Saturday, 28 June 2014

Series 2, Program 17


Intro: A Little White Ship - Todd Gordon: Love dot com (STEM)

Come Dance with Me - Shirley Horn: Shirley Horn with Horns
Cha Cha Cha d'Amor - Dean Martin: Cha Cha Cha d'Amor
Dream Dancing - Mel Tormé & George Shearing: An Evening at Charlie's
Just Another Rhumba - Ella Fitzgerald: The George & Ira Gershwin Songbook
Change Partners - Fred Astaire: Mr Top Hat
Dancing on the Ceiling - The Supremes: The Supremes Sing Rodgers & Hart
I Won't Dance - Blossom Dearie: Blossom Dearie
Something Makes Me Want to Dance with You - Nat King Cole: Let's Face the Music
I Could Have Danced All Night - Peggy Lee: Latin Ala Lee
Ten Cents a Dance - Anita O'Day: Anita O'Day & Billy May Swing Rodgers & Hart
Shall We Dance - Norma Winstone: Manhattan in the Rain
It's a Raggy Waltz (studio version) - Dave Brubeck & Carmen McRae: single
Ballin' the Jack - Sammy Davis Jr: Salutes the Stars of the London Palladium
The Continental - Rosemary Clooney: Dedicated to Nelson
Everybody's Twistin' - Frank Sinatra: single
Cheek to Cheek - Claire Martin: Secret Love
The Last Dance/Dancing in the Dark - Tierney Sutton: Dancing in the Dark

Outro: Holding On - Todd Gordon: Love dot com (STEM)

Thursday, 26 June 2014

LP Artwork: The Songs of Bessie Smith

Back in the late 1970s, I took a punt on this album. I had never heard of Teresa Brewer but I was, of course, a major league Count Basie fan. Basie and his pared-down band are in cracking form and, with Thad Jones taking up the mantle of arranger and conductor, this is one of Brewer's best releases.

The Flying Dutchman label was founded by Brewer's husband, the acclaimed producer, Bob Thiele, after his eight-year stint as head of Impulse Records.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Series 2, Program 16


Intro: A Little White Ship - Todd Gordon: Love dot com (STEM)

A Hundred Years from Today - Helen Humes: Sneakin' Around
Darktown Strutters Ball - Alberta Hunter: Amtrak Blues
Careless Love - Harry Connick Jr: Oh, My Nola
Indiana - Lee Wiley: Back Home Again
After You've Gone - Judy Garland: Judy at Carnegie Hall
Someday Sweetheart - Dinah Shore & Red Norvo: Dinah Sings Some Blues with Red
Some of These Days - Jimmy Rushing: The Jazz Odessy of James Rushing, Esq
I Ain't Got Nobody - Teresa Brewer & Count Basie: The Songs of Bessie Smith
Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home - Ella Fitzgerald: single
That's A-Plenty - Bing Crosby & Ella Fitzgerald: Swingin' with Bing/Lost Radio Performances
Chinatown, My Chinatown - The Hi-Lo's: Under Glass
Alexander's Ragtime Band - Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine: Sing the Best of Irving Berlin 
Baby, Won't You Please Come Home - Billie Holiday: The Complete Billie Holiday on Verve (Disc 10)
Poor Butterfly - Frank Sinatra & Duke Ellington: Francis A & Edward K
Frankie and Johnny - Anita O'Day: An Evening with Anita O'Day

Outro: Holding On - Todd Gordon: Love dot com (STEM)

Monday, 16 June 2014

LP Artwork: Ella Fitzgerald sings the George & Ira Gershwin Songbook

Sam and Delilah, one of this songs on this show's playlist, is the opening track of Ella Fitzgerald's impressive 5-LP boxed set, dating back to 1959. When I bought the recordings (in the mid-1970s) it was a re-issue with rather pedestrian artwork with the truncated title, Ella Sings Gershwin.

I therefore thought it would be interesting to feature the artwork from a variety of releases over the years, starting with the five original volumes with covers by French experimental artist, Bernard Buffet.

Less inspired are the HMV and MFP releases - one wonders how could such dull visuals be used to sell a quality product like this?

And here are some of the covers from ensuing re-issues...

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Series 2, Program 15


Intro: A Little White Ship - Todd Gordon: Love dot com (STEM)

Sweet Lorraine - Matt Monro: This Is the Life
Margie - Johnny Mercer: Sweet Georgia Brown
Emily - Tony Bennett: The Movie Song Album
I'll Take Talullah - Jo Stafford: Getting Sentimental Over Tommy Dorsey
Sam and Delilah - Ella Fitzgerald: The George & Ira Gershwin Songbook
Linda - Perry Como: Como Swings
Johnny (Linda) - Peggy Lee: Is That All There Is?
Julia - Todd Gordon: Love dot com
Frankie and Johnny - Mae West: The Fabulous Mae West
Laura - Frank Sinatra: Where Are You?
Peter Gunn - Sarah Vaughan: The Henry Mancini Songbook
Alfie - Carol Kidd: Tell Me Once Again
Liza - The Four Freshmen: Four Freshmen and Five Guitars
Lulu's Back In Town - Mel Tormé: Lulu's Back In Town
Bill - Helen Humes: 'Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness If I Do
Harry - Catherine Howe: Harry
Hello, Dolly! - Bobby Darin: Hello Dolly to Goodbye Charlie
Rosetta - Ray Charles: Dedicated to You

