Goodnight everyone, and have a get this holiday started 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.


It’s tradition on this blog feature that at Thanksgiving time we highlight new Christmas releases. And we have some beauties again this year.

Let’s get started.

This singer is all of 28 years old. Dennis van Aarssen is a Dutch crooner known for swing and jazz-music accompanied by big band. He’ll remind you of Michael Bublé and Harry Connick Jr. Enjoy this millennial musical hipster!

Would like to tell you more about this young guy, but there’s not much out there. I suspect that will change.

You can find the above track on this CD.

Like Van Aarssen our next performer is also 28 years old, but unlike Van Aarssen she’s known worldwide. That’s because her first single sold 11 million copies.

The above track is on this new Christmas CD.

Now we have violinist, dancer and composer Lindsey Stirling. She began to study the violin after being influenced by the classical music records played by her father…AT THE AGE OF FIVE.,

This style of combining classical and rock (but mostly rock) is quite popular. Stirling capitalizes here in a rather attention grabbing video.


Stirling performs Dec. 13th at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee where she’ll promote her new album/CD.

Love this next act, an all-female Irish musical ensemble conceived in 2004 that involves an occasionally changing lineup of classical and traditionally trained Irish female musicians.

The above is the cover of their latest recording. Celtic Woman will be at the Chicago Auditorium on December 11, 2022.

Saxophonist extraordinaire Dave Koz has produced a n umber of Christmas albums and usually does a Christmas tour annually accompanied by other contemporary jazz artists.

Koz appears with friends at the Chicago Theatre on December 8, 2022.

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Go out and buy a new CD this weekend.

“A Neil Diamond Christmas” is a specially artist-curated compilation of the greatest songs from Neil’s four beloved and best-selling Christmas albums.

Goodnight everyone, and thank a veteran 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. 


Today is Veterans Day, a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served.

This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service and was originally called Armistice Day. It fell on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to “Veterans Day” in order to account for all veterans in all wars.

Each branch of the military has a band or bands that play the obligatory marches, anthems, historical compositions, all the glorious patriotic material. What’s also impressive about these ensembles and a tribute to their major talent is that they’re not boxed in by what you’d assume they’d play. They venture off into all kinds of musical genres.

That’s our theme this week. We get started with some real razzmatazz.

Note the creative introduction.


Hard to believe as you listen to that rollicking number that it was written and composed in 1957…as a country song by Don Gibson.

In the news this past spring the Air Force revised its dress code.

No portion of the mustache will extend below the lip line of the upper lip. Additionally, the mustache will not go beyond a horizontal line extending across the corners of the mouth and no more than 1/4 inch beyond a vertical line drawn from the corner of the mouth.

Next up, more razzmatazz as a legendary trumpeter is a Coast Guard guest on “I Want To Be Happy” from the 1925 musical “No No Nanette.”

I want to be happy
But I won’t be happy
Till I make you happy, too

Life’s really worth living
When we are mirth-giving
Why can’t I give some to you?


Recently members from the Coast Guard conducted annual training to ensure that responders are familiar with the procedures, roles, and tools of large whale disentanglement efforts. Entanglement, or by-catch, is a global problem that affects many marine mammals, and can be fatal. For smaller marine mammals in Hawai‘i, like monk seals and dolphins, death is typically more immediate and due to drowning. Entanglement may result in starvation or drowning due to restricted movement, physical trauma, and systemic infections. It may also put whales at greater risk of other threats, like being hit by vessels. Response to entangled whales may only be attempted by persons who are experienced, trained, knowledgeable, and have proper support and equipment.

NEXT…the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” provides musical support for the leadership of the United States, and connects the Army to the American people.

A Clarksville, TN man this week achieved a longtime goal of joining the U.S. Army after six strenuous weeks of strict dieting and physical conditioning.

Austin Daniel dropped 61 pounds to get his weight to 256 pounds to qualify for enlistment. The 27-year-old 2014 Clarksville High School graduate had considered joining the Army for several years but had little hope as his weight moved above 300 pounds.

“Nobody in my family with the exception of my great-grandfather had served in the military,” Daniel said. “It was something that I wanted to do so that I could be proud of myself and then my family could be proud of something I had done with my life.”

Making the weight was not easy, Daniel said. He would get up at 3:30 a.m. and work out before going to work. He would eat sparingly during the day and hit the gym often accompanied by his wife, Rebecka, or his brother.

A family member who works as a dietician helped him balance his diet. Gone were carbs and sugar, and he subsisted on protein and various vegetables.

“I’d come home at night wanting pizza,” Daniel recalled. “My wife told me, ‘No, you’re having salad for dinner.’”

Daniel’s hard work paid off. He enlisted in the Army as a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter repairer. In addition, he received a $40,000 “quick ship” bonus.

The Army is offering these bonuses to qualified young men and women who are ready to leave for their training shortly after enlisting. Daniel has already departed for basic training at Fort Jackson, SC, and will later go to Fort Eustis, Va., where he will be trained to repair Black Hawk helicopters.

NEXT…“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band’s mission is to perform for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress, the Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization.

On Thursday U.S. Marines from 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company, Marine Forces Reserve escorted Santa Claus in their Dress Blues via parachute into the Auxiliary Airfield of Mississippi National Guard Base Camp Shelby and delivered toys to children awaiting on the ground.

Toys for Tots, a 75-year national charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, provides happiness and hope to less fortunate children during each Christmas holiday season. The toys, books, and other gifts collected and distributed by the Marines offer these children recognition and a positive memory for a lifetime.

In case you missed it there were elections this week.

The number of veterans elected to Congress will increase next session, only the third time that has happened in the past five decades.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 79 veterans had won House or Senate races in the congressional midterm elections. Another 12 veterans currently serving in the Senate were not up for reelection this year. One undecided race — the New York 22nd congressional district — features two veterans running against each other.

That’s a total of 92 veterans who will serve in the 118th Congress when it convenes in January, one more than at the start of the 117th Congress two years ago. And with more than 20 congressional races still undecided, the number could rise even higher in coming days, perhaps approaching 100 veterans.

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

We close with the Navy that is finally adding underwater drones to its fleet of nuclear attack submarines. A new version of the Navy’s Razorback unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) will have the capability to both launch and be recovered via torpedo tubes, allowing any submarine in the fleet to operate them on patrol. The drones, equipped with their own sonar systems, will allow naval submarines to search for enemy ships and submarines without revealing themselves.

We opened with razzmatazz and that’s how we’ll finish.


BONUS

The U.S. Space Force is the Military’s sixth Service branch, with advanced operations on land, in air and in orbit. Its core mission is to deploy forces that improve the nation’s defensive technology and communications capabilities, and to achieve key national objectives through military space power.

I don’t think they have a band yet. But if necessary, a phone call to a qualified orchestra might work.

Goodnight everyone, and have a timely 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. 


In case you haven’t heard trust me you will. This weekend it’s the annual ritual when we set our clocks back and go from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time. I think the day is coming when the practice goes away. Congress has been examining the matter and if the twice a year change does come to an end that would make a lot of people happy (I’m not exactly thrilled about darkness at 4:00 in the afternoon in the dead of winter).

So why not keep Daylight Saving Time all year? Critics say the idea doesn’t provide any additional daylight. They claim the change would just move one hour of darkness from the evening to the morning.

Congress is divided on the issue so looks like fall back-spring forward is here for awhile.

Music about time. That’s our feature this week.

You can bet a lot of people will be confused this weekend. Or maybe not. They could be totally aware, but ambivalent.

Formed in 1967 Chicago is still recording and touring today.

This band has been around even longer (try 61 years). Their early hit viewed time with faith and hope.

Sally Arnold, who was nanny to the Rolling Stones frontman’s daughter Jade, now 51, says he changes to his more familiar rock’n’roll accent in public.

In her new memoir Rock N Roll Nanny, Sally Arnold, who was nanny to Mick Jagger’s daughter Jade, now 51, says “Strangely, Mick spoke the Queen’s English in private and with only a couple of people around, but the minute there were more or he was on the phone, he’d switch to the sort of Mockney accent we know today.”

Last year in a BBC interview Jagger said, “One of my big jobs is to be a big show-off. I mean, that is really what it is. That is my job for two hours – to make people feel good and bring people a joyous experience so they have a great evening. That is what I think my role is. I am lucky I can still sing the same notes [as] when I was 19 but I have not got a great voice. It is OK. It does its job.”

An old proverb states, “Time waits for no man.”

From The Muppets Show in 1978, Roy Clark sings his 1969 hit, his only Top 20 recording.

