Which Album (CD or Vinyl) Are you listening to now Part 2 - Page 126 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #3751 of 4624 Old 12-08-2019, 03:43 PM
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Christmas in My Heart is a studio album by Connie Francis, released in 1959.

The album was recorded in August 1959 at EMI's famous Abbey Road Studios, then called EMI Recording Studios in London and features popular songs of the season on the A-side and the sacred music of Christmas on the B-side.

Connie Francis (age 81) is an American pop singer, former actress, and top-charting female vocalist of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Francis considered a career in medicine and was about to accept a four-year scholarship offered at New York University. At what was to have been her final recording session for MGM in 1957, she recorded a cover version of the 1923 song "Who's Sorry Now?". Francis has said that she recorded it at the insistence of her father, who was convinced it stood a chance of becoming a hit because it was a song adults already knew and that teenagers would dance to if it had a contemporary arrangement. Francis, who did not like the song and had been arguing about it with her father heatedly, arguing there was no time was left on the continuously running recording tape. Her father insisted, though, and when the recording "Who's Sorry Now?" was finished, only a few seconds were left on the tape.

On January 1, 1958, "Who's Sorry Now?" debuted on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and Francis performed it on the first episode of The Saturday Night Beechnut Show, also hosted by Clark. By mid-year, over a million copies had been sold, and Francis was suddenly launched into worldwide stardom. "Who's Sorry Now?" reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart and number 4 in the US. For the next four years, Francis was voted the "Best Female Vocalist" by American Bandstand viewers.

Following another idea from her father, Francis traveled to London in 1959 to record an Italian album at EMI's famous Abbey Road Studios. Titled Connie Francis Sings Italian Favorites, it soon entered the album charts where it remained for 81 weeks.

In 1961, "Where the Boys Are" became her signature tune and was also the theme song of Francis' first motion picture of the same name. The movie also introduced the concept of spring break, as the once sleepy town of Fort Lauderdale became the hotspot for college students on their spring vacation in the wake of the movie's success.

While appearing at the Westbury Music Fair in New York in 1974, Francis was raped at the Jericho Turnpike Howard Johnson's Lodge in Jericho, New York, and nearly suffocated under the weight of a heavy mattress the culprit had thrown upon her. She subsequently sued the motel chain for failing to provide adequate security and won a $2.5 million judgment, one of the largest such judgments in history, leading to a reform in hotel security. Her rapist was never found. During the years after the incident, Francis went into depression.

In 1981, further tragedy struck Francis when her brother, George Franconero, Jr., with whom she was very close, was murdered by Mafia hitmen. Despite this, she took up live performing again, even gracing the American Bandstand 30th Anniversary Special Episode and appearing in the town where she had been raped. Francis' newfound success was short-lived, though, as she was diagnosed with manic depression, which brought her career to a stop for a further four years, during which she was committed to a total of 17 hospitals. Francis admitted that she nearly committed suicide because she found the hospitals to be extremely depressing.

Nevertheless, in 1984, Francis was able to write and present her published autobiography, Who's Sorry Now? which became a New York Times bestseller.

In 2000, "Who's Sorry Now?" was named one of the Songs of the Century.

She is still active as a recording and performing artist.
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post #3752 of 4624 Old 12-08-2019, 04:18 PM
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Need I say more; Piano Man


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Le Butcherettes-Live at Clouds Hill
Dec. 2019

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Seb Wildblood-Sketches of Transition
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ROLLING STONES | let it bleed

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post #3758 of 4624 Old 12-09-2019, 06:31 AM
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My All Time Country Favorites is an album by Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, released in 1962.

William Smith Monroe (September 13, 1911 – September 9, 1996) was an American mandolinist, singer, and songwriter, who created the style of music known as bluegrass. Because of this, he is commonly referred to as the "Father of Bluegrass".

The genre takes its name from his band, the Blue Grass Boys, named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 69 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader.

Bill was born on his family's farm near Rosine, Kentucky, the youngest of eight children. Because his older brothers Birch and Charlie already played the fiddle and guitar, Bill Monroe was resigned to playing the less desirable mandolin. He recalled that his brothers insisted he should remove four of the mandolin's eight strings so he would not play too loudly.

