Archive for the ‘Rod Stewart’ Tag

Fantastic Foursome – Happy New Year   Leave a comment

Along the lines of our recent Christmas post, I’m combining the New Year’s post with another one of our Special Features, in this case Fantastic Foursome. You might remember that it’s the one that offers up HappyNewYearfour different versions of the same song and then allows you to vote for your favorite.

This isn’t the first time that “Auld Lang Syne” has shown up on the GMC so I won’t go into a lot of detail about it, but if you want to know more about the history of the song you can always go back and look at this earlier piece.

On the other hand, this is certainly the first time we’ve posted four different versions of the song for you to hear. They range from the traditional to the modern and from slow to fast and jazzy. You can vote for your favorite below the video, which is a little bit of added nostalgia.

Duke EllingtonGuy LombardoThe PlattersRod Stewart

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Fantastic Foursome – Revisiting A Familiar Time And Place   Leave a comment

It’s been several months since our last Fantastic Foursome, so I’ll remind everyone that it’s the Special Feature that presents a classic song in its definitive version and then gives you four different variations. You can listen to them and – if you’d like – vote for your favorite.music

We seem to be featuring music from World War II quite a bit lately and we’re doing more of the same today, with a song written by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon (based on a poem by a young war bride). “You’ll Never Know” actually made its debut in the 1943 movie Hello, Frisco, Hello, where it was performed by Alice Faye. It won the Oscar for best song and she sang it again the following year in Four Jills in a Jeep, but even though it was considered by some to be her signature song, she didn’t make a record of it at the time.

That left an opening for crooners Dick Haymes and Frank Sinatra to cut records, although both had to do so with only a chorus behind them because musicians were on strike at the time. As an interesting side note, Sinatra’s chorus — the Bobby Tucker Singers — was sort of anonymous at the time, but Haymes was backed by the Song Spinners and the group made it on the label with him. Of course, “Coming In on a Wing and a Prayer” had hit #1 for the combo just before that, so that might have had something to do with it.

In any case, both versions did well but Haymes ended up with a #1 record so let’s say his is the gold standard. Other notable versions have included those by the Harry James band with a vocal by Rosemary Clooney, along with British songstress Vera Lynn, Doris Day, and even – much later – Alice Faye. In later years the song has been covered by everybody from a 13-year-old Barbra Streisand to Rod Stewart.

Here’s a video of “You’ll Never Know” by Dick Haymes, which I’ve nominated as the definitive version. Below that are four variations for you to enjoy, and you can then vote for your favorite.

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Rosemary Clooney (w/ H. James)  –  Vera Lynn  –  Frank Sinatra  –  Rod Stewart

 

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Fantastic Foursome – A Funny Face Redux   4 comments

It’s been quite a while since our last Fantastic Foursome, so for the benefit of newer visitors I’ll explain that it’s our Special Feature that allows you the chance to hear four different versions of a classic song. Then – if you like – you can vote for your favorite.Gershwin_Simon_2007_Obv (You can find links to all of our Special Features in the left column.)

So here we go. Today’s showcased song — “‘S Wonderful” — is another beloved standard from George and Ira Gershwin. It was written for the 1927 Broadway musical, Funny Face, and was performed by Allen Kearns and Adele Astaire. But here’s an interesting twist: Adele’s brother Fred was also in that stage show, and thirty years later he performed the song with Audrey Hepburn in a movie that was also called Funny Face, but had a completely different plot. (Video below.)

The song has shown up in several other movies too, and along the way it became a favorite of singers and instrumentalists everywhere. Some versions are more familiar than others but below are four of the best for you to try. You can listen to each and vote for your favorite if you’d like.

Ella Fitzgerald  —  Ray Conniff Singers  —  Rod Stewart  —  Teddy Wilson

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A Lunar Fantastic Foursome   Leave a comment

One of my favorite posts on the GMC is titled Picnics And Music –The Curious Case Of Moonglow, and it explores how “Moonglow” — a fine song in its own right — somehow got attached to the theme from the 1955 film Picnic, and became a best-selling record. In fact, the resulting two-song medley was so popular that it became the unofficial standard, in many cases showing up even when the song title just shows “Moonglow.”

But on today’s Fantastic Foursome, we’re getting back to basics and featuring the original “Moonglow,” a song that came to life back in the early jazz age. Written by Irving Mills, Will Hudson, and Eddie DeLange, it sold a lot of records back in the 1930s with versions by Joe Venuti, Benny Goodman, Ethel Waters, Artie Shaw, and a few others, and even in later years it still shows up from time to time without the ‘picnic’. (You can hear some of them and vote for your favorite, below the video.)

 

Art TatumArtie ShawEthel WatersRod Stewart

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A Crushingly Good Fantastic Foursome   Leave a comment

When rocker Linda Ronstadt got together with bandleader/arranger Nelson Riddle in 1983, the result was a triple-platinum album that not only turned her career in a different direction, but also brought the music of the past to the attention of a new generation.

The first album of what would be a series for her, What’s New was filled with tried and true jazz standards. One of the best was “I’ve Got A Crush On You,” a song written by George and Ira Gershwin back in the 1920s and featured in a couple of Broadway shows. It would later be recorded by a number of singers through the years, and you can watch Ronstadt singing it in the video below. Below that you will find four other versions, and a place where you can vote for your favorite.

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Ella FitzgeraldFrank SinatraLee WileyRod Stewart (w/ Diana Ross)