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Topic: Fred Astaire Fred Astaire, writes Joseph Epstein, the veteran critic and essayist, "was the very model ... of the democratic dandy, itself an innovative figure." He adds that G. Bruce Boyer called Astaire in his movie roles "the democratic ideal: a classless aristocrat." If T.S. Eliot calling the mature Henry James "a European of no known country" isn't the same thing, it's close enough.
California Melodies Now Playing: episode 44 Topic: Maxine Gray Faust WaltzAmapolaI Guess It's Better That Way MAXINE GRAY sings There'll Be Some Changes MadeVienna Waltz OFFENBACH Orpheus In The Underworld MAXINE GRAY sings It All Comes Back to Me NowIndefinