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Thread: My Favorite Version (yours too?)

  1. #201

    "Where you can get your steak rare and your entertainment well done"

    Start spreadin' the news . . .

    I tell you, the things I've learned about L.A and New York City over the years from Sinatra Family members who live in those places! Tonight, thanks to Stanley (previous page) it's THE CATTLEMAN.

    Just as an aside: I've been to NYC half a dozen times but visited Los Angeles only once – in the 80s, on a TV station film junket. I stayed in the same out-of-the-way little hotel where my Dad once spent a few days (the storied “Beverly Wilshire”) where our interviews with the film's stars were taped. I reviewed an Australian horse flick called PHAR LAP – starring the guy married to the 'Play Misty For Me' villainess. He told me when our interview ended, he'd never seen the Clint Eastwood movie with his knife-wielding wife until “years after” they were married; "It terrified me!" Oh what's his name! He starred in “The Hot Rock” and she's . . . 'Jessica' something. (It's no fun getting old and losing your memory!)

    As for NYC – because of Stanley's note: I just looked up that restaurant he and Gene Lees (another friend I never met in person) so loved visiting for steak and cheesecake. (Nobody makes better cheesecake than my Irene who just came in and said, “When are you coming to bed?' “In a minute,” I lied. It's Wiki entry names it one of the most popular restaurants in the world. (Who was it that said, “If you can make it there you can make it anywhere?”)

    The Cattleman[1] was a steakhouse in New York City founded in 1959 by restaurateurLarry Ellman . . .

    The Cattleman opened at Lexington Avenue and East 47th Street[4] in Manhattan, New York City, in 1959, with sales reaching $450,000 that year. By 1967, The Cattleman had relocated to 5 East 45th Street[5] (also known as 551 Fifth Avenue,[6] the Fred F. French Building), with sales of over $4,000,000 a year at the 400-seat restaurant.

    A history of New York dining, On the Town in New York (1998), called the restaurant a "riotously successful steakhouse".[10] In 1961, The Theatre magazine said it was "one of the best dining emporiums in New York."

    The restaurant was known for the radio slogan "Where you can get your steak rare and entertainment well done."

    Thanks for the diversion Stanley. “Now, back to our regularly-scheduled programming . . . ”

    Google “New York, New York” this night and this is the very first offering.

  2. #202

    Doris Day – I've Grown Accustomed to His Face

    While the whole darn world was fast asleep, Sirius played Doris Day – maybe the best female take on a guy song (for 'enry 'iggins at the end of My Fair Lady). The first offering at YouTube features still photos of Doris with all her leading men. At around the :48 mark it's Doris with Bonnie Raitt's Daddy – from “The Pajama Game” days -- my favorite of their film musicals -- in their early 30's; a photo bracketed by Doris with Rock Hudson, and David Niven. They all loved her. Don't we all!

    The first comment below the video speaks for millions of us!

    corinthian (2 years ago)

    "Wonderful Lerner and Loewe song and this, in my opinion, is the best version ; no one could sing it as well as Doris !"

    Below the video, this comment from the piano player:

    Ray Sherman (7 years ago)
    "I'm the pianist on this track. I never owned this album, and I had forgotten what tunes we did. I enjoy listening to it, and you did a great job with the visuals."
    Last edited by Mark Blackburn; 03-16-2019 at 04:13 AM. Reason: note from the accompanist

  3. #203

    “Don't rush, rush, rush -- it would be a crime!”

    To-and-from church each morning I listen to . . . what else? On the way there today, after an unidentified woman's voice praises Trisha Yearwood for her new Frank Sinatra tribute album, on came my “new favorite” version of NICE 'N' EASY.

    Within 20 seconds I'm thinking, “Is that Trisha?” No – It's Nancy! Until now, I'd never associated this song (the first hit written for her Dad by 'The Bergmans' – before they were married) I'd never thought of this as a 'Girl Song.' But it's even more effective! especially the way Nancy sings it: More like a woman giving 'on-the-spot' advice to a boy she really likes, but . . . "If you really want it . . . slow down! be GENTLE."

