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

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  • My favorite melodist Dick Rodgers wrote 16 of the 20 best waltzes of the 20th century. In fact it's easier to list those he didn't write: The best include

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    • LCK
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      Mark Blackburn wrote:

      My favorite waltz by Rodgers


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      Mark Blackburn wrote:


  • When he hosts the 85th annual Academy Awards this Sunday,

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    • Mark Blackburn
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      One of the differences between most of us and Seth MacFarlane (apart from his annual eight-figure income) is that the singer-musician knows who Warren Luening is:  Enough to feature him in his own jazz band.

      Speaking of which: Who but Seth MacFarlane could bring his own all-star jazz band to a late night talk show appearance?  He did it two years ago, to help promote his new album of 'should-have-been standards'  on


  • He may not have picked up the

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    • Mark Blackburn
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      That pose!  Those clothes!

      I bet you haven't seen 'em for a while.

      Do you . . .

      suppose . . .

      that style is coming back in style?

       

      -- Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller

       

      For me


  • The year I turned 20 (summer of '67) a group of sensitive men from San Francisco formed a studio band called 

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    • When I was 21 (a very good year) a musical girl friend (a New York trained singer and terrific pianist) introduced me to my

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      • If you were to ask the distinguished classical and jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis to name his favorite solo -- among those he's contributed to someone else's recording -- I'm pretty certain he would say . . . . the one that's playing right now on satellite radio: Natalie Cole's retire-the-trophy take on Rodgers & Hart's HE WAS TOO GOOD TO ME. 

        With a subtle artless grace Mr. Marsalis puts such heart and soul into his musical bridge and closing obligato that, in her liner notes at the time, Ms Cole said his contributions

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        • LCK
          LCK commented
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          Mark Blackburn wrote:

          If you were to ask the distinguished classical and jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis to name his favorite solo -- among those he's contributed to someone else's recording -- I'm pretty certain he would say . . . . the one that's playing right now on satellite radio: Natalie Cole's retire-the-trophy take on Rodgers & Hart's HE WAS TOO GOOD TO ME.

          It's a 'girl song' -- with its own Wiki entry (below) although I recall our Lee Charles Kelley saying (a thousand posts ago) he was introduced to it by the three guys who comprised the 50s group,


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        • Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio tonight replayed a Sammy Davis Jr. radio interview from 40 years ago in which Davis described his friend Nat King Cole as,

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          • I lived for an hour

            what more can I tell?

            Love bloomed like a flower

            and then the petals fell.


            Blue gardenia . . .

            thrown to a passing breeze

            but pressed in my book of memories.

             

            I don't believe we've celebrated Dinah Washington before 

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            • Thanks, Lee for the reminder about that rhyme technique -- so effective in the hands of a great writer.

              My own favorite example of this -- where all of the rhymes are 'internal' and each line ends with the same word or two -- is Cole Porter's ALL OF YOU (one we've celebrated here before) whose every line, except the penultimate, (

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            • This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first

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              • There's a story told of a very gentle boy

                and the girl who wore his ring.

                Through the wintr'y snow

                the world they knew was warm

                for their hearts were full of spring . . .

                 

                I have Nancy Sinatra to thank -- her 

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                • LCK
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              • Finally, LCK we have something in common! An appreciation for Gene de Paul's best song from 1942. Introduced in an Abbott & Costello movie. Lyric by Don Raye.  The two had tried the previous year to introduce their one other collaboration,

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                • LCK
                  LCK commented
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                  Mark Blackburn wrote:

                  Finally, LCK we have something in common! An appreciation for Gene de Paul's best song from 1942.


                  We have lots of things in common, Mark! I know I like to dispute some of your "greatest-ever," blanket-type statements, but we probably have more likes in common than we have disagreements.

                  And Carmen McRae can do no wrong, as far as I'm concerned. Of all the female jazz singers of the last 50 years or so, I like her style, her voice, etc., much better than Ella, Sara Vaughn, Rosie Clooney, and the rest of the greats. (They're all great, I just like Carmen's style a little bit more.)

                  Meanwhile, who would've thought that Boz Scaggs could pull off a really cool version of this song?


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