Saturday, November 22, 2014

You'll Never Know • Songs of Warren & Gordon

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Clockwise: Rosemary Clooney, Julie London, Etta James, and Doris Day.

Harry Warren and Mack Gordon were both very successful songwriters, and when they came together, they made magic. There is a rich catalog of songs from which to choose, so I just picked four of my favorites to share with you. I will start with a song written for the 1943 film, 'Hello, Frisco, Hello'. In the movie, "You'll Never Know" was sung by star Alice Faye. It was one of nine songs nominated for for an Oscar, and went on to win the 1943 Academy Award for 'Best Original Song'. Fast forward 9 years, and the song was recorded by Harry James Orchestra, with featured vocalist Rosemary Clooney. I have long found Clooney's voice to be heavenly, so I couldn't resist using her recording now. This is "You'll Never Know", by Rosemary Clooney with the Harry James Orchestra.



Our next song was published in 1945, and originally sung by Dick Haymes in the film 'Diamond Horseshoe'. "The More I See You" has been sung by countless other artists since, and we are all the better for it. The song has a gorgeous melody, and is rich with emotion. In 1959 singer/actress Julie London released the song as part of her album, 'Your Number Please'. London added her own touch to the song, a breathy sexiness that is tough to resist. This is Julie London singing "The More I See You".



"Serenade in Blue" was introduced in the 1942 film 'Orchestra Wives' by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, dubbed by Pat Friday for actress Lynn Bari. It was written as a Big Band number, with lush orchestrations. It was recorded by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, with featured vocalist Ray Eberle with backing vocals by The Modernaires. That recording was the 11th best selling song of the year. It quickly became a standard, sung by most of the top singers of the time. Twenty-two years later, it was recorded by movie star Doris Day for her 1964 album, 'Doris Day's Sentimental Journey'. It is lovely, with a gorgeous string section. This is Doris Day singing "Serenade in Blue".



For my final song this evening, I thought I would go with what is arguably the most famous song the collaborators wrote. "At Last" appeared in the 1941 musical 'Orchestra Wives', which starred George Montgomery and Ann Rutherford. It was performed in the film and on record by Glenn Miller and his orchestra, with vocals by Ray Eberle and Pat Friday. While it was popular, it is not the version most remember. That would be the recording from 1960, made by the magnificent Etta James. James released her debut album that year, as well as the title cut. "At Last" made it to #2 on Billboard's R&B chart, and #47 on the Billboard Hot 100. While I would have suspected the song did much better on the charts, it remains an iconic recording, and the most remembered for "At Last". Please enjoy Etta James with "At Last".



These songs are all available on iTunes and Amazon, in various collections. And all are well-worth having in your collection. I hope you enjoyed the post, and are having a great weekend!

Spencer Day • I Only Have Eyes For You

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Just over a year ago, I was fortunate enough to see the amazing Spencer Day performing live at the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, PA. I really enjoy the space, for it has a wonderfully intimate feel, and I have been able to take some good pictures of performers there through the years. Above, you can see a few of the pictures I took of the handsome crooner, who kept my rapt attention for the entire performance. He not only had a strong set list, he was also game for taking requests from the audience. One of the requests was "I Only Have Eyes For You", a popular love song written in 1934 by composer Harry Warren and lyricist Al Dubin. It debuted in the film 'Dames', starring Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler. However, the best known version might have been the 1959 single by The Flamingos, which made it to #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. But this is Spencer Day with "I Only Have Eyes For You".



You know, one of my favorite versions of this song might just be this one. While Spencer has yet to record the classic song, I pretty much love almost everything that Spencer sings. That would include his latest album, 'Daybreak'. You can purchase 'Daybreak' from Bandcamp, iTunes and Amazon. To learn more about Spencer Day, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook and 'follow' him on Twitter.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tony Moran feat Debby Holiday • I Like You

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Tony Moran has had an incredible run, being a top DJ in a business that caters to the pulse on the dance floor. Well, he not only feels that pulse, but he has injected more life with the music he makes. Not only does he make music people want to hear, they also can't help but dance to it. And while I'm at it, I must say the out and proud DJ also managed to stay every bit as handsome, if not more so than when he was part of the Latin Rascals in the early 1980s. So when my buddy Jeff Dorta told me about the latest from Moran to be released, I was couldn't wait to share it.

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So this week, Tony Moran released the single "I Like You", with features vocals from the exciting Debby Holiday. The single is a celebration of sorts, marking the 30th anniversary of the original release by Pyllis Nelson, which went to #1 on the Billboard Dance chart in 1985. "Phyllis' "I Like You" was a huge record when I was just entering the music industry," remembers Moran. "It was one of the track I drew inspiration from when co-creating "Show Me" for The Cover Girls."

