Monday, November 30, 2009

Adriano Celentano

Artist: Adriano Celentano
LP: Supremo
Song: "E'Inutile Davvero"
[ listen ]
Song: "Il Mio Amico James Bond"
[ listen ]

I was in Boston for work last weekend, and as usual I managed to rummage through a few record stores during my visit. According to my Google maps, lots of stores were located on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, so I started there.

The first place I visited was Cheapo Records, where I found a bunch of neat stuff including this 1967 LP by Italian superstar Adriano Celentano. Some trivia: Adriano's daughter Rosalinda played the Satan character in Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. (I've never seen the film; I heard people in the audience were having heart-attacks.) Today's posting is dedicated to the folks at Trattoria Il Panino in Boston's old Italian neighborhood—especially the nice waitress with the beautiful Italian accent. I'd had a rough and draining weekend, but my relaxing and delicious dinner at Trattoria Il Panino on my last evening in Boston put everything right again. If you're ever in Beantown, do yourself a favor and go get some dinner there.

In the meantime, you can read more about Adriano Celentano on Wikipedia here and visit his official website here. I photographed the LP liner notes and have included them below, so just click on the image to make them bigger and easier to read.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Overheard when: 8:51pm (Eastern) on Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Overheard where
: seat 21-D on Jet Blue flight 497 from Boston to Seattle [map]
Overheard who: a pretty female flight attendant to the frumpy, middle-aged woman in seat 22-D who was blocking the aisle while clumsily trying to re-stow her bulky carry-on luggage in the over-head bins.

Overheard what: "Ma'am, you have two pieces of gum on your bottom. Do you mind if I try to take them off?"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rod McKuen

Artist: Rod McKuen
LP: Songs For a Lazy Afternoon
Song: "Sinner Man"
[ listen ]
Song: "Aunt Louise"
[ listen ]
Song: "With a 'No' That Sounds Like 'Yes'"
[ listen ]

Rod McKuen is one of those prolific artists who, just when I think I probably own most of his albums, I suddenly find six or seven more at the Good Will in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood—including a Christmas album! "Songs For a Lazy Afternoon" isn't one of those though, I've had this one for a while; it's one of my favorites. I never knew much about Rod McKuen, but after reading the extensive liner notes on the back of this record (included below) and his bio on Wikipedia (here), I found out that Rod McKuen ran away from home when he was 11, he's worked as a logger and as a rodeo cowboy, he starred as Romeo in a production of some famous Shakespeare play, he served in the U.S. Army, he speaks Japanese and Korean and is a Japanese movie star, he was buddies with Jacques Brel and he's considered the best-selling and most widely-read poet of all time. He can also wiggle his ears, he has bionic legs and he can fly several feet off the ground simply by flapping his arms. For a full discography and more neat photos and things, visit the official Rod McKuen website here.

Songs For a Lazy Afternoon
—Notes by Mike Connolly

If late some evening you should drive down a deserted
Hollywood street, and notice a tall boy, slightly bent over,
with his shoulders pushed a little forward—walking along
whistling or singing to himself, chances are it might be Rod
McKuen, singing some of the songs he sings in this album

You may ask, why are songs for a lazy afternoon being
sung at night? Well, the seemingly pla
cid young man on
the other side of this album jacket doesn't have many lazy
afternoons anymore. At the age of 23, he is a busy and

successful actor, a published author, poet and
songwriter, and a fo
lk singer who has toured
throughout the United States and Asia

Rod's first professional break came along when just
after his sixteenth birthday, he joined the San Francisco
Young Players and appeared in their production of "Romeo
and Juliet." His role as Romeo was stirring enough to win
him several top acting awards and the offer of
two drama scholarships

Between productions with the Young Players, Rod began
a radio disc jockey show for station KROW in Oakland,

California. The program, entitled "Rendezvous With Rod,"
ran for three and a half years
, and had one of the
highest ratings of any show in the San Francisco Bay
Area. During this period,
Rod was also author of a syndi-
cated newspaper column, "Scribbling on my Shirtcuff."
The Army intevened in 1953, however, and both
"Rendezvous" and the column were terminated

Actually, it was in the service in Japan that Rod's talents
suddenly burst forth. His prowess as a folk singer was
well known among his friends, but it wasn't until the

owners of Maxim's, famed Tokyo night club, asked him to
appear there for a week-end, that Rod really developed
a style of his own. The "week-end" stretched into nearly
five months. During this period, the Army brass decided
that Rod would also be useful to the Armed Forces
as an entertainer

