Goodnight everyone, and have an all about Dad weekend!

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.

Every year I post a Father’s Day feature on this weekly blog to not only pay tribute to a great man I lost when I was only in my 20’s but also to demonstrate that the music he appreciated was really quite good.

Having served in the Army during WWII Dad was fond of the big bands. But that era would end, and Dad caught on with whatever was popular, including Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, the Ames Brothers, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme,  the Ink Spots, Peter Duchin, Victor Borge, Henry Mancini, Sammy Davis Jr., Kate Smith, Nat King Cole, Liberace,  and yes, even rock and roll.

Some of Dad’s favorites this week.  Enjoy, and don’t poke fun at your father’s music. If you haven’t already you’ll realize it’s not all that bad.

Before we begin it must be said that my father was cool, in many ways, and that included his musical taste. Whenever he liked the same songs on the radio that I did it gave me a charge, made me happy.

Let’s start with an instrumental made famous in the 60’s that had an undeniably perfect sound for the decade, and excellent lyrics to match. The Bob Crewe Generation did it first in 1966 and a year later Andy Williams, whose weekly TV variety show our family never missed, recorded the tune with lyrics. It climbed to #15 on the Billboard chart. In 1999 Williams was still cool.

After a successful career spanning more than 70 years Williams died in 2012. He was 84.

While Dad was at work one day in 1974 (it was summer and I was off school) Mom stunned me when she said she was going to a nearby travel agent we knew to possibly book a family vacation in Hawaii.

She always wanted to go and knew Dad really wanted to go. Most of all this would be a great surprise for Dad. No, he had no idea, none that Mom was even thinking about it. I tagged along and the trip did get booked. So many wonderful memories.

Here’s a classic Hawaiian tune that originated in the 60’s and is most associated with Don Ho, performed here by Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra in Japan. Dad had Vaughn albums in his collection. Best known for his alto saxophone work Vaughn plays the marimba here.

Pearly Shells, from the ocean
Shining in the sun, covering the shore
When I see them my heart tells me that I love you
More than all the little pearly shells


For every grain of sand upon the beach I got a kiss for you
And I’ve got more left over for each star that twinkles in the blue

Let’s stay with our 50th state.

This is truly amazing. Elvis was the first solo entertainer to hold a live concert broadcast internationally via satellite in 1973. More than a billion people from more than 40 countries across Asia and Europe tuned in to watch “Aloha from Hawaii.”

Audience tickets for the January 14 concert and its January 12 pre-broadcast rehearsal show carried no price. Each audience member was asked to pay whatever he or she could afford. The performance and concert merchandise sales raised $75,000 for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund in Hawaii.

Dana Suzuki-Culbertson from Kaneohe, Oahu was at the concert, just 17 at the time. She told NPR, “The night I went to see Elvis, I went with my mother. And I remember sitting up, and the moment I saw him with my binoculars, I was in such awe that I stopped and I was just staring at my mom, saying ‘Oh, my God. Oh, my God.’  And she told me ‘Stop looking at me and look at the stage and watch.’

“You know, I was in my own world, swooning and wanting all that too. I just loved him.”

We had the concert album in our house, and Dad, who didn’t love Elvis like I did but still liked and enjoyed him, always stopped what he was doing when it came time for this song that was a big hit for country star Jim Reeves.

” He really can sing that song,” Dad would say.

From the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, verses 7-8:

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you

Elvis loved Hawaii and Hawaii loved the King. He made three movies in the state and held a benefit show for the USS Arizona Memorial, the ship destroyed at Pearl Harbor.

This next performer was born in London and was trained as a glider pilot in the Royal Air Force during World War II. After the war he formed his own band that played in local clubs and dance halls.

In 1959 at the age of 36 he accepted an entry-level job at EMI Recording Studios on Abbey Road in London. When he was the engineer on duty one day in 1962, four long-haired guys walked into the studios for their very first sound test. Since he was the engineer on the scene when that happened, company policy dictated he would stay engineering the group as long as it was at EMI.

This engineer wasn’t impressed initially.

“I mean, ‘Here comes another scrappy group.’ But I must say that I was taken with their hairdos because we hadn’t seen anything quite like them,” he said in an interview.

But he went on to engineer every Beatle song through early 1966.

When legendary producer George Martin left EMI in 1966, he was Martin’s successor. His true love, though, was songwriting.

So he wrote songs. But he couldn’t find anyone to record them. So Norman Smith decided to go in to the studio and sing himself.

He changed his stage name to Hurricane Smith and had a Top Five hit in 1972.  

“The melody was happy and simple,’ said Smith “It was the producer in me that designed the lyric to recapture the era I grew up in. It’s almost a true story of my life. I would go to a ballroom, but I was so shy I couldn’t even ask someone to dance. I’d walk home imagining a romance when I’d never even reached first base. ‘Oh, Babe’ was about those fantasies.”

Dad absolutely loved this song.

https://i0.wp.com/image1.findagrave.com/photos/2010/52/25093009_126686811578.jpg

When Smith appeared on “American Band” the song was at #15, but then quickly climbed to #3.

Smith died in 2008. He was 85.

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Near the end of 1968 the jazz-rock band “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” released their self-titled album that was a monster. Three singles all went to #2. The album stayed at #1 for seven straight weeks, sold four million copies, and won a Grammy for Album of the Year (beating out the Beatles and “Abbey Road”).

And yes, Dad had a favorite, and just like the Elvis concert album when it came on, he stopped everything.

The band performed it in front of 400,000 people.

Goodnight everyone, and have an anticipation of summer weekend!

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.

Technically it’s not summer yet.

Crazy, huh? From June 3 through today temps have been in the 80’s or 90’s. But the first official day of summer isn’t until Sunday, June 20.

