Posts Tagged ‘music’

The Daughter was singing We’ll Meet Again. I asked her how the heck did she know that song, which first came out long before I was born?

She was watching a video called Film Theory: Gravity Falls ISN’T OVER! (Bill Cipher LIVES!) Gravity Falls is an animated TV series that ended a couple years ago. There’s a reference to We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn at the 9:00 mark.

Then The Daughter tested me to come up with the songwriter – not that she knew herself, mind you. Not only did I not know, none of my choir buddies did, though we guessed a lot of the likely suspects.

It turns out that it was written by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles, who also wrote “There’ll Always Be an England.”

The singer most associated with the tune is Lynn who turned 100 on March 20, 2017 and is still alive, I believe. She was described as England’s most popular singer during World War II, and she appeared on British TV for many years.

From the Wikipedia:
The song gave its name to the 1943 musical film… in which Dame Vera Lynn played the lead role. Lynn’s recording was used in the closing scenes of the 1986 BBC television serial The Singing Detective. British director John Schlesinger used the song in his 1979 World War II film, Yanks, which is about British citizens and American soldiers during the military buildup in the UK as the Allies prepared for the D-Day Invasion…

Lynn sang the song in London on the 60th Anniversary of VE Day in 2005.

Pink Floyd makes reference to this song and the performer in Vera, a song from their album The Wall: “Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn?/Remember how she said that we would meet again some sunny day?”

Listen to We’ll Meet Again (chart action from US Billboard singles chart):

Vera Lynn, #29 in 1954

Kay Kyser, Ginny Simms, Harry Babbitt, and ensemble vocal, #24 in 1941

Guy Lombardo, #24 in 1941

Benny Goodman with Peggy Lee, #16 in 1942

The Ink Spots, 1949

Frank Sinatra, 1962

The Byrds, closing track of their debut album in 1965, inspired by the Lynn version’s use in the film Dr. Strangelove

Johnny Cash, closing track on his 2002 album American IV: The Man Comes Around, the final album released during his lifetime

She and Him, 2014

Is God a Robot That Just Hasn’t Been Invented Yet?

Hating the poor in the season of giving

How to Hire Fake Friends and Family

Fiction from the New Yorker: Cat Person

Thousands Once Spoke His Language in the Amazon; Now, He’s the Only One

How ancient mastodon bones sparked a modern-day battle among scientists

Chuck Miller: When I caught the Times Union editing my blog headlines without my permission

RIP, Sue Grafton at 77 – Y Is For Yesterday: her last mystery series novel

Arthur answers Roger’s questions about the regime in DC and the nasty people in DC and blogging, and Kiwi language and his most evergreen post

RIP to Rose Marie, who was of an uncertain age; at least she was around for this; Dick Van Dyke has lost two costars this year, with Mary Tyler Moore passing in January

2018 US postage stamps: Musician John Lennon, performer and activist Lena Horne, America’s first woman in space Sally Ride, and children’s television pioneer Mr. Rogers

Mark Evanier has been blogging for 17 years this month, a site I check out daily

RIP Dick Enberg

Clifford Irving, Author of a Notorious Literary Hoax, Dies at 87

Quotable Kirby

Erie, PA Receives Record 53 Inches of Snow in 30 Hours

Now I Know: The People Who Protect Chewbacca and The Worthless $65 Million Masterpiece That Cost $29 Million and The Town That Pays Criminals to Cut it Out and The Accidental Masterpiece and The New York Police Department’s Giant Problem and The People Who Protect Chewbacca

What is it like to go through a car wash with the windows down?

Wise Old Sayings

TICKS, MANY OF THEM

What Do You Call a World That Can’t Learn From Itself?

This is the thanks he gets for “overhauling” the American tax system?

‘He Would Probably Be a Dictator by Now’

The Nationalist’s Delusion

The United States of America Is Decadent and Depraved

Should We Care What Happens to the GOP’s Soul?

