The Song "Some People" Through The Years

Categories: Theater


Surely you know the song "Some People" from the musical Gypsy.

Oh, you're straight and under 50?

Well, in the show, Mama Rose sings to her father about her burning showbiz aspirations, stating that she's not like all the other sad, aimless riffraff -- she's got a dream and she needs 88 bucks to pay for it.

Well, in this theater queen's delight of a video, we see bits of the song as done by the great Mama Roses.

Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone ...

Also, Bette Midler, Betty Buckley, Tyne Daly, Linda Lavin ...

And, of course, real-life mama/daughter act Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, who (separately) loved diving into that song like it was a barrel of KFC.

Enjoy.

By the end of the video, you will be gay and over 50.



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15 comments
latenitebump
latenitebump

don´t know the song. ethel and go! judy! the best! bette should stick with the rose--the movie!

Echidna
Echidna

A) Where the fuck is Roz Russell? or Lisa Kirk? or whoever sang it in the movie?

B) Why does Patti LuPone get to end the song with a "But not Rose" that jumps up musically? Hopefully Jules Styne wasn't around to hear that.

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

Best by far: Judy.

Most realistic: Tyne Daly.

 Undeniably superb: Lansbury.

I like Liza's urgent, fast-tempo "Some People," which might not have worked had she ever played the part onstage, but knocks your socks off in concerts. (I presume everyone knows that around the time of Judy's TV series, Liza proposed a "Gypsy" TV special with Judy as Mama Rose and Liza as Louise. They sang a great version of "Together Wherever We Go" on Judy's show. Judy referred to HER stage mother, Ethel, as "The original Wicked Witch of the West.")

Lupone's taking the last note up where it had never been before, is showy and unexpected, but it just isn't the song. Though I suppose Sondheim and Laurents approved. (I'd be scared to say "No" to La Lupone.)

Ethel's clip is lonnnnnng after originated the role and sounds draggy. She's much better, more alive on the album.

Bwaybill
Bwaybill

Betty B looks too glam and sophisticated. Tyne was great but Some People wasn't her best number. Patti had just the gutsy, wiry, ragged edge that made it click.

Muscato
Muscato

What - no love for Roz?

[ducks incoming bricks...]

Seriously - in a different world, Judy could have blown them all (except Ethel, of course) out of the water.  With all she knew about psychotic stage mothers, she could have played Rose as the full-blown monster the real-life Momma (a truly crazy, unpleasant, and even possibly murderous lady) really was.

As it is - saw and loved Tyne; am dubious about Linda (not the voice) and Betty (too fey and wiry - Rose needs to be fleshy - Bernadette's issue as well, up to a point); and think that Patti must have been amazing on a good night.

But really, poor Roz (and, yes, Lisa Kirk behind the scenes, too)...

Musto
Musto

PS: Thanks to Lee Kimble for the tip!

Loins
Loins

I never understood why Liza did the song like she was speeding on tons of coke. Oh, never mind.

Bing
Bing

Love it!!!! Weirdest: Linda Lavin.  Best: Judy.

Ynnocence
Ynnocence

And educational at the same time. Just following LDM's like doing a correspondence course in pop culture. Or better than, even.

Musto
Musto

Yeah, Ethel is doing what is commonly known (and derided) as "backphrasing". Waiting a second or two to start a musical idea, then catching up with the band. I don't think this performance was typical of hers.

MSpeer
MSpeer

Agree about Judy--can you imagine how great her performances of some of Sondheim's later work would've been? Losing My MInd, Old Friend, Good Thing Going, Send in the Clowns, the list goes on.

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