Returning to Don’t Tell Mama

23 06 2014

PM-DTM-July2014-2

I’m reviving my blog today to post an announcement about my upcoming return engagement at the New York City cabaret club, Don’t Tell Mama. I’ll be performing a 1-hour set on Saturday, July 26 at 8:00 pm. Admission is $10, and there’s a 2-drink minimum. Mama only accepts cash—no credit cards. DTM is located at 343 West 46th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues, on the famous Restaurant Row. Hope to see you there!

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Signing Off

24 01 2013

101

Signing Off—J. Campbell/R. Connelly, 1944? (Recorded November 15, 2010) Here’s the bonus track I promised. It’s one I recorded over two years ago. The song is a mystery to me. The only recorded versions I know of are by Sarah Vaughan, who cut it in 1944, and Ella Fitzgerald, who put it on her 1961 record, Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie. I can’t find very much information about the song beyond this. The writers, Jimmy Campbell and Reg Connelly, are a couple of Brits—primarily lyricists—who did most of their work in the 1930s, so the composition date of 1944 is quite possibly not right, and, the music might have been written by somebody else. If anyone has any more information about this tune, please let me know!

So, that’s it. I’ll leave this blog up for the foreseeable future, with its 101 main-page songs and 20 songs listed in the “Archives” section. I hope people will continue to stumble upon the site and leave me nice notes. And maybe I’ll befriend some of those people and get to meet them in real life. Because, truly, meeting people and making friends is one of our most important living activities.

Cheers!

Signing off,

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Thanks

24 01 2013

100

Thanks—A. Johnston/S.Coslow, 1933 (Recorded October 12, 2012) Well, here it is: the 100th song to be posted on my blog. I chose this 1933 Bing Crosby hit because I wanted to thank all my listeners for coming by over the past couple of years to visit my site and listen to my music. It’s been a lot of fun. Thanks!

This about wraps things up, but before I go, I’ll post one more tune as a bonus, Number 101, just for the heck of it….





Sometimes I’m Happy (Sometimes I’m Blue)

24 01 2013

099

Sometimes I’m Happy (Sometimes I’m Blue)—V. Youmans/I. Caesar, 1927 (Recorded December 31, 2012) I recorded this song on New Year’s Eve, 2012, just before driving up to New York City to spend the holiday with a couple of good friends. The title says it all: I was happy to hang out with my friends on NYE, but blue because my wife had a bad cold and decided to stay home to take care of our puppy. That’s life!





Reaching for the Moon

24 01 2013

098

Reaching for the Moon—Irving Berlin, 1930 (Recorded November 29, 2012) Here’s another “Moon” song, a lovely Berlin Ballad that I snagged from the recording that appears on the excellent Sinatra compilation, Moonlight Sinatra. I use the baritone ukulele on this one. I had to remix my original recording and work on the EQ to tone down some of the bass, but otherwise, it turned out OK.





Wedding Bell Blues

24 01 2013

097

Wedding Bell Blues—Laura Nyro, 1966 (Recorded October 1, 2012) Laura Nyro wrote this song when she was 18 years old. Genius! I’m a long-time fan. Here, I sing the song with an ironic sensibility: the lyric is from a woman’s point-of-view, but instead of changing the words to a manly voice, I sing it straight…er, I mean, queer…uh, well, youknowhatimean. I was prompted to record this song because of a series of Internet forum exchanges between two male ukulele-playing buddies of mine who can’t stand each other. One of them is named “Bill,” and Bill and my other friend can’t get through a common forum thread without flaming each other. I’ve often thought that they ought to get married, or at least get a room—that way they might work out their differences in private.





Blue Moon

30 08 2012

Blue Moon—R. Rodgers/L. Hart, 1934 (Recorded August 30, 2012) “Blue Moon”‘s familiar melody withstood three other lyric treatments that Lorenz Hart was compelled to write and re-write, thanks to the tune’s changing identity in various Hollywood movies. It was originally called “Prayer,” and then “The Bad in Every Man.” I suspect that by the time he got around to writing the lyric as we know it, Hart became a little punchy and penned the snippy opening verse that begins, “Once upon a time, before I took up smiling/I hated the moonlight.” I learned the verse by listening to a mid-1930s recording by singer and actress Greta Keller. I took an airy, slightly mad turn with this tune, happily singing and playing uke and then adding a vocal trumpet sound in the middle and at the outro.

It’s a simple song that didn’t impress Alec Wilder much:

It certainly is one of the most performed Rodgers and Hart songs. I have never been attracted to it, though I recognize it to be competently written. … but, compared with what Rodgers had been doing up till that time, the song, overall, was definitely undistinguished.”

(Excerpted from American Popular Song—The Great Innovators 1900-1950, edited by Alec Wilder, 1972.)

Tomorrow is an August “Blue Moon,” the second full moon in the month. The next such coincidence won’t happen until July 31, 2015.

Happy Blue Moon, world!








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