feeling good

The old adage goes that to have a hit musical, you need a hit song.

More than one is great, but just one sends the audience out in to the night whistling.

It’s a truth evident in the current BBC series ‘The Story of Musicals’ – British musicals that is.

Tommy Steele, who’s performed a few musicals in his time, recounted how ‘Half a Sixpence’ lacked a killer song until the 11th hour.


Half A Sixpence – Crash Bang Wallop


Its inclusion in the show did the rest, and anyone of a certain age can still sing the chorus.

The series understandably dwelt on the success of Lionel Bart’s ‘Oliver,’ but gave only a passing mention to a musical whose big hit song is very much alive and well in 2012.

Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse wrote ‘Feeling Good’ for their second collaboration, ‘The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd.’

That musical is unlikely to be revived any time soon.

But watching a tv ad break last night, there was ‘Feeling Good’ yet again doing its stuff.

Virgin Atlantic – advert


Muse’s version shows that a great song can be done in different ways. But for me there’ll always be Nina Simone to thank for its life nearly 50 years after it was written.

Nina Simone – Feeling Good

The Story of Musicals – BBC iPlayer

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