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. . ..


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.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New from Leslie Lewis and Gerard Hagen!

Now available at CDBaby
Recipient of the coveted Dr Chilledair Seal of Approval . But seriously. . ..

Belated obit for singer Donna Brooks

Bethlehem EP

Dawn LP

from: The Washington Post Jul 17 2009

Louise Smith [aka Donna Brooks] Singer

Louise Smith, 83, who as a young woman was a singing comedienne and jazz vocalist, died June 16 at Inova Fairfax Hospital of respiratory failure. She was a Springfield [Virginia] resident.

Starting in the mid-1940s, Mrs. Smith worked for many years under the stage name Donna Brooks. She performed with a U.S.O. troupe that entertained military personnel in Panama and on the Borscht Belt circuit of Jewish clubs and resorts. One specialty of her act was rendering pop standards with Yiddish lyrics.

She began a career as a jazz singer by the early 1950s and joined her future husband, pianist Alex Smith, on a tour of nightclubs in the Northeast. They married in 1956 and settled in the Washington area in 1959 after he joined the U.S. Army Band. Through the early 1970s, she continued to perform with him in small jazz groups at military clubs in the area.

She was born Louise Angert in Philadelphia, where she attended the Curtis Institute of Music and trained as an operatic soprano.

Survivors include her husband, a retired Army sergeant major, of Springfield; a daughter, Jennifer Smith of Leesburg; and two grandchildren.

A daughter, Susan Smith, died in 1978.

Hear here: The title track from Brooks' 1956 LP, I'll Take Romance 

Thanks to Jeronimo!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Age of Info Overload

This a.m., I came across the following quote on the net written upon the occasion of the release of the wonderful new CD Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin:

"If Brian Wilson had a laptop with internet access in 1950, whenever would he devote as much attention to learning the Four Freshman? Or would he just put them in his 100gig music folder next to the porn? "

Which, in turn, reminded me of something that my good buddy Ted Naron wrote on his blog a while back under the heading of Music is Over:

"Peggy Lee was born Norma Delores Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota. I’m trying to imagine a young Norma Delores Egstrom growing up on those lonely plains today. Instead of thrilling to the sounds of the big bands coming in over the radio, knowing she’s listening to the same broadcast that people are hearing coast to coast, knowing this connects her to that larger world, one which she is determined to be part of some day, she is in her room downloading tunes. And she stays there."

As for Brian Wilson's much ballyhooed new CD, whatever else one might think of "Reimagines," it is inarguable that the work is one of the most sumptuously produced albums of recent memory. If there were an afterlife, there's little doubt that "George and his lovely wife Ira" would be looking down (up?, up & down?) and smiling in full approval of what Brian hath wrought. But, of course, there is no heaven. . .no hell, for as one hebraphrenic in the movie The Caretakers so sagely observes. . ."There is only desert." Or at best, as one "expert" explains on SCTV, the afterlife is "Like a big cocktail party [with a "great" big band] that lasts for six to eight weeks." And then. . .that's it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010



Sunday, August 15, 2010

Download available for next 48 hours only.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Abbey Lincoln R.I.P.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jazz singer Abbey Lincoln, whose career spanned six decades and included acting, composing and participation in the U.S. civil rights movement, died on Saturday at age 80, The New York Times reported.

Lincoln, who was often said to have been strongly influenced by famed jazz singer Billie Holiday, died at her Manhattan apartment, the Times said, citing her brother David Wooldridge.

Starting in the mid-1950s with "Abbey Lincoln's Affair...a Story of a Girl in Love," the Chicago-born Lincoln enjoyed a long and acclaimed singing career. She performed until shortly before her death.

Lincoln also appeared in several films, including "For Love of Ivy" opposite Sidney Poitier in 1968, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe, and "The Girl Can't Help It," a 1956 Jayne Mansfield vehicle about rock 'n' roll in which Lincoln sang.

During the 1960s, she was married to jazz musician Max Roach, and became a strong advocate in the civil rights campaigns of the era. They were divorced in 1970.

In the 1970s, Lincoln appeared on several hit television shows, including "All in the Family" and "Marcus Welby, M.D."

Lincoln recorded more than 20 albums.

NYT obit.

Friday, August 13, 2010

As if YOU actually had to be taught. . .

. . .How to Speak Hip. Download available for next 48 hours only. About H2SH

Bi-coastal Kurt

Here's a clip of singer Kurt Reichenbach at NYC's Metropolitan room a few months back. In all likelihood he'll be revisiting "Lush Life" at his upcoming gig at L.A.'s Hollywood Studio Bar and Grill on Saturday the 28th of this month. Info here.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Be Frank with Fay

Album does not have tracks, but the "songs" are:
Tea for Two
Stairway to the Stars
You Took Advantage of Me
This Love of Mine
Blue Room
Everything I Have is Yours
They Can't That from Me
How About You

All but completely forgotten today, Frank Fay was one of the biggest and longest running acts in show biz. This recording consists of song parodies, at one time a staple in the vaudeville that Fay started out in. Can't exactly explain why, but this 1950 album, corny as all get out, still has always managed to kinda amuse me. What can I tell you? I laugh easily!

Hear here. Download available for next 48 hours.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

FF mock 22

I saw the most recent configuration of the Four Freshmen "live" tonight here in L.A. These particular FOUR have worked together for nine years, and essentially the same group has been together for 18 years. If they come within 500 miles of where you live---make that a thousand---run, don't walk. Like dying and going to heaven.

They are still overseen by surviving original Freshman, Bob Flanigan. Here are four equally talented (as the originals) young-ish guys singing the exact same arrangments (and new material too) but with their own unique voices. I am at a loss for words. Give me a day or two. I'm verklempt. One of the most successful touring acts on the jazz circuit worldwide. Well deserved.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Email from Bill to Bill

Sorry I've taken so long to respond to your email. You ask about "nicest" show biz entities. Way back in the before time, I used to write for the S.F. Examiner and interviewed dozen upon dozens of celebs flacking for their latest whatevers, and I never encountered a lemon in the lot. Always on their best behavior, and this includes Mickey Rourke and Mel Gibson. The one I liked best, though, was Ricardo Montalban. At pains, at all cost, to avoid cliche-mongering. The result was a rather interesting and thoughtful interview. Lily Tomlin was super. Unbidden, a few days later she sent me copies of her wonderful TV specials long before they were available on home vid. Nice!

BTW, I recall an absolutely wonderful Joel quote re: Mitch Miller. I thought it was on ______, but I searched and searched the archives and could not find it. Maybe he wrote it in an email he sent me? More or less it went like this: Mitch Miller is where American popular music paused on its way down to its inevitable descent into ______ . (Oblivion?. . . . . .ruin?. . .the pit of hell?)

I did, however, find one of Joel's other invariably and acerbic on-the-mark observations about Miller, to wit:

"Miller is/was an accomplished classical musician who is as responsible as anyone for the collapse of mainstream American popular music. At Columbia (and at Mercury before I believe) he imposed crap on Day, Sinatra, Clooney and developed cornball "artistes" like Guy Mitchell to lower the common denometer of public taste. With beboppers pushing jazz beyond the comprehension of most listeners and Miller grinding out pap (culminating later in his wretched "singalong" albums), is it any wonder that rock and roll emerged and came to dominate the pop charts?" Whoa!

I tracked down Patty McGovern!!!!!!



Friday, August 06, 2010

Due out in Japan on Aug. 18, I  was the production coordinator and annotator for this superb Dave Frishberg - Rebecca Kilgore release. And when I finally saw the amazing jacket art that Kazushige Sugano created for it, I could barely contain myself. Next, I communicated to the artist that I was aware that the cover was obviously homage to the great 1950s jazz RCA LP covers created by the legendary designer Jim Flora. The Japanese artist soon sent back word of how happy he was that I "caught" the Flora tribute-of-sorts. Now all that was left was to get, as a courtesy,  Frishberg and Kilgore's approval. I sent an email with an attachment of the cover to Frishberg. I rang him up the next day and asked what he thought of the art?

"Frankly," he told me, "I was shocked." Uh-oh! "Shocked good or shocked bad?," I asked. "Oh, shocked good," he replied with true Frishbergian laid-backedness. One down and two to go.

Fortunately, Ms. Kilgore's reaction was also a positive one. I realize now that I shouldn't even have entertained the notion that either could think otherwise. . .so obvious is masterfulness of Sugano-san's artistry.
Two additional new Frishberg releases from Muzak Records (Japan)

"Toad" contains the original CTI Records mix, and the never-before-released producers' mix and sequencing.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Andy's brother and IMHO a much better. . . oh, never mind.

Lucky In Love
Make Someone Happy
When You're Smiling
A Very Special Love
Put On A Happy Face
You Don't Know The Other Side Of Me
Who Needs You
I Should Care
The Masquerade Is Over
Farewell To Arms
Can't Get Out Of This Mood
Lose That Long Face
Download available for the next 48 hours only.

Dick Williams bonus track: "Susquehanna Transfer" music: Lew Spence, lyrics: Bob Russell.  Download available for next 48 hours only.

Not since "Oprah, Uma. . .Uma, Oprah"

I have it on good authority that Lady Gaga visited Zsa Zsa Gabor in the hospital recently and that the introductions went something like:

"Zsa Zsa, Gaga. . .Gaga, Zsa Zsa"

Or not.

Monday, August 02, 2010

THE perfect pure pop single

Download available for next 48 hours only