Since summer started early we’ll do the same with summer-related music. That’s our focus this week. Let’s begin!

The great George Gershwin composed our opener for the operatic “Porgy and Bess.” Gershwin was inspired by a 1926 novel about a Black community in Charleston, South Carolina, that was first made into a Broadway musical and years later a movie.

In order to capture the Southern atmosphere for his composition Gershwin rented a spot in Folly Island, South Carolina, but in the end wrote “Summertime” at home in New York.

Gershwin’s friend Kay Halle spoke with theater historian Robert Kimball:

“George and I had an arrangement with the man at the desk at the Elysee, where I lived. If I was out and George wanted to come in, he could always have the key to my room. One night I came in after a dinner about 11 o’clock, and as I walked up the stairway to my apartment, I heard the piano. I tiptoed in, George turned and saw me, and said, ‘Sit down, I think I have the lullaby.’ I knew he had been working hard to get the lullaby and that he had done several versions that didn’t suit him. And so he sang in this high-wailing voice ‘Summertime,’ and it was exquisite. We looked at each other and the tears were just coursing down my cheeks and I just knew that this was going to be beloved by the world.”

More than 2,000 recordings of “Summertime” have been cranked out, making it one of the most covered music pieces ever. This one has electric keyboardist/arranger Eumir Deodato and guitarist John Tropea. Deodato released the wildly successful instrumental of “Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001) in 1973.

Gershwin never got to see the “Porgy and Bess” play become a big success. He died in 1937. 

Time to take a page out of Old Liquors Magazine:

The Rum and Coke is a derivation of a dark Rum, lime, and cola concoction borne out of the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. A few years in the making, Cuba had been at odds with Spanish rule. While the United States had run into some conflict with Spain as well, it had been hesitant to enter the war as recovery from a significantly depressed economy was just being realized. But after the mysterious sinking of a significant American naval ship, the USS Maine, off the coast of Cuba in Havana Harbor, the Spanish-American War commenced for a ten-week period between April and August of 1898.

The United States’ involvement provided a much-needed expeditive boost, resulting in the signing of the Treaty of Paris later that same year; along with Spain’s relinquishment of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, the United States gained temporary control of Cuba. The Spanish Empire was no more.

Of course, after a years-long battle for the very independence of a nation and its beginning anew, what better cause for celebration? A free-Cuba (or Cuba Libre) movement birthed the drink in Havana in the early 1900s, when, of course, Coca-Cola entered Cuba via the United States and the movement’s namesake, from then on, lived forever in spirit.

BTW, the rum and Coke did NOT make the list of 2020’s best-selling classic cocktails around the globe released by Drinks International (DI), a trade publication for the alcohol industry. Care to guess what was #1?

Can’t do a summer music blog without these guys. The Beach Boys are one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful, and widely influential bands of all time. The group had over eighty songs chart worldwide, thirty-six of them US Top 40 hits (the most by an American rock band), four reaching number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Beach Boys have sold in excess of 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.

From their 2018 project:

“We didn’t have to lift a finger, all the hard work was done decades ago,” said lyricist and vocalist Mike Love. “It’s amazing, the beauty of this project is that the original vocal performances are used. They took just the vocal parts of the records, lifted them out and then wrote the arrangements around the vocals. The key thing is they didn’t overwhelm them, they complement them perfectly.”

The Beach Boys without the orchestra perform at the WI State Fair’s Main Stage on Saturday, August 14 at 7:30.

This next selection is not a summer song but sure sounds like one. It hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1979.

The band plays on October 23 at the Loews Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois.

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great spring weekend.

Our closing instrumental was written by Austrian film composer Max Steiner, who also wrote the score for “Casablanca.”

Percy Faith and his orchestra had a #1 single, not in summer, but in February of 1960, and did an uptempo version in 1976. Tons of artists have recorded their own renditions.

BONUS!

Goodnight everyone, and enjoy a steamy weekend!

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.

92 degrees Saturday.

92 degrees Sunday.

Normal high is around 72.

Thank God for AC.

The theme this week is one we do at least once a year: music that’s hot. But also cool. Let’s get started.

Guess we’ve got to begin with the obvious. Originally done by Martha and the Vandellas this superstar is seen in concert in Atlanta in 1977.

On Aug. 23, 2013, Ronstadt announced in an interview with AARP that she had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and, as a result, “can’t sing a note” anymore.

“In fact, I couldn’t sing for the last five or six years I appeared onstage, but I kept trying,” she shared. “I kept thinking, ‘What if I tried singing upside down? Or standing on my head? Or while juggling?’

“So I didn’t know why I couldn’t sing — all I knew was that it was muscular, or mechanical. Then, when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I was finally given the reason,” Ronstadt added. “I now understand that no one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try.”

Once dubbed “The Queen of Rock,” Ronstadt turns 75 in July.

While Elvis was in the Army in the summer of 1958 Peggy Lee had a big recording with this next tune, one of the 71 hits she had that made the charts. And plenty of folks did their own renditions including Elvis.

Recording sessions for Ray Charles’ last studio album took place between June 2003 and March 2004. Charles sang on duets with 12 other artists.

“Genius Loves Company” (great title) was released on August 31, 2004. Charles died on June 10, 2004.

With over three million copies it was the biggest selling record of Charles’ career.

Eight months after Charles’ death the album won eight Grammy Awards.

Speaking of “fever” what happens when you take a composition from one of the best-selling albums of all-time and have a huge orchestra do the honors?

Maestro Barry White, you’re up.

That’s from an album devoted entirely to movie themes.

Ah, the 70’s One of the most memorable groups from the decade was the Ohio Players, and not just because of their music.

Those hot album covers.

Let’s go from this, a funk band to this.

Regular readers know military ensembles have been featured here on many occasions. Like The Airmen of Note, the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force. Stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., it is one of six musical ensembles that form The U.S. Air Force Band.

Could they cool with “Fire?”

The 70’s. That album is from 1977.

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

“If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” was released in 2015.

From the website sonymusic:

As an exciting revisit of Elvis’ work, ‘If I Can Dream’ was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London with acclaimed producers Don Reedman and Nick Patrick. The 14-track album features Elvis’ most dramatic original performances augmented with lush new arrangements by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, plus a duet with Michael Buble and appearances by Il Volo and Duane Eddy.

“This would be a dream come true for Elvis,” Priscilla Presley says of the project. “He would have loved to play with such a prestigious symphony orchestra. The music… the force that you feel with his voice and the orchestra is exactly what he would have done.” Don Reedman also commented, “Abbey Road Studios and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are as good as it gets and Elvis deserves as good as it gets.”


Goodnight everyone, and remember the fallen freedom fighters this weekend!

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.

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2021 will occur on Monday, May 31. 

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Some great music came out of wartime. And we’ve got a few this week. Let’s get started.

Our first tune has nothing to do with soldiers or the holiday. But it does fit the theme and our weekly tradition of a rip-roaring opening.

The song was a favorite of the American military around the start of the 20th century, particularly during the Spanish-American War, and was also popular during WWI. Wisconsin Badger fans know it well.

Did you enjoy that surprise twin spin?

BTW…”There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight.” Not about what it sounds like. Actually the song tells the story about a religious revival meeting.

When you hear the preachin’ has begin,
Bend down low for to drive away your sin;
When you get religion you’ll wanna shout and sing,
There’ll be a hot time in old town tonight!


OVER THERE

“After declaring on April 16, 1917 that the American troops were joining in the war, President Wilson faced the task of swaying public opinion in favor of the conscription and mobilization of troops. Anti-war sentiment was still strong among the American citizens, and had been an important part of the foundation on which Wilson was reelected. The day after.

“Wilson’s declaration of war against Germany, George M.Cohan composed Over There, a march containing lyrics that stressed patriotism and a sense of national identity. It was one of the most successful American pro-war propaganda songs, enthusiastically inspiring the American spirit of confidence about the ability of our troops to end the war and return home safely.”

–From an essay by K.A. Wells

Next:

Casablanca (1942)

The American Film Institute in 1998 commemorated the first 100 years of American movies by selecting the 100 greatest American movies of all time, as determined by more than 1,500 leaders from the American film community.

A 1942 romantic drama of wartime sacrifice set in Nazi-occupied French Morocco came in at #2 and won Best Picture.

In 1973 Harry Nilsson (“Everybody’s Talkin'”) released “A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night,” an album comprising standards from the Great American Songbook. Nilsson appeared on this studio concert produced by the BBC.

Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942)

Harry Nilsson died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack in 1994. He was 52.

Staying with WWII the 1941 film “Buck Privates” was a military music comedy. Sorry Bette Midler. Sorry Christine Aguilera. No one did it better than the Andrews Sisters.

“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” was nominated for an Oscar for best song but lost to “The Last Time I Saw Paris.”

In 2019 America marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day. On June 6, 1944, Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower gave the go-ahead for the largest amphibious military operation in history, the Allied invasion of northern France.

By daybreak, 18,000 British and American parachutists were already on the ground. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion. At 6:30 a.m., American troops came ashore at Utah and Omaha beaches, and fought a hard, victorious battle. Without the heroic sacrifices made on D-Day the Allies may have never defeated the Nazi forces in Europe.

The historic invasion was made into an epic film in 1962.

Hard to believe, but the guy who gave us “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” also wrote “My Way.”

We move now to the “Forgotten War,” the Korean War.

Was it a war, conflict, police action? What?

The biggest recording of this next song came during the war in the summer of 1951 by the Ames Brothers. More than 40 years later…

At the 1994 Grammy Awards Cole’s album won for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.

You may recall “Undecided” in an episode of M*A*S*H. Watch about 90 seconds…

That was from the opener in Season 11, the last in the series. The entire Korean War lasted three years.

RE: WWI…

“The famous General John J. Pershing once remarked, ‘Music is as necessary to the boys as sleep and food.’ Major General Leonard Wood, who trained soldiers at Camp Funston, shared a similar philosophy and claimed, ‘It is just as essential that a soldier know how to sing as that he should carry rifles and know how to shoot them.’ Music was valued as a military asset, potent ammunition in the battle to uphold morale that was at least as important as the battle to defeat the Central Powers.”
—Dr. Kristin Griffeath, Associate Professor of Music at Southwestern Oklahoma State University

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Goodnight everyone, and have a weekend of good wishes!

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.

Every week this feature is based on a theme, and this is one I’ve been thinking about for a long time. The blog title contains a common expression. Why not a blog all about ‘goodnight’ music?

So Kev, you’re going to musically say ‘goodnight’ over and over again? And still be interesting?

Not really. And yes.

Now, before I say ‘goodnight’ for good, let’s get started.

How to begin? We need an opener, but it has to be a goodbye. Hmmm…..

John Lennon reportedly couldn’t stand this song, calling it “three minutes of contradictions and meaningless juxtapositions.” And he was angry that his “I Am The Walrus” was released as the B-side to Paul McCartney’s A-side “Hello Goodbye.

On the song’s meaning McCartney said, “The answer to everything is simple. It’s a song about everything and nothing. If you have black you have to have white. That’s the amazing thing about life.”

NEXT!

The rock band Chicago has done 37 albums and sold more than 100 million records.

In 1995 the group put out an LP that paid tribute to big band, jazz, and swing music. As one critic noted, the guys took old classics and Chicago-ized them.

The vocal trio Jade sings along and Paul Shaffer of David Letterman fame is on the piano.

OK. Quiz time.

Who originally did “Dream a Little Dream of Me?”

Did you guess…

If you did, that would be wrong.

Ozzie Nelson, father of Rick Nelson first recorded the song in 1931, and just a few days later Wayne King & his Orchestra did it as well.

Fabian Andre and Wilber Schwandt wrote the music for “Dream a Little Dream of Me.” According to National Public Radio Schwandt remembered the duo came up with the composition during a 10-minute break at a job in Paw Paw, Michigan but later said they wrote it in Milwaukee.

In 1950 in Mexico City, little six-year-old Michelle Phillips, who would later join The Mamas and Papas, met Andre. She and the other group members were stunned in 1968 when they got the news Andre had died in a fall down an elevator shaft in Mexico City.

“It was very shocking, you know,” said Phillips. “I said, can you imagine this guy who wrote this fabulous song–and John (Phillips) had remembered, at that point, that I had told him about Fabian and the song and we had never thought about it again until we were all sitting around that day discussing his death, when we started to pick out the song and–to see if we could remember the lyrics to it. And we said, `Cass, come here. Sing this.'”

Mama Cass’ signature song was born.

Back to Chicago.

In August of 1998 I was moonlighting working security backstage at the Main Stage at the WI State Fair. Chicago was one of the headliners that year.

Before the show started founding member, saxophonist Walter Parazaider came out of his trailer/dressing room that I was keeping a close watch on and he and I had a great conversation. My favorite memory was Parazaider relating how the band had played just about everywhere  but their places to perform were in the Midwest because the people were the absolute best.

Recently Parazaider made this announcement:

So many of you have been very kind over the years with birthday and well wishes, I want to share some news with you before you saw rumors on the Internet. Five months ago, I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Needless to say, my wife, daughters and myself were shocked and devastated. It has taken a while to process this news and the fact is, we still are.

The good news is we have a wonderful medical facility here and I have a very good doctor. I am working hard and not going to give up. With new treatments and therapy, along with my family’s love and support, I feel very positive about the future. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I wish you and your families all the best in 2021 and always.

Walt

What happens when you combine one good song with another? Glen Campbell did it in 1976 and then performed the medley in concert often.

A talented studio guitarist, singer, and TV show host, Campbell revealed in 2011 that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In June of that year, he announced he was retiring from music due to the disease. He did go on a farewell tour with three of his children backing him and played 151 shows. In August of 2017 Campbell died at the age of 81.

His widow Kim Campbell said two years later, “When I touch his clothes and when I look at the pictures of us together, it’s heart-wrenching for me, because I miss him every single day. No one did more for country music than Glen Campbell, because when he had his TV show, he brought country music to the forefront. He made the country fall in love with country music.”

She added, “He overcame so much. When I met him, he was an alcoholic and addicted to drugs. He overcame all of that and became the best father and husband I could’ve ever imagined.”

Kim helped plan and organize the opening of the Glen Campbell Museum in Nashville.

We opened with a Paul McCartney tune. This next song was written by John Lennon as a lullaby for his five-year old son Julian. Ringo Starr, the only Beatle on the recording, does the vocal.

“I think John felt it might not be good for his image for him to sing it but it was fabulous to hear him do it, he sang it great,” said McCartney. “We heard him sing it in order to teach it to Ringo and he sang it very tenderly. John rarely showed his tender side, but my key memories of John are when he was tender, that’s what has remained with me; those moments where he showed himself to be a very generous, loving person. I always cite that song as an example of the John beneath the surface that we only saw occasionally… I don’t think John’s version was ever recorded.”

From “The White Album” with producer George Martin conducting the orchestra…

It was actually Lennon, not McCartney who asked Martin to compose a huge orchestral arrangement and even reportedly said to the producer, “Yeh. Corny.”

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

We close with Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, Frankie Valli.

Shall we dance?

Goodnight everyone, and have a wunnerful wunnerful weekend!

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.

This Monday marks the 29th anniversary of the death of bandleader and TV celebrity Lawrence Welk.

Whoa whoa whoa, Kevin! Are you actually devoting your Friday night music feature… to him?

Well, as a matter of fact, I am.

You do realize you’re taking a big chance?


How so?

Kev, Kev, Kev. Your audience, man. They may have already abandoned you. Probably never even got this far into the blog.

Hey, the guy was a star.

Yeh, but he wasn’t cool or hip. Corny. Hokey. Campy. Kinda cheesy. And those costumes…crazy.


That’s what made his program so popular. I would also submit wholesome. Clean. Successful.  With talented, gifted musicians. And I’ve got examples. So travel back with me to a time that was sweeter, more innocent that gave generations many memories.

Back when I was a kid television choices were limited. You had NBC, CBS, ABC, public TV, and an independent local station. That was it.

In the Fischer household there were certain couldn’t miss TV shows. Like “The Fugitive.” “The Ed Sullivan Show.”  “The Hollywood Palace.”  “The Man from UNCLE.” “The Avengers.” “The Big Valley.”  “Batman.”

And on Saturday nights, “The Lawrence Welk Show.” A regular ritual, our family warmly sat together , never missing a minute of the cornball hour.

Lawrence Welk was inescapable. Even if we paid a visit to a relative’s house on a Saturday there was a 100% chance the TV there would be tuned to ABC, Welk’s home for 27 years.  And there I was, being a good boy, but secretly I was in my room with my transistor, listening to the Beatles on WRIT or WOKY. Later I would realize how skilled those Welk performers were, especially the orchestra that when unleashed had quite a sound. Welk called it champagne music.

Never an innovator, Mr. Welk’s criteria for success was to keep it sweet and simple: play the proven standards the people want to hear, in the simplest of arrangements, and in less than three minutes just in case someone did not like a particular song. It was safe-and-sane TV entertainment, painfully predictable and stable and wholesome.

For that, he went virtually without praise from within the TV industry itself. His reward came from his audiences, those who could not wait for their weekly taste of ‘uh-one and uh-two’ accompanied by a succession of Champagne Ladies, accordionists and talented instrumentalists.
Tom Gorman, The Baltimore Sun

Welk had a different theme to his program every week and often paid tribute to a singer, musician, musical group, or holiday.

In addition to the orchestra there was plenty of singing and dancing. A popular feature was the dancing team of Bobby Burgess and one of the three partners he performed with every week. One of the original Mickey Mouse Club Mousketeers, Burgess won a 10-week contest on the Welk show in 1961, dancing with Barbara Boylan. Both were 19 at the time.

Here Burgess is paired with Cissy King.

Welk wasn’t nuts about the instrumental, but his music director George Cates told him that he’d record it if Welk didn’t. Fortunately for Welk he changed his mind. “Calcutta” went to #1 for a few weeks in February of 1961.

Time for a short break from the Welk program with a group that appeared as the bandleader’s guests a few times. John Williams conducts the Boston Pops that accompany the sweet harmonies of the Mills Brothers. From the “They don’t write them liked they used to” file.

Now watch and listen to Welk’s treatment that really swings.

Mr. Welk was an unlikely candidate for national fame, but parlayed his German accent, charisma and a keen discernment of Middle America’s musical taste into a business empire founded on television, records and music publishing. At first uneasy as a television personality, fearful that his fourth-grade education would betray him, he soon enough became smitten by the love affair he developed with his audiences.

Still, he was ever gracious to his fans and the proud patriarch of his so-called Musical Family of studio musicians, dancers, singers, entertainers and support crew members, serving as a gentle but firm disciplinarian and preacher of conservative values.

Long-time band member Barney Liddell, a Roman Catholic, recalled Mr. Welk’s reaction when he divorced his wife and later remarried. Mr. Welk, himself a Catholic, fired Mr. Lidell from the band after he announced his intention to remarry.

“He said I’d be living in sin and that’s not right. But then he talked to three guys in the band — a Jew, a Methodist and a Presbyterian — and they said, ‘Why don’t you let him run his life and you just run his trombone.’ So he called me back on my wedding day and said I had my job back.”

Norma Zimmer, who became his last Champagne Lady in 1960, said that Mr. Welk would seldom lose his temper. “He was always in control. You knew he was upset [only] because he’d just beat his leg with his baton. That was his sign that things weren’t right.”
Tom Gorman, The Baltimore Sun

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a wunnerful weekend.

We close with one the best musical pieces of all-time and a huge favorite of my late father.

Good evening everyone, and have a sentimental Mother’s Day weekend!

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.

Did you know that the woman who was the inspiration for creating Mother’s Day later wanted it banned?

Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia is credited with originating Mother’s Day. Her own mother had organized women’s groups to promote friendship and health. On May 12, 1907, Anna Jarvis held a memorial service at her late mother’s church in West Virginia. States around the country began their own observances. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday.

People started sending cards and giving gifts. In her last years Jarvis, upset over the day’s commercialization, tried in vain to get rid of the very holiday she gave America.

This week, some of my mother’s favorite music in my musical Mother’s Day card to her and all moms. Enjoy.

The inspiration for this week’s feature came a few weeks ago when our family vacationed in Disney World. On a scorcher (there were plenty of 90-plus degree days that trip) we were standing in a long line to get into this ride in the Hollywood Studios park:

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway | WanderDisney

Music of the 30’s and 40’s had been playing throughout the park so it was no surprise we heard a recording of a contemporary group over loudspeakers performing this Tommy Dorsey classic. Mom was a Dorsey and big band fan, and since we always like a rousing opening…

Home

Wow!

That definitely blows the roof off!

Tommy Dorsey’s recording had strings. And the vocal group “The Mills Brothers” had their own lyrics:

I’m rackin’ my brain to think of a name
To give to this tune, so Perry can croon
And maybe old Bing will give it a fling
And that’ll start everyone hummin’ the thing


The melody’s dumb, repeat and repeat
But if you can swing, it’s got a good beat
And that’s the main thing, to make it complete
‘Cause everyone’s swingin’ today

Tommy had a brother Jimmy, and the two played in the same orchestra. But they each had a terrible temper, and a nasty feud sent them on their separate ways and separate bands.

Trumpeter Max Kaminsky wrote in his book Jazz Band: My Life in Jazz:

“They had been brought up in a feisty Irish family where love was expressed with fists as much as kisses. Both Tommy and his brother Jimmy were natural born scrappers. When they had their own Dorsey Brothers orchestra they fought around the clock. Tommy would kick off the beat. Jimmy would growl, ‘Always the same corny tempo!’ Tommy would snarl, ‘Oh yeah! And you always play those same corny notes!’ Jimmy would leap up, snatch Tommy’s trombone and bend it in two. Tommy would seize Jimmy’s sax and smash it on the floor, and the fight was on.”

One of Mom’s ultimate favorites was Rosemary Clooney, best remembered for her starring role with Bing Crosby in White Christmas. The Wall Street Journal called her, “A pop icon and spoken in the same breath as Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.”

A&E’s bio of Clooney said, “The distinctively unpretentious, deep, rich, and smooth voice of Rosemary Clooney earned her recognition as one of America’s premiere pop and jazz singers. According to Clooney’s record company press biography, Life magazine, in a tribute to America’s ‘girl singers’ named her one of ‘six preeminent singers … whose performances are living displays of a precious national treasure … their recordings a preservation of jewels.’ First-class crooner Frank Sinatra stated, as was also reprinted in Clooney’s press biography, ‘Rosemary Clooney has that great talent which exudes warmth and feeling in every song she sings. She’s a symbol of good modern American music’.”

