Annie Ross and Stevie Holland at The Metropolitan Room, NYC
Holland also provided a fun Frank Loesser/Jimmy McHugh song, "'Murder,' He Says," which I'd previously been unaware of. It was another showstopper with its humorous lyrics well delivered by the singer. Holland must have really dug deep for this one since it was a staple for big band singer and screen actress Betty Hutton (who passed away in March 2007) and was considered one of her hits. The Jobim "Desafinado," literally the first bossa nova hit in the early 1960s, is presented in both Portuguese and the English language version by Jon Hendricks, in which the song's meaning"slightly out of tune"is touchingly delivered. Both Holland and Friedman wrote a song for the singer's father, "Evening Song," which is affectionately sung as a ballad along with Sondheim's "Not While I'm Around."
The set finally ended with a moving version of Martin and Blaine's "The Trolley Song," capped by the Platters' mega-hit from 1955, "Only You," as a festive encore. It had been a grand night for singing. An emotionally-spent but well-satisfied audience rose in thanks for not one but two great performances.