Monday’s Music Moves Me: The Incredible Sofya Tyurina

Source: YouTube

Two weeks ago I introduced you to Anastasia Tyurina, a tremendous 11-year-old Russian balalaika player. At that time, I also found a young woman named Sofya Tyurina (who I thought might be a cousin but isn’t, they just have the same last name, though they are friends), who is an equally talented 13-year-old saxophone player who’s been playing since she was five and who likewise blew me away. She started out playing soprano saxophone (mostly because it was small enough for her), but has become equally adept at alto and tenor sax. She plays primarily classical music and jazz standards, and I swear, she’s improvising already. Here are ten by Ms. Sofya. The commentary will be limited, because most of the descriptions are written in Russian, which I’m not conversant in.

  1. "Lullaby of Birdland": Written by George Shearing. She’s five (5!) years old here.

  2. "Symphojazz": Here she plays with Mikhail Ivanov on piano, Andrei Ivanov on bass, and 12-year-old Rostislav Mudritsky on the button accordion. This is from the TV show "Blue Bird," a sort of "Russia’s Got Talent" with young musicians. She’s 8 here.

  3. "Summertime" (Gershwin): More from "Blue Bird." 8 again. Amazing to see how the musicians playiung behind her get into it. She finishes the song at about 3:00, and at 4:00 she plays a short burst of "Flight of the Bumble Bee" by Rimsky-Korsakov. Unless you speak Russian, you might want to jump ahead…

  4. "Tom & Jerry"/"The Pink Panther": She was about 10 another time she was on "Blue Bird," here playing tenor sax, which is a little too big for her, but she handles it like a pro. From what I was able to glean from the subtitles, she hadn’t been playing tenor too long. (The fingering is pretty much the same as that of the soprano.)

  5. "Uletai (Stranger In Paradise)"/"Take Five": This was taped about a year ago, so she’s 11 or 12 here. She’s playing with Denis Matsuyev on piano, Andrey Ivanov on bass, Alexander Zinger on drums, and Arkady Shilkloper on French horn. This is Matsuyev’s anniversary concert.

  6. "Blue Monk": Here she is at 10 playing a concert in Chardim with Sergey Tkachev on guitar.

  7. "Saber Dance" (Khatchaturyan): From 2018. Alexandra Dovgan (I believe she’s 12) plays the piano.

  8. "Little Csardas": By Pedro Itturalde. The date on this is 2021, but it looks like she might be younger. In any event, she plays the alto saxophone here. No idea who the orchestra is.

  9. "Storm" (Vivaldi): She’s 11 here. Not sure who the accompanist is.

  10. "Tango Club" (Molinelli): This was her seventh-grade recital at the Gnesins Russian Academy of Music, where she was named "Best Student of 2020." She plays alto saxophone here. Her accompanist is Alexey Rasinsky.

OK… here’s her YouTube page and her Instagram. I hope you’re as impressed with Sofya Tyurina as I am. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 26, 2021.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by Marie, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Animal Songs!

Image by Susann Mielke from Pixabay

Guest conductor Robin said "Let’s do songs about animals!" Why not? Here are ten.

  1. (Peter Green’s) Fleetwood Mac, "Albatross": Written by Peter Green and issued as a single in 1968, it was inspired by Santo & Johnny’s "Sleep Walk." It reached #1 in the UK and #4 on the Billboard "Bubbling Under" chart (i.e. it was #104). It got a lot of play on FM stations in the early days of FM rock.

  2. Al Wilson, "The Snake": A song by civil rights activist Oscar Brown, who recorded it in 1963. Al Wilson reached #27 on the Hot 100 and #32 on the R&B chart in 1968.

  3. Chicago, "Jenny": From Chicago VI, a song by Terry Kath to his dog.

  4. Henry Mancini, "The Pink Panther Theme": Written by Mancini for the 1963 film and used in all of them since (at least the ones starring Peter Sellers). In 1978, for Revenge of the Pink Panther it was given a disco beat. Mancini was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1963 but lost to the Sherman brothers for their score of Mary Poppins.

  5. Henry Mancini, "Baby Elephant Walk": Saw this when I was playing the last one and couldn’t resist it. Mancini wrote it in 1961 for the 1962 movie Hatari!, and it won him a Grammy in 1963 for Best Instrumental Arrangement. It does have lyrics, written by Hal David, which are rarely used.

  6. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, "The Lonely Bull": Written by Sol Lake, it was the title track for Alpert’s 1962 album. It reached #6 on the Hot 100 in 1962.

