Tom Jones the Musical Demo Sessions

This is my third post about the recent recording sessions we did for my show Tom Jones the Musical. These posts are a sort of behind the scenes look at the sessions. You can read the first post about Kerry Butler and Dan DeLuca recording the song “About You.” And the second post about Anissa Felix and Josh Tolle recording “Digging a Hole in the Ground.”

Tom Jones the MusicalThe lovely, talented and most likely drunk Janine LaManna

Harlot Jenny Jones

“Harlot Jenny Jones” is by far the bawdiest of all of the songs in Tom Jones. It’s the second song of the show and is about how the townsfolk think it was Jenny Jones who left an unwanted baby (Tom Jones) in Squire Allworthy’s bed. In the novel, Jenny Jones is referred to as an “audacious strumpet” and a “wanton trollop.” My kind of girl. Also in the novel, Sophie Western (the ingenue) is referred to as a whore, a slut and a bitch. And that’s by her father! So I took all of that and put it into one song. But to cover my bases, we recorded a “clean” version of the song in case people are too offended by the bawdy version.

Janine LaManna

I first saw Janine LaManna in Seussical on Broadway. She originated the role of Gertrude McFuzz. I fell in love with Janine. I watched her light up the stage. She was talented, beautiful and funny.  I said to myself, “I have to work with her someday.

Fast forward a few years and Janine was cast in a backers audition production of my play Around the World in 80 Days. I was beside myself. I giggled like a little girl at a Tiger Beat party. When I met Janine she was everything I knew from that first day I saw her: talented, beautiful and funny. Janine took great pity on me and we became good friends.

Tom Jones the MusicalJanine celebrating “Take an Idiot to Work Day.” a

When I called Janine to see if she could do a few songs for me, she was living in Washington DC. I said I could come there but she said, “Oh don’t do that. I’ll drive up to New York.” Who does that? Who says, “Hey, I’ll drive 225 miles so I can record a few of your songs?” I’ll tell you who. Either a good friend or a crazy person. I still need to check out her medicine cabinet. As it turns out, Janine and her family were moving back to NYC and they were in town finding a place to live. So now I don’t have to live with too much guilt.

Tom Jones the MusicalJanine most likely thinking, “Why? Why did I say yes to this?”

So this glorious woman who starred in SeussicalThe Drowsy ChaperoneSweet CharityThe Look of LoveKiss Me KateRagtime; and Swing came in to sing some of my songs. Heaven on a bun. And she pinned the tail on the strumpet.

Anissa and Cullen

Anissa Felix and Cullen Titmas are also on the song. I wrote about my love for Anissa in my second post. She’s a dream.

Tom Jones the MusicalMarcus Choi, Cullen Titmas, Some Idiot, Anissa Felix, Danielle Erin Rhodes

Cullen Titmas was referred to me by my friend Marcus Choi. Cullen was “One Take It’s Chinatown Jake.” Every time he sang he nailed it the first time. Jay, who was the engineer, and I would look at each other, not knowing what to do. We’d ask Cullen to do another take just so we had another one in the can by we never needed it. Cullen was awesome. I guess there’s a reason he was in The Last Ship; The Bridges of Madison County; Avenue Q and a bunch of other shows.

The Song

Here’s the bawdy version of “Harlot Jenny Jones.”

Here’s the clean version. I didn’t realize until I got back to LA from NYC that Janine sang the wrong lyric in the second verse. It totally got by me. Completely my fault.  The rhyme should be “air” and “hair.” Ah well. It’s the clean version.



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