483 posts categorized "Elder Music"

ELDER MUSIC: Rod Stewart

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

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Rod Stewart

I came across ROD STEWART rather late in the piece, in the early seventies, after his stints with Long John Baldry, The Faces and Jeff Beck’s group.

He was already a solo performer by the time I discovered him. I was working in Boston at the time and one day we went on a boat trip (I think it was - wine was involved so it’s difficult to remember). There was a (free) juke box and someone kept playing Maggie May over and over, a song I was unfamiliar with at the time, but by the end of the day it was seared into my brain.

I'll only play it the once for you (although that certainly won't restrict you, of course). Certainly his most famous song.

♫ Maggie May


Rod Stewart

My usual policy in these columns is to play the original version of a song, with luck by the person who wrote it. That’s not a hard and fast rule of course, and I’m breaking it again today with a mix of Rod’s own songs and his interpretations of others.

This next song was written by Cat Stevens and I have Cat’s version, and well, not to put too fine a point on it, it’s less than ordinary. That Rod turned that into a great song demonstrates what a talent he is. The First Cut Is The Deepest.

♫ The First Cut Is The Deepest


Here’s a song from Rod’s days with The Faces. It’s more in a soul vein, something that Rod was good at. It’s called As Long As You Tell Him.

♫ The Faces - As Long As You Tell Him


Rod Stewart

Rod wrote the song The Killing of Georgie (Parts I and II) about a gay friend of his who was murdered in New York. Although others thought at the time this was a brave move, Rod disagreed – “He was a friend of mine, why shouldn’t I write about it?” It was released in two parts, as suggested by the title. I’ve used both parts.

♫ The Killing Of Georgie


Rod and Martin Quillenton wrote You Wear It Well, which was included on Rod’s album “Never a Dull Moment”. Martin also played acoustic guitar on the track (and others on the album as well). It became another big hit.

♫ You Wear It Well


Rod Stewart

Norma, The Assistant Musicologist, often says, “Oh, you only choose slow songs.” There is some truth in that, so here’s one to buck that trend, a bit of serious rock & roll. I threw out a slow one to include this one from Rod's days with The Faces, Stay with Me, a bit of hard core rock & roll.

♫ The Faces - Stay with Me


Rod Stewart

Handbags and Gladrags was written by Mike D’Abo who was the singer for Manfred Mann after Paul Jones left the group. It was first recorded by Chris Farlowe who had a bit of a hit with it.

A then-completely unknown singer (you know who I mean) recorded the song on his first solo album “An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down” with Mike arranging the song and playing piano on it. The song vanished without a trace except for those people who bought the album. It later became popular due to word of mouth.

♫ Handbags And Gladrags


Rod Stewart

Here’s a song I could have included in one of my several “Drinking Songs” columns. Fortunately, there are plenty of others to include in those. This is Rod from his days with The Jeff Beck Group, and naturally Jeff lets rip on the guitar. I've Been Drinking.

♫ Jeff Beck & Rod Stewart - I've Been Drinking


Rod Stewart

A song almost as good as Maggie May, and also written by Rod, is Mandolin Wind. We tend not to think of Rod as a songwriter, but my goodness he’s written some beauties.

♫ Mandolin Wind


Rod Stewart

The A.M. must be in despair by now as the songs are getting slower, although this one does speed up a bit and indulges in a fine guitar solo.

Here’s another of Rod’s songs, written with Gary Grainger. I can relate to this one, as I was born the same year as Rod – our parents thinking how ridiculous we looked with our fashions of the time, back when we were youths. I imagine it was ever thus (and probably still is). The song is I Was Only Joking.

♫ I Was Only Joking


Rod has also made some records of the "American Songbook" standards, and while I admire what he did, I prefer to hear Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé or Tony Bennett perform those so they didn’t make the cut today.

After I ended in what I thought was the most appropriate way, I decided to give you a bonus and break the mood. It's something I discovered a while ago, and all I can say is "Oh my".

Here is Rod and AMY BELLE with one of his biggest hits, I Don't Want To Talk About It.



ELDER MUSIC: 1960 Yet Again

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

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There are some fine singers here today, today being sometime in 1960. Not all of them fit that criterion, but enough to satisfy those who like a bit of a good warble.

Generally it’s thought that this year was a bit ho hum when it came to music, coming between the excitement of fifties’ rock & roll and the sixties music explosion. We didn’t know that at the time, we just listened to what was around.

What was around, and here we have one of the finest voices from the period, is JIM REEVES.

Jim Reeves

This year gave us his most popular song, the one that everyone could name when they heard his name: He'll Have to Go. The song spawned several answer songs, as that was the fashion back then, but we can ignore them.

♫ Jim Reeves - He'll Have To Go


Here are some more fine singers, this time it’s a group, THE DRIFTERS.

The Drifters

Over time they had some remarkable singers pass through their ranks, particularly Clyde McPhatter and, in this incarnation of the group, Ben E King. Ben is easily the finest singer in the column today (and yes, I realise that Elvis is present). That’s only my opinion; you make up your own mind. The Drifters sing This Magic Moment.

♫ The Drifters - This Magic Moment


1960 was the high water mark for what later became known as "Death Disks". We have two of the best (or insert whatever description you'd prefer), starting with MARK DINNING.

Mark Dinning

Mark was the younger brother of the members of a singing group called The Dinning Sisters (three of them) who were quite successful in the forties and early fifties. They performed in the mode of The Andrews Sisters. One of his sisters (Jean) wrote Teen Angel, and it was quite a hit for Mark.

♫ Mark Dinning - Teen Angel


The other big hit for the year in the same style is by RAY PETERSON.

Ray Peterson

Ray had a couple of hits, and he was quite popular in Australia where he had more. However, he didn’t achieve too much after this year in spite of his also having quite a decent singing voice. Most of you will know his song: Tell Laura I Love Her.

♫ Ray Peterson - Tell Laura I Love Her


By 1960 CONNIE FRANCIS had already had many hit records.

Connie Francis

Her song that I’m including apparently was the B-side of a record whose A-side is a song that I’ve not heard of. Certainly in my country Everybody's Somebody's Fool was a huge hit. I checked with Norma, the Assistant Musicologist and she hadn’t heard of the other one either.

♫ Connie Francis - Everybody's Somebody's Fool


ELVIS always wanted to be a singer in the style of someone like Dean Martin, rather than, or probably as well as, a rock & roller.

Elvis Presley

He certainly achieved that in the last decade of his career, but even earlier he liked to throw the odd ballad into his repertoire. One particularly famous one was a song originally made famous by Al Jolson, Are You Lonesome Tonight?

♫ Elvis - Are You Lonesome Tonight


JOHNNY O'KEEFE was at the peak of his success in Australia. Had he been born in America, he’d have been a worldwide star.

Johnny O'Keefe

He wasn’t, of course, but he was still one of the greatest entertainers who ever strutted the stage. Unlike most today, he didn’t have much of a singing voice, but it didn’t matter, he held the audience in the palm of his hand from the moment he hit the stage until he left (after many encores).

Quite a few visiting musicians refused to appear with him as he blew everyone else off the stage. His song for this year is Come On and Take My Hand.

Johnny O'Keefe - Come On & Take My Hand


JACK SCOTT has one of those earworm songs. Sorry about that folks.

Jack Scott

It’s not the worst in that category, but it’ll linger a while if you dare to listen. There were several like that around this time. His contribution is What in the World's Come Over You.

♫ Jack Scott - What In The World's Come Over You


JOE JONES was yet another talented musician from New Orleans. That’s probably a tautology as every musician from New Orleans is talented.

Joe Jones

He had a hit this year with the song You Talk Too Much. It was written by Reginald Hall, who was Fats Domino’s brother-in-law. He offered it to Fats but he turned it down. Joe took it to the top of the charts.

♫ Joe Jones - You Talk Too Much


Jack Lawrence took Charles Trenet’s song La Mer and wrote English words to it, and otherwise changed it quite a bit. A number of people recorded it but it pretty much flew below the radar until BOBBY DARIN had a go at it.

Bobby Darin

Bobby made it a worldwide hit under the name of Beyond the Sea.

♫ Bobby Darin - Beyond The Sea



ELDER MUSIC: Bullfrogs on my Mind

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

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Frog

Frogs are the proverbial canary in the coalmine when it comes to environmental change and damage. That means many are fast disappearing, which is a great shame, indeed a disaster, as they are an important link in the various ecologies.

Besides, I really like frogs. Anyway, I’ll leave that to people more expert than I am to discuss. I’ll just present some froggy songs.

There is an obvious way to begin the column and I'm taking it. This is CLARENCE (FROGMAN) HENRY.

Clarence Frogman Henry

Clarence not only has a frog in his name (well, nickname) but he also sings about one as well. It was certainly the first song that came to mind when I thought of this column. That song is Ain't Got No Home.

♫ Clarence (Frogman) Henry - Ain't Got No Home


THE LARKS started out as a gospel group. Well, several really, they recorded under a bunch of different names.

The Larks

They used the name The Larks for their Rhythm and Blues records. They were quite popular in the early fifties, but subsequently splintered into several different groups. Here they are with I Ain't Fattening Frogs For Snakes.

♫ The Larks - I Ain't Fattening Frogs For Snakes


MICKEY GILLEY is probably best known these days for the club that bears his name (featured in the film Urban Cowboy).

Mickey Gilley

He started out playing early rock and roll and rockabilly, but was overshadowed by his cousin Jerry Lee Lewis (another rocking pianist). From the early days, Mickey performs Miss Froggy. Gail Collins is also credited on the record but I can’t hear her on this song.

♫ Mickey Gilley - Miss Froggy


Now for some serious music with the great trumpeter DIZZY GILLESPIE. Helping out on this track is the equally great sax player CHARLIE PARKER.

Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker

From a session they recorded in 1950 we have Leap Frog, quite a short tune. My goodness, they were good together.

♫ Dizzy Gillespie - Leap Frog


JEB STUART gives us a little bit of soul music.

Jeb Stuart

I think Jeb is channeling Land of 100 Dances and The Hippy Hippy Shake (and probably other songs) in this one: The Greasy Frog.

♫ Jeb Stuart - The Greasy Frog


PETER PAUL AND MARY seem to be indulging in a bit of bestiality, or perhaps that should be zoophilia. Or amphibiphilia (I just coined that word).

Peter Paul & Mary

This is not one of their most important songs, unless you’re a frog that is. I'm In Love with a Big Blue Frog.

♫ Peter Paul & Mary - I'm In Love With A Big Blue Frog


THE PIGRAM BROTHERS are a seven-piece indigenous band from Broome in northern Western Australia.

Pigram Brothers

Besides playing their own music, various combinations of siblings have also written soundtracks and appeared in films and TV programs. They perform Bullfrog Hole, about places around where they live, with mentions of many animals and birds there.

♫ Pigram Brothers - Bullfrog Hole


Here’s some more jazz, but a style from an earlier period than Diz and Bird. The players are THE FAT BABIES.

Fat Babies

They’re a group from Chicago who like to interpret the styles of the twenties and thirties. Their contribution is Froggie Moore.

♫ The Fat Babies - Froggie Moore


THE DOORS always claimed that they were just a blues band.

The Doors

No one believed them, of course, but they did record one album that demonstrated this aspect of them – "Morrison Hotel". From that album we have Peace Frog. Of course Jim couldn't help himself and put in various Jim-isms.

♫ The Doors - Peace Frog


There are many versions of the song Bullfrog Blues, and it was my job to choose one. Actually, there was no work involved at all, as I was always going to choose DAVID BROMBERG.

David Bromberg

David is a supreme guitar player, but this song doesn't really extend his fingers much although he does play some delightful licks.

I ended the column with this one as it is by far the longest song I've ever used – more than 16 minutes, so if it doesn't float your boat you can go and get a cup of tea and you won't have missed any of the others.

Alternatively, get your cup of tea, put your feet up and go with the flow.

♫ David Bromberg - Bullfrog Blues



ELDER MUSIC: Nina Simone

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Nina Simone

NINA SIMONE was born Eunice Waymon and was a prodigy on the piano. She aspired to be a concert pianist and, with the help of supporters in her hometown, she enrolled at Juilliard.

She applied for a full scholarship to the well-regarded Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and, in spite of an extremely positive audition she was refused. This was almost certainly due to racial discrimination.

To make ends meet she changed her name and became a jazz pianist and singer. Over the years she’s also performed blues, folk, rock, gospel and pop music. There are few around who were her equal in any of those genres. Nina also became a leading figure in the civil rights movement. To the music…

The jazz trumpeter Nat Adderley wrote Work Song, it’s probably his best known composition. Many have recorded it, including Nina, whose version is one of the best.

♫ Work Song


Nina Simone

Here is a nice gentle song to lull you into a false sense of serenity - you’ll be expecting the rest of the songs to be like this. You’ll be wrong. The song, Memphis in June, was written by Hoagy Carmichael and Paul Webster.

♫ Memphis In June


The Bee Gees wrote To Love Somebody with the hope that Otis Redding would record it. When he heard it, Otis was really enthusiastic and said he'd tackle it the next time he was recording. Alas, he was killed in a plane crash before he got around to it so we'll never know the result.

Nina makes it more up-tempo than the original, or the way I imagine that Otis would have performed it.

♫ To love somebody


Nina Simone

Nina has recorded quite a few of Bob Dylan's songs and each has been a fine version. This is no exception. Bob recorded it several times, the second one was a live version that was vicious and snarling that took no prisoners, recorded during his initial electric tour in 1966.

Nina's is a total contrast to that one – it's a rather gentle version: Just Like Tom Thumb Blues.

♫ Just like Tom Thumb Blues


Nina Simone

A contrast to the previous song is perhaps Nina's most famous song. Here she is at her angriest, justifiably so. This is one of the great anthems of the civil rights era. It may be appropriate once again. Mississippi Goddam.

♫ Mississippi Goddam


Mood Indigo was written by Duke Ellington and Barney Bicard for a radio broadcast. It was hugely popular. So much so, he had Irving Mills put words to it and it became an instant (and enduring) jazz standard.

♫ Mood Indigo


Nina wrote the song Four Women to highlight what society had done to African American women through the years. Quite a few people misinterpreted the song and it was banned here and there. It wasn’t the first song of Nina’s to suffer the same treatment. This is a tough song, but well worth a listen.

♫ Four Women


Nina Simone

Continuing with the angry theme, Pirate Jenny was written by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht for "The Threepenny Opera". Judy Collins recorded a fine, if rather pretty, version of the song. Nina's version is much tougher. It’s from one of her concert albums.

♫ Pirate Jenny


Nina Simone

Oh boy, this next song is a cheery one. Not. Okay, there haven't been many of those today. It was written by Gilbert O'Sullivan and Nina naturally put her stamp on to it. She changed the gender of her parent, as well as most other aspects of the song, but it seems right. Alone Again Naturally.

♫ Alone Again Naturally


Nina Simone

The Other Woman was written by Ray Parker Jr, and was first recorded by him. I’m unfamiliar with Ray’s version but hearing what Nina does with the song it seems to me that only a woman should sing it. I could be wrong, of course. I’ll end gently with the song.

♫ The Other Woman



ELDER MUSIC: Drinking Songs 3

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

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DSCN0713

It's time to pull the cork on another bottle of wine, or if you're in Australia, time to unscrew the Stelvin cap. It comes as no surprise to me how many drinking songs there are - indeed, how many good ones.

As you can see from the title there have been two other columns previously and I'm far from exhausting this treasure trove of music. On with the motley.

FLANDERS AND SWANN were Michael Flanders and Donald Swann.

Flanders & Swann

Michael was an actor, singer and raconteur of the first order; Donald was a composer, pianist and songwriter and they formed a musical comedy team who where huge in the fifties and sixties. They were erudite, funny and entertaining. No one these days can match what they did. From one of their live albums we have Madeira M'Dear.

♫ Flanders & Swann - Madeira M'Dear


Within Australia, COLD CHISEL was far and away the most popular rock band ever. Internationally, AC-DC were a lot more successful.

Cold Chisel

It's the Chisels who have a song for us today called Cheap Wine, which was a successful single in Oz, from possibly their most successful album, "East".

♫ Cold Chisel - Cheap Wine


MATRACA BERG is best known, if she's known at all outside the world of music obsessives like me, as a songwriter.

Matraca Berg

However, she has several albums under her belt and what a fine singer she is. The song on the topic today is You and Tequila. Fellow obsessives, and others who are interested in good music, can find several terrific live versions on YouTube.

♫ Matraca Berg - You and Tequila


THE CHAMPS were an instrumental band who were big in the fifties.

The Champs

I'm sure that most of you will know their biggest hit, Tequila. Indeed I know that every one who has heard this tune can sing the lyrics.

♫ Champs - Tequila


There are quite a few versions of this next song. The one that I like best is by JERRY LEE LEWIS.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee laments that What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me).

♫ Jerry Lee Lewis - What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)


It's good to see that someone is advocating for moderation, at least to an extent. That person is JENNIFER SALISBURY with some help from JAMES MUSTAFA.

Jennifer Salisbury

Jen and James lead a big band, well, biggish: it's a seven piece. They call Melbourne home, and that's very sensible of them. They perform My Middle Name Is Moderation.

♫ Jennifer Salisbury - My Middle Name Is Moderation


It's probably no surprise that WILLIE NELSON is present today.

Willie Nelson

Willie, of course, has written songs about every topic under the sun and sung even more of those. He sings about Yesterday’s Wine. Some might object to that but I've found if it's really fine wine, it can be better the next day. I hope that's so for Willie.

♫ Willie Nelson - Yesterday's Wine


TRACY NELSON is not related to Willie, but they have performed together. Not today though.

Tracy Nelson

Tracy is a terrific blues singer and she can also hold her own performing country music as well. Today she's in blues mode when she asks What Good Can Drinking Do. Well, I can answer that but I won't.

♫ Tracy Nelson - What Good Can Drinking Do


It wouldn't be a true drinking column without GARY STEWART making an appearance.

Gary Stewart

Indeed I once thought of a whole column devoted to his drinking songs, but Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, said that that was just a bit too much Gazza. Especially one devoted to a single topic.

He was difficult to categorize which I think is a good thing: he was too rock & roll for country, too country for rock & roll, too honky tonk for both. He was the master of the lyin', cheatin', drinkin' song as will be demonstrated in She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles).

♫ Gary Stewart - She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)


Even this topic can have a moment of couth, and we'll end with it. LUDWIG BEETHOVEN was known to enjoy a drop. He also wrote music about that.

Beethoven

Ludwig set dozens, scores of songs from all over the British Isles to music. This is one from Ireland and I'm not going to make a joke of that considering the topic today.

The song he set to music is called Put Round the Bright Wine. The singer is DANIEL SCHREIBER.

Daniel Schreiber

♫ Beethoven - Put round the bright wine



ELDER MUSIC: Classical - Various 3

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Here are some classical compositions selected seemingly at random, but more that they caught my fancy when I was writing this column (well, actually, collected along the way in anticipation of the column).

Scholars have unearthed many gems from the Baroque era in recent times and JAN ZELENKA is one such.

Jan Zelenka

He was a contemporary of J.S. Bach, and old J.S. held him in high esteem and invited him to stay at his home and play music together. Jan's style is very daring with inventive harmony and complex counterpoint. He really was a towering figure of his time, only recently being restored to his pedestal.

This is the second movement of the Trio Sonata for oboe, violin, bassoon & continuo No. 3 in B flat major, ZWV 181/3. This will get your toes a'tapping.

♫ Zelenka - Sonata No.3 in B-flat Major (2)


In complete contrast to Jan's tune, here is a lullaby by AMY BEACH.

Amy Beach

Amy was probably the first successful female composer, born in 1865. She was also a highly acclaimed concert pianist and wrote works for the instrument as well as symphonies, choral works and chamber music.

Her husband, 24 years her senior, disapproved of all this music nonsense and restricted her somewhat. She blossomed as a composer and performer after he died. Her lullaby is called Berceuse, Op. 40, No 2, and it's scored for piano and cello.

♫ Amy Beach - Berceuse Op. 40 #2


If you mention LUDWIG BEETHOVEN in connection with an instrument, most people would say piano.

Beethoven

That's not surprising as he wrote the best piano music in history. However, in his first paying gig playing music, he played both violin and viola. Contemporary reports tell us that he remained a superb violinist all his life.

It's that instrument that we ostensibly feature today: the first movement of his Violin Sonata No 3 in E flat major Op. 12.

Getting back to my initial statement, to my ears, this sounds like a piano sonata or some other piano piece with a bit of violin thrown in for good measure. That's not to denigrate it – the piano part is superb.

♫ Beethoven - Violin Sonata in E flat major Op. 12 No. 3 (1)


FREDERICK THE GREAT, or Frederick II of Prussia was a military leader of some renown, but he was also considered quite an enlightened ruler for his time (middle eighteenth century).

Frederick II

He had a real passion for music and collected the best composers and performers of the time to play with him. It seems that he was a skilled flute player and he also wrote music that was really quite good. Of course, who was going to tell him that it wasn't?

On the basis of his compositions, which are elegant, sophisticated and demonstrate considerable imagination, we have to assume he played as well as he wrote. Here is the first movement of his Flute Concerto in C major.

♫ Friedrich II - Flute Concerto in C major (1)


Whenever anyone mentions ERIK SATIE, the thing that first springs to mind is Gymnopedies, and the next is probably Gnossiennes.

Erik Satie

There's more to Erik but like the previously mentioned works, it's pretty much all to do with the piano. What we have today is called Je Te Veux, which has also been turned into a vocal piece as well, but here's the original played by Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and it'll have you waltzing around the kitchen.

♫ Satie - Je Te Veux


JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH wrote round about 220 cantatas.

JS Bach

These are some of the finest music in history and I like to listen to one every week or two, maybe more if I'm in the mood. The one for this week is called J'ai mis Mon Coeur et Mon Esprit, BWV 92, the first movement.

♫ Bach JS - Cantata BWV 92 mis Mon Coeur et Mon Esprit (1)


JUAN CRISÓSTOMO ARRIAGA was a child prodigy. Well, he had to be as, unfortunately for us, and even more unfortunately for him, he died at age 19 (probably from tuberculosis).

Juan Crisostomo Arriaga1

He was often called the Spanish Mozart. In his short life he managed to write an opera, a symphony, several string quartets, a number of works for the church, a nonet and quite a few other things. Here we have the first movement of his String Quartet No 2 A Major.

♫ Arriaga - String Quartet No 2 A Major (1)


Speaking of WOLFGANG MOZART, here is another violin sonata, with some similarities to Beethoven's.

Mozart

It's the last one he wrote and the one respect in which it resembles Ludwig's is that the piano is dominant and the violin plays a lesser role. Indeed, Wolfie suggested that it be called a sonata for piano with violin. Anyway, its official title is Violin Sonata No. 36, F Major K. 547. This is the first movement.

♫ Mozart - Violin Sonata No. 36 F Major K. 547 (1)


CARL MARIA VON WEBER apparently was a brilliant pianist and his compositions for the instrument had a profound effect of Chopin, Liszt and Mendelssohn.

Carl Maria von Weber

His compositions for wind instruments, particularly the clarinet and French horn, were equally influential. He is loved by bassoon players as he wrote for that instrument too, something few others have done.

However, it's the clarinet we're interested in today, and in particular the third movement of his Clarinet Concerto No 1 in F minor, J 114 Op 73.

