One of the most delightful things on the internets these days is the trend of videos of (mostly) young African-Americans listening to music they have not previously heard. I was introduced to these by a friend and I warn you, they can take you down a rabbit hole, literally spending hours watching! It is so delightful and can actually bring tears to your eyes. Perhaps I am sentimental (ok, no perhaps about it) but I truly think these young people give me more hope for the future than any candlelight vigil/hand-holding peace/anti-racism march ever could. My three favourites (and it is hard to choose) are the twins, and Jamel (wears his heart on his sleeve – so lovely) and – there aren’t a lot of women doing this, so far — K.S.O. (she is truly fun to watch!). FYI, there is a good piece about the twins at the New Yorker and while I largely agree with what she writes, I think she misses some points (she is probably being politically correct) and she also puts too much focus on modern music, as opposed to the clip I am about to leave y’all with – one of the twins (they don’t always appear together) listening to Sinatra sing Ol’ Man River. Unbelievably touching.
I had a Julia Barbie doll that I adored. Carroll was a beautiful, talented woman, who apparently got her heart ripped out by Sidney Poitier! (If you’re going to get crushed, better by someone fab, I always say.) Here she is with Frank and Dean, in 1965. The first two songs are only Frank and Dean, but they are so great I decided to post this longer clip.
Sheesh, she was gorgeous. At the risk of sounding like my curmudgeonly self, they don’t make entertainers like these three anymore, and that is a tragedy.
Mark Steyn selected George Harrison’s Something, as his song of the week recently, and I could not be happier. It is one of my favourites. Steyn praises Shirley Bassey’s version of the song, and it is lovely, but my favourite version will always be Sinatra’s, here:
Giant, giant talent. If you read French click here for a tribute at Le Figaro. They called him France’s Sinatra, and what is interesting is that he introduced Sinatra when the latter sang at the Olympia in Paris in 1962. The recording is here. (It is a fantastic recording, in spite of what some of the dopey reviewers assert.) It would be impossible for me to choose one favourite Aznavour song, but this one is always in my top five.
Nancy Sinatra Sr. died, which gives me an excuse to post another Sinatra performance.
He died twenty years ago today. In memory, a famous song about memory (of which I posted another version here).
Francis Albert, exceptional:
One time when my dad was inebriated (which could have been one of virtually any night – or day – during a decades-long period) he told me that he thought there were “five great voices” out there. He began listing them: Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett and…he was stumbling around trying to remember the fifth and finally he added “Vic Damone!”
Totally agree. And I think this version of this song is magnificent. I seem to recall it was used in one of the early episodes (maybe the first) of “Mad Men,” when we saw what a cad Don Draper was.
I hadn’t known he had recorded this song — I knew the Glenn Miller version only. Well, Frank rocks it.
Hello, dear readers, and welcome to the third incarnation of my website. My previous incarnation has not been destroyed, but I am trying to decide whether to link to it or not. There is something to be said for cyber-decluttering, yes? Currently, this site is a tad bare-bones, but for now that should do.
For my first post, I’d like to pay tribute to Rod McKuen, who died recently, and who, throughout his career, got much mockery as a poet. There was a scene in Woody Allen’s wonderful Sleeper, where Diane Keaton, as a poet of the future, recites one of her terrible poems and someone tells her he can hear the influence of McKuen in it.
But heck, he wrote some lovely hokey songs. One of my favourites, sung by the genius himself, Frank Sinatra.