Mary Lee Kortes, of Mary Lee's Corvette renown, is finally seeing a longstanding project of hers come to fruition. Several years ago she turned me on to The Beulah Rowley Songbook, a collection of songs with an interesting back story. Using a wonderful, time-honored literary device, Mary Lee spins a tale about a songstress who lived in the early 20th century. This aspiring fictional musician wrote her compositions on sheet music which she kept hidden in her piano bench, but she died a young and tragic death. As the decades passed, the piano bench had many owners until one day it came to rest in Mary Lee's music room on the Lower East Side. Upon opening the bench lid, Mary Lee discovered this amazing treasure trove of songs spanning several essential American musical genres. She recorded demos of a couple of these songs a few years ago, which she shared with the "Idiot's Delight"® audience.
Finally, it looks like Mary Lee's project will finally get a full-scale production with the help of legendary producer/wizard Hal Willner. Kortes and Willner are raising funds by pre-selling the album on the crowd funding site Pledge Music. There, you can find out more about The Songs Of Beulah Rowley project, hear samples of the music and see a video featuring Mary Lee and producer Hal Willner. I will play some of the demos on the show tonight.