Outro: Holding On - Todd Gordon: Love dot com (STEM)

Saturday, 7 June 2014

LP Artwork: One from the Heart

One from the Heart is the Oscar-nominated soundtrack album of Tom Waits compositions for the big-budget, Francis Ford Coppola film of the same name. Recorded between 1980 and '81, it also featured several tracks with female singer Crystal Gayle.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Series 2, Program 14


Intro: A Little White Ship - Todd Gordon: Love dot com (STEM)

Heart - Peggy Lee: Latin Ala Lee
This One's from the Heart - Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle: One from the Heart
How Many Hearts Have You Broken? - Drank Rosolino: Turn Me Loose!
What Will I Tell My Heart? - Dinah Washington: In the Land of Hi-Fi
Take These Chains from My Heart - Madeleine Peyroux: The Blue Room
Cold, Cold Heart - Nat King Cole: The Billy May Sessions
Keep Your Hand On Your Heart - Joe Williams: Joe Williams & That Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra
With a Song In My Heart - Sammy Davis Jr: That's All
I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart - Irene Kral: The Band and I
(All of a Sudden) My Heart Sings - Nellie Lutcher: Our New Nellie
I Left My Heart In San Francisco - Tony Bennett: The Singles Collection
Raining In My Heart - Liane Carroll: Ballads
My Heart Belongs to Daddy - Ella Fitzgerald: Ella Loves Cole
My Heart Belongs to Only You - June Christy: This Is June Christy
Dear Hearts and Gentle People - Perry Como: Como Swings

Outro: Holding On - Todd Gordon: Love dot com (STEM)

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

This blog's background image: the Pye 1005 control panel

Stereophonic records made their first appearance in 1958. Using two separate channels, the effect was designed to give dimensionality to recordings. Initially, it was exploited as a gimmick, and early stereo records contained recordings of moving objects such as trains and racing cars, the sounds of which travelled dramatically from one speaker to another.

The 'Achoic Box' (pronounced 'ak-oy-ik'), sometimes called the 'Achiphon', was a compact stereo record player made by the British electronics company, Pye Ltd. It had six speakers facing sideways to give what the company claimed to be 'six feet of stereo separation' with the power to 'exploit a room's acoustic potentialities as they have never been exploited before'. It was advertised in conjunction with Pye's own record label as a machine through which their stereo releases could be most readily appreciated. Notable for its elegant design, the Achoic Box is emblematic of the 1960s.

On a more personal note, it almost caused my parents to have a major fall-out. My mother was frustrated that my father was not enthusiastic about getting to grips with decorating or any other around-the-house jobs that needed attention. I vividly recall his coming home from the local "Craigleith Radio" store with this state-of-the-art machine. Cost in 1965: 69 guineas (£72.45 in today's currency and approx US$125) - a sum which could easily have paid a joiner, plumber and decorator to achieve quite a lot in those days!

I also remember the first single that graced our model: Herb Alpert's Spanish Flea (released on Pye Records and came free with the player). 

Even 50 years later, the design remains iconic. And it turned out to be a great investment for me and my early collection of LP records by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and other greats.

Monday, 2 June 2014

LP Artwork: Latin Ala Lee

One of two Latin-themed albums Peggy Lee recorded for Capitol Records; the theme being Broadway hits styled with an Afro-Cuban beat. Latin Ala Lee was released in 1960 and won a Grammy for best artwork. The follow-up album, Ole Ala Lee, came a year later.

I've also added an example of one of the album's three EPs. Albums were expensive purchases in their early days and it was common practise the issue four of the (usually 12) LP tracks in this format.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Series 2, Program 13


Intro: A Little White Ship - Todd Gordon: Love dot com (STEM)

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning - Ray Charles & Count Basie Orchestra: Ray Sings, Basie Swings
Bali Ha'i - Rosemary Clooney & Pérez Prado Orchestra: A Touch of Tobasco
If I Loved You - Barbra Streisand: The Broadway Album
You'll Never Walk Alone - Frank Sinatra: The Concert Sinatra
The Surrey with the Fringe on Top - Nat King Cole: At The Sands
Something Wonderful - Carmen McRae: Something Wonderful
Getting to Know You - Nancy Wilson: Broadway My Way
We Kiss In a Shadow - June Christy/Stan Kenton: Duet
People Will Say We're In Love - Norma Winstone: Manhattan In the Rain
Some Enchanted Evening - Perry Como: Single
I Enjoy Being a Girl - Peggy Lee: Latin Ala Lee
My Favorite Things - Mark Murphy: Rah!
It Might As Well Be Spring - Mel Tormé & George Shearing: An Evening with George Shearing & Mel Tormé 
I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair - The Weather Girls: Success
I Have Dreamed - Bobby Darin: Darin At The Copa
No Other Love - Ella Fitzgerald: Ella Sings Broadway
Happy Talk - The Four Freshmen: Voices In Fun

Outro: Holding On - Todd Gordon: Love dot com (STEM)