Goodnight everyone, and say hello to Autumn 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!

Summer ended earlier this week.

Goodbye sticky heat. Hello everything pumpkin.

That’s our musical theme this week.

Let’s get started.

We do so with a summer tune that’s fitting.

They say that all good things must end some day
Autumn leaves must fall

From July of 1964, this one reached #7.

They wrote it, and lip-synched it on this popular show hosted by Dick Clark.

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Music and songs about autumn tend to be sorrowful and slow of tempo. And yet they can ease us through whatever pain we’re experiencing at the change of seasons.

In the fall of 1974 Frank Sinatra was filmed live in concert at Madison Square Garden for a TV special. He performed on a boxing ring-like stage. The show was broadcast live around the world.

Many artists have recorded this standard that dates back to 1934, but only Sinatra’s 1949 single had commercial success, peaking at #27.

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Back in January of 2018 Neil Diamond stunned the entertainment world just eight dates shy of concluding his 50th Anniversary Tour

“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” he said in a prepared statement. “I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years. My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.”

Diamond had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

But the troubadour came out of retirement this summer to sing in Basalt, Colorado, for firefighters who came from all over the United States to help battle and eventually contain the Colorado wildfires. Diamond is a Colorado local.

From 2002…

best places to see Autumn at it's best

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

We close with two versions of the most famous fall recording.

The first is an impressive and swinging arrangement by the Washington-Lee High School Jazz Band/Combo of 2006 from Virginia.

And now the vocal version.

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Goodnight everyone FLASHBACK: Canadian crooner

Piet Levy writes in this week’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

(At Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum) for 552 days, there has been no live music. 

That is, until Tuesday night, when Michael Buble returned to Milwaukee for the first time in seven years as part of a postponed tour that was supposed to swing through town in March 2020.

That’s the same month the live music industry shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, making this the first arena concert in the city since the Lumineers played Fiserv Forum on March 11, 2020.

You may not have to wait too much longer to see Bublé in Milwaukee again. He said he plans to tour in 2022 behind a new album he recorded in quarantine.

For those who couldn’t make Tuesday’s concert, or can’t wait for the new album, this week’s mega-music blog is a repeat from October of 2018.


Goodnight everyone, and have a tension-free 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.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Thomas A. Edison

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
Vince Lombardi

This Monday is Labor Day when we celebrate the contributions and achievements of American workers. Labor Day also marks the end of summer for many Americans with parties, parades and athletic events.

Who founded Labor Day? There’s some debate on that.

Was it Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor? He’s quoted as saying a special day should be set aside dedicated to those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

Or was it Matthew Maguire, a machinist, who made the suggestion in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York?

The answer is unclear but I presume most folks don’t really care. They just love a 3-day weekend!

This week it’s music about jobs and working. Don’t worry. It’ll be fun.

Now you can’t have a blog about work songs without “The Work Song.”

Next…Jack Jones (who sang the theme to the “Love Boat”) won a Grammy Award for his 1963 recording of “Wives and Lovers.”

Great song. Great arrangement.

Doesn’t bother me but the lyrics would send feminists today into orbit.

Hey! Little Girl
Comb your hair, fix your makeup
Soon he will open the door
Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger
You needn’t try anymore

For wives should always be lovers too
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you
I’m warning you…

Day after day
There are girls at the office
And men will always be men
Don’t send him off with your hair still in curlers
You may not see him again

For wives should always be lovers too
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you
He’s almost here…

Hey! Little girl
Better wear something pretty
Something you’d wear to go to the city and
Dim all the lights, pour the wine, start the music
Time to get ready for love
Time to get ready
Time to get ready for love

In August of 2013 the Huffington Post was in a full blown tizzy with this headline:

Jack Jones’ ‘Wives & Lovers’ Could Be One Of The Most Offensive Songs, Ever

The article read in part:

It’s a serious little ditty that tells you — in no unclear terms — that if you have the audacity to wear curlers around your husband, don’t be surprised if that husband leaves you.

Good grief. They are nauseating.

Love this! Here’s Jones on one of Bob Hope’s Christmas shows for the troops in 1965.

Frank Sinatra said, “Jack is one of the major singers of our time.” Mel Torme called him “the greatest ‘pure’ singer in the world.” The New York Times wrote, “he is arguably the most technically accomplished male pop singer.”

