Monday, September 30, 2013

Dark Monday • Gold Diggers of 1933

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A young Ginger Rogers is featured in the opening number of the Warner Brothers musical 'Gold Diggers of 1933. The movie also starred Aline MacMahon, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, and Dick Powell. The movie was a classic Hollywood tale of a Broadway show trying to make it to the stage, the money struggles from the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression taking a toll. Rogers sings the opening number, introducing the iconic "The Gold Diggers' Song (We're In The Money)" to the public. The song, with lyrics by Al Dubin and the music by Harry Warren, celebrates America coming out of tough time, with a renewed happiness for all. Although I must point out, the true recovery didn't happen for a few more years. This is a special performance, as it even includes some Pig Latin! I hope you enjoy this Tin Pan Alley classic, complete with choreography only Busby Berkeley could put together as Ginger Rodgers sings"The Gold Diggers' Song (We're In The Money)".

In a highly unusual decision, the movie ends with a stunning Joan Blondell and Etta Moten singing "Remember My Forgotten Man", a stirring and moving song about the men who got lost in the Depression, losing jobs, many of whom had fought in World War I a decade before and were awarded certificates for a bonus that would not be paid until 1945. This political statement at the end of an otherwise light and frothy studio musical was a real surprise. Also the use of Etta Moten, a beautiful classically trained vocalist, who at the beginning of 1933 became the first African American singer to perform at the White House. This is really quite a nice surprise, so I hope you enjoy "Remember My Forgotten Man".

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mid-Sixties Torch

Dusty Springfield photo DustySpringfield_zpse8f40b43.jpg Dionne Warwick photo dionne-warwick_zps057e30e0.jpg
Barbra Streisand photo barbra-streisand002_zpsed29a085.jpg Etta James photo etta_james_zps39e2cc58.jpg
Clockwise: Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick, Etta James, and Barbra Streisand.

While trying to find an inspiration for tonight's post, I kept coming back to the 1960s, and I wasn't sure what to do about that. And then I finally stepped out of my own way, and decided to take a look at some of the songs released in the Sixties, and knew I was on to something. There were some magnificent ladies making music back then, some who would truly make a memorable impact on music for a long time to come. That would include a beautiful Brit whose voice could sound bright and lovely, or tinged with a bit of darkness. I like the muskiness she brings to her 1965 single, "Some of Your Lovin'". She brought a soulful quality to her Pop, which I found to be irresistible. Please enjoy Dusty Springfield singing "Some of Your Lovin'".

There was some sort of amazing chemical reaction when Burt Bacharach and Hal David worked with a young Dionne Warwick. For much of the decade, they seemed unstoppable, with hit after hit. It began in 1962 with "Don't Make Me Over", Dionne's first single and first hit. The song went to #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, an impressive start to any career. I, however, will focus on the third hit single featuring the words and music of Bacharach/David, the highest charting so far at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The heartbreaking "Walk On By" tackles the aftermath of love gone wrong. Few could serve it up quite like Dionne. Here is Dionne Warwick with her 1964 hit, "Walk On By".

In 1967, a young Barbra Streisand was on the brink of superstardom. She already had success on Broadway, with two Tony Award nominations, including for her 1964 performance as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. She had hit records, and earned four Grammy Awards, including two for her 1963 debut, 'The Barbra Streisand Album'. She had begun working on the movie version of 'Funny Girl', for which she will win the Academy Award. And there was a special event, a free concert in Central Park that was being recorded for Broadcast on network television. She song songs off several of her albums, including the first. Here is Barbra singing the classic "Cry Me A River", with that special spin. She was in great voice, and the audience definitely fell in love.

Finally, I thought I would go with a singer whose voice is as explosive as her personality. Etta James was huge in the 1960s, charting with song after song. Her blend of Pop, Soul and Blues set her apart from the rest. She had many big hits, like "I'd Rather Go Blind", "Sunday Kind of Love", and, of course, "At Last". Her voice was so distinctive, rich and expressive. I picked one of my favorites, even if it wasn't a song that scored well on the charts. In 1966, Etta released "Only Time Will Tell", a song written by Maurice McAlister and Terry Vail. Heartbreaking from start to finish, there was no mistaking the Blues in this one. I hope you love Etta James singing "Only Time Will Tell"!