Clark was an original host of the TV show “Hee Haw”that debuted in 1969 and ran until 1997. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Clark died of pneumonia in 2018 at the age of 85.

Now we get wild. Strange.

Only the pandemic could stop Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre from showing the 1975 cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show” every Saturday at midnight as it had for decades.

A newly engaged young couple, Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), walk to a creepy castle after their car gets a flat tire during a big rainstorm. Brad and Janet hope to get help, but at the castle things turn outrageous.

For years movie-goers, many of them regulars, recite words to the film and literally dance in the aisles to this scene with rather simple instructions.

It’s just a jump to the left
And then a step to the right
Put your hands on your hips
You bring your knees in tight

But it’s the pelvic thrust
That really drives you insane
Let’s do the Time Warp again

Have to mention Tim Curry who plays the master of the castle – transvestite inventor Dr. Frank-N-Furter, and rocker Meatloaf who is cast as a biker.

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a good weekend.

We close with this performance of a big band classic at a cancer fundraiser on May 10, 2017, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center Dallas, Texas. Legendary trumpeter Doc Severinsen leads the band. You can still donate.

Goodnight everyone, and don’t be alarmed 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. 


Our intent with this week’s theme is to get you in the mood for the popular fall tradition.

We begin with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor that some scholars believe was too crude a piece to have been written by Bach at all.

Bach probably never envisioned his early 1700’s piece to be performed like this!


If you’re observant you caught that the above video was done by the Trans-Sylvanian Orchestra, not the Trans-Siberian Orchestra that will be in Green Bay November 16 and Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum December 22. Both cities will have two concerts by the ensemble.

Here’s another obscure recording, perfect for Halloween.

From the Vampire Legends CD, composed by Derek and Brandon Fiechter.


Would you spend the night there?

Bram Stoker’s character, Dracula, is a Transylvanian Count with a castle located high above a valley perched on a rock with a flowing river below in Transylvania.

Because Bran Castle is the only castle in all of Transylvania that actually fits Bram Stoker’s description of Dracula’s Castle, it is known throughout the world as Dracula’s Castle. Bram

Stoker never visited Romania so he described the imaginary Dracula’s castle based upon a description of Bran Castle that was available to him in turn-of-the-century Britain.

In the villages near Bran, there is a belief in the existence of evil spirits called ghosts or “steregoi” (a variant of “strigoi”). Until half a century ago, it was believed that there existed certain living people – “strigoi” – who were leading a normal life during the day but at night, during their sleep, their souls left their bodies and haunted the village tormenting people in their sleep. These evil spirits haunt their prey from midnight until the first cockcrow, when their power to harm people faded. “The undead [i.e., ghosts, vampires] suffer from the curse of immortality,” writes Stoker, “they pass from one period to another, multiplying their victims, augmenting the evil in the world…”

When you think of spooky, creepy Halloween music legendary conductor Henry Mancini more than likely doesn’t come to mind.

For seven years Mancini was a staff composer at Universal-International that gave us  “The Glenn Miller Story, Tony Curtis’ “The Great Impostor,” and Mancini’s personal favorite during that period, “Creature From the Black Lagoon.”

“Let me explain why I dig the Creature so much,” Mancini told writer John Stanley. “It was all pretty obvious music for those Universal films. There was never anything subtle about ‘The Creature From the Black Lagoon’ or ‘The Revenge of the Creature’ or ‘The Creature Walks Among Us.’

“But you have to understand, John, this was a fabulous training ground; it was a wonderful way to spend an apprenticeship. It was where I labored in the vineyards, yes, but all the time I was learning. Without all that experience, I know I never would have become the composer that I became. It was the greatest learning experience any composer could ask for.”

In 1962 Mancini did the music for a Columbia Pictures thriller.


Mancini once said, “I don’t want to get corny, but my career really has been the personification of the American dream. You know, my career hasn’t exactly been the sort of thing that usually happens to film composers, but I sure am glad it happened to me.”

Who does the very best Halloween music? The answer just could be the Midnight Syndicate. From their website:

For almost two decades, composers Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka have been known as Midnight Syndicate, creating symphonic soundtracks to imaginary films that facilitate a transcendental and adventurous escape into the secret dimensions of the mind’s eye. To many of their fans, they are Gothic music pioneers brewing a signature blend of orchestral horror music and movie-style sound effects. To others, they remain the first “haunted house band” that forever changed the Halloween music genre and became a staple of the October holiday season.


That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

And remember the final line read by Orson Welles in his famous radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds.”

“That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian. . .it’s Halloween.”


47 years ago today jazz saxophonist and composer Oliver Nelson died of a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles. He was 43.

Goodnight everyone, and have a blast of a 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.


When it comes to American pop music, no group has sold more records than Chicago, second only to The Beach Boys. The band originated in the late 1960’s and still records and tours today, more than 50 years later. During all of those years, a group co-founder Lee Loughnane was the trumpeter. He turned 76 today and this week some of his contributions to a pioneer in jazz-rock music.

Loughnane not only played trumpet and flugelhorn but he wrote songs, too.

Like this one from the 1976 album Chicago X where Loughnane also sang the lead vocal.

Chicago X reached #3 on the Billboard 200 album chart and was certified multi-platinum.

In 1978 Chicago broke with tradition on an album that did not a numbered title. If you’re keeping score this was the group’s tenth studio album (twelfth overall).

Guitarist Terry Kath accidentally shot himself at a roadie’s house while playing with a gun in January of 1978 and the group briefly considered breaking up. They brought on guitarist Donnie Dacus, albeit temporarily. Dacus did the lead vocal on this song, co-written by Loughnane.

Despite containing a few hit singles “Hot Streets” was the first Chicago album since their debut that failed to reach the US Top 10.

From 2013-14 the group produced “Chicago XXXVI: Now” that was recorded entirely on the road, using a traveling studio that Loughnane put together with engineer Tim Jessup. A copy of a political track, written by Loughnane and released on July 4, 2014, was sent to every member of Congress.

Tracks were recorded primarily in hotels but also in studios along the band’s American tour.

In 2013 Chicago released “The Nashville Sessions,” a collection of new recordings of some of their classic hits. Loughnane co-wrote.

“No Tell Lover” peaked at #14 on the Billboard chart.

From yahoo.com a few weeks ago:

Chicago focuses on “just about 25 songs that really work all the time, every night,” says Loughnane.

Songs that are mainstays include three songs from the 1969 debut album, Chicago Transit Authority: “Beginnings,” “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” The early ‘70s are well represented with “25 or 6 to 4” from 1970’s Chicago II, “Saturday in the Park” from 1972’s Chicago V and “Searching,” from 1974’s Chicago VII. For the most part, they’re Chicago’s singles that performed best at radio and MTV— with some exceptions. “Introduction” was never a hit, but “it works because it was the first song on the first album,” says Loughnane. “And it showcases everything that we do within that five-six minutes.”

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Loughnane’s very first songwriting effort for the band became a Top 10 single.

By the time I came up with an original song the band was very well established with six albums and major success. So I sort of came in with, ‘you wanna hear my song,’ very timid. I didn’t know if they wanted to do it. I didn’t think it was good enough. My personality, ‘I’m not good enough,’ and you know, ‘I’m just trying.’

Chicago in concert in Germany, 2007.

Goodnight everyone, and have a sweet sweet sweet 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.

 Tomorrow, Saturday is Sweetest Day.

Many skeptics and non-romantic fuddie duddies believe Sweetest Day was created by high level executives because, after all, they gave us Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving.

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sweetest Day originated in the birth place of rock and roll, Cleveland, Ohio in 1922.
Herbert Birch Kingston had an idea. He wanted to somehow spread joy into the lives of orphans and shut-ins and those society had basically forgotten or turned its back on. Enlisting the help of friends, they passed out gifts to the underprivileged.

To mark the very first Sweetest Day, movie star Ann Pennington presented 2,200 Cleveland newspaper boys with boxes of candy to express gratitude for their work. Another movie star at the time, Theda Bara, gave out 10,000 boxes of candy to people in Cleveland hospitals and also gave candy to all who came to watch her film in a local theater.

This week, sweet lovin’ music.

Let’s get started.

Scoff if you will, but this weekend….

Clem Bastow, award-winning writer and critic called the above one-hit wonder “one of one of the most romantic songs of all time.”

No I wouldn’t go that far. But the song was popular, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Thinking of you keeps me awake. Dreaming of you keeps me asleep. Being with you keeps me alive.”
—Unknown

”Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

In 1937, the National Confectioners Association launched a movement to rank Sweetest Day with other nationally accepted holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day, but the effort fell flat. 

When you think of love and music you think of Barry White. His orchestra’s “Love’s Theme” is one of the best instrumentals ever. This is trumpeter/flugelhorn player Rick Braun’s rendition.

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.”
—Nicholas Sparks

In the U.S., Sweetest Day is mostly celebrated in the Midwest, parts of the Northeast and Florida. It’s most popular in Cleveland and Detroit. 

I don’t remember the year. But on this day, October 14, I proposed to Jennifer outside the California Grill on the 14th floor of the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World.

Speaking of Disney…

“When you’re lucky enough to meet your one person, then life takes a turn for the best. It can’t get better than that.”
—John Krasinski

While Valentine’s Day and Sweetest Day may look the same on the surface, the two holidays have other differences aside from their dates. 

Sweetest Day focuses on love and appreciation toward anyone, while Valentine’s Day is primarily for the more romantic side of love. 

We close with MFSB, short for Mother Father Sister Brother, a rotating cast of a few dozen string and horn studio musicians that recorded in Philadelphia. 

Goodnight everyone, and have a not all that scary Halloween 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.

The scariest month of the year has arrived. Many styles of music offer Halloween fun that gets spookier as the season rolls along. This week, Halloween musical fare on the lighter side. Let’s get started.

This popular TV series aired from September 1964 to March 1972 on ABC.

Did you know the TV theme has lyrics?

In 2002, “Bewitched” was ranked #50 on “TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV shows of All Time.”

The 1950’s unveiled a wave of “cheap teen movies” designed for the drive-in market, called “exploitative, cheap fare created especially for [young people] in a newly-established teen/drive-in genre” by film historian Tim Dirks.

Actor Steve McQueen got his career started in one.

The film’s campy theme song was written by Burt Bacharach and Mark David (NOT Hal David, Bacharach’s famous partner).

Beware of the blob, it creeps
And leaps and glides and slides
Across the floor
Right through the door
And all around the wall
A splotch, a blotch
Be careful of the blob

The late conductor Erich Kunzel was Cincinnati’s answer to the Boston Pops.

At Walt Disney World in Florida the Hollywood Studios has a unique restaurant called the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. From the theme park’s description:

Pull up to a car-shaped booth or table and chow down at our “drive-in” playing thrilling, chilling sci-fi scenes.

It’s always showtime at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, where you’ll find scrumptious items on the menu and scary clips on the screen: attacking aliens, marauding mummies, rampaging robots and more.

It’s a hoot.


How about some Mannheim Steamroller?

Excuse me, Kev, but isn’t that the Christmas group?

Yes it is. They’ve sold more Christmas music than anybody.

BUT… they’ve also recorded some Halloween material.

Bobby (Boris) Pickett, whose Boris Karloff impression propelled the Halloween novelty song “Monster Mash” to the top of the charts in 1962, making him one of pop music’s most enduring one-hit wonders, died in Los Angeles in 2007 of leukemia at the age of 69.

Mr. Pickett’s multimillion-selling single hit the charts three times: on its original release in 1962, when it reached No. 1, and in 1970 and 1973.

The song was backed by a band christened the Crypt-Kickers and a little-known piano player at the time named Leon Russell. Four major labels rejected the song before Gary Paxton, lead singer on the Hollywood Argyles’ hit “Alley Oop,” released “Monster Mash” on his own.

Pickett remained in demand for Halloween performances and continued singing the song through his final concert date. In one memorable show, in 1973, his bus broke down ….outside Frankenstein, Mo.

For more than 50 years families have gathered around the television to watch the Peanuts gang debate whether or not the Great Pumpkin actually exists, only for poor Linus to fall asleep in the pumpkin patch, never to learn the truth.

But if you hope to continue the tradition of watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” with your family this year, you’ll need to have a subscription to a particular streaming service.

Apple TV+ acquired the rights to “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” (along with “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlei Brown Christmas“) in 2020.

After some backlash Apple TV+ agreed to allow PBS to air the specials in 2020 and 2021. However, that does not seem to be the case this year.

“Regretfully, PBS does not have the rights to distribute the Peanuts specials this year,” @PBSKIDS replied. “We’ll all have to watch for the Great Pumpkin in a different pumpkin patch this Halloween.”

