s very circumstantial). I knew if I didn’t I would just be disappointed in myself and I’m kind of done feeling that way (even if it might continue, at least I can attempt to make the amount of times decrease rather than increase).

So here I am, I managed to put those headphones on and finish the album and am now sitting here writing. I’m happy this album was happy-go-lucky and rather upbeat (if it was one of those sad ones, might have been harder for me to finish). At least I think it was, the music itself really did give that feel but I wasn’t, for the most part this time, listening to the lyrics. Although some songs did stick out for me, They All Laughed is basically the song for anyone who has ever been rejected, had their backs turned or laughed at for wanting to do something. It stuck out for me due to the situation that’s caused me to be in this state of mind and the idea of proving people wrong and showing them you don’t need them and succeeding anyway sounds like a good one, one we can all most probably relate to (unless your the dickbag in question on the other end of the song, hopefully you’re not because I know you are good people). Also, Nice Work if you Can Get it stood out for me because it’s all about getting work in those “glamorous” jobs, particularly entertainment, which is basically the business I’ve thrown myself into.

It’s really a shame that this business has a big down side and that’s if you’re really successful you become famous. yes, that’s a bad thing. I hate fame, I hate the idea of fame and I hope fame never touches me. But… I love film making, I love acting, I love entertaining. I wish I could succeed in doing these things without ever worrying about being famous. I want to work in this field because I genuinely love doing these things, there isn’t a moment that goes by that I’m not thinking about movies or scripts or stories or characters or skits. These things are constantly on my mind and yes, I would love to get to the point that I’m making a living off doing it and a, respected by my peers, but please, keep fame away. Crazy fans, stalkers, paparazzi, can’t eat a meal at a restaurant without being disturbed, fame is not good. I don’t get this attitude that certain people have, and believe me I’ve met quite a few who basically said “I just want to be rich and famous”, first off, fuck you, you’re over-saturating the community and getting in the way of people who genuinely want to do this because they just love doing it, also, that’s the worst ever goal to have. Someone who has this attitude will meet the celebrity breakdown one day, they’ve hit their fifteen minutes of fame and once they lose it, they want to stay as relevant as possible and would do anything to stay in the spotlight. That sucks if you’re like that, so desperate for fame and attention you would do anything just to get it. That’s sad.

Another thing, and what I hate the most about the idea of fame, you become a brand name. You’re no longer a person with talent, you’re an object, an asset, a selling point. Your name becomes the brand and you become the item. People don’t want to work with you because you’re talented, they want to work with you because your name will attract people and get money in their pockets. If you’re happy being turned into a marketing strategy then by all means I won’t judge you, but I don’t have to like it.

That’s part of the problem with this business which I’m starting to learn in the harshest way possible, people only see you as assets. Only what can help your project and people in this business are ready to just easily throw people who they call their friends to the side like their trash when they feel that person doesn’t benefit them in moving up the ladder and they move on to suck the dick of the person who’s slightly above them. But once they’ve moved beyond that person, the same cycle repeats itself. It’s such a shitty, fucking thing to do. Friends don’t exist in this business, only assets. I disagree with this, friends will always be your friends, and especially if you work very well with them and produce great shit, why the fuck would you just turn your back on them for absolutley no reason other than somebody else over here has more experience than my good friends who I’ve established a tight relationship with. It makes zero fucking sense. If I ever do make it up before my friends do, I can assure you I’m the first person who will bring them up with me, not leave them down there while pointing the middle finger at them, dear lord how much of a piece of shit do you have to be to do that? I will never comprehend that attitude, ever and I am happy I never will, I don’t want to understand it.

There’s a great quote I keep with me. I don’t know who said it, where it’s from or anything but it goes something like this:

“Don’t judge a man by how he treats his superiors but by how he treats his inferiors”

That sums up my attitude in a nutshell. Doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, have fucking respect for everyone at all levels.

Ok…. I ranted there and I don’t really know what came over me (see? I told you things have been going on with me). I may have gotten some of my shit in on that… which I don’t really apologize for because it’s healthy for me to get it out and writing is a very positive outlet for that, but I should be more careful.

Let’s end this on a happy note. You know which song I was pleasantly surprised to find on this? The potato-potato song. You know which one I’m talking about. The one where the narrator says, you like potato, I like potato, you like tomato, I like Tomato, let’s call the whole thing off. Technically the song is called Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, but I like calling it the potato-potato song. But seriously, who pronounces potato like potato? I’ve never heard anyone pronounce potato like potato and only as potato ever. Who pronounces potato like potato? I’d like to know because potato is the weirdest way of pronouncing potato I have ever heard and if you do you sound like an idiot. Do yourself a favour and say potato, or say potato, I know like I sound like I care but I don’t, it just sounds really fucking dumb. There’s also the strangest pronunciation of oyster I have ever heard… who says these things??

This is also one of those albums where I’m not sure if I even listened to the right version of it. Hence the question marks after the length. I went with the one that I was told is on the list and matched the cover, but searching the name I found about four different versions (one of which is a goddamn three hours long, dear lord).This is one I might revisit in the future once I know for sure what the right one is, but for now, enjoy the image of me in a dress. I look damn pretty.

Song of Choice: Lorelei (amazing use of the word Trollop in it)


P.s. Ella Fitzgerald is one hell of a mighty fine singer, mmmmmmmm.

Photoshop Credit: Julian Branco



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