Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm blogged out...enjoy the archives

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Rare Jane Harvey Soundie!


Courtesy of Mark Cantor/ Celluloid Improvisations Music Film Archive
Jane Harvey is beautiful in this 1946 Soundie. And she still is. . ..

Jane in Toyo, December 2009

Happy Chanuchrismakwanzakah

Thanks to Joe Lang

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dr. Chilledair's Yule Blindfold Test

Guess the singer heard here , and win a great Christmas re-gift!  Deadline for entries midnight, December 24th. First person with correct answer wins. Those 8-years-old or younger not eligible. email your answer to drchilledair@yahoo.com . One entry per email address. No employees of Landfill Productions or their relatives are eligible. Void where prohibited by law. We'll be right back after this message from Liquid Prell.

Scribble, scribble, scribble, eh drchilledair?


INTRODUCTION to my new e-book, Vera Hruba. . .Who?, available at Scribd

Initially, "The Good Girl: Lucille Bremer and the Golden Age of MGM,” was intended to be one chapter in a volume about Hollywood movie moguls and their alleged (in some instances) mistresses that my good friend and constant traveling companion, David Ehrenstein and I were planning to write. Other chapters would have been devoted to the likes of Darryl F. Zanuck, who made a veritable cottage industry of starlet-mistresses and, perhaps, Wiliiam Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies. (Although that one has probably been anthologized, analyzed and, retrospected to death enough already!)

But the linchpin of the book would have been the rather well-known affair between Herbert J. Yates, head of Republic Pictures and Consolidated Film Laboratories, and former Czech figure skater, turned actress (of sorts) Vera Hruba Ralston. It is somewhat amusing and ironic that Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, which was supposed to be a film à clef of Davies and Hearst was much closer to the saga of Yates and Ralston. For while hardly anyone ever questioned the acting abilities of Davies, in Welles' masterpiece, Kane's opera singer, “Susan Alexander” was endlessly derided, much like Ralston, for the questionable talent that they brought, respectively, to the opera stage and the movie screen. At the beginning of Yates and Ralston's affair, he was already married. Eventually, he divorced his first wife for Ralston, and the two lived happily ever after. . .or at least until his death in 1966. This, despite the fact the twenty-six mostly expensive and mostly flops the actress made for Yates played a major part in the eventual demise of Republic in 1958.

Why this whiplash inducing digression right out of the Introductory starting gate?, you might well ask. Simply because, whenever David and I, in verbal pitches to agents and editors, got to the part about Ralston, invariably the response was, “Vera Hruba. . . WHO?”

Ah, well, as the great Lenny Bruce once remarked of something or someone in one or another of his routines, “Ah, how quickly we forget!” For it seems as if it was only yesterday that V.H.R. was burning up the silver screen in her last Republic potboiler, 1958's The Notorious Mr. Monks (“A hapless hitchhiker takes a ride with a drunk driver who takes him to his house. There he meets the driver's wife [Ralston] and murder ensues. “) In other words, for purposes of David's and my book, any reference to the actress, who died in 2003, proved to be, as they say, just a skosh too hip for the house.

As far as potential editors and publishers were concerned, that also seemed to be the case with most of the other biographical personae contained herein. At one time,not so long ago, the three most famous “people” in the world were considered to Mickey Mouse, Albert Einstein, and Joe Louis (also profiled herein). But, alas, when it came to the latter, even his name drew mostly black stares from book pub types. Again. . .“Ah, how quickly we forget.” And, as for 1940s recording superstar, Spike Jones---also contained herein---fuhgedaboutit!

Regarding the other profiles contained herein, the two never-really-famous famous comedy figures, Marr and Buckley, along with the profiled quartet of behind-the-scenes producers, they were never exactly household names in the first place. So, finally, the title of this book might well have been Too Hip for the House? Or some such. But I finally settled on Vera Hruba. . . WHO? It has a nice ring about it, doncha think?

---Bill Reed

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Here come de Scat Man


What Christmas would be complete without Leo Watson and his immortal version of Jingle Bells ? Makes Kay Thompson's o'wise wildly hip version of J.B. seem positively mitchmillerian by comparison.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday, December 05, 2010

On the 21st Day of Christmas. . .

. . .my true love served me with a restraining order.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Day 22


Click on image twide for full screen image.

The Christmas Song by Mariya Takeuchi is the second most popular Japanese holiday track, just a skosh behind husband Tatsuro Yamashita's Christmas Eve.

 
And here's a perfect Christmas gift for Friends of Judy everywhere.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

On the 24th Day of Christmas. . .

. . . my true love gave to me a trio of tracks from Kurt Reichenbach's Christmas CD




Anamari R.I.P.

One of our readers (Thank you!) has just informed me that the somewhat obscure but nonetheless, quite wonderful jazz singer Anamari has died recently. Here is her obituary as it appeared on the web site of the funeral home that handled her internment.


Anna Schofield, 70, of Norwich and NYC’s Greenwich Village has flown to her sweet reward. From the arms of her beloved daughter Alana and with loved ones at her side, she passed on November 3, 2010.

Born in Norwich in 1940, the blessed youngest child of Edmund L. and Edith McMullen Schofield, Anna attended Norwich High School and the University of Toronto. Having entered university at the tender age of 16, she found a home in the world of performing arts and soon made her way to Greenwich Village and the life that awaited her. Like many before, she went to New York to discover a side of herself that had yet to bloosom and perhaps to follow the elusive muse that drew her to a life of song and the introspective, beautiful power of music. Quoted in 1963 in an article about her music Anna said, “I’ve only begun to understand why I sing. While singing has always been important, its import grows incessantly. Now, I must sing.”

It’s little surprise that only a year later, in 1964, she released her first album on the Atlantic label. Entitled Anamari, it was produced by Nesushi Ertegun, the famed co-founder of Atlantic Records and was a hauntingly unique example of jazz balladry, a courageous work in that there was no attempt to hide from the intensity of these ballads. The public respected that directness, and combined with her “total involvement in” and the “uncharged uniqueneass” of her performances, her success grew. She toured the country and performed internationally, but was renowned in the jazz clubs of New York City. Particularly important gigs were held at The Village Gate and Gypsy’s and she was often accompanied by some of the most revered jazz musicians of the day, including Jim Hall, Art Framer and Clark Terry.

