Saturday, January 31, 2015

Lady Day – Billie Holiday

She came into this world as Eleanora Fagan. She became Billie Holiday when she started singing in various clubs in Harlem, New York City. She was nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and musical partner Lester Young. She was a popular American jazz singer, songwriter and actress. Tragically Holiday died at the young age of 44 due to liver and heart problems on July 17, 1959.

While she was singing for Count Basie and his big band she had a hit with “Summertime” in 1936.

Her biggest selling record became “Strange Fruit” in 1939

Other popular songs by Billie Holiday include
“Embraceable You”

“Crazy He Calls Me”

In 1956 Billie Holiday came out with one of her best albums Lady Sings the Blues. This album included songs like

“Lady Sings the Blues”
“Two Marvelous for Words”

“Willow Weep for Me”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Let’s Talk Jazz

I’ll begin with one of the greats Louis Armstrong.  He was nicknamed Satchmo or Pops and was an American jazz trumpeter, singer and great influential figure in jazz music.

In 1964 Armstrong recorded his biggest best-selling record “Hello Dolly”. He also played in the musical movie “Hello Dolly” singing his popular song to the starring actress Barbara Streisand.

Among his most popular songs are:

“When the Saints Go Marching In”
“Wonderful World”

“Stars Fell on Alabama”
 “La Vie en Rose”

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Farewell Demis

My heart is broken and I’m sad having just found out that Greek singer Demis Roussos joined the angle choirs on January 25th   at the age of 68. He had a wonderful voice and his songs could send you to the heavens and back. He began his singing career as part of a progressive rock group called Aphrodite’s Child. It was when he began his solo career in the 70s that he became internationally known. His first song was

“We Shall Dance”

Among this most popular and loved songs were

“Forever and Ever”
“My Friend the Wind”

“Lovely Lady of Arcadia”

His last album came out in May of 2009 and included this song

“Song Without End”
One of my most favorite songs I could now devote to his memory

“Goodbye My Love, Goodbye”

Demis Roussos I hope you have found peace in the heavens above.

“Una Paloma Blanca”

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Flower Power

The 60s came with hippies, peace symbols and flower power. Who wanted to fight the Vietnam War? Not long haired hippies and certainly not those who were known as flower children. However the war could not be denied and it could not be ignored. So everyone was doing their part to protest and of course the Woodstock music festival gave everyone a chance to have their say.

Country Joe McDonald sure knew how to tell it true at Woodstock

Bob Dylan “The Times They Are a Changing”
John Lennon “Give Peace a Chance”

Edwin Starr “War”
Meanwhile the songs of the 60s were gentle

“If You’re Going to San Franciso”

“Under the Boardwalk”

“Blowin’ in the Wind”
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

American Music During WW II

During WW II most households in the U.S. had a radio. This provided them with news about the war and with the popular music of that era. Among the popular singers were Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, the Andrew Sisters and Bing Crosby. Top wartime radio songs included;

“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” 

“I’ll Be Seeing You”

Swing music became popular. Lots of big bands became popular at this time and songs like

“My Blue Heaven”

“It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing”

Two songs which are favorites of mine from this time are:

“(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover”

“Deep in the Heart of Texas”

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Songs of WW I

When WW I rolled around and the U.S. got involved it changed the face of music. People where all doing their part for the war effort while soldiers were heading off to Europe. Music at this time was all about honor, glory and good-byes. Many songs had a patriotic theme to them mixed with an overseas flair. 

“Over There”
“Till We Meet Again”

“It’s a Long Way to Tipperary
Hit recordings on the home front in America

“I’m Always Chasing Rainbows”
“For Me and My Gal”

Monday, January 12, 2015

Songs of the American Civil War

Those far away days the instruments that were used mostly consisted of bugles, drums and fifes. Both sides the North – Union and the South – Confederates had their favorites. This music inspired popular artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and Elvis. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln enjoyed the unofficial anthem of the Confederacy “Dixie”

Another well liked song was “Home Sweet Home”

Both sides enjoyed


“When Johnny Comes Marching Home”

Since the U.S. didn’t have a national anthem yet there were songs such as

“The Bonnie Blue Flag”

The North’s most popular song was “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” I like Johnny Cash’s version.

The ballad “Aura Lee” became the basis of the song by Elvis “Love Me Tender”

In 2013 popular artists recorded a compilation album titled Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mr. Entertainment

I don’t think that there are many people who don’t know this singer. His name is well known all over the world. He was born on April 3, 1942 and named Carson Wayne Newton. To the world he is simply Wayne Newton and he is one dynamite singer with a great style all his own. Most everyone recognizes his signature song “Danke Schoen”.

In 1972 his big hit “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast” sold more than a million copies and went gold.

He has been recording for a very long time and has become a great Las Vegas showman. Some of his other popular songs include:

“Remember When (We Made These Memories)”

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Slim Whitman

There are those of you who might not recognize this singer. He was never one of the most popular ones you always read about but he had a fantastic voice and he sang the most wonderful country-style love songs. He came into this world as Ottis Dewey Whitman, Jr. but professionally became known as Slim Whitman. He was an American country music and western singer, songwriter and instrumentalist. His singing style was different because he could yodel and has a falsetto. Altogether he sold more than 120 million records and in the 50s he toured with Elvis. The reason there are people who might not have heard of him is because even though he was American he became more popular in Europe especially in the U.K. 

Whitman’s 1955 hit single “Rose Marie” held the Guinness World Record for the longest time at number one on the U.K Singles Chart for 36 years until the record was broken. 

Among his other popular songs are “I Remember You”

“Silver Threads Among the Gold”
“When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again” and 

"Down the River of Golden Dreams"

As you can see these songs have gold in common and they are really lovely. Finally I have to mention a country song made popular by country singer Gene Autry and recorded by Slim Whitman in 2010 at the age of 87

“Back in the Saddle Again”

Slim Whitman joined the angel choirs on June 19, 2013 at the age of 90.

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