Song of the Day: Andy Williams, “Days Of Wine And Roses”

Happy heavenly birthday to singer Andy Williams, on what would be his 93rd birthday. "Days Of Wine And Roses" was written by Henry Mancini (composer) and Johnny Mercer (lyricist) for the 1962 movie of the same name, that was directed by Blake Edwards and starred Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford, and Jack Klugman. Williams’s single reached #9 on the Easy Listening chart and #21 on the Hot 100, while the 1963 album it was on, Days of Wine and Roses and Other TV Requests, débuted in April 1969 and spent 107 weeks on the Billboard Hot 200 Album chart, including 16 consecutive weeks at #1. Williams received a Grammy nomination for Best Solo Vocal Performance, Male (won by Jack Jones for "Wives And Lovers") and the album received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year (won by The Barbra Streisand Album).

Song of the Day: The Doors, “Light My Fire” (Live)

Happy 76th birthday to John Densmore, drummer for The Doors. "Light My Fire" was from The Doors’ eponymous 1966 album and was released as a single in April 1967. It reached #1 on the Hot 100 and stayed there for three weeks, and #1 on the Cash Box singles chart for one week. It re-entered the Hot 100 the following year after José Feliciano’s cover hit the charts, and reached #87. This is a live version that was recorded at the Aquarius Theater in Los Angeles.

Song of the Day: Frank Ifield, I Remember You”

Happy 83rd birthday to singer/yodeler/guitarist Frank Ifield. Born in England to Australian parents, they returned there in 1948, and Frank go his start there in the mid ’50’s. He was one of several British acts whose US distributor was Vee Jay Records, along with The Beatles. "I Remember You" was a song written by Johnny Mercer and Victor Schertzinger in 1941; Frank’s recording reached #1 for seven weeks in the UK and #5 in the US in 1962.

Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: The Manhattan Transfer, “Birdland”

Jim chose "Bird/Cat/Dog/Fish/Pet" as today’s prompt, and, well, you know me…

Birdland is a nightclub in Manhattan, named for saxophonist Charlie Parker, called "Yardbird" or simply "Bird." The club inspired Joe Zawinul, keyboardist of the fusion band Weather Report, to write "Birdland," which appeared on the band’s 1977 album Heavy Weather. (It’s a great album; I recommend it highly.) Jazz lyricist Jon Hendricks added the words, and The Manhattan Transfer sang it for their 1979 album Extensions. The song won two Grammy Awards in 1980, one going to Janis Siegel for "Best Vocal Arrangement For Two or More Voices," the other to the whole group for "Best Jazz/Fusion Performance."

The lyrics are courtesy of AZLyrics:

5,000 light years from Birdland
But I’m still preachin’ the rhythm
Long-gone, uptight years from Birdland
An’ I’m still teachin’ it with ’em

Years from the land of the Bird
An’ I am still feelin’ the spirit
5,000 light years from Birdland
But I know people can hear it

Bird named it, Bird made it, Bird heard it, then played it
Well-stated! Birdland
It happened down in Birdland

Oh!

In the middle of that hub
I remember one jazz club
Where we went to pat feet
Down on fifty-secon’ street

Everybody heard that word
That they named it after Bird

Where the rhythm swooped and swirled
The jazz corner of the world

An’ the cats they gigged in there
Were beyond compare

Birdland – I’m singin’ Birdland
Birdland – Ol’ swingin’ Birdland

Hey, man, the music really turns you on!
Y’ turn me on,
Really, y’ turn me aroun’
‘N turn me on

Down them stairs, lose them cares – where?
Down in Birdland
Total swing, bop was king – there
Down in Birdland
Bird would cook, Max would look – where?
Down in Birdland
Miles came through, ‘Trane came too – there
Down in Birdland
Basie blew, Blakey too – where?
Down in Birdland
Cannonball played that hall – there
Down in Birdland
Yeah…

There may never be nothin’ such as that
No mo’, no mo’
Down in Birdland, that’s where it was at
I know, I know
Back in them days bop was ridin’ high
Hello! ‘n goodbye!

How well those cats remember
Their first Birdland gig
To play in Birdland is an honor we still dig
Yeah…that club was like…
In another world, sure enough…
Yeah, baby
All o’ the cats had the cookin’ on
People just sat an’ they was steady lookin’ on
Then Bird…he came ‘n spread the word…
Birdland

Yes, indeed, he did
Yes, indeed, he did
Yes, indeed, he did
Yes, he did, Parker played at Birdland
Yes, he really did
Yes, indeed, he really did
Yes, he really did
Told the truth down in Birdland
Yes, indeed he did, Yardbird Parker played in
Birdland

Yes, indeed, he really did
Charlie Parker played in Birdland

Bird named it, Bird made it, Bird heard it
Then played it
Well-stated! Birdland
It happened down in Birdland

Everybody dug that beat
Everybody stomped their feet
Everybody digs be-bop
An’ they’ll never stop

Down them stairs, lose them cares, yeah
Down in Birdland
Total swing! bop was king, yeah
Down in Birdland

Bird would cook, Max would look, yeah
Down in Birdland
Miles came through, ‘Trane came too, yeah
Down in Birdland
Basie blew, Blakey too, yeah
Down in Birdland

Cannonball played that hall, yeah
Down in Birdland

Down them stairs, lose them cares, yeah
Down in Birdland
Total swing! bop was king, yeah
Down in Birdland

Bird would cook, Max would look, yeah
Down in Birdland
Miles came through, ‘Trane came too, yeah
Down in Birdland

Basie blew, Blakey too, yeah
Down in Birdland
Cannonball played that hall, yeah
Down in Birdland

Down them stairs, lose y’ cares, yeah
Down in Birdland
Total swing! bop was king, yeah
Down in Birdland

Bird would cook, Max would look, yeah
Down in Birdland

Come in pairs down them stairs, lose y’ cares
Them that dares gits it!

Pay the gate, don’t be late
It’s a date! – whattay’ know
If y’ dig, then you’ll dig, it’s a groove
Quite a groove, ’cause y’ t’ move
Come in twos, pay your dues

What can you lose?
Just your blues!
So lose them!

The band swingin’ one and all and what a ball!
Yeah!

Music is good, music is better than good
Pretty good
Very nice
Really very good – things are bein’ like they should
Very good, very good, very good

All y’ gotta do is lend an ear
An’ listen to it
Then y’ dig a little sooner than soon
You’ll be diggin’ everything diggin’ all the music

What a ball!

How y’ gonna figure out
A way t’ bring it all about amid a
Lot o’ other music on the set’n on
The scene know what I mean?
How y’ gonna separate the music from the scene
‘Gonna have t’ keep the memory clean
Y’ gonna hear a lotta’ sound… a lotta soun’

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for November 29, 2020.