Nominated several times for Grammy Awards, Clooney never won. But she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award on February 28, 2002.

The previous month Clooney underwent lung cancer surgery. She remained hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic until early May, when she was able to go home to Beverly Hills and share Mother’s Day and her birthday with her family, which included five children, ten grandchildren, brother and sister-in-law Nick and Nina Clooney, and sister Gail Stone Darley Clooney died on June 29, 2002.

This track is from a 2001 album, Clooney’s last studio recording.

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From the liner notes of the above album written by respected jazz critic Will Friedwald:

To put the statistics of Clooney’s career into perspective, whenever the day comes that she decides to hang up her microphone (and I hope it never does!) after this album (her 27th Concord release), she’ll already not only be one of the most prolific female singers of all time, but, thankfully, probably the one who recorded the most in the later part of her career-with not only the most consistently excellent but the most amazingly personal series of statements since Thomas Edison ever tinkered with tinfoil.

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Robert Kennedy campaigns with Rosemary Clooney and Andy Williams in San Diego on June 3, 1968, the day before the Democrat California primary. Four hours after the polls closed in California, Kennedy claimed victory as he addressed his campaign supporters just past midnight in the Ambassador Hotel.  On his way through the kitchen to exit the hotel, he was mortally wounded by assassin Sirhan Sirhan. Standing beside RFK during the shooting was Clooney, and his death traumatized her for years. She suffered a deep depression requiring psychiatric hospitalization. Her entertainment career was never the same.

One more note. You probably know Clooney is the aunt of actor George Clooney. He was a pallbearer at her funeral.

Our next tune was a real favorite of Mom’s, so much so that when she’d play it on the stereo she couldn’t resist singing along. A George Gershwin composition (so you know it has to be good), this one dates all the way back to 1927, the biggest hit in the Broadway musical Funny Face.

Recorded live in Rio de Janeiro, November, 2008….

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So now we’ve enjoyed female vocalists, two in a row. The trend continues.

From writer Bruce Eder:

The mere mention of the name the McGuire Sisters (Christine, Dorothy, and Phyllis) evokes images of ’50s America and comfortable, white middle-class life and aspirations. Their work was the perfect musical embodiment of the popular white culture of the period… and Dwight Eisenhower’s America. They even came from a place called Middletown. 

(The McGuires were) the daughters of Asa and Lillie McGuire. Lillie McGuire was an ordained minister, and the girls’ first singing experiences were in church — indeed, secular music was frowned upon in the household — They sang at weddings, funerals, and revival meetings, revealing a special knack for close harmony.

In 1949, they were recruited to tour veterans’ hospitals and military bases, and it was during this period that they took the opportunity to learn material other than the hymns and inspirational songs. By the time the tour was over, they’d come to the attention of a local bandleader, Karl Taylor, who got them a series of appearances on radio, broadcasting from the Van Cleef Hotel in Dayton, Ohio. During a break in one of these broadcasts, they were encouraged to try out for the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts program in New York. The trio pooled their resources and borrowed enough money to make the trip and, in their innocence about the ways of the entertainment industry, simply went to the CBS studio where the show was broadcast. Their manner was so unaffectedly beguiling that they got an audition from the program’s producer, which resulted in a promise to get them on the air once he had presented the whole matter to Godfrey, who was away on vacation.

Godfrey contacted the McGuire Sisters and signed them up for his Talent Scouts show, which he followed by booking them on his morning program. It was the start of a seven-year gig that made the McGuire Sisters one of the most well-known vocal groups in the country.

These two songs both went to #1.

Seen around New York: Their biggest hit recordings were Sugartime, Sincerely and Picnic, all from the middle of the 1950s; they are pictured at Manhattan's El Morocco Nightclub in 1956

Phyllis McGuire, the last surviving member of the group, died on December 29, 2020.

When the sisters were performing at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas in 1959, Mafia leader Sam Giancana saw her onstage and told the pit boss to “eat the marker” on the thousands of dollars of debt she owed at the blackjack tables. Their romance began.

“When I met him I did not know who he was, and he was not married and I was an unmarried woman, and according to the way I was brought up there was nothing wrong with that. And I didn’t find out until sometime later really who he was, and I was already in love,” McGuire said. “It was really hurting the career and it was really breaking my parents’ heart, and I also had an ultimatum from my sister’s husband that if this didn’t end that the trio would be over. So that was very painful for me to think of, and so I tried twice but it didn’t work.”

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Don’t forget Mom.

I’ve written in the past that Mom liked Barry Manilow who did a big band album in 1994 featuring one of her all-time favorite songs. Here’s a brief clip:

I love this ending. Did I mention Mom loved the big bands?

On April 24, 1967, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass had their first TV special on CBS, sponsored by the Singer Sewing Machine Company.

There’s a scene at the Aragon Ballroom in Santa Monica that’s a tribute to big bands and halls once packed with enthusiastic crowds and dancers. Another great Tommy Dorsey classic.

Goodnight everyone, and have a lively weekend and then some!

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.

Normally there’s a single theme built around this weekly mega-music feature. But this week I had three to choose from. So I went with all of them. Let’s get started!

You can almost hear the trumpets blaring.

Grantland Rice wrote about the Derby 86 years ago: “Those two minutes and a second or so of derby running carry more emotional thrills, per second, than anything sport can show.”

The Kentucky Derby (when it’s pandemic-free) typically draws a crowd of 155,000 people. It is the longest continually held sporting event in America, and it is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world.

The Derby is a top rank, Grade I stakes race for 3 year old Thoroughbred horses. Colts and geldings in the race carry 126 pounds, and fillies in the race carry 121 pounds.