Monroe's mother died when he was ten, followed by his father six years later. As his brothers and sisters had moved away, after bouncing among uncles and aunts, Monroe settled in with his disabled uncle Pendleton Vandiver, often accompanying him when Vandiver played the fiddle at dances. This experience inspired one of Monroe's most famous compositions, "Uncle Pen", recorded in 1950, and the 1972 album Bill Monroe's Uncle Pen. On that album, Monroe recorded a number of traditional fiddle tunes he had often heard performed by Vandiver. Uncle Pen has been credited with giving Monroe "a repertoire of tunes that sank into Bill's aurally trained memory and a sense of rhythm that seeped into his bones."

In 1929, Monroe moved to Indiana to work at an oil refinery with his brothers Birch and Charlie, and childhood friend and guitarist William "Old Hickory" Hardin. Together with a friend Larry Moore, they formed the "Monroe Brothers", to play at local dances and house parties.

In October 1939, Monroe successfully auditioned for a regular spot on the Grand Ole Opry.

Key developments occurred in Monroe's music with the addition of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs to the Blue Grass Boys in December 1945.

Monroe's most famous song "Blue Moon of Kentucky" was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1954, appearing as the B-side of his first single for Sun Records. Monroe gave his blessing to Presley's rock-and-roll cover of the song, originally a slow ballad in waltz time, and in fact re-recorded it himself with a faster arrangement after Presley's version became a hit.

In 1990, Monroe performed for Farm Aid in Indianapolis, Indiana along with Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young.

Monroe's last performance occurred on March 15, 1996. He ended his touring and playing career in April, following a stroke. Monroe died on September 9, 1996, in Springfield, Tennessee, four days before his 85th birthday.
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Stan Getz - Getz At the Gate

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post #3761 of 4624 Old 12-09-2019, 08:33 AM
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Get While the Gettin's Good is an album by Bill Anderson, released in 1967.

James William Anderson III (age 82), known as Whisperin’ Bill Anderson, is an American country music singer, songwriter and television personality. He has been a member in long standing of the weekly Grand Ole Opry radio program and stage performance in Nashville, Tennessee, since 1961.

He has released more than 40 studio albums and has reached No. 1 on the country charts seven times.

One of the most successful songwriters in country music history, e Ray Price, Wanda Jackson, Connie Smith, Lynn Anderson, Jim Reeves, Conway Twitty, Eddy Arnold, Roy Clark, Con Hunley, Lefty Frizzell, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, and George Strait have recorded his songs.

Anderson has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
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post #3762 of 4624 Old 12-09-2019, 09:18 AM
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Came across this young man on tube. Love this album.

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post #3763 of 4624 Old 12-09-2019, 12:17 PM
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Down To Earth is an album by Jonathan Winters, released in 1960.

Jonathan Harshman Winters III (November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013) was an American comedian, actor, author, television host, and artist. Winters was born in Dayton, Ohio. He described his father as an alcoholic who had trouble holding a job. His grandfather, a frustrated comedian, owned the Winters National Bank, which failed as the family's fortunes collapsed during the Great Depression. When he was seven, his parents separated. Alone in his room, he would create characters and interview himself. A poor student, Winters continued talking to himself and developed a repertoire of strange sound effects. He fought youthful tormentors who ridiculed him for not having a father in his life. When the tormentors were not around, he would go to a building or tree and weep in despair. Winters said that he learned to laugh at his situation.

Winters quit school to join the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of seventeen and served two and a half years in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

Winters' career started as a result of a lost wristwatch. After his marriage in 1948, the newlyweds couldn't afford to buy another one. Then Eileen read about a talent contest in which the first prize was a wristwatch, and encouraged Jonathan to "go down and win it." She was certain he could, and he did. His performance led to a disc jockey job, where he was supposed to introduce songs and announce the temperature. Gradually his ad libs and antics took over the show.

Winters made television history in 1956 when RCA broadcast the first public demonstration of color videotape on The Jonathan Winters Show. The New York Times wrote, "He used video technology to appear as two characters, bantering back and forth, seemingly in the studio at the same time." In 1957 he performed in the first color television show, a 15-minute routine sponsored by Tums.