In 1974, her daughter Alana was born and while continuing to sing and work, Anna focused much of her attention on raising her child, while being the go-to person for her family in Norwich and her circle of friends in New York. Always searching and learning, versed in many disciplines from electric engineering to accounting to health and nutrition, Anna was a source of wisdom, humor, family history and not-so-common sense information for many friends and loved ones. In the 1990’s she returned to Norwich to care for her mother and has since spent much time in the place she refers to, only half-jokingly, as Brigadoon. An inventor of specialty cocktails like the “Hot Edy,” she even titles a favorite one “the Brigadoon” in honor of her home here in the valley. Anna enjoyed her herb garden and her cats and was an unbelievable whiz at crossword puzzles and impossible sodukos, but it was her love of music and of her daughter and family that guided her throughout.

Quoting from her liner notes of one of her albums, “Her performances are always marked by a dignity and originality; and perhaps the most illusive quality of all – honesty – which is a hard quality to come by in a world so predisposed to artificiality.” Knowing Anna, it’s not at all difficult to understand how, even at the age of 24, a writer could see that certain quality in her. The only thing surprising is, over all these years, that honesty and passion has remained; intensified. Even as time began to take its toll on her body, her intellect, passion and honesty flamed as strong and pure as it was when she was a kid.

Anna is survived by her daughter Alana Schofield-Davis and her granddaughter Samara. She is also survived by her two brothers Edmund, of Toronto, and Michael, of Ilion. NY, and her sisters Sarah and Peggy, of Lecanto and Estero, Florida, respectively. She was predeceased by her brother Peter. Included in the list of survivors should be the many nieces and nephews, friends and loved-ones for whom Anna was a buddy, a partner-in-crime, a surrogate mom, a hot meal, and a shoulder to cry on. She will be terribly missed.

Friends a loved ones are encouraged to gather in memoriam at Park Place Restaurant, 7 East Park Place, Norwich, on Thursday, November 11, 2010, from 3 – 7 p.m.

The arrangements are under the direction of the Wilson Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting the funeral home website at: http://www.wilsonfh.com/.

_________

note: Her funeral notice refers to "liner notes of one of her albums." To the best of my knowledge there was only the Atlantic album. An excellent piece of work to be sure, and well worth seeking out. If any readers are aware of others, please let me know.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On the 25th Day of Christmas. . .





















. . .my true love gave to me. . .the Hippest Christmas Single Ever?
"Christmas is Here" by Joe Valino (more) and. . . jazz's Richie Kamuca on ts.
Is there a case for this being the hippest Christmas single ever ? i.e., the quite fine (but mostly unknown) Valino and the great Kamuca paired up on a not-at-all-bad Christmas side on an early 1950s, totally recherche Philly record label.

On the 26th Day of Christmas. . .

. . . my true love gave to me a link to Don Charles' Singing Dogs. (Who the hell WAS Don Charles anyway?)


video by A. Warhol
click twice on image for full screen

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ohhhhhh. . .Kay?

Singer Kay Penton, is by far the most difficult whatever-happened-to? personage that I’ve ever tried to trace. (They don’t call me the “Diva Detective” in Japan for nothin.‘ ) You wouldn’t think that this would be the case at all. Penton immediately followed my good friend Jane Harvey into the Benny Goodman band as the “girl singer“ in 1945, but Jane knew absolutely zip about her. Just the name. And Penton made a fair number of recordings with the memorable jazz arranger and composer Tadd (“If You Could See Me Now”) Dameron, but the musician’s biographer Ian McDonald wrote to me that every attempt on his part to unearth even the slightest bit of biographical information about the singer found him coming up empty-handed. Searching through various old newspaper archives and the show biz publication, Billboard, I came across a number of reviews of Penton, starting in the early 1940s, but the only truly substantial item I uncovered was one that appeared in Dorothy Kilgallen’s column in 1953 to the effect that Penton was keeping company with none other than (gasp) Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo, i.e. El Jefe, aka The Boss, whose three-decade reign (1930-1961) in that nation is recalled as being one of the bloodiest of the 20th Century. Shortly after that, Penton disappears from sight. Dunh-dunh-dunnnnn!

As far as Kay's recording career is concerned, aside from her stint with Goodman, the musical associations of Penton, a Caucasian, were nearly all African-American, including, besides Dameron, Teddy Wilson, Fats Navarro and Miles Davis. To say that this was highly unusual for those especially racially troubled times (circa 1945 - 1955) is an understatement of the first degree. It simply was not done! There might have been some other exceptions with other white, female singers, but certainly not to this extent. It is also curious that Penton was among the very first pactees Capitol Records signed when it was founded in 1942, and slated to originally be known as Victory Records. But if she ever recorded for the label, I have not been able unearth any sides. (The singer did eventually make some sides with a Tadd Dameron and Miles Davis for the label in 1949.)

Nothing about Penton, under her stage moniker, shows up in the SSI death index, nor does any obit appear in any U.S. newspaper under that name. Nor are there any photos of her on the internet. If Penton is still alive, she would probably be in her late eighties. I gotta confess, this one really has me stumped.

To the best of my knowledge, here is is Penton’s complete discography. Consisting of 19 recorded sides and two film Soundies.
There's No Ceiling on Love w/ Guy Lombardo duet w/ Billy Leach Decca
     18576
People Will Say We're in Love w/ Guy Lombarda duet w/ Billy Leach
     transcription
Hip Hip Hooray w/ Henry Nemo, Soundie (1943)
What Good is Love Soundie (1943)
June is Bustin’ Out All Over w/ Benny Goodman, Columbia (1945)
Ain’t Misbehavin’ w/ Benny Goodman, Columbia (1945)
Yesterdays V Disc 720A (1947)
That Someone Must Be You, w/ Fats Navarro Savoy (1947)
Gone with the Wind w/ Fats Navarro, Savoy (1947)
I Think I'll Go Away Kay, w/ Tadd Dameron, V-Disc 794 (1947)
Don't Mention Love to Me w/ Tadd Dameron, V-Disc 794 (1947)
As Time Goes By w/ Teddy Wilson Musicraft 580 1947
Isn't it Romantic / Teddy Wilson, Musicraft (1947)
These Foolish Things w/ Teddy Wilson, Musicraft 1947
Something I Dreamed Last Night w/ Teddy Wilson, Musicraft   (1947)
That Someone Must Be You w/ Fats Navarro, Savoy (1947)
Gone With the Wind w/ Fats Navarro, Savoy (1947)
What's New - w/ Tadd Dameron, Miles Davis, 4/21/49
Heaven's Doors are Open Wide w/ Tadd Dameron, Capitol (1949)
Plaything b/w Why (not Penton) Dana 100 (1950)
A New Town is a Blue Town - Mercury 70379 (1954)
I Was Meant for You - Mercury 70379 (1954)
Why Don’t You Be Good - Mercury 70418 (1954)
That’s You My Love - Mercury 70418 (1954)
Every Man Needs a Gal in His Corner / Hot Rod Heaven - Samson 888 (1955)

Was she any good? I think so. Very! But why don't you be the judge?