♫ Weber - Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor Op 73 J1140 (3)



ELDER MUSIC: Doctor, Doctor Give Me the News

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Ronni was the inspiration for this column. I hope she doesn't mind. (Ronni here: Of course, I don't mind.)

I'll start with the song that provided the column's name. The song isn't actually called that, it's part of the lyrics, but I'm sure that if asked, most people who know the song would refer to it that way. It's by ROBERT PALMER.

Robert Palmer

The official title is Bad Case of Loving You, but you can call it anything you want. I know I do.

♫ Robert Palmer - Bad Case Of Loving You


The two best albums THE BEATLES recorded were "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver". From the latter one we have Doctor Robert.

Beatles

I always think of them as part 1 and 2 of the same album because I didn't buy them when they came out. It was later when I got them on CD at the same time, thus my conflating them that way. Here is that song.

♫ The Beatles - Doctor Robert


It seems only fair that we follow that one with the ROLLING STONES. Something from their best album "Beggars Banquet".

Rolling Stones

It's far from the best song on the album but it fits this column’s requirement. The song is Dear Doctor.

♫ Rolling Stones - Dear Doctor


Unlike everyone else today, RAY CHARLES doesn’t need any medical advice.

Ray Charles

Ray says that I Don't Need No Doctor. Well, I suppose he doesn’t anymore.

♫ Ray Charles - I Don't Need No Doctor


From very early in his career, indeed from his first album, JACKSON BROWNE gives us Doctor My Eyes.

Jackson Browne

This made the pointy end of the hit parade (something that seldom happened for Jackson) and besides that, it was covered by quite a few other artists, so it turned into a nice little earner for him.

♫ Jackson Browne - Doctor My Eyes


I thought of Doctor Jazz before I even started searching for songs. I remember back in the fifties’ and sixties’ trad jazz revival it was almost de rigueur to include it in every concert. I knew I had quite a few versions. When I spotted JELLY ROLL MORTON, I decided it had to be the one.

Jelly Roll Morton

His was the earliest version I have. It was written by King Oliver in 1926 and Jelly recorded it the same year. As far as I can tell this was the first recording of the tune.

♫ Jelly Roll Morton - Doctor Jazz


JOHN D. LOUDERMILK was mostly a songwriter, he wrote many hits for others in the fifties and sixties.

John D Loudermilk

He also liked to record some of his own songs, several of which did really well on the charts. One of those, in our category today, is Callin' Doctor Casey. Those who watched TV in the early sixties will know of whom he sings.

♫ John D. Loudermilk - Callin' Doctor Casey


I’m quite a fan of MILLIE JACKSON, so I was surprised to find I have only included her in a column once before. So, here she is again.

Millie Jackson

This is far from her best, but even ordinary Millie is well worth a listen. She’s calling for a Love Doctor.

♫ Millie Jackson - Love Doctor


Rather surprisingly, I was unfamiliar with the GUY CLARK song I selected. I thought I knew them all, but there it was on one of his albums ("Old Friends").

Guy Clark

Norma, the Assistant Musicologist didn't know it either but when I played it we both agreed that it should be included. Well, we pretty much think that anything Guy did was okay with us. The song is Doctor Good Doctor.

♫ Guy Clark - Doctor Good Doctor


Rather than, as with everyone else, going to the doc, MUDDY WATERS has decided that he’s one himself.

Muddy Waters

I don’t know if I’d want him to operate on me, but if he played and sang for me I’d be all for it. Here he is telling us that I'm Your Doctor.

♫ Muddy Waters - I'm Your Doctor


...and last and certainly least we have DAVID SEVILLE.

David Seville

This was the recording name of Ross Bagdasarian who was a noted songwriter. He was also responsible for the Alvin and the Chipmunks songs, films, TV programs and what not. Let's hope that Ronni doesn't visit the Witch Doctor.

♫ David Seville - Witch Doctor



ELDER MUSIC: The Everly Brothers

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Everly Brothers

THE EVERLY BROTHERS were unusual in the first blossoming of rock & roll. There were two of them for a start and they brought a country music sensibility to their music. Okay, Elvis and Buddy Holly did the same but it was more up-front with the Everlys.

They had Chet Atkins as producer on many of their records as well as playing lead guitar. With Don, the older brother, they had one of the best rhythm guitarists around as well as a great lead singer. With Phil they had the finest harmony singer in rock & roll.

Their influence was huge – The Beatles, The Hollies, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds and the Beach Boys (and many lesser musicians) have all acknowledged the debt they owe to the brothers.

There was the famous rift when, the story goes, they didn't speak to each other for ten years. Although he denies it, it's pretty certain that guitar whiz Albert Lee was instrumental in getting them back performing again.

Albert was their guitarist and musical director for the rest of their career (about a quarter of a century).

Everly Brothers

From the beginning both Don and Phil wrote songs but early on they also had Felice and Boudleaux Bryant writing them as well. Most of their early hits were written by them, including Take A Message To Mary.

♫ Take A Message To Mary


Everly Brothers

Skipping forward a little, the brothers changed record companies so they'd have greater control over their music.

Unfortunately, because of silly contractual arrangements they weren't allowed to record new Felice and Boudleaux songs. It means they wrote more themselves, including Cathy's Clown, one of Don's, and it was their biggest selling single.

♫ Cathy's Clown


Everly Brothers

One of my favorites from back then, although seldom mentioned whenever their top songs are discussed, is That's Old Fashioned. I think it was more to do with what I was doing at the time (final year of high school).

♫ That's Old Fashioned (That's the Way Love Should Be)


I originally had the song Why Worry penciled in at this spot. It was from their wonderful album "Born Yesterday", from the eighties, on which they performed as well as they did in their heyday.

I have since discovered this Youtube clip featuring Mark Knopfler, who wrote the song and originally performed it with Dire Straits, and Chet Atkins playing guitar. Mark has said that he wrote the song with the Everlys in Mind.

Everly Brothers

I'm a sucker for totally out there songs that make Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, look at me sideways and say, "Oh really?" I mention this as when I was a whippersnapper I bought a 45 of the Everlys' record Ebony Eyes. After a few plays I turned it over and discovered Walk Right Back on the flip side (well, it was really the A side).

♫ Walk Right Back


Everly Brothers

In 1972, not too long before their decade long split, they released a rather fine album called "Stories We Could Tell". This included songs by contemporary (at the time) songwriters like Kris Kristofferson, Rod Stewart, Jesse Winchester as well as some of their own.

From the album, here is the title track Stories We Could Tell, written by John Sebastian.

♫ Stories We Could Tell


Everly Brothers

On a whim, Carole King (who usually wrote songs with Gerry Goffin) and Howard Greenfield (usually with Jack Keller) decided to switch partners for a day (we're talking about writing partners, don't read anything into that).

The song they came up with is Crying in the Rain, which became yet another hit.

♫ Crying in the Rain


Everly Brothers

Wake Up Little Susie was a very early song, and the Everlys' first number one. It's another Felice and Boudleaux composition. For some reason, it was banned in some of the more "respectable" places in the world. Not here in Melbourne, fortunately.

♫ Wake Up Little Susie


Everly Brothers

Don wrote So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad) that they took to the pointy end of the charts in 1960. This has been recorded by many performers over the years, most notably, from my point of view, Emmylou Harris.

♫ So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)


Everly Brothers

Arms of Mary was written by Iain Sutherland who performed the song with his group The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver (who were really two groups shoehorned together).

The Everlys recorded it on one of the come-back albums ("Born Yesterday") and did an even better version than the original, itself pretty good.

♫ Arms Of Mary

Phil died in 2014, but as of this writing, Don is still with us.



ELDER MUSIC: The Night They Invented Champagne

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Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Champs

With a title like that, I'd have to start with that song. It's from the musical (and film in this case) of "Gigi". Throughout the tune you have the voices of LESLIE CARON, LOUIS JOURDAN and HERMIONE GINGOLD.

Leslie Caron etc.

However, the main singing voice, lip-synched by Leslie in the film, is BETTY WAND.

Betty Wand

The track is quite short. In the film it goes on for considerably longer but the second half of the song is instrumental with Leslie dancing around, pouring champagne for everyone, including herself. This would not be acceptable today as her character (Gigi) was quite young. That's okay with me; I was quite young when I first drank champagne.

♫ Gigi - The Night They Invented Champagne


EFFIE SMITH, like many of us, has a champagne mind with a soda water income.

Effie Smith

I know that's a problem for me. Effie's song had the backing of the vocal group The Squires, two of whose members went on to become the fifties rock & roll duo Don and Dewey, who weren't very successful, but the songs they wrote were huge hits for others. Effie's song, as you can possibly guess, is Champagne Mind.

♫ Effie Smith - Champagne Mind


Like Effie, ERIC BIBB has champagne habits on a beer salary. The same thought, different beverage.

Eric Bibb

If Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, has a say in it, Eric would be in pretty much every column where it was appropriate. It's a good thing it's appropriate today. He performs Champagne Habits.

♫ Eric Bibb - Champagne Habits


If I have any say in it, and of course I do as I write these things, OTIS REDDING would appear quite often.

Otis Redding

He's here today with Champagne and Wine.

♫ Otis Redding - Champagne And Wine


I suppose if you're only going to eat French fries you might as well drink champagne with them. At least, that's what THE HOT SARDINES think. Hmm, there's certainly a food thing going on here.

Hot Sardines

The Sardines are pretty much the brainchild of Evan Palazzo and Elizabeth Bougerol. They got their start when they were asked to sing some French songs for a gig on Bastille Day. That turned out to be at the Lincoln Center in New York and they were an instant success.

They perform French Fries and Champagne from the album of the same name.

♫ The Hot Sardines - French Fries & Champagne


WILLIE NELSON is well known for imbibing other substances, but I'm sure he's quite happy to get into the bubbly.

Willie Nelson

That's pretty obvious from his lovely, gentle song Drinking Champagne.

♫ Willie Nelson - Drinking Champagne


JOHNNIE RAY was a bit of an oddity in the music of the early fifties.

Johnnie Ray

He was obviously a proto-rock and roller while still performing music that harked back to an earlier generation. The song today could fit into both categories (if you consider Doowop-style music rock and roll), but probably closer to earlier music. The song is The Lady Drinks Champagne.

♫ Johnnie Ray - The Lady Drinks Champagne


Although usually lumped into the country camp, JERRY JEFF WALKER, just like his friend Willie, covers a far wider spectrum of music than that.

Jerry Jeff Walker

His song today mentions pretty much everything a person could partake of, both legal and illegal. However, he suggests that it's nobody's business but mine (well, his actually). The song is Champagne Don't Hurt Me, Baby.

♫ Jerry Jeff Walker - Champagne Don't Hurt Me Baby


Champagne Charlie is an old music hall song that goes back a long way. I could have chosen any of the old performers, however, I've always liked the way LEON REDBONE sings the old songs.

Leon Redbone

He manages to be true to the original while not being too slavish about that, bringing a modern spirit to his performance.

♫ Leon Redbone - Champagne Charlie


All the previous songs celebrated champagne to one degree or another. However, ROSEMARY CLOONEY gets no kick from champagne.

Rosemary Clooney

Anyone who has listened to music sometime in the last hundred years or so will know where I'm going with the final song. I had a plethora of choices, just about everyone sang it well. It pretty much came down to how I felt about the backing musicians. Although there's a lot going on in this one, I rather liked it. Even the vibes didn't offend me too much. I Get A Kick Out Of You.

♫ Rosemary Clooney - I Get A Kick Out Of You



ELDER MUSIC: LPs and EPs

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Way back when I was a whippersnapper, my dad bought a record player. Initially, we had no records but over the next few years we acquired some. Most of mine were because of birthday or Christmas presents (with a bit of gentle hinting on my part).

Anyway, we all managed to collect some records. Not too many as we couldn't afford a lot, but enough to keep us entertained. Also, we lived in a small country town, so there was only one place that sold records and they didn't have a big selection. Here are some of them.