I Won’t Tolerate A ‘Different Viewpoint’ When It’s Based On Blatant Lies

The Whoppers of 2017: the year’s worst falsehoods and bogus claims

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet – It’s a real, powerful set of ideas

How life is now in Puerto Rico

“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” – Augustine of Hippo

TWENTY-SEVENTEEN

The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast 2017 and 1957

2017 is the best?

Instagram’s Favorite New Yorker Cartoons of 2017

YouTube’s highest paid stars – who ARE these people? I’m old

The Biggest Tech Fails of 2017

Turner Classic Movies’ annual Obituary Video

The Daily Show team looks back at the biggest events of 2017 in news, sports, and pop culture

MUSIC

RIP Keely Smith

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Gil Scott Heron

Keep On Doing What You’re Doing/Jerks On The Loose – Kelly Hogan and Nora O’Connor

Two songs from Björk’s 2017 album Utopia

Dmitri Shostakovich – Waltz No. 2

Regretro -Lifestyle album

The Last Day of Summer – Elyxr, ft Color Theory

Retrospect -Freen in Green, ft. Liz Enthusiasm

Heavensent – Bao

TWO TICKET TO PHUKET

Sufjan Stevens, Chris Cornell, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Taylor Swift on longlist for Best Original Song Oscar

Dominic Frontiere, Composer for ‘The Outer Limits,’ ‘The Flying Nun,’ Dies at 86

Here’s a great thing about when someone puts labels on posts on the Blogger platform: you can access Jaquandor’s Daily Dose of Christmas, not just for this year, but for several years back. You’re welcome.

A couple new tracks from this year:

Indigo Christmas -Theresa Olin, written by Linda Bonney Olin

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – MonaLisa Twins

Away in a Manger – Pentatonix

You Ain’t Gettin’ S#!t (For Xmas) – Emily “Boo Boo” Miller

Some random older cuts I’ve come across:

Christmas Rappin’- Kurtis Blow, 1979

The Christians and The Pagans – Dar Williams

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love, from her recurring appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman

We Need A Little Christmas – Angela Lansbury, from the Broadway musical MAME

Winter Song – Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson

Chrissy The Christmas Mouse – Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor

The 12 Gifts of Christmas – Allan Sherman

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

A Shadows of Knight mashup of a Christmas carol and a Dave Brubeck hit

Shepherd’s Hey by Percy Grainger, which I have on some holiday record or other

Plus: Coverville 1197: The 2017 Christmas Cover Show

Finally, some tunes I tend to play every year:

Every Valley – Handel’s Messiah, A Soulful Celebration; it was such a great surprise

The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole; my late mom was a huge fan of Nat

White Christmas – the Drifters; not just the song but this particular animation I love

Linus and Lucy – Vince Guaraldi, from a Charlie Brown Christmas

The Coventry Carol – Alison Moyet, from the very first A Very Special Christmas album in 1987

Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty, from the second A Very Special Christmas album in 1992; I can’t believe he’s gone

Winter Snow – Booker T. and the MG’S (at 2:30) – Silver Bells is OK, but Winter Snow, which I first head on that first Stax-Volt box set, really gets to me

What Christmas Means To Me – Stevie Wonder; there are quite a few Motown Christmas albums and this is my favorite cut, the last song on the Someday at Christmas album from 1967

The Bells of Christmas -Julie Andrews; the version I have on vinyl skips the unnecessary instrumentation from about 1:08 to 2:02, which appeared on an album from Firestone tires in the 1960s. Oh, here it is at 17:05

Carmen de Lavallade

When the announcement of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors were first announced, I was afraid it might not take place at all. When Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter called [Norman] Lear a few months ago to tell him about his selection, “Lear said he’d be thrilled to have it (at last!)”

But the television pioneer “just couldn’t abide the idea of standing in the White House shaking Trump’s hand. Days after the Kennedy Center announced this year’s honorees, Lear told reporters that he would boycott parts of the event.”

