Monday, June 7, 2021

Strung Along


WorldWide Pants

There is a video I watch on a fairly frequent basis.  It's from a "Late Show" with David Letterman episode from 2014.  It's Will Lee singing "MacArthur Park."  The CBS Orchestra is bolstered by 23 musicians, and I'll get to that in a moment.  Paul Shaffer and the song's composer, Jimmy Webb are on keyboards.

First, Lee does a magnificent job on vocals.  The music is outstanding.  They blew the roof off the Ed Sullivan Theater.  I remember watching the original broadcast that night, not believing what I was seeing and hearing.  It might have been the best musical performance ever on network late night television.

Regular readers know I spent my junior high years in the school band, and even though I was horrible, I do know a little about music.  Emphasis on "a little."

The thing that impresses me most any time I view the video is the string section.  There is something magical about watching the bows of the violinists move in perfect synchronization.  I think the only instrument that can come close is the trombone, and it's really not all that close.  The strings really set this performance apart, along with Felicia Collins' guitar work.

The video is on YouTube.  Watch it.  Yes, I know MacArthur Park is on the list of the most disliked songs of all time.  Paul Shaffer, the CBS Orchestra, and Will Lee, plus those superb strings will change your mind.