I'll start with me as this is my column. In the fifties, I think I liked BUDDY HOLLY more than any other performer at the time.

Buddy Holly

The record company powers that be brought out the album "The Buddy Holly Story" very shortly after Buddy died. For once, they chose the songs well; every track on it was a classic so it was difficult for me to choose one of them.

I've decided to go with one that's perhaps not as well known as the others (unless you're a Buddy fan, of course). Early in the Morning.

♫ Buddy Holly - Early In The Morning


An LP we had was MARIO LANZA with the soundtrack for "The Student Prince".

Mario Lanza

I think this might have been mine, but it's a bit hard to remember. Mario didn't appear in the film due to a dispute of some sort but his voice did courtesy of lip-synching by Edmund Purdom. One of those songs is Serenade.

♫ Mario Lanza - Serenade


Another soundtrack LP was for "My Fair Lady". This was the Broadway cast recording, not the one from the film (that was quite a bit later than the time this column covers). Thus we had JULIE ANDREWS, not Marni Nixon.

Julie Andrews

There are many well known songs from the musical that were a hit at the time and are still played today. Rather than one of those, I'm going with one from when Eliza was somewhat cheesed off about the men in her life and how they liked to rabbit on at great length (just as I'm doing now). She sings Show Me.

♫ Julie Andrews - Show Me


Dad was a big fan of BING CROSBY, so there were several of his albums from which to choose.

Bing Crosby

For me to choose one of Bing it was almost a case of putting all the names of the songs in a hat and drawing one out. I didn't do that but it was almost the same. In the end I chose one of his most popular early songs, Please

.

♫ Bing Crosby - Please


I have a confession to make, a guilty secret: I quite liked PAUL ANKA when I was a teenager.

Paul Anka

Okay, he was a songwriter of considerable skill – he wrote Buddy Holly's biggest (posthumous) hit. He also co-wrote one of Frank Sinatra's biggest songs, so he has something going for him. However, I'm talking about when he was teenage idol, and writing and singing songs in that vein.

The album I had of his was the first of many of his called "Greatest Hits". From that one we have Put Your Head on My Shoulder.

♫ Paul Anka - Put Your Head on My Shoulder


Yet another musical - they were big back then and I guess some members of the family liked them. This time it's "West Side Story". One of the most famous songs from the musical is Tonight.

It was apparently sung by Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer in the film, but they were only acting. The real singers were MARNI NIXON and JIMMY BRYANT.

Marni Nixon

That's Marni, but the only pics I could find of Jimmy were for a guitarist with the same name. Anyway, it seems that Natalie was somewhat miffed when they didn't use her singing voice, but Richard was fine with it, going out of his way to mention and complement Jimmy at all opportunities in interviews.

♫ Marni Nixon & Jimmy Bryant - Tonight


I'm certainly not alone when I say that I had a bit of a thing for BUDDY HOLLY. I mentioned that above.

Buddy Holly

Besides "The Buddy Holly Story", I had volume 2 that was rushed out when it was discovered that the first one sold really well. The second one was mostly songs that Buddy was working on just before he died and had recorded with just an acoustic guitar. Naturally, a backing group was added for the record.

I now have the originals in my collection and prefer them that way, but that's not the way they appeared on the record I had back then. One of those songs is Peggy Sue Got Married.

♫ Buddy Holly - Peggy Sue Got Married


My sister was a big fan of JOHNNIE RAY. She had a couple of his EPs, and one or two singles.

Johnnie Ray

Besides being a proto-rock & roller, he also harked back to an earlier generation of music. On one of the EPs he showed that with Walkin' My Baby Back Home (which, I think, is the song for which she acquired it) but it also had the old standard All of Me.

♫ Johnnie Ray - All Of Me


Between my sister and me, we had quite a few singles, and several EPs of ELVIS.

Elvis Presley

One of those EPs, and I don't know who lays claim to it, is "Jailhouse Rock". This had the five songs from the film on it, so it was good value. One of those songs is (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care.

♫ Elvis - (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care


We were friendly with the family next door. Alas, they moved away (only a couple of years before we did the same thing).

About a year after their move, the father made a return visit (he was with the Lands Department, a government body, that meant he moved around a bit for his job). He brought a gift for me, an EP of LITTLE RICHARD. He said his son (another Peter) really liked it.

Little Richard

This might be the best EP of all time as it contained Richard's four best known, and best, songs. One of those is Rip it Up.

♫ Little Richard - Rip It Up


Here is a late entry I've just remembered and the irony is giving me a smack around the chops. It's another EP and it certainly wasn't mine. It had four or five songs from the musical "Salad Days".

I have no idea who performed it as that EP has long flown the coop. I do have a version on my computer and I have no idea who performs on that one either. It sounds like the one we had, but I suppose it would. Anyway, as a final joke on me, We Said We'd Never Look Back.

♫ Salad Days - We Said We'd Never Look Back



ELDER MUSIC: Secrets

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Even in this age of Facebook and Twitter, there are still some secrets out there. Mostly by governments, although less so as time passes, but people like to keep them as well.

Those secrets really make the basis of many books, films, TV shows and the like. Fortunately, there are a lot of them in songs too. Here are some (from a very long list).

Back in the early sixties, LEROY VAN DYKE made a career of recycling the same theme. Perhaps not recycling, building on the previous song would be a better description.

Leroy Van Dyke

Not the same songs, they were different, but it seems that from his first big one, Walk on By, through If a Woman Answers (Hang Up the Phone), he was trying to tell us something.

He kept that going with How Long Must You Keep Me a Secret. I said the songs were different, but they were all distinctly Leroy.

♫ Leroy Van Dyke - How Long Must You Keep Me a Secret


Once upon a time ROSEMARY CLOONEY was the most famous Clooney in show biz.

Rosemary Clooney

Her nephew has sort of usurped that position, but she was the better singer. Actually, she's better than most. Here she lets us in on the Secret of Life.

♫ Rosemary Clooney - Secret Of Life


The song that inspired this column was by THE BEATLES.

The Beatles

Not too surprising, I'm sure they've inspired many columns (and other things) over the years. The song is from very early, indeed, their first album "Please Please Me". It is Do You Want To Know a Secret, not surprisingly, a Lennon/McCartney song (although they were still recording a few by other writers at that stage).

♫ The Beatles - Do You Want To Know A Secret


I bet you imagined that Doris Day was going to be present with one of her biggest hits. She certainly made the short list and then I discovered that someone else had recorded the song you were expecting.

Normally, I'd go with the original, but I was so taken with this one by FREDDY FENDER that I thought I must include it.

Freddy Fender

Some of you, probably most, will disagree, but it's interesting to get a different perspective on a song you know so well. Freddy doesn't call it Secret Love. For him it's Amor Secreto.

♫ Freddy Fender - Amor Secreto (Secret Love)


JIMMIE RODGERS always seemed to be on the charts when I was growing up. That's Jimmie the folk/pop singer, not the country/blues singer. They weren't related.

Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie's career continued until the end of the sixties when he had a car accident and an altercation with police, the mob or someone else. It's not entirely clear. As I write this Jimmie is still with us although he's suffered several health-related problems in recent years.

His song is Secretly, one of his big hits from the fifties.

♫ Jimmie Rodgers - Secretly


When I was searching for songs I found this one by ERIC ANDERSEN.

Eric Andersen

I thought: I really like Eric, that will probably be included. When I played it I thought, "Hang on, that's a Fred Neil song", and I'm a big fan of Fred's too. Then I thought longer and remembered that it was also an Elizabeth Cotton song, from considerably earlier. I was on the horns of a dilemma about which to include.

In the end I went for the first one I encountered. I've Got a Secret. It's also sometimes called Didn't We Shake Sugaree.

♫ Eric Andersen - I've Got A Secret


There's always room for PATSY CLINE in just about any column.

Patsy Cline

The song is interesting in that it's not like her country or pop songs. Rather, it seems to hark back a decade or two in its style. It's still really good though. How could it not be, it's Patsy. Too Many Secrets.

♫ Patsy Cline - Too Many Secrets


It seems that many of my favorite performers have secrets, and here's another, Z.Z. HILL.

ZZ Hill

Z.Z. was a fine soul singer who didn't get the recognition that others did, although he certainly deserved it. His song is I Don't Want Our Love To Be No Secret. Upon listening to it, Norma, the Assistant Musicologist suggested that "it was turning into Midnight Train to Georgia, which, of course, is no bad thing".

♫ Z.Z. Hill - I Don't Want Our Love To Be No Secret


WILLIE NELSON seems to be channelling his inner Brokeback Mountain with his song.

Willie Nelson

I'd forgotten about this one but when I listened to it I knew it had to be present. Willie suggests that Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other.

♫ Willie Nelson - Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other


When I saw the name GORDON MACRAE, I thought: ah good, he'll bring some quality singing, maybe something from a musical.

Gordon MacRae

Imagine my surprise when I listened to it. He sounded like any old pop singer from the fifties. I was ready to throw it out, but thought that perhaps you all are unfamiliar with this aspect of his career (as was I).

It wasn't all “Carousel” and “Oklahoma”. Gordon tells us The Secret.

♫ Gordon MacRae - The Secret



ELDER MUSIC: Tony Bennett

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Tony Bennett

Frank Sinatra said in a 1965 Life magazine interview,

"For my money, Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business. He excites me when I watch him. He moves me. He's the singer who gets across what the composer has in mind, and probably a little more."

Frank knew of what he was talking, and it's Tony who gets our attention today.

The first song I can remember Tony Bennett singing is this next one. My sister had the 45 of it so it's imprinted on my brain. It's not really like all the other songs today. In the Middle of an Island.

♫ Tony Bennett - In The Middle Of An Island


Okay, I was a little hasty in my previous comment, this next one is somewhat unusual as well. It may be a Hank Williams song, but Tony turned it onto a Tony Bennett song.

He was rather reticent about recording this one, but his producer, Mitch Miller, convinced him. It's a bit heavy on the strings for me, Hank wouldn't have done that, but it's still worth a listen, Cold, Cold Heart.

♫ Cold Cold Heart


Tony Bennett

Well, that's got the silly ones out of the way, now let's get to the good stuff, starting with Rags to Riches. This was a considerable hit not too long after the first couple of songs.

♫ Rags To Riches


Tony recorded a couple of albums with the great jazz pianist BILL EVANS.

Tony Bennett & Bill Evans

On one of those he sang one of Bill's compositions, Waltz for Debby. This was a tune that Bill wrote as a musical portrait of his niece. Gene Lees put words to it. Several people have sung this but none has done it better than Tony.

♫ Waltz for Debby


Tony has always been able to perform and record with the finest musicians. If you're looking for an orchestra to back you, why go past Count Basie? I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plans.

♫ Tony Bennett With The Count Basie Orchestra - I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plans


Tony Bennett

I wondered whether to include this next song. It's far from a favorite of mine, but I decided to include it as a bit of a contrast to all the good ones, besides someone must like it as it sold reasonably well. The Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Gigolo And Gigolette).

♫ The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (Gigolo And Gigolette)


Now to another of his famous songs. I don't have to say anything about I Wanna Be Around, except just enjoy listening.

♫ I Wanna Be Around


Tony Bennett

We folks in the southern hemisphere have a bit of a problem with songs that mention months. What's so good about May? It's approaching winter. And what's wrong with December – lovely weather. It's the usual northern hemisphere bias. There's quite a bit of that going on in When Joanna Loved Me.

♫ When Joanna Loved Me


I'm sorry Tony, but Dooley Wilson is still the top of the tree when the song As Time Goes By is under consideration. However, given that, if you want someone else to perform it Tony would be my next choice. He even sings some extra words that Dooley omitted.

♫ As Time Goes By


Tony Bennett

I confess that my preference is a small group or even just a piano backing Tony. We have that here with Last Night Where We Were Young. Not surprisingly, this isn't the only song I included where that is so.