His first assignment in that capacity was the television
show, "Pop Concert," which was shown over a Japanese
network. This show was so successful that the Army
sent Rod on a concert tour throughout the Orient. He
gave concerts to consistently packed houses in Hong
Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Taegu, Bangkok, and
dozens of other cities

When the tour ended, Rod returned to his original duties
as writer-producer with the Voice of the United Nations
Command in Tokyo, a program which broadcast psychological

warfare to Communist-dominated countries. He was later sent
to Korea to work as the Army's Civil Information expert
with the Korean Civil Assistance Command in Taegu

Rod's concert tour brought him to the attention of a
prominent Japanese film producer, and the Army
granted him permission to appear in a number of
Japanese films. One of these, "The Boy and the
General," is due for release in the United States soon.

Language proved no barrier in Rod's foreign film roles,
for he speaks both Korean and Japanese

During his Army tour of duty, Rod took time out to
write his first book, "And Autumn Came," a collection
of romantic poems in free verse published in 1954. The
book received unanimous critical acclaim, with one critic
labelling his works "among the finest of this generation."
Another book of poems and a novel are to be published
this Fall, and, recently, he completed his second nove

Upon his release from the service, Rod returned to his
home in Oakland. Word of his success had preceded
him to the states, and he was immediately offered a
singing engagement at San Francisco's Purple Onion,
one of the city's most unique clubs

It was during his stay there that he was "discovered" by
columnist-socialite Cobina Wright, who persuaded him
to come to Hollywood

Though singing is considered his main musical talent, he
has had as much success writing music as performing it. No
less than eighteen of his folks tunes have been purchased
by many of the nation's most popular performers and
several have been recorded by major artists

Since arriving in Hollywood, Rod has written songs for
several motion piuctures, individually, and in collaboration
with Les Baxter, Bobby Troupo, and Barney Kessel. In

his first American movie, now being filmed at Universal-
International, he sings two of these songs, "Picnic by
the Sea," and "Happy Is a Boy Named Me.

With all of his varied interests, Rod claims he hasn't
much time for anything else except "maybe being lonely
occasionally." If out of this loneliness some of the songs

in this album were conceived, then it has been a worth-
while solitude. Here is a young man with something
unique to offer—a sly wit for writing happy songs, and
a tenderness for the sad ones. Best of all, however,
is his sincerity which makes any of the songs
believable when he sings it

The selections in this album are varied. For sheer rollicking
fun, listen to "Puttin' On the Style," or, "With a 'No' That
Sounds Like 'Yes'"; or, "Aunt Louise," a delightful little ditty
which consumes all of thirty seconds. "Sinner Man," and
the Negro slave song "Follow the Drinkin' Gourd" are serious
and dramatic in content. Rod's own songs "Jaydee" and
"Happy Is a Boy Named Me" are both haunting and beautiful

Rod is ably assisted by Barney Kessel and Tommy Tedesco,
whose sterling guitars shine throughout. Occasionally you'll
find a harmonica, a drum or two and a chorus sneaking in.
In the final analysis, I'm sure you'll's
all pretty wonderful

* * * * * * *

Mike Connolly's daily column in the Hollywood Reporter
can boast an audience of almost everyone in the film
industry—from star to stenographer, from grip man to
stockholder. In addition many millions read his magazine
articles and yet another syndicated column

Surprisingly enough, with articles and columns, and all
the time he spends running around digging up information
for both, he found time last year to help write the
very successful book "I'll Cry Tomorrow."

* * * * * * *

Orchestra under the direction of Barney Kessel.
Hollywood, Calif. April 12 and 26, 1956 and May 17, 1956
Producer: Simon Jackson
Engineer: Val Valentin
Cover Photograph: Phil Howard

[ Rod McKuen ]

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Texas Jim Robertson

Artist: Texas Jim Robertson
LP: Golden Hits of Country and Western Music
Song: "Slipping Around"
[ listen ]

This 6' 3" baritone was born in Texas either in 1909 if you believe his bio page at Hillbilly Music, or in 1916 if you'd rather trust the LP liner notes, included below. I bet it's 1909. In any case, lanky and amiable singing cowboy Texas Jim Robertson evidently slipped around between Texas, North Carolina and New York quite a bit before his stint in the Marines during WWII, after which he settled in Nyack, New York with his wife, Marianne.