20 horses compete, but they must enter into  a series of 35 races taking place at tracks across the country and the world. Points are awarded to the top 4 horses that finish in each of those 35 races, and the 20 horses with the most points earn a spot in the starting gate in the Kentucky Derby race. The Kentucky Derby winning purse is $2 million.

2021 Official 147th Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Glass — Horse and Hound  Gallery

About 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack. That requires more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.

Our first performer could play piano, organ, sax, clarinet and trumpet. His musical interests ranged from gospel to country to blues. He was a pioneer of soul music.

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Wanna make one of those gems?

In the late 1960’s Cliff Nobles had a big hit that just about every high school and college band has played at one time or another: “The Horse.” It went all the way to #2 in 1968.

Not long after that single’s success the group released “Horse Fever.” But not even American Bandstand could help as the instrumental bombed, peaking at #68.

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The Fischer Family at Churchill Downs in November of 2018.

Pat Forde wrote on ESPN.com in 2006:

“It’s a very competitive, dangerous sport — and you can’t eat,” said mega-trainer Bob Baffert, a former rider in his youth. “You don’t see many 40-year-old bull fighters; this is the same thing. You can’t live a normal life.”

Normal is a long way from the day-to-day existence of a jockey. Here’s the basic job description:

Hold a thin strip of leather in your hands and balance your feet on a pair of inch-wide steel bars. Use your knees to hug the sides of an animal 10 times your weight, while hurtling along in tight quarters at 35 mph. If you fall off or your horse goes down, something will break. Hopefully not your neck, spine or skull.

“You can go out and ride a race and not come back, or get paralyzed,” said retired jockey Patti Cooksey, the second-winningest female rider in history behind Julie Krone. “That’s just a fact.”

OK. That’s Saturday.

Let’s move to Tuesday.

May 4, or Star Wars Day has become a global phenomenon. “May the Fourth be with you” was first used in an article published in The London Evening News back in 1979 on May 4 when Margaret Thatcher first took office as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Her political party ran ad that read, “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.”

In the first Star Wars film chronologically, Padmé Amidala was a courageous, hopeful leader, serving as Queen and then Senator of Naboo — and was also handy with a blaster. Queen Amidala’s loyal protector during the Trade Federation invasion crisis was Captain Panaka who possessed attention to detail and was dedicated to the safety of the Queen.

The Tragic Star Wars Governor: A Look at General Panaka | DisKingdom.com |  Disney | Marvel | Star Wars - Video Game News

Collider.com ranked every Stars Wars film, from worst to first.

“George Lucas’ minor miracle ( A New Hope ) remains the best film in the franchise. One of Lucas’ most brilliant touches was to essentially tell this story through the eyes of two slaves, R2-D2 and C-3PO. The main point of view of A New Hope isn’t Luke or Han Solo—it’s these two droids who find themselves smack dab in the center of a growing rebellion against an oppressive government. They are, by design, impartial players, but as the droids come to be embedded with the reluctant journey of Luke Skywalker, so does the audience. Moreover, in Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia, Lucas gives us a female heroine who can hold her own and, in many cases, saves the necks of her male companions.”

Will Star Wars Reveal The Tragic End of The Cantina Band?

Star Wars fans created Star Wars Day. And May 5 has now come to be known as “Revenge of the Fifth” which is a play on Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. May 5 celebrates that Dark Side or the Sith lords in the Star Wars Universe.

Part 3 of this week’s trilogy isn’t “Revenge of the Fifth.” But it does fall on Wednesday, May 5th, Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.

Mariachi Divas was founded in 1999 by musical director and trumpet player Cindy Shea. Known for its innovative and eclectic array of music ranging from mariachi classics to jazz and pop, Mariachi Divas is the official premier all-female mariachi of the Disneyland Resort. They’ve won two Grammy Awards, including this album.

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That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Rest up. You’ve got a busy week headed your way.

We close with a song about…

Yes. A swimsuit.

In 1964 Ruben Fuentes composed a Latin classic, “La Bikina.”

Sources say the song was written after a stroll along the beach where his son told him that the women wearing bikinis should be called “bikinas”. So the song title is a made up word.

Lonely walks “the bikina”
and the people start to murmur
they say that she has a sorrow
they say that she has a sorrow that makes her cry 


Haughty, beautiful and proud
she doesn’t let anyone console her
she walks by, showing off, her royal majesty
she passes by, walking, and looks at us without ever seeing us 


“The bikina” has sorrow and pain
“the bikina” doesn’t know what love is

Luis Miguel is considered a Mexican superstar.

ICYMI…Last week’s installment!

Goodnight everyone, and get mooned this weekend!

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.

This year there will be 12 full moons, including three supermoons. A supermoon occurs when the moon is full and particularly close to Earth in its orbit.. More details coming up. This week, moon tunes. Let’s get started.

The greatest and most popular big band leader ever was Glenn Miller. His signature sound was built around a clarinet in the lead, backed by several saxophones playing in harmony. Toss in trumpets and trombones and you had the recipe of Miller’s tremendous success.

Of course he always opened his shows with his theme song. The Manhattan Jazz Orchestra strays from the Miller playbook, but their very nice adaptation is reverential and works quite well.

Glenn Miller

Miller disappeared more than 75 years ago during a flight across the English Channel to perform for troops overseas as part of his World War 2 orchestra. Attempts to resolve the mystery have never ended. Experts suspect they know where the plane crashed and it’s within a three-square-mile radius.

Ric Gillespie believes a trawler pulled-up the doomed aircraft decades ago. An unidentified was trawling the seabed for shrimp, red mullet and other creatures when his net got “snagged on something.” It became free of its trappings and pulled-up what appeared to be a “World War 2 plane”, which he described as “hanging off the back of the boat.” The fisherman recalled the nose was facing upwards and he also observed landing gear, an engine and a wing with a white star, that appeared to match the plane Miller travelled on.

