Let’s Take A Moment Day 505

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.

Today the man born Anthony Dominick Benedetto turns 95 years young. The legendary performer better known by his stage name, Tony Bennett, was born on August 3, 1926 in Queens, NY. Frank Sinatra called him “the best singer in the business”. Pretty hard to argue with the Chairman Of The Board. Bennett released today’s song, his signature tune, in February of 1962. Nearly 60 years later, it remains as timeless as the singer himself. Here’s to 100 more birthdays for the great Tony Bennett.

The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly grey
The glory that was Rome is of another day
I’ve been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan
I’m going home to my city by the Bay
“.

Tony 1

Tony 2

Top: Tony Bennett circa 1964. Bottom: Bennett circa 2004. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tony Bennett: “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” (1962, written by George C. Cory Jr. and Douglass Cross).

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 451

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?

June 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.

Tony Bennett has often said today’s singer was the best he ever heard. And in many ways she was. Judy Garland, born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922 in Minnesota, started singing with her sisters when she was a child. By age 13 she was signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer by studio president Louis B. Mayer.

She started in radio & eventually moved on to movies. Her career-making performance as Dorothy Gale in 1939’s “The Wizard Of Oz” when she was 16 turned her into a legend, a role every generation since has discovered her in. It was truly an iconic part and she was absolutely beautiful in it.

It may be hard to forget how young she was when she died (aged 47 in 1969) all her marriages, her battles with substance abuse and the fact that she was one of Hollywood’s first casualties. But her incomparable voice, her acting, her live performances & her incredible heart are what she gave us all. Nearly 100 years after her birth & more than 50 years after her death, Judy Garland is still one of the most beloved stars the world ever saw.

If happy little blue birds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why oh why can’t I
“.

Judy

Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in 1939’s classic, “The Wizard Of Oz“. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Judy Garland: “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (1939, written by Harold Arlen and Edgar Yipsel “Yip” Harburg).

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 140

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?

Charlie Brown No Music No Life

(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.

Our first birthday of the new month belongs to the one and only Tony Bennett who turns 94 today.  Born and raised in Astoria, New York he started singing early in life but did not start his professional career until he served in the army for two years at the end of WWII.  According to his website the first time he sang in a nightclub was in 1946.  In 1949 Bob Hope saw Bennett perform and invited him to Paramount Studios.  The website also states it was Hope who came up with Bennett’s stage name because Hope did not like the one Bennett used at that time, which was Joe Bari.  Bennett’s first hit came in 1951 with “Because Of You” which means he has been recording songs for 69 years in seven different decades.  That is astonishing.

With that many years of music to choose from, you might think it was a daunting task for me to pick only one to share.  But it really wasn’t as today’s song is timeless like Bennett himself.  This tune began as an instrumental in 1936 but by 1954 lyrics were added to the beautiful music.  That same year Nat King Cole did an absolutely stunning version of his own with Bennett recording his in 1959.  That is a great rendition as well, but I really love the updated one he did in 1965 which was included on his record, “The Movie Song Album”, released the following year.  The production is prettier and includes a truly gorgeous string arrangement.  Add to that Bennett’s nearly perfect voice and it is just my absolute favorite performance of this song ever.

Continued health, love, happiness and success to you, Anthony Dominick Benedetto.  You are an absolute gift to anyone who has ever heard you sing and to music & life itself.

Tony

 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tony Bennett:  “Smile” (1965, written by Charlie Chaplin (music, 1936) and Geoffrey Parsons and John Turner (lyrics, 1954).

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 118

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?

Thoreau 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.

My obsession with music is rivaled only by another vice:  my TV addiction.  It has entertained me, fed my dreams and kept me company nearly every day of my life.  It has also made me a pop culture queen which sometimes mystifies the people around me.

Case in point:  Many years ago I dated a guy from England.  He was adorable and the accent reminded me of Eric Clapton.  On our first date, he asked me who my first crush was.

“That’s easy”, I said.  “David Starsky.”

My date’s response:  “Was he a kid from your neighborhood or someone you went to school with?”

I found it both endearing and terrifying that he did not know who David Starsky was.  He and his partner, Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson, were my favorite cops until Idris Elba’s John Luther showed up (as that is a BBC show, S&H remain my favorite cops from the US).  It was 1970’s TV at its best:  cool cops with street smarts and hearts of gold, the coolest sidekick (Huggy Bear) & car that, despite how flashy it was, never hurt their various undercover personas, plus it was backed by the winning production team of Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg.  For four seasons I swooned and swooned over the two of them, with Starsky having a slight advantage thanks to his curly dark hair.  Until today’s song came out.  Checkmate, Hutch.

