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GREAT MELODY, GREAT LYRIC, GREAT RENDITION


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Even a genius needs coaching (eventually) to spot the fault that's holding you back.  A thought triggered by this:

Below the video of ROUNDERS (1998) "Faceless Man" (3 years ago) wrote: "Matt Damon doesn't do so well in real life poker! LOL." [Compelled to respond:] Yes, and thanks for the reminder of a universal sports truism: that the greatest players are not good coaches. And the corollary: the best coaches in the world are those who never got near a world championship. But they can tell you, a stranger, to pick up the football, or the golf club, or the pool cue and say: 'Okay, let's see how you do it.' Then spot the one thing that is holding you back. A friend, a former world snooker champion, Canada's Cliff Thorburn, took a flight to England just to see that nation's greatest snooker coach, Frank Callan. Cliff said, "In five minutes Frank had spotted what I was doing wrong." [and] "It was worth the trip, just for that five minutes." [We now return to our regularly-scheduled programming.] 

 

 

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Mr. Blackburn (call me Mark ?) . . . thank you for pointing me to this series of videos by Mr. McCartney (call me Sir ?) . . . I didn't know this existed, and it's an amazing get together of some very

BARBARA MORRISON - Don't Go to Strangers

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ROUNDERS (1998) - Matt Damon Gretchen Mol - closing scene

So many insightful comments, below a favorite closing scene; especially these, from musically literate  kindred spirits:

MOON MAN (2 years ago)
The sound track is amazing and helped make the closing scenes what they are.

JOHANN WILDER (1 year ago)
The musical theme at end of this clip sounds like the Great Depression scene from Cinderella Man.

Thanks too for a wonderful insight -- from someone who expressed it so well, in so few words:

M SOLO (10 months ago)
This movie is not about poker and it's not about gambling; those are just the vehicles to illustrate the point. It's about being true to yourself. That is what his whole conversation with Petrovsky [his law professor] was about:  he had to leave the path of becoming a rabbi to find, to quote him, "What I was born to do" even though it meant hurting his parents and Mike does the same to Jo he follows his path in life even though it means he will hurt her. Even if you look at how they separate. At 1:31 he glances back once and she watches from the time he gets in the cab till he leaves. And you can see she almost wants to cry. Anyways just my take on it and sorry for the long post!
 
 
 
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JACK SHELDON - Just in Time

I miss Jack Sheldon.  My all-time favorite trumpet-playing jazz singer died a little over a year ago, at the age of 88. I'd been thinking about him tonight – and about his high speed 'Here's That Rainy Day' (“Jack at the Bonneville Salt Flats” I dubbed it in a review).

Lo and behold:  Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio is playing JUST IN TIME – another favorite track from that album, “JACK IS BACK!” (1995) with a 16-piece band – the tightest I could ever imagine – led by L.A. arranger Tom Kubis, whose own Wiki entry twice references Jack:

TOM KUBIS: An American jazz musician and arranger; a native of Los Angeles Tom Kubis studied composition at Long Beach State University and worked in television with Steve Allen, Helen Reddy, Jackie Gleason, and Bob Newhart. During the 1960s, he played flute and saxophone with Louie Bellson, Pete Christlieb, Frank Rosolino, Arturo Sandoval, Jack Sheldon, and Bill Watrous.

His arrangements were featured at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C in a presentation written by Cy Coleman and Alan and Marilyn Bergman. In 1993, Kubis conducted his arrangements with Jack Sheldon at Carnegie Hall.

----

The 16 piece band he arranged for this “Jack is Back!” album, included trombone virtuoso Bob McChesney, arguably the greatest player, classical or jazz, ever to take up the slide trombone. [“Mr. Calabria Foti” as I like to joke – to friends of “my favorite living singer.” Arguably “the most musical couple” in the world – along with their friends, John Pizzarelli and his wife Jessica Molaskey.


Thanks be to YouTube, it's there – Jack Sheldon at the top of his game. The solo in the middle of this 4:20 gem is breathtaking, you may agree.


[Below the video someone asked, "Anyone know the names of the players?"]

“Jack is Back!” (1995) liner notes credit a short list of Los Angeles' very best 'go-to' studio musicians:
Arranged By, Conductor – Tom Kubis

Musicians: Alex Iles, Andy Martin, Bill Liston, Bob McChesney, Bob Sanders, Brian Williams, George Graham, Gordon Goodwin, Mike Whitman, Ray Brinker, Ron King, Sal Lozano, Stan Martin, Tom Ranier, Trey Henry, Wayne Bergeron

Trumpet, Vocals – Jack Sheldon
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John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman - My One and Only Love

It's 5:33, there's no one in the place except you and me . . .

