December 30, 2018

WHILE WE HOPE HE GETS TO hEAVEN...:

Norman Gimbel, Oscar-Winning Lyricist of 'Happy Days' Theme and 'Girl From Ipanema,' Dies at 91 (Harrison Smith, 12/29/18, The Washington Post)

The musical, Blimp, never took off, although its would-be signature song became an international sensation -- by some accounts the second-most-recorded song in history, after the Beatles' Yesterday. Written by composer Antônio Carlos Jobim and poet Vinicius de Moraes, it neatly filled a major plot hole: What might cause an extraterrestrial guest to linger in Brazil?

The answer, rendered into English by lyricist Norman Gimbel, was a beautiful woman from southern Rio de Janeiro:

"Tall and tan and young and lovely

"The girl from Ipanema goes walking

"And when she passes, each one she passes goes 'ah!' "

With help from Gimbel, The Girl From Ipanema went on to drive the bossa nova craze in the United States and beyond, introducing millions of listeners to Brazil's "new wave" fusion of samba and jazz. Alternately celebrated and mocked, with its ubiquitous instrumental covers derided as innocuous Muzak, versions of the song were used as elevator music in a scene from The Blues Brothers and as a soundtrack to the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Yet the tune was just one of many hits for Gimbel, an Oscar- and Grammy-winning lyricist who co-wrote the theme songs to Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley, as well as the chart-topping ballad Killing Me Softly With His Song.

....The Song has to have earned him some time in Purgatory.

Posted by at December 30, 2018 9:28 AM

  

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