♫ Last Night Where We Were Young


You could guarantee this next song would be here today, but it's not the version with which you are most familiar. This was recorded at the White House in 1962 when there was a real president in residence.

Tony has the assistance of DAVE BRUBECK and they performed his most famous song I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

Tony Bennett & Dave Brubeck

♫ Tony Bennett & Dave Brubeck - I Left My Heart In San Francisco (Live)


Tony Bennett



ELDER MUSIC: Classical Gas Part 9

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Next in the series of columns, first named by Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, to highlight the music of possibly lesser known composers.

I'll start with something that might be familiar to some of you. It's by OTTORINO RESPIGHI.

Respighi

Perhaps it's just me, because the music I selected was used as the theme for a program on my local classical station.

Although he was from Bologna, Otto seemed to have an inordinate fondness for Rome (he's probably not alone in that), witness his tone poems The Fountains of Rome, The Pines of Rome and Roman Festival. I'm not using any of those, however, instead it's the fourth movement of his other famous work, Ancient Airs and Dances. This is Suite 2, arranged for orchestra.

♫ Respighi - Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 2 (4)


ELENA KATS-CHERNIN was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and studied in Moscow.

Kats-Chernin

She emigrated to Australia when she was 18 and continued her musical studies in this country. She's written half a dozen operas, the usual concertos, symphonies and the like and considerable music for the piano. She's currently one of Australia's most important composers. One of her piano works is called Dance of the Paper Umbrellas.

♫ Kats-Chernin - Dance Of The Paper Umbrellas


FRIEDRICH FESCA was a composer and violinist from around the turn of the eighteenth century into the nineteenth century.

Fesca

His parents were both in the music biz, so he had a head start in his career such that he performed quite challenging piano pieces when he was only four. Later in life he was court composer for various kings, dukes and such like.

Fred wrote symphonies and some sacred music, but his chamber music, the string quartets in particular, are of the first order. Here is the first movement of his Flute Quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 38.

♫ Fesca - Flute Quartet No. 2 in G major Op. 38 (1)


In the past I've devoted a column to FRANZ HOFFMEISTER and his friends but I think he deserves another listen.

Hoffmeister

Franz's column was concerning his business as a music publisher. Today it's just about his music. There are many violin concertos in the world, but far fewer viola concertos. I've always found this instrument more to my taste. Here's Franz's version, the Viola Concerto in D major, the third movement.

♫ Hoffmeister - Viola Concerto in D major (3)


CHARLES IVES once famously asked, "Are my ears on straight?" because nobody seemed to like his music.

Ives

Anyone who has more than a passing knowledge of it would be tempted to ask the same question of him. His music is, to put no fine point on it, challenging – he was especially fond of dissonance. He anticipated 20th century musical developments but most of his own was ignored and not played during his lifetime.

Charlie was a great supporter and champion of other composers' music and often financed them anonymously – he was very successful in business. If spite of his music's reputation, there is the occasional piece that I'm quite happy to lend an ear to.

One of those is his String Quartet No. 1, which is subtitled for some reason "From the Salvation Army". This is the second movement. His ears were properly aligned when he composed this.

♫ Ives - String Quartet No.1 (2)


JOHANN BACKOFEN was a virtuoso player of the clarinet, harp, flute and Bassett horn.

Backofen

It's not surprising that he wrote mostly for those instruments. Today we have two of them – the harp and Bassett horn, two instruments you seldom hear together, particularly in a solo setting.

The Bassett horn, incidentally, is a member of the clarinet family, a bit bigger than that instrument, and has a bend at the top or down the bottom or both. The first movement of his Duo Concertante for Bassett Horn & Harp in F major.

♫ Backofen - Duo Concertante for Bassetthorn & Harp in F major (1)


OSVALDO GOLIJOV has the soprano DAWN UPSHAW as his composing muse these days.

Golijov & Upshaw

Os is an Argentinean composer and professor of music. Although he writes other styles, vocal music is his forte. Dawn is an American soprano who specialises in modern classical music. Os's song cycle Ayre was written with her in mind.

From that work we have the wonderfully named Una Madre Comió Asado (A Mother Roasted her Child).

♫ Golijov - Una Madre Comió Asado (A Mother Roasted her Child)


LOUISE FARRENC was born into a Parisian family of successful sculptors – her father and brother were both notable in that field. She was born Louise Dumont.

Farrenc

Louise had a reputation during her lifetime for being a fine composer, a virtuoso pianist and one of the country's best music teachers such that she became Professor of Piano at the Paris Conservatory.

Her most famous composition is her nonet which was so successful that she demanded, and received, pay equal to the males at the Conservatory. Here is the second movement from that work, the Nonet for Strings and Wind in E-Flat Major, Op. 38.

♫ Farrenc - Nonet for Strings and Wind in E-Flat Major Op. 38 (2)


JOSÉ DE TORRES was the king's director of music at the Chapel Royal in Madrid at the beginning of the 18th century. The king being Philip V.

De Torres

A duty of his position was to compose music for all religious services, which were a lot. A considerable amount of his music survives, possibly helped by his being also a music publisher, the first in the country. This piece of music is called Arpon que glorioso (Villancico al Santisimo), and it's performed by Al Ayre Español.

♫ Joseph de Torres - Arpon que glorioso (Villancico al Santisimo)


MARIA SZYMANOWSKA was born Marianna Wolowska in Warsaw.

Maria Szymanowska

She was one of the first professional pianists in Europe and toured extensively throughout. This was a decade or two before Liszt, Chopin and Clara Schumann did the same sort of thing.

Maria eventually settled in St Petersburg, then the Russian capital, where she composed music and played the piano for all who wanted to hear (which was just about everyone). A lot of her compositions are for piano, not unexpectedly, and we have Waltz No 1 in E-flat major from her “Three Waltzes for Piano.”

♫ Szymanowska - Waltz No 1 in E-flat major



ELDER MUSIC: Recent Discoveries

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Here are some recent discoveries of mine. "Recent" is a rather flexible term, it could mean six months (or more by the time this column is shown). However, it also means that none of these artists have been used in any of my columns before.

They are only my discoveries, some of you might be going, "Oh, I've known about him/her/them for quite a while now", but that's okay, you can hear them again.

It just goes to show that good music is still being made, as most of these are considerably younger than we are. So, here they are in no particular order.

MEGAN HENWOOD will probably be lumped into the "folk" category because she plays her own songs on acoustic guitar.

Megan Henwood

Also she sounds a little like Joni Mitchell. Like Joni, she doesn't restrict herself and adds elements of jazz to her performances as in this one where a trumpet pops up at the end that shouldn't work, but does so beautifully.

Megan performs mostly around Britain, whence she hails, and from her third album "River" we have Fresh Water.

♫ Megan Henwood - Fresh Water


Unlike most of the others today, SAMANTHA FISH can really rock out. Well, the others probably can if they wanted to.

Samantha Fish

Samantha's best known for playing blues and rock and roll but she has said that she doesn't want to be typecast and likes try all sorts of music. To demonstrate that, in the track I've chosen she backs off from her usual sizzling electric guitar work and adopts a softer, more country approach. The song is Belle of the West.

♫ Samantha Fish - Belle of the West


JARROD DICKENSON has the help of CLAIRE WARD (his wife) on his own song, Your Heart Belongs to Me.

Jarrod & Claire

Well, all the songs he records are his own. He's yet another singer/songwriter from Texas, although based in New York these days, at least when he's not touring Europe, especially Britain and Ireland.

Jarrod and Claire perform Your Heart Belongs to Me.

♫ Jarrod Dickenson - Your Heart Belongs to Me


I mentioned to Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, that the next artist is not who she thinks it is before I played this next track. "Not Emmylou, you mean?" she asked when it got rolling. "Correct, it's DORI FREEMAN".

"Who?" She replied. Sorry Dori – I said that these artists today are new to me, and the A.M. too, it seems.

Dori Freeman

Dori claims Peggy Lee and Rufus Wainwright as influences but perhaps her Appalachian upbringing made a contribution or the generations of musicians on both sides of her family. Whatever it is, here she is with Still a Child.

♫ Dori Freeman - Still a Child


Speaking of Emmylou, here is a song by that name. The performers are the rather prosaically named FIRST AID KIT, but don't judge a book, or a group, by its cover.

First Aid Kit

You wouldn't think, just by listening to them, that they are Swedish. They are sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg. It shows how much anyone can miss: I first heard the soEmmylou this year (it may be last year by now), but it's been around for six years or so. Oh well, at least I've finally found it.

♫ First Aid Kit - Emmylou


I was first made aware of ANTONIA BENNETT thanks to my friend Ann.

Antonia Bennett

She suggested that I check her out, so I did, and because of that she's included today. I assume Antonia knows what she's doing as she is Tony Bennett's daughter. She also performs similar sorts of songs to those that her father sings, including Love is a Battlefield.

♫ Antonia Bennett - Love is a Battlefield2


Speaking of the offspring of famous musicians, LUKAS NELSON is Willie's son, and hearing him sing, he couldn't be anyone else's.

Lukas Nelson

Lukas performs in a band called Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and their repertoire covers many genres – rock, folk, country, soul, R&B and anything else that catches their attention. I was trying to figure out what song this one reminded me of, but The A.M. cut to the chase: "He's channelling John Hartford. Gentle on my Mind".

She was right. It also reminded me a bit of Bob Lind. Could do worse than those two. The song is Just Outside of Austin. Lukas's dad plays some guitar on the track.

♫ Lukas Nelson - Just Outside of Austin


And now a singer who boggled my mind when I first heard her (and continues to do so). What power, but she keeps it under control, demonstrating that there's a lot more there when needed. She is LIZZ WRIGHT.

Lizz Wright

She started out singing gospel music and moved on to blues and jazz. Later she incorporated folk elements. It seems that she can sing anything she wants to. Today, she's rather gospelly with Seems I’m Never Tired Lovin’ You.

♫ Lizz Wright - Seems I’m Never Tired Lovin’ You


WILLIE WATSON first came to general notice as a member of the group Old Crow Medicine Show.

Willie Watson

Since going solo he's recorded a couple of albums called "Folksinger Vol 1" and "Folksinger Vol 2". On several of the songs on the second one Willie has the help of THE FAIRFIELD FOUR.

Fairfield Four

The Fairfields are not recent discoveries of mine, and the songs they perform with Willie are the best ones on the album. There are few better singing groups to have at your back than them. They all sing yet another song called On the Road Again.

♫ Willie Watson - On the Road Again


I imagine you're way ahead of me on my final choice. BEV GRANT is probably not new to you as she's been around for quite some time (sorry Bev). It's just that's she's new to me.

Bev Grant

Bev's from Portland, Oregon, where she began singing in a band with her two sisters. She headed out on her own to New York, there to write and perform her songs and became active in good causes. She is the founder and director of the Brooklyn Women’s Chorus.

From her recent album "It's Personal", she sings Small Town Girl, pretty much the story of her journey.

♫ Bev Grant - Small Town Girl



ELDER MUSIC: Toes Up in 2017 - Part 2

[Toes Up in 2017 - Part 1 is here.]

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Fats Domino

The world was a better place, a brighter place, a more civilized place when Antoine FATS DOMINO was among us. Alas, we are now diminished.

Fats was one of the many New Orleans piano players and he started recording in the forties. His music, if it had a label besides "New Orleans Music", was rhythm and blues. He continued in that style and it became known as rock and roll.

Indeed, it's often suggested that his 1949 record The Fat Man was the first rock and roll record. Well, there are several contenders for that title, but Fats is certainly a serious option. He had hits right through the fifties and sixties and continued playing into this century.

