PS Classics co-founder Philip Chaffin will release 17 classics from the American Songbook—including tunes by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, and Alan and Marilyn Bergman—on Will He Like Me?, a new song-cycle that spans a modern gay relationship from first meeting to final goodbye.
Set for a November 9 release, Will He Like Me? weaves together nearly a century of American popular songs to re-contextualize it in a post-marriage equality world. Tommy Krasker produces the album that is conducted by Richard Carsey and features arrangements and orchestrations by John Baxindine.
Take an exclusive listen to "Man With a Load of Mischief" from the upcoming album.
"This is the fifth song on the album. The first five songs comprise the first date, the first relationship, and the first break-up. This is the break-up, where the character, who's really been romanticizing a life with this man he's met, starts to see things – and men – a little
more clearly,” Chaffin said. “He has an awakening. We knew what we wanted the moment to be, but finding the right song was tricky. We had structured the album so delicately up to this point and, we thought, so subtly: I couldn't exactly start wailing 'I Hate Men.' But then Tommy suggested this little-known song from the 1966 off-Broadway musical of the same name, and it was so beautiful and so rueful – and so right. Tommy had actually worked with show's composer John Clifton one summer back in the late '70s, at a summer theatre in New Hampshire, where Tommy was the pianist and John was the music director. At the end of the run, John had gifted Tommy a bound copy of the score. It was one of those happy moments where everything just falls into place: the song was sitting in our music closet not three feet away from where we were rehearsing. In the show, the arrangement is a little stately, as befits the character who sings it, but Tommy and our amazing orchestrator John Baxindine gave it more of a folk song, James Taylor vibe, and it fit the moment perfectly. It quickly became one of my favorite tracks; I think I summoned up the memories of a lot of early,
failed relationships, and poured them into this song!”
The track list follows:
“Will He Like Me?” (Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick)
“It’s a Nice Face/When I Marry Mr. Snow" (Cy Coleman & Dorothy Fields/Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II)
“Cooking Breakfast for the One I Love” (Billy Rose & Henry Tobias)
“I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” (Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart)
“Man With a Load of Mischief” (John Clifton & Ben Tarver)
“Charity’s Soliloquy” (Cy Coleman & Dorothy Fields)
“An Occasional Man” (Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane)
“Lovely, Lonely Man” (Richard M. Sherman & Robert B. Sherman)
“A Tender Spot"/"Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe” (Ervin Drake/Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harburg)
“Tom” (Michael John LaChiusa)
“But I Could Cook” (Harold Arlen & Dorothy Fields)
“I Got Lost in His Arms”/”Don’t Ever Leave Me” (Irving Berlin/Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II)
“Who Gave You Permission?” (Billy Goldenberg & Alan & Marilyn Bergman)
“Windflowers” (Jerome Moross & John Latouche)
Will He Like Me? can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.