Country and Western music has come a long way from
the back country barn dances to the small radio stations
right into the hearts of the city folks. This was not only
due to the quality and interest of the songs but also to
the high standards set by the performers in this field.
When we discuss high standards, we immediately
come to the name, Texas Jim Robertson

Let's examine this 6 foot 3 inch baritone. Born in 1916 on
his folk's ranch in Batesville, Texas, he was christened
James Battle Robertson. Instead of a crib he used a
saddle. Tex claims he learned to ride a horse before
he knew how to walk

He was such a big boy for his age that his dad put him
on as a top-hand for the summer of his eleventh birthday.
That's an awful lot of riding and roping for a boy that age.
No trouble for Tex, he took it all in his long steady stride

When Tex turned 16, he went to visit an aunt in Bat Cave,
North Carolina. There was so much fun to be had that he
had it all and that included spending the money Tex had
put aside to get back to Texas. Needing money for that
return trip, he looked around. No one required a cowboy
on their tobacco farm. There just wasn't any rodeos he
could enter where he might win his passage home. The
want ads weren't enticing but he kept on looking till one
day a Goldsboro paper ran the following ad. "Wanted—
guitar playing cowboy singer—must be authentic and sing
songs of the west. Knowledge of radio technique helpful
but not necessary for the right man." The address
was a radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina

Well, part of Jim's training included playing the guitar,
banjo and mandolin. His dad taught him all that plus
the kind of songs every cowboy had to know. Tex
visited with the Program Director of the radio station
in Charlotte. He never calls on anyone, he always visits
with people. Jim started work the next day. The radio
audience loved him. N.B.C. heard of this love and
brought him into New York for his first network show
where he remained. Then, he became an
member the deep low male voice on "Lone Journey,"
"Against the Storm," "Death Valley Days" and the villain
on "Dick Tracy," they were great radio serials. The year
was 1937, he was popular, successful and in love—her
name was Marianne. The year is 1959, he is still popular,
successful and in love and she's still the same Marianne
he married in 1937. Finally, World War II, the Marine
Corps and the South Pacific, the area not the musical

Back home again, the American people did
not forget a great talent

[ Texas Jim Robertson: February 7, 1909 — November 11, 1966 ]

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan

Artist: Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan
LP: 7" single
Song: "La Negra"
[ listen ]

Mariachi Vargas is the best mariachi band in the world! Founded in 1897 by Don Gaspar Vargas, the group has gone through five distinct phases throughout its 112-year career. You can read about Mariachi Vargas and its phases here (this 4-track EP must have been recorded during phase 3) and for more info and photos, visit the band's official website here. I've included the Spanish-language notes from the back of the record below, along with an English translation courtesy of Babelfish.

[ Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan — then ]

[ Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan — now ]

EL MARIACHI VARGAS DE TECALITLAN ha logrado al transcurso
de los años, colocarse en el envidiable sitio de ser el mejor
Mariachi de México. Los grandes intérpretes de la música folklórica
mexicana siempre escogen a este mariachi para servir de
acompañantes a sus mejores interpretaciones, y él siempre ha
respondido a esta confianza con bellos y originales arreglos e
impercable interpretación. Sin embargo, en donde verdaderamente
interpretaciones de los alegres sones y polkas, cuatro
de las cuales hemos acoplado en este disco.

* * * * * * *

course of the years, to be placed in the enviable site of being
the best Mariachi of Mexico. The great interpreters of Mexican
fokloric music always choose this mariachi to serve as companions
their better interpretations, and he always has responded to this
confidence with beautiful and original adjustments and impercable
interpretation. Nevertheless, where truly the MARIACHI shines
TECLATLAN VARGAS, he is in his glad interpretations of sones
and polkas, four of which we have connected in this disc

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Juan Torres

Artist: Juan Torres
LP: Para Esos Momentos...
Song: "El Cisne"
[ listen ]

It's 11:09am on a rainy and cold Sunday morning in Seattle, where autumn is now turning to winter. I think the sounds of Juan Torres' melodic organ were made especially for these moments... don't you?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Midge Ure

Artist: Midge Ure
LP: 7" single
Song: "If I Was"
[ listen ]

So it looks like Midge Ure probably got one of these for Christmas in 1984. A recovering alcoholic, Midge's passions are music and cooking. You can read more about the former Ultravox frontman on Wikipedia here, and if you want even more information, why not read his autobiography?