Hit the back-one-hour button on Siriusly Sinatra streaming on the computer and it's Chris Botti and Paula Cole's lovely, latter-day version of MY ONE AND ONLY LOVE. A song introduced by Frank Sinatra (the B-side of a record he recorded with Nelson Riddle in 1953 – but you knew that).

Ten years later sax giant John Coltrane recorded with Johnny Hartman. That's the version that impacted jazz musicians, then and now. Chris Botti imitated their approach, performing the first couple of minutes – the entire chorus – as an instrumental before Paula Cole starts her lovely vocal.

A 'who's who' of sax greats kept the song alive; today MY ONE AND ONLY LOVE has a small Wikipedia entry – with a large list of cover versions. (Note below)
 


"My One and Only Love" is a popular song with music written by Guy Wood and lyrics by Robert Mellin. Published in 1953, it is a conventional 32-bar song with four 8-bar sections, including a bridge ("Type A" or "AABA" song structure). Typically performed as a ballad, it has an aria-like melody that is a challenge to many vocalists; in the key of C, the song's melody extends from G below middle C to the second D above middle C.

The song originated in 1947 as “Music from Beyond the Moon” with music by Guy B. Wood and lyrics by Jack Lawrence. Vocalist Vic Damone recorded this version in 1948, but it was unsuccessful.

In 1952, Robert Mellin wrote a new title and lyrics for the song, and it was republished the next year as “My One and Only Love”. When Frank Sinatra recorded it in 1953 with Nelson Riddle, first released as B-side to his hit single "I've Got the World on a String" (Capitol 2505), it became known. Then popular saxophonist Charlie Ventura saw the song's "jazz potential" and recorded the first instrumental version in the very same year.[1]

As an instrumental jazz standard, it remained predominantly a song for tenor saxophonists. Ben Webster recorded the tune with Art Tatum in autumn 1956. John Coltrane recorded his version with vocalist Johnny Hartman ten years after Ventura in 1963 (John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman). This was followed by Sonny Rollins in 1964. He re-recorded it in 1977, this time on soprano saxophone. Later interpretations came from Chico Freeman, Michael Brecker, and Joshua Redman.

Vocal renditions of "My One and Only Love" were recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Mathis, Doris Day, Mark Murphy, Chet Baker and Kurt Elling. Cassandra Wilson turned the song into an up-tempo swing number.
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On previous page the Frank Sinatra live TV version of Here's That Rainy Day (arranged by Don Costa) "Video no longer available (copyright)" so . . . another gem of a live TV performance of Johnny Carson's favorite song HERE'S THAT RAINY DAY: Tommy Newsome, Doc Severinsen: 

 

 

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CALABRIA FOTI – Do It Again

The most beautiful version I ever heard of an early Gershwin tune -- DO IT AGAIN -- is playing right this minute on Siriusly Sinatra – a personal favorite track from my “favorite living singer” Calabria Foti.

From her “A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening' (2007) CD. For me it's the best version for a host of reasons -- including the full symphonic string section, with beautiful opening violin obbligato played by Calabria herself (she's been employed with several symphony orchestras). Needless to say it is a 'girl song.'

"My Mama told me – she would scold me --- that it's “naughty” …. but then, oh! Do it again. PLEASE, do it again!”

A superb slide trombone solo on the musical bridge that could ONLY be her hubby, Bob McChesney. It's moments like these, I renew my threat to pay for your copy of “Lovely Way to Spend an Evening” if you don't just love it to bits.

I always check at YouTube, in the vain hope someone has uploaded this particular track. Always disappointed …. but not tonight! Someone uploaded 'the score' of Bob McChesney's arrangement (titled simply “Do it”).

Google to learn that there are 5 other songs with the same title! Make the search include the word “Gershwin” to get the one we want here.

Wikipedia includes some delightful 'background' for those who still care to ask “Who wrote that song?”

"Do It Again" is an American popular song by composer George Gershwin and lyricist Buddy DeSylva. The song premiered in the 1922 Broadway show The French Doll, as performed by actress Irène Bordoni.

Gershwin recounted the origin of the song in 1934:

I was in the office of Max Dreyfus, my publisher, one day when Buddy DeSylva walked in. DeSylva said jokingly to me, "George, let's write a hit!" I matched him by saying, "O.K.!" I sat down at the piano, and began playing a theme which I was composing on the spot... Buddy listened for a few minutes and then began chanting this title—"Oh, Do It Again!," which he had just fitted to my theme.[1]

Gershwin began playing the song, described as "innocently sensual" at parties. Upon hearing the song, Irène Bordoni insisted that she perform the song in her show.[2] "Do It Again" first appeared in the Broadway play The French Doll, which premiered on February 20, 1922 at the Lyceum and ran for a total of 120 performances.[1]
 
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CHESTER & LESTER - It Don't Mean a Thing 

Beneath a cartoon just shared by a Facebook friend Jane G. A girl standing with a boy, next to a playground swing that is missing something vital. The swing!

