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A great melody first, then lyrics,(only) THEN 'vocals'

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv3PCHKuVWM





    LCK
    “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

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    • First a big thank you to Lee Charles Kelley. Who better to perform the song than the great Satchmo? And to an a propos French impressionist painting of the place black American jazz artists made their 'second home.' Don't you love the (almost) two minute introductory solo by one of the founding fathers of jazz? Wonderful.



      I came here just now with a 'post script' LCK would enjoy on the origins of the Jennifer Warnes / Leonard Cohen song we both consider "absolute perfection." It deserved its own entry (hope you agree):



      On her website, Jennifer Warnes has a 20 minute interview she did with XM Radio show host Bob Edwards in 2007 that centers on the origin of my favorite song from her

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      • Quote Originally Posted by Mark Blackburn
        View Post

        Ms Warnes
        “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

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        • Comment


          • My God, he's funny...
            __________
            Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
            Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
            Jesus

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            • Coming from our resident comic ("I'm in parentheses, that's why you can't hear me") that's quite a compliment (My God, he's funny). Small wonder their "Comedy Hour" was so consistently funny. Just checked their WIKI entry. [Never knew Mason (Classical Gas) Williams was their 'head writer'!]



              History



              The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour started out as only a slightly "hip" version of the typical comedy-variety show of its era, but rapidly evolved into a show that extended the boundaries of what was considered permissible in television satire.[6][7]



              While the Smothers themselves were at the forefront of these efforts, credit also goes to the roster of writers and regular performers they brought to the show, including Steve Martin, Don Novello ("Father Guido Sarducci"), Rob Reiner, Presidential candidate Pat Paulsen, Bob Einstein ("Super Dave Osborne", "Marty Funkhouser", and "Officer Judy"), Einstein's brother, Albert (who works professionally as Albert Brooks), and resident hippie Leigh French ("Share a Little Tea with Goldie").



              The show also introduced audiences to pop singer Jennifer Warnes (originally billed as Jennifer Warren or simply Jennifer), who was a regular on the series. The television premiere of Mason Williams' hit record, Classical Gas, took place on the show; Williams was also the head writer for the series.

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              • Reiner, Martin , Brooks, Paulsen. I know... it was pretty special. But just Tommy doing the physical stuff. Without a word. He kills me.
                __________
                Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                Jesus

                Comment


                • "When an early Autumn walks the land

                  And chills the breeze . . .

                  There

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                  • I, too, love Joanie Sommers. I'm glad you mentioned her, Mark.



                    She had a strange career, what with her biggest hit/exposure being "Johnny Get Angry," which must've seemed like a good idea at the time (after all it was a huge hit), but seems terribly -- and wrongheadedly -- dated now. (kd lang certainly made mincemeat out of that song.)



                    Then there was her "The Pepsi Generation, and "Pepsi, for those who think young..." jingles.



                    But she had a lovely voice, part smokey, part little-girlish (even though she was more alto than soprano). Her 1960 debut LP was pure, modern big-band jazz.



                    Here's her take on "Early Autumn," one of my favorite JHM lyrics.






                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0CGU_2A1fs





                    And here's a nice Sinatra-ish tune I hadn't heard before.






                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXZ9W9YSJ5I





                    And Cole Porter's "So in Love."






                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9GuFaDVISw





                    LCK
                    “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                    Comment


                    • First a thank you to LCK for embedding those Joanie Sommers songs, including the one I'd singled out. Glad to learn you too loved her voice, Lee. Coincidentally (or not!) on the drive in to work today, I heard for the first time Joanie's unique version of Frank Loesser's lone Oscar-winning Best Song: "BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE" -- which Joanie sings all by herself! When we 'celebrated' this one pages ago, I transcribed all those alternating lines where the male and female singers must step on each others' opening and closing words, in order that the song can be sung 'in tempo.' (There's never been a song like it!) And yet here today was Joannie, minus any guy singing those alternate lines -- and it still works beautifully! Amazing.



                      I came here though, to celebrate a really obscure Johnny Mercer song, DRINKING AGAIN (also played by Channel 71 satellite radio as I was driving in to work this day). I wanted to share its history: another song our favorite lyricist wrote purely as a 'favor to a friend.'





                      His friend was a pianist named Doris Tauber (who took over -- assumed a job vacated by a young George Gershwin -- as a

                      Comment








                      • Quote Originally Posted by Mark Blackburn
                        View Post

                        I came here though, to celebrate a really obscure Johnny Mercer song, DRINKING AGAIN




                        I'm not sure that's accurate, Mark. I think Sinatra's version is pretty well known.



                        As to Doris Tauber, I think Mercer's song "Jeepers Creepers" was partially inspired by "Them There Eyes." Mercer was an honorable sort. For one thing, he paid off his father's debts long after the man died and no creditors were expecting any payment. For another, he was always up front about lyrics he wrote that were inspired by other songs.



                        I'm not sure if Bette Midler totally ad-libbed the ending of the song. Mercer sometimes rewrote some of his songs after they were already popular. For instance, his other famous drinking song, "One for My Baby," had two different endings.



                        "This torch that I've found, has to be drowned or it soon might explode..." is the Sinatra lyric.



                        "Don't let it be said that old unsteady can't carry his load..." is the original, sung by Fred Astaire.



                        Here's Bette Midler's version. (I think the pianist is none other than Barry Manilow.)



                        By the way, this is one of my all-time favorite Mercer lyrics. It ranks in the Top 5 for me.






                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKcQtpJe99Y





                        LCK
                        “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                        Comment


                        • Thanks, Lee -- your points are all well taken!



                          Isn't that a great video to accompany Bette's version of this song? "Brought to you by BAYONIC Music & Graphics." Brilliant editing, increasingly humorous photos, perfectly-mated to the words: as Bette sings the closing line about "just a beer and my memories," there are those two 'different-era' photos of Bette sucking down beer from a bottle -- bracketting that photo of a 'plus-sized' young woman . . . as seen through a just-drained beer glass, between emptied shots of Tequilla & lime slices, well-chewed.



                          Reminded me of a short poem written by the best poet I ever knew -- my Mom:



                          ----



                          Why is it, that through 'alco-haze'

                          Women look so nice-y?

                          Women, who with sober gaze

                          You wouldn't look at twice-y!



                          -- Grace Blackburn (circa 1960)

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                          • Back when this thread (

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                            • Tonight on satellite radio (

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                              • Hey, Mark.



                                It's a lovely tune, but the lyric wasn't written by Johnny Mercer.



                                "Dreamsville" is not listed in the Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer. So I checked it out in the ASCAP database. The music is by Mancini (of course), but the lyric was written by Livingston & Evans.



                                Sorry for the correction.



                                LCK
                                “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                                Comment

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