Winters reported that he spent eight months in a private psychiatric hospital in 1959 and again in 1961. The comic suffered from nervous breakdowns and bipolar disorder. "These voices are always screaming to get out," Winters told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "They follow me around pretty much all day and night." Winters was one of the first celebrities to go public with a personal mental illness issue.

Beginning in 1960, Winters recorded many classic comedy albums for the Verve Records label. He also had records released every decade for over 50 years, receiving 11 Grammy nominations, including eight for Best Comedy Album, during his career. From these nominations, he won the Grammy Award for Best Album for Children for his contribution to an adaptation of The Little Prince in 1975 and the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album for Crank(y) Calls in 1996.

With a career spanning more than six decades, Winters also appeared in hundreds of television shows and films, including eccentric characters on The Steve Allen Show, The Garry Moore Show, The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters (1972–74), Mork & Mindy, Hee Haw, and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

In the fourth and final season of the sci-fi-styled TV comedy Mork & Mindy, Jonathan Winters (one of Robin Williams's idols) was brought in as Mork & Mindy's child, Mearth. Due to the different Orkan physiology, Mork laid an egg, which grew and hatched into the much older Winters. It had been previously explained that Orkans aged backwards, thus explaining Mearth's appearance.

He was the narrator in Frosty Returns which airs annually aired during the Christmas season.

He also voiced Grandpa Smurf on The Smurfs TV series from 1986 to the show's conclusion in 1989. Over twenty years later, Winters was introduced to a new generation through voicing Papa Smurf in The Smurfs (2011) and The Smurfs 2 (2013). Winters died nine days after recording his dialogue for The Smurfs 2; the film was dedicated in his memory.

In 1991, Winters won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for playing Gunny Davis in the short-lived sitcom Davis Rules. 1999 saw Winters become the 2nd recipient of the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. In 2002, he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance on Life with Bonnie. Winters was presented with a Pioneer TV Land Award by Robin Williams in 2008.

In 2013, Winters died of natural causes at the age of 87.
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Roy Clark's Greatest is an album by Roy Clark, released in 1969.

Roy Linwood Clark (April 15, 1933 – November 15, 2018) was an American singer and musician. Clark was born April 15, 1933, in Meherrin, Virginia. He was one of five children born to Hester and Lillian Clark. His father was a tobacco farmer. He spent his childhood in Meherrin and New York City, his father having moved the family to take jobs during the Great Depression. When Clark was 11 years old, his family moved to a home on 1st Street SE in the Washington Highlands neighborhood of Washington, D.C., after his father found work at the Washington Navy Yard. Clark's father was a semi-professional musician who played banjo, fiddle, and guitar, and his mother played piano. The first musical instrument Clark ever played was a four-string cigar box with a ukelele neck attached to it, which he picked up in elementary school.

He is best known for having hosted Hee Haw, a nationally televised country variety show, from 1969 to 1997. Clark was an important and influential figure in country music, both as a performer and in helping to popularize the genre.

During the 1970s, Clark frequently guest-hosted for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and enjoyed a 30-million viewership for Hee Haw. Clark was highly regarded and renowned as a guitarist, banjo player, and fiddler. He was skilled in the traditions of many genres, including classical guitar, country music, Latin music, bluegrass, and pop. He had hit songs as a pop vocalist and his instrumental skill had an enormous effect on generations of bluegrass and country musicians.

He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1987. In 2009, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In Tulsa, Roy Clark Elementary School was named in his honor in 1978.

Clark died in 2018, at the age of 85, at his Tulsa home due to complications of pneumonia.
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post #3765 of 4624 Old 12-09-2019, 03:12 PM
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George Feyer: The Essential Cole Porter is an album by George Feyer, released in 1976.

George Feyer (born in Hungary, 27 October 1908 - died in New York, 21 October 2001) was a classically trained pianist who released a series of top-selling "Echoes of..." records on Vox Records. Feyer was born György Fejér, but westernised his name after leaving Europe.

