Dream a Little Dream: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

I was going to post something substantive for today, but I had a lousy day and I need a pick me up. Consequently, here's Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong singing "Dream a Little Dream of Me", which is exquisitely soothing. Really. Give it a try. … [Read more...]

Old Blind Dogs: A Man’s a Man For A’ That

I'm in the mood for some Old Blind Dogs this week; so here's Bobbie Burns set to music and sung and played most beautifully. If you've any taste for this kind of folk music, you really ought to give the whole album a listen. … [Read more...]

Gopher Tuna!

Gopher Tuna! Bring More Tuna! Statue of Big Dog with Fleas!I've posted this one before, but it's been that kind of a week, and I decided this would go down well. … [Read more...]

Chris Barber: The Ballad of the Liver Bird?

The "Liver Bird"? Really? What on earth is that?What it is, is a song from from a 1964 Lionel Bart musical called Maggie May, about a Liverpool streetwalker and her sailor boyfriend. The "Ballad of the Liver Bird" serves as the overture and the finale. I glanced at the song list and didn't recognize any of the titles except "Maggie, Maggie May", which it turns out is not the song of the same name by Rod Stewart, but is rather a folk tune. You might have heard the Beatles sing it as … [Read more...]

Duo Gadjo: Sous Le Ciel de Paris

Duo Gadjo is a jazz duet; I've mostly encountered their versions of classic French jazz tunes and songs, including "Sous Le Ciel De Paris", which features the pair on guitar along with a properly musette-style accordion. It's a recording that makes me happy:But, of course, part of the reason it makes me happy is that the tune reminds me of this: Professor Fate's theme from The Great Race, one of my favorite movies, seems to be a rather drunken variation on the same melody. … [Read more...]

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss: Your Long Journey

Anyone who's heard Alison Krauss knows she can sing like an angel...but who knew Robert Plant could, too? Here's a lovely duet that makes me quietly happy every time I hear it. … [Read more...]

Louis Prima: Pennies from Heaven

I'm not sure that Louis Prima was capable of singing a song without getting goofy with it, but that's especially true of his recording of "Pennies from Heaven". I especially like the mid-section where he gets into a kind of contest with his bandleader, Sam Butera. Prima scats a phrase, and Butera echoes it on trumpet, back and forth, until finally Butera flubs it and Prima crows, "I knew I'd get ya, I knew I'd get ya" as they move into the finale. Lots of fun, even if Keely Smith is missing. … [Read more...]

Stan Rogers: The Flowers of Bermuda

Just because it was going through my head last night, here's a sprightly upbeat tune about heroic sacrifice and death at sea.He was the captain of the Nightingale Twenty-one days from Clyde in coal He could smell the flowers of Bermuda in the gale As he died in the North Rock ShoalBut on the other hand, the other eighteen members of the crew survived due to his heroic actions, so there's that.It's sprightly and upbeat. (Really! I'm not being sarcastic.) … [Read more...]

Harry Belafonte: A Hole in the Bucket

I grew up listening to my parent's music, as I suppose many people do; and among the things that stuck were Harry Belafonte's Carnegie Hall albums. I could go on and on about Belafonte's voice, and his sense of humor, and his energy, but long familiarity has made it more or less impossible for me to be objective.In any event, here's a track from Belafonte Returns to Carnegie Hall, one of my favorites as a child. It's a duet with folk-singer Odetta Holmes, and concerns the problem of the … [Read more...]