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VIDEO: Melissa Errico and Lara Downes Release Special Single of 'Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe' Today

'Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe' was written for the great Ethel Waters in the 1943 musical Cabin In The Sky.

VIDEO: Melissa Errico and Lara Downes Release Special Single of 'Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe' Today

Tony Award-nominee Melissa Errico and Billboard Chart-topping pianist Lara Downes have come together to collaborate on a new recording of the Harold Arlen/Yip Harburg classic: "Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe." Released today, the new recording and accompanying music video, filmed remotely in both California and New York, marks the first collaboration between one of America's most beloved singer/actors in Errico and one of its most admired and protean pianists in Downes. Coming together from their two coasts to celebrate the New Year -- and with a small significant smile towards another Joe and January 20 -- the two women artists are proud to salute the unique mix of charm and liberal consciousness that mark all of E. Y. Harburg's lyrics, matched with the melodic flow of Harold Arlen's music. It is now available on for digital download and streaming on all platforms via this link: https://levelmusic.lnk.to/HappinessIsJust

Written for the great Ethel Waters in the 1943 musical Cabin In The Sky-one of the few films of its time featuring African American performers to seek and win approval for its script from the era's civil rights leadership - "Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe" is a love song of daily comfort, rather than a torch song of longing -- and it speaks to our shared need in this uniquely painful time for the healing power of simple happiness. "Sometimes the cabin's gloomy and the table's bare / But when he kisses me it's Christmas everywhere," the lyric declares at its climax, making romantic love and domestic love part of a single beautiful moment. With Melissa's warmth, this standard song becomes a hopeful lullaby along with a special music video which can be viewed here:

The benediction is typical of Yip Harburg, the great liberal voice of the American musical theater, who engaged in a life-long fight for social progress that made him create the pioneering egalitarian musical Finian's Rainbow-and ultimately led to his blacklisting in the McCarthy period. Errico, Downes, Arlen, Harburg...they represent the great American tradition of making joyful music now while looking towards a better future soon, and this project promises to renew that tradition at its most charming and appealing and seductive.

HAPPINESS IS JUST A THING CALLED JOE

Music by Harold Arlen / Lyrics by Yip Harburg

Melissa Errico - Voice

Lara Downes - Piano

Lara Downes & Melissa Errico - Producers

Mark Cortale - Executive Producer

Alejandro Venguer - Audio Mix Engineer

Mark Shoolery - Graphic Design

Special thanks to Deena Harburg and Adam Gopnik


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