Update 11/29: Here's a  link to Penton's Isn't it Romantic w/Teddy Wilson (Thanks, Daniel)
Any other links out there?

POSTSCRIPT 5/25/11

Have unearthed a bit more info about Penton.

She was born in New Orleans in 1924 and began singing publicly at the age of five. There are a couple of articles in the New Orleans Times Picayune (4/15/40 & 3/4/42). I have not been able to access the articles, but only references to them in an archive index). Her first gig as a band singer was with Guy Lombardo (Louis Armstrong's favorite big band. . .seriously) in 1943, and by 1944 she already had her own Friday night radio show on CBS. One article about her at this time deemed her the "prettiest girl in radio" (radio. . .did it really matter?) and stated that three movie studios were courting her for a screen test. There is, however, no info on the net that these ever came to pass. In 1947, in Miami, FL, she married "textile magnate" Lou Bolton; the marriage, though, was annulled less than a month later. Somewhere along the way, she also dated John Hertz, the ex-spouse of Myrna Loy. Yes! John Hertz of the Rent-a-Car operation. Factor in her relationship with Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo (see above) along with this romantic factoid and you have to admit the gal really got around. 

Has anyone who was so high profile for so many years ever fallen so far below radar? Thirty years old. . .over and out. There's still not even a single photo of her on the internet. I now know that if she were alive today, she'd be 87.

Leslie Nielsen R.I.P.

For the S.F. Examiner, in 1988 I interviewed Nielsen on the occasion of the big screen release of Naked Gun. As highly respected a prankster as he was a comic actor, without thinking of the possible consequences, I asked him some question or other that included the word farceur. And without missing so much as a beat, he feigned cutting the cheese with the omni-present whoopee cushion he always carried with him. Blaaaaat. Now that's fast!

This was the same press junket where I was instructed by the film's publicist that under no circumstances was I to ask Priscilla Presley any questions whatsover about either the pre-carb or post- carb Elvi. This was Priscilla's film debut and so there was not much of an ouevre to chat about. But I had a last minute inspiration almost as quick-minded as Nielsen's (above). "Ms. Presley," I said, "I realize I'm not supposed to ask you questions about your former husband. But if I COULD, what question wouldn't you mind answering?" That broke the ice. She gave out with a charming laugh and then proceded to talk almost exclusively about Elvis, when she wasn't otherwise engaged plugging Naked Gun. All the while, the publicist fuming immediately to my right.

Upon his passing, U.K. actor/comedian Russell Brand remarked yesterday "Shirley, he will be missed" (as in "Don't call me Shirley."

I wonder if Nielsen will be buried with his beloved whoopee cushion?

On the 27th Day of Christmas. . .

. . . my true love gave to me this long out-of-print Charles Brown LP featuring his upteenth remake of his classic "Merry Christmas Baby."



Coming Home to Mama for Christmas
Peace at Christmas
What a Christmas for Me
No Friend This Christmas
I'll Be Home for Christmas
You Make Christmas Merry for Me
Merry Christmas Baby
Santa Claus Remember Me
Going Home for Christmas

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jane Harvey in the WSJ


Wall Street Journal

Nov. 19, 2010
Stephen Sondheim 80th Birthday Celebration
Carnegie Hall
by Will Friedwald

It's a minority opinion, but I'll stand by it: The music of Stephen Sondheim is possibly even more noteworthy than his justly celebrated lyrics. This concert, featuring the New York Pops, promises to be the rare event that puts the spotlight on the melodies rather than the texts; while there will be three vocal soloists (Kate Baldwin, Aaron Lazar and Christiane Noll) and a choir, the real attraction will be to hear Mr. Sondheim's amazing music feted by a full symphony-sized orchestra. For those who prefer a more intimate, but nonetheless different, side of Sondheim, the jazz-oriented "Jane Harvey Sings Sondheim" has just been reissued. More than any other singer, Ms. Harvey shows that his songs can not only stand on their own without the shows they were written for, but that even such wordy musical monologues as "I'm Still Here" and "Could I Leave You" can actually swing.

Available at amazon.com at a typically hefty price for Japanese imports, but worth every penny of it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

On the 29th Day of Christmas. . .

. . .my true love gave to me this funky $800.00 collectible LP. 

On the 30th Day of Christmas. . .


. .  .my true love gave to me A Kuklapolitan Christmas.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

On the 31st Day of Christmas. . .

. . .my true love sent to me part one of Stan Freberg's Chrismas Dragnet

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On the 32nd Day of Christmas. . .

. . .my true love gave to me, part 2 of a Dragnet Christmas (see below for pt. 1)

On the 33rd Day of Christmas. . .

. . .my true love gave to me this old RCA ep. (Part one.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

On the 34th Day of Chritmas. . .

. . .my true love sent to me a link to this charming rendition of Japan's most popular holiday song, Tatsuro Yamashita's Christmas Eve. Here, it is sung by Youtube uke star, Keonepax



Click on image twice for full screen

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My "think piece" for the year. . .

. . .written on the occasion of a new Quincy Jones CD: yet another tiresome pairing of elements from much "better" music combined with the inchoate, indistinct brayings of so-called rap artistes such as---I refuse to call them anything other than---Calvin Broadus and Christopher Brian Bridges. (Sorry, ahem, but the title of the damn album seems to've escaped me for the nonce.)

The 30 year crusade of "Q" (as those near and dear to Jones---all ten thousand of 'em) to lend a patina of respectability to c(rap) and other forms of music Kultural Kriminalism has done more harm to the cause of actual "good" pop and jazz music than the actions of any other professional in the history of the art form. Plus, ferkrisakes, he founded Vibe ragazine, a periodical solely devoted to promoting the cause of musical brain rot, i.e. rap and  "hop (ain't) hip" (vide John Wood).

The truth is, most of Jones' "better" jazz charts from the before time were done by uncredited others. Think Billy Byers, Oliver Nelson et al. However, to give credit where it's due, I really do like Jones' arrangements for Leslie Gore (It's My Party, Judy's Turn to Cry, etc.). .  .if he actually did write them. Good, fun disposible musical brain candy. And, really, some of the Michael Jackson stuff that Jones produced isn't all that bad.

It's not that Jones is necessarily a BAD jazz arranger, but allegedly (no names puh-leese) he works so slowly that he really isn't all that cost effective. On the other hand, Jones' ghost arrangers could do this stuff in their sleep. Much more important to those who use Jones' services is that he is "branded" to the max. And that's mostly what his buyers are paying (if I might end this sentence with a preposition) for.

To reiterate, Jones' IT'S ALLLLLL GOODDDD musical aesthetic has had an incalcuably deleterious impact on American non-classical music. After, some years back, he began to deem hip-hop and rap capital "A" capital "R"capital "T," it's been downhill all the way. Even disco is slightly more bearable than the junque that mid-to-late career Jones has trafficked in. I'll even take the likes of Donna Summer over Curtis James Jackson III any day.

I never let an opportunity go by if I can find an excuse to quote the late, great drummer Max Roach (and IMHO a far greater musician than Quincy Jones) on the subject of rap, and this seems just like one of those times: to wit, "Those who voted for defunding of music education programs in public schools are getting what they paid for."

I could go on and on and on. . ..

Break out the champagne. . .


. . .or booze. Today would've been the 85th birthday of June Chiristy. Here's an entry on her from my book, A Fine Romance: My Lifelong Affair with Jazz Singing and Singers.

I know this is going to sound heretical, but I even like June Christy's deeply-flawed last album, Impromptu (1977) better than Something Broadway, Something Latin (1965), her last contractual effort for the House That (Johnny) Mercer built. There are several very ricky-tick tracks on the latter, and the very best cuts on it are by far the most pop-ish things she ever recorded. The first time I heard SBSL, I sensed that the word had come down from on high to either sell out or get out. This was the clearly the result of the label's all-out push to switch over to the new British Invasion and surf music that was selling in "units" never dreamed of just a few years earlier in the heyday of June and her debut best-seller, 1955’s Something Cool, which by 1956 had sold a whopping 93,000 copies (amazing or the times). In other words, SBSL is for diehard completists only. What a wonderful label Capitol had been up to this point in time: exemplified by a very crisp, commercial style of jazz recording. Intelligent compromise of the highest order, if you will. "Compromise" in the sense that, for example, Capitol jazz artists were not noted for "stretching out." Much of their material was in and out in three minutes flat. Also, not a label to turn to for the experimental in music. Perhaps, for these reasons and others,that's why so much of the mid-fifties-to-mid-sixties output of Capitol still sounds so good today: Peggy Lee, Nat Cole, Dakota Staton, Frank Sinatra, George Shearing, Louis and Keely, Ann Richards, Nancy Wilson, June Christy, Stan Kenton, The Four Freshmen et al. all under contract at the same time. (Not to mention master parodist Stan Freberg!) The mind reels!

Beginning Sunday, The 35 Days of Christmas

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ask and ye shall. . .

Here's commentary on the above Jeri Sullavan Soundie from the WeirdWildRealm website:

"Though copyrighted in 1945, this Jeri Sullavan soundie Memphis Blues was filmed in 1942. Jeri was a big band singer of merit, & in A Song is Born (1947) when you see actress Virginia Mayo singing, that's actually Jeri Sullavan's voice; & in Love that Brute (1950) you're hearing Jeri while Jean Peters appears to be singing.

For Memphis Blues she proves herself a good basic swing vocalist, praiseworthy even if not unique. The setting for this soundie is a run-down little club.

A clarinet player is seated nearby. A cigarette hangs from the pianist's lips. The camera pans across the small audience at tables & finds Jeri singing from the opposite side of the small club, away from the musicians, leaning on the bar much as did Bessie Smith in St. Louis Blues (1929), which was in fact directed by this little soundie's director!

The number commemorates W. C. Handy's blues compositions, but Jeri's not singing one of Handy's songs. With little dubious romanticisms, the lyric runs in part:

"I never will forget the tune that Handy called the Memphis Blues/ That melancholy strain/ That ever haunting refrain/ Is like a darky moaning a song..." It's just a mite too precious to praise more than a little.

This soundie was included in the one-reel home-movie Sophisticated Gals (1947) together with Grace Barrie singing Nobody Makes a Pass at Me (1942) & Jeni Freeland singing I'm a Big Girl Now (1946)."
__________________

In fact, that IS Handy's lyric. One of his most famous ones at that. Not bad for such an allegedly "precious" piece of songsmithery.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Honey. . .I Mean Jeri



Click on image twice for full screen

There is no "Honey Swanson." What you have here is the moving image of Virginia Mayo; the ghostesSING of the terrific but nonetheless obscure Jeri Sullavan, backed by the Page Cavanaugh trio from a certain movie of the late 1940s (you do the "math"). The song is "Daddy-O" by the wonderful team of Don Raye and Gene De Paul. But Sullivan's real claim to fame is that she co-wrote Andrews Sisters anthem Rum and Coca-Cola. If she were still alive today on her birthday, she'd be collecting royalties on the song at the grand old age of 86.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

It's K.T's Natal Occasion

I'll celebrate by wearing my Think Pink socks and by visiting here: http://kaythompsonwebsite.com/
Yours truly,
Bill, the Shill

Denzal Sinclaire



Click image twice for full screen

Yet another great, young Canadian jazz singer. Must be something in the water.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Close Harmony

I came across this still-timely article while perusing an old desk drawer full of Des Moines Registers this morning (I'm lying. I googled it on the net). It's from 2008.

WILLIAMS BROTHERS
by Tom Longden

Before Andy Williams sang solo, he performed with his three older brothers. The Williams Brothers quartet delighted audiences wherever it went.

The boys with the remarkable harmony were born in Wall Lake, then settled in Des Moines before moving to Chicago, Cincinnati and Los Angeles on their journey to fame.

They were the sons of Jay and Florence Williams, and they got their start by singing in a choir at the Presbyterian Church in Wall Lake. When Bob was 14 and Don was 11, they could already envision themselves as a quartet, just as soon as smaller brothers Dick, 8, and Andy, 6, were older.