Have a great weekend!

Mike Burns • Postcard

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If all goes well, I will be heading to Melodie's Cafe in Ardmore, PA, to see Mike Burns playing live, the first time I will have the opportunity to do so. The handsome man from Austin, Texas, is a strong singer/songwriter, combining Rock and Folk in a compelling way. His 2012 album 'Chapter Twenty-Seven' was a strong one, and included the wonderful song, "Postcard". So here is a little taste of what I am going to enjoy this evening.

If you are in the neighborhood of Melodie's Cafe, (2. E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, PA 19003), feel free to meet me there at 8PM. I hope to bring back pictures and videos to share with you sometime soon. To learn more about Mike Burns, visit his official website. You can also 'follow' him on Twitter, and 'like' him on Facebook. Mike's latest album, 'Chapter Twenty-Seven', is available on iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Date Night • Miles Apart

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This evening, I bring you 'Miles Apart', a short film produced and directed by Jonathan M. Guttman for LCA Productions/Lights Camera Action Inc. The cast includes Brad Schmidt as Miles, Craig Burke as Jeffrey, Megan Hamaker as Kathryn, and Kathleen O'Neel Toleedo as Darleen. Jeffrey brings Miles home for his sister Darleen's wedding, and under the disapproving eyes of his mother. The boys made the trip to Long Island from their apartment in Manhattan, picked up by Kathryn, who clearly loves her son, at least the part she cares to acknowledge. Yes, it seems there is plenty of miles between Jeffrey and his mother, and not just those between the Island and the City. When Kathryn overhears the boys in a private conversation, will she and her son be able to get through the weekend without destroying the fragile relationship they have? At just under 20 minutes, I hope you find the time to watch and enjoy 'Miles Apart'.

Have a great weekend!

The Skivvies • Hardbody Hoedown

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The Skivvies: Nick Cearley, left, and Lauren Molina, right.

I must admit I only recently discovered a new band, "The Skivvies", The band is made up by Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley, a duo of far-ranging talents based in New York City. Both have experience on Broadway, but show their voices are ready for more than a bit of Jerry Herman. Molina has graced the Broadway stage in 'Rock of Ages', Sondheim's 'Sweeney Todd' and 'Marry Me A Little', and Mary Zimmerman's 'Candide', coproduced by the Goodman Theater and The Shakespeare Theater Company. Cearley was part of the first national tour company of the Broadway musical 'All Shook Up', and gained much attention with his one-man show, '...And Then I Wrote a Song About It'. The two joined forces in the group, which claimed it's name from their musical and wardrobe choices - stripped back and exposed. Lauren and Nick don their knickers and play the cello and ukelele, among other instruments, to lend new flavors to some Pop favorites.

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In their first official music video, The Skivvies released "Hardbody Hoedown". The creative duo take some of the most explicit Rap songs we've heard, and mash them together over a bed of Classical and Bluegrass-based music. From moody strains of the cello, to knee-slapping twirls, the musical journey pulls from music of the last 50 years, from Tom Jones' ribald "What's New Pussycat" to Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" to more current and racy songs, The Skivvies offer it all with a decided tongue-in-cheek. Just a word of warning, the lyrics are explicit, and not appropriate for the young, but most certainly for more mature tastes. Enjoy The Skivvies singing "Hardbody Hoedown", in their own skivvies.

