Monthly Archives: December 2023

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Song of the Day #2082

Song of the Day: MacArthur Park Suite [YouTube link] includes the Jimmy Webb-penned song in a medley with “One of a Kind” and “Heaven Knows“, composed by Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte, and Donna Summer, who delivers this nearly 18-minute dance extravaganza on her #1 1978 album, “Live and More“. Today’s date, 12/31/23 (1-2-3-1-2-3), may offer a once-in-a-century numerical sequence. But it’s also the 75th anniversary of the birth of Donna Summer (1948-2012). I danced to her music in my youth and spun it on the turntables as a mobile DJ in college. Back in 2018, I very much enjoyed seeing the Broadway jukebox musical of her life, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical“. And in 2023, I equally enjoyed HBO’s fine documentary, “Love to Love You: Donna Summer“. Nothing like a little Old School Dancing to bring in a New Year!

Song of the Day #2081

Song of the Day: I’m Playing the Field features the words and music of Steve Allen, who was born on this date in 1921. Allen was the original host of “The Tonight Show” (1954-1957). Much more than that, he was a multitalented artist—a comedian, composer, musician, and actor (most notably in the title role of the 1956 film, “The Benny Goodman Story“). This song was originally written for a 1956 television musicial production, “The Bachelor“, but it’s sung here in swinging style by Steve Lawrence on the first installment of “Steve Allen’s Music Room” in 1983 (in which he appeared along with his wife, singer Eydie Gorme). With a wonderful band led by vibraphonist Terry Gibbs and with Allen on percussion, check out this live performance on YouTube. An earlier version was recorded by Andy Williams in 1956 [YouTube].

Song of the Day #2080

Song of the Day: The Secret of Christmas, words and music by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy van Heusen, was written for Bing Crosby, who performed this song in the 1959 film, “Say One for Me“. Check out the film’s rendition, by Bing, with assistance from Debbie Reynolds and Robert Wagner [YouTube link]. The song has been covered by many artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Julie Andrews, and violinist Joshua Bell, whose recording with singer Michael Feinstein is lovely. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, especially among my friends and family. The spirit of the holiday, however, is universal, with its message of “Peace on earth, Goodwill toward all.”

Song of the Day #2079

Song of the Day: Merry Christmas, words and music by Fred Spielman and Janice Torre, made its debut in the 1949 musical, “In the Good Old Summertime“, sung by Judy Garland. This film was a musical adaptation of “The Shop Around the Corner” (1940), and both films were shown back-to-back last night on Turner Classic Movies. The plot was also adapted in the 1998 film, “You’ve Got Mail“. But in a song that features the lyrics: “Dream about your hearts desire, Christmas Eve when you retire, Santa Claus will stop and I know he’ll drop, Exactly what you wanted from your chimney top”, I couldn’t help but feature it today! Make sure you’re tracking Santa on NORAD! Check out the original Garland rendition, as well as renditions by Johnny Mathis and Bette Midler [YouTube links].

Song of the Day #2078

Song of the Day: The Look of Love, words and music by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy van Heusen, is featured on the 1964 album, “Softly as I Leave You“, sung by Frank Sinatra, who was born on this date in 1915. The swinging  arrangement is by Nelson Riddle, and the orchestra is conducted by Neil Hefti. Sinatra recorded well over 1,200 songs, some on more than one occasion, a testament to his huge impact on the evolution of American popular music. Check out this rendition by Ol’ Blue Eyes [YouTube link].

Philosophical Christmas

I saw this circulating on Facebook … to add to our holiday cheer!

Facebook Prison!

For the first time in all the years I have been on Facebook, I got restricted for ONE WHOLE HOUR. What nerve!

Apparently, I violated “Community Standards”. At first, I said to myself: “WTF!? What did Ebenezer Scrooge or Mr. Henry Potter suddenly seize control of the platform and take umbrage at my ongoing Holiday Video series? Bah, humbug!”

Then, a friend showed me that the same thing happened to a mutual friend of ours … and I figured that it probably had something to do with me scrolling thru my feed and giving too many Thumbs Up, Care, and Heart reacts to people. I never dreamed that liking too many posts would be deemed as aggressive!

So many of my FB pals have been in FB prison in the past, for a helluva lot longer than an hour! I was beginning to think I could do no wrong here! But after an hour, the dismissal bell rang, and I got my wings and flew the coop! I’m happy to have finally joined the ranks of the (fallen) angels.

Next time, I won’t be so nice with generous reacts and do something REALLY naughty! 😉

Check out the lively Facebook discussion this provoked.

Brenda Lee at #1!

Good for Brenda Lee! Recorded in 1958, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” took 65 years to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100! (And I featured it as my Song of the Day on December 29, 2007!) At the age of 78, Brenda finally got around to doing a video just for the occasion!

Song of the Day #2077

Song of the Day: Lipstick features the words and music of Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Nathan Perez, Andrew Wansel, and Charlie Puth, who celebrates his 32nd birthday today. At 92 beats per minute, what DJs used to call a “sleaze beat“, the song sports a sensual, sultry old-school groove and is the lead single to Puth’s upcoming fourth studio album (CP4*). The lyrics and the video are a bit, uh, suggestive, but hey, Happy birthday, Charlie! Check it out [YouTube link].