THE FRIDAY FIVE: “Moon” Songs — Your Choices

Last week, as you might remember, I gave you five songs with “moon” in the title and asked for your input on more. And you responded, and when things rolled to a stop I had thirteen choices from you. I added two that I thought of and made this The Friday Five Plus Ten, or The Friday Five Times Three, whichever you prefer. This time I built a playlist, in the interest of having a page that didn’t take forever to load. (They haven’t quite gotten the hang of HTML 5, which would load the songs as requested.) If you have trouble with the list here, you might try going right to the YouTube playlist page and playing them from there.

The songs in order:

  1. There’s a Moon Out Tonight – The Capris Halfmoon Mollie suggested this, from 1961, when it reached #3 and gave them their only hit. they recorded it in 1959, and it didn’t sell well then, but the comination of moving to a different label and continual airplay made it a hit.
  2. By The Light Of The Silvery Moon – Doris Day and Gordon MacRae Thanks to Cheryl for suggesting this. The song is from Tin Pan Alley circa 1909, and was the basis for the 1953 movie of the same name which starred Doris and Gordon, who sing the lovely duet here.
  3. Shine On, Harvest Moon – Leon Redbone Dan and Susan both suggested this song. Another Tin Pan Alley tune from the turn of the Twentieth Century, it was the title of two movies. The 1938 movie was a Western starring Roy Rogers and Mary Hart (not the one from Entertainment Tonight, obviously); the 1944 movie starred Ann Sheridan and Dennis Morgan as Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth, the vaudeville performers who wrote the song.
  4. Moon River – Andy Williams Uncle Jack said this was one of his favorites, and my mother said this was hers and Dad’s favorite song. It was written by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer for the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Audrey sang this, and at some point one of the suits at Paramount suggested they drop the song. Audrey didn’t like that, and the song stayed. The world is glad it did.
  5. Moon Over Miami – Connee Boswell Uncle Jack also recommended this one. Written in 1935 by Joe Burke and Edgar Leslie, it was covered by many artists in the days when 78 rpm records were still produced. Connee Boswell was originally in a trio with her sisters, and had signed a record deal with Decca Records in 1936, but after three recordings, her sisters quit and Connee continued as a solo act.
  6. Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival Arlee and Joey both recommended this song, from Creedence’s Green River album. And no, John Fogerty is not singing “There’s a bathroom on the right,” even if it sounds that way. The song reached #2 in the US and #1 in the UK.
  7. Harvest Moon – Neil Young Arlee also suggested this one. This was the title track from Neil’s 1992 album, and is just gorgeous. At least, that’s what Matthew Greenwald of AllMusic says, if Wikipedia is to be trusted. Whatever, it’s a beautiful tune.
  8. Fly Me To The Moon – Frank Sinatra Janet came up with this one. Written by Bart Howard, it was first recorded by Kaye Ballard in 1954, when it was still called “In Other Words.” Old Blue Eyes’ version was recorded in 1964 and was associated with the Apollo missions. My favorite version is by bossa nova chanteuse Astrud Gilberto, but Frank’s is more historically significant, and besides, it’s Frank Sinatra
  9. In The Misty Moonlight – Jim Reeves Janet also suggested this. I wasn’t sure which version she had in mind, so I picked the one I liked best.
  10. Moonglow – The Benny Goodman Quartet Mary B, who also does The Friday Five on her blog, suggested this one. I always associate it with the play Picnic, but that apparently is because it’s often paired with the theme song of the movie, which starred William Holden and Rosalind Russell and featured Cliff Robertson and Raymond Bailey, who later went on to fame and fortune as Mr. Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies.
  11. Moonlight Feels Right – Starbuck One of the songs I added, which should surprise no one who’s read this blog.
  12. Moonlight In Vermont – Jo Stafford “Moonlight In Vermont” was the subject of my April 1 Battle of the Bands, which pitted the lovely Ms. Stafford against the Johnny Smith Quintet featuring Stan Getz, and this version won.
  13. That’s Amore – Dean Martin Joey also suggested this song, and while it doesn’t actually fit the theme I said, “yeah, why not?”
  14. Piano Sonata No. 14 in C# Minor (“Moonlight” Sonata) – Ludwig van Beethoven Susan also suggested this one, and I put it toward the end, because it’s fifteen minutes long. I especially like the third movement, the presto agaitato.
  15. Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd Mary suggested this one as well, and I went nuts looking for a song called “Dark Side of the Moon,” then realized there isn’t one. This is the entire 1973 album, about 43 minutes long. You might want to hold this for later…

Man, I’m exhausted. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions. That’s The Friday Five for August 12, 2016.

13 thoughts on “THE FRIDAY FIVE: “Moon” Songs — Your Choices

  1. Here are my top three, not necessarily in any order. In the Misty Moonlight (because Jim Reeves!), Bad Moon Rising, and Moonlight Sonata. If that isn’t an eclectic mix, I don’t know what is.


    1. There were some excellent songs here, and like you said an eclectic mix. I was torn whether to use Dean Martin’s or Jim Reeves’s, but I liked Jim’s better. To me, that’s country music. Not to say the more contemporary country artists are bad, but it doesn’t make me feel the same. I loved the old “Hee Haw” because that’s what they played, the classic artists.


  2. Wow – hard to think that I forgot Bad Moon Rising and Moonglow. My parents were big Benny Goodman fans, and Creedance is frequently in the playlist at my usual hangout on Saturdays. Green River was part of my early album collection.

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  3. Hey John, Happy Friday! I actually was thinking of Dean Martin’s version of In the Misty Moonlight as that is what I have on my iTunes. (Love Dean, again, does that make me old?) Thanks as well for taking the time to link to my little blog. You’re the best!


    1. The problem was that I had already decided on a Dean Martin song (“That’s Amore,” which doesn’t have “moon” in the title, but it might as well).

      Dean Martin was great. Do you remember his show? I think it was on Thursday nights on NBC. He had the really big stars (e.g. John Wayne, James Stewart, Bob Hope) and there’d always be a huge production number at the end, on the par of a Broadway musical. They don’t make TV like that anymore… the sets alone would bust the budget of most current shows. But those were the days they cared about putting on a high-quality show, not how much it would cost. They knew few members of the audience would get a chance to see that kind of show live, so they brought that experience to the small screen. Dean may not be with us any more, but his recordings will live on forever. I hope so, anyway. I think some of the shows are on DVD as well.

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