To learn more about The Skivvies, visit their official website. You can also 'like' them on Facebook, and 'follow' them on Twitter. YOu can purchase "Hardbody Hoedown" from iTunes, Amazon, or Bandcamp. If you choose to visit them on Bandcamp, you can check out two other singles that are available only on Bandcamp. There is the delicious take on the first song broadcast on a fledgling MTV, "Video Killed The Radio Star". There is also a stripped-down moody cover of Lana Del Rey's "Diet Mountain Dew". Just beware of the sugar and caffeine high Mountain Dew can bring.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Billy Porter • Show Me

Billy Porter with his Tony Award photo billy-porter-tony_zps59bfac79.jpg

Billy Porter recently became a name on the lips of everyone, having won the 2013 Antoinette Perry Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Lola in 'Kinky Boots' at the 67th Tony Awards. But that wasn't his only award for the role, as he also won Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical and Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. But long before that, Porter had released an amazing studio album, one I am proud to have in my collection. In 1997, Porter released an eponymous album, although it is sometimes referred to as 'Untitled'. It is very hard to come by now, but it is well worth the trouble.

Billy Porter album cover photo BillyPorterUntitledCOVER_zpsd56aea37.jpg

I have to admit I first learned about Billy Porter not from this album, but from the soundtrack of a 1996 film, 'First Wives Club'. The movie, featuring Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, and Goldie Hawn as funny, smart, and fierce women, featured a great song, "Love Is On The Way". The song was written by Peter Zizzo, Denise Rich & Tina Shafer, and was going to be featured on the 1997 album, until Midler heard it and decided it had to be part of the film soundtrack. It is an amazing song, and Bill performed it so well. Here is "Love Is On The Way", off the 'First Wives Club' soundtrack.

That song shined the light on Porter, and left the crumb trail for me to follow to the album. The 12-track collection is filled to the brim with R&B lusciousness, starting with the first song, "Show Me". The song was written by La La, and is a wonderful mid-tempo song that allows Porter to soar. Here is the music video for "Show Me".

The rest of the album is filled with new material, save a wonderful cover of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed". It starts off sweet and mild, and takes us on a wonderful journey. Speaking of journeys, his take on "Borrowed Time", written by Gary Haase and Brett Laurence, is a sexy and steamy song. It also features the depth of his voice, being able to show off a softness, some heat, and some beautiful strength. Enjoy the music video featuring Billy Porter singing "Borrowed Time".

The album is just filled with love, truth, and caring. I love it, and still play it all the time. While I can't find anywhere you can purchase this album online, he does have another album I love, 'At The Corner of Broadway & Soul'. It is available on iTunes and Amazon. For more about Billy Porter, you can 'like' him on Facebook, and to 'follow' him on Twitter. Both will give you links to learn more about what it is like to be the toast of Broadway, and give you the chance to let Billy know how much you appreciate his great musical talent!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eric Himan & the Soultré Sisters • Live at the Tin Angel

Eric Himan at Tin Angel photo Eric_TinAngel004_zps451e5b63.jpg
Tylisha Oliver at Tin Angel photo Eric_TinAngel002_zps5774b863.jpg Tina Phillips at Tin Angel photo Eric_TinAngel001_zpsfda1285e.jpg
Top: Eric Himan. Bottom: Tylisha Oliver, left, and Tina Phillips, right.

A few weeks ago, I was luck enough to see Eric Himan at the Tin Angel in Philadelphia, PA. Eric was touring in support of his latest album, 'Gracefully', and was accompanied by Tina Phillips and Tylisha Oliver, also known as the Soultré Sisters, adding their vocals to enrich the sound of the great new music by Himan. I was joined at the show by my niece, Mandy, and her fiancée, Mark. Eric played several songs off his latest album, 'Gracefully', as well as some very entertaining cover songs. The show started out with a great song off the album, "Red Hot Tears".

The show was wonderful, filled with great music, great storytelling, and some truly funny moments. Eric was once again behind the piano for "The Only Way", another great song off 'Gracefully'. The second track on the album, the song highlights the soulful qualities of Himan as both a singer and a songwriter. I love the song, and am so glad to share it with you.

While there were a few covers performed, I simply could not resist posting this one for all. I do love me some Dolly Parton - who doesn't? - so when Eric took on "Jolene", I was excited. I had heard him sing it before, but he mentioned he would try to slow it down, giving it a different feel. Well, between Eric and the amazing voices of Tylisha and Tina, this song was fan-freakin-tastic.

