From the first time I heard his cover of George Michael's "Father Figure", I was hooked on Marshal Titus' voice. There is such a seductive texture to his voice, I cannot help myself. So when I discovered he had a new single out, I was very excited. The song, "Send A Little Love", was written by Marshall and Keith Stewart, and produced by Marshall and Fritz Darjes. I love the uplifting feel to the song, and it just raises my spirits to a wonderful place. The video was shot in Hamburg, Germany, and directed by Herb Santos. This is Marshall Titus singing "Send A Little Love".
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
I have been a fan of Lauren Bacall for as long as I remember. When I was just a young kid, I remember sitting in front of the television, watching the black and white movies, often starring Humphrey Bogart and Bacall. I hadn't realized it then, but they were a couple, which certain helped with their stunning chemistry. So when I heard of Bacall's passing not long ago, I was truly sad. I had long believed Bacall was truly underrated, having never been nominated for an Academy Award for a performance until 1997, when she was nominated for 'The Mirror Has Two Faces'. After all, her work in the 1944 film 'To Have and To Have Not' opposite Bogart is just so darned impressive, I was hooked on her from the first time I watched it. This is Bacall with her famous 'whistle' scene.
I was so much a fan, I couldn't wait to purchase her autobiography, 'Lauren Bacall By Myself', with amazing stories and insights into her life. For me, there was an incredible honesty on the pages, and I couldn't put it down. I loved the fact she was born in The Bronx, and raised in Brooklyn, and went on to become a big movie star in Los Angeles. Of course, Bacall moved back to New York later, for that is where she felt most at home.
Bacall also had an impressive Broadway resumé, first starring in 'Goodbye Charlie' in 1959, as well as star turns in 'Cactus Flower' in 1965, 'Applause' in 1970, and 'Woman of the Year' in 1981. There were several other appearances on the New York stage. Bacall also earned two Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical for her performances in 'Applause' and 'Woman of the Year'. I thought it would be nice to see a video of her performance of "But Alive" from 'Applause', with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams.
Lauren Bacall passed away on August 12, 2014, about a month before her 90th birthday. Her beauty, talent, and style will all be sorely missed. Rest in Peace, Lauren Bacall.
Later on tonight, I will be in New York City to attend the launch of the latest from David Raleigh, the wonderful singer, songwriter, and pianist. I first discovered Raleigh about four years ago, when he worked on a project with some very talented men, but I will get to that shortly. Once I heard him, I needed to hear more, so I soon found his solo stuff. Man, am I glad I did. His music is just as special ass the man is, and I can't get enough. You want to know much I love David? I will be traveling to see him, and will be missing one of my favorite guilty pleasures, 'Sleepy Hollow'.
As I said before, I first found David by way of a project he worked on with some very talented men. David collaborated with Tony Award winner Billy Porter, the gifted Sir Ari Gold, and intriguing Alan Cumming on "That's What Friends Are For", a new look at the classic best remembered for the 1985 version by Dione Warwick and Friends, with Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder joining Dione to raise money for AmFar. The song was written by Carole Bayer Sager and Burt Bacharach. Raleigh, Porter, Cumming and Gold revived it to also raise money, for the Ali Fortney Center, a New York City shelter for homeless GLBT youth. The song was produced by Nathan Leigh Jones. This is David, Billy, Alan and Ari with "That's What Friends Are For".
You can purchase the single from iTunes. I think the money will still go to the great cause. Watching this video, and purchasing the song, lead me to find other music by Raleigh, and I was able to do that fairly quickly. Not long on YouTube, and I had a great new music video I kept watching, time and time again. There is such joy and love emanating from the core of "I Do!", and I knew once again, I was addicted. This is David Raleigh with the great song, "I Do!".
I quickly found out that "I Do!" was just the first single off his recently released album, 'Beginning Again'. Once I found it, I purchased the album, and found a wealth of great music that warmed my heart, and inspired my soul. I was very excite when it was time for a second video to be released, and was thrilled it was the beautiful "One Together". The song is a stunning song that goes directly to the heart of love, and I just adore it. This is the official music video for "One Together".
I must admit, I was near giddy with excitement when I heard David would release "Do It To Me", the first single/video from the new album, 'The Equation of Love'. And once I heard it, I was understood why. The song once again as the joy and love I have come to expect from Raleigh's music, and more. It made me so eager to hear the rest of the album, and I am so glad that time is almost hear. This is the official music video for "Do It To Me".
This evening, I will be hearing many of the songs from 'The Equation of Love' played live, and be leaving with my own copy. For that, my friends, you can be jealous. Or you can join us! To learn more about David Raleigh, visit his official website. You can also 'follow' him on Twitter, and 'like' him on Facebook. You can find his music at your favorite online music stores. You can purchase 'Beginning Again' from iTunes and Amazon. Today is the official release date for 'The Equation of Love', and you can find it on iTunes and Amazon.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
I was introduced to Micah Barnes by JD Doyle of Queer Music Heritage. You see, JD and I share music we like with one another all the time, and she sent me a link to the music video for "New York Story", and I just fell in love. And I learned I did know Micah previously, as he was a part of the Toronto-based a cappella group The Nylons in the 1990s. In fact, I had just featured their music yesterday morning, and it reminded e I had been thinking about posting this for a while now. As you can see from the pictures above and below, Micah is a handsome man. Micah is also an out and proud performer, one I plan on supporting whenever I can. As I plan to be heading to New York City to see the amazing David Raleigh perform, I wanted to include "New York Story" in my preparations.
