Friday, November 13, 2015

Memorable Singing Performances in "Paint Your Wagon"

When the movie, Paint Your Wagon, came out in 1969, we finally got a chance to see famous people singing the famous songs that had been playing on the radio.

Three of the songs I truly enjoy from the movie are "I Talk to the Trees," "They Call the Wind Mariah," and "Wand'rin Star." Two of them are performed by men I only knew as actors and not singers: Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin.

The ballad, "They Call the Wind Mariah," was performed by veteran baritone, Harv Presnell (The Unsinkable Molly Brown). Presnell delivers a beautiful plaint of loneliness that stirs the heart. He has the perfect voice for the song.

Clint Eastwood has a rather pleasant voice and he performs a reflective and yearning rendition of another lonely song, "I Talk to the Trees." He often goes a little off-key, but that's to be expected of someone who hasn't had a lot of voice training.

Finally, the biggest surprise of all was Lee Marvin's performance of "Wand'rin Star." Now, if Presnell and Eastwood are lonely, it's not by choice. Marvin, however, makes it clear that for him, being alone is his choice. Or at least that's what we're led to believe. Was he just  rationalizing? Anyway, his bass has such a deep quality to it.

Anyway, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

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