Don’t tell me what it’s all about, ’cause I’ve been there and I’m glad I’m out

He was a popular guy, some see him as a hero.  After his death in 2004 from prostrate cancer, his 69 year old eyes were duly donated to the Eye Bank for Sight Restoration in Manhattan and two grateful recipients received his corneas. Otherwise he was just an every-day regular ’round his Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, where his signed glossy photo can be found in nearly every local establishment, and the intersection in front of his high rise residence at 53rd and 8th has been renamed: Jerry Orbach Way.

Born in the Bronx in 1935, Jerome Bernard Orbach was the only child of Emily, a radio singer turned greeting card manufacturer and Leon, a Jewish immigrant from Hamburg who was a vaudeville performer turned restaurant manager. Orbach, whose mother was Catholic, was raised the same (a background replicated by his most famous character) while frequently relocating with his family to: Mount Vernon, NY, Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, PA, Springfield, MA and Waukegan, IL.  After studying drama at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University, he returned to New York to study under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.

Best remembered, of course, for his twelve year run as world-weary Lennie Briscoe in “Law & Order” (acclaimed as one of TV Guide’s top 50 television detectives of all time) and for his role as Jennifer Grey’s father in the film “Dirty Dancing”, Orbach had a number of other noteworthy roles; as a gritty New York cop in “Prince of the City”, as a gangster in Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and as the singing/speaking voice of Lumière the candelabra (“Be our guest”) in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”.

Actually the role of Lumière wasn’t much of a stretch for Jerry Orbach who, long before he was known as a wisecracking, streetwise cop, was an award winning Broadway Musical star with leading roles in the debut productions of “Chicago”, “The Fantasticks”,42nd Street” and “Promises, Promises” for which he won a Tony in 1968.

Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for that very production, it was Jerry Orbach and co-star, Jill O’Hara who were the first to sing today’s selection, and whose original recording was nominated for a Best Song Grammy in 1969.  Since covered by such disparate vocalists as: Liza Minnelli, Tom Jones, Herb Alpert, Chet Atkins, The Carpenters, Elvis Costello, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobbie Gentry (who scored a British hit with it), Dusty Springfield, Mark Lindsay (remember Paul Revere and the Raiders?) and Mary Chapin Carpenter, it was Bacharach and David’s perennial favorite, Dionne Warwick who topped the Billboard Charts with it in 1970.

So what would the oft-married and divorced “Lennie Briscoe” have made of this number?  Well, as he once said in one of his typical Law & Order Scene-of-the-Crime (deadpan) lead-ins: “Love – a dangerous disease instantly cured by marriage.”

 LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Wednesday 19 September

I’ll Never Fall in Love Again

 What do you get when you fall in love?

A guy with a pin to burst your bubble

That’s what you get for all your trouble

I’ll never fall in love again

I’ll never fall in love again

What do you get when you kiss a guy

You get enough germs to catch pneumonia

After you do, he’ll never phone ya’

I’ll never fall in love again

I’ll never fall in love again

Don’t tell me what it’s all about

‘Cause I’ve been there and I’m glad I’m out

Out of those chains those chains that bind you

That is why I’m here to remind you

What do you get when you fall in love?

You only get lies and pain and sorrow

So for at least until tomorrow

I’ll never fall in love again

I’ll never fall in love again

Oh, out of those chains those chains that bind you

That is why I’m here to remind you

What do you get when you fall in love?

You only get lies and pain and sorrow

So for at least until tomorrow

I’ll never fall in love again

I’ll never fall in love again

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