[ Midge Ure ]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Artist: I-Level
LP: I-Level
Song: "Give Me"
[ listen ]

Here's another souvenir from my summer road trip to the Dakotas; I picked this one up at the Ernie November store in Sioux Falls. I loaded more used vinyl into the trunk of my red Ford Focus rental at that 12th Avenue store than at any other spot on my trip. I've probably already mentioned that. I-Level was a short-lived UK band formed by a handsome trio of lads in the early 1980s. This self-titled LP is from 1983, and "Give Me" became an R&B top-five hit in the good ole USA!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Washington State Youth Choir w/
Vernard Johnson

Artist: Washington State Youth Choir w/ Vernard Johnson
LP: Give Up to God
Song: "My Testimony"
[ listen ]
Song: "I Trust In God"
[ listen ]

Have you ever heard someone minister the word of God with a saxophone? If not, you're in for a treat today. Vernard Johnson spreads the gospel with his instrument while also giving his personal testimony (with his voice) in "My Testimony," then he ministers some more on sax with the Washington State Youth Choir in the spirited "I Trust In God"—featuring the vocal quartet of Mary L. Dennis, Francelle Ramsey, Carolyn Sopher and Susan Barrett. Sadly, the Washington State Youth Choir seems to have gone the way of the Coleman Dock clock tower on Seattle's historic waterfront (meaning that the choir no longer exists, not that they were hit by a boat and fell into the Puget Sound). The Washington State Youth Choir is pictured standing next to the Seattle Center Science Pavilion on the campus of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. As you can see, the pavilion is still there today, just a few blocks from where I'm sitting now. If anyone pictured on the LP cover is reading this, I'd love to hear about some of your favorite experiences with the choir and what you're up to nowadays. Here are liner notes from the back of this terrific record:

The Washington State Youth Choir was organized ten
years ago by Ronelle McGraw, a fine young man who
is a musician, composer and a devoted director

The Choir is made up of a group of dedicated young people
who have accepted holiness as their way of life. It is with
great pleasure that the Washington State Youth Choir
presents Brother Vernard Johnson to the
Evergreen State, Washington

July, 1971, the W.S.Y.C. attended the International Youth
congress of the Church of God in Christ which was held
in San Francisco, California. During this meeting Brother
Johnson ministered nightly with his saxophone. As he played
the saxophone, the power of the spirit of God was upon
him so greatly that the musical sounds seemingly became
words, and the words became alive and penetrated the
hearts of every soul in the building. There were thousands
of people there and before he had finished playing, every-
one, not just many but I venture to say; everyone in the
auditorium was standing giving vent to the spirit of God

Our producer, Elder Jerry R. Ramsey was there and was
so impressed that he immediately went to Elder T.L.
Westbrook, State Youth President for the Churches of
God in Christ in the State of Washington
to discuss
possibilities of bringing Brother Johnson to Washington
for a concert and possible recording with the choir. Elder
Westbrook was impressed also and felt that Brother Johnson
could be an inspiration to the choir. At this point Elder Ramsey
extended the invitation to him and he so readily accepted

After returning to Washington; together with Elder
Westbrook and choir director Ronelle McGraw, Elder
Ramsey began to make plans to bring Brother Johnson
to the beautiful State of Washington

The Choir members were also enthusiastic about his coming
and worked sacrificially to prepare for him. When Brother
Johnson arrived at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport there was
a group of young people waiting to greet him and to take
him to Tacoma, Washington where he was greeted
by fifty or more choir members

Scarcely a day passes that someone does not mention
the name Vernard Johnson. His conduct, charm, wisdom
and humility was so captivating that he left an indelible
impression upon everyone he came in contact with

Vernard is presently studying towards a Masters Degree
in religious music at Southwestern Baptist Theological
Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

The W.S.Y.C. extends special thanks to:
State Youth President, Elder T.L. Westbrook
State Youth Chairlady, Miss. Doretha O'Brien
State Bishop, T.J. Kinlow
State Supervisor, Gertrude Young
Assistant Bishop, Superintendant R.E. Altheimer
All State Officials and Pastors for their support in
helping us produce this album.

We invite you to hear and enjoy this, their
second long play album...

Hope your hearts will be challenged to "Give Up To God."