Thanks to all the S&H fans around the globe, this song went to number one for four weeks in the U.K. and for one week here in the US in 1977.  Does it have lyrics like the poetry found in every Springsteen song?  No.  Does it have any fierce guitar riffs by Clapton?  No.  Moreover, Soul’s voice cannot rival the passion of Otis Redding’s or the polish of Tony Bennett’s.  And the song never won any awards.  But you know what?  I ADORE it.  And I make no apologies for that by me now or for my younger self who fell in love with the two coolest cops to ever wear Nike sneakers.

Starsky and Hutch forever!!!

The future isn’t just one night
It’s written in the moonlight
Painted on the stars
We can’t change ours.”

S and H

zebra 3

David Soul (Hutch) & Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky, top) and the coolest cop car ever.  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

David Soul:  “Don’t Give Up On Us” (1977, written by Tony Macaulay).

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 34

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.

When 1990 began, it was not just a new decade for the world, but a new chance for a legendary singer from another era to reintroduce himself to the music industry.  First, he reunited with his former pianist.  Then the singer hired his son as his manager and he landed his father appearances on the late night shows, music television stations and concerts around the country sponsored by alternative radio stations to help introduce his father’s music to a whole new audience.  The plan worked.  By the time the singer’s new record, “Astoria: Portrait of the Artist” was released in February 1990, it was embraced by everyone who loved his music, including old fans like me.  This is my favorite song from that album.

tony bennett

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tony Bennett:  “When Do The Bells Ring For Me” (1990, written by Charles DeForest).

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 Music 2019: Day 9

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Here’s another gorgeous vintage Christmas image from Pinterest.  What was life before Pinterest?!?!   🙂

day 9

Original source unknown.  

Irving Berlin could not have possibly known how many people would go on to record one of his most famous songs.  He wrote several and lived to be 101 years old, but I still think he could not even imagine how many versions of this Christmas classic would be out there one day.  And there are new ones being recorded each year.  Berlin wrote it imagining Christmas in his home state & city of New York as opposed to the west coast state of California he was working in.

When it was first released in 1942, service men & women facing their first Christmas away due to their tours in World War II saw it as a dream of home.  For the rest of us, it invokes cherished memories of the Christmases we knew as children or before life happened to us.  The version of this song I like best is by a fellow Italian, a fellow native New Yorker and painter who has been singing for 70 years.  Not a bad gig.

Tony Bennett

Anthony Dominick Benedetto a/k/a Tony Bennett:  “White Christmas” (1968, written by Irving Berlin in 1942).

And for a great female take on this classic, here is one of my favorites:

Martina White Christmas.jpg

Martina McBride:  “White Christmas” (1998, written by Irving Berlin in 1942).

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 Music 2018: Day 19

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

I follow a lot of unbelievably talented & creative women on Instagram, and since their pictures are so beautiful, I wanted to share a few with you.

Little Brags

Courtesy of Christine @ Little Brags

Today’s picture is from Christine Vandormolen @littlebrags.  She calls her style “boho” but I just call it pretty.  I love how she uses natural elements to create her designs, and her simple. easy approach to decorating combined with her impeccable eye for detail makes for a great room, or porch, as is the case with the picture above.  Her IG page is filled with other pictures like this, and some of her cuddly little rabbit, too.  Thank you for letting me use your picture, Christine!!!

Now to today’s song.

If “White Christmas” is the premiere holiday song, the today’s pick has to be a solid second.  Written in 1945 by Mel Torme (lyrics & music) & Bob Wells (music) and recorded by a slew of performers over the last 60 years, but my favorite is by the man Frank Sinatra called “the best in the business” followed very closely by the most popular version of the song and the one by the songwriter himself.

Tony.jpg

Anthony Dominick Benedetto a/k/a Tony Bennett:  “The Christmas Song” (1968).

Nat King Cole:  “The Christmas Song” (1961)

Mel Torme:  “The Christmas Song” (1954, 1961).

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!!!

Christmas Song Countdown Day 7

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the Christmas Song Countdown!!!

Look at this darling tree!!!  Those are berry baskets holding ornaments on the branches.  How creative & adorable!!!  (And those baskets are in the Target Dollar Spot, if you are wondering).

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The old adage is the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Music is a perfect example.  While popular music today seems to revolve around urban, pop and rap, there are still people who take ballroom dancing lessons.  For all the people buying tickets to concerts to see rock heroes like Bruce Springsteen (read:  me & the gazillion other people who saw him on tour this year)  or Neil Young, a singer/songwriter like Ed Sheeran is winning Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards.  And for those country fans who are thrilled that Garth Brooks finally made his comeback record, there are just as many fans of swing, jazz and big band music (hence the popularity of Michael Buble, for example).