Feyer remembered as a young boy hating his piano practice so much that his mother, a piano teacher, had to tie his legs to the piano stool. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and at the Budapest Conservatory of Music. He developed an interest in light music and played in many of the boîtes (small nightclubs) around Budapest. Feyer graduated, aged 23, in 1932 and caused a minor scandal by turning to pop music full-time. His classmate Georg Solti, a piano prodigy, became one of the world's most acclaimed conductors.

One of Feyer's first jobs was accompanying silent films. It was not long before he and his drummer began working around Europe. His first trip away from Budapest was in 1934, to Barcelona, Spain. For the next five years he toured Europe. In Paris a great fan was the exiled Duke of Windsor, previously Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, who had abdicated the throne of England in December 1936, and who lived in France from 1937 to 1939. The Duke particularly liked the accordion, so Feyer and his drummer drew straws to decide which of them would have to learn to play it. The drummer lost, and Feyer was able to continue playing the piano.

In 1939 Feyer returned to Hungary to be with his family, but was imprisoned in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, from where he was rescued in 1945 by the Allies. After the establishment of Russian Stalinist Communist rule, Feyer fled to Switzerland in 1948. George Feyer’s younger brother Paul won a lottery, and used the money to come to New York City, married, became a citizen, and helped George to obtain a visa. From 1951 to 1954 Feyer had a regular spot in Park Avenue's Delmonico Hotel [now known as Trump Park Avenue] and began his recording career.

Feyer's first record, Echoes of Paris, is mentioned in Ian Fleming's James Bond novel, Diamonds Are Forever (published 1956), calling it the “Best light record ever made.”

In 2001, Feyer died just six days before his 93rd birthday.
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Christmas Greetings From Jerry Vale is an album by Jerry Vale, released in 1964.

Jerry Vale (born Genaro Louis Vitaliano; July 8, 1930 – May 18, 2014) was an American singer and actor, born to Italian immigrant parents in The Bronx, New York. In high school, to earn money, Vale took a job shining shoes in a barbershop, singing while he worked. His boss, Vito Veneziano, liked the sound so well that he paid for music lessons for the boy.

His version of "The Star-Spangled Banner", recorded in late 1963, was a fixture at many sporting events for years, and the gold record Vale received was displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Vale frequently sang the song at Yankee Stadium.

During the 1950s and 1960s, he reached the top of the pop charts with his interpretations of romantic ballads, including a cover of Eddy Arnold hit "You Don't Know Me" (1956) and "Have You Looked into Your Heart" (1964). Vale, who was of Italian descent, sang numerous songs in Italian, many of which were used in soundtracks by films of Martin Scorsese.

He made cameo appearances as himself in the 1990 film Goodfellas and the 1995 film Casino, both directed by Martin Scorsese. He also appeared in the television series The Sopranos.

Vale suffered a stroke in 2002 and did not perform in his later years. He died of natural causes in his sleep in 2014, at his home in Palm Desert, California. Vale was 83 years old.
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Used Guitars is the third album by Marti Jones, released in 1988.

AllMusic Review:
Marti Jones' best effort to date, Used Guitars expands on her folk-pop foundations to stretch into soul ("Twisted Vines") and piano ballads (the stunning "Ruby," co-written by Janis Ian). Again, the songs are astutely chosen and feature contributions from John Hiatt, Graham Parker, and Jackie DeShannon; Jones' own compositions, penned with Don Dixon, are especially strong -- the breezy opener "Tourist Town" is a stunner.
Her first solo album, 1985's Unsophisticated Time, was produced by Don Dixon. Marti covered songs by The dB's, The Bongos, Elvis Costello, and Dixon. The album featured Anne Richmond Boston (vocalist for The Swimming Pool Q's) and Mitch Easter (guitar; REM producer and Let's Active frontman).

Marti Jones and Don Dixon married in 1988, and Dixon produced and wrote songs for all of her subsequent albums.

She recorded two more albums: Match Game (1986) and Used Guitars (1988) -- featuring a wide range of supporting musicians (including Marshall Crenshaw, Mitch Easter, Paul Carrack, T Bone Burnett). These albums featured original material (written by Dixon, or Dixon and Jones together), and covers of songs by Janis Ian, Elvis Costello, John Hiatt, and Graham Parker. Jones' sound encompassed jangle pop, ballads, and southern-style soul.

