“Pennies in a stream… Falling leaves a sycamore… Moonlight in Vermont”
Though you may not notice it, the lyrics to the “Moonlight in Vermont” do not rhyme. And excluding the bridge, the rest of the song is composed of haiku, the verses consisting of 17 syllables in phrases of 5, 7 and 5, respectively.
The song was originally recorded in 1944 by Margaret Whiting though it has been covered numerous times over the years by the likes of Rosemary Clooney, Jo Stafford, The Dorsey Brothers, Nat King Cole, Charlie Byrd, Stan Getz, Billie Holiday, Johnny Mathis, and Willie Nelson, whose version off the 1978 album Stardust is probably my second favorite after Sinatra’s. You also may remember it as the number Diane Keaton and Sam Shepard sway to during the town dance scene in 1987’s Baby Boom.
Sinatra’s version of the serenade to the natural beauty of our fourteenth state follows below, from the album Come Fly With Me (1958)
“You date a girl and find out later… She smells just like a percolator… Her perfume was made right on the grill… Why, they could percolate the ocean in Brazil “
Released in March, 1961, Ring-a-Ding-Ding was Frank Sinatra’s first album on the Reprise label, founded by Sinatra himself one year before in an effort to allow himself more creative recording freedom after breaking with Capitol.
Solely in charge of album production for the very first time, Sinatra delivered a parade of upbeat swing numbers, without the assistance of conductors/arrangers Nelson Riddle and Billy May, who were both still under contract at Capitol. Stepping in was Johnny Mandel, who later went on to co-write the Oscar-winning song “The Shadow of Your Smile” from The Sandpiper, and “Suicide is Painless,” better known as the theme from the the film and television show, M*A*S*H.
Be sure to listen for the cowbell coming from the percussion section, a must for any song looking deliver a South American vibe.
For those of you who weren’t around in the early 1980s when daytime soaps were at their indisputable peak, The Afternoon Delights are ready to catch you up with their 1981 novelty song re-capping the happenings on the King of All Soaps, General Hospital.
My introduction to this show involved a pre-Robin Mattson Heather Webber dropping LSD into Diana Taylor’s iced tea as part of her plan to drive Diana to the mental ward and claim for her own Diana’s baby, who was actually Heather’s biological child sold months earlier on the black market. What Heather didn’t know was that the lazy susan the identical iced teas were sitting on was accidentally turned on when she wasn’t looking, and poor Heather ended up dosing herself. My mind exploded at the idea that this is what grown-ups got to do with their time. It explains a lot about my own personal life choices as an adult, but that’s a topic for another post.
The song chronicles the story lines happening in Port Charles post “Luke Rapes Laura at the Campus Disco” and pre “Remote Island Housing Evil Machine That Will Freeze the World” (as indicated by the line,“How it ends up nobody knows!”)
My favorite lyric in the song has to be “Alan was the father… of course. And he won’t give Monica… a divorce!” That’s followed closely by, “Amy Vining likes to blab… Richard Simmons helps fight flab!”
The bad rap and the slutty horn section just add to the fun.
A good ninety percent of my time spent in the kitchen is accompanied by the music from five time Oscar winner, John Barry. In fact, as I type these words, the music from the Fort Knox raid scene in Goldfinger is pumping through my living room.
Barry’s first two Oscar wins were for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, both from the 1966 film, Born Free. That was followed by three more wins for Best Score with The Lion in Winter (1968), Out of Africa (1985) and Dances with Wolves (1990). Additionally, Barry provided the score for nearly a hundred other films, including Midnight Cowboy, Somewhere in Time, Body Heat, The Cotton Club, Peggy Sue Got Married and Chaplin.
Most importantly (to me anyway), Barry scored eleven of the James Bond films and defined the musical style that still dominates the 007 series to this day. Although Barry is not credited with wrtiting the “James Bond Theme” itself, he claims that it was he, in fact, who penned it when the producers found the original arrangement by Monty Norman unsatisfactory. And while Norman has won multiple libel suits over the years upholding his claim on the theme, no composer is more closely associated with the Bond film series than John Barry.
“My bridges all were crossed… nowhere to go… Now you’re here… now I know just where I’m going… No more doubt of fear… I’ve found my way… For love came just in time”
“Just in Time” was introduced in the 1956 musical Bells are Ringing, directed by Jerome Robbins and starring Judy Holliday, who also played the leading role of Ella the answering service operator in the 1960 film adaptation co-starring Dean Martin and directed by Vincent Minnelli (regularly airing on TCM and well worth the viewing).
Sinatra’s version of the song was recorded for the 1959 album Come Dance with Me!, which spent over two years on the Billboard album charts and became Sinatra’s most successful album of all time, though it peaked at number two. The album took Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Best Vocal Performance by a Male and Best Arrangement for Billy May. Aside from “Just in Time,” Come Dance with Me! also includes the classics, “Cheek To Cheek,” “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “Baubles, Bangles & Beads.”
Check out Sinatra’s version of “Bells” below, and happy Sunday!
The slinky voice of Dolores Gray would be the perfect soundtrack to a midnight skinny dip or an evening trapped in a snowed-in cabin. It also soothes the beastly rage brought about by Los Angeles morning gridlock or your internet service provider being totally ineffective at diagnosing your connection issues, not that I would know.
Dolores Gray was an actress and singer who won a Tony award for her performance in the Broadway musical version of the 1936 French film Carnival in Flanders. The stage show, backed by Bing Crosby was generally hated and ran only six nights. But Gray’s performance in the show still managed to win her the Tony Award in 1953 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical, which makes her the record-holder for shortest run of any actress to win the award. Take a listen below and find out why.
For those of you who like a little spirited action and romance themes to goose you into the kitchen and underscore you weekend beef bourguignon preparations, here comes nearly four hours of the best tracks from 40 years of James Bond music, reaching back to 1964’s Goldfinger and shuffling all the way up to 2008’s Quantum of Solace.
This music also works well while you’re electrocuting Korean henchmen or sneaking onto a rocket with intentions to thwart a ego-maniacal billionaire’s plans to destroy the Earth with poison orchids and re-populate it with genetically perfect human specimens bred in outer space.
You can also play card games to it.
I made this especially for my friend Laura, who is currently scuba diving off the coast of Honduras in Utila on her birthday (March 31st). Love to you, Brassy!
If you look very very carefully, you might just catch the product placement in J-Lo’s performance.
And I remember thinking how out of control it was back in 1986 when Wang Chung dared to include their own name in “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.” How far we’ve come.
Had the Fiat just rolled onto stage at the end and whisked her off, I don’t think I would have felt so dirty for having tuned in. But when a car that looks like a big toe on wheels comes off cooler in the performance than the person actually performing, everyone should be worried.
Video below. And right now, somewhere in Hollywood, a network executive is sitting on their couch, working up a preliminary budget for the next big television phenomenon: Dancing with the Datsuns.
I know… you’ve been asking yourself for over two years now… “What does Gary Green actually sound like? Could his voice possibly be as masculine and virile-sounding as I’ve always imagined??”
Well, your curiosity is about to be satisfied. Please enjoy my debut podcast. This was truly my very first attempt at something I’ve wanted to tackle for a long, long time. As it progresses, I hope to involve all of my regular visitors into the conversation via phone interview, so all us food/drink/tv bloggers can connect to one another on a more personal level!
And because it wouldn’t be a Gary Green/Tv Food and Drink Production without a game show element, there’s, of course, a giveaway element. If you know the answer to the trivia question I ask mid-way through the podcast, and you’re the first person to e-mail me at TvFoodAndDrink@gmail.com, there are two inaugural podcast prizes on their way to your doorstep!
“Sway” is the English version of “Quién Será”, a 1953 Latin pop song with a mambo beat written by Mexican composer and bandleader Pablo Beltrán Ruiz. In 1954 the English lyrics were written by Norman Gimbel and originally recorded by Dean Martin for Capitol. The song has been recorded and remixed by many artists including Bobby Rydell, Julie London, Jennifer Lopez, The Pussycat Dolls, Michael Buble and even Bjork, but the Dean Martin version is in my opinion, impossible to top.