Easy Does It

by Mike Wilson, arr. Paul Jennings

Ever hear of "The Rat Pack"? It was a group of actors that originated with Humphrey Bogart. Do a little research to get full details, but the group eventually evolved into a group of actors/singers who frequented the Las Vegas casinos in the 1960s. The most well-known were Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. Other members and "friends" included Bing Crosby, Jerry Lewis, Lauren Bacall, Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Garland, Shirley MacLaine, and more, all making up a who's who of the era. All to say, they left a legacy of movies and music that should never be forgotten or buried. Take some time to expose your students to this musical era. It will certainly enrich their musical world.

"Easy Does It" mirrors "The Rat Pack" style. Paul Jennings' big jazz arrangement makes it easy to pretend you are Frank, Dean, or Judy while singing it. It's a unison number, and very easy to learn. Spend time mimicking the style and presentation. It's almost as important as the notes!

Dynamics play an important role as well. The first two verses and the bridge are pretty much a relaxed mezzo forte. Once you get into the third verse though, you'll want to build to a forte or better at measure 37 and really build till the second half of measure 42 when it suddenly drops to a mezzo piano to finish the song. If you listen to the band, you'll know just what to do.

Enhancing your performance options with even more style, choreographer Melissa Schott has come up with some wonderful dance moves for you to use, if you like. Remember, she encourages adapting and/or altering any of her ideas to work well with your own group. (You can find details in the box on page 67.)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.