Monday, November 9, 2009


Artist: Rabbitt
LP: A Croak & A Grunt In the Night
Song: "Everybody's Cheating"
[ listen ]

Have you ever wondered what the guy who wrote the music for SNAKES ON A PLANE would have looked like naked when he was 23? Well, the cover of this 1977 Rabbitt LP will give you some idea. After Rabbitt died, lead singer/writer Trevor Rabin went on to a solo career, then wrote and sang for the band Yes from 1983-1994, after which he started working on film scores. The other guys in Rabbitt (pictured naked below, with commentary of course) are Neil Cloud (drums), Ronnie Robot (bass) and Duncan Faure (guitar, piano, organ). I'm not really sure whose picture is which, but that's Rabin on the front cover showing off his sexy armpit.

[ This picture kinda reminds me of this. ]

[ I like a man who knows how to wear mink. ]

[ Calling to set up job interviews can be really exhausting. ]

[ Of all the guys in the band, I bet Trevor had the biggest... guitar. ]

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Calimbo Steel Band

Artist: Calimbo Steel Band
LP: The Heart of Trinidad
Song: "Bedbug"
[ listen ]
Song: "Land of the Sea and Sun"
[ listen ]
Song: "When the Saints Go Marching In"
[ listen ]

Here's a record I first found at Golden Oldies in Seattle—inexplicably priced at $30. Still, I listened to it on the record player there and loved it, so I put it on hold until I could get approved for a short-term loan. In the meantime I made an afternoon road trip out to Snohomish, WA where I found the same Calimbo Steel Band record in great shape for just $3.50! If anyone would like to pay $30 for a copy, Golden Oldies still has one—or you can buy a copy online for $9 here. Chuck Wood (pictured below) handles lead vocals on "Land of the Sea and Sun" and several other LP tracks, but Bernardo Noriega sings lead only on "Bedbug," which has some of the best lyrics I've ever heard. The last track I've included seems to be a sort of all-band sing-a-long. Does anyone know why so many steel band records feature "When the Saints Go Marching In?" It's weird, right? If you ask me, Calimbo Steel Band's version is better than most of the others. I've included the LP liner notes below—it seems we have Texaco to thank for much of the music of Trinidad.

[ How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could... this guy? ]

A unique and appealing mixture of many cultures, Trinidad
is perhaps the most interesting and vibrant island in the
West Indies. Calypso was born here, as was the Steel band
and the Limbo. The Calimbo Steel band incorporates the best
of all three, featuring the outstanding talent of Trinidad. The
leader, Andre De Labastide, and Roland Harvey play the high-
pitched "Ping Pong" Steel drums; Carl "Gerald" Lawrence is
featured on "tenor booms"; Kenneth Lawrence on "alto" and
George Lancaster on "bass." Glenfield Leslie is heard on drums,
while Henry Pachot doubles on vocals and tumbas. Bernardo
Noriega doubles as a vocalist and with the maracas; the famous
Nanai is the guitarist. Chuck Wood is the vocal balladeer,
with Bonnie Casey providing vocal harmonies. Captured for
the first time in perfect high-fidelity recording, the Calimbo
Steel band brings you—"The Heart of Trinidad."


* * * * * * *

The Standard Oil Company, Texaco, and the rest of the
petroleum giants never realized it at the time, but they may
now claim credit for a new musical rage, which originated in
Trinidad during the war when the natives grew restless over
the scarcity of musical instruments. The islanders began
making music out of anything that was handy, and if
there was one thing the beaches offered in abundance,
it was oil drums. Empty ones, of course

In due course, the Caribbean music-makers developed
instruments out of the steel drums that would yield several
different notes. Until recently, about 14 was the maximum.
Just enough to play most calypsos, rhumbas, sambas
and other basic Latin-American numbers

Recently a topnotch steel band known as the Calimbos
(calypso, limbo, get it?), managed to spread its range
to 23 notes, considered a record among the islanders.
And the Calimbos boast that they can play
anything—even classical music

The Calimbos just wound up six weeks at the El Mirador
in Palm Springs, Calif., where they jammed the South Pacific
Room night after night. Before coming to the United States,
they toured South America—Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile
and Peru—and worked their way north through Central
America and Mexico. Everywhere, they were a smash hit.
Naturally, the limbo dance—in which the dancer worms
his or her way under a constantly lowering crossbar
between two uprights—is most popular with crowds

—ALONZO (BOB) CHILDERS, Entertainment Editor

[ Calimbo Steel Band ]

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Artist: Material
LP: Memory Serves
Song: "Square Dance"
[ listen ]

