September’s Guest Conductor is my friend Cathy over at Curious As A Cathy. The theme she’s chosen for today is “songs about being a grandparent or growing old.” Now, I have no experience with the former, but I do with the latter, so I’ll have more of them here. I think, anyway…
- Frank Sinatra, “It Was A Very Good Year” Right off the bat, we hear from The Chairman of the Board. Ervin Drake wrote this in 1961 for Bob Shane and The Kingston Trio, but the real famous version is by Sinatra, who heard the Kingston Trio’s version and knew he wanted to record it.
- The Little River Band, “Reminiscing” I pull this one out a lot, because I love it. From 1978.
- Carl Perkins with NRBQ, “Boppin’ The Blues” Originally a #1 single by Mr. Blue Suede Shoes, this is the title track from the album he and the New Rhythm and Blues Quintet (there were five at the time) did in 1970. The album is a rock ‘n’ roll classic, so if you see it, buy it. Listen to the last verse for the “old” part.
- Walter Brennan, “Old Rivers” Walter sounded like an old man even when he wasn’t, I swear. This was written by country singer Cliff Crofford in 1961, but Walter did it as a recitation and it’s really good, like everything else Walter did.
- Gwen McCrae, “Rockin’ Chair” Gwen’s greatest hit, it followed her husband George’s “Rock Your Baby,” so you can see this one as a response to it, I guess. Gwen left out the disco beat and did this as straight R&B. I usually associate rocking chairs with the old, so…
- Hoagy Carmichael, “Rockin’ Chair” A completely different song than the last one. Hoagy wrote this in 1929 for singer Mildred Bailey, who used it as her signature tune. This is from the ’50’s. An early Peanuts cartoon showed Charlie Brown and Lucy listening to this, and when it was over, Lucy asked “What’s a ‘rocking chair’?”
- Frank Sinatra, “My Way” A double shot of the Chairman this week. He recorded it in 1969 after Paul Anka wrote the lyrics and set them to the tune of Claude François’s “Comme d’habitude” (French for “As Usual”), which has nothing to do with Paul’s song. When we went to see the pastor of Mary’s parish to set up our wedding, he went on a rant about this song being inappropriate for a Catholic wedding, funeral, etc. Needless to say, we avoided it.
- Jimmy Durante, “September Song” Jimmy was not the world’s best singer, but given the words to this song, I can’t think of anyone else who could do a better job with it.
- The Three Stooges, “When You Wore A Tulip” For whatever reason, I associate this with getting old. From an episode of The Ed Wynn Show which must have aired before 1955, when Shemp Howard died. This was back in the days where entertainers did it all (sing, dance, act, tell jokes, etc.).
- Bing Crosby, “Silver Threads Among The Gold” A sentimental oldie from 1873 and a favorite of barbershop quartets, it gets the Bing Crosby treatment here. It’s recorded on the British Decca label, who later rejected The Beatles because “guitar groups are on their way out.” They redeemed themselves by picking up The Who when the Fab Four went over so well…
So that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for September 10, 2028.