Hurricane Katrina was identified as a Category 3 hurricane by the time it made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2005. The resulting damage on the state was devastating, particularly in New Orleans where floods swept the entire city.
HBO’s drama series Treme takes place in the aftermath of the disaster, in a neighborhood called Treme (based on the real-life neighborhood of the same name).
Having suffered their own tragedies brought on by Katrina, the residents of Treme strive to rebuild not just their homes but their entire lives.
As survivors, it seems more important now than ever to uphold the music and culture that gives their community its unique identity.
“He’s So Unusual” is a song from the late 1920s performed by Helen Kane, who was the inspiration for the Betty Boop character. The song was written by Al Sherman, Al Lewis and Abner Silver. Released on June 14, 1929, “He’s So Unusual” was featured in the motion picture, Sweetie. Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. Inc. are the publishers of record.
“He’s So Unusual” was later covered by Cyndi Lauper, in a short (45 second) version, on her Grammy Awardwinning album, She’s So Unusual. The sung lyrics continue in the background of the subsequent song “Yeah Yeah”, while the beginning of the song plays before “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” in the song’s music video.
You talk of sweeties, bashful sweeties I got one of those Oh, he’s handsome as can be But he worries me; He goes to college and gathers knowledge Hooh! What that boy knows! He’s up in his Latin and Greek But in his sheikin’, he’s weak!
‘Cause when I want some lovin’ And I gotta have some lovin’ He says, “Please! Stop it, please!” He’s so unusual!
When I want some kissin’ And I gotta have some kissin’ He says, “No! Let me go.” He’s so unusual!
I know lots of boys who would be crazy over me If they only had this fellow’s opportunity You know, I would let him pet me But the darn fool, he doesn’t let me! Oh, he’s so unusual that he drives me wild!
When we’re in the moonlight He says, “I don’t like the moonlight Aw, let’s not talk in the dark.” Huh, he’s so unusual!
And when we’re riding in a taxi He converses with the cheuffeur Oh, why don’t he talk to me? Oh, he’s so different!
Others would be tickled pink to bop-op-a-dop-e-dop! He don’t even know what bop-op-op-a-dop’s about! He says love is hokum Oh, I’d like to choke, choke, choke him! ‘Cause he’s so unusual that he drives me wild!
You might as well be by yourself as in his company When we’re out together, I’m as lonesome as can be
But still I’m mad about him And I just can’t live without him; ‘Cause he’s so unusual that he drives me bop-bop-a-dop-bop!
It’s legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday‘s birthday today (1915-1959). Her exceptional vocals expressed deep emotions, turning pain into beauty; and she has been described as the ‘greatest jazz vocalist of our times‘, but rather tragically her touring career was often marred by racist attacks.