Morning Music: The Supremes

The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy WebbIn 1972, the musical Pippin was produced on Broadway. It was Stephen Schwartz’s second hit in as many years, after Godspell, which ran for five straight years. When I was a kid, I loved Pippin. I saw it in 1979 at the SRJC Summer Repertory Theater. I’m not as sold on it now. “Corner of the Sky” struck me as near perfect then, but now it is almost unlistenable with its ponderous chorus. Still, many songs are quite good like “Magic to Do,” “No Time at All,” and “Spread a Little Sunshine.”

Another really strong song is, “I Guess I’ll Miss the Man.” What’s nice about it is that it is sweet while still maintaining a grasp on reality with its wry sense of humor. “Some men are heroes; Some men outshine the sun; Some men are simple, good men; This man wasn’t one.” The singer is far past the point of expecting perfection — or, it turns out, even one degree past adequacy.

I didn’t realize it, but the same year the musical appeared on Broadway, The Supremes released this song on their album, The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb. In fact, they even had a minor hit with it. They manage to sap it of all its vitality and humor. But it’s still a pretty song — and highly attractive to men the world over!

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