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The song also has had an effect on the singer. "My favorite line in the song is "Hey you, over there, everybody everywhere...I like you," explained Holiday. "I love the idea of saying, 'he, I like you' to strangers, to friends, to people in our every day lives. I think we forget to say it and show." The song marks the third collaboration of the two artists, and could be their best to date. The video stars both, and they are looking and sounding great! Check out the music video for "I Like You", by Tony Moran featuring Debby Holiday.



You can purchase "I Like You" exclusively from Beatport. It will be available on the other music stores in December. To learn more about tony Moran, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter. For more about Debby Holiday, and to hear her music, visit Debby on ReverbNation. You can also 'like' her on Facebook, and 'follow' her on Twitter.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Eli Lieb • Lightning in a Bottle

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I swear, in every interview I read, Eli Lieb sounds smart and grounded. And after listening to his latest single, "Lightning in a Bottle", you can definitely add talented to the list. And when watching the music video, the terms handsome and sexy easily come to mind. All in all, it seems Eli has hit the jackpot, doesn't it? When asked about the new song, Lieb said, "This song is really special to me. Everyone is fighting a battle." he went on to explain. "I want people to see this music video, hear the song, really listen to the lyrics, and live their truth. I want this to inspire people to not be afraid to break free and embrace who they are. I believe that being 100% your true authentic self is the key to real happiness and joy. Life is celebration and we are all beautiful beings!!" I can tell you that watching the video inspired me to go to iTunes and buy my copy, before I had to watch again.

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"Lightning in a Bottle" was written by Lieb, and produced by John Feldmann. The music video was directed by Geoff Boothby, and produced by Sharkpig. Along with the good-looking singer/songwriter, the music video features four performers who let their light shine bright, and live there truth through performances, either dance or other means. The featured performers are Shangela, Jenna Riegel, Caitlin Scranton, and Rama Hall. They, along with Lieb, are living proof that loving what you do helps bring joy to others. This is the music video for "Lightning in a Bottle" by Eli Lieb.



You can purchase "Lightning in a Bottle" from iTunes. I did, and love having it on my iPod, ready for me to hit play whenever I can. For more about Eli, visit his official website. While you are there, you can stop by his official store, where you can find music and t-shirts. You can also 'follow' him on Twitter, or 'like' him on Facebook.

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RightOutTV Music & Video Awards 2014 • Michael V. Doane & K Anderson

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The winners of the 2014 RightOutTV Music & Video Awards were announced recently, proving what great music is being made by LGBT artists. Well, that was obvious when I saw the list of nominees, coming from all around the world. RightOutTV was founded by Marlee Walchuk and Tully Callender, devoted to the promotion of LGBT artists and their music all across the globe. The submissions are from many genre, from Rock to Country to Electronica. Once again this year, I was proud to be asked to be a judge, hearing some more great music and discovering a few new artists. But enough with all that. It is time to showcase some very deserving artists. In this post, I am so happy to feature Michael V. Doane (above, left) and K Anderson, (above, right).

I must admit, I love both of the winners featured in this post, and both the artists and the songs have been represented here. So let me cut to the chase, and just say I am thrilled to announce the winner of the 'Best Video Pro' for 2014 is "Looking For Love", from Michael V. Doane. There is something provocative about a video that kicks off with the sound of a camera shooting, but that is quickly forgotten when the driving beat pulls you in, reverberating in your chest. When Doane's vocals begin, there is a wonderful strength and urgency. It had to be pretty good, for he beat out Matthew Connor's "How is July Already Over?", Matt Zarley's "Somebody 4 Everybody", "Naked" by Ramona Montañez, Marck Angel's "Positions", and Suzanne Nuttall with "Trophy Wife". The video, giving New York City hooker realness, never lets up until the end. This is Michael V. Doane with "Looking For Love" with Ivan Roudyk, Magnit and Slider.



You can purchase the single "Looking for Love" from iTunes and Amazon. To learn more about Micheal V. Doane, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter.


As like several wards given out this year, the one for 'Best Video DIY' is going international as it goes to an artist living in England. DIY is short for 'do it yourself', and in this case, refers to videos which does not all a smaller budget from keeping the project from shining bright. It proves that when you have a great song and a fantastic artist, it is had to go wrong. This video won out over stiff competition from Tony Banks with "Old School Love", "You Don't Represent Me" by Nastaij and featuring Dawn Laird, Ember Swift's "Laowai / Foreigner", and Random Order with "Black Lipstick Kiss". That is certainly the case with K Anderson's music video for "14-Year-Old Me". I just love the song, and the music video, both of which cover me with charm from the start. The video captures the confessional and personal components of the song perfectly, so there is no question why it was named 'Best DIY Video'. This is K Anderson with "14-Year-Old Me".