Eric also had some great new for the night. It seems He has had a few songs licensed for various reasons, including by the clothing store, Hollister. This very weekend, "Everything To You" was to start playing in the stores! That is so cool, showing more and more people appreciating the great work Eric consistently has made over the last decade or so. So here is Eric playing the fifth track of the album, "Everything To You", in a great live performance.

The show was fantastic, and left the entire audience on their feet, begging for more. It is never a wise decision to pass up a show put on by Eric, so keep your eyes open, and your ears to the ground. You can learn more about Eric Himan with a simple visit his official website. Once there, you can order music, as well as checking out his tour schedule. To keep up-to-date on all things Eric, you can also 'follow' him on Twitter, or 'like' him on Facebook. As for the music, 'Gracefully' is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp.

Tylisha Oliver at Tin Angel photo Eric_TinAngel003_zps806b7ec6.jpg Eric Himan at Tin Angel photo Eric_TinAngel007_zpsf83e6023.jpg Tina Phillips at Tin Angel photo Eric_TinAngel006_zps885e657e.jpg
Mark, Eric, and Mandy photo Eric_TinAngel0002_zps11da5049.jpg Eric & Me. photo Eric_TinAngel0003_zps2cc8dd96.jpg
Eric Himan and Tina Phillips at Tin Angel photo Eric_TinAngel0001_zpse896e9b9.jpg

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Brendan Maclean • Winner Music Video

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If you put Freddie Mercury's freeze-dried genetic material into a delicious Cherry Popsicle, and let Brendan Maclean use it for a microphone in front of a mirror in his bedroom, you'd be listening to Brendan's new single, "Winner". Big, bold and bodacious isn't just a description of Texas hair, at least not any more. It also captures the song and music video for "Winner", the first release off the new album from Australian Maclean, who had used crowdfunding to produce his next release. It proves to his donors that is was money well-spent, with a great song and fantastic music video, directed by Brian Fairbairn and Karl Eccleston.

I can honestly say watching this music video made me even more excited about the upcoming release, and I was already pretty excited! Brendan manages to make music that is bold and surprising, never taking the safe route. You can purchase music by Brendan Maclean on iTunes or Bandcamp. To learn more about Brendan Maclean, 'follow' him on Twitter, or 'like' him on Facebook.

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Darren Ockert • "Crumbs" Music Video

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Miami-based singer/songwriter Darren Ockert has a new music video out, featuring the second single off the upcoming album, 'Short Story Long'. 'Crumbs' is a classic story of love gone wrong, when we try to make things work that might not be the best idea. The music video features Ockert as that voice in our head, telling us things we might not want to hear. Once we start listening to that voice, and are no longer willing to take the 'crumbs' we are tossed, we just might be able to find something new. Enjoy the music video for Darren Ockert's "Crumbs".

I love the song, and can't wait to have it on my iPod. I just really love the music that Ockert makes, and am excited to get the new album. For more about Darren Ockert, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, or 'follow' him on Twitter. 'Short Story Long' will be released November 12, 2013, and you can pre-order the new album from iTunes. To check out the first single off the album, "You Don't Know Me", I have posted about it here.

Darren Ockert - Crumbs photo Crumbs004_zps130f159b.jpg Darren Ockert - Crumbs photo Crumbs003_zpsa25d3427.jpg
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SIRPAUL • "Every Single Moment" Available

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SIRPAUL has released a great new single, and "Every Single Moment" is now available to be added to the your playlist! The ElectroPop singer/songwriter has been a busy man, currently in Europe shooting a music video and making the most of the trip. But back to the song, it is the first released off SIRPAUL's highly anticipated new album, 'Seventh Star'. Bright and bold, the high octane power of love harnessed in the song, jump starting even my jaded old heart! I can't stop playing it, for I really can hear his heartbeat, beating like an earthquake.

