Let’s Take A Moment Day 507

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?

Aug 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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.

Yesterday marked the 120th birth anniversary for the man affectionately known as “Satchmo”, Jazz band leader, trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong was born August 4, 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana. His 1967 rendition of “What A Wonderful World” (Day 185) has become a classic and many of his jazz recordings have been hailed as some of the most innovative of all time. But it was his collaborations with The First Lady Of Song herself, Ella Fitzgerald, that are my favorites. Today’s song, one of Irving Berlin’s best, is from their 1956 album, Ella and Louis.

Heaven I’m in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek
“.

Louie Ella

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong: “Cheek To Cheek” (1956, written by Irving Berlin).

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

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 437

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?

May blog 2021

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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.

Time for a Motown break. Today’s song was a Top 20 hit in 1965 for The Miracles before they were rebranded with Smokey Robinson as the headliner. He co-wrote it with bandmate Pete More and it appeared on the album, Going To A Go Go. Ella Fitzgerald, Todd Rundgren & Linda Ronstadt all did excellent cover versions of this song, but as good as they are, only Smokey sings it like Smokey.

I’m just about at
The end of my rope
But I can’t stop trying
I can’t give up hope
“.

Smokey

The Miracles circa 1965 (L-R): Smokey Robinson, Claudette Rogers Robinson, Ronald White, Pete Moore and Bobby Rogers. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Miracles: “Ooo Baby Baby” (1965, written by Pete Moore and William “Smokey” Robinson Jr.).

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

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 405

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?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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.

Today marks the birth anniversary of a swing & jazz icon. Ella Fitzgerald was born 104 years ago on April 25, 1917 in Virginia. Whether you refer to her as Lady Ella, The First Lady of Song or The Queen Of Jazz, you know she had one of the finest most beautiful voices in all of history.

She collaborated with many musical powerhouses including Chuck Webb, Nelson Riddle, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington & Louie Armstrong, who she grew up listening to. The songs she performed from The Great American Songbook became hers and hers alone. But regardless of what she sang, Ella Fitzgerald was absolute perfection.

Lost my heart but what of it
He is cold I agree
He can laugh but I love it
Although the laugh’s on me
“.

Ella

Ella Fitzgerald circa 1952. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ella Fitzgerald: “Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered” (1956, written by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rogers).

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

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 363

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?

March 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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.

If you remember any part of the 1980’s, then you know Quincy Jones was a huge part of music in that decade. He was the producer behind Michael Jackson’s biggest albums (Off The Wall, Bad, Thriller) & USA For Africa’s 1985 charity song, “We Are The World”, to name just a few of his accomplishments. Jones began his musical journey as a trumpeter when he was about ten years old. When he was 14 he met Ray Charles and the two remained friends & collaborators until Ray’s death in 2004.

Jones left a scholarship at Boston’s Berklee School of Music in the early 1950’s to work for bandleader Lionel Hampton. Jones would eventually work with everyone from Sarah Vaughn, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington & so many others. And if all that was not cool enough, Jones married Peggy Lipton (Julie from “Mod Squad”) in 1974.

He turns 88 today, born on March 14, 1933 in Illinois. One of my favorite songs by him came out in 1989 and featured his buddy Ray Charles & Chaka Khan on vocals. Happy birthday, Quincy Jones.

We’ve been together
For so very long
I’d hate to break up
Break up my happy home”.

quincy-jones-and-ray-charles

chaka quincy

Top (l-R): Quincy Jones and Ray Charles circa 1988. Bottom (L-R): Chaka Khan and Jones circa 2010. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Quincy Jones featuring Ray Charles & Chaka Khan: “I’ll Be Good To You” (1989, written by George Johnson, Louis Johnson and Sonora Sam).

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

Stay well.

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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 194

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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.

Today marks the 122nd birth anniversary of George Gershwin. He wrote some of the most beautiful standards out there, and Broadway musicals were never the same after his genius touch. My absolute favorite tune of his is “Someone To Watch Over Me” (see Day 42). But I love today’s song as well, which was first sung by Ginger Rogers in the 1930 stage musical, “Girl Crazy” and in the 1943 film version by Judy Garland.

Since then it has been covered by a number of artists including John Coltrane, Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, Elton John and Barry Manilow, amongst others. But when it comes to singing Gershwin tunes, I do not think anyone compares to Lady Ella.

I was a fool to fall, and get that way
Hi-ho, alas, and also lack-a-day
Although I can’t dismiss
The memory of his kiss
I guess he’s not for me
“.

Ella Marilyn

george gershwin

Top: Ella Fitzgerald & Marilyn Monroe circa 1955. Bottom: George Gershwin circa 1930. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Ella Fitzgerald: “But Not For Me” ( 1959, written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin).