    Is it at Youtube? Yes! Love this simple jazz arrangement -- featuring an electric 12-string lead guitar, plus another guitarist playing perfect, 'Freddy Green' (Count Basie style) rhythm on a jazz archtop (a Gibson, I'm guessing).

  4. #204

    One life for yourself and one for your dreams . . .

    The very next song offered this day on the YouTube shuffle is Nancy's YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE – with five-and-three-quarter million “views” – the largest view total for any James Bond movie theme song. It's also the Bond film with by far the biggest Wikipedia entry – including this:

    The soundtrack was the fourth of the series to be composed by John Barry. He tried to incorporate the "elegance of the Oriental sound" with Japanese music-inspired tracks.[29] The theme song, "You Only Live Twice", was composed by Barry and lyricist Leslie Bricusse and sung by Nancy Sinatra after her father Frank Sinatra passed on the opportunity.

    Still my favorite Bond movie theme!

    (First comments below video with “5,736,832 views”

    EmpressOfWyoming58 (4 years ago)
    This is best James Bond theme in my opinion . . . 

    JetMechMA (3 years ago), not riding daddy's coat tails. She is an exquisite talent all on her own.

  5. #205

    1954 – 78 rpm – meet Siriusly Satellite radio, circa 2019

    As I type this, Siriusly Sinatra is having fun with us -- playing two very different 'coffee songs' back-to-back – the frenetic and funny COFFEE SONG by our favorite singer (really, did anyone else dare record it after Frank? I mean what would be the point?) followed immediately by the slow and poignant BLACK COFFEE, again the only version we can ever hear in our mind's ear -- Peggy as only she could sing it.

    And in-between, it's nicotine and . . . black coffee
    Waitin' for my baby, to maybe . . . come around

    Two adorable little girl voices (they must be at least 14) [We are] “'Nancy & Beth' -- Megan Mellalley and Stephanie Hunt.”

    “Patti Page, anyone? She was pretty uh . . . great. Patty Page. Sexy . . . I actually woke up singing this song today – 'Cross Over the Bridge' – [which says] “Guys, step up, get it together. Take heed of these lyrics. Cross over the bridge to us'.”

    [Patty Page from 1954 when records looked like this]

    If you're a guy that's had a girl in each and every port . . .
    and if you broke as many hearts as ripples in a stream
    Well brother, here's the only way that you can be redeemed!
    Last edited by Mark Blackburn; 03-16-2019 at 04:48 PM.

  6. #206

    Comin' home to an old favorite / new favorite version

    One of my three sons, Ben is a guitarist. Happiness is playing something from my youth on one of my guitars -- and having Ben say, “What's that song.” Most recently it happened as I played my arrangement (from age 18) of COMIN' HOME. Ben liked my arrangement – a lead line on the treble strings and a descending counterpoint bass lines. Plus my youngest son liked the catchy tune itself -- written I told him by “another Ben.”

    A moment ago Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio played my all-time favorite version by Canada's Michael Buble. The song's full title is “Comin' Home, Baby” -- it originated in 1961 as an instrumental -- beloved immediately by jazz players. The next year, with a newly written lyric, a producer talked jazz singer Mel Torme into recording it. According to Wiki, the composer . . .

    “Ben Tucker then persuaded his friend, lyricist Bob Dorough (later of Schoolhouse Rock! fame), to write a lyric for the tune, and producer Nesuhi Ertegun persuaded singer Tormé, who had recently joined the Atlantic label, to record it. Tormé was initially reluctant to record the song, and later wrote that: "It was a minor-key blues tune with trite repetitious lyrics and an 'answer' pattern to be sung by the Cookies, a girl trio that had once worked for Ray Charles".[3] The recording took place in New York City on 13 September 1962.[4]