So, unless something changes, or you have the special on DVD, VHS or another recorded format that you can play, you’ll need to be subscribed to Apple TV+ to catch the special this Halloween season. There is currently a seven-day free trial for the streaming service. After the trial, the price is $4.99 a month.

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

We close with a medley of music from a 1966 film that is vintage Don Knotts who stars as a timid typesetter who hasn’t a ghost of a chance of becoming a reporter – until he decides to solve a murder mystery and ends up spending a fright-filled night in a haunted house. Luther Heggs (Knotts) visits an old estate at the witching hour of midnight. Certain he’s seen a ghost, Luther writes a story which makes front page news – and brings on a libel suit from the mansion’s owner. It’s up to him and his devoted girlfriend (Joan Staley) to clear his name and uncover the mystery of the hauntings – and the true murderer – in this timeless comedy classic.

Goodnight everyone, and have a white 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.

Labor Day has come and gone, so you have stopped wearing white because you’re supposed to, right?

Gabrielle Ulubay is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire, where she primarily covers fashion and beauty. She wrote about a week ago:

“Before you know it, you’ll be packing away your sundresses and summer sandals to make room for chunky sweaters and over-the-knee boots. But there’s one fashion category I always hesitate to retire: The all-white outfits and cream-colored pieces I’ve accumulated over the years. The age-old question―”Can I wear white after Labor Day?”—has long haunted fashion lovers everywhere. Many people (including me) have have feared wearing their favorite white pieces during September and beyond in order to prevent censure and condemnation, but is this necessary? Can you, in fact, wear white after Labor Day without committing a fashion crime?

More on that coming up. But WHITE music is always appropriate. That’s our feature this week. Let’s get started.

One of the most popular instrumentals of all-time is “Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White.” Perez Prado first recorded it in 1951, turning it into a mambo, a rhythm he had pioneered in the late 1940s. Four years later he re-recorded it for the movie  “Underwater!”

In 1982 Meco Menardo, who previously had a huge hit with a Star Wars medley, recorded an album of big band tunes including “Patricia/Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White.”

Can you, in fact, wear white after Labor Day without committing a fashion crime? The short answer: Yes! In fact, the story behind this arbitrary post-Labor Day dress code is not only unconvincing, but incredibly classist.
Gabrielle Ulubay

NEXT…Brazilian musician, keyboardist, composer, arranger and producer Eumir Deodato is best remembered for his hit single of “Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001).”

Here’s Deodato’s version of a Moody Blues classic that starts out slowly with an eerie synthesizer and then blasts off.

The guitar work was provided by noted session artist John Tropea.

Now, where were we?

During the late 19th century—long before you could wear jeans to a Michelin-starred restaurant—society ladies were engaged in an invisible battle with the nouveau riche (a.k.a. people who’d recently become rich rather than having benefitted from generations of wealth). One of the subtle jabs that the old money crowd used to distinguish themselves from the nouveau riche was to make wearing white after Labor Day a fashion faux pas.

“It [was] insiders trying to keep other people out,” says Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, in an interview with Time “and outsiders trying to climb in by proving they know the rules.”

Some etiquette authorities like Judith Martin rebuff this class theory, with Martin telling Time, “There are always people who want to attribute everything in etiquette to snobbery. There were many little rules that people did dream up in order to annoy those from whom they wished to disassociate themselves. But I do not believe this is one of them.” The true reason could be much simpler.
Gabrielle Ulubay

We’ll pick up on that, promise.

The songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis is one of the best, with a resume that’s a mile long.

Bacharach came up with the music, and David wrote the lyrics for “Walk on By” about a woman asking her former lover to leave her alone.

If you see me walking down the street
And I start to cry each time we meet
Walk on by, walk on by

Make believe
That you don’t see the tears
Just let me grieve
In private ’cause each time I see you
I break down and cry

Dionne Warwick who sang many Bacharach/Davis collaborations did “Walk on By” first. Others included the Four Seasons, Connie Francis, Aretha Franklin, Gloria Gaynor, Kool & the Gang, Cyndi Lauper, Steve Lawrence, The Lettermen, Little Anthony And The Imperials, Johnny Mathis, The Miracles, Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels, and guitarist Peter WHITE, accompanied by saxophonist Boney James.

