Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: This one’s for you Mom

I love telling this next story. The year is 2002. I’m visiting my mother on a Saturday night. Naturally she’s in front of the tube.

PBS.

There’s a male vocalist in front of a huge orchestra. The bandstands all had the initials RS emblazoned on them. I recognized the performer immediately.

https://i2.wp.com/i55.photobucket.com/albums/g144/hrstumpde/Soundtrack/2013%20Posts/2013%20May/Retro/rod-stewart-1973-chris-walter_zps6963f26b.jpg


But he looked different. Much different. He was singing “Moonglow.”

It must have been Moonglow,
Way up in the blue,
It must have been Moonglow,
That led me straight to you

Seeing and hearing this spectacle for the first time, my first thought was this is awful (I’d grow to love and appreciate it all later).

“Mom, do you know who that is?”

She wasn’t sure. I knew she had never heard of him.

“Do you know he used to be a rock star?”

Nope. And she didn’t really care.

“You like the way he’s singing?”

Yep.

“You don’t think he’s murdering that song?”

Not at all.

It was at that point my conscience landed on my shoulder like something out of a Flintstones cartoon and told me with no subtlety to knock it off and let my mother enjoy.

Rod Stewart was singing and promoting the first of a string of albums featuring the Great American Songbook.

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the release of an unlikely hit album by Stewart: It Had to Be You: The Great American Songbook.

The album of standards reached number four on the Billboard album chart, becoming his first release to hit the top five since 1978.

In fact, the album was such a hit that it spawned no less than four Songbook sequels, all of which reached the top five. The third installment, 2004’s Stardust, was Rod’s first number one album since 1978’s Blondes Have More Fun, and it even won him his first, and to date only, Grammy.

Mom was enraptured (Thank you, Mr. Stewart). And he would do several more songbook CDs, including the third installment, 2004’s Stardust that was Rod’s first number one album since 1978’s Blondes Have More Fun, and it even won him his first, and to date only, Grammy. Mom had all of Stewart’s standards CDs.

From that very first one, a tune that goes back to 1933.

BONUS

Jerry Lee Lewis, rock ‘n’ roll pioneer and perpetual ball of fire, died today at the age of 87.

Just a few weeks ago, on October 16, Lewis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s