Her voice and singing style reminded some observers of Dusty Springfield, who mined a similarly eclectic field of pop music; others compared her voice to that of Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, or Annie Lennox.

Great Overlooked Albums:
It’s not so much a guilty pleasure as a true pleasure and few people probably know about it. MARTI JONES’ “Used Guitars” is a great album that came out in a year (1987), in a decade really, that many argue does not have it’s share of great albums. If you were to have hopped into the Starlet in 1987 you would have had to pop my copy of “Used Guitars” out of the stereo in order to put your “Substance” or “Document” cassette in. I liked it that much! I had just discovered DON DIXON and then found his wife made equally cool indie rock. (Was that even a word then?). This album doesn’t sound like the thin 80’s recordings of the time and the songs (a mix of DIXON/JONES and excellent covers) hold up better than most of my other favorites from this time. It’s chock full of great musicians (MARSHALL CRENSHAW, JAMIE HOOVER, SONNY LANDRETH, MITCH EASTER). It’s worth adding to any collection.
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post #3772 of 4624 Old 12-09-2019, 07:43 PM
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Merry Christmas is the first Christmas album by American pop singer Johnny Mathis, released in 1958.

The selections are a mix of traditional Christmas carols ("Silent Night", "O Holy Night", "The First Noel") and holiday hits ("The Christmas Song", "White Christmas", "Silver Bells"), produced by Mitch Miller.

AllMusic Review: Of the several Christmas LPs Johnny Mathis has recorded, this one gets the nod.

The album didn’t spend much time in the spotlight the first year it was first released but resurfaced near the top for subsequent holiday seasons, becoming the fifth best selling album of the 1950’s. In 2013, it ranked as one of the top selling Christmas albums of all time with five million copies sold.

Johnny Mathis is 84. He still performs 2-4 times per month. This week he's performing in in San Jose CA. He'll be performing in Hawaii on 20-21 Dec.
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post #3773 of 4624 Old 12-09-2019, 09:12 PM
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Song in a Seashell is an album by American country music singer Tom T. Hall, released in 1985.

Three singles from the album charted, "A Bar With No Beer", "Down in the Florida Keys", and "Love Letters in the Sand".

"A Pub with No Beer" is the title of a 1954 humorous Australian country song made famous by country singer Slim Dusty. In 1957, "A Pub with No Beer" became the first Australian single to become a gold record and was the biggest-selling record by an Australian at the time. It was the first single by an Australian artist to enter the British charts, reaching number three.

In 1960, Benny Barnes from Beaumont, Texas, Americanized the lyrics to "A Pub with No Beer" and titled it "Bar with No Beer." "Bar with No Beer" was recorded by Tom T. Hall in 1985 on the album Song in a Seashell. Johnny Cash, who also performed the song, advised him to record it.

In 2008, Hall was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Hall attributed the longer-than-anticipated wait to be inducted to being somewhat reclusive and "not well liked" among the Nashville music industry, noting that he almost never collaborated with other songwriters and by the 1990s was largely out of step with the corporate style of country music.

In 2019, Hall was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
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post #3775 of 4624 Old 12-10-2019, 08:06 AM
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post #3776 of 4624 Old 12-10-2019, 08:07 AM
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Made in the USA is an album by Bill Wilson, released in 1980.

Bill Wilson was widely considered Indiana's finest singer-songwriter. He wove elements of folk, country, rock and blues into a sometimes delicate, sometimes jaw-busting canvas for his thoughtful, provocative lyrical excursions.

Bill Wilson was born in Lebanon, Indiana in 1947. In 1966, he enlisted in the Air Force, served in Vietnam, and was discharged in 1970.

One night in February of 1973, Indiana folk rock legend Bill Wilson was a 25 year-old musician looking for a break. So he drove to Nashville and knocked on the kitchen door of producer Bob Johnston, the guy who had produced Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde albums, and Johnny Cash's at Folsom Prison and I Walk the Line records.

According to the liner notes of Wilson's debut album, Johnston answered the door to find Wilson standing there, saying "I'm Bill Wilson and I want to make a record."