Miller was 40 years old when he disappeared.

Still, crazy theories persist.

·      Miller never boarded the plane, but was assassinated after Gen. Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower sent him on a secret mission one or two days earlier to negotiate a surrender from Nazi Germany.

·      He made it to Paris, where he died of a heart attack in a bordello.

·      The small plane he was on was destroyed by bombs jettisoned from a phalanx of Allied bombers passing overhead on their way back from an aborted mission over Germany.

In 2009, Steve Miller, Glenn’s son said “enough is enough.”

Miller’s current orchestra continues to tour.

Let’s begin our discussion about special moon observances this year.

The first of three supermoons in 2021, the Full Pink Moon is just around the corner. Experts say it’s plenty worthwhile to watch outside.

The moon will turn full at 11:33 p.m. ET on Monday, April 26. At this point, the side of the moon that faces towards us will be fully illuminated, appearing like a perfect circle.

“Pink moon” comes from the pink flowers of the creeping phlox or moss phlox, a plant native to eastern North America, that often blooms around this time of year, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Just about everyone in show biz has performed our next song, even Chevy Chase. It’s probably the most famous “moon song” of all.

Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s collaboration won the Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Arrangement. Featured in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s it won the Oscar for Best Song.  

After a preview screening of the film, the studio decided the screenplay was too long and wanted to cut the scene of Audrey Hepburn singing what would become a classic. Mincing no words, Paramount president Marty Rackin said, ly: “Well, the f–cking song has to go.” Mancini’s widow, Ginny, told the BBC, ” I saw Henry go pale. We were all stunned, totally stunned. We were quiet for a minute or two and then there was a barrage of reasons why it should stay in the film and cuts should be made in other areas.”

When Rackin told Hepburn he was cutting the song, she reportedly replied, “Over my dead body!”

The Jazz Ambassadors is the United States Army’s premier big band. Known as America’s Big Band, the Jazz Ambassadors are the premier touring jazz orchestra of the United States Army. Formed in 1969, this 19-piece ensemble has received critical acclaim throughout the United States and abroad performing America’s original art form, jazz.

 The pink super moon rises above London last night
Pink moon from 2020

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.

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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.

Mom was enraptured (Thank you, Mr. Stewart). And he would do several more songbook CDs. Mom had all of them.

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Stewart has sold more than 250 million records.

SOME OTHER STEWART FACTOIDS…

Stewart left school at 15 and worked briefly as a silk screen printer. Briefly because he was fired when the boss found out he was color-blind.

Several times he’s been divorced leading him to once remark, “Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.”

AND this nugget was reported recently and it’s a beauty.

Our next moon is the Full Flower Moon that is actually a “Total Super Blood Flower Moon Eclipse.” On May 26, observers will be able to see the lunar surface turn a deep crimson for around 15 minutes. Why a “flower moon?” Because of the many spring flowers sprouting.

This one’s noteworthy because it will take place during a total lunar eclipse. Where I live the moon will rise on May 26th at 9:00 pm. The exact moment when the Moon reaches the highest position in the sky, when it “crosses the meridian” will be 12:36 am Central Time.

Back to music. This song is from 1942, one of the many road pictures featuring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. In Road to Morocco Crosby sang to Dorothy Lamour. Seth MacFarlane recorded it on a Grammy-nominated album in 2017.

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In case you didn’t know MacFarlane is the voice of Peter Griffin in Family Guy.

Our third and final supermoon in 2021 will be the Full Strawberry Moon in June that marks strawberry harvesting season in North America. The Strawberry Moon rises on June 24 at 2:40 p.m. Eastern Time.

Waukesha, WI native Les Paul was a guitar legend. From his obituary in the NY Times:

In 1940 or 1941, the exact date is unknown,  Mr. Paul made his guitar breakthrough. Seeking to create electronically sustained notes on the guitar, he attached strings and two pickups to a wooden board with a guitar neck. “The log,” as he called it, if not the first solid-body electric guitar, became the most influential one.


 “You could go out and eat and come back and the note would still be sounding,” Mr. Paul once said.

(In 1945 Bing) Crosby encouraged Mr. Paul to build his own recording studio, and so he did, in his garage in Los Angeles.

There he experimented with recording techniques, using them to create not realistic replicas of a performance but electronically enhanced fabrications. Toying with his mother’s old Victrola had shown him that changing the speed of a recording could alter both pitch and timbre. He could record at half-speed and replay the results at normal speed, creating the illusion of superhuman agility. He altered instrumental textures through microphone positioning and reverberation. Technology and studio effects, he realized, were instruments themselves.

He also noticed that by playing along with previous recordings, he could become a one-man ensemble. As early as his 1948 hit “Lover,” he made elaborate, multilayered recordings, using two acetate disc machines, which demanded that each layer of music be captured in a single take. From discs he moved to magnetic tape, and in the late 1950s he built the first eight-track multitrack recorder. Each track could be recorded and altered separately, without affecting the others. The machine ushered in the modern recording era.

In 1947 Mr. Paul teamed up with Colleen Summers, who had been singing with Gene Autry’s band. He changed her name to Mary Ford, a name found in a telephone book.

They were touring in 1948 when Mr. Paul’s car skidded off an icy bridge. Among his many injuries, his right elbow was shattered; once set, it would be immovable for life. Mr. Paul had it set at an angle, slightly less than 90 degrees, so that he could continue to play guitar.

Here’s Jeff Beck who played with Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page in the Yardbirds along with Imelda May and a classic from Les Paul and Mary Ford.

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So, to repeat:

April 26, 2021: Pink Moon

May 26, 2021: Flower Moon

June 24, 2021: Strawberry Moon

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.