I thought that the most appropriate song I could choose from Fats is Ain't That a Shame. It really is a shame that he's no longer with us. (He was 89)

♫ Fats Domino - Ain't That A Shame


GÉORI BOUÉ was a French soprano who sang the normal repertoire, and also appeared in films. (99)

JOHNNY DICK was an Australia rock drummer for Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, The Wild Cherries and other bands. (73)

Keely Smith

KEELY SMITH first came to general notice partnering Louis Prima. They had a number of hits, most especially That Old Black Magic, which was a world wide smash.

Keely and Louis married and later divorced. Keely then had a successful solo career and she was well respected by other performers of all stripes. Keely sings Little Girl Blue. (85)

♫ Keely Smith - Little Girl Blue


CALEP EMPHREY was B.B. King's drummer for more than 30 years. (67)

MARIO MAGLIERI was the owner of Hollywood clubs Whisky a Go Go and Rainbow Bar & Grill where many bands and musicians from the sixties to the present made their debut. (93)

Dmitri Hvorostovsky

DMITRI HVOROSTOVSKY was the rock star of the opera world. He was born in Siberia, and when he was young he was a bit of a real rock star in those parts. He turned to opera and made his name as a lyric baritone with a voice that curled the toes of most listeners.

He was hailed as the successor to Pavarotti but with his deeper, more resonant voice I think he was a finer singer. Anyone who has seen the YouTube video of him performing the duet from the “Pearl Fishers” would agree.

He sang most baritone roles and many that were supposedly reserved for tenors. Alas, he developed a brain tumor that eventually killed him. Dmitri performs the aria Di Provenza Il Mar from Verdi's “La Traviata”. (55)

♫ Dmitri Hvorostovsky - Verdi La Traviata ~ Di Provenza Il Mar


CURTIS WOMACK was one of the several Womack brothers who made an impact on popular music. He and his brothers started as a gospel group and they later became soul singers. (74)

OLGA HEGEDUS was an English cellist who was co-principal of the English Chamber Orchestra for many years. (96)

JIMMY CHI was an Australian composer, musician and playwright. He is best known for the stage musical, and film, Bran Nue Dae. He also played in a couple of bands and wrote songs for other performers. (69)

Don Williams

DON WILLIAMS was a country singer and what a smooth mellow-voiced singer he was. He was yet another Texas singer (the state is full of them), and he started out singing folk music before taking up the country mantle.

He was greatly admired by his contemporaries and he eschewed the wild life that others seemed to think normal. His folk background serves him well for the song I've chosen, a great Jesse Winchester song, If I Were Free. (78)

♫ Don Williams - If I Were Free


ROGER SMITH was mostly known as a TV actor (77 Sunset Strip and all that), but he was also a bit of a singer, making several albums. He also managed the career of Ann-Margaret, his wife of 50 years. (84)

EDUARD BRUNNER was a Swiss classical clarinettist who performed in chamber groups and orchestras. He later was Professor of Music at a couple of universities. (77)

JOHNNY HALLYDAY was the original French rock and roller who retained his popularity in that country all his life. (74)

Walter Becker

WALTER BECKER was the co-founder, guitarist and bass player for the successful group Steely Dan. Although originally a real group, he and Donald Fagen pretty much did everything on most of their records.

Officially a rock group, they brought elements of jazz into their music. I quite liked some of their music but found that my eyes glazed over if I listened to a whole album. Fortunately, there's only one song today, probably their most famous, Rikki Don't Lose That Number. (67)

♫ Steely Dan - Rikki Don't Lose That Number


RICHARD DIVALL was an Australian orchestral and operatic conductor. He also wrote music and he was one of the leading musicologists at several universities. (71)

RONALD MUNDY was a singer in the DooWop group The Marcels who made a career of putting a different spin on old songs, most especially Blue Moon, their biggest hit. (76)

Kristine Jepson

KRISTINE JEPSON was an American mezzo-soprano who sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala, Covent Garden, the San Francisco Opera and many more. She was an acclaimed interpreter of Mozart's operas, and also performed Verdi, Richard Strauss and Massenet.

Besides the traditional roles, she was a champion of modern opera, particularly works by John Adams, Robert Ward and others. Here she performs the aria La ci darem la mano from Mozart's “Don Giovanni.” The baritone is Mariusz Kwiecień. (54)

♫ Mozart - Don Giovanni K. 527 Act I La ci darem la mano


TOM PALEY was a guitarist, banjo and fiddle player best known for his membership of the group the New Lost City Ramblers. (89)

GEOFF MACK wrote the song I've Been Everywhere which was a huge hit for Lucky Starr in Australia. Many other performers have adapted it to their own countries, but the original is still the best. (94)

Maggie Roche

MAGGIE ROCHE was one of the three sisters who formed the group The Roches. They were a talented trio who sang beautiful and often amusing songs. She performed with her sister Terre as a duo for some years until joined by youngest sister Suzzy to become The Roches.

Maggie wrote most of their songs, including The Married Men, from their wonderful debut album. She sang the lead part on this one. (65)

♫ The Roches - The Married Men


PAT BARRETT was a co-founder and singer for the DooWop group The Crew-Cuts. The group often covered songs originally recorded by black artists. (83)

Although born in France, PHILIP CANNON is generally considered an English classical music composer and music teacher. He mostly worked in an avant-garde style but even so his works are quite listenable. (87)

DAVID CASSIDY was a singer, actor, guitarist and songwriter. He's probably best known for his role in The Partridge Family on TV. (67)

Lonnie Brooks

LONNIE BROOKS was a blues singer and guitarist from Louisiana. He later came to personify the Chicago blues style. He could be cool and elegant and, on the next song, bring the house down with his sizzling guitar playing and singing.

He was mentored early on by Clifton Chenier and Sam Cooke who recognised his talent. Lonnie performs Maybe. (83)

♫ Lonnie Brooks - Maybe


LARRY CORYELL was a jazz guitarist who was a leader in the fusion of jazz and rock music. (73)

DAVID YORKO was the guitarist for the fifties instrumental rock group Johnny and the Hurricanes who had quite a few hits at the time. (73)

MITCH MARGO joined his older brother Phil in the group The Tokens when he was just 13. He became the tenor singer and wrote most of their songs (except for the one for which they are most known). (70)

Bobby Freeman

BOBBY FREEMAN started out in a DooWop group in his native San Francisco. He later became an early rock and roll performer. Later still, he was a respected soul and R&B singer. His most famous hit, Do You Wanna Dance, from 1958, has been covered by hundreds of artists over the years, but no one has done it better than he did. (76)

♫ Bobby Freeman - Do You Wanna Dance


JONI SLEDGE, along with her three sisters, created the successful R&B group Sister Sledge. (60)

JIM FULLER was the lead guitarist with The Surfaris and co-writer of their big hit, Wipe Out. (69)

BUNNY SIGLER was a soul singer, producer and songwriter. He was associated with the production team of Gamble and Huff and they produced many hits from the sixties on. (76)

Peter Sarstedt

PETER SARSTEDT was a British singer, guitarist and songwriter who had a few hits in the sixties. His two brothers, Richard (known as Eden Kane) and Clive (Robin Sarstedt) were also charting performers.

Of the songs with which Peter made the charts, the most famous is Where Do You Go To (My Lovely). This is the versions from the album, it's longer than the hit single. (75)

♫ Peter Sarstedt - Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)



ELDER MUSIC: Toes Up in 2017 - Part 1

[Toes Up in 2017 - Part 2 is here.]

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Oh my, a lot of good performers and others associated with the music industry died this year. Soon there'll be no one left. Well, no one that our readers know and love. This is the first of two columns.

Chuck

CHUCK BERRY was one of the three or four most important musicians in the development of rock & roll, maybe the most important. Unlike all the others at the time, except Buddy Holly, he wrote his own songs that were sly, humorous, joyous and sad. He brought a joy and freshness of language.

His singing was subtle and more akin to a jazz singer than a rocker. Also, and importantly, he could play his guitar like a'ringing a bell. Every guitarist since who wanted to play rock & roll copied his style and his licks, at least initially.

Although he started in rhythm and blues, he brought elements of country and jazz into his singing and playing. He was one of a kind. Chuck performs, as only he can, Brown Eyed Handsome Man. (He was 90)

♫ Chuck Berry - Brown Eyed Handsome Man


FRED WEINTRAUB, as owner of the Bitter End in Greenwich Village, showcased all the up-coming folkies of the sixties (and later). He also started the careers of most of the best comedians of the last sixty years.

Later Fred was a movie producer, most famously for the film of the Woodstock festival. (88)

BRUCE LANGHORNE was a session guitarist most noted for playing on Bob Dylan's first electric albums. He also played on records by Tom Rush, Judy Collins and many others. Bob Dylan has said that Bruce was the inspiration for his famous song, Mr Tambourine Man. Bruce also wrote many film scores. (78)

PAUL OLIVER was one of the foremost writers on blues music. His books were instrumental in reviving the careers of many great blues performers. (90)

Nicolai Gedda

NICOLAI GEDDA was one the greatest tenors of the 20th century. Indeed, he was almost certainly the most versatile and industrious. He was Swedish by birth and grew up bilingual in Swedish and Russian, due to his adoptive father (who was Russian).

Unusually for an important and prominent opera star, he was quite shy and very modest about his talent. He not only performed all the famous tenor roles, he sought lesser known challenging music as well. Here he performs the aria Allons! Courage et confiance (etc) from Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffman". (91)

♫ Nicolai Gedda ~ Hoffmann - Allons! Courage et confiance..C'est elle! Elle sommeille


TOMMY ALLSUP was a country guitarist who played with Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, George Jones and, most notably, Buddy Holly. He famously "lost the toss" and gave up his seat to Ritchie Valens on the plane that cost Ritchie's life. (85)

JIM NABORS was best known for acting in TV programs, but he had a fine baritone voice and recorded many albums. (87)

USTAD ABDUL HALIM was an Indian sitar player who also dabbled in western music, collaborating with Dave Brubeck and others. (89)

George Young

GEORGE YOUNG was a songwriter and member of Australia's most successful rock group of the sixties, The Easybeats. Afterwards, he teamed up with fellow Easybeat Harry Vanda to become a hugely successful songwriting and producing team. He was also instrumental in the creation and success of the group AC-DC that contained two of his brothers.

The most famous song that Vanda and Young wrote and performed while in the Easybeats is Friday on my Mind. The singer was the late Stevie Wright, and Vanda and Young played the guitars. (70)

♫ The Easybeats - Friday On My Mind


Malcolm Young

George's brother MALCOLM YOUNG was a co-founder and rhythm guitarist for AC-DC, a group that even surpassed The Easybeats (and every other group from Australia) in popularity. Their success was mostly due to the combination of Malcolm's churning rhythm and brother Angus's inventive lead guitar. (64)

LOUIS FREMAUX was a French conductor who was also part of the French Resistance during the war. Later he attended the Paris Conservatoire where he topped his class. His major positions were as conductor of the Birmingham and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. (95)

BARBARA COOK was a Broadway singer and actress who appeared in just about every musical in the fifties and sixties. (89)

GRADY TATE was a jazz drummer who also worked as a session musician, particularly on Motown and other soul records. (85)

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

GEOFFREY GURRUMUL YUNUPINGU was generally just known as Gurrumul. He was blind since birth. He was from a musical and activist family in Arnhem Land in northern Australia and he had one of the most beautiful voices in the world.

Gurrumul was a unifying voice in Australia between the indigenous community and the mainstream society. He sings and plays Wiyathul. (46)

♫ Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Wiyathul


BILL HORVITZ was an experimental guitarist and composer who worked with many of the greatest jazz musicians. He also wrote music for film, dance, and theatre. (69)

HAYWARD BISHOP was a Nashville based session drummer who played on the records of just about every country musician, as well as quite a few pop ones as well. (71)

GORD DOWNIE was lead singer and songwriter for the group the Tragically Hip, one of Canada's most revered bands. (53)

Tom Petty

TOM PETTY was taught guitar by Don Felder, later a member of the Eagles. Tom's first semi-successful band was Mudcrunch that also contained several people who went on to form Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

This group kept alive the style and joy of rock & roll and made Tom a worldwide star. He was later a founder and member of the superest super group of all time, the Traveling Wilburys (along with Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne).