    Despite Tormé's reservations, his version of the song, with an arrangement by Claus Ogerman [!] rose to no.36 on the Billboard pop chart in November 1962, becoming his biggest hit since the early 1950s;[5] it reached no.13 on the UK singles chart.[6] It was also the title track of his album Comin' Home Baby! (with added exclamation mark).[7] Tormé's recording was nominated as Best Male Solo Vocal Performance and Best Rhythm and Blues Performance at the 1963 Grammy Awards.[8]

    [Just as an aside: Mel Torme's 'conversion' of heart to what would become his only Top 40 hit reminds me of Tony Bennett being offered Hank Williams' COLD COLD HEART and not wanting anything to do with it! In Tony's case it resulted in a million selling No. 1 record. He never met Hank Williams face-to-face (before Hank died age 29 of alcohol poisoning) but Country music's greatest-ever composer telephoned Mr. Bennett to deadpan: “Hey Tony – why you go and ruin my song?”]

    Today's updated Wiki entry now includes a large section devoted to Mr. Buble's version (my favorite recorded with the a capella group BOYZ II MEN) The tight jazz band arrangement pays respects to Mel's original recording. Mr. Torme would have loved this!

    "Comin' Home Baby" was recorded by Canadian crooner Michael Bublé, and released as the fifth and final single from his third studio album, Call Me Irresponsible. The single was released on April 25, 2008, exclusively in Germany. It features vocals from the Grammy Award-winning vocal harmony group Boyz II Men. No video was filmed for the song, and there was little to no promotion, causing the release to not appear in any major charts worldwide, with the exception of Germany, where the song peaked at #17. The digital download package, which was first made available for download on, features a new remix of the track from Frank Popp. A physical version of the single was also made available in Germany.[11]

  7. Quote Originally Posted by Mark Blackburn View Post
    One of my three sons, Ben is a guitarist. Happiness is playing something from my youth on one of my guitars -- and having Ben say, “What's that song.” Most recently it happened as I played my arrangement (from age 18) of COMIN' HOME. Ben liked my arrangement – a lead line on the treble strings and a descending counterpoint bass lines. Plus my youngest son liked the catchy tune itself -- written I told him by “another Ben.”

    A moment ago Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio played my all-time favorite version by Canada's Michael Buble. The song's full title is “Comin' Home, Baby” -- it originated in 1961 as an instrumental -- beloved immediately by jazz players. The next year, with a newly written lyric, a producer talked jazz singer Mel Torme into recording it.
    Nancy and Billy Strange's unreleased demo duet of "Comin' Home Baby" can be heard here.

  8. #208
    Fantastic! Who knew? Well . . . you, Andrew. To coin a song title, Have I told you lately that I love you?

    "Nancy and Billy Strange's unreleased demo duet of "Comin' Home Baby" can be heard here."

    Absolutely fantastic. Nancy's voice, the call and response vocalizing by Billy and the arrangement. If only Nancy's was the first version to hit the charts (if only the lyric had been penned years later) I would have gone out immediately and purchased that single! And tonight I'd be saying of Michael's version: "The second greatest recording, since the 'original' by Nancy." Listening to it for the third time. "Come to bed," says Irene. Night, night. Sleep warm.
    Last edited by Mark Blackburn; 03-16-2019 at 07:14 PM.

  9. #209

    As if to say "I hear you!" . . .

    When I was waking up a few minutes ago Sirius played COMIN' HOME, BABY -- the original by Mel Torme. Thanks for listening to us too, Jersey Lou. First up at YouTube this version with 1.6 million views:

    First "comment" below video from someone who watched that George Clooney coffee commercial

    Rickardo Ramchand
    1 year ago
    I got here cause the cool commercial with Nespresso��

    294 yes votes

  10. #210

    ALL OF YOU (the Cole Porter song)

    "The eyes! The arms! The MOUTH of you -- the east, west, north and the SOUTH of you . . .

    Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio just played my new favorite version by Bobby Darin of a favorite (of mine) Cole Porter song -- the very obscure ALL OF YOU. A lyric worth celebrating: every single line (except the second-last) ends with the words "of you." All of the rhymes are internal. I'd never heard Bobby Darin's version before right this minute. His phrasing and syncopation make it the sexy song it really is. Is Bobby's recording at YouTube? Nope. A pity. When will I hear it again? Only Siriusly Sinatra knows. Let's settle for this amazing 'live' version by a singer named Tony -- and his then piano player accompanist, "Mr. Ralph Sharon!"

  11. #211

    CALABRIA FOTI -- I Concentrate On You

    Nancy for Frank just ended and -- just for me -- they're playing my favorite living singer with my favorite version of Cole Porter's I CONCENTRATE ON YOU. Her trombone virtuoso husband, Bob McChesney is playing the most wonderful solo musical bridge. I despair of ever finding this at YouTube (none of her songs are there). But I singled another one out in my Amazon review for her recent all-Cole-Porter album, IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT.

    "On a personal note I spotted a unique musical allusion (to a song Cole Porter didn't write). It's heard twice – on the opening and the bridge of Calabria's EV'RY TIME WE SAY GOODBYE. One of NYC's “most sought-after cellists” Richard Locker alludes to a song Keely Smith introduced in 1957 – “I Wish You Love.” In the first 30 seconds, we hear the distinguished cellist playing verbatim the notes of that song's seldom-heard opening verse (Natalie Cole was the first important artist since Sinatra to include that minor-key, opening verse). From memory imperfect, that song's opening words (from a forgotten American lyricist set to a melody by an even more obscure French composer):

    "Goodbye . . . no use leading with our chins. This is where our story ends: Never lovers, ever friends

    Again, as he solos on the musical bridge to Porter's “Ev'ry Time” cellist Locker repeats, verbatim those same notes from the opening verse of “I Wish You Love.” (Wonder if the musicians present spotted that? Perhaps the accomplished composer/arranger behind this album, Michael Patterson even suggested it?)

    There's a snippet of it in this promo/video:
    Last edited by Mark Blackburn; Yesterday at 05:20 PM.

  12. ELLA -- The Setting Sun

    Pardon my stream of consciousness . . . I was pulling up in my driveway a moment ago, as Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio played a very late-in-life recording by Ella. Wonder if it is at YouTube? It's a September-of-my-years type song. As if to underline the point, the previous song was Frank singing his best-ever version of SEPTEMBER OF MY YEARS.

    The song Ella was singing was THE SETTING SUN – a song I never heard before. Her voice is more frail yet . . . I can't imagine a deeper reading than Ella's – near the end of her life? (Last song she recorded perhaps?)

    When I walked in the door my Irene – knowing I've had Doris Day on my mind a lot lately said, “TCM (Turner Classic Movies) just had a big picture of Doris! I think they're playing some of her movies today.” More about that later. Ella, and THE SETTING SUN -- posted a decade ago [the most recent comments seven years old -- all four from the same Ella fan]

    Denis Lasseel (7 years ago)
    "Ella her voice is a dream, i love her with my heart . . . always the queen of song, keeps me [keeping] on living"

  13. DORIS DAY -- In the Still of the Night

    In the pre-dawn darkness I'm driving out of my driveway and along the street where I live and Siriusly Sinatra is playing the most beautiful version -- by Doris Day -- of Cole Porter's IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT. The opening orchestral flourishes are so good I could mistake them for early Don Costa. Wonder who arranged this. Listen to the opening notes, the chiming of a single bell and . . . that voice. God, how I love Doris Day. Thanks, Sirius (or my guardian angel) for your perfect timing this day!

  14. Sweet treat for the ears (If you can spare four minutes of your time today)

    The very next "You Might Like This" offering at YouTube this day was Calabria Foti's husband, trombone virtuoso Bob McChesney with a living legend on the instrument -- 91 year old Dick Nash. Two intellectually brilliant, accomplished musicians. I don't play trombone and neither do you, right? But I promise you a joy-filled four minutes if you can spare it now (or enjoy later). Thanks, YouTube mine-readers!

