Goodnight everyone, and have a worry-free weekend!!!

“The blues are the roots; everything else is the fruits.”
Willie Dixon

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

Today B.B. King would have turned 90 years old. King died in May of 2015 after performing and recording for nearly 70 years, bring joy to audiences by playing the blues.

“Blues is a tonic for whatever ails you,” King said in a 2005 interview. “I could play the blues and then not be blue anymore.”

This week, music of woes and troubles.

We begin with King’s trademark piece performed by saxophonist Kirk Whalum and sung by Lalah Hathaway.

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Next, bluegrass mixes with New Orleans Dixieland. The Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band collaborated in 2011 on a Grammy nominated collection of historic pieces, “American Legacies.”  One of them was “The Sugar Blues,” written in 1920 and first recorded in 1922 by Clyde McCoy. The lyrics are a downer but remember how B.B. King described the blues and you’ll get by.

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What a fascinating combination of musical genres!

In 1995 the rock band Chicago recorded an all-big band album with some of the all-time classics from the 1930’s and 1940’s.One of the tracks has become a pop standard.

The music was composed by Harold Arlen and lyrics written by Johnny Mercer for a 1941 film that had the same title as this song.

The arrangement by vocalist Bill Champlin features a guitar solo by Joe Perry of Aerosmith.
Prepare to get blown away.

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That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

We close with classic, probably not to ever be seen again entertainment. This is a clip from a famous show of legends from June 20, 1965. It features the biggest names in show biz of that era. From the Journal Sentinel:

Originally titled “Frank Sinatra Spectacular,” four famous Rat Packers – Frank, Dean, Sammy and Joey Bishop (with the Count Basie and Quincy Jones bands) – gave a benefit concert at the Keil Opera House in downtown St. Louis, the proceeds of which supported the local Dismas House.

The concert came together in 1965, on June 20 – both Father’s Day and Christina Sinatra’s birthday. Frank even introduced “Tina,” his youngest daughter, and everyone in the building sang “Happy Birthday.”

That any video exists of this concert is thanks to it being a closed-circuit broadcast, meaning simultaneously aired by affiliate stations. From that small network, one black-and-white print survived, though it wasn’t discovered until 1995. For the 32nd anniversary of the Spectacular (1997), the video finally became commercially available, thanks to the Museum of Television & Radio.

Until a few hours before the show, Johnny Carson could not have imagined himself spending Father’s Day in St. Louis, on stage as a replacement Rat. Yet, when Joey Bishop injured his back and could not perform, Frank asked Johnny to fly in and fill in as emcee and comedian.

Before the closing song there’s some wonderful, priceless, politically incorrect humor.

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