Let’s Take A Moment Day 280

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Dec 21

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

There is so much to love about the movie “Elf” from Will Farrell’s portrayal of Buddy, the man-child Santa’s helper of The North Pole, the supporting cast, the fact that most of it takes place in NYC and so on. But the music is a huge part of the story as well. I love that it is a grown-up soundtrack. That was also the approach “A Charlie Brown Christmas” took with its music when it introduced children to contemporary jazz through holiday songs. Many of the tracks were written specifically for the TV special (most notably “Christmas Time Is Here”, “Skating” & “Linus & Lucy”) while it ended with a traditional carol (“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”).

Elf did not use any original tunes but it made up for it in the artists which were included in the film. It gave us powerhouses like Louis Prima (yes, “Pennies From Heaven” is not a Christmas song but it worked so well in the scene, plus how many contemporary soundtracks feature this incredibly talented man?), Stevie Wonder (“What Christmas Means To Me”), Jim Reeves (“Jingle Bells”) & The First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald, with today’s pick. Any movie that introduces a new generation to this woman is one everyone should see.

Our cheeks are nice and rosy and comfy cozy are we
We’re snuggled up together like two birds of a feather would be
Let’s take that road before us and sing a or two
Come on it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you
“.

Ella

Lady Ella Fitzgerald circa 1945. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ella Fitzgerald: “Sleigh Ride” (1960, written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 7

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

christmas-4

(Original source unknown).

Elf” has become one of the most beloved Christmas movies ever since its release in 2003.  One of the most cherished scenes in the film is when Will Ferrell’s Buddy character first arrives in NYC , going around the revolving doors, grabbing the flyers, getting his elf shoes polished and so on.  Do you remember the song that was playing during these scenes?  Think hard…..can you hear it in your head???  It is “Pennies From Heaven” by Italian trumpeter & bandleader, Louis Prima.

That song was originally recorded by Bing Crosby in 1936 for the film of the same name.  Prima recorded his version later that same year.  And that is probably not the only song you know by him.  Remember Brian Seltzer of “The Stray Cats”?  Well, his 1998 song, “Jump, Jive an’ Wail” is a cover of Prima’s 1956 version.   With the new popularity of the song in 1998, The Gap used the original in one of its commercials that year.

Louis_Prima

Louis Prima (Getty Images-original source unknown).

And who can forget David Lee Roth’s first solo record, “Just A Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody“?  That was also a Prima cover, which he played in his Vegas shows in the mid 1950’s and it helped to revitalize his career.  It also became his signature tune.  Check out Prima’s version in this fun clip from 1959.  You will notice that while different singers perform these songs in different eras, they are basically the same songs note for note.  Prima’s versions are that good there was no room to improve on them.   But what else should we expect but greatness from an Italian in the arts???   🙂

Now that you know you like Prima’s music, you are going to love today’s Christmas song pick.  Released the same year as “Pennies”, this song became a staple of his Christmas shows because, after all, why shouldn’t Christmas songs swing???   🙂

Louis Prima:  “What Will Santa Claus Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin’)

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!