SHE: “It don't mean a thing . . . ”

Favorite version for guitarists 'of an age' – from a Grammy-winning album by Les Paul – left channel, playing his custom Gibson 'Les Paul' with low impedance pickups (no one else used them); Chet Atkins, stage right, playing his warmer-sounding signature Gretsch 'Country Gentleman'. Circa mid-70s. But you know all this, right?
 
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PLEASE PLEASE ME 

I'm 74 and can remember the exact moment I fell in love with The Beatles: when I heard PLEASE PLEASE ME for the very first time. Not on radio, but at a dance in the basement of a church (St. Thomas the Apostle Anglican, in Ottawa Canada). I was especially taken by the five beautiful 'power' chords at song's end. [Half a century on, my guitarist son Ben (finally) showed me how easy they are to play!]

I took Ben and his Japanese-born wife Eriko, and two of my oldest grand kids, to see McCartney in concert at our sold-out Winnipeg football stadium: a three-hour show that included 40 (correct) of his best-loved songs. [!] On his most recent visit to Winnipeg, I paid for grandson Thomas and his girlfriend Jewel to see McCartney indoors, at our NHL hockey arena. "Even better this time!" said Thomas the next day.

Yes, still my favorite Beatles tune. Somewhere on YouTube there is an 'approved' video of a latter-day performance. There's a moment when a young woman in the front rows of the crowd is looking at her Mom (my age) singing along, and you can see such shared joy. Tears of joy AND goosebumps. Is there any better earthly experience?

Here we are! The 'views' total has doubled since the last time I looked, to 19,254,733 views.
 
 
 
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SINATRA - Stay with Me

I hit the 'back 1 hour' button and Siriusly Sinatra is playing the most obscure Sinatra song you may never have heard-of -- STAY WITH ME -- commissioned for, but not used in a 1960's movie “The Cardinal.” I know this because the inspirational words were penned by one of my all-time favorite lyricists Carolyn ('Witchcraft') Leigh – whose other songs immortalized by Sinatra, included the one with title words engraved on his tombstone: 'The Best Is Yet To Come.'

The theme music had already been composed, and Carolyn was commissioned to find words inspired and inspirational, for a very Catholic movie. (I learned only recently that a future pope, a German priest "Joseph Ratzinger" was principal consultant “for authenticity” before filming began in Rome).

Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio's programmer extraordinaire 'Jersey Lou' Simon includes this on his playlist a couple or three times a year (just for me, I like to think).

Yes, I always imagine this one playing over the closing credits. The opening orchestral flourishes of a brilliant orchestration (wonder who?) set the scene perfectly.

Most viewed (29,000) and first offering at YouTube this day.
 


Informed comment below video from "Joe Postove"
(11 months ago)
Peaked at #81 in 1964 on Billboard's Hot 100. Should have been a giant!
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THE BEATLES - And Your Bird Can Sing

Just left a note at Sir Paul's Facebook page (where I am a "Top Fan"):

At Sinatra Family Forum in the "other personalities" folder, in THE BEATLES thread, a new member quoted a posting of 20 years ago to the effect that [any] song by Cole Porter "is worth 20 Beatles songs." [ ! ] I responded:

Just had to say welcome, and thanks for the inspired and inspiring post . . . .

You just reminded me of something I noted a long time ago: every single song composed by Paul McCartney is memorable. You can recall both the melody and significant chunks of the lyrics for every one. I'm looking at his list (page 353) in the "songwriters" section of Dick & Harriet Jacobs' masterwork, "WHO WROTE THAT SONG?" -- just after running down the song list of one of my heroes, Irving Berlin. Half of Berlin's list is comprised of songs most everyone never never heard-of. While every single song on Sir Paul's huge list is with us forever in our memories. The strongest melodies, combined with perfectly memorable words. Ringo recalled in an interview that at the peak of their powers "not a day went by that John and Paul didn't come to the studio with at least a couple of new songs."

Okay, just to pick one that never gets mentioned or played: And Your Bird Can Sing. As a guitarist, I get goosebumps listening to what George Harrison and Paul, accomplished on that descending chord pattern, refrain.
[Latest share of 're-mastered' version at YouTube:  "comments turned off" - a pity.]
 
 
 
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ELVIS - How Great Thou Art

My church Holy Cross of Winnipeg Canada regularly included on Sundays 'pre-Covid' among its most popular hymns, an old protestant favorite, HOW GREAT THOU ART.

“Do you know,” I liked to tell any parishioner next to me after Mass, “this 'old-sounding' Gospel song dates back to 1953?” [and] “I was six years old when it got its copyright!”

First popularized in the Bible Belt region of the American South, and coming to national attention when recorded by Billy Graham's most famous singer ,George Beverly Shea.

At the foot of its page (554) in “The Catholic Book of Worship” hymnal (1994) is the note:

“Text Stuart K. Hine (of England) Copyright 1953, 1955 by Manna Music Inc of Pacific City OR 97135 International copyright secured. All rights reserved. Used by permission.”

Google the song title and the very first offering this day -- a video by Elvis. Below it, the note:

“People also ask . . . what was Elvis' favorite Gospel song?”

Although “How Great Thou Art” became Elvis's favorite gospel song, according to Jordanaire Gordon Stoker, “When we first discussed cutting it, he said he had never heard of it.” After listening to the Jordanaires sing it, Elvis decided to record it . . .

----

Most viewed viewed version (7M) is of a 'live' performance in 1972. At "Hampton Roads" (where's that?) The limitations of 50 year old video tape evaporate before our eyes. 'Powerful' is the word for this. Enough to give me goosebumps! Don't you love that sensation, especially when you're least expecting it?
 
 
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Elvis in Canada's Capitol

Thanks to friends at Sinatra Family Forum for links reminding us that Elvis was 22 when he performed two shows in Ottawa in April of 1956. I was nine. I remember my older sister Andrea, then 13, being so excited! It was all her friends could talk about.

An entire city was amazed that Elvis would do two shows, afternoon and evening -- 40 minute performances at the “Old Auditorium” a hockey arena that could seat 10 thousand, and where the original Ottawa Senators won their one and only Stanley Cup.

It was at that same arena in 1947 (a very good year) that the leading radio station CFRA went on the air for the first time -- a 'live' show with “The Percy Faith 40-piece orchestra and a 60 voice chorus.”

Laughed at the memory that one Catholic school for girls had everyone sign a promise “not to attend” either show because of (in a word) the reputed “vulgarity” of it all.

The fact that Elvis earned “the equivalent of 60 thousand of today's dollars” from sales of tickets ranging from 2 dollars to 3.50 -- “the equivalent of 20 to 30 today.”

I knew two of the radio personalities from stations where I would later work part-time (when I was 20): CFRA (“580 on your radio dial”) and CKOY (“dial 1310”). Both stations had brief recorded dressing room interviews -- included in the links from Shane Brown's well-written article.

Elvis' innocent answers to the CKOY interviewer I personally found so very moving. Not least his final words on the subject of his “greatness” – what it's like to be suddenly “great” at age 22.

“I'm not a great man,” he says, “there is only one great man, and one only, Jesus Christ.”

A reminder to listeners, then as now, that Gospel music was a primary influence on his young life. [Didn't Elvis do an entire Gospel album early in his career?]

Both of those radio stations featured Country music programs with their own 'house bands.' I remember a Decca records executive saying that more country music records were sold in Ottawa than in any American city. And there is Elvis, sharing with one of those radio interviewers in 1956 that he received "more fan mail" from the Ottawa region of Canada "than any American cities."

All of which is to say again, "thanks, for the memories," guys!
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DEANA MARTIN - About a Quarter to Nine

Playing at this moment on Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio. A very old song that doesn't get around much anymore. An easy-to-remember tune, by my second-favorite composer Harry (Salvatore Guaragna) Warren, with words by Al Dubin. They wrote several hits, this was their earliest (1935) for Al Jolson to introduce in a new movie, 'Go Into Your Dance.'

Ricky Nelson's Dad, Ozzie "and his orchestra" did the first cover record. But then, ignored for decades, till Dean Martin almost rescued it from obscurity. His talented daughter Deana's latest version is my favorite. Love what she does with words like these:

Waiting for you, on needles and pins . . .
Oh, the stars are gonna twinkle and shine
This very eve-nin' about a quarter to nine . . .

I know I won't be late, 'cause at half-past-eight
I will hurry there and be waitin' . . .

Both these lovin' arms, are gonna tenderly 'twine,
all around you – about a quarter to nine.

From her 'Destination Moon' album. Time to purchase a copy from Amazon, since I love every track Channel 71 has been sharing with fans of Deana.
 
 
 
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TONY BENNETT & BILL EVANS – When in Rome

My barber "Mario Potenza" is from Italy -- the eastern side, on the Adriatic coast, where his home village makes the finest olive oil any of our family and friends have ever tasted; I used to give away bottles of it, to loved ones who always commented on the superior taste: "That is the best!" That was before Covid-19 put an end to his decades-old import business.

Mario visited our home today to cut both our hair, as only he can. My Irene told him again: “You are the best!" – displacing in her heart, a Greek, "Gerry Greco" -- a legend with his Winnipeg women customers for almost 50 years.

As he cut my hair, Mario surprised us, revealing that “Gerry wanted us -- he and I -- to start a new [enterprise] together.” It fell through, “Something . . . back in Greece.”

“Was Gerry a gambler?” asked Irene.
“Oh yes. The Greeks do like their cards.”
“Is he still alive?”
“I think he died (in Greece, ten years ago, in his 80s) "I remember hearing that," said Mario.

Which is to say . . . there is no place else on earth we'd rather be, than back in Rome. Irene and I agree that our eight days in Rome for our 40th anniversary in 2015 was the highlight of our lives. And having Mario visit our home, is the next best thing! A little bit of 'sunny Italy' all to ourselves for half an hour. (He is that fast.)

“Gerry was VERY slow,” said Irene.
“I know,” said Mario. “I would be out of business!" (cutting hair at that speed).

----

Just brought up the laundry a moment ago and surprised Irene at the top of the stairs, by singing:

“Disregard the signs and the omens! when in Rome, I do as the Romans do!”

One of my favorite lyrics by Carolyn Leigh. Best version of the last 50 years? No contest! Bill Evans, who left us in 1980, 'alone together' with the greatest living singer now in his 95th year. Let's hear it for Tony and Carolyn!

Favorite moment? On the bridge/release, at the 1:15 mark when Tony's voice soars with such supple strength. “Like a Roman god” as we used to say.

“And though from Italy, I lie to you prettily – why think of me bitterly? You KNOW that I'm through! …. 'cept, now and then in Rome, I get that old yen in Rome, and naturally, when in Rome, I do as the Romans do!”

[First offering at YouTube, an official version from Bill Evans nearing 10K views]
 
 
 
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NATALIE COLE – Midnight Sun

God I miss Natalie Cole – hearing her latest album of beautifully-arranged great old standards.

At this moment Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio is playing my favorite male vocal version of MIDNIGHT SUN by Frank Sinatra Jr. Can't remember if his Dad ever recorded it (or performed it 'live'?). But somewhere there is a latter-day video of Natalie singing it at an Ella tribute concert. (Really, is there anything you can't find at Youtube circa 2021?)

A haunting tune without a lyric, composed by jazz 'vibes' giant Lionel Hampton back in 1949. Five years later, Johnny Mercer driving in his car in California heard it for the very first time – and had one of those “gotta pull over to the side of the road” moments: He phoned the radio station to ask my favorite question: “Who wrote that tune?”

Imagine you are Mercer and about to write about the Midnight Sun. What rhymes with “aurora borealis”? Why, “alabaster palace” of course – you know, the kind that “rises to a snowy height” and rhymes with “held me tight.”
 
 
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PAUL MCCARTNEY - The Glory of Love

At about a quarter to 4 a.m. Siriusly Sinatra is playing Paul McCartney's version of THE GLORY OF LOVE – a song my 'boomer' generation associated with the movie 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?' I needed a reminder from Wiki about who wrote the song, and that it was a No 1 hit for Benny Goodman in long ago 1936. Composed (words & music) by

Billy Hill (July 14, 1899 – December 24, 1940) was an American songwriter, violinist, and pianist who found fame writing Western songs such as "They Cut Down the Old Pine Tree", "The Last Round-Up", "Wagon Wheels", and "Empty Saddles". Hill's most popular song was "The Glory of Love", recorded by Benny Goodman in 1936, and subsequently by Peggy Lee, Otis Redding, Paul McCartney, and others.

Peggy Lee brought the song back into prominence including it on her “Jump For Joy” album of 1958, arranged by Nelson Riddle. A decade later Otis Redding recorded a cover version for his 1968 album, The Dock of the Bay. It became a top 20 hit.

Bette Midler, 20 years later included The Glory of Love on the soundtrack for the movie BEACHES.

Paul McCartney's version is my favorite from his album of standards and should-have-been-standards beloved by Paul's father. (Note below from the large Wiki entry.)
 


Kisses on the Bottom is the fifteenth solo studio album by Paul McCartney, consisting primarily of covers of traditional pop music and jazz. Released in February 2012 on Starbucks' Hear Music label, it was McCartney's first studio album since Memory Almost Full in 2007.

The album was produced by Tommy LiPuma and includes just two original compositions by McCartney: "My Valentine" and "Only Our Hearts". The former features Eric Clapton on guitar, while the latter features Stevie Wonder on harmonica. Kisses on the Bottom peaked at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and number 5 on the US Billboard 200, while also topping Billboard magazine's Jazz Albums chart.
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SINATRA – Pass Me By

A song that sounds like a Broadway show tune – with Sinatra in the “original cast” recording – PASS ME BY – playing right this minute on Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio. The bright, cheery arrangement 'sparkles' like a marching band parading down Main Street. Every time I've heard this song (once or twice a year on channel 71) I break into 'a grin from ear to ear'. You too?

Sinatra was the first to record and introduce the song – composed by two of his favorites Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh in 1964, written that same year for the romantic comedy “Father Goose” (yet another movie I've never seen). “Starring Cary Grant, Leslie Caron and Trevor Howard,” the film won an Academy Award for its screenplay.

A year later in 1965 Peggy Lee recorded it – and beautifully too. But it's a guy song, and Frank knows just what to do with words like these:

I got me ten fine toes to wiggle in the sand . . .
Add to these, a nose that I can thumb,
And a 'mouth' -- by gum -- have I . . .
to tell the whole darn world
if you don't happen to like it?
Deal me out, thank you kindly,
pass me by!

[30K views and “comments are turned off” – a pity.]
 
 
 
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PAUL MCCARTNEY - When I'm 64 (just for the 'retransitional arpeggiation' of it all)

[But only] "If it's not too 'dear'!" (expensive) as my English born 'Granny Alice' used to say.

In the shower today I started singing 'When I'm 64' – just to see how much of that beloved song lyric I could still recall, ten years beyond my own 64th birthday. Hard to believe, but this is the one and only Beatles song that is 65 years old: Paul was 14 when he wrote it, words and music.

My English grandmother (my people were from Birmingham) would often use that expression “if it's not too dear” when we were poised to buy her a more expensive version of something she loved.

When it came time to include '64' on that most auspicious Beatles album, John got into the spirit of things, suggesting one line – that's still the most endearing to my soon-to-be 74-year-old heart – the bit about the grand kids. (Like Paul today, I have eight of 'em.)

Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck and Dave

About once a year I check the ever-growing Wikipedia entry for this one -- just to see 'what's new.' I can't read music so erudite analysis about flatted 5ths and augmented 9th chords almost hurts my head to read. But for the more musically literate among us, the latest observations are included (below).


Other favorite line, since I was a teenager in a rock band, back when everyone was in a band because of the Beatles or The Stones. We were called 'The Suspects' and we were widely unknown then and now, despite my attractive poster artwork. Yes I loved these words especially:


Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away . . .

According to Wiki

The song was nearly released on a single as the B-side of either "Strawberry Fields Forever" or "Penny Lane". It was instead held over to be included as an album track for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.[26] "When I'm Sixty-Four" was included in the Beatles' 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. It was also used over the opening credits of the 1982 film The World According to Garp.[30]


First up at Youtube this day, an official version nearing 10M views and 80K “comments” – alas, not mine. “Comments now turned off. Learn more.”
 



For the serious musicians among us, the latest Wiki notes for WHEN I'M 64 [include]

The song uses applied dominants more than anywhere else on Sgt. Pepper, appearing in the refrain (B–2–3), in a tonicization of VI in the bridge (B) and, as musicologist Walter Everett puts it, "[in] the wide array of jaunty chromatic neighbors and passing tones comparable to those in McCartney's dad's 'Walking in the Park with Eloise'".[14]

A clarinet trio (two B♭ clarinets and a bass clarinet) is featured prominently in the song. Scored by George Martin, who said they were added at McCartney's request to "get around the lurking schmaltz factor" by using the clarinets "in a classical way".[10]

One clarinet provides an alto countermelody for the third verse. The bass clarinet doubles McCartney's bass for the retransitional arpeggiation of V7 at C–1–2.[14] During the chorus, the clarinets add texture by playing legato quarter notes while the bass clarinet plays staccato quarter notes.[15]

In the song's final verse, the clarinet is played in descant with McCartney's vocal.[citation needed] Supporting instruments include the piano, bass, drum set, tubular bells and electric guitar.[16]
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THE JUDGES GAME and DESTINY CHOOSES US

You know how some movies stay with you? Certain scenes spring to mind -- when your own character is being tested in some little way . . .

Just can't get out of my mind some favorite scenes in ROUNDERS (after re-watching this very old but timeless film). And the joy tonight, of finding two favorites, presented consecutively, here -- as “scenes 3 and 4 of 12.” THE JUDGES GAME and DESTINY CHOOSES US.

“The amazing thing," we hear Matt Damon's character thinking, “is that in this collection of great legal minds, there isn't a single real card player” – as he stands, respectfully watching some of New York's finest judges, playing 7-card stud poker – before placing a 20 dollar bet for his Law School Dean, explaining:

“We KNOW what you're holding.”

Oldest judge: “The f**k you know what we're holding!”

LAW STUDENT: “Summer clerkship in your office, says I KNOW what you're holding.”

JUDGE (backing down) “I don't bet with jobs like that,” but (intrigued): “Let's just say I'll put you at the top of the list if you're right.”
 