At age 83 Jones still occasionally performs in concert.

Canadian rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive had a big hit in 1974 called “Takin’ Care of Business.”

You get up every morning from your alarm clock’s warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There’s a whistle up above and people pushin’, people shovin’
And the girls who try to look pretty
And if your train’s on time, you can get to work by nine
And start your slaving job to get your pay
If you ever get annoyed, look at me I’m self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day

And I’ll be taking care of business (every day)
Taking care of business (every way)
I’ve been taking care of business (it’s all mine)
Taking care of business and working overtime, work out

Like most of BTO’s songs it was heavy rock. Not customary for the band was this soft rock, jazzy tune that also has a Labor Day feel to it.

“Lookin’ Out for #1” didn’t do very well on the Billboard pop chart, peaking at #65 on May 15, 1976 and spending just six weeks in the Hot 100.  On the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, however, it was a Top 20 hit, peaking at #15 on May 29, 1976. So the song got lots of exposure on soft rock radio stations.

Seems we can always connect Elvis into these Friday night mega music blogs. This single in 1967 was a top 40 hit.

“Big Boss Man” was a bonus track on the above album. It never appeared in the movie.

However it was a part of a big medley in Elvis’ remarkable TV special one year later.

I just started reading Mark Levin’s highly-acclaimed book “American Marxism.” Here’s an interesting quote from Levin:

Labor alone does not determine the value of a product or service. Obviously it contributes to it. However, consumers play the major role. They create demand. And depending on the demand, business and labor provide the supply. In other words, capitalism caters to desires and needs of “the masses.” Also, profit does not create worker exploitation, as Marx insisted. On the contrary. It makes possible increased worker pay, benefits, security, and job opportunities.

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

We close with music from a 1961 Broadway musical made into a 1967 movie that hit Broadway again in 2011. It’s the story of J. Pierpont Finch, a young, bright former window cleaner who rises to the top of his company by following the advice of a book about ruthless advancement in business. Robert Morse played the role in the ’67 film. The NY Times in its review wrote, “He has got the essence of how a young fellow, armed with nothing but giant economy-size nerve and a set of rules of office conduct based largely on fraud and flattery, moves from lowest boy in the mail-room to chairman of the board of this Madison Avenue corporation in what appears to be a matter of days.”

This clip is from the 2011 Tony Awards featuring Daniel Radcliffe who played Harry Potter in those wizardry movies, and Finch on Broadway. Robert Morse does the introduction.

Daniel Radcliffe Just Revealed His Favorite "Harry Potter" Movie

Goodnight everyone, and have a vinyl 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.

Next Thursday, August 12th, is National Vinyl Record Day. That’s not to be confused with National Record Store Day that was celebrated this year back on June 12th.

National Vinyl Record Day encourages listening to all kinds of music on vinyl records. Gary Freiberg of Los Osos, California founded National Vinyl Record Day commemorating the day Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. Freiberg encourages everyone to remember fond memories and the good things in life, especially vinyl records.

Let’s do it. Let’s do it (Remember those words, by the way).

Time to get started.

Remember those old record stores?

Dusty Groove

The first one I ever ventured into was Piasecki’s on Mitchell Street on the south side of MIlwaukee. At Piasecki’s I had one of the greatest experiences of my very young life at the time. My older brother Greg took me, and to this day I’m not sure if he did it willingly or was instructed by mom.

I remember it like it was yesterday. The glass door opened, and 1, 2, 3 steps down to a long, long, narrow aisle of stacks and stacks of wax. My brother helped me find this record. I walked up to the counter and took out what I believe was about 30 cents to pay Mr. Piasecki who sported an accountant’s visor and a cigar. The aroma filled the store along with all that wonderful vinyl.

The very first 45 I ever purchased peaked at #3 on the Billboard chart on August 10, 1963, stayed there for another week, then began to fall. To #9, #17, #42, and when the September 14, 1963 chart was released, the Elvis hit was knocked completely out of the top 100.

Never to be heard from again.


There were other cool places I would buy my 45s on Mitchell Street. In the basement of Woolworth’s. At the top of one of the escalators at Schuster’s. Further down the street at Sears. It didn’t take long to figure out the day and time a new shipment would arrive.

Trivia time. What is the longest title of any single to make the Hot 100?

Back in 1981 a mega-medley was rapidly moving up the Billboard Hot 100 chart, placing in at #5. One month later it was #1.

The mysterious Dutch group “Stars on 45” scored big with the “Stars on 45 Medley.” That was actually quite short for the record’s official title of 41 words.

Dutch musicians Bas Muys,  Okkie Huysdens, and Hans Vermeulen had an uncanny ability to emulate other singers,  predominantly the Beatles on this single. Snippets of famous songs were perfectly mixed together.

What was the inspiration behind the medley?

A man named Michel Ali reportedly stopped in at a Montreal club where a DJ named Michel Gendreau was working and and showed him a tape that had a mix of popular disco songs, Beatles hits and other old songs. The quality of the tape was sub-par. So Gendreau and an editor named Paul Richer reworked the medley.

Admitting it was risky, they decided the medley would not be all disco. They’d toss in some 60’s classics. Again,a  gamble because at that time clubs didn’t spin Beatles records.

Eventually a producer at a Dutch record company put together a similar version, and the 4-minute single enjoyed success, first in the Netherlands, then the UK, and then America.

CED title precursor to the Blu-ray DVD movie disc format

Other performers tried to capitalize: Chas & Dave with their selection of old-time music hall and London songs, “Stars Over 45,” Ivor Biggun with “Bras on 45,” and Weird Al Yankovic with his medley “Polkas on 45.”

Vinyl has enjoyed a comeback, but it’s never been the same since the compact disc or CD took over. Small in size, convenient, easy to track, and better sound quality…these qualities made the CD invention decades ago a wonder of technology.

The bad news is that the advent of the CD meant the virtual disappearance of a lost art, the great album covers. Those wonderful pictures and designs and occasionally photos or posters stuffed inside.

A fascinating pop culture debate would be what is the best album cover of all-time.

Back In 1975, the Ohio Players recorded their smash album, “Honey.” Known for their provocative album covers, this was a clear example…

“Honey” packed an urban legend that still creates a buzz today.

It was rumored that during the recording of one of the LP’s top tracks, “Love Rollercoaster,” a woman was stabbed to death, with her screams audible in the background.

Not true.

What is the best album cover of all-time?

If you pose the question to Dolores Erickson, she’d answer in a heartbeat with no doubts whatsoever as to her choice: Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass.

She calls it, “the world’s most famous album cover,” and she may be right.

Mind you, Erickson is far from objective.

Erickson happens to be the woman on the cover.

This album spent 141 weeks in the Top 40 – 61 of those in the Top 10. Gee, I wonder why?

 The Seattle Times reported in 2005:

Erickson was friends with Alpert and Jerry Moss, cofounders of A&M Records. So she was a natural when photographer Jerry Whorf, who had shot the Nat King Cole album, got the assignment for “Whipped Cream.” They had Erickson flown out from New York for the shoot in Whorf’s Los Angeles studio.

“I thought, ‘Just another job,’ ” Erickson recalled.

Whorf draped a sheet over her lower body (she was three months pregnant) and slathered her mostly with shaving cream. Actual whipped cream was used only on her head.

Erickson got about $1,500 for the day’s work, typical of what she was earning in those days.

Whorf gave her the outtakes, in which the shaving cream had dripped to reveal a little too much flesh.

“My husband was very conservative. I tore one up. It was too much.” She saved the other outtake, which she now sells for $50, autographed.

“Whipped Cream” sold more than half a million copies, was in the top 10 for 61 weeks and won four Grammy awards (though not for best album cover).

“My first reaction was, ‘Holy s***, man. Too racy,’” said Herb Alpert. “Obviously now it would hardly register, but at the time I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a little much.’ And I didn’t know, quite frankly, whether it reflected the album — the music I was doing at the time. But we decided to go with it. Obviously that was fortuitous.”

A few years back there was even a re-issued re-mix of the album for its 40th anniversary with a new cover (and model).

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Alpert and Erickson are both 86 years old.

By the way “Whipped Cream” was in my father’s record collection. But he didn’t buy it. Mom did for him.

That’s what I call cool.

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

One of the most famous album covers features a cover collage including 57 photographs and nine waxworks that depict a diversity of famous people, including actors, sportsmen, scientists.

Here’s all kinds of great tidbits about the album.

Goodnight everyone, and have a Philly sound 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.

Throughout 2021 Philadelphia International Records is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Founded in 1971 by songwriters and producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, the record label became the birthplace, incubator and launching pad for the Philly Soul sound that came to be known as “The Sound of Philadelphia.” 

And what is that sound?

Philly soul added sweeping strings, seductive horns, and lush arrangements to the deep rhythms of soul music. And there so many stars. We look back and remember a few this week.

Let’s get started.

Frank Sinatra once said of Lou Rawls that he had the “silkiest chops in the singing game.”

His biggest recording came during the spring of 1976 in a #1 song written by the legendary songwriting team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. At the time, Gamble was going through a divorce from the singer Dee Dee Sharp.

This was the first big hit featuring the reformulated Philadelphia International Records house band MFSB, after many of the original members left for better opportunities. It was recorded live with the singer and the band with no piecemeal overdubbing as Rawls preferred to record live.

Rawls sang it live at the 1977 American Music Awards. If you were watching you may remember what happened. What a pro.

Rawls sold more than 40 million records.

He was hospitalized for treatment of lung and brain cancer before he died in early 2006 at the age of 72.

Next up, the O’Jays.

Their first hit was all about two-timing and lies.

The group’s following smash was a complete opposite, a party, a worldwide party of near perfection.

Eddie Levert was one of the vocalists.

“Everything changed in 1972, when we met Gamble and Huff,” said Levert. “They recognized our gospel roots and ability to switch between lead vocals. Kenny Gamble was a prolific songwriter, and Leon Huff could make a piano sound like a whole band. We just clicked. They had dozens of songs and we were able to pick the ones we liked. When we started recording, Love Train didn’t even have lyrics, so Kenny came up with them in five minutes, on the spot.

“At that stage, I don’t think any of us had any idea how big that song would become, but by the time we started laying down the vocals, we knew we had a hit. Love Train felt like destiny. It had such perfect, timeless lyrics that it was almost as if they’d come from God, and we had to deliver them to the people.

“To this day, people hear it and want to start a train. At one gig, we played it for 30 minutes, while the audience formed a dancing train that went all the way outside the building.”

Twin spin!

The O’Jays had 10 #1 hits and 24 Top Ten hits, are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and are still touring.

Sheila Ferguson, Fayette Pinkney, Valerie Holiday. The Three Degrees.

Lead singer Ferguson recalls the group’s smash written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.

“The song was played to me by Kenny Gamble at the piano in 1973 and I threw a tantrum. I screamed and yelled and said I would never sing it. I thought it was ridiculously insulting to be given such a simple song and that it took no talent to sing it. We did do it and several million copies later, I realized that he knew more than me.”

Billboard named the song #67 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.

Listen carefully. Unique lyrics. Every line is a question.

Their first recording with the label was the US #1 hit “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia),” which was the theme song for the TV show Soul Train.

As for “When Will I See You Again?” the song got as high as #2, but couldn’t beat out “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas.

One last bit of trivia: Other than Nancy Reagan, The Three Degrees were the only American guests at Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981.

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes featured lead vocalist and drummer Teddy Pendergrass. The group released a message song in 1975 that was #1 on the R & B chart.

Pendergrass got lots of attention and soon wanted to go solo. He left the group in 1976 and was very successful, selling tons of records and winning Billboard’s 1977 Pop Album New Artist Award and the American Music Award for best R&B performer of 1978.

A 1982 car accident left Pendergrass paralyzed from the waist down and wheelchair-bound. Not deterred Pendergrass kept recording. He had difficulty recovering from colon cancer surgery and passed away on January 13, 2010.

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend, and get on down with the Philly Sound.

Goodnight everyone, and have a 2021 Christmas in July 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.

Christmas in July reportedly began on July 24th and 25th in 1933 at a girl’s camp called Keystone Camp in Brevard, North Carolina.  There was a Christmas tree, snow made from cotton, laundry bags used as makeshift stockings, and even Santa Claus.

Or did the tradition start at Yellowstone Park when a stagecoach ran into a freak summer blizzard. Stranded in the Rocky Mountains at the Old Faithful Inn, the riders refused to be distraught, and celebrated Christmas.

C’mon Kev. Who are you tryin’ to kid? Obviously some marketing team on Madison Avenue dreamed up this summertime opportunity.

If not them, had to be Hallmark, or the Hallmark Channel.

No one knows for sure, but it’s a thing now.

This week, we’ve got Christmas music that is definitely Christmas music that doesn’t really or immediately sound like Christmas.

Admit it. You’re curious. What do we have up our sleeve to pull this off?

And you think it’s absolutely nuts. Why, whoever heard of Jingle Bells when it’s in the 70’s or 80’s and not a snowflake in sight. Crazy, right?

No, no. no. Trust me. All you’ve got to do is embrace the music.

Take the December music in month #7 and just welcome it!

The Hollyridge Strings, an orchestra of studio musicians that recorded easy-listening covers for Capitol Records in the 1960s and 1970s. They became quite popular after releasing an album totally devoted to the Beatles that led to more Beatle renditions and tributes to other artists.

The following ensemble was a group of studio musicians who recorded a series of easy listening instrumental albums for Capitol Records at the peak of the British Invasion era. The band of musicians covered tunes from just about anybody who was big.

This is an original Christmas song for a 1966 album written by the group founder Stu Phillips.

If you listen to The Beatle Brunch Radio Show on WRIT-FM in Milwaukee every Sunday morning at 8:00 for an hour of music and interviews with The Beatles you’ll often hear the “Hollyridge Strings” being played underneath as background music while host Joe Johnson narrates certain segments.

Time now for the quintessential Christmas song that’s not a Christmas song but has become a Christmas song.

From a famous movie musical the song has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, save for the lyric “Brown paper packages tied up with strings.” And c’mon. BROWN paper? I don’t think so.

Here’s lovely country star Lorrie Morgan in a video with an unexpected twist.

Morgan still records and tour today.

“Where I am in my life right now, I’m not afraid to express what I feel, or what I don’t feel,” she said. “I’m not afraid to express my views on anything, especially on being a woman. I have been a daughter, a bride, a mother, a divorcee, a widow, a single mother, a breadwinner and, ultimately, a survivor. In many ways, I am a living, breathing country song.”

Back into the vault of Christmas music that isn’t really Christmas music but actually is.

I explain. There’s not a single mention of Christmas or anything Christmas-related here, and the reason is simple. There are no words. It’s an instrumental, and a pretty popular one at that. Vince Guaraldi’s classic is performed marvelously here with a brief Beethoven surprise tossed in.

The Mid-Century Mystic: The Charlie Brown Christmas Dance - a little  discussion on those moves ...

Guaraldi composed “Linus and Lucy” for “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”  Lee Mendelson was the animated special’s executive producer of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Mendelson recalled a phone conversation he had with Guaraldi.

“He said he wanted to play something he had just written,” Mendelson said. recalled. “I told him that I would prefer to come hear it at his studio rather than over the telephone, but he said he couldn’t wait, ‘I’ve got to play this for someone right now or I’ll explode!’ he said. I told him to go ahead, and what I heard over the next two minutes stunned me. It was perfect for the Peanuts characters! When he returned to the phone, I asked him what he was going to call it. He said, ‘Linus and Lucy.’ Little did we know that years later this piece would become a jazz standard throughout the world.”

David Benoit credited “A Charlie Brown Christmas” for sparking his love of playing jazz piano.

“That was the first time that jazz piano has been used in animation, which helped make it a really groundbreaking show,” Benoit said in a book written by Mendelson. “I agree with a lot of people who believe that a big part of the success of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ was Vince’s music.”

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend, and hey, Merry Christmas!

If I was to write down a bucket list (I haven’t) I would surely include a trip to New York to see trumpeter Wynton Marsalis leading a program at Lincoln Center.

Here, from 2015, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra along with guest vocalists Denzal Sinclaire and Audrey Shakir perform the greatest sacred Christmas classic in a way you’ve never heard before. Also featured is Dan Nimmer on piano, a Milwaukee native.

Goodnight everyone, and have a celestial 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.

On this day, July 16 in 1969, the first manned space mission that would land a man on the moon, Apollo 11, launched from Kennedy Space Center carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin.

From the NY Times, 7/21/1969:

Men have landed and walked on the moon.

