John Alcorn

The Cole Porter Songbook

On Wednesday, September 5, we’re inaugurating our new Songbook Series at the Flying Beaver Pubaret with a celebration and exploration of the words and music of a 20th century legend – Cole Porter.

My pals, Canadian jazz lions Reg Schwager (guitar) and Steve Wallace (bass) will share the stage with me for this very special evening.

To celebrate the start of this unique series, Flying Beaver management – Maggie Cassella and Heather Mackenzie – have announced that there will be ***No Cover Charge*** for the evening. Yes, you read that correctly, ladies and gentlemen :)


Cole Porter (1891 – 1964) was an American composer and songwriter, noted for his sophisticated, suggestive lyrics, clever rhymes and complex forms.

Unlike most successful Broadway composers, Porter wrote both the lyrics and the music for his songs.

In 1928, at the age of 36, Porter had his first notable Broadway success with the musical Paris, commissioned by its star, Irène Bordoni. She had wanted Rodgers and Hart to write the songs, but they were unavailable, and Porter’s agent persuaded Bordoni’s impresario husband to hire Porter instead. The show included Porter’s first popular hit – Let’s Do It.

By the 1930s, he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage.

He continued working through to the 1950s, writing for Broadway, Hollywood and TV, creating a mind-boggling catalogue of songs that reads like a Jazz or Cabaret artist’s dream list – What Is This Thing Called Love?, You Do Something to Me, Love for Sale, Night and Day, Anything Goes, I Get a Kick Out of You, You’re the Top, Begin the Beguine, Just One of Those Things, It’s De-Lovely, You’d Be So Easy to Love, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, In the Still of the Night, and many more.

6:30PM – Doors Open
7:30PM – Performance Begins

NO COVER CHARGE (September 5 only)
(Subsequent performances will be $10.00adv/$15.00door)
*Dinner reservations get priority seating*

Dinner available, before, during, and after the show.


Ms. Diller

Very sad to hear about the passing of Phyllis Diller. Being her opening act some years ago was a thrill for me, and she was still kicking butt – snappy, irreverent and hilarious as ever. Rest peacefully, dear lady.

Some days you eat the Beaver, and some days the Beaver eats you…

It’s true. The infamous Flying Beaver is threatening to eat me alive. I find that strangely exciting. Starting on Wednesday, September 5, I will be there every Wednesday for the rest of my life.

Well…that may be a slight exaggeration.

Certainly, I will be singing there every Wednesday night until we run out of inspiration, orrrr…until they beg me to stop.

We’re still finessing the details, but I can tell you a couple of things that are certain:

1)      We’re calling this Wednesday night extravaganza ***The Songbook Series***. That means, each Wednesday evening we’ll be devoting ourselves to the music of a unique artist – composer, lyricist or singer. For example, you can expect a Cole Porter evening, a Johnny Mercer evening, a Hoagy Carmichael evening, a Billie Holiday evening, and so on. Some of the names will be very familiar to many of you; other names, you may not recognize at all. Still, I can promise you that the songs will always be gorgeous pieces of classic writing from the realms of jazz, theatre and film.

2)      I will have some of Canada’s premier musicians at my side (or, on my back in some extreme cases) – starting with my longtime musical companions, Reg Schwager (guitar) and Steve Wallace (bass).

With all of that in mind, I will just say that I am kinda stupidly excited about all of this – a weekly date in a sweet room with great sound, exploring and rediscovering stellar songs with brilliant musicians.

So really, the only lingering question is whether we will eat the beaver, or whether the beaver will eat us.

I guess there’s only one way to find out…


Addicted to Beaver

I never thought I’d say this, but having had my first taste of Flying Beaver last month, I cannot deny that I’ve developed a craving for more. And more. And more. So…I’m just going to throw caution to the wind and dive back in on Thursday, August 16. In fact, I’m inviting all of you to come along, watch, and listen :)

See you there!