Oregon's 150th Calls For A New Act

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Fifty years ago, members of the Oregon Centennial Commission reviewed all the ways there were to celebrate their state's 100th birthday.

Historical reenactments were held, some men across the state grew beards in the style of western settlers and Harry Belafonte and Roy Rogers each performed at the centennial exposition in Portland.

And, the great adman and radio comedian Stan Freberg, who had never lived in Oregon, was commissioned to write an original musical, Oregon! Oregon! A Centennial Fable in Three Acts.

It was 150 years ago Saturday that Oregon joined the union, becoming the 33rd state.

NPR's Scott Simon speaks to Pink Martini musical director Thomas Lauderdale about the resurrection of Stan Freberg's historical musical for the state's sesquicentennial.

Pink Martini: An Eclectic Splash Of Strings

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Set List

  • "California"
  • "Amado mio"
  • "Anna"
  • "Sympathique"
  • "Lilly"
  • "Que sera sera"
  • "Una notte a Napoli"
  • "Praeludium & allegro"
  • "Flying squirrel"
  • "Uskadar"
  • "Over the valley"
  • "Bukra wb'ado"
  • "Someone to Watch Over Me" (With Jimmy Scott)
  • "Tea for Two" (With Jimmy Scott)
  • "Hey Eugene"
  • "Dosvedanya mio bombino"
  • "Donde Estas, Yolanda?"
  • "Hang On Little Tomato"
  • "Andalucia!"
  • "Auld Lang Syne"
  • "Oregon! Oregon!"
  • "Malagueña"
  • "Brazil"
Pink Martini (300)

Pink Martini. Sherri Diteman hide caption

toggle caption Sherri Diteman

Is it lounge or is it swing? Is it world music or is it classical music? Is it jazz or is it samba? If you think one band couldn't possibly do them all, have a listen to the 12-piece "little orchestra" called Pink Martini. The band's three albums — Sympathique, Hang on Little Tomato and Hey Eugene! — profess a mastery of all kinds of music as Pink Martini deftly refuses to be labeled a one-genre ensemble.

The group brought its eclectic stylings to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles this New Year's Eve. With a splash of orchestral strings, smooth lyrics and a swig of a cha-cha, Pink Martini had the crowd raising its glasses for more.

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