Stacy, our August Guest Conductor, has one more theme for us: songs about the end of summer, which we all know by now (if you’ve been reading this blog) is today. I’m not going to explain all the ins and outs of why that is, although I tried to explain it yesterday, so if you missed that, go back and read it. I have ten songs here to celebrate that, so if you’re quite ready…
Fans of the grid: it’ll be back tomorrow.
- Dusty Springfield, "Summer Is Over": "The finest white soul singer of her era," as Allmusic’s Jason Ankeny described her, recorded this as the B side to "Losing You" in the UK (in the US, the B side was "Here She Comes").
- Stringspace, "Autumn Leaves": Stringspace is a company of talented Australian musicians, with separate groups in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, and Adelaide. They play music for sophisticated gatherings and specialize in classical and jazz. Here, Briana Cowlishaw from the Sydney ensemble and Hugh (don’t know his last name) from their group in Melbourne play this classic standard.
- Billie Holiday, "Autumn In New York": From her 1956 album A Recital by Billie Holiday, this standard was written by Vernon Duke in 1934.
- Leonid & Friends, "September": Leonid Vorobyev and his crew of amazing Russian musicians and singers, best known for their covers of Chicago (the band) tunes, have started branching out into the music of other bands with horns. One of their most recent covers is Earth Wind & Fire’s "September," and as always, Leonid has written an arrangement that’s dead-nuts on with the original. They’re amazing.
- Nat King Cole, "September Song": My favorite cover of this tune is that of Jimmy Durante, who couldn’t sing to save his life and does one of the most heart-rending performances of this song that practically leaves me in tears whenever I watch it. So I figured I’d use a different cover this time, this by Nat King Cole, who was a remarkable singer and performer.
- "School Days": The performer of this tune is known only as "Sheet Music Singer." It was written in 1904 by Will D. Cobb and Gus Edwards and is a classic back-to-school song.
- Paul Anka, "Summer’s Gone: Until I put this list together, I hadn’t heard of this, but Paul had a #11 hit with it in 1960.
- The Vogues, "Greenfields": The folk group The Brothers Four had a big hit with this in 1960, and The Vogues covered it in 1969. It was written in 1956 by Terry Gilkyson, Richard Dare, and Frank Miller. The Vogues’ version reached #19 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1969.
- Michael Jackson, "Farewell My Summer Love": This was a big hit for The King of Pop in the UK, where it reached #7, but barely made the Top 40 here. It was the title track from his 1973 album, but not released until 1984. Michael was 15 when it was recorded, before he started with the plastic surgery…
- The Beach Boys, "All Summer Long": I’m including this because it was the last song played in the 1973 movie American Graffiti, as Richard Dreyfuss took off to go to college, thus ending his summer. The movie was set in 1962, two years before the song was released…
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 31, 2020.