You can purchase "14 Year Old Me", along with a wonderful b-side "I Bruise Like A Peach", from iTunes, BandCamp, and Amazon. To learn more about K. Anderson, visit his official website. You can also 'follow' him on Twitter and 'like' him on Facebook.

Marlee and Tully developed RightOutTV to help LGBT artists with promotion, as a way of giving back to the community. The couple are also a musical duo, making up Sugarbeach. They were kind enough to ask me to participate in the awards for the last few years as a judge. To learn more about RightOutTV, visit the RightOutTV website. You can also 'follow' them on Twitter, and 'like' them on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jason Walker • Quicksand

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I can say it loud and proud, I am a huge fan of the music of Jason Walker. His vocals reminds me of some of the great voices who have recorded before him, like Donna Summer and Gloria Gaynor. His voice can inspiring, energizing, and enthralling, sometimes all at once. And when he changes things up, and moves from Modern to Classic, he can take on Etta James and bring me to tears. I am telling you, I just can't get enough of his music.

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Recetnly, I was doing some chores around the farm, and put my iPod on shuffle. Up came a tune I instantly recognized, and found to be perfect in every way. I thought it was great to keep me going as I mucked the stalls, and even brought a smile to my face. In fact, I started to feebly sing along. That is just the type of song when I listen to "Quicksand", a track off the album 'Leave It All Behind'. The song begins simply enough, with a catchy electronic beat, when Jason's voice cuts through it all to demand your attention. While he makes it sound so effortless, so easy, I can't resist falling in love every time. This is Jason Walker singing "Quicksand".



"Quicksand" can be fournd on the album 'Leave It All Behind'. You can purchase the album from iTunes or Amazon. To learn more about Jason Walker, visit his official website. You can also 'follow' him on Twitter, and 'like' him on Facebook. For more about Bimbo Jones, visit their official website. You can also 'like' them on Facebook, and 'follow' them on Twitter.

RightOutTV Music & Video Awards 2014 • D'Lance Jones & Megan Lane

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The winners of the 2014 RightOutTV Music & Video Awards were announced recently, proving what great music is being made by LGBT artists. Well, that was obvious when I saw the list of nominees, coming from all around the world. RightOutTV was founded by Marlee Walchuk and Tully Callender, devoted to the promotion of LGBT artists and their music all across the globe. The submissions are from many genre, from Rock to Country to Electronica. Once again this year, I was proud to be asked to be a judge, hearing some more great music and discovering a few new artists. But enough with all that. It is time to showcase some very deserving artists. Today I am thrilled to feature D'Lance Jones (above, left) and Megan Lane (above, right).

I must say, there was a real richness to the next category, 'Best Soul/Hip-Hop/RAP/R&B Song'. There were some amazing submissions, and giving us five outstanding nominees. The list included Marck Angel's "Summertime", Be Steadwell's "Rainwater", Wordz the poet emcee with "U See That", I.K.P. with "Meraki", and Lester Greene's "Marital Bliss" featuring Michelle Tabot and Allen Parker. This year, the award went to D'Lance Jones, and I couldn't be happier. "Forever With You" was featured on the blog this past summer, when I first found it. The single was released in November 2013, and has been finding a way to the ears of people who love music. It seems to be a natural wedding song, or one that many a couple would be happy to call "our song". "Forever With You" was named 'Best Soul/Hip-Hop/RAP/R&B Song'. This is D'Lance Jones with "Forever With You".



The single was released about a year ago. You can purchase "Forever With You" from iTunes and Amazon. To learn more about D'Lance Jones, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter.

Our next award is 'Best Rock Song', and once again, there were an impressive list of songs vying for the win. It was Canadian rocker Megan Lane who earned the award with her fantastic song, "Someday We Will Leave This Town". This was another category with strong competition, with music videos like Janis Mullan's "Nobody's Fool", Run Jenny with "Run Jenny", Felonious Parker's "Dominoes In Action", Szilenze with "Nothing Left to Say", and Patrick Boothe's "This is Not Venice". The song and video have such a strong energy, with a true drive in the beat, I can't help but start banging my head when watching. This is Megan Lane with the exciting music video for "Someday We Will Leave This Town".



You can find "Someday We Will Leave This Town" on her latest album, 'Sounding the Animal'. You purchase 'Sounding the Animal' from iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. To learn more about Megan Lane, visit her official website. You can also 'like' her on Facebook, and 'follow' her on Twitter.

Marlee and Tully developed RightOutTV to help LGBT artists with promotion, as a way of giving back to the community. The couple are also a musical duo, making up Sugarbeach. They were kind enough to ask me to participate in the awards for the last few years as a judge. To learn more about RightOutTV, visit the RightOutTV website. You can also 'follow' them on Twitter, and 'like' them on Facebook.

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