As it turned out, on August 19, 2017, “the White House announced that the President of the United States and the First Lady will not participate in 2017 Kennedy Center Honors activities.” The KCH reps were “grateful for this gesture.”

Norman Lear is the honoree I’m most familiar with. He was the creator and producer of several successful and groundbreaking TV sitcoms in the 1970s including All in the Family, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, all of which I watched for most or all of their runs. And, at 95 he’s STILL working, putting out a new version of One Day at a Time, this iteration with a Hispanic cast.

I did not recognize the name Carmen de Lavallade, but I am quite familiar with two of her cohorts. She “is a multifaceted dancer, choreographer, actor, and teacher… De Lavallade brought [the late] Alvin Ailey to the studio for his first ballet class, which began a long career of collaboration between the two dance world giants.” Her late husband Geoffrey Holder “would choreograph works for [her], including her signature solo Come Sunday.” Here’s a recent profile of her on CBS Sunday Morning.

Lionel Richie has been a massively successful singer-songwriter, first with the group The Commodores (Easy, Brick House, Three Times a Lady) then as a solo artist (Truly, All Night Long, Hello). His duet with Diana Ross, Endless Love, spent nine weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts in 1981. He wrote Lady for Kenny Rogers, which reached #1 in 1980, and co-wrote the benefit single We Are the World in 1985. Richie was a staple on MTV in its early days.

In 2018, my wife and I will be seeing the musical On Your Feet at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady about the lives of Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio. Their group, the Miami Sound Machine, was big in Latin America but took a bit longer to break into the US market. When the band recording more in English, they started charting with won radio DJs over, and had massive success with songs like Conga!, Anything for You, 1–2–3, and Bad Boy. Theirs is a story of Cuban immigrants who “brought a Latin-infused sound to the American mainstream.”

I was a little surprised to see LL Cool J on the list. It’s not that he hasn’t been enormously successful as a hip hop artist that has crossed over to the mainstream with songs like Around the Way Girl, Hey Lover, Doin It, Luv U Better and Control Myself. It’s that his name doesn’t usually pop up on the list of the best or most influential hip-hop artists. Still, he has segued that musical success into a thriving acting career. He currently appears on NCIS: Los Angeles, which I must admit I’ve never seen.

The Kennedy Center Honors, which took place on Sunday, December 3, will be aired on CBS-TV on Tuesday, December 26 from 9-11 p.m., EST.

It’s been around so long that I forgot Jingle Bells was actually penned by someone. The Wikipedia: “It was written by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893) and published under the title One Horse Open Sleigh in the autumn of 1857.

“Although originally intended for the Thanksgiving season, and having no connection to Christmas, it became associated with Christmas music and the holiday season in general decades after it was first performed on Washington Street in Boston in 1857… It was first recorded in 1889 on an Edison cylinder” by Will Lyle.

Lots of people have recorded the song, of course, my favorite being Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters in 1943. Even barking dogs have charted, first in 1955.

Jingle Bells was the first song broadcast from space, by Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra with a smuggled harmonica.

Of course, it inspired a number of parodies and homages, most notably Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms from 1957, a very different tune that became one of the most popular seasonal song of all time; as of 2004, it was #3 behind only White Christmas by Bing Crosby, and Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song.

“The first notes in the chorus have become a motif that has been inserted into recordings other Christmas songs, most notably a guitar passage at the end of [the Cole hit] and Clarence Clemons performing a saxophone solo in the middle of Bruce Springsteen’s Merry Christmas Baby; a piano is also heard playing these notes at the end of Springsteen’s version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

But what’s not mentioned in the article is Joni Mitchell’s song River, which starts and ends with the Jingle Bells theme. I remain fascinated that one of my good friends, now deceased, who was a huge Joni fan did not discern it.

Listen to:

Jingle Bells (Disney)

Jingle Bells – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

Jingle Bells – Barking Dogs

Jingle Bells, Batman smells from the Simpsons

Jingle Bells – The Fab Four, in the style of Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles

Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms

River – Joni Mitchell

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