While he was a part of The Nylons, Micah used that wonderful instrument to take on Doo-Wop and stylized Pop with ease. Now on his own, he seems to have moved more to the Jazz side, as you can hear in this single. I love "New York Story", which manages to be both light and smokey at the same time. It is with that same deft hand the song manages to sound like it comes from another era, yet also sounds fresh. His voice has a lovely tone, with a yummy husky edge. This is "New York Story" by Micah Barnes.
Soon Micah will be releasing a full album, 'New York Story'. From the advance copy I heard on Soundcloud, it is an eclectic eleven-song collection, new material save the title track, which was released as a single earlier this year. I must admit I haven't given the full release a couple of listens yet, but I do look forward to doing just that. The taste I have gotten so far is only leaving me wanting more. Take, for example, "After The Romance, The Rent", a wonderful song about love, life, written with just the right amount of humor. Please enjoy "After The Romance, The Rent" as much as I do.
You can purchase the single "New York Story" from iTunes and Amazon. To learn more about Micah Barnes, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter. As soon as the album is released, I will be sure to let you know. Until then, enjoy the single, "New York Story".
Saturday, October 18, 2014
In just about every way you can count, The Platters were one of the most successful groups of the early part of the Rock N' Roll era, with forty songs that made it on the charts, and four incredible #1 hits. While the group did change members over the almost 20 years of togetherness, the must successful line up featured Tony Williams, David Lynch, Paul Robi, Herb Reed and Zola Taylor. The group was formed in 1952 in Los Angeles, with Lynch and Reed being two of the original members from the group above. In 1953, Buck Ram took over management of the group, and also saw the addition of lead vocalist Tony Williams, and Zola Taylor, the first female member. The Platters certainly had a distinctive sound, one that is hard to forget.
The group was by no means an overnight success, as it took two years before they had their first hit. "Only You (And You Alone)" summer of 1955, became the groups first Top 10 hit. The song was written by Buck Ram, who was also the manager and producer for The Platters, and Ande Rand. He also played the piano in the studio, the only time he did so for the group. Here are The Platters with "Only You (And You Alone)".
There are reports Ram sat in a bathroom of the Flamingo Hotel and wrote their next song in 20 minutes, eager to have something to follow up with the success of "Only You (And You Alone)". "The Great Pretender" became the group's first #1 hit in 1955. The song was written by Buck Ram, who also produced the recording. It accentuated the brilliant vibrato of Williams, whose voice easily sailed to amazing heights. This is The Platters singing "The Great Pretender".
The next song was first made popular in the 1940s as an instrumental, before Jimmy Dorsey released a version with vocals by Teddy Walters in 1945. In 1958, The Platters released their version of "Twilight Time", and the record quickly went to #1, both in the United States and Australia. It also scored a #3 in Great Britain. The song has music by Morty Nevins, Al Nevins, and Artie Dunn, but later had lyrics by the prolific Buck Ram. This is The Platters singing "Twilight Time".
"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" with music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Otto Harbach from the Broadway score of the 1933 musical, 'Roberta'. The song scored a #1 spot in both the United States and England in the Fall of 1958. There was a bit of a stir when the widow of Jerome Kern was concerned the song was being turned into a "rock and roll record", although after the release, it is said Mr. Harbach congratulated Mr. Buck and the group for "reviving his song with taste." They certainly brought to song to iconic levels. This is The Platters singing "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes".
Late in the summer, I had been doing lots of work around the farm, and while it felt good to get out in the summer sun, I also discovered that I seem to have an ever-growing allergy to a few plants that can be found there. In particular, poison ivy. Of course, even being scarred, I found inspiration in the itchy. So here I bring you the song "Poison Ivy", as sung by the Canadian a cappella group, The Nylons.
The Nylons: Marc Connor, Claude Morrison, Arnold Robinson, and Paul Cooper
Their version first appeared on the soundtrack to the 1988 film, 'Stealing Home', and then on their 1989 album, 'Rockapella'. The song was written by the great team, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It was originally released by The Coasterss in 1959, and became a Top 10 hit for the group, and #1 on the Billboard R&B chart.
One of the founding members of The Nylons was Marc Connor, and out and proud member of the LGBT community. Unfortunately, Connor passed away in 1991, from AIDS-related complications. In 1990, Micah Barnes joined the group, replacing Paul Cooper as baritone. Micah is also an out and proud performer, and since leaving the group in 1994, Barnes has released some good music of his own. You can purchase The Nylons album 'Rockapella' from iTunes.
In 1986, The Nylons released 'Seamless', a wonderful collection of Doo-Wop classics, many hits from the 1950s. Among the songs on the album was "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", a true classic written and performed in 1939 by Solomon Linda, in Zulu. The song, which also had writing credits to Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, George David Weiss and Albert Stanton, remained popular, and was a huge hit in 1961 for The Tokens, when it topped the Billboard Hot 100.
Friday, October 17, 2014
This post is filled with twice the fun as the usual one, thanks to my friend Jeff Dorta. He let me know that not only did the queer Electro-Hop duo Double Duchess have a great new music video for their song "Good Girl Freak Out" featuring the lovely and supportive Kelly Osbourne, but they are also offering the single for FREE for this weekend only, and it is well worth the download. The talented duo, known as davO & Krylon Superstar separately, worked with Future People on the song.
Double Duchess has been stirring up the dance floor since joining creative forces in 2012. Their sound is so fresh, so new, a delicious combination of raw Electronica and driven Hop-Hop with a sly dose of camp to give just the right falvor. The Free download includes three different remixes of the song by some of the top DJs in the business. This would includes mixes from two Baltimore area DJ/producers, Lemz and Rar Kelly, ballroom house producer Divoli S’Vere, and NoSoul. But first, check out the music video directed by GB Ghuman, and featuring Ozzie and Sharon's purple princess. This is "Good Girl Freak Out" from Double Duchess, and featuring Future People.