"Well, you came to the wrong house," Johnson answered. "You can't just show up and make a f---ing record."

"Will you listen to one song?" asked Wilson.

"One song," said Johnston.

A Vietnam vet who hung around in the Austin scene, Wilson's spark must have been evident to Johnston, because the producer let the singer in, allowed him to play 12 songs, and as legend has it - rounded up many of the guys who played on Dylan's Blonde on Blonde to record Ever Changing Minstrel in one night.

But national fame eluded him then, and he built a career instead as a regional artist in Indiana. He made a significant contribution to Dire Straits' hit, "Sultans of Swing", although he was not given co-writer's credit.

Bill seemed the model of health when he died of a massive heart attack on Thanksgiving Day 1993 at age 46.

More than anything else, Bill Wilson was Bill Wilson - fiercely independent and deeply caring about his music. As he put it, "Why should I be a second-rate Jimmy Buffett when I can be a first-rate Bill Wilson?"
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post #3777 of 4624 Old 12-10-2019, 08:14 AM
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made a significant contribution to Dire Straits' hit, "Sultans of Swing", although he was not given co-writer's credit.
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Although he was not given co-writers credits on the song, Columbia recording artist Bill Wilson is said to have written many of the lyrics to the song while he and Knopfler were both studio musicians working a session in Nashville. During a live performance of the song in Indianapolis, circa 1991, Wilson had this to say before the song:

"I do this thing I co-wrote about, I guess, its been about 12 years ago I wrote the lyrics and a friend of mine used to work a lot of sessions for my old producer, Bob Johnston, and worked a session with this fellow from England by the name of Mark Knopfler. Has his own group over there called Dire Straits. He had this little melody. It sounded like "Walk, Dont Run. And he had this little story concerning a band that nobody wanted to listen to. Only a few people show up to hear. So we got together one night after the session and tossed these lyrics around on a napkin and I guess I wound up writing most of the lyrics to the tune. made enough money to buy a new Blazer that year I remember, so didnt do too bad. It goes like this".
Bill Wilson died of a heart attack at the age of 46, in 1993.
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post #3778 of 4624 Old 12-10-2019, 08:42 AM
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Joni James At Carnegie Hall is an album by Joni James, released in 1959.

AllMusic Review:
This recording captures vocalist Joni James during her debut performance at Carnegie Hall. She was likewise the first pop musician to play at the venerable venue. When At Carnegie Hall was issued in 1960, it became an immediate hit with enthusiasts, and one of James' best-selling long-players, eventually going double platinum.

The 100-member Symphony of the Air and the assembled 40-voice chorale -- under the supervision of her musical director/husband Anthony Acquaviva -- helped James re-create some of her most memorable platters for the SRO crowd.

What sets the music of Joni James apart from her teen idol pop vocalist contemporaries is the maturity and refined elegance in her delivery. Ironically, it's the same quality that is absent from the candy-coated pre-rock & roll of Connie Francis or Doris Day. In numerous ways -- exemplified throughout this performance -- she is the link between the jazz and torch song vocalists such as Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan and the female pop song contemporaries with whom she concurrently shared the charts. After an opulently scored "Joni James Overture," the vocalist winds her way through some unique arrangements of her hits. Included are "Purple Shades," "My Love, My Love," "Have You Heard," and notable cover versions of "Danny Boy," "When I Grow Too Old to Dream," and the showstopping "Let There Be Love" -- which literally brought the evening's festivities to a halt, according to the liner notes, as James garnered round upon round of heartfelt applause.
James had seven Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as well as sixteen other Top 40 hits from 1952 to 1961. She has sold more than 100 million records.

In 1964 she retired from music because her husband was in bad health and needed her attention. She cared for him until his death in 1986.

Joni James turned 89 this year.
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post #3779 of 4624 Old 12-10-2019, 11:39 AM
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Oklahoma! is the soundtrack to the 1955 American musical film (based on the 1943 musical of the same name by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II), starring Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones (in her film debut), and Eddie Albert.

Interest in a film version of Oklahoma! dates as far back as 1943, when the musical first opened on Broadway. the film rights were bought for a record $1,000,000. Including the cost of developing the new process, Magna invested $11 million in the film. Oklahoma! was the first feature film photographed in the 70mm widescreen process (and was simultaneously filmed in CinemaScope 35mm).

Set in Oklahoma Territory, it tells the story of farm girl Laurey Williams (Shirley Jones) and her courtship by two rival suitors, cowboy Curly McLain (Gordon MacRae) and the sinister and frightening farmhand Jud Fry (Steiger). A background theme is the territory's aspiration for Statehood, and the local conflict between cattlemen and farmers.

The many actors who tried out for the role of Curly included James Dean and Paul Newman. James Dean made a sensational screen test, but as his voice wasn't strong enough, Gordon MacRae was cast in the main role.

Although the film was initially to have been shot on location in the title state, the producers opted to shoot elsewhere, apparently because the oil wells would be a distraction for exterior scenes. Location shooting was done mostly in Nogales, Arizona.

The film received a rave review from The New York Times, and was voted a "New York Times Critics Pick". In 2007, Oklahoma! was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

The film won two Academy Awards for Best Music Scoring of a Musical Picture and Best Sound Recording.

Gordon MacRae (March 12, 1921 – January 24, 1986) served as a navigator in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. He made his Broadway debut in 1942. He starred with Doris Day in Tea for Two (1950) and By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953). MacRae's best known film role was Curly in the big screen adaptation of Oklahoma! (1955) alongside Shirley Jones. He and Jones were used on another Rodgers and Hammerstein adaptation, Carousel (1956).

He died in 1986 of pneumonia, at his home in Lincoln, Nebraska, aged 64.
Autographed by Gordon MacRae.

Unopened for 64 years (until a few minutes ago), only one corner of the shrinkwrap was removed for the autograph.

Out of over 5,000 records, this is the cleanest album I've ever heard. Not even the slightest crackle or pop when I lowered the needle.
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post #3780 of 4624 Old 12-10-2019, 02:31 PM
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The Next Hundred Years is an album by Al Martino, released in 1978.

Al Martino (born Jasper Cini; October 7, 1927 – October 13, 2009) was an American singer and actor. He had his greatest success as a singer between the early 1950s and mid-1970s, being described as "one of the great Italian American pop crooners", and also became well known as an actor, particularly for his role as singer Johnny Fontane in The Godfather.

Jasper "Al" Cini was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The name Jasper was an anglicisation of his father's name, Gasparino. His parents were immigrants from Abruzzo, Italy, who ran a construction business, and while growing up, he worked alongside his brothers, Pasquale and Frank as a bricklayer. He aspired to become a singer, emulating artists such as Al Jolson and Perry Como.

After serving with the United States Navy in World War II, during which he was part of, and injured in, the Iwo Jima invasion, Cini began his singing career. He adopted the stage name Al Martino, based on the name of his good friend Lorraine Cianfrani's husband Alfred Martin Cianfrani.

In 1948, he moved to New York City and in 1952 won first place on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts television program with a performance of Como's hit "If". As a result, he won a recording contract and recorded "Here in My Heart". The song spent three weeks at No. 1 on the US pop charts, earning Martino a gold disc. It was also number one in the very first UK Singles chart, putting him into the Guinness Book of World Records. "Here in My Heart" remained in the top position for nine weeks in the UK, a record for the longest consecutive run at number one, that has only since been beaten by five other songs.

The record's success led to a deal with Capitol Records, and he released three more singles, all of which hit the U.S. top 40. However, his success also attracted the attention of the Mafia, which bought out Martino's management contract and ordered him to pay $75,000 as a safeguard for their investment. After making a down-payment to appease them, he moved to Britain. In 1958, thanks to the intervention of a family friend, Martino was allowed to return to the U.S. and resume his recording career, but he faced difficulties in re-establishing himself, especially with the arrival of rock and roll.

Apart from singing, Martino played the role of Johnny Fontane in the 1972 film The Godfather, as well as singing the film's theme, "Speak Softly Love". He played the same role in The Godfather Part III and The Godfather Trilogy: 1901–1980.

Martino died from a heart attack in 2009, at his childhood home in Springfield, Pennsylvania, six days after his 82nd birthday.
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