My point is there is room for everyone, and as soon as you think you have seen the last of a certain style of music or singing, up pops someone to take us back to that sound.  Of course, there are those singers who transcend the ages with the timelessness of their voices.  Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Tony Bennett and Billie Holiday, just to name a few. The singer with the #7 song is, without a doubt, a part of that group.

sarah-catherine-design

Courtesy of Sarah Catherine Design

Known as “The First Lady of Song” because she could sing them all-ballads, upbeats, blues, jazz, swing and sentimental.  She had a pitch perfect sound and a powerful range and delivery.  And she could scat.

Starting next April,  which would have marked her 100th birthday, venues around the world will celebrate her music with “Ella at 100:  A Centennial Celebration“.  Her physical presence was lost 20 years ago, but her voice is eternal.    And her take on Christmas music is just one example of that.

Ella Fitzgerald:  Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

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!!!

christmas-2

Courtesy of Architecture Art Designs 

 

Christmas Song Of The Day #10

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you lovelies doing today?  How can it be that we have arrived at the final weekend before Christmas???  A week from today, it will be behind us and we will be at those fabulous after Christmas clearance sales!!!  But before I get too ahead of myself, let me share another fantastic holiday tune with all of you.

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Source:  noelladesigns.com

I told you in yesterday’s post how much I enjoy the big band sounds from the 1950’s.  Well I should have been clear:  I like big band music period.  The booming percussion, exploding brass sounds and piano combine with the rest of the instruments to make magic with every note.  And a fabulous singer only adds to the perfection.

Anthony Dominick Benedetto, better known as Tony Bennett, has sung with big bands since before he became a household name.  One of the bands he worked with on several occasions was Count Basie’s.  Even after Basie passed away in 1984, his band played on and collaborated with Bennett for the 2008 album, “A Swingin’ Christmas”.  Eleven Christmas classics are covered on this fantastic recording including my personal favorite, “Silver Bells“.  Coming in a very close second is “Christmas Time Is Here“, which just might be my favorite recording of this song, second only to the Peanuts version (read about that here).  Bennett recorded a few holiday albums, but “A Swingin’ Christmas” is definitely my favorite.

Please remember I do not own the rights to anything, I am just sharing my favorite music with you.

Enjoy!!!

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Source:  showbiz411.com

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #1

The #1 song on the countdown was called “the greatest love song of the past 50 years” when it was released in 1969 by none other than Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.  It also has the distinct honor of being the most covered Beatles song second only to “Yesterday”.  The top song on my list is…drum roll please…”Something” by the Beatles.

Inspired by James Taylor’s 1968 song “Something In The Way She Moves” and written by George Harrison for his first wife, Pattie Boyd, the song was the masterpiece of his career as a Beatle.  It was released on the album “Abbey Road” and issued with “Come Together” as a double single which hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1969.

That was the Beatles 18th chart topper, putting them one song ahead of Elvis Presley’s previous record of 17.  A video of the Beatles and their wives set to the song was also released that year to promote it and the album amid rumors that a break up of the Fab Four was imminent.

Harrison’s lyrics expressed  both his love for his wife while acknowledging the uncertainty that is the future:

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me

You’re asking me will my love grow
I don’t know, I don’t know
You stick around now it may show
I don’t know, I don’t know

Legends including Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Elton John & Willie Nelson have covered “Something” either on record or live in concert.  Sadly Harrison’s marriage to Boyd did not grow, as she eventually left him for his best friend, Eric Clapton.  But that’s another song (“Layla” to be exact).

After the Beatles broke up, Harrison went on to have a successful solo career and hosted one of the first benefit concerts ever-1971’s Concert for Bangladesh.

The Beatles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988 by Mick Jagger and Harrison was inducted as a solo artist in 2004 by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, who were members of Harrison’s other band-the Traveling Wilburys .

As if the attacks of 9/11/01 were not devastating enough to the world that year, two months after those tragedies we lost George Harrison to cancer, which left only two of the four Beatles around to carry on the legacy of one of the greatest bands of all time.  Sigh 😦

There you have it, Vixens-my picks for the top 14 love songs.  Hope I included some of your favorites or helped you discover some new ones.

***BONUS:  One of my favorite songs is named “Valentine” and it is by E Street guitarist Nils Lofgren, with a little help from the Boss himself.

***BONUS TWO:  If you have never seen the Golden Girls episode entitled “Valentine’s Day“, take about 20 minutes out now to watch it.  I love all their episodes, but this one is in their top 10.

Enjoy!!!