Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jennifer Holliday - And I am telling you I'm not going (1982)

"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" (also known in short as just "And I Am Telling You") is a torch song from the Broadway musical Dreamgirls, with lyrics by Tom Eyen and music by Henry Krieger. In the context of the musical, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is sung by the character Effie White, a singer with the girl group The Dreams, to her manager, Curtis Taylor Jr., whose romantic and professional relationship with Effie is quickly ending. The lyrics to "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", often considered the show's signature tune, describe Effie's love for Curtis, both strongly devoted and defiant. She refuses to let Curtis leave her behind, and boldly proclaims to him, "I'm staying and you ... you're gonna love me."

In addition to its presence in the musical, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is also notable as the debut single of two women who portrayed Effie. Jennifer Holliday originated the role on Broadway in 1981 and won a Tony Award for her performance. In 1982, Holliday recorded a number-one R&B hit version of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going". Jennifer Hudson portrayed Effie in the 2006 film adaptation of Dreamgirls, winning an Oscar for the role. Hudson's version became a Top 20 R&B single, and a number-one dance hit.

Jennifer Holliday version

In 1982, Jennifer Holliday, the actress who portrayed Effie in the original Broadway production, released the song as a single. It was her first single release and it met with great success, topping the Billboard R&B charts and attaining top forty positions on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. In 1983, Holliday won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female for the single.

"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" was designed as the closing number of Dreamgirls' first act. Holliday's performance of the song, in a style owing much to gospel music singing traditions, was regularly staged to thunderous applause; it was hailed as the highlight of the show in several printed reviews of the musical.[1] In his review of Dreamgirls' opening night performance, New York Times theatre critic Frank Rich referred to Holliday's "And I Am Telling You" as "one of the most powerful theatrical coups to be found in a Broadway musical since Ethel Merman sang "Everything's Coming Up Roses" at the end of Act I of Gypsy"[2] "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" remains Holliday's signature song.

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