Monday, September 22, 2008

And no, it wasn't Alec Baldwin

On the phone today, a party on the other end (no names puh-leese) said to me:

"If McCain wins, I'm moving to Alaska. At least, SHE won't be there."


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Diva Dreaming

I had a dream about singer (and my good friend) Ruth Olay last night (My, my, Dr Chilledair, what a rich, full fantasy life you must lead!). This morning I phoned to tell her about it.

In the dream, she had a contemporary TV show, Ruth Olay's Living Room, but was lip sync-ing to recordings of hers from the 1950s. One of the songs she "performed" was "Sleepin' Bee," which she sang in toto in mon reve. But when I awakened, I realized that although it seemed like a perfect song for Ruth, she had, in fact, never recorded the Arlen and Capote classic (and never will, now, having long ago hung up her intime boite shoes).

When I spoke with Ruth this a.m., I asked her why she'd never committed the song to wax. She answered that she loved the song, but just never felt it was quite right for her. "Well," I told her, "it sounded great in the dream!"

Maybe I should patch my brain into the sound card of my pc before going to bed at night. Can they do that now?

Monday, September 15, 2008



LINER NOTES by Bill Reed (CD will contain these notes translated into Japanese)

In December 2007 I gave a talk about One Shot Wonders (the criterion is that the singer can only have made ONE album) before the Tokyo Vocal Jazz Appreciation Society. One of the vocalists I presented was Flo Handy. Before I played the two selections by her, I asked the audience (a gathering of wildly knowledgeable Japanese jazz singer devotees) “Does anyone in the know who Flo Handy‘s sister was?” To my surprise, not a single soul uttered the name of Handy’s far more famous sister, none other than that “Cow Cow Boogie” girl herself. . .Ella Mae Morse!

In the liner notes for Smoky and Intimate, Handy recalls that in 1945 she appeared on a CBS radio show, at age 14, and did an imitation of her sister. That might have been one of the last times she ever invoked the name of Ella Mae. Morse’s son Dick told me “Ella Mae and Flo were estranged and never spoke to one another since the 1960's.” In fact, Morse’s last manager, Alan Eichler, never even knew she had a sister. So it is not so surprising that no one at the TVJAS knew about Flo Handy’s sibling relationship.

It was while in Tokyo in late 2007 that SSJ Records asked me to help them secure the rights to release Smoky and Intimate. But when I returned to the U.S. this turned out to be a task that was easier said than done. Eventually, however, I did discover that the recording was owned by the three daughters of the late owner of the obscure but excellent no-longer in-operation Carney Records of Greenwood Lake, NY. This was the second LP by the sometime guitar duo of George Barnes and Carl Kress for the label, now with the addition of a vocalist. And what a vocalist! (continued here)

advance orders (want list) here

TRACK LIST 1. Compromise 2. No Moon at All 3. My Heart Stood Still 4. I Hadn't Anyone Till You 5. Fine And Dandy 6. Lack-a-Day 7. Funny World 8. A Sunday Kind of Love 9.Who Can I Turn To? 10. How Long Has This Been Going On? 11.Wait with Me Love 12 Mine