Now that you've heard it, I know you can understand what I was saying. The song is just so damned positive, so uplifting, I want to eat is for a snack! You can purchase "Every Single Moment" from iTunes and Amazon. To get the latest information about SIRPAUL, you can visit his official website, 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dark Monday • Elaine Stritch

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This evening's taste treat comes from Elaine Stritch, The veritable Broadway generator, capable of lighting up any stage with with just the first words of any Sondheim song. Well, a song by any of the great songwriters who have written for the some of the most talented men and women around. Earlier this year, Stritch announced to the world she would be moving out of New York City, to Birmingham, Michigan, to be closer to family. The following clip was at the Royal Variety Performance in 1979, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. Someone was smart enough to ask Elaine to sing "It's Today" from 'Mame', with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman.

Stritch starred in the national touring company of 'Mame' back in the late 1960s. She made her Broadway debut in 1946 in a show 'Loco'. Elaine went on to appear on Broadway in 'Angel in the Wings', 'Pal Joey', 'Bus Stop', Noel Coward's 'Come Sail Away', 'Wonderful Town', 'Company', and many others. In 1972, she moved to London for a decade, returning after the passing of her husband. Upon her return, she slowly lipped back into the New York theater scene, making a big splash in the 1993, appearing in a concert version of Sondheim's 'Company'. This is a clip from the performance, as Elaine sings "The Ladies Who Lunch".

Stritch now lives in Michigan, but has not ruled out returning to Broadway if the right role came along. But if not, there are plenty of ways she can still entertain us all. If you don't have the recording of 'Elaine Stritch At Liberty', her one-woman-show from 2001, you should. The recording is filled with wonderful stories from Elaine's life, both professional and personal. And, of course, some truly amazing performances. You can purchase 'Elaine Stritch At Liberty' from iTunes and Amazon. If you are a fan of the theater, or of this courageous lady, it is worth having. I can tell you I love my copy!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Unplugged • Nirvana, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen & Pearl Jam

Nirvana photo Nirvana_zps924807a9.jpg Eric Clapton photo EricClapton_zpsa6deac02.jpg
Bruce Springsteen photo BruceSpringsteen_zps05f89dff.jpg Pearl Jam photo PearlJam_zps01caea91.jpg
Clockwise: Nirvana, Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam, and Bruce Springsteen.

In what seems like a very long time ago, when the 'm' in MTV stood for music, the station offered the viewers a more intimate look at some of their favorite musical artists, from most of the popular genres. Many of my own personal favorites were the Rockers, who came on to the show and allowed their music to be heard stripped down. In many instances, it made a great song that much better. It also seemed to give us better insight into the men and woman most often heard through a radio. The series began in 1989, and has created some great musical memories, at least for me. I have decided to go with a few of my favorite performances, which makes for an impressive group, to be sure. I will start with the 1992 performance by Grunge Rockers Nirvana. There is something quite wonderful about the performances of Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl, so light and almost sweet. It is hard to believe this was Cobain's final televised performance, for the following year, he struggled until he was found dead. You would never be able to tell when watching him sing "All Apologies" that he was struggling so much. The song, off the five-times Platinum selling album 'In Utero', was beautiful stripped down, allowing Kurt's vocals to shine. Watch as Nirvana sings "All Apologies".

Eric Clapton also did the show in 1992, and it was another memorable one. Clapton had a um longer career, with music he played in band going back almost three decades. And he alo had a magnificent catalog of solo work from which to choose, so the wealth of material was not an issue. In fact, there were so many great songs, I had a tough time picking which one to go with. However, I narrowed it down to just one of my favorites, from when Clapton was front man for Derek and the Dominos. The band had a big hit with the 1970 song "Layla", still considered by some to be the best Rock love song ever written. By the way, Clapton sp[lit the writing duties with bandmate Jim Gordon. This is Eric Clapton playing an absolutely amazing Unplugged version of "Layla".

