Thursday, February 02, 2006

Belated birthday wishes to....

Page Cavanaugh , famous since the forties, is still performing at the peak of his powers and has just recorded a new album, entitled A Return to Elegance. More details as they become available.

Page differs from the ordinary run-of-the-mill show biz animal in that he simply will not "take" business meetings. Never done them, never will. Won't even do a conference call. Just plays and sings music. That's it! What a concept! He still holds down the musical fort several nights a week at L.A.'s trendy Sunset Tower Hotel. There's a nice story about Page's gig there in the 1/13/06 issue of the L.A. Times.

He varies from the norm in other respects as well; he has played both high and low joints for more than a half-century but NEVER had the main requisite of that occupational persuasion. . .the tip jar. He was espied recently turning down a rather large-ish tip (more like bribe) to play "New York New York." And WON"T play "Send in the Clowns." WON"T play Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Going to see him perform is CHURCH. Page was even able to elevatate the motley movie turkey Frankenstein's Daughter for a few all-too-brief minutes. If you don't believe me, take a listen. (link removed)

Recently I said to a musical colleague of Cavanaugh's: "Page is an angel." "Yes," he replied, "a naughty angel." That is to say, he is the sweetest, dearest person imagineable, but with a ribald streak a mile wide. Ask him about Kate Smith sometime!

Without going into detail, if it were not for Page I probably would not have been able to release the Bill Black album. And when singer-guitarist Sam Graham wanted to record Bobby Troup's droll and witty "Triskaidekaphobia" ("I wear glasses for myopia, I open doors for claustrophobia" etc), this (arguably) still-busiest piano man in town meticulously copied out the entire song for him by hand.

A "NaughtyAngel" AND a national treasure. I somehow overlooked his birthday on Jan. 26th. It was his 84th, and his piano playing has never been fleeter or his vocals "whiperier."

Two days earlier, I've been informed, was the birthday of another Dr. Chilledair fave, Connecticut vocalist treasure, Bobbi Rogers! Belated best wishes to both of them.

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