The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

Step back to a time when singers were as bright as the stars in the heavens
and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Birthday - Music For Every Mood Is 3!

I just noticed, but on November 30th, Music For Every Mood celebrated it's 3rd birthday! Hooray! Faithful followers may have given up on me lately, but things are better now and I hope to post many more records to come. I've always loved music and records and that's why doing this project is so fun for me. There's something special about holding records in your hands, so here are some random records to look at and enjoy.

To commemorate the birthday of MFEM, I've got a special treat for my faithful readers - a song featuring yours truly - that's me - performing one of my favorite songs from the era this blog covers. In it, I play all the instruments and perform the vocals. Maybe my love of music will shine through in the arrangement. So, here's yours truly performing that swinging number called Route 66. Please let me know if you enjoy it by leaving a comment. Happy Birthday!

The Singing Rage - Miss Patti Page

Artist: Patti Page
Song: Steam Heat (a-side) (b-side is Lonely Days)
Label: Mercury 70380-X45
Number: YW-10344
Songwriters: Adler-Ross
Time: 2:18
Released: 1954

Regular readers of Music For Every Mood well know of my fondness for the singing talents of Miss Patti Page. She has such a versatile voice and uses it to full effect. On records such as The Tennessee Waltz or Old Cape Cod, she was nothing but smooth while she employed her best balladeering voice. For today's song, however, she really cuts loose with a sultry, steamy voice - literally! She still performs regularly, and in fact, if you'd like to see her in concert, be sure to see her in the upcoming appearances below:

February 14th & 15th, 2011
7:30 p.m.
Eric Meyer Civic Center
Gulf Shores, Alabama

April 9th & 10th, 2011
World Premier "Flipside: The Patti Page Story"
University of Central Oklahoma
Edmond, Oklahoma

The most well-known version of today's song, Steam Heat, was released by Patti Page in 1954. It was featured in the Broadway production of The Pajama Game. Patti's recording of it shot up the Billboard chart on May 26th; it lasted 9 weeks and peaked at #8. With her breathy intonation of the word "steam," backed by Jack Rael and his orchestra, she delivers a performance sure to fog up your reading glasses. Be sure to look Patti up on her website, but not until after you've heard her singing this "hot" number. Download Patti Page as she belts out the classic Steam Heat. It proves once and for all that Miss Page is an American classic.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Movie Idol Next Door

Artist: Tab Hunter
Song: Red Sails In The Sunset (b-side) (a-side is Young Love)
Label: Dot MW-9452
Number: 45-15533
Songwriters: Williams-Kennedy
Time: 2:22
Released: 1957

Most of you will probably recognize the name of Tab Hunter from the many motion pictures he has appeared in. Movies such as The Lawless (1950), Return To Treasure Island (1954), Battle Cry (1955), The Sea Chase (1955), Operation Bikini (1963), Ride The Wild Surf (1964) and The Life And Times Of Judge Roy Bean (1972), among many others. What many may not remember is that, for a brief period during the late 1950's and early 1960's, Tab had a popular recording career as well. In 1957, he scored a Billboard number one hit with his cover version of Sonny James' Young Love. It rode the top of the charts for six weeks. He also reached to #11 with a song called Ninety-Nine Ways. His success prompted Jack Warner to enforce the actor's contract with the Warner Bros. studio by banning Dot Records, the label for which Hunter had recorded his hit singles (and which was owned by rival Paramount Pictures), from releasing a follow-up album he had recorded for them. He established Warner Bros. Records specifically for Hunter, although his singing career faded after a few more recordings.
I have heard several different versions of today's song, by a wide variety of artists, The Beatles even performed a version of this classic song (published in 1935), in which they performed it in an uptempo manner, but Tab's version is as a ballad. With Billy Vaughn's full orchestra and chorus backing him up, he turns in an impassioned version that I'm sure had all the teenyboppers of the day going wild. So, if you've never heard him sing anything other than Young Love, be sure to download Tab Hunter performing Red Sails In The Sunset and give it a listen. His recording career didn't last very long, but this is quite a pleasant version of a classic song.

Coming Soon To A New Post Near You

Just yesterday, I was contacted by somebody that said he knew one of the artists I've featured here on Music For Every Mood. He noticed I hadn't included a picture of this artist and promised to put me in touch with her if I wanted him to. I said, "of course!" I'd love the opportunity to get to talk with one of the favorite singers in my collection! Without giving too much away, I hope to be put in touch with this singer soon and to be able to ask her about the story of her life and career. I'm sure it will turn out to be quite fascinating for my regular readers here on MFEM. I know I can't wait to find out more about her!

I think I'll put on my new cd by Old Blue Eyes and try to post another record soon. I've been kept away from Music For Every Mood for too long due to family matters, but I'm going to try and get back on track starting with the new year. Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Janice

Artist: Janice Harper
Song: Moonlit Sea (a-side) (b-side is That's Why I Was Born)
Label: Prep F 123 (Capitol subsidiary)
Number: 45-21759
Songwriters: Murray-Solomon
Time: 2:12
Released: 1957

Regular readers will have seen how popular Janice Harper has been on Music For Every Mood blog, especially if they've kept up will all the recent comments that have been posted. Thanks everyone for posting these comments! One of the comments mentioned that Janice had celebrated a birthday recently, and turned 79 this past April 1st. This is a belated happy birthday greeting from me and all her fans. Happy Birthday, Janice!
In honor of her birthday, I'm posting the flipside to a song that has already been listed here on Music For Every Mood, namely Moonlit Sea. The a-side, That's Why I Was Born, seems to have been a popular choice here, so I figured, why not give her fans both sides of the 45 to enjoy? Well, here is Janice singing Moonlit Sea for all her loyal fans. If only she knew how much she is still fondly remembered.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Frank's Pick

Artist: Linda Leigh
Song: Someone Special (b-side) (a-side is Please)
Label: Reprise R-20,060 B (Promotion Copy)
Number: 853
Songwriters: Schwimmer-Sands
Time: 2:10
Released: 1962

Today's record is an anomaly. On one hand, it's on Frank Sinatra's label and he only asked artists he liked to record for Reprise. On the other hand, I can find hardly any facts or information about the artist, Linda Leigh.
I have ascertained that Linda Leigh recorded during a period that spanned at least 1957 to 1962. In 1957, she recorded four songs for Verve, two of which comprised the Verve 10105 single I Cry and What Good Does It Do Me? along with two other songs which were included on the Verve various artists album Songs For Your Boy Friend, (Verve MGV 2097), Let Me and What Good Is A Memory. Then I find references to her having recorded a couple songs, along with the Treasure Tones, for a teen drive-in movie called Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow. Those two tracks were He's My Guy and I Promise You, which was co-written by future Beach Boy, Bruce Johnston. Both songs were reviewed in Billboard magazine in 1959 and were described thusly: I Promise You - "Linda Leigh sells this promise of love with feeling over a rock and roll backing. Thrush has a good sound." And He's My Guy - "Wild rocker is sold brightly by the thrush over a swinging backing. It could get spins."
Fast forward to 1962 when Billboard again reviews a couple of her singles. On March 17th they reviewed her new sides, Someone Special, which is today's song, and Please. Later, on May 12th, Lover's Beach, backed with A Thousand Violins - This young lass sings a big production number vocal version of the theme from the current flick. She is aided by sweeping strings and vocal chorus. A couple other song titles I found attributed to her include Please Please (Let Me Go Steady), Move Out, Foolish Dreams, The Scent, Beri-Beri and The Plan.
That was all I managed to find out about this charming singer.
Listening to today's song, especially after hearing that a lot of her previous songs were teen rock oriented, one can see just how it came to be that she was invited to record for Frank Sinatra's Reprise label. It is a nice, uptempo ballad, with string and piano backing and features what sounds like her own voice doubling as harmony vocals. This kind of music certainly wasn't what was cracking the top forty in 1962 very often, but that's no fault of this fine singer or the song. There needed to be more music like this back then! So, download Someone Special by Linda Leigh, and give it a spin. You can be the judge whether or not Frank was justified in signing this young lass to his label. Since I couldn't locate a picture of Linda, I chose the next best thing - the record label detailing today's song: