Whatcha listening to this evening? Stay warm!
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- Big Band
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- Depeche Mode
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- Grammy Awards
- John McCain
- Late Night Music Club
- Louis Jordan
- Nat King Cole
- Rolling Stone
- The Rolling Stones
- Tori Amos
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- tom jones
Enjoy. Whatcha listening to this evening?
Nuff said. In the midwest? This weather is Utterly Ugh.
Whatcha listening to this hot evening?
According to the Kinsey Report, every average man you know, much prefers his lovey dovey to court, when the temperature is low....
...such a fabulous number. And nobody does it like Ella.
Click play, dance with your baby on a summer night, and enjoy....
Here's a good one. What you got tonight?
"All the things you are." Welcome Spring.
What are you listening to this Saturday night?
When Count Basie first released "Jumpin' At The Woodside" in 1938 John McCain was still learning to ride a burro around his native Panama-- though Basie had already had 5 hits. It was just the beginning for Basie and he and his orchestra went on to defining the entire swing era of jazz. At various times Basie's Big Band had singers (or backed singers) like Billie Holiday, Joe Williams, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Basie won an astounding 17 Grammy awards and when he died in 1980 he had achieved every milestone of success a musician can aspire to. (Unfortunately for us all, over the decades McCain went from trying to stay on a burro to flying planes-- with disastrous consequences.)
Today is Irving Berlin's birthday; he'd be 120 (except he passed away in 1989). With a repertoire like his, where do you even start? He wrote music and lyrics for thousands of songs, from "God Bless America" and "White Christmas" to "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better," "Puttin' on the Ritz," and "How Deep is the Ocean"... and "Blue Skies, a personal fave. But even with "Blue Skies," what direction? Frank Sinatra? Ella Fitzgerald? Willie Nelson? Count Basie? Rod Stewart? Fiona Apple? Dozens of people have covered the Berlin classic. So I decided to go to a version that Berlin didn't write. This was one that BT (Brian Transeau) wrote and then got Tori Amos to do some lyrics for. It came out in 1996 on his Ima album and then on the Party of Five TV soundtrack LP (put together by yours truly). By early 1997 it was the #1 dance song in the U.S.
I was on the phone Casey, with one of Nat King Cole's daughters this morning talking about the importance of her dad's musical heritage. I happened to ask her which of his songs was her personal favorite. She mentioned how she chose his version of the George Gershwin standard, "Our Love is Here to Stay" as the first dance at her wedding-- and then found out her parents had also chosen that song for their own wedding.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a clip online (although I did find a very good version by Ella Fitzgerald). Instead I picked a song for tonight that many of us know as smash hits by the Rolling Stones and Depeche Mode. How does this Nat King Cole version compare to what you're already familiar with?
If you liked NKC's version I hope it'll inspire you to look into some of the music that has been even more associated with him, like his first big hit, "Straighten Up and Fly Right," or classics like Pretend, Mona Lisa, Too Young or the more recent posthumous smash he had with his daughter, Natalie, of his signature song, Unforgettable.
(blogged by Howie Klein who's back with a vengeance) I'm not sure how many musicians are on U.S. postage stamps but add Ella Fitzgerald this month. "The First Lady of Song" will be immortalized as part of the Post Office's Black Heritage series. Fitzgerald, who died in 1996, began an incredibly successful career as a big band singer in the '30s and '40s. Since then she has been considered one of the greatest jazz, bebop and scat singers of all times and she won 13 Grammy Awards in her lifetime. Here she is doing a classic performance of "Summertime" with Louis Armstrong (who also has a stamp).
For tonight's Late Night Music Club contest SONY sent Crooks & Liars an incredible deluxe box set, INTERSECTIONS, 1985-2005 by Bruce Hornsby, a 5 disc set (4 CDs + a DVD, including collaborations with the Dead, Ornette Coleman, Ricky Scaggs, Shawn Colvin, Bill Evans). How to win: imagine you're a radio dj and you have to do a set of 5 Ella Fitzgerald songs. Send an e-mail to Howie and explain which songs you'd chose and why. Send the entry to downwithtyranny at aol.com