Steel City Summer, from Prime Time (Day 28)

I’m running with the weather theme, and that’s taken me way, way back to 1977 for today’s Project 194 song. This is Steel City Summer, for a revue called Prime Time, presented by the Pittsburgh Park Players. The sketches in that show were by Charlie Peters, a talented playwright who went on to a career as a screenwriter (“Paternity,” “Blame It On Rio,” “Three Men and a Little Lady”) and director. Gela Nash Taylor (Jacobson)The singer on this track is Gela Jacobson, who is known nowadays as Gela Nash-Taylor, the co-founder of Juicy Couture; as this profile from the Carnegie-Mellon alumni newsletter attests, her career path has taken her away from the stage, but back in the day, she was in the cast of my graduate thesis project (Pinter’s The Birthday Party) in addition to being in the Park Players ensemble that summer. This glamorous dame was rocking a sort of Lotte Lenya sound back then, and we decided to “dwess it up” with some Dietrich-style baby “r” sounds. The song was part of a segment in the show that spoofed TV news broadcasts; there was also the “Bad News Blues” and a sportscaster song sung by peppy “Pom Pom Pam” – perhaps those will show up in future posts!

My temperature’s rising,
One hundred degrees
And barely a breeze…
Steel City Summer.

A warm front is coming
The outlook is hazy
It’s driving me crazy.
Steel City Summer.

The humidity’s rising,
My barometers high,
And it isn’t surprising
There isn’t a cloud in the sky.
You can bet I’ll be sweating
And getting depressed,
‘Cause my forecast is dismal,
As you might have guessed:

Tonight will be muggy
And tomorrow is rain.
But who can complain?
It’s a Steel City Summer.
It’s a Steel City Summer.

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