Now, I would be hard pressed to do this post and not include The Boss, New Jersey's great musical ambassador, Bruce Springsteen. Back in college, I had a roommate from Vineland, New Jersey, who lived and breathed everything Bruce. Normally a quiet Pre-Med major, Steve would go crazy whenever Bruce started playing on the stereo. And forget about when he was getting ready to go see The Boss performing live... While it seems there are so many iconic songs in Springsteen's catalog, I have another strong memory associated with some others. Nearly 30 years ago, I worked on a production of Lanford Wilson's 'A Balm In Gilead' at the Circle Repertory Theatre, a co-production with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater Company. The show included several of Springsteen's early songs, and one of my favorites, "Thunder Road". The song, off the 1975 album 'Born To Run', has a truly magical quality about it, able to remain huge in sound, yet also tell an intimate story, something Springsteen was a master at doing. This is Bruce Springsteen playing his acoustic version of "Thunder Road".

Finally, I have another personal favorite of mine. I still am a huge fan of Pearl Jam, a band with amazing heart, sense of self, and a sense of amazing music. Of course, it never hurt that I found lead singer Eddie Vedder to amazing to watch, so beautiful and so expressive. While many of their classic live performances were bold and bombastic, there was something so wonderful about their pared down sound unplugged. The band, made up by Mike McCready, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Dave Krusen, and Eddie Vedder, managed to have a laid back feel to the show, yet the intensity for the songs was still there. This was amazing, for they were still quite new, having released just one album, 1991's 'Ten'. Of course, that was an astonishing album, with so many great songs. While I could have easily picked any number of the songs, I am going with "Alive", one that still remains one of my favorites. The song, written by bassist Stone Gossard, has an strong message, wrapped in a dark paper. There is just something so honest about the song and the performance, I continue to return to it year after years. This is Pearl Jam playing the acoustic version of "Alive".

Hope your weekend was a good one and this helps kick start you week!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Before the Crash • Great Songs of 1929

Annette Hanshaw photo Annette_Hanshaw_zps6cd42032.jpg Aileen Stanley photo Aileen_Stanley_zps2cd67058.jpg
Ruth Etting photo Ruth_Etting_zps2ecfd01b.jpg Helen Kane photo Helen_Kane_zps24b67657.jpg
Clockwise: Annette Hanshaw, Aileen Stanley, Helen Kane, and Ruth Etting.

This week, I decided to take a look at some of the music from 1929 and figure out what would be fun to hear. The year was an interesting one, as it was really the height of the "Roaring Twenties", with excess the theme for many. However, it all can to a close at the end of October, when the stock market crashed, which left many broke, their savings gone. But I will focus on the music, as there was plenty going one. As I went through the list of hits, I came to the realization that 84 years ago, the music business was dominated by men, but there were a few incredibly talented ladies who were making people pay attention. One of those ladies was Annette Hanshaw, a singer born in New York with a style just perfect for many of the Jazz songs coming out of the Twenties. Her light and bubbly deliver was wonderful, and her phrasing distinctive. When I found this recording of her singing "I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling", with music by Fats Waller and Harry Link and lyrics by Billy Rose, I knew I wanted to include it in the post. A few years later, Hanshaw tired of the entertainment business, and retired to be the wife of Pathé Records executive Herman "Wally" Rose. I hope you enjoy Annette singing "I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling" as much as I do.

Aileen Muggeridge began her career in vaudeville, sharing the stage with her brother Stanley. They had a song and dance act, until Stanley left show business, leaving Aileen to build a career as a solo artist. She continued on, giving herself a new name, combining her name with her brother's, and was known as Aileen Stanley. Vaudeville led to a recording career, and soon she had hits of her own, as well as some with another vaudeville star, Billy Murray. In 1929, Aileen recorded "I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)", a song written by Roy Turk & Fred E. Ahlert. In her later years, Aileen told people she was thrilled the song was written for her. I hope you enjoy Aileen Stanley sing "I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)".

This is not the first time Ruth Etting has appeared on Soundtrack to my Day. She was a major star in the 1920s and 1930s, both as a recording artist and film actress. She became known as 'American's sweetheart of song'. That is until her personal life took over the headlines, when her ex-husband shot her boyfriend in 1938, and the shocking scandal basically ended her career. In 1929, however, the singer had several hits, including "Mean To Me", with music by Fred E. Ahlert and lyrics by Roy Turk. The song toys with the meaning of words, and how one word can mean several different things. It is wonderful to hear Etting's emotional journey on "Mean To Me".

