Archive for the 'Music' Category

Smithsonian Folkways Magazine – Pete Seeger

Videocast: Pete Seeger talks about folk music.

The Smithsonian Folkways Collection

Real voices of real people with real emotion. Much of the collection is freely available and downloadable on iTunesU. As Pete Seeger said … “If you’re ever feeling a little down … listen to what these people have to say!” Music from the heart and soul. And what music! Enjoy.

The Smithsonian Folkways Collection

My Favorite things – Julie Andrews – The Sound of Music

It was in 1965 that a film was made of The Sound of Music. Here’s Julie Andrews singing what came to be one of the most famous and most loved of songs from American Musicals. The song, written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, was originally perfromed on Broadway in 1959.

The post which precedes this one, is John Coltrane’s version. Both are among … my favorite things.  Enjoy.

My Favorite Things – Coltrane

and this is one of them:

Piano Battle

A word to music lovers (and especially opera fans) … if you can!!

Jean François Zygel is giving his monthly “Lesson” at the Chatelet this Wednedsay, October 27. This week he will be talking and playing and introducing “Don Giovanni.”

Here’s a contest from earlier this year. The selection below is the first of 15. You can see and hear the others by clicking on the thumbnail screens at the bottom of the video. Enjoy!

“Singin’ in the Rain”

Remember Gene Kelly? If you need to get out of a rainy mood, or if you just happen to like movies, take a 4 minute refresher by watching this!


Singin’ in the rain !

This land … by Woody.

Folk music is all about folk – people, family, friends, you and me and everyone else;  individuals coping with life’s everyday cares. Happy ones and sad, hard and sweet.

Folk music provides us with a country’s history because it’s the people’s history … and how can we understand the present without a feeling and grasp of the working people who’ve lived before us, built our railroads, plucked our cotton, suffered the dust storms and prayed for rain? Brought us to where we are? Not only with their successes … but also their failures. Folk is about “everyday” people in touch with their emotions, their strengths, their weaknesses, their environments.

American folk music is so incredibly rich that I’d like to introduce you to a few tunes, stories, people and songs. Far from today’s global political stage, these songs are rooted in everyday experience. Pionners. Immigrants. Roamers.Expressions of work, love, family, discovery.

Without the advent of sound recording,  they’d be lost. Fortunately, there are many many recordings and thanks to a fellow whose name was Moses Asch, the Folkways Collection was a lifetime project to guarantee their perennity … and  I, at least, am grateful to him and his team for their work. Vanguard Records, too, as well as major and minor labels produced artists whose souls are still very alive.

Folk music is for listening. And here’s one of the classics: Woody Guthrie, of course.


PS.The Folkways Collection put about 2 dozen podcasts on the net for free downloads on iTunes (and maybe elsewhere!) … and this leads me to one of my father’s, bless his soul, favorite sayings:

“A word to the wise is sufficient.”

Singin’ in the Rain

Here’s the link:

Singin’ in the Rain. Gene Kelly. Masterpeice.

I’m singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin’
I’m happy again
I’m laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun’s in my heart
And I’m ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I’ve a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin’,
Singin’ in the rain

Dancin’ in the rain
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
I’m happy again!
I’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain!

I’m dancin’ and singin’ in the rain…

….
Why am I smiling
And why do I sing?
Why does September
Seem sunny as spring?
Why do I get up
Each morning and start?
Happy and head up
With joy in my heart
Why is each new task
A trifle to do?
Because I am living
A life full of you.

Too Darn Hot

You know how it is … it’s been hot … the temperatures shot up into the 90s and when it gets SO hot, well, it’s TOO hot to do ANYTHING!

Cole Porter wrote the lyrics to the Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate!” One of the songs was called “Too Darn Hot.” Here’s Ella Fitzgerald singing it:

And here are the lyrics:

It’s too darn hot!
It’s too darn hot!
I’d like to sup with my baby tonight,
Refill the cup with my baby tonight.
I’d like to sup with my baby tonight,
Refill the cup with my baby tonight,
But I ain’t up to my baby tonight
‘Cause it’s too darn hot

It’s too darn hot!
It’s too darn hot!
I’d like to coo with my baby tonight,
And pitch the woo with my baby tonight.
I’d like to coo with my baby tonight,
And pitch the woo with my baby tonight.
But brother you fight my baby tonight
‘Cause it’s too darn hot

According to the Kinsey Report
Ev’ry average man you know
Much prefers his love-y dove-y to court
When the temperature is low,
But when the thermometer goes ‘way up
And the weather is sizzling hot,
Mister pants for romance is not

‘Cause it’s too, too,
Too darn hot!
It’s too darn hot!
It’s too, too darn hot!
I’d like to coo with my baby tonight
And pitch the woo with my baby tonight
I’d like to coo with my baby tonight,
Pitch the woo with my baby tonight
But brother, you fight my baby tonight
‘Cause it’s too darn hot!

According to the Kinsey Report
Ev’ry average man you know
Much prefers his lovey dovey to court
When the temperature is low
But when the thermometer goes ‘way up
And the weather is sizzling hot,
Mr. Gob for his squab,
A marine for his queen,
A G.I. for his cutie-pie is not

‘Cause it’s too, too,
Too darn hot!
It’s too darn hot!
It’s too darn hot
It’s too darn hot
It’s too darn hot
It’s too darn hot!

PS. After this song was written … someone came up with an idea for air air-conditioning.

Eleanor Rigby

From Edinburgh, summer 2009. Fine musicians.