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

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  • Between Christmas songs, "SiriuslySinatra" satellite radio just played a newer version of a great old standard -- Boz Scaggs' take on Johnny Mercer's THIS TIME THE DREAM'S ON ME. Mercer wrote the words to a pre-existing tune by Harold (Over the Rainbow) Arlen for a 1941 movie. It's a measure of the quality of competition in those days, for the


    • The satellite radio scroll right now reads "Songs by Frank Loesser / BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE


      • Satellite radio is playing Seth MacFarlane & Norah Jones' recent version (2010) of TWO SLEEPY PEOPLE


        • That's wonderful^^^. And that Ella Logan? What a dish!
          Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
          Dad is great and all but he never could sing -


          • Frank Loesser's other great seasonal hit, WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEW YEARS is getting more airplay now as the year draws to a close. Rod Stewart, for his first seasonal album,


            • Do you have hundreds of cds stored in boxes in the basement? I do. And I haven't listened to any of them in a long time: Satellite radio (and a local


              • It takes a Scot to sing this one well, I think. And tonight's the night!

                This is more than merely the latest version (from his just-released Merry Christmas, Baby album. This upload posted a few days ago to 450 "views"). Beautifully arranged by David Foster. And, as we say in song writing, You're only as good as your latest work.

                A Happy New Year to all you wonderful folks here at the 'world's biggest website for musicians.'


                From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                "Auld Lang Syne" (Scots pronunciation: [???l(d) l???s?in]: note "s" rather than "z")[1] is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788[2][3] and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations and as a farewell or ending to other occasions. The international Boy Scout youth movement, in many countries, uses it as a close to jamborees and other functions.

                The song's Scots title may be translated into English literally as "old long since", or more idiomatically, "long long ago",[4] "days gone by" or "old times".

                Consequently "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as "for (the sake of) old times".

                The phrase "Auld Lang Syne" is also used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570


                • So it's mid-winter and naturally I'm thinking of summer songs: escapism, assisted by two types of painkiller (the more effective, a bullet-shaped, white-wax device (which


                  • The history of the past hundred years of popular song includes hundreds of 'one-hit wonders' -- composers and lyricists who collaborated on just one best-selling recording, then were never heard from again. (But happily collected royalties-for-life!)

                    My favorite examples of the species includes I'M GLAD THERE IS YOU (In This World of Ordinary People) -- words penned by American composer & arranger,


                    • Quote Originally Posted by Mark Blackburn
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                      Carmen Mercedes McRae (April 8, 1920
                      “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.


                      • Johnny Mercer counted among his friends hundreds of


                        • Comment

                        • I have, Lee Charles Kelley, celebrated that one here (twice actually).

                          But I'd not heard this version of TRAV'LIN' LIGHT by Anita . . . who left us at the age of 87 in 2006.

                          A search for her obituary led to this note about her beautifully-recorded (perfect 35 mm cinematography) stunning appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, the summer of '58. 

                          Someone has uploaded her two song performance  -- a pair of good tunes and frivolous lyrics, both songs written in 1925


                          • rsadasiv
                            rsadasiv commented
                            Editing a comment

                            Learning this for my guitar lesson this week. I'm supposed to be gaining insight into Wes Montgomery's comping and solo techniques.


                            But there have been many great treatments of the song, and since this is a vocals thread:


                            and putting great vocals and great guitar to service the song, Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass:


                        • Thanks guys, for reminders of one we've celebrated before -- the song Johnny Mercer wrote in only a few minutes, which won him one of four "Best Original Song" Academy Awards (still a record -- one Johnny shares with lyricist Sammy Cahn).

                          First came the movie titled 'Days of Wine and Roses


                          • rsadasiv
                            rsadasiv commented
                            Editing a comment

                            Yeah, it's tough to remember every song that's been celebrated in this thread.


                            Anyway, you mentioned Herb Ellis on the top of the page.  He's great - and he has a lovely version of Days of Wine and Roses.

                          • oldgitplayer
                            oldgitplayer commented
                            Editing a comment

                            Mark Blackburn wrote:

                             The days of wine and roses, laugh and run away, like a child at play, through a meadowland, toward a closing door; a door marked nevermore, that wasn't there before. 

                            Thanks for posting this Mark, and its connection to your personal tale.

                            This song has been been around all my life, but I've never seen the lyric in print before. The part that I've selected is a huge sentiment that he has beautifully captured. I was immediately reminded of a favourite poem by A.E. Houseman that was part of a collection published in 1896 entitled 'A Shropshire Lad'.

                            Into my heart an air that kills
                               From yon far country blows:
                            What are those blue remembered hills,
                               What spires, what farms are those?
                            That is the land of lost content,
                               I see it shining plain,
                            The happy highways where I went
                               And cannot come again.

                        • My favorite female jazz singer Calabria Foti just informed me (with an email link to itunes) of her just-released single -- a duet with Family Guy creator (and this year's host at


                          • LCK
                            LCK commented
                            Editing a comment

                            Mark Blackburn wrote: But this one? Not a memorable tune, plus a very busy lyric: I've only ever heard it sung once before -- by Sammy Davis Jr. 

                            Oh, Mark. Really? Really? Sometimes I wonder about your attachment to the word memorable. If you ask me, this is an instantly memorable tune. Instantly memorable.

                            "Joey, Joey, Joey..." One listen and that refrain sticks in your mind. The tune is simply gorgeous. And I have to hand it to Seth McFarlane. He's never sounded better than this!

                            The song was actually a hit for Peggy Lee in 1956...

                            Dig the echo on the ending...

                            Chet Atkins & Eddy Arnold did a recording of this song from The Most Happy Fella. So did Jo Stafford.

                            Dang if that ^ ain't another "memorable" tune!

                            I don't know how "memorable" you'll find this one, also from The Most Happy Fella. But it's gorgeous. Sung here quite beautifully by the memorable Liz Callaway.

                            Frank Loesser was a fabulous songwriter who wrote some beautiful, but sometimes overlooked songs.

                            And this "throwaway" tune from Guys and Dolls.