Saturday, June 1, 2013

Summer Torch

Norah Jones photo norah_jones_zpse8f4a139.jpg Carmen McRae photo Carmen_McRae_zps2584be10.jpg
Teresa Brewer photo teresa_brewer_zpscc86e0b5.jpg Julie London photo Julie_London_zpsd113d30e.jpg
Clockwise: Norah Jones; Carmen McRae; Julie London; and Teresa Brewer.

It is June 1, when the summer season really starts to kick off. I know the recent spell of warm weather drove that point home here, and I sure I am not the only one thing of summer vacations. I bet there are plenty of kids eager to be done with school for a few months, and some parents trying to figure out what do do with those same kids. Well, you know what I suggest, don't you? Break out some great music and teach your kids something about the music of the past and present, to insure there will be plenty of music in the future! The first step on that education could be some amazing ladies singing about summer, starting with the beautiful Norah Jones. Her voice and style are so distinctive, I really enjoy it when she takes on the classics. Here is Norah singing "Summertime", composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera 'Porgy and Bess'. The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, the author of the novel 'Porgy' on which the opera was based, although the song is also co-credited to Ira Gershwin. While the great Billie Holiday might be the version most people know, I do like this one as well. Here is Norah Jones singing "Summertime".

Next up we have a beautiful song written by Johnny Mercer, Michel Legrand, Eddie Barclay and Eddy Marnay. Carmen McRae recorded "Once Upon A Summertime" for her 1965 album, 'Second To None'. It was originally recorded by Blossom Dearie in 1958, but there were many more who followed. Please enjoy this version, sung by the Carmen McRae, whose gorgeous voice is just perfect for "Once Upon A Summertime".

I know that Teresa Brewer was more well known as a Pop singer in the 1950s, with songs like "Music! Music! Music!" and "Till I Waltz Again With You". But in the 1960s, she picked her songs from a more classic reservoir, including the Great American Songbook. And in 1963, she recorded "I Guess I'll Go Back Home This Summer", written by Willard Robison and Ray Mayer, for her album, 'Moments to Remember'. It is a beautiful ballad, and I hope you enjoy it.

And, finally, I had to bring the magnificent Julie London to this weekends party. I just love her, and this song is not different. Here Julie sings "Theme from A Summer Place", a song with lyrics by Mack Discant and music by Max Steiner, written for the 1959 film, 'A Summer Place', which starred matinee idols Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue. While the best known version would be the Lite-FM version by Percy Faith, I think this one more than does the trick. So let's not waste anymore time and just get to Julie London singing "Theme From A Summer Place".

Enjoy your weekend!

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