25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 7

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 7 2022

A sweet vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

There is no denying that George Clooney is a huge movie star & celebrity. But he was not the first member of his family to achieve stardom. His aunt, the transcendent and beautiful Rosemary Clooney, defined musical excellence as a vocalist first as part of a duo with her sister, Betty, in 1945 and then as a professional singer recording music in 1947.

Her own TV show and movies followed (including 1954’s “White Christmas” also starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen) and numerous hits and albums leading to her place as the premier “girl singer” for six decades. Her influence & reverence shine through fans like Tony Bennett, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, Linda Ronstadt, Diana Krall and many others. But Clooney described her role rather succinctly in her second biography, Girl Singer: “I’d call myself a sweet singer with a big band sensibility”. The rest of us described her with one word: great.

“Rosie” as she was affectionatelt dubbed, married three times, twice to actor José Ferrer with whom she had five children: actor Miguel Ferrer (1955-2017), Maria, Gabriel, Monsita, and Rafael. Today’s song is from Clooney’s 1996 Christmas album, named for her most famous & well known movie. But anything this woman sings is perfection, making her holiday music one of the best parts of this season.

Frosted window panes
Candles gleaming inside
Painted candy canes on the tree
Santa’s on his way
“. 

Rosemary Clooney circa 1954. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)


Rosemary Clooney: “Christmas Waltz” (1996, written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Songs at #5 (Yes, it’s another tie!!!)

What do you get when you combine a Gershwin tune with the First Lady of Song?  You get an event, a magnificent moment in music.  You get “Someone To Watch Over Me” by Ella Fitzgerald.

Her 1950 version of George & Ira Gershwin’s 1926 song is arguably the most famous version of the song despite having been covered by the likes Sinatra, Garland, Vaughn and Clooney.  Fitzgerald earned her accolades as the “Queen of Jazz” & “Lady Ella” for the beauty, sophistication and three octave range of her voice.

I love how cosmopolitan the lyrics are:

“…I like to add his initial to my monogram…I know I could be always be good
To one who’ll watch over me…

Won’t you tell him please to put on some speed,
follow my lead,
Oh, how I need
someone to watch over me.”

This is how Fitzgerald’s website describes her:  “Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra.”  She was also one of the greatest singers this world will ever see.

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When Something is Wrong With My Baby” by the duo of Sam (Moore) & Dave (Prater) is the other song we celebrate in the #5 spot.

Written by Isaac Hayes (“Shaft”) & David Porter, with music performed by Booker T & the MG’s and released by Stax Records (the label who amongst their many accomplishments, introduced the world to soul legend Otis Redding), this song had way too much going for it not to be a hit-#2 on the R&B chart in 1967.

It has the hallmarks of an unbelievably great song:  fantastic composition, sublime passionate vocal, incredible brass accompaniment, exquisite delivery (Dave Prater was a great singer, but on this song he was just phenomenal) and simply beautiful lyrics:

“When something is wrong with my baby
Something is wrong with me
And if I know she’s worried
Then I would feel that same misery

We’ve been through, so much together
We stand as one and that’s what makes it better
When something is wrong with my baby
Something is wrong with me, now listen

Just what she means to me now
Oh, you just wouldn’t, you just wouldn’t understand
People can say, she’s no good
But oh, she’s my woman and I know I’m her man

And if she’s got a problem, oh
I know, I know, I know, I gotta help her solve them
When something is wrong with my baby, 
Something is wrong with me”

Talk about being in it together…..or is it just another case of enabling behavior???  However you look at it, this song did not leave you wondering if this man loved his woman.  You knew it because his delivery made you feel it.  And that is what makes a song great.

Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville recorded a version of this song in 1990 that hit #5 on the Pop chart.

Enjoy!!!

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