Alana, this month’s guest conductor, requested songs about the moon, so here’s ten of ’em. Wonder how many of these everyone else will pick?
- Kaye Ballard, “In Other Words (Fly Me To The Moon)”: Someone in the comments said that this song was originally written as a slow waltz and got turned into a finger-poppin’ swing tune by Frank Sinatra and others, but it was Kaye Ballard who sang the original. I always knew her as a comedienne, but she had one hell of a voice.
- Ella Fitzgerald, “It’s Only A Paper Moon”: Harold Arlen (music) and Yip Harburg and Billy Rose (lyrics) wrote this in 1933 and it’s become a standard, and no one sang the standards like Ella.
- NRBQ, “RC Cola And A Moon Pie”: The New Rhythm and Blues Quartet/Quintet (NRBQ for short) has been around since the ’60’s and they’ve never had a Top 40 hit, but they’re a cult favorite. Here they do a song dedicated to that classic Southern breakfast.
- Drew Carey, “Moon Over Parma”: This was the theme song for The Drew Carey Show in its first season, or at least part of it was. The towns mentioned are Cleveland suburbs.
- Audrey Hepburn, “Moon River”: From the 1961 movie Breakfast At Tiffany’s, an adaptation of the novella by Truman Capote. Blake Edwards directed the movie, and as is so often the case when he does, Henry Mancini wrote the music. The lyrics were written by Johnny Mercer. No one ever wanted to let Audrey Hepburn sing, but in this case having someone else sing this would have been wrong. Watch the movie, you’ll see what I mean. A lot of young couples decided this was “their song” after seeing the movie. I know my parents did.
- Iowa All-State Jazz Choir (2012), “Moonglow”: I spent a lot of time yesterday talking about the movie Picnic with William Holden and Kim Novak and the part this song played in it. If you want to read what I said about it, click here (the discussion is at the end). The song itself was written in 1933 by Will Hudson and Irving Mills (music) and Eddie DeLange (lyrics).
- Doris Day and Gordon MacRae, “By The Light Of The Silvery Moon”: A song by Gus Edwards (music) and Edward Madden (lyrics), written in 1909 and used as the title song for the 1953 film starring Doris Day and Gordon MacRae, two of the best voices in film.
- Starbuck, “Moonlight Feels Right”: Any excuse to include this hit from 1976. Starbuck was based here in Atlanta, and since the death of marimbist Bo Wagner, Bruce Blackman has been a solo act. His first solo album was Moonlight Feels Right 2014, where he rearranges the song and gives it an almost bossa nova feel. It reached #3 on the Hot 100 in 1976. This performance was taped at Chastain Park in Atlanta.
- Al Jarreau, “Moonlighting”: Theme song of the 1985-89 series starring Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis that still gets played a lot on “smooth jazz” stations. It was written by Al Jarreau and Lee Holdridge and released as a single in 1987, rising to #23 on the Hot 100 and spending a week at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and earned two Grammys in 1988.
- George Harrison, “Here Comes The Moon”: George wrote this for his eponymous 1979 album. It’s often seen as a sequel to “Here Comes The Sun” from The Beatles’ Abbey Road ten years earlier, but he said it wasn’t, and I’d be prone to trusting him.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 20, 2020.