Why not?" said their dad, a railroad mail clerk. "It's up to you boys. Whatever you want to do, start now, build yourselves up and don't quit until you succeed."

Moving to Des Moines about a year later, the family lived at 3015 Kingman Blvd.

Singing on Des Moines radio, Don Williams recalls today, "We worked so hard. We had a show every morning at 8 a.m. on WHO, and on Saturday we were on the 'Barn Dance.' Sometimes we even had a Sunday show, and we practiced five hours daily."

He adds: "Our voices were quite similar, but Andy sang the top, with Bob below him, then me, singing bass to tenor, and Dick."

The singing parts tended to change as the boys matured into young men.

It was mid-July 1940 when the family packed up its belongings for the move to Chicago and "the break of a lifetime" - a year's contract with radio station WLS. The boys were told they would sing as a quartet but also have the chance to perform solos and duets on the air.

From Chicago, the singing act and their parents moved to Cincinnati. The boys performed on radio station WLW before they set off for Hollywood for a chance at the movies.

In Los Angeles, the boys made their first professional recording, singing with Bing Crosby on the award-winning hit "Swinging on a Star" (1944).

The Williams Brothers had been signed by MGM, but the studio loaned the group out for specialty numbers in movies produced at Warners, RKO and Republic studios. They included "Janie" and "Kansas City Kitty," both in 1944, and "Ladies' Man" in 1947, the same year the quartet appeared with singing star Deanna Durbin in "Something in the Wind." In that movie they first join Donald O'Connor in "The Turntable Song" and slide into the romantic title song with Durbin.

It was at MGM where the Williams boys met one-of-a-kind singer-actress- comedienne Kay Thompson, who told them, "Let's do an act," Don Williams says today. Thompson was then a vocal coach/vocal arranger at MGM.

Don Williams says the act was so packed with entertainment that it was exhausting.

"We rehearsed eight hours a day for three months just to get one hour's worth of material," he says. "We didn't just stand and sing."

In addition to singing ("I Love a Violin," "Clap Your Hands," "Jubilee Time" and "Hello, Hello," among others) the brothers danced and did vignettes with Thompson, who did all the musical arrangements. Top-ranked Bob Alton of MGM did the choreography.

"It was a very popular act," Don Williams says, and drew crowds wherever it played across the nation and overseas. In New York City, legendary columnist Walter Winchell "loved us," Williams says. "He was very taken with the act. He wrote about it every day, or at least it seemed he did."

When the act ended its successful run in 1953, the brothers went their own ways to develop their own solo acts.

Don Williams returned to Los Angeles, where he says he found work on TV, "formed a couple of acts, sang on the Eddie Fisher and Nat King Cole television shows, sang commercials of all kinds" and later opened the then-brand-new Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, performing there for two years.

He subsequently became an agent and manager, retiring 20 years ago.

Dick Williams landed on Broadway, says Don, but today lives in Los Angeles, and is still singing as well as writing and conducting.

Andy launched his own spectacular career in New York and is still going strong - at 81 as of Dec. 3 - by performing at his Moon River Theater in Branson, Mo.

Brother Bob, Don says, "got out of the business," joining the boys' father in real estate ventures. Bob is now deceased, as is sister Jane.

Don Williams, 86, and his wife, Jeanne, live in Branson, close to Andy. The brothers also have homes in Palm Springs, where they spend winters.

When Andy Williams had his popular network television show, all of the brothers continued to perform with him on his yearly Christmas specials. "We did about 10 of those," Don says.

Andy, with Don, Dick and sister Jane, visited Wall Lake in 1998 for the dedication of the Williams family home as a historic site and tourist attraction.
 1940

 Late 1940s w/ Thompson

Dick Williams w/ Kay Thompson author Sam Irvin, last Wednesday night
photo by Stephen Myers

Irvin's book is a wonder. The product of more than ten years of research and writing, and it shows (in a good way). One of the very best show biz books I've ever read, and believe you me, I read more than my share, including (!) Jimmy Savo's Little World, Hello. (Top that!) Kay Thompson is unquestionably the greatest American artist (extracategorically) whom almost no one seems to know. For starters, there probably wouldn't have been a Four Freshmen and the Hi-Lo's were it not for Thompson. Nor a Liza Minnelli. (Welllll.....) Despite all the many years of contributions to various fields of artistry, Kay somehow failed to become "branded." Even most of the soigne, louche  sorts I tend to hang out with don't seem to know who she is. "You know, Eloise." "Duh, oh yeah." Let's hope Irvin's book changes all that.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A Fine Romance


My collection of previously published liner notes, magazine and newspaper articles, etc. related to practitioners of American Popular Song, entitled A Fine Romance: My Lifelong Affair with Jazz Singing and Singers, was to have  hit the stalls this fall. But the tentative publisher was moving at such a slow pace that I've decided---what the hell---to e-book it. There are only a handful of books out there related to the subject, most notably two very fine collections by Will Friedwald. But there really should be more. Many more. This is my modest gesture to help address that scarcity.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/18644342/A-Fine-Romance-My-Lifelong-Affair-With-Jazz-Singing-and-Singers#scribd

PS: There's at least another book's worth of material stashed away where this one came from.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Mister First Nighter and His Nano



Click on image twice for full screen

Great fun Wednesday night at L.A.'s Book Soup with Sam Irvin reading from his new bio of "Kay Thompson." Ran out of memory on my IPod Nano at just the juncture where he introduces Evelyn Rudie in the audience. (If you don't know who Rudie is, then you probably shouldn't even bother to be viewing this in the first place.) Other notables in attendance included Dick Williams (of the Wms Bros), great singer Bea Wain (aka Mrs. Andre Baruch) and "The Other" Ray Charles. Don't bother to phone me today. I'll have my nose stuck in Irvin's book.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Doc's Poetry Corner; or A Manifesto

                   STRAIGHT TONES
                       by Sue Raney
Whatever happened to straight tones?
The kind that end in Good Pitch
Sometimes with a warm vibrato
Beautiful, Tuneful and Rich

Where the word brings a glow to the music
Not running around for the note
When the singer phrases the story
And sings what the songriter wrote

I can walk in the mall or the market
And hear the songs of today
There's hardly a time or a moment
I don't wish I could just run away

It screams in my ears with a vengeance
Like some cat caught high on a fence
And the notes in between and the endings
Falter around with no sense

Was it Rap, "the Hood" or old Woodstock
That evolved the song to this place
Where the singers sing every note
Like they're on some search or a chase

My grapes are not sour---they've always been sweet
But I can't understand what went wrong
The straight tone is suddenly so obsolete
And that's how they all sing a song

But one day this trend will be over
And some new superstars will arrive
And bring back the true art of singing
                To keep
Beautiful Music alive
           HURRY!!!!!
          

Kurt Reichenbach is one busy, busy guy

Click image twice to view full page

Saturday, October 30, 2010

DoDo (To)Day

UPDATE:

HERE'S THE 10/30/10 WSJ REVIEW OF SAM IRVIN'S NEW KAY THOMPSON BIO. AND NEXT WEDNESDAY (11/3) IRVIN WILL BE HOSTING A BOOK READING  & SIGNING AT L.A.'S BOOK SOUP AT 7 PM. HOPEFULLY A FEW MORE WILL TURN OUT THAN DID AT MY SIGNING THERE EARLIER THIS YEAR (TALK ABOUT PLAYING THE HOUSE!). BE THERE OR BE SQUARE OR YOU CAN BE BOTH @ 8818 W. SUNSET BL, WEST HOLLYWOOD

Michael Dees !

Last Saturday at L.A. Jazz Institute's Sinatra Fest. With Frankie Capp's Juggernaut. After a half-hour's worth of this vocal wonderfulness, I was a total wreck. That's me shouting out the Lord's name in vain at the conclusion. (Pardon my crummy Nano vid; just listen to the audio!)


Click on image twice fo full screen
photo: James Harrod

Tokorode: Thanks for all your kind words re: my A Fine Romance: My Lifelong Affair with Jazz Singing and Singers

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Sue Raney Website

I was happy to be able to assist Ms. Raney in getting her new official website on-line. I worked with my friend Jeremy, the web master, for several weeks in getting things just right. I wanted it up and running in time for Raney’s Oct 23rd appearance at the L.A. Jazz Institute Sinatra fest, A Swingin‘ Affair. We made it just under the wire, with only a couple of hours to spare. As for the LAJI Saturday evening event, which operated as a tribute to Nelson Riddle, the enthusiastic full house reacted as if they didn’t quite know what had hit them. It’s not often these economically distressed days that one gets to witness a singer pulling all the stops out in front of a forty-piece orchestra replete with a twenty-member string section. Maybe Streisand, and that’s probably it. I didn’t ask Raney, but it’s doubtful that even she, veteran performer that Sue is, has often had the chance to participate in such a Herculean undertaking. Maybe with a handful of “Pops” orchestras, and that‘s it. Most of her repertoire last Saturday consisted of Nelson Riddle’s arrangements from her first Capitol Records album, When Your Lover Has Gone.

It wasn’t just Raney’s “perfect” (as one attendee later described it) performance that stood out, but, instead, the entire evening, which also included fine, young Brit singer Gary Williams and the glorious sound of the Nelson Riddle Orchestra conducted by son Christopher Riddle. It took real pro’s to achieve such near-perfect results with only two hours of rehearsal for a performance also lasting. . .two hours! In the near future, I’ll be posting photos of the occasion, and perhaps even an audio or video clip or three. And commentary on some of the rest of LAJI fest. Update: These just in, taken by my friend Ruriko. That's Christopher Riddle to Sue's right in photo one and in photo three.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Singer Kurt Reichenbach taken yesterday at the L.A. Jazz Institute's Swingin' Affair fest. And just dig that krazeeee silhouette! Photo by Gordon Sapsed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Re-Pagination

This video that I created for the late Page Cavanaugh's 85th birthday party a few years back is still available on youtube, but for some unknown reason, it no longer shows up in their search engine. Sooooo, for what it's worth. . .



Click image twice to display full screen.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

"My Lee Wiley"

On the occcasion of the singer's 102nd birthday. Reposted from two years ago. Pts 1-5. Translated by J., narrated by Westbrook Van Voorhis. Originally broadcast on Japanese TV a decade-and-a-half (or-so) ago.Click on image twice for full screen.









Saturday, October 02, 2010

AND NOW. . .A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR



DOUBLE CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL SCREEN

Friday, October 01, 2010

It's Ann Richards' (October 1, 1935 - April 1, 1982) birthday


Reposted from 2008
Jazz singer Ann Richards' Playboy magazine photo shoot, June 1961







______________
The following is excerpted from a post of a few years ago by Noel Wedder on a Kenton net list:
"It [the photo spread] also severed his relationship with Hugh Hefner. Stan was appalled that Hefner hadn't extended him the courtesy of telling him in advance [Kenton's wife] Ann had posed nude for the magazine. The first we knew about it was when one of the guys picked up a copy of Playboy while we were touring. Try as we might we couldn't keep it away from Stan. The jig was up when Charles Suter [sic], then editor of Downbeat, confronted Stan in Chicago and asked about the layout and why Stan hadn't put a stop to it. 'What layout?,' Stan asked perplexed. Suter then gave him a copy of the magazine open to Ann's spread. Stan glanced quickly at the photos, closed the magazine, handed it back to Suter and walked away seething. Later that night Stan indicated Suter had been elevated to his shit list. He felt, and rightly so, Suter had overstepped the bounds of propriety by shoving the magazine in his face. 'Friends just don't do that to friends,' he bellowed."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I wouldn't miss it for the world

Kay Thompson event

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Michael vid - The Beatle-ization of Bublé



"Can't Buy Me Love" meets "Let's Live for Today"
CLICK TWICE ON IMAGE FOR FULL SCREEN

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nat - It's his birthday!

REPOSTED FROM 2007
John Hammond, organist Marlowe Morris, Nat Shapiro (1962)                  
















Letter from Nat to me (and David)


























Nat's "Times" obit. Note the misspelling of Legrand, and the name of Nat's widow, Vera Miller (Nat woulda had a cow over such---even then---increasingly sloppy news copy editing.)











____________________

I've been thinking a lot about Nat Shapiro lately as a result of reading "The Label," Gary Marmorstein's new and evocative history of Columbia Records. Nat was at Columbia at the same time as other old school record men like Goddard Lieberson, Irving Townsend, George Avakian, Mitch Miller and John Hammond. Less impressively from my perspective, although not monetarily so, he'd been the guiding force behind Hair.