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

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 42

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?

music heart

(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.

Today’s song is my favorite Gershwin tune of all time.  Despite the dozens of people who have recorded it, Lady Ella’s version with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra remains the one I adore the most.  The lyricist of today’s song, Ira Gershwin, once said, “I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them”.  And that tells you all you need to know about this song.

Won’t you tell him please to put on some speed
Follow my lead, oh, how I need
Someone to watch over me
.

 

Ella

Ella Fitzgerald circa 1946 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ella Fitzgerald:  “Someone to Watch Over Me” (1959, written by George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin in 1926).

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

Stay well.

Auld Lang Syne

Hello, Everyone!!!  Happy New Year’s Eve!!!

goodbye-2018-welcome-2019-images.jpg

(Original source unknown).  

I wanted to end the year by thanking all of you for your support.  I love having this outlet to share my favorite things with you, and whether 2018 was a good year or bad one, it should still end on-you guessed it-a musical note.  C’mon, you had to see that coming!!!  But I know, ugh.  🙂

I am sharing two songs today.  My first pick was written in 1947 by Tony Award winner Frank Loesser, the songwriter who gave us the music to such Broadway plays as “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” (for which he won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Drama) and “Guys & Dolls”.  He also won an Academy Award for the song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.  I wonder how all the people who ridiculed that fabulous song this year feel about that???  But I digress.

The premier version of this song is by the same woman I featured on Day 4 of this year’s Christmas Music Countdown.  She recorded hers in 1960 and it just oozes romance, hope and fun.  I also included the version released over 50 years later which features her original recording with this rocker turned crooner’s voice & a soft trumpet solo which gives it an interesting and sweet twist.

Side note:  I am not sure how I feel about these virtual duets anymore.  I know we all swooned when Natalie Cole was able to “sing” with her father on “Unforgettable”, and Lisa Marie with Elvis on “In The Ghetto” and Nona with Marvin Gaye on the National Anthem, but did Kenny G really need to add his horn to Satchmo’s on “What A Wonderful World”?  Or did Scarlett Johansson really need to add her voice to Dean Martin’s on “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”?  I think not.  Perhaps they should just be done by family members???  Maybe.  But again, I digress.

ella_800.jpg__800x587_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscale

Ella Fitzgerald (original source unknown).  

rod

(Original source unknown).  

Ella Fitzgerald:  “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (1960).

Rod Stewart featuring Ella Fitzgerald & trumpeter Chris Botti:  “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (2012).

I also really like Harry Connick, Jr.’s 1993 version, too, so now you have all my favorites.

harry.jpg

(Original source unknown).  

The second song pick is from a man we lost much too soon, 11 years ago this month.  A consummate singer/songwriter, some of his well known songs include “Longer”, “Missing You”, “Leader of the Band” and “Believe In Me” to name a few.  But today’s song we hear every year on a loop during December on many of the 24/7 Christmas music stations as a nod to the holiday we celebrate a week later.  I admit I prefer his rocker side to the ballads he became more famous for (who can forget “Part of the Plan” from “Souvenirs” and “The Power of Gold” from “Twin Sons of Different Mothers” with Tim Weisberg???), but I will not pass up the chance to hear this man’s beautiful voice any time I can.

Same_Old_Lang_Syne_-_Dan_Fogelberg    (Original source unknown).  

Dan Fogelberg:  “Same Old Lang Syne” (1980).

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

Have a happy, safe, healthy & WONDERFUL 2019, Everyone!!!

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 4

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

rustic holiday sleigh

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

Today’s song was written as an instrumental 70 years ago by American composer Leroy Anderson.  Lyricist Mitchell Parish added the words two years later.  That same year, the Andrew Sisters recorded the song.  I really enjoy their version-the three part harmony, the sound effects and the addition of male background singers at the choruses.  The Ronettes also recorded a great version of this holiday tune in 1963, but my favorite one is by the First Lady of Song.   In her lifetime she recorded over 200 albums, sold over 40 million records, won 13 Grammy Awards and played at Carnegie Hall a total of 26 times.  She was also awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  The lady could sing and swing.   And everything in between.

Ella

Courtesy of the Ella Fitzgerald website.  

Ella Fitzgerald:  “Sleigh Ride“.

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, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 23

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

christmas-2

(Original source unknown)

The original version of today’s song hit #1 on the charts in 1949, but the TV special based on the song was not released until 1964.  It has been recorded over a dozen times and three of them are on my list of favorites.  Both the song & the special are holiday staples for anyone who grew up with the tradition of watching it every year.

rudolph

(Original source unknown)

Gene Autry:  “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”  (1949)

Ella Fitzgerald:  “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1960)

Burl Ives:  “Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer” (1964)

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!!!