Tom was an advocate of artistic control of their creations and of artistic freedom. Tom and the Heartbreakers play Refugee. (66)

♫ Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Refugee


GEORGES PRÊTRE was a French conductor who spent many years with the Vienna Philharmonic. He was also head conductor with several American orchestras. (92)

DON MARKHAM was a saxophone, trumpet, bass, keyboards player who started in jazz but ended up in Merle Haggard's band for decades. (85)

AL JARREAU was a jazz and pop singer who also performed on Broadway. He won several Grammies and also wrote some songs. (76)

BRENDA LEWIS was an opera singer who was equally adept at musical theatre. As well as the traditional opera roles she performed several original modern opera roles. (96)

Glen Campbell

GLEN CAMPBELL was a guitarist of the first order. He was also a fine singer, TV host, actor, songwriter and session musician. He was a member of the "Wrecking Crew", Los Angeles session musicians who played on just about everyone's records from that city in the sixties.

After a brief stint as a Beach Boy (replacing Brian Wilson) he became huge in the country and pop fields covering songs by John Hartford and (especially) Jimmy Webb as well as performing his own songs. This lead to TV programs and pretty much everything else.

Glen sings one of Jimmy's songs, Wichita Lineman. (81)

♫ Glen Campbell - Wichita Lineman


VALERIE CARTER was a backup singer for many artists, including Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, James Taylor and many similar artists. She also wrote songs that many of those recorded. (64)

EDI FITZROY was a Jamaican reggae artist who was successful in his home country as well as elsewhere that music is appreciated. (62)

CLIVE STARK was an Australian radio presenter who specialised in classical music but was happy to include other musical genres as well. (81)

BELTON RICHARD was a Cajun accordion player and singer who played not only Cajun but rock and roll and "swap pop" music. He was equally proficient singing in French and English. (77)

BUTCH TRUCKS was one of the two drummers for the Allman Brothers Band. He laid down the solid beat that the others could work against. He was one of the founders of the group and had known the Allmans since they were teenagers. (69)

Gregg Allman

It was a bad year for the band, as fellow founder of the group GREGG ALLMAN also died. The group was named after Gregg and his older brother Duane who died in a motor cycle accident a long time ago.

Gregg was the singer and piano player for the group. He also wrote some of their songs (the writing was shared around). He found time, at one stage, to marry Cher. Here, with his own song as a member of the band, he sings and plays piano on Wasted Words. (69)

♫ Allman Brothers - Wasted Words


ROBERT “P-NUT” JOHNSON was a singer for the Bootsy Collins Band as well as George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic. (70)

DON HUNSTEIN was a photographer whose album covers you would all know. His most famous was "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan". (88)

SONNY BURGESS was an early pioneer of rockabilly and rock & roll music. He recorded at the legendary Sun Studios at the same time as Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and others. (86)

BILLY BURNETTE was a country songwriter and producer, and also a performer in his own right. He was good friends with, but not related to, fifties' stars Johnny and Dorsey Burnette. (76)

Della Reese

DELLA REESE was discovered by gospel great Mahalia Jackson, but she sang mostly jazz and big band music early on. She made the charts several times in the fifties and early sixties and later made a number of well regarded albums, mostly closer to jazz in style.

Della was also an actress and appeared in many films and TV series. Della sings one of her hits, Someday, You'll Want Me to Want You. (86)

♫ Della Reese - Someday You'll Want Me To Want You


JOHN GEILS was the guitarist for the J. Geils Band who had hit albums in the seventies and eighties. (71)

CEDELL DAVIS was a blues guitarist and singer. He suffered from polio as a child so he was unable to fret the guitar properly so he developed a distinctive slide guitar style using a butter knife. (90)

BUDDY GRECO was a jazz and pop singer and pianist who sold many records. He later appeared in Las Vegas many times. (90)

James Cotton

JAMES COTTON was a blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter. He had a long time association with Muddy Waters where he alternated the harp role with Little Walter. He managed to secure the services of the great blues pianist Otis Spann as part of his own group.

Later he performed with the cream of musicians in his field – Michael Bloomfield, Delbert McClinton, Keb Mo, Gregg Allman and many more. Today, James informs us that he is a Cotton Mouth Man. (81)

♫ James Cotton - Cotton Mouth Man


MEL TILLIS was a country singer and songwriter who wrote many hits for others as well as for himself. He also appeared in several films and on TV. (85)

CHRIS CORNELL was the lead vocalist for Soundgarden and was a leading figure in the grunge movement. (52)

CASEY JONES was a drummer, singer and front man for several blues bands. He was also a long-time member of Albert Collins's band.

(77)

Jon Hendricks

JON HENDRICKS was the most important male jazz singer in history. He not only sang, he wrote lyrics that were interesting, unusual and often downright difficult. Never dull though.

He was erudite, funny and had a masterly way with words. He later held several academic posts. Jon was trained as a lawyer but didn't practise.

He got together with Dave Lambert and thought it would be a good idea to write words to some of Duke Ellington's more challenging works. Jon later wrote words to Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk compositions.

Jon and Dave got together with Annie Ross and formed Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, the most important vocal group in jazz. Jon later collaborated with Kurt Elling, The Manhattan Transfer, Bobby McFerrin, and surprisingly to me, the Grateful Dead.

Here Jon sings In Walked Bud, a song about Bud Powell, accompanied by Thelonious Monk. (96)

♫ Jon Hendricks - In Walked Bud


Alas, this is only part 1. There will be more next week.



ELDER MUSIC: Christmas 17

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Christmas Oz

Well, the weather is warming up – not just warming up, it's getting damn hot. That can only mean one thing, Christmas is nigh. Deep sigh.

I guess that also means that I'll have to produce a collection of jingle belly, white christmasy, chestnut roasty songs that are totally at variance with the way Christmas really is around these parts. Oh well, on with the motley.

I remember from the great folk scare for my youthhood/early adulthood that one of the regular songs that was performed was Go Tell It on the Mountain, especially the version by Odetta, but others as well.

We won't use that one, instead here is a more recent version of the song with an unlikely pairing – the BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA and TOM WAITS.

Blind Boys & Tom Waits

However, when you listen to them they really fit well together. At least, I think so as they are all some of my favorite performers. See (or hear) what you think of them.

♫ Blind Boys of Alabama - Go Tell It On the Mountain


BELTON RICHARD suggests that You're All I Want For Christmas.

Belton Richard

Well, that's pretty easy, assuming you're happy to go along with it. If not, he's going to be quite disappointed when he checks his stocking. The complication is that he sings it in French, so if you're not conversant with that language, you may not know that you have to pop into the said stocking.

♫ Belton Richard - You're All I Want For Christmas


I haven't gone totally outrageous this year, although I was tempted (I'm tempted every year). To prove that point, here is BROOK BENTON.

Brook Benton

I must have been feeling mellow when I selected Brook, which is probably good news for you. His song is Soul Santa.

♫ Brook Benton - Soul Santa


J.B. SUMMERS is easy to buy for at this time of the year. He says: I Want A Present For Christmas.

J.B. Summers

Well, that's pretty easy, he doesn't specify what – a pair of socks, some hankies, a hippopotamus, a giraffe. Well, maybe those last two would be a bit difficult. Anyway, Here's J.B. with Doc Bagby's Orchestra.

♫ J.B. Summers With Doc Bagby's Orchestra - I Want A Present For Christmas


DUKE ROBILLARD is an outstanding blues guitarist. He's also a splendid jazz guitarist. I'm sure he could hold his own in other genres as well.

Duke Robillard

He's made several albums that also featured female singers, most notably MARIA MULDAUR, who seems to be on all of them. I'm certainly not complaining about that.

Maria Muldaur

One of those has the song Santa Claus Blues.

♫ Duke Robillard - Santa Claus Blues (Feat. Maria Muldaur)


POPPA HOP started life with the name Harding Wilson, and soon after that he was known as Hop Wilson.

Poppa Hop

Although not well known these days, his guitar playing, not all that evident on the track today, influenced numerous later players of the instrument. Today he wishes everyone, well, probably just one person, Merry Christmas Darling.

♫ Poppa Hop - Merry Christmas Darling


For a complete change of pace from all the other songs today I give you JULIE LONDON.

Julie London

Julie's always welcome to sing under my Christmas tree. Indeed, she sings I'd Like You For Christmas. I hope she's referring to me, but I suspect that isn't the case.

♫ Julie London - I'd Like You For Christmas


Poor old COCO MONTOYA is on the road again at this time of the year, performing, making a living.

Coco Montoya

That's the way it is for many musicians. He hopes that he won't have to do this forever, but I suspect that he'll be on the road a while, along with most of his ilk. He tells us about it in A Bluesman's Christmas.

♫ Coco Montoya - A Bluesman's Christmas


Christmas in Oz

As I sort of implied in my opening statement, I'm sure most people in the northern hemisphere know that Christmas falls in the middle of summer in Australia, but I've found that they really can't conceive of the concept until they actually experience it themselves.

Most don't like it, but some do. I've spent a few Christmases in America, a couple in the snow, and it's just wrong. It's so fundamentally, absolutely, totally wrong to be cold at Christmas, to have snow and ice and all the rest. If the sun isn't shining, if it's not really hot out, if you can't go around in shorts and T-shirt it's just not a proper Christmas.

I've played this before, a long time ago, but it's worth another listen. TIM MINCHIN pretty much captures what I'm trying to say.

Drinking White Wine in the Sun. I'd rather drink white wine in the shade, but Tim's from Perth, and they're a bit strange over there.

A sentimental song about Christmas. This version is taken from the Australian 'Ready For This?' DVD. Every year, all proceeds from the sale of (either version) of...

ChristmasOz

So to the traditional moment of couth.

In Roquemaure (in France) at the end of the year 1843, the church organ had been recently renovated. To celebrate the event, the parish priest asked Placide Cappeau, who was a wine merchant and a bit of a poet, to write a Christmas poem.

Even though he wasn't at all interested in religion, he did so. Perhaps it was because it was Christmas or maybe the priest was a good customer. Just speculating. Somehow or other ADOLPHE ADAM got involved and wrote the music.

Adolphe Adam

Adolphe is best known as a composer of ballet music ("Giselle" etc). The poem and song is called Cantique de Noël, (generally known as O Holy Night in English). We have the wonderful ELĪNA GARANČA to sing it.

Elina Garanca

♫ Adolphe Adam - Cantique de Noel



ELDER MUSIC: 1931

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

You must remember this…

Well, if you're like me, you'll remember Dooley Wilson performing the first song. However, it had been around for some time before Dooley made it a classic. It was first recorded by JACQUES RENARD and his orchestra with vocal by FRANK MUNN.

Jacques Renard & Frank Munn

After hearing this one I'm struck at how much better Dooley's version was. We are looking at 1931 though, and this is one of those from that year – Rudy Vallee was the other. As Time Goes By.

♫ Jacques Renard (Frank Munn vocal) - As Time Goes By


You knew that BING CROSBY would be present today, so I won't disappoint you.

Bing Crosby

I'm very familiar with this song as my dad was a fan of Bing. He had a five album set of the crooner (these were unusual back when I was a kid, it's really only in the era of CDs that multiple albums became common). I became very familiar with all the songs as we didn't have very many records back then. One of the songs on that collection was I Found a Million Dollar Baby.

♫ Bing Crosby - I Found a Million Dollar Baby


Far and away the most famous song of CAB CALLOWAY is Minnie the Moocher.

Cab Calloway

He pretty much had to perform it everywhere he went. 1931 was the year he recorded it for the first time. Here is what the original sounds like.

