Category: Vocal

Diana Krall ‘Live in Paris’

Posted 16 Nov 2013 in 00s, Albums of 2002, Albums of the 00s, Live, Pop, Vocal

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#889 in the Series) is Diana Krall, Live in Paris Diana Krall was another one of those artists that I knew more ‘of’ than actually knew.  I couldn’t tell you anything that she had done.  I’d see her listed as being on different shows etc.  I had a little interest. Some of it also generated from being familiar with her superstar husband, Elvis Costello.  I wonder if she’s ever worn his red shoes? So one day I’m surfing thru the television channels when I see her sitting at her piano singing this marvelous song. “OK’ I said, this sounds pretty good’ Maybe I’ll watch a song or two.” Well, about 80 minutes...

Billie Holiday ‘Body and Soul’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” by Billie Holiday You can tell a lot about people by the records they own. A relative of a friend dropped some records off at my house this weekend for me to look at. While most had condition issues and were hardly worth selling on eBay, the guy did have some interesting and really good records which he graciously told me to keep anyway. There were jazz records from the 1950s, at least a dozen Sinatra albums, a fair share of classical recordings including several by Russian composer Shostakovich, some requisite Broadway cast albums, and, of course, a copy of Herb Alpert’s Whipped...

Sammy Davis, Jr. ‘What Kind of Fool Am I and Other Show Stoppers’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “A Lot Of Livin’ To Do” by Sammy Davis, Jr. It’s the wham of Sam, from the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Without Sammy Davis Jr., there wouldn’t have been a James Brown or Prince. He was clearly the most talented of the Rat Pack by a mile…could sing circles around Frank and Dino…and had the moves and comedic talents to make him the total entertainment package. He was in a word, a dynamo! Davis was born into a family of vaudevillians, and he began his career dancing as part of the family act at the age of three. Over the years, he gained popularity as a standout in the act...

Bing Crosby (w/ Les Paul Trio) ‘It’s Been a Long Long Time’

Posted 26 Feb 2013 in Eric Berman's "Song Of The Day", Vocal

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “It’s Been A Long Long Time” by Bing Crosby As our boys came home from World War II, they were welcomed back with this number one hit from 1945 that perfectly captured the sentiments of those who remained home while their loved ones were away. It’s a perfect record in every way. You’d be hard pressed to find a better vocalist than Crosby to deliver these hopeful, romantic lyrics in a croon that is both smooth and warm. Meanwhile, the lilting melody expertly supplied by Jule Styne effortlessly supports the lyrics written by Sammy Cahn that spoke to millions of couples who had been separated by the war. However, it’s...

Patti Page ‘So Is Love’

Posted 04 Jan 2013 in Eric Berman's "Song Of The Day", Vocal

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “So In Love” by Patti Page – Patti Page was different things to different people. To some, she was the first cross-over country star whose plaintive country hits reached an even wider audience by crossing over into the pop charts (“The Tennessee Waltz”), to others she was a sugary-sweet singer who recorded a lot of dross (“(How Much Is That) Doggie In The Window”), and yet, to others she was a pioneer of multi-track recording, painstakingly recording her voice numerous times over existing recordings of her voice to create layered symphonies of sound with breathtakingly perfect harmonies (“Old Cape Cod”). She was also an adept vocalist comfortable with big band...

Andy Williams ‘Merry Christmas’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#821 in the Series) is Andy Williams, Merry Christmas In 1963, smooth jazz crooner, Andy Williams, released his first Christmas album, The Andy Williams Christmas Album too much acclaim and his name has been synonymous with the holiday season ever since. As good as it was it can’t compare with what he followed up with in 1965. Andy’s Merry Christmas album focused exclusively on 20th century compositions, unlike its predecessor, with one side focusing on more traditional pop and secular holiday fare. For a generation of baby boomers and even early generation X-ers, this is the quintessential holiday album because of its mainstream production, in addition to years of Christmas specials on...

Lou Rawls and the Les McCann Trio ‘Blues is a Woman’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Blues Is A Woman” by Lou Rawls with The Les McCann Trio Most people remember Lou Rawls for his silky-smooth vocal delivery and his disco era hit “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine,” but by the time he had that hit in 1976, Rawls had already been recording albums, and yes many hits, for 14 years. Chicagoborn Rawls got his start by replacing Sam Cooke in the Gospel group (and Vee-Jay recording artists), The Highway QC’s. After a stint in the Army, Rawls joined the Gospel group, Pilgrim Travelers. While on the road with Sam Cooke and The Travelers, Rawls was in a serious car accident that left him...

Frank Sinatra “In The Wee Small Hours”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#685 in the Series) is Frank Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours Recorded in 1955 In the Wee Small Hours is the ninth studio album and widely considered to be the first set of songs that Frank Sinatra recorded specifically for an L.P.  With songs arranged by the incomparable Nelson Riddle, the album could almost be considered a heart broken follow-up to his more romantically wide-eyed prior release Songs For Young Lovers, and is considered by many to be the first concept album. This time around neither hope nor love springs eternal, and if the song selections on this album are any indication The Chairman of the Board was taking the end...

Linda Ronstadt with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra “What’s New”

Posted 07 Mar 2012 in Albums of 1983, Albums of the 80s, Vocal

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#647 in the Series) is Linda Ronstadt with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, What’s New Linda Ronstadt with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra’s What’s New was a very big deal when it was released in 1983.  My guess here is that it was much bigger of a deal than you may remember. Why so you ask?  It wasn’t a big deal so much that it was a Linda Ronstadt album, nor was it a big deal because it included the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. What made it a big deal was that it was one of the first times that a genuine rock and roll star tackled the “Great American Songbook.” I’m sure there are...

Loey Nelson “Venus Kissed the Moon”

Posted 06 Feb 2012 in Albums of 1990, Albums of the 90s, Pop, Vocal

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#624 in the Series) is Loey Nelson, Venus Kissed the Moon I’ve wanted to do a piece on this Loey Nelson album almost since I started the website.  What’s always stopped me has been the fact that it’s long been out of print, and it wasn’t available on any of the download nor streaming services. Also, nothing from it was on YouTube. So I could yap until I was New York Giant blue in the face and most likely, no one would have a clue what I was talking about. So I couldn’t really share this absolutely marvelous album without being able to hand out any samples to the class. But alas!...

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