  7. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, "Spanish Flea": Again, saw this and couldn’t resist. Written by Julius Wechter with lyrics by Cissy Wechter, it appeared on Herb & The TJB’s 1965 album Going Places and reached #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

  8. Bent Fabric, "Alley Cat": Title track from Bent’s 1962 album, he wrote it under the pseudonym Frank Björn. It reached #7 in the US and #4 in Canada.

  9. Bent Fabric, "The Happy Puppy": And again, couldn’t resist this one. Title track for Bent’s second album in 1962.

  10. Barnes & Barnes, "Fish Heads": A novelty song recorded by Barnes & Barnes in 1978. It was the most-requested song on Dr. Demento’s radio show. Bill Mumy, who many of you remember from the 1965-1968 TV series Lost In Space, is one of the Barneses.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 19, 2021.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by Marie, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: The Spectacular Anastasia Tyurina

Anastasia Tyurina. Source:

Her name is Anastasia Tyurina, and she’ll be 11 in October. She’s been playing at least five years (I think the earliest videos I saw were from when she was five) and has become a virtuoso on the balalaika, a three-stringed instrument analogous to the guitar or the ukulele. I found her a while back as I was going through YouTube videos, and when I started listening to her, I couldn’t stop. She’s not just a little girl playing a balalaika: She’s a real rock star. Her bio from her YouTube channel:

Anastasia Tyurina (balalaika) Winner of national and international competitions. The winner of the All-Russian television competition for young talents "Blue Bird". Fellow of the Vladimir Spivakov International Charitable Foundation and Charitable Foundation "New Names"

She also has a Facebook page and an Instagram page.

Anyway, let’s get to the tunes… I’m only giving you 8 today, but there’s a lot more on Youtube.

  1. "La Paloma": Written by S. Iradier and A. Tsygankov and performed by students of the children’s music school in Tambov. The triangular instruments are balalaikas, the round ones are domras.

  2. "Fantasy" on a JS Bach Theme: Sadly, I don’t have names for the other musicians here, though the girl playing saxophone might be Anastasia’s cousin Sofia. This was from last June 12, "Russia Day." I love the leather jacket with the formal dress.

  3. "Tritsch-Tratsch": This is a polka by Johann Strauss. The musicians are from the National Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments of Russia. This concert celebrated their 100th anniversary.

  4. "Valenki": I believe this is a Russian folk tune. She’s accompanied by Denis Matsuev, who’s a pretty dynamic pianist that we will be hearing more from later.

  5. "Kalinka": A song by V. Gorodovskaya played with the Ensemble of Russian folk instruments "Tambov." The other musicians, left to right: Alexey Artemiev, button accordion; Roman Baranov, domra; and Stepan Kochetov, bayan bass.

  6. "Venice Carnival": By Niccolo Paganini. She’s accompanied by the Lipetsk State Orchestra of Russian Folk Instruments, under the direction of Alexey Morgunov.

  7. "Cinderella": Written by A. Arkhipovsky. She’s playing for the Dalian Dance Troupe; this is from their ballet and acrobatic show "The Nutcracker." This is from the TV show "Blue Bird" (I think; the description is in English translated from Russian).

  8. Paganini/Rachmaninoff, "Caprice #24": This is a tremendous jam with Denis Matsuev on piano, Ekaterina Mochalova on domra, and Andrei Ivanov and Alexander Zinger, bass and drums (not sure which is which).

As I hinted, Anastasia’s cousin (I’m pretty sure she’s not her sister) Sofia plays the saxophone. I might feature her next freebie day.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed Anastasia Tyurina. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 12, 2021.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by Marie, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Happy Birthday, Robin’s Daughter!

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Our guest conductor, Robin (a/k/a Songbird), tells us that her daughter Becca is celebrating her 29th birthday today, and would like songs about magic, fantasy, or fairy tales. Naturally, I have no clue about any of those things, except maybe magic, and even then it’s the prestidigitation type, not turning someone into a wombat…. So, I did my best, Becca. Happy birthday!

  1. Doris Day, "It’s Magic": Written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn for Doris Day’s film debut in 1947’s Romance On The High Seas. It’s been covered many times since, not anywhere near as elegantly as the lovely Ms. Day.

  2. Willie Dixon, "Seventh Son": The poet laureate of the blues, Willie wrote this based on the folklore concept of "the seventh son of a seventh son," who is alleged to be gifted with certain magical powers. Johnny Rivers did a cover of this that was quite popular.