Finally, I offer one of my favorites from the period, Helen Kane. She was a singer in the Twenties, enjoying the life of a 'flapper'. But it wasn't until 1927 that Kane got her big break, when she appeared in the Broadway hit, 'A Night In Spain'. Soon she was singing everywhere, and her Jazz stylings included her adding in 'Boop-boop-a-doo' in often. In 1928, she sang "I Wanna Be Loved By You" in Oscar Hammerstein's Broadway hit 'Good Boy'. The song quickly became her trademark number. It was said she was the inspiration for the cartoon character "Betty Boop", while some say it was a combination of Kane and silent film star Clara Bow. In fact, despite the similarities in appearance and sound, when she sued the studio later, the judge determined it could not be proved. In 1929, Kane recorded "I Want To Be Bad", written by Lew Brown, Joe Henderson and Buddy DeSylva. The song is a delight, and deliciously naughty. I hope you love Helen Kane singing "I Want To Be Bad".

As wonderful as the year in music was, everything came to a halt on October 24, 1929, better known as Black Tuesday. That day, the Stock Market lost 30 points. On October 29th and 30th, the Stock Market hit new lows, and lost over $30 billion over those two days. This devastated many, as they lost all their savings. In fact, Aileen Stanley was said to have lost most of her money, and she went to England to start a new career and rebuild her savings. It was there she had met and started seeing Edward, Prince of Wales. At some point, she told friends that she introduced him to another American, Wallis Simpson. And the rest, you could say, is history...

The Yardbirds • For Your Love

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The 1965 hit, "For You Love". The song was written by Graham Gouldman, who later on was a founding member of the great band 10cc, along with Kevin Godley & Lol Creme. The song was sung by a recently formed British Blues band, The Yardbirds. The band was made up by Keith Relf, Paul Samwell-Smith, Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, and a young guitarist named Eric Clapton. The Blues boom in the UK was strong at the time, with bands like Cyril Davies All-Stars and Rolling Stones, as well as Long John Baldry. The musicians were all looking to the music of American musicians Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, as well as Americans Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. The Yardbirds were an early example of the movement, combining Blues, Rock, and Rhythm 'N Blues to a great new sound. You can hear it in the song that went to #3 on the British Pop chart, and #6 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Here are The Yardbirds singing "For Your Love".

Shortly after this song was released, Eric Clapton left the band, feeling they were headed away from the blues. He recommended a young man named Jimmy Page, who recommended an even younger guitarist, Jeff Beck. Clapton went on to join John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, before eventually joining the band Cream. Beck joined The Yardbirds, but was later fired after some erratic behavior the band didn't want to encourage. He went on to do some solo work before forming The Jeff Beck Group, which also featured Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood. After Jimmy Page had a short stint in The Yardbirds, he went to do a bunch of studio work, and playing with his then-girlfriend, Jackie DeShannon. Eventually, he met up with Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham, and they formed the iconic band Led Zeppelin.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Boys & Girls Date Night • Cappuccino & Embracing Butterflies

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For this evening's date night, I thought I would offer a short for the boys, and one for the girls, too! Our fir for the night, 'Cappuccino', was written and directed by Tamer Ruggli, and stars Anton Ciurlia, Benjamin Décosterd, and Maruela Biedermann. It is the story of a young man coming to terms with his feelings for a school friend, and to communicate with his over-the-top mother. It is such a charming film, It is French, but has subtitles. I hope you enjoy 'Cappuccino'.

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The second feature for tonight is 'Embracing Butterflies', a 2009 short film written and directed by Karen Davidsen. It features Jaroslava Adamsova, Laura Baranik, Remi Clarke, Sarah Dunn, and Kveta Fialova. As Louise feeds the ducks and sees young couples in love in the park, she also runs into Anna, which allows Louise to take a stroll down memory lane, when Louise and Anna were in grade school together. Please enjoy 'Embracing Butterflies'.

Have a great night, and an even better weekend!


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