After Labor Day—the first Monday of September—became a federal holiday in 1894, it came to symbolically mark the end of summer. Vacationers packed away their breezy white dresses and linen button-downs in favor of darker-hued clothing, like navy suits and gray sweaters. “There used to be a much clearer sense of re-entry,” explained Steele to Time. “You’re back in the city, back at school, back doing whatever you’re doing in the fall—and so you have a new wardrobe.”

Plus, for those who had money and could leave the city during warmer months, white was considered vacation attire, with city dwellers more often sticking to dark colors. White linen suits and Panama hats were considered the “look of leisure.”
Gabrielle Ulubay

Gary Brooker, the Procol Harum frontman who sang one of the most enduring hits of the 1960s, A Whiter Shade of Pale, died this past February. He was 76. The English rock band said Brooker died at his home. He had been receiving treatment for cancer.

From my blog in August of 2017:

August of 1967, the new group “Procol Harum” had a major hit on their hands, landing at #5 on the Billboard chart. If “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was the album of The Summer of Love, then Procol Harum had the single of that era, “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”

From teamrock.com:

At a time when the increasingly experimental British pop music of the mid to late Sixties was on the cusp, Procol Harum’s debut single did more than any other individual song to push it over the edge into what we now know as rock.

A mournful lament with a teasing – even disturbing – lyric masquerading as a feel-good summer love song, AWSOP (as it is known by its devotees) was a conundrum from day one. Clearly inspired by other works, it clearly inspired other works. It was both classical and pop. It was soul without funk. It helped invent rock that didn’t rock. It was a worldwide hit single by ‘serious artists’ that ushered in the era of the album as the true medium for ‘serious artists’. It was the most successful record ever broken by pirate radio… just as pirate radio was about to sink below the waves and be replaced by something more official and terrestrial.

Chris Rodley of The Guardian got right to the point. Or at least tried to.

What’s it about? Sex? Drugs? Death? Procol Harum’s mysterious, classically influenced song, released exactly 50 years ago, was an unlikely hit but went on to sell 10m copies.

I was just 14 when I first heard it, walking through the Hertfordshire countryside in the middle of the night.

Who was behind such music? Procal what? Surely the definite article was missing? (Even Pink Floyd were called The Pink Floyd back then.)

The music was even harder to pin down. The voice sounded black; the tune recalled that posh classical stuff that we thought we didn’t much like; the words … well, what on earth did they mean? What was a “light fandango” when it was skipped? I knew what a schoolboy virgin was, but what was a “vestal virgin” when he, she or it was at home? With every swell of that celestial Hammond organ, the mystery became deeper and more delicious.

It is the most played song in public places in the UK and the most played record ever on British radio.

Is it about a drug experience, a drug death, or a half-remembered, girl-leaves-boy relationship? Or is it simply about a drunken seduction, the sex having been drowned in metaphors about travelling the seas?

A few months ago Billboard.com interviewed co-founder, singer and keyboardist Gary Brooker.

When it was written and I was singing it, just the piano and vocal, I thought, ‘This is different.’ It was a good song and the recording came out very well, so that was job done. And of course it was a smash hit around the world straightaway, which is even more fantastic. But I never even thought 10 years ahead, let alone 50. I never thought that far in front at all.

It is still a great mystery to me why, how it’s come to be still so strong in so many people’s brains and lives and feelings. And new people pick it up as well. It’s not everybody that met their first girlfriend in 1967, you know? There’s people that have picked up the song along the way. And if I hear it myself on the radio, it always sounds different to all else that is going on in 2017, just like it sounded so different to everything else in 1967. It still sounds different.

Procol Harum’s lyricist Keith Reid wrote the words.

“It’s sort of a film, really, trying to conjure up mood and tell a story. It’s about a relationship. There’s characters and there’s a location, and there’s a journey. You get the sound of the room and the feel of the room and the smell of the room. But certainly there’s a journey going on, it’s not a collection of lines just stuck together. It’s got a thread running through it.”

Here’s Procol Harum performing A Whiter Shade of Pale with the Danish National Concert Orchestra and choir at Ledreborg Castle, Denmark in August 2006.

Wearing white after Labor Day?

Regardless of how this subjective rule really came about, no one in 2022 should feel the need to follow it. Wear whatever color you want! Life is too short―and fashion is too fun―to care about what other people think.
Gabrielle Ulubay

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

From “The White Album.”