Matt was placing the bet for his law school dean who in the next scene, over drinks and dinner, tells Matt's character to be true to himself in choosing his life's work -- even if it means disappointing – even hurting – those you love the most. (Advice he will take at movie's end.) It's a short soliloquy, but the best one in the picture. (scene 4, next up)
 
 
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PAUL MCCARTNEY – All Shook Up

Otis Blackwell would have loved Paul McCartney's cover version of 'ALL SHOOK UP  – shared with fans on his Facebook page today – with a link to Spotify. It's from his 'Run Devil Run' (1999) album. It's got that slightly distorted sound of a live performance where the recording engineer let the volume stray into the red. It works, almost as well as Elvis' original – despite a lyric that really doesn't withstand the light of day, or serious appraisal, circa 2021:

Well she touched my hand what a chill I got
Her lips are like a volcano when it's hot
I'm proud to say that she's my buttercup
I'm in love
I'm all shook up
Mm mm mm, mm, yay, yay, yay
Mm mm mm, mm, yay, yay, yay
I'm all shook up!

Paul's catchy cover is track 2 on this Spotify link from his Facebook page to Paul's current favorites playlist, titled 'Sticking Out Of My Back Pocket.'


The expanded Wiki entry for the composer includes a couple of anecdotes that weren't there before (last time I looked):

Otis Blackwell (February 16, 1931 – May 6, 2002) was an American songwriter, singer, and pianist, whose work influenced rock and roll. His compositions include "Fever", recorded by Little Willie John; "Great Balls of Fire" and "Breathless", recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis; "Don't Be Cruel", "All Shook Up" and "Return to Sender" (with Winfield Scott), recorded by Elvis Presley; and "Handy Man", recorded by Jimmy Jones.[1]

When he was having a contract dispute with his publishing company, he also wrote under the white-sounding pen name John Davenport.[2] Blackwell composed more than a thousand songs, garnering worldwide sales of close to 200 million records.

During an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman, Blackwell said he never met Presley in person. [7] Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, asked Blackwell to appear in the Presley movie Girls! Girls! Girls!, for which he had written "Return to Sender", but a superstition about meeting Presley kept him from accepting.[8]
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Sir Paul re-visiting the places where he grew up 

My oldest son David just shared:

"Watching and re-watching James Cordon's Carpool Karaoke with Sir Paul -- I am struck by what a lovely gentle soul he is. Watching him tour his childhood home is tear inducing ... if I have a vote, Dad it’s worth every farthing."

The simple truth: THIS will never grow old.
 
 
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ELLA - All The Things You Are

“Whatcha doin' down there?” said my wife from the top of the basement stairs, knowing I'd taken a detour – from doing the laundry. “Reading” I said -- while standing beside a bookshelf, trying to find a quote from Oscar Hammerstein, about All The Things You Are.

I come upstairs and find Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio is playing Ella's classic up-tempo jazz recording of ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE, which Ella sings without the opening verse (“Time and again I've longed for adventure”).

I'd just been thinking about my musical parents' favorite song (mine too) and was searching through Oscar Hammerstein's book titled “LYRICS” – the 43-page introductory essay that he wrote back in 1949 “before half his shows with Richard Rodgers had been written.” I had to find the part about Oscar hating to use the word “divine.”

“Some words,” he wrote on page 28, “have lost their value through overuse. 'Divine is such a word. It occurs in ' All The Things You Are.' I didn't like this word when I submitted the song to Jerry Kern and, as I had anticipated, he didn't like it either.

“For many days I worked, trying to find a substitute. I just couldn't. The last lines are: 'Some day I'll know that moment divine, When all the things you are, are mine.' I was trapped. All the things you are referred to, throughout the song – poetically and romantically – are certainly what I wish to be 'mine.' I couldn't surrender this finish.

“But it demands an 'ine' rhyme. 'Someday I'll know that moment . . . what? Sign, line, fine, shine? Nothing served as well as that unwanted 'divine.' I never could find a way out. The song, written in 1937, today (1949) shows signs of being a long-lived standard ballad – but I shall never be happy with that word!”

First version offered at YouTube this day ( 2,312,033 views ) features a lovely slide show and well-presented lyrics.
 
 
 
 
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Frank Sinatra Lorrie Morgan “Valentine” duet

First a big thank you to Ed for the link, as well as your incentive that "As a bonus, the YouTube poster gives us multiple shots of Dean working hard." Now why am I here? -- oh yes, funny valentines.

----

It's not often that someone writing about my favorite composer Dick Rodgers can reduce me to tears. But my compatriot and favorite musicologist/social commentator Mark Steyn just did it – with this appreciation, complete with links to best versions of MY FUNNY VALENTINE. Just left him a note of thanks, for “the best song appreciation (I believe) you've ever written – which is saying something! From opening words to the conclusion that reduced me to tears of joy.

In 1943, on the first night of a Broadway revival of A Connecticut Yankee, a drunken Hart was ejected from the theatre. As usual, he'd lost his overcoat, but this time he caught a chill, and died in hospital a few days later. His last words were: "What have I lived for?"
Anyone who's fallen in love to a Rodgers & Hart song could answer that for him. That last Sinatra recording spells it out: You're "My Funny Valentine" - "morning time and evening time and summertime and wintertime" - and, as raw and ragged as his voice is, you realize that, across the decades, the promise of the song has come true: This is an eternal love.
Or as the song says:
Each day is Valentine's day.

Link to this latest Mark Steyn article. Hope it works -- so that you may enjoy it, in its entirety!

https://www.steynonline.com/11070/my-funny-valentine?fbclid=IwAR1b8mVnFExpW8jJRmTL0C7FmMuI9O7CZJ8hqqffu4LVuw1un_E-Afi75nc

A link to what some members of The Sinatra Family Forum (me included) consider the best of the duets – the one that can reduce us to tears of joy each time Siriusly Sinatra plays it (once or twice a year).

There is an “official” version at YouTube – alas “comments are turned off” – a pity. Next offering though, is a version with the 'Duets' album cover painting – which has 7 thumbs up and just one comment -- that speaks for millions of us, 'kindred spirits.'


Andy Spiegel (1 year ago)
Even in his late 70s, he was still The Voice for me.
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Re the definitive male recording Mark Steyn writes . . .

If you rushed out to buy Songs for Young Lovers in 1954, you knew something different was going on from the moment the platter hit the turntable: No verse, no real intro other than a couple of chords and a gossamer brush of strings, and then Frank's into the lyric.

It's a lovely arrangement, conducted by Nelson Riddle but from a George Siravo chart that had been sitting around in a drawer for a couple of years. Sinatra wasn't always comfortable in waltz time: he was a 4/4 guy and he could sometimes sound a little tentative in 3/4. Yet, when Siravo's arrangement shifts into waltz time halfway through, Sinatra doesn't "shift" so much as waft across the text in three-quarter time. He floats, effortlessly and beautifully:
 
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Boys and Girls Like You and Me

39. Boys And Girls Like You And Me (FS – Film Studio Outtake)
40. Girl Talk (Frank Sinatra Jr. & Steve Tyrell)
41. For Me And My Gal (Harry Nilsson)

Loved this segment, of Nancy Sinatra's final three-hour show on Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio where she has recorded over 500 shows.  Especially appreciated her including a pretty song I'd not heard before -- by my favorite composer, Richard Rodgers!  [I was tempted to turn this into a trivia test.]

Quick quiz: Could you name a Richard Rodgers song, 'cut' from a hit Broadway show as well as TWO movie musicals?

----

Google for the song title, “Boys and Girls Like You and Me” and you're taken to a page called 'Wiki Sinatra.' (The song itself has no Wikipedia entry of its own.) It says,

"Boys and Girls Like You and Me" is a song Frank Sinatra recorded for Columbia Records in 1948. Sinatra performed this song as an outtake from the film Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and it was not featured in the final production of the film.

The Wiki Sinatra' page doesn't name the composers – Rodgers & Hammerstein, or that it was “withdrawn” from their first Broadway hit, 'Oklahoma!' before the show opened.

The song isn't mentioned in Richard Rodgers' autobiography, while Oscar Hammerstein's own book -- “LYRICS” – has just a single-word reference: “Withdrawn” -- as in cut from Oklahoma!.

Search YouTube and there's a Judy Garland rendition – cut from 'Meet Me in St. Louis' – before Sinatra's version was cut from Take Me Out to the Ball Game.

Just checked the liner notes by “Charles L. Granata” written for the 6-CD “Hollywood” box set, where Chuck recalled that,

Betty Garret Parks remembers the 1948 recording sessions for “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” and Frank “had a song that he was to sing to me, a lovely Rodgers & Hammerstein tune called 'Boys and Girls Like You And Me.'

He was making take after take of this wonderful recording and they kept bugging him to 'speed it up'. They felt it was too slow, and Frank got very angry about it. He insisted on doing it the way he wanted to do it.

It was beautiful and I thought to myself, 'They are telling Frank Sinatra how to sing a ballad? What is the matter with them?' Ultimately the song was cut from the picture, but I can tell you that he was right and they were wrong!”

Love Hammerstein's simple, poignant lyric (with Frank substituting “lots of things” for “many”):

“Songs, and kings, and many things, have their day and are gone / but boys and girls like you and me – we go on and on . . . ”

Judy makes it a girl song, to a lovely orchestral arrangement (wonder who?). There were too many other good songs written especially for Meet Me in St. Louis: Besides the title track, the ones that made the cut were 'The Trolley Song' and 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.'

Can you imagine anyone doing this better than Judy Garland?
 
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