♫ Cab Calloway - Minnie The Moocher


There was a rather good British science fiction TV series in the nineties called Goodnight Sweetheart. It used the song of that name as its theme. It was performed by RAY NOBLE and his orchestra, with vocal refrain (that phrase was used a lot at the time) by AL BOWLLY.

Ray Noble & Al Bowlly

That's Ray in the white suit and Al on the left.

Although the series was not a comedy, it didn't take itself too seriously, unlike most of that genre, that's why I liked it. Anyway, here is that song.

♫ Ray Noble (Al Bowlly vocal) - Goodnight Sweetheart


Here is the finest blues singer in the first half of the century. You need no prompting from me to know that I'm talking about BESSIE SMITH.

Bessie Smith

It seems that she's in a bit of a quandary since her man done gone. Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl is that way she says it, and boy, does she say it well.

♫ Bessie Smith - Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl


Way back, indeed in 1931, WAYNE KING (with vocal refrain by ERNIE BURCHILL) performed Dream a Little Dream of Me.

Wayne King

People of a certain age will recall Mama Cass's version of the song. She did it much better than these folks, but she wasn't around in 1931 so we have to go with this other version.

♫ Wayne King (Ernie Burchill vocal) - Dream A Little Dream Of Me


THE MILLS BROTHERS are another group I would pretty much automatically include in a column. They perform the famous song Tiger Rag.

Mills Brothers

As it said on the label: “No musical instruments or mechanical devices were used in this recording other than one guitar”. So, all those things that sound like instruments are just them doing mouth noises. It's far from the best thing they ever did, but even lesser Mills Brothers is worthy of hearing.

♫ Mills Brothers - Tiger Rag


Here's another song that will be familiar to you, but perhaps not by FRANKIE TRUMBAUER with ART JARRETT and trio on vocals.

Frankie Trumbauer

I have no idea which is Frankie and which is Art. I'll leave it up to you to imagine.

The song has been recorded by hundreds of performers over the years, many of whom did it better than these folks. However, they are the ones we have for this year. The song is Georgia On My Mind.

♫ Frankie Trumbauer (Art Jarrett & trio vocal) - Georgia On My Mind


At last, we have LOUIS ARMSTRONG.

Louis Armstrong

Louis was having a fine old time with this one, nothing serious, not innovating or anything like that. He was just having a good time saying that I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You.

♫ Louis Armstrong - I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You


Is it just me, or does RUSS COLUMBO sound awfully like Bing? Could do worse, I suppose.

Russ Columbo

Russ really didn't give Bing a run for his money in the long term as he died at the ridiculously young age of 26 in a "shooting incident" when he was visiting a friend of his. Before that (of course, before that) Russ recorded You Call It Madness (But I Call It Love).

♫ Russ Columbo - You Call It Madness (But I Call It Love)



ELDER MUSIC: Various Classical

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

PYOTR TCHAIKOVSKY sure could write a good tune.

Tchaikovsky

The one I have today will be guaranteed to get you up waltzing around your kitchen, bedroom or wherever you happen to be listening. I have selected the Waltz from the start of the second act of his opera “Eugene Onegin”. Set those tootsies free.

♫ Tchaikovsky - Waltz from Eugene Onegin


GEORGE HANDEL was born the same year as J.S. Bach, as well as geographically quite close to each other too. However, there's no evidence at all that the two giants of Baroque music ever met.

Handel

J.S. was somewhat of a homebody and George liked to get about a bit, first around what is now Germany and then to what is now Italy. He was much taken by the Italian style of music and started writing music in this manner.

He returned to Hanover where he encountered another George: the Elector of Hanover. Both Georges went to England where they stayed for the rest of their lives. Our George became one of the greatest composers of all time and the other one had a minor role as George the First.

One of our George's compositions is the secular cantata “Apollo and Daphne”, HWV 122. From that we have Felicissima quest'alma, sung by JULIA LEZHNEVA.

Julia Lezhneva

♫ Handel - Apollo e Dafne HWV 122 ~ Felicissima quest'alma


CHARLES AVISON was an English composer who spanned the Baroque and Classical periods.

Charles Avison

He was born in Newcastle to poor parents. Not much is known of his childhood, but he landed in London and studied with Francesco Geminiani, whom he greatly admired. He was mainly an organist but wrote for many different instruments.

He later returned to Newcastle where he stayed for the rest of his life. Charlie did okay for himself as he died a very rich man and he left the loot to his three surviving kids. Here is the fourth movement of his “Concerto No.6 in D major.”

♫ Avison - Concerto No.6 in D major (4)


FELIX MENDELSSOHN visited Britain many times.

Mendelssohn

Quite a few of his compositions were inspired by his visits or he actually wrote some of them there. He seemed to like Scotland and several of his works reference the country. Probably the most famous of which is the Symphony No 3 in A minor, Op 56, also known as the Scottish Symphony.

On his last visit before he died, he conducted that symphony and among the gathered throng were Victoria and Albert (the people, not the museum). Here is the second movement.

♫ Mendelssohn - Symphony No.3 in A minor op.56 'Scottish' (2)


CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI is one of the major figures in music – he's up there with Beethoven in the changes and developments he made.

Monteverdi

He is the first person that we know of who wrote operas; certainly his operas are the earliest that are still performed today. He took a little bitty thing called the madrigal and fleshed it out to become wonderful, exciting pieces of music. It's one of those that we're having today.

From his fifth book of madrigals this is Quel sguardo sdegnosetto. See if you can pronounce that early in the morning. The wonderful DANIELLE DE NIESE sings it.

Danielle de Niese

♫ Danielle de Niese - Monteverdi ~ Quel sguardo sdegnosetto


IGNAZ PLEYEL was the 24th child of an impoverished school teacher. No wonder he was impoverished, especially as Iggy was nowhere near the last – there were 38 kids in all. The mind boggles.

Ignaz Pleyel

Fortunately, Iggy was good at music and he caught the ear of some rich noble man who paid for his music education. He was taught by Johann Vanhal, a friend of both Mozart and Haydn, and Iggy went on to a career in music, that alas, is largely forgotten these days.

He was also a music publisher and piano designer and maker. He ended up quite rich. In his day he was considered a rival to both Mozart and Haydn, and his music is in a similar style to both of those. See what you think of the first movement of his String Quartet in D Major, Ben. 337.

♫ Pleyel - String Quartet in D Major Ben. 337 (1)


I have mentioned the birthplace of BERNHARD CRUSELL before, but it's such a wonderful name I'm going to do it again. He was from Uusikaupunki in Finland. Indeed, that town has a Crusell Week each year.

Crusell

Bernie's family moved to Sweden when he was a lad and both countries like to claim him as their own. He was apparently a really fine clarinet player and wrote many compositions for the instrument. Although not devoted entirely to the instrument, it certainly features prominently in the first movement of the Divertimento in C major, Op.9.

♫ Crusell - Divertimento in C major Op.9 (1)


ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK was a Czech composer who also travelled extensively, most notably to Britain and the United States about which he wrote several of his best known and loved compositions.

Dvorák

I'm not using any of those today. What I have is the second movement of one of his Four Romantic Pieces for violin and piano, B. 150 (Op. 75).

♫ Dvorak - 4 Romantic Pieces Op.75 (2)


GIUSEPPE JACCHINI was an Italian cello player and composer in what's now Italy in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

Giuseppe Maria Jacchini

His skill on the cello and his many works for the instrument put it on the map – he was one of the earliest composers to feature it. He also wrote many works for the trumpet and we're going out with a bang with one of those. Here is the first movement of his Sonata D Minor.

♫ Giuseppe Maria Jacchini - Sonata D Minor (1)



ELDER MUSIC: Songs of Frank Loesser

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

* * *

Frank Loesser wrote songs in the usual manner of tin pan alley, but he also wrote musicals for Broadway – both music and lyrics – "Guys and Dolls" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" are the couple that spring immediately to mind.

He managed to gather a Tony Award, a Pulitzer Prize but only managed a nomination for an Oscar. Although Frank's dad was a piano teacher, he didn't teach him as even by the age of four he could play by ear pretty much any music he heard.

After dad died Frank had to go out and earn a living in non-musical pursuits. He eventually got hired to write songs and his future was assured (with some bumps along the way).

Let's get to the music itself, starting with the "Divine One", SARAH VAUGHAN.

Sarah Vaughan

It's been said by some that Sarah could have been an opera singer if the opportunity had arisen. We'll never know. She sings a song that many others have also tackled, but few as well as she. Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year.

♫ Sarah Vaughan - Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year


Another song that many have performed – okay, I think you'll be able to say that about everything today – is Baby, It's Cold Outside. I considered a number of versions, but the one that tickled my fancy was by WILLIE NELSON and NORAH JONES.

Willie Nelson & NorahJones

Willie and Norah are admirably suited to the laid back nature of this song.

♫ Willie Nelson & Norah Jones - Baby It's Cold Outside


Here is MILES DAVIS with his classic early quintet.

Miles Davis

That is John Coltrane on tenor sax, Red Garland piano, Paul chamber bass and Philly Joe Jones drums. It really doesn't get any better than that. Their contribution is If I Were a Bell from the musical "Guys and Dolls".

♫ Miles Davis - If I Were a Bell


From one of the musicals mentioned at the beginning, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", ROBERT MORSE sings to himself.

Robert Morse

This is from the scene when he is in the loo with a bunch of others and he serenades himself in the mirror. If you get a chance to see the film it's worth it for this scene alone. Robert assures himself that I Believe in You.

♫ Robert Morse and Co - I Believe in You


We have another film tie-in, this time it's "Thanks for the Memory" – that's the name of the film. You can probably guess who the singers are, but that's not the song we're using (although it was in the film, as you can imagine).

First, for those not familiar with that particular song I'd like to say that the singers are BOB HOPE and SHIRLEY ROSS.

Bob Hope & Shirley Ross

The song is Two Sleepy People. Frank had the help of Hoagy Carmichael for the lyrics on this one.

♫ Bob Hope and Shirley Ross - Two Sleepy People


Another musical/film is "Guys and Dolls", already mentioned, and from that we have the song, A Bushel and a Peck. This was all over the hit parade at the time, with multiple versions.

I listened to a bunch of them (that was a bit of a trial), and the one that least offended me was by FRANKIE LAINE and JO STAFFORD.

Frankie Laine & Jo Stafford

Here's what they sound like.

♫ Frankie Laine & Jo Stafford - A Bushel And A Peck


"Greenwillow" is not a musical with which I'm familiar, but I'm not a big musical fan so it's not too surprising. Lesser Samuels and Frank Loesser wrote it and Frank wrote all the songs for it – about two dozen of them.

One of those is Never Will I Marry, which has been recorded by a bunch of people. I'm not going with one you're probably familiar with, instead here is ANDREA MOTIS.

Andrea Motis

Andrea is a Spanish musician and on this track she not only sings, but plays trumpet as well.

♫ Andrea Motis - Never Will I Marry


I originally had Chet Baker pencilled in at this spot, but I heard BILLY ECKSTINE sing the song and changed my mind. It's pretty unusual for me to throw out Chet, however, I know that Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, will approve of my including Billy.

Billy Eckstine

Billy really did have one of the finest voices in music. I wasn't keen on all those strings, but it was the fashion back then. Hear what he makes of I've Never Been in Love Before.

♫ Billy Eckstine - I've Never Been In Love Before


Frank's songs seem to lend themselves to jazz treatment, and the next is no different. In this case it's by BILL CHARLAP.

Bill Charlap Trio

Bill came from a musical family, his mum sang on Perry Como's TV program and dad was a Broadway composer. Bill plays piano and has his trio along to perform On a Slow Boat to China.

♫ Bill Charlap - On A Slow Boat To China


This is the sort of material that's really suited to MEL TORMÉ, so of course, he gets into the act as well.

Mel Torme

Mel's version of Once in Love with Amy is pretty well known, but it's always good to hear it again.

♫ Mel Tormé - Once In Love With Amy