As a kid in the 1970s and early '80s, I spent many of my Saturday evenings with the Wagon Wheelers Square Dance Club in Yakima, Washington. None of their songs sounded like this. "Square Dance" was written by Bill Laswell, Fred Frith and Fred Maher; you can read all about experimental jazz-rock outfit Material here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Marie Osmond

Artist: Marie Osmond
LP: This Is the Way That I Feel
Song: "This Is the Way That I Feel"
[ listen ]

Have you ever wondered how Marie Osmond feels?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Connie Francis

Artist: Connie Francis
LP: Connie Francis Sings Italian Favorites
Song: "Do You Love Me Like You Kiss Me?"
[ listen ]
Song: "Ciao, Ciao, Bambina"
[ listen ]

Here's a nifty little pair of tunes from Connie Francis' first Italian-themed LP, one of a handful of records she released in 1959. Connie was born in an Italian neighborhood in New Jersey in 1938, she had an overprotective father, was married four times, has recorded in 13 different languages—including Japanese—and she performed to sold out crowds at San Francisco's Castro Theater as recently as 2007. Ms. Francis has weathered some pretty horrible shit over the years, but you'll have to read her Wikipedia page to get details, since I can't seem to mention them here without sounding flippant. I've always loved the gorgeously haunting, trumpet-like voice of this graduate of Miss Masciola's Music School, and it's wonderful to hear that she's still performing. Maybe one day soon I'll get to see her in concert!

Connie was all of four years old, dressed in a starched
rosepink party dress with matching lace ruffles, when she
first performed in public. The occasion? An amateur hour
at Olympic Park in Irvington, New Jersey. Connie was slated
to play her miniature accordion and sing O Sole Mio.

Nobody believed she could do it. Even the slick master
of ceremonies tried to take her out of the show. "She'll
panic," he told Connie's father, "and she'll bawl,
and we'll have a mess on our hands."

But Mr. Franconero insisted his Connie remain in the
amateur hour line-up. There were other students
from Miss Masciola's Music School who were scheduled
to perform. One by one they went out on the bandstand,
and, more often than not, one by one they walked off,
unable to sing or play because of stage fright.

Finally came Connie's turn. The tall master of ceremonies
announced her name, and dollbaby Connie walked out on
that podium in her puffy pink party dress, ran her fingers
down the black-and-white keyboard of her miniature
accordion and began playing and singing O Sole Mio,
one of the songs her daddy taught her.

In the background dick Stabile's orchestra played softly
for fear they might drown out young Connie's voice.
But they needn't have worried. For Connie, at the age
of four, sang and played like a trouper and her voice
could be heard in the last row of the huge audience.
Backstage, in the wings, her faterh cried; and, many
years later, he confessed to Connie that he didn't hear
all of her song because of his tears. Had she gone flat
he wouldn't have noticded it because he nearly burst
from the papa-proudness in his heart.

The reception from the audience that summer day was
tumultuous. There was thunderous applause, an endless
chorus of bravos, much stomping of feet on the floor.

Little Connie, in her bell-shaped party dress, ran out to
take a bow. But the ovation was so strong the audience
wouldn't allow her to leave the stage. She had
to play another chorus of her song.

This is how Connie's exciting life in the show-business
world began. To this day Connie holds the song O Sole
dear in her heart—for that matter, all the
songs of her colorful Italian heritage.

Even now that she has become a big singing star,
Connie loves to sit around the fireplace in the
Franconero living room with her family to sing
the romantic songs of Italy

Listen to Connie sing her Italian favorites in this album.
It's difficult, if you ask me, to imagine these timeless
Italian ballads phrased and sung more beautifully!

Notes by George Christy—Mayor, Teen Town

[ Connie Francis ]

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Israeli Strings

Artist: The Israeli Strings
LP: Jewish Rhapsodies For Those In Love
Song: "The Exodus Song"
[ listen ]

To create the atmosphere of seduction and romance necessary to lure a handsome young Jewish man into an evening of coy kissing and heavy petting, I find nothing works quite so well as "The Exodus Song."

The interpretations of Jewish melodies into contemporary
popular music has been magnificently achieved by The Israeli
Strings and the fine arrangements of Pete King. A mood of
romance prevails for all lovers, everywhere

Traditionally, Jewish music is highly melodic but often the
melody is lost through interpretation. You will find that
within the twelve bands of this album, the songs presented
have lost none of their warmth, rather, they have been
elevated into a new dimension which can be accepted
by everyone with an appreciation for romantic music.