Nat and I sometimes had dawn-to dusk conversations in his Central Park West apartment overlooking the park. In the biz for a number of years, he'd been Frank Sinatra's press agent at the lowest point in the singer's career early in the 1950s. One always sensed with Nat that there were some subjects best left un-discussed; clearly his time on the cross in Sinatra's employ was one of them. Once---and I don't know what possessed me to make the remark---I slipped and said, "I think Sinatra would make a really good Norman Maine in a A Star is Born. "Yes, except at the end," Nat said, "Sinatra would have to be walking out of the ocean instead of into it." Then he abruptly changed the subject. That's the only I ever heard him utter the name of his former employer in any context.

I went with him to see Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, which starts at the conclusion and proceeds backwards to the beginning. At the end of the first act Nat stood up and announced, "Aha! The plot thins!"

Nat produced recordings for Dietrich, Brazilian grande vedette Maysa,and many others, and was deeply amused that he had produced the only album in which Count Basie's rhythm guitar player Freddie Greene's name appeared above the title. All Greene did on the date was his usual elegant 1-2-3-4 chunk-a-chunk accompaniment.

Nat often talked about what he called "singer's disease": the insecurity that arises when intuitive singers (Shirley Horn, Blossom Dearie, et al excepted) clash head-on in the studio or on the bandstand with skilled, trained musicians. As a result, singers are often forced into ridiculous, defensive diva-like positions.

I loved his stories. The first day on the job as Billy Eckstine's press agent, the singer and his wife had been busted in a pot raid with an minor teenaged girl. I wish I could remember all the great stories Nat told me: the details are hazy regarding some dicey Johnnie Ray anecdotes.

Shortly before highly acquisitive Nat died unexpectedly, he began giving away things to friends, including myself. I would tentatively pull something off the shelves, such as the rare ten-inch Billy Strayhorn lp on the Mercer label (I eventually passed it on to legendary recording engineer Al Schmitt, whose first ever studio recording this was.) "Good choice," Nat'd remark and drop it on the pile. I was shocked at this atypical generosity with things.

The last time I saw him, shortly after I moved to L.A., he even hugged me, something he never did, at least not with male friends. The gesture is one of the few things in my life that found me, after his death, pondering the unseen at the expense of the seen. I'm convinced that, unconsciously, Nat knew he was going to die, even though he was in relatively good health. I miss him still.

Nat told me that one time the door bell rang at his upper West Side apartment at two in the morning. He answered it and there stood none other than Marlene Dietrich. Nat was a night owl and a bit of an insomniac as well, Marlene had been wandering the neighborhood and spotting his lights on, thought she'd drop in to say hello. At 2 am. . .without advance word. But then, goddesses seldom phone ahead. Nat's wife Vera, awakened from a sound sleep, peeped through a crack in the door and espied their unexpected visitor. A few minutes later, according to Nat, Vera then made HER entrance into the living room, dressed to the nines, with full makeup, hair out of curlers, her best frock, the works. . .at 2 am! Years later I mentioned to Vera that Nat had told me about the occasion but that I didn't really believe that the ultra-sensible woman that she is was capable of such overweening vanity and feminine competitiveness. . .even in the face of Marlene Dietrich. In so many words, Vera told me to "Believe it, honey, believe it!"

Here's a video clip of Monsieur Legrand singing and playing at the above-noted memorial service.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Audrey Morris Alert


Time Sunday, September 26 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
POSTPONED UNTIL OCTOBER 3RD

Location Club 3160
3160 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL

Club 3160 is proud to present a very special and rare evening of Chicago's treasure, the legendary singer/pianist and recording artist Audrey Morris.

This is a "don't miss" opportunity to hear Audrey in a comfortable and intimate setting, allowing her to do what she does best!

Quotes about Audrey:

"Morris has the ability to wring maximum dramatic impact from every syllable of lyric, all the while providing a lush piano accompaniment..." Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“I learned a lot. . .about approaching ballad playing and trying to interpret the meaning of its lyrics through the piano and my group. You may not know it, but you have been held in great esteem by the various members of the jazz world that have appeared with you in the London House [in Chicago] , including yours truly. All I can say is, Chicago be proud, for Audrey is in the house.” World renowned jazz pianist, Oscar Peterson

Saturday, September 18, 2010

There's no business like. . .



(To appreciate the full import of the tale I am about to tell, it should be noted that the great Peggy Lee was an absolute stickler for choreographing every last physical move and facial expression of her "live" performances. . .all-the-while still retaining her crown as one of the hardest-swinging practitioners of the art of jazz singing.)

This youtube clip brings to mind an incident that guitarist Dennis Budimir recounted at the 2001 memorial service for jazz musician Lou Levy. (That's "Silver Fox" Levy in the clip with Peggy Lee.) During the mid-1960s, the latter was musical director and pianist for Lee, and Budimir was a member of the singer's band. This was really the high water mark of Lee's night club career. And although there was great musical respect between Levy and Lee, it seems that there was also a fair degree of aesthetic contentiousness between the two which, from time to time, could escalate into rather heated shouting matches. One time, in fact, the backstage verbal battle royale became so heated, according to Budimir, that here is what the audience at (I believe it happened at Basin Street East) witnessed as a result

Per usual, Levy and the musicians came on stage, took their places, and the announcer on the p.a. system intoned those immortal words, "Ladies and Gentlemen, MISS Peggy Lee," at which point the singer began to move into the spotlight from the wings.

The only problem was that, Budimir recalled, instead of playing the opening bars of her play-on music, "I Love Being Hearing With You," Levy was instead giving out with her play-off, final bows accompaniment. It was an act of extreme payback for the contretemps he'd just had with Lee.