  15. Yesterday's NANCY FOR FRANK program (453 March 17) focused on the life's work of Sinatra's singer/musician son, Frank Sinatra Jr. I Posted this note in 'real time' (and planned to search at YouTube today to see if a video taped version of that magic moment existed at YouTube: It does!)


    The Most Beautiful Girl in the World (Frank Sinatra Jr. - Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon 19

    [This was] The most incredible live jazz band performance that I have ever heard in my life. It's a song I feel Frank Sinatra Jr 'owned' but this is live! A bunch of virtuoso soloists arranged into the tightest possible band. Turns out it's the same orchestra that accompanies Frankie at his nearby "Frontier Hotel" show. Lord, I'm hoping they'll talk about the arrangement. Sure enough: after speaking about his Dad's earlier performance on the show, Jerry tells Frankie,

    "That's one hell of a chart!!" "Yes," says Frankie, "and the guy who arranged it is sitting right over there -- Bill Rogers on trombone!"

    The very next offering this day at YouTube (on my own shuffle play 'You'd like this too' feature) was Bob McChesney (my all-time favorite classical and jazz trombone virtuoso) playing a song orchestrated by . . . trombonist arranger Bill Rogers. What a coincidence!

    A bit of persistence at Google (including the words “Jerry Lewis telethon '75”) finally located this – the actual television performance of this “most incredible live jazz band performance that I have ever heard.” Jerry Lewis made a point of expressing his amazement that the musicians could play this demanding arrangement so perfectly in live performance. The simple truth from Jerry!

  16. DORIS DAY -- The More I See You

    I must have heard a hundred versions of my "other favorite" song by Harry Warren -- THE MORE I SEE YOU. But as I type this Sirius radio is playing Doris Day's recording. Dare I say, THIS is my all-time favorite version. Why? Her voice has such unrestrained loveliness -- the feeling you get out under cloudless skies (our default setting, winter or summer in Winnipeg) and taking a deep breath of fresh air. Can't think of a better way to put it. The lyric by the great Mack Gordon. Betcha Doris' recording was his favorite version!

  17. Love -- are you nuts?

    . . . all ya gotta do is say Hello! to a man -- and they got you whisp'rin' in his ear . . . "

    I don't believe this. For two days I've been thinking of the song that made me fall in love with Doris Day when I was in my early teens. Her songs on the PAJAMA GAME soundtrack. My musical sister acquired the black vinyl LP and I had every song memorized in one day. For half a century I can hear, in my mind's ear, the amazing squeal of her voice on the opening words to I'M NOT AT ALL IN LOVE.

    So, guess which is the very next song offered to me this day at YouTube. (Those perfect legs in PJ's didn't hurt sales!)

  18. "It's so nice to have some Q-Tips 'round the house . . . "

    “ . . . you can do so much with Q-Tips – for your baby!”

    Recalling in my mind's eye the early TV black & white commercial (we would have watched it on our 14 inch screen RCA set) – the TV spot that introduced my generation to SO NICE TO HAVE A MAN AROUND THE HOUSE. We needed our parents to tell us where that melody was from.

    Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio is playing my all-time favorite version by Toni Tennille. The lyrics are are made oh-so-sexy by Toni's delivery. Is it at YouTube? Nope. So few of Toni's songs are there. But I can settle for my all-time favorite singer's version from 1959. Favorite line?

    A house is just a house without a man -- he's the necessary evil in your plan . . .

  19. Frank and Tony -- SEND IN THE CLOWNS

    Sirius is playing Frank -- and solo guitar accompaniment. It's nylon-string and plectrum not finger style, so I'm guessing Tony Mottola? SEND IN THE CLOWNS. From the "Concert for the Americas" and after they perform, with orchestra, QUIET NIGHTS OF QUIET STARS, sure enough, Frank announced, "Tony Mottola!" I think this event was my all-time favorite Sinatra concert recording. And since it's Frank, it's at YouTube, right? Sure enough. Yes this is my favorite 'live' human voice alone together with guitar accompaniment.