4 December 2016

Post 452: 'I CAN'T ESCAPE' - 'YOU CAN'T ESCAPE' ?

Here's something we need to sort out.

In 1936, Leo Robin and Richard Whiting composed a song called I Can't Escape From You. You can watch Bing Crosby singing it in the 1936 movie 'Rhythm on the Range' BY CLICKING HERE.  

Then in 1939, a song called You Can't Escape From Me was composed by Charles French (words) and Sammy Lowe and Erskine Hawkins (music). You can hear the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra recording of it BY CLICKING HERE.

And in 1944 George Lewis recorded (in the San Jacinto Hall) a tune he called San Jacinto Stomp, though it is clearly the Erskine Hawkins tune You Can't Escape From Me. You can check this: listen to George Lewis BY CLICKING HERE. Many traditional jazz bands since then have played it under the title San Jacinto Stomp.

But, adding to the confusion, I Can't Escape From You and You Can't Escape From Me are very similar in structure. They use virtually the same chord progression. So it's not surprising that bandleaders often (incorrectly) tell you that I Can't Escape is also known as San Jacinto Stomp.

The words of You Can't Escape From Me are nothing special. On the other hand, the words of I Can't Escape From You (you heard them in the Bing Crosby film clip) are fun to sing.

So, it's possible today to play a song you call I Can't Escape, actually using the tune of You Can't Escape, even though your words are those of I Can't Escape! Confusing, isn't it?

The result can be exhilarating. It's what happens when Marla Dixon performs with The Shotgun Jazz Band. I made a video of them playing this tune. Sample it BY CLICKING HERE.

Marla's husband, John, has added further enlightenment (or confusion!) by telling me the song is also Not to be confused with 'I Can't Escape From You' by Hank Williams, the lyrics of which also work on top of that familiar 32-bar pattern! You can find the Hank Williams performance on YouTube.

Finally, with deepest gratitude to my friend John Whitehorn, here is the sheet music for You Can't Escape: