Valentine’s Day, named for one of several saints of the Catholic Church, none of whose existence can be confirmed, is right around the corner, where I’m sure at least a few of you would just as soon it stayed. Anyway, Robin, this month’s guest conductor of the M⁴ Express, would like us to share love songs today.
- Loggins & Messina, "Danny’s Song" A song of great meaning to Mary and I, because we met around the time this was popular. Kenny Loggins took a letter from his brother Danny and turned it into a song. The rest, as they say, is history.
- Anne Murray, "A Love Song" Another Kenny Loggins song, sung by Anne, who also sang "Danny’s Song."
- June Christy, "Takin’ A Chance On Love" I have Arlee Bird to thank for this one. He used it in a Battle of the Bands a while back, and when I’m feeling down, I pull this one up. June has a lovely voice, and damn, the Ernie Felice Quartet swings it! I know, there are five musicians with June; I once heard that the bass player doesn’t figure in the number, which, as a bass player (bass guitar and double bass), doesn’t sit well with me. Or it could be that the pianist is June’s regular accompanist.
- The Beatles, "Something" This is the only song written by George Harrison that was used as an A side, and it reached #1. John Lennon said this was his favorite Beatles song. If that ain’t an endorsement, I don’t know what is.
- Ella Fitzgerald, "Night And Day" Ella recorded a number of "Songbook" albums where she sang the songs of a particular composer. There were so many great songs written by Cole Porter that she recorded two albums of his songs, among them this one.
- Artie Shaw & His Orchestra with Helen Forrest, "All The Things You Are" Ella also did an album of songs by Jerome Kern, but I didn’t want to use her twice in a row. Fortunately, Artie Shaw covered it, and the lovely Helen Forrest kills it on the vocal. The lyrics are by Oscar Hammerstein II.
- Billie Holiday, "The Way You Look Tonight" Another by Jerome Kern, with lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Fred Astaire sang it in the movie Swing Time. Lady Day makes the song hers.
- Dolly Parton, "I Will Always Love You" The story I heard is that, when Dolly was leaving Porter Wagoner to start her remarkable solo career, she wrote this to him as a "thank you" song. The clip is from Porter’s syndicated show. Of course, Whitney Houston did a beautiful version for the movie The Bodyguard, but I always prefer Dolly’s.
- Astrud Gilberto, "Dindi" I used this a couple of weeks ago on Song Lyric Sunday, and love it so much I wanted to use it again. The song is by Antonio Carlos Jobim and has become a standard, but Astrud does the best version, in my opinion.
- John Paul Young, "Love Is In The Air" Okay, it’s a disco song, but still a favorite of mine. It was written by George Young and Harry Vanda and was an international hit, peaking at #3 in his home country of Australia, #5 in the UK, #7 in the US, where it spent a couple of weeks atop the Adult Contemporary chart, his only hit in the US.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 3, 2020.