  3. Angelina Jordan, "I Put A Spell On You": The child singing sensation I wrote about five years ago has been steadily putting songs on her YouTube channel, including this, a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s 1956 hit that’s been covered by Bette Midler, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and others. Spells was one of the courses at Hogwarts, if I’m not mistaken…

  4. The Police, "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic": From their 1981 album Ghost In The Machine. Reached #3 on the Hot 100 (behind Foreigner’s "Waiting For A Girl Like You" and Olivia Newton-John’s "Physical") and #1 in the UK and Canada.

  5. Pilot, "It’s Magic": From their 1974 album From The Album Of The Same Name. Now being used to sell Type 2 diabetes drugs. Reached #5 in the US, #1 in Canada, and #11 in the UK.

  6. Olivia Newton-John, "Magic": From the soundtrack of the 1980 movie Xanadu, where she rollerskates with Gene Kelly, in what was his last film role (probably because he rollerskated with Olivia in Xanadu). This was the #1 song for most of August 1980, after which "Sailing" by Christopher Cross (who’s nowhere near as attractive as Olivia) took over.

  7. Frank Sinatra, "Witchcraft": A song by Cy Coleman with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh that was popularized by Ol’ Blue Eyes, who reached #6 on the Hot 100 in 1957.

  8. David Seville, "Witch Doctor": Ross Bagdasarian, a/k/a David Seville, no doubt used this as a forerunner of the studio trick that created the voices for The Chipmunks. This single went to #1 on the Pop and R&B charts in 1958 and saved Liberty Records from bankruptcy.

  9. Santana, "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen": "Black Magic Woman" was written by guitar superstar Peter Green in the days when Fleetwood Mac was a British blues/rock band. Santana’s version changed the feel of the original and added Gabor Szabo’s "Gypsy Queen" as the instrumental ending, which did not make Szabo happy…

  10. The Lovin’ Spoonful, "Do You Believe In Magic": A 1965 song by John Sebastian and the boys that reached #9 on the Hot 100.

Again, Happy Birthday, Becca! That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 5, 2021.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by Marie, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Scratchy 45’s

Image by BRRT from Pixabay

I found some music out on YouTube that was posted by the user Scratchy 45’s. True to his/her/its name, these are some pretty scratchy 45’s that were digitized. I started with one and YouTube drove me to the rest. Most are from 1960, but there are a few later ones. Enjoy!

  1. Brighter Side of Darkness, "Love Jones": A band from Calumet City, Illinois (just outside Chicago) led by 12-year-old Darryl Lamont. The single was released in 1972 and reached #16 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the Soul chart. Their album of the same name was released in 1973, but this was their only hit. Cheech & Chong parodied the song with "Basketball Jones."

  2. Jeanne Black, "He’ll Have To Stay": From 1960, a response song to Jim Reeves’s "He’ll Have To Go." It did very well: #4 on the Hot 100, #6 on the Country chart, #11 on he R&B chart, and #41 in the UK.

  3. Larry Verne, "Please Mr. Custer": A novelty record from 1960 that reached #1 on the Hot 100.

  4. The Flame, "See The Light": From their 1970 self-titled album. They were a South African band that included guitarist Blondie Chaplin, who played with The Beach Boys in the ’70’s. Notice that Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys was the producer.

  5. Hollywood Argyles, "Alley Oop": The first rock record played by WLS in 1960. This reached #1 in 1960 and was their only hit.

  6. Jimmy Charles, "A Million To One": Jimmy is from Paterson, New Jersey and sang in a distinctive "crying" style. This was his only hit, reaching #5 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the R&B chart in 1960.

  7. The Vapors, "Turning Japanese": A new wave song from 1980 that reached #34 on the Hot 100. There is no truth to the rumor about what "turning Japanese" meant…

  8. Lolita, "Sailor (Your Home Is The Sea)": Lolita was a German singer who had an internatioal hit with this in 1959.

  9. The Fendermen, "Mule Skinner Blues": Jim Sundquist and Phil Humphrey were two guys, both born on November 26, 1937, who met at The University of Wisconsin and formed The Fendermen. "Mule Skinner Blues" was their only hit, reaching #3 on the Hot 100 in 1960.

  10. Jump ‘N The Saddle Band, "The Curly Shuffle": A Chicago band who got their inspiration for this song from watching The Three Stooges, which WFLD in Chicago ran weeknights at 10 as Comedy Classics. They had several offers from record companies, but wanted to wait until they could get a contract. I’m not sure they did, but this reached #15 on the Hot 100 in 1984.

That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 28, 2021.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.