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Happy Songs

Happy Songs cover art

Track Listing

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1Ain't It De Truth? (Harold Arlen / E.Y. Harburg)3:15
2Tess's Torch Song (Harold Arlen / Ted Koehler)3:57
3I Must Have That Man! (Jimmy McHugh / Dorothy Fields)3:30
4Bambalele (Traditional (Brazilian))1:27
5I Wish I Were in Love Again (Richard Rodgers / Lorenz Hart)3:00
6Supper Time (Irving Berlin)2:50
7Ill Wind (You're Blowin' Me No Good) (Harold Arlen / Ted Koehler)5:05
8Beat My Dog (Jay Leonhart)2:17
9On a Turqoise Cloud (Duke Ellington)3:22
10More Than You Know (Vincent Youmans / Edward Eliscu & Billy Rose)3:32
11See What I Wanna See (Michael John LaChiusa)2:12
12He Loves and She Loves (George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin)3:45
13I Double Dare You (Jimmy Eaton / Terry Shand)2:23
14Lose That Long Face (Harold Arlen / Ira Gershwin)3:07

News & Reviews

  • Watch: Audra McDonald Guests on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"

    Audra McDonald was a special guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC last night. The five-time Tony Award winner stopped by the studio to help Fallon out on a Suggestion Box request to give voice to some sage Yahoo! Answers in her own inimitable way. Watch the segment here. McDonald returns to Broadway this spring to take on the role of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Tickets are on sale now.

  • Audra McDonald to Return to Broadway in "Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill"

    Five-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald returns to Broadway this spring to take on the role of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday in the Broadway premiere of Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, which recounts Holiday’s life story through the songs that made her famous. Directed by Lonny Price (110 in the Shade, A Class Act), the musical begins previews March 25, 2014, at the Circle in the Square Theatre for a limited ten-week engagement with only 70 performances; opening night is set for April 13. Tickets go on sale to the general public March 6.

About this Album

Following the birth of her daughter, Audra wanted to do an album that expressed the joy she was feeling. She decided to devote a CD to songs from the 1930s and early '40s: a time when music provided the kind of uplift and optimism that people so badly needed.

The new album includes selections by such classic songwriters as Harold Arlen, Vincent Youmans, Rodgers & Hart, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, and George & Ira Gershwin, with new arrangements that evoke the era. Continuing her longstanding commitment to new composers, Audra has also included songs by Michael John LaChiusa and Jay Leonhart. Happy Songs follows two previous widely successful releases for the label, How Glory Goes (2000) and her label debut, Way Back to Paradise (1998).

Audra made her Carnegie Hall solo debut on November 2, 2002, performing selections from Happy Songs with a full band. An earlier New York performance had prompted New York Times critic Stephen Holden to proclaim Audra “a meteoric talent with a promise comparable to that of the young Streisand.”


Audra McDonald, vocals
Ted Sperling, conductor
Violin: Suzanne Ornstein, concertmistress; Cecelia Hobbs, Laura Oatts, Andrew Stein (soloist on 6, 7, 11), Belinda Whitney, Xin Zhao 
Viola: Michael Nicholas, Debra Shufelt
Cello: Adam Grabois, Clay Ruede      
Bass: Peter Donovan
Woodwinds: Lawrence Feldman, clarinet, alto saxophone, flute; Rick Heckman, clarinet, tenor saxophone, oboe, English horn, flute; Paul Sundfor, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, piccolo; Mark Thrasher, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, baritone saxophone; Walter Weiskopf, clarinet
Trumpet: Craig Johnson, Larry Lunetta, Brian O'Flaherty
Trombone: Michael Boschen, Mark Patterson, Jack Schatz
French Horn: Chris Komer
Drums/percussion: William Hayes, David Ratajczak
Harp: Grace Paradise
Guitar/banjo: Kevin Kuhn      
Piano/celeste: Lee Musiker, Ted Sperling
Vocal trio: Leo Daignault, Steven Freeman, David Engel

Produced by Tommy Krasker
Recorded by Joel Moss
Recorded August 2001 at The Hit Factory, New York City
Assistant Engineers: Michael McCoy and Richard Johnson
Additional recording May 2002 at Sound on Sound Studios, New York City
Assistant Engineer: Bart Migal
Edited by Jan Folkson at Avatar Studios
Mixed by Tom Lazarus at Classic Sound Inc., New York City
Mastered by Scott Hull at Classic Sound Inc., New York City

Music Preparation: Donald Oliver, Chelsea Music Service, Inc.; and Emily Grishman Music Preparation
Orchestral Contractor: John Miller

Design by Jeri Heiden, SMOG
Cover image: Original Photograph: Washington, D.C., Greyhound Bus Terminal on the Day Before Christmas in the Waiting Room, 1941 by John Vachon; Photograph of Audra McDonald by Katie Murray; Digital composite by Showbran; Bruce Fizzell, consultant

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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