Two Americans, astronauts of Apollo 11, steered their fragile four-legged lunar module safely and smoothly to the historic landing yesterday at 4:17:40 P.M., Eastern daylight time.

Neil A. Armstrong, the 38-year-old civilian commander, radioed to earth and the mission control room here:

“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

The first men to reach the moon–Mr. Armstrong and his co-pilot, Col. Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. of the Air Force–brought their ship to rest on a level, rock-strewn plain near the southwestern shore of the arid Sea of Tranquility.

About six and a half hours later, Mr. Armstrong opened the landing craft’s hatch, stepped slowly down the ladder and declared as he planted the first human footprint on the lunar crust:

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

That was 52 years ago this Tuesday.

Mom, Dad, my brother and I watched on TV.

This week, wonderful music about…

Let’s start traveling.

Space: the final frontier.

These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.

Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Those, of course, are the famous opening lines from “Star Trek.”

To boldly go where no man has gone before.

We open with the RSO Vienna conducted by David Newman in 2013 and medley of Star Trek themes.

Apollo 11 Crew Walks to Launch Pad
The Apollo 11 crew leaves Kennedy Space Center’s Manned Spacecraft Operations Building during the pre-launch countdown. Mission commander Neil Armstrong, command module pilot Michael Collins, and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin prepare to ride the special transport van to Launch Complex 39A where their spacecraft awaited them. Liftoff occurred at 9:32 a.m. EDT, July 16, 1969. Photo: NASA

This could easily fall under the category of “Forgotten Oldie.”

During the British Invasion, Jonathan King wrote and recorded a single called “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon.” With a string section and dreamy lyrics, it made the top 20 in America in 1965.  Impressive given that the young King was still an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge at the time.

King remained in the music business for decades, primarily working behind the scenes producing some major acts.

His career took an ugly turn in 2001 when he was accused of abusing young boys in incidents that dated back some 30 years. King was sentenced to seven years and released from prison in 2005. He made a strange statement that he enjoyed his time behind bars.

“I’ve had a brilliant three-and-a-half years for crimes I did not commit.”

Apollo 11 Launch
The Apollo 11 mission launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on July 16, 1969, bearing the first humans to walk on the moon. Photo: NASA

More and more female saxophonists have burst onto the scene over the past dozen years or so. Our next artist’s 2008 debut album, “Tequila Moon” helped her be named Radio and Records “Debut Artist of The Year.” The title track was honored as contemporary jazz song of the year by R&R and Billboard.

Born in Portland and raised in Hemet, California, she started playing piano at the age of four. Her home often hosted festive parties featuring Latin music. Growing up, she was influenced by Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane. After graduation from USC with a degree in jazz studies, she recorded sessions with Michael Buble and toured with the Temptations and Jessica Simpson.

In 2004, this artist joined the cast of the off-Broadway show Blast! During her travels with the show, she decided she wanted to do more on her own. Friend and drummer Jamie Tate got her to see his gig with saxophonist Mindi Abair at the Newport Jazz Festival. The concert inspired her to record her own CD.

Her name is Jessy J. From her “Tequila Moon” CD, here’s the title track.

Astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., lunar module pilot of the first lunar landing mission, is beside the U.S. flag during an Apollo 11 moon walk. The Lunar Module (LM) is on the left, and the footprints of the astronauts are clearly visible in the soil of the moon. Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander, took this picture with a 70mm Hasselblad lunar surface camera.


The son of a shipyard worker in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Van Morrison dropped out of school to pursue a career in music. His biggest hit came in 1967, “Brown-Eyed Girl,” but he gained even greater critical acclaim in 1970 with the release of “Moondance.”

It’s performed here by Michael Buble.

Apollo 11 astronauts trained on Earth to take individual photographs in succession in order to create a series of frames that could be assembled into panoramic images. This frame from Aldrin’s panorama of the Apollo 11 landing site is the only good picture of mission commander Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface. Photo: NASA

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

July 20 was also my mother’s birthday.

We close with one of her favorite songs. First, the final notes of Brazilian keyboardist Eumir Deodato’s version followed by a track from Chicago’s 1995 album of big band tunes.

Enlargements of the New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal being on display in the Capitol Rotunda. The smaller, actual-size medals were awarded to astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and John Glenn on Nov. 16, 2011. Photo: NASA

From the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Photo: NASA