Lee, according to Budimir, just stood there for a moment, unable to spontaneously react to this sudden unexpected change in the proceedings---stunned like the proverbial deer in the headlights. Next, the lights faded to black, dialogue between Lee and Levy could then be heard in the pitch black darkness. Albeit a few db's lower than a full bore argument. Then after a few seconds of silence, once again it was: "Ladies and Gentlemen, MISS Peggy Lee." And it was business as usual for the remainder of the evening, as if this amazing choregraphis interruptus had never happened.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Multitrakac

Over the past few days, I've become a staunch devotee of the (seeming) newly burgeoning art form of multi-track acappella as exemplified by the gifted, young Frenchman, Jean-Baptiste Craipeau (see below). And by others (also on youtube) who followed in the wake of my discovery of Craipeau, such as Danny Fong, Andrew Kesler, Vance Perry, Simon Rylander, and Mike Beck. But, in fact, it's not such a new "thing" after all. For in the immortal words of the late, great Mister Liza Minnelli, "Everything Old is New Again," as proved by the great Japanese pop star (my guilty pleasure if there ever was one) Tatsuro Yamashita. (According to my friend Jeremy, I've got rice on the brain.) Yamashita's been mining this multitrakac idiom for quite some time now, as exemplified by the video clip below. This from the third volume (1999) in his "On the Street Corner" series, which he began in 1986.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Dr. Chilledair Seal of Approval this week goes to:

Singer Rebecca Kilgore's new radio show, The Singer's Voice . It streams every Saturday from 1 - 3 pm on Portland's KMHD

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Jean-Baptiste Craipeau



CLICK TWICE ON IMAGE FOR FULL SCREEN

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Sue Raney Alert!


Sue Raney will be appearing with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, conducted by Chris Riddle, as part of the upcoming Los Angeles Jazz Institute's four-day (Oct. 21-24) "A Jazz Tribute to Frank Sinatra." Sue will be taking part in "A Swingin Session," on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 pm in the Marquis Ballroom at the L.A. Airport Marriott Hotel. Her very first recording for the Capitol record label was conducted and arranged by Riddle, who was also closely associated with the music and artistry of Sinatra. She also made many public appearances with the Riddle organization during its heyday.

For information on single tickets or all-event passes, phone the Institute at: (562) 200-5477. Further details on the fest are also available at its website: www.lajazzinstitute.org/


"Early on I sang the hits, tunes the girl singers in the band were performing. While growing up in the 1950s, I first listened to Doris Day, Patti Page, Rosemary Clooney, and Kay Starr. I discovered jazz when I was 16 or 17 and of course soon loved Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan."

After working steadily in New Mexico and taking several trips out to Los Angeles during a couple of summer vacations, Sue Raney joined the Jack Carson radio show in 1954. "That is why the family moved out to Los Angeles. I had auditioned for Frankie Laine and made a couple of demos for his office. It was through him that I ended up on the Jack Carson show. It was one of the last major radio programs on CBS and at 15 I was the teenager on the show for nine or ten months. After Jack Carson I started appearing on Ray Anthony's television program and then became the vocalist with his hand when he played the Palladium. When I was 19, I put an act together and started working on the road."

She was already an established singer when most young girls were making a rather awkward transition from Elvis Presley to Clearasil. It took time to polish her vocal talent. There were ups and downs, good breaks and bad ones. There was the time in Australia when the critics banged nothing but praise out of their typewriters and the crowds came early and stayed and stayed and stayed. For a time, things couldn't be better. She completed her third album for Capitol Records and was swamped with hotel and night club bookings as well as offers for various television appearances.

Then came a down. An auto accident crumbled the classic stairway to stardom. Bedridden for months, Sue faded out of the musical picture. But no one seemed to forget. With the help of crutches, she made an appearance on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show," and became an instant hit.

In the 1960's Sue Raney worked with the Four Freshmen in Las Vegas, toured with her own group, and appeared frequently on television variety shows including those of Red Skelton, Dean Martin and Danny Kaye. During the following decade she became active in the studios where her impressive voice helped sell products. But when asked to name her favorite gig, Sue Raney says "Possibly the highpoint of my life musically was when I toured with Michel Legrand in the 1980's. We worked with symphony orchestras in addition to having a self-contained rhythm section. I had a chance to sing Michel's lovely songs and it was wonderful." Of her own personal recordings she says "I think the trio of records that I made for Albert Marx, on Discovery in the 1980's are the ones that I am most proud of. I also like the Henry Mancini tribute Dreamsville that I did with Alan Broadbent." Sue is also an accomplished songwriter, contributing lyrics to several songs including Statue Of Snow.

These days Sue Raney is quite active as a voice teacher. "I've been teaching since the early 1980's, originally at the Dick Grove school and now privately nearly every afternoon. It is very rewarding. Teaching has allowed me to relearn what I thought I knew and explore new areas. I find that I'm now in better shape vocally than I've ever been. I sing with the L.A. Voices and Supersax, occasionally appear at the Moonlight Tango Cafe in Sherman Oaks near Los Angeles with Bill Watrous' big band and still go on the road when it feels right and it is artistically rewarding." When asked about her future goals, Sue Raney replied "I'd like to record a duet album with Alan Broadbent. But basically I just want to keep on doing what I'm doing, singing the music I love."

Her latest album finds Raney returning to the very same studios at Capitol Records where she cut her first record. Heart's Desire: A Tribute to Doris Day (2007) finds her accompanied by full orchestration (brass, reeds, rhythm and strings) and arranged and conducted by Grammy-winning musician Alan Broadbent.

(This biographical sketch is a compilation of material from various liner notes and reviews by several writers, most notably Scott Yanow. )

Click on image twice for full frame.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

. . .Something's gotta give

I have just completed the second of two major recording studio projects (details forthcoming). Now the hard part begins. So for the meantime. . .

Friday, August 27, 2010

Radio Girl


Julie London w/ Bobby Troup, Al Viola, Whitey Mitchell Mitchell
NBC radio 2/13/56 & 2/27/56 broadcasts from New York's Cameo Room combined

1. Cry me a river
2. What is this thing called love
3. Say it isn’t so
4. Baby baby all the time
5. Easy street
6. It never entered my mind
7. Lonely girl
8. S’wonderful
9. Cry me a river (reprise)
10. I've got my love to keep me warm (Troup trio only)

Download available for next 48 hours only

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Buddy is back!

Kurt R. brought this to my attention, and I, in turn. . ..

DOUBLE CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENABLE FULL SCREEN

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Four rare tracks. . .

Doris Drew
Peggy King


. . . from the ABC-TV series Stars of Jazz, and from the Before Time of complimentary service station maps, free airline food, and yearly TV yuletide broadcasts of Amahl and the Night Visitors.

1. Doris Drew - I Cried for You 11/18/58 b'cast
2. Doris Drew - He's My Guy - 11/18/58 b'cast
    backed by Marty Paich and group
3. Peggy King - I'm Beginning to See the Light 4/28/58 b'cast
4. Peggy King - Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe 4/28/58 b'cast
    backed by Dave Pell, Don Fagerquist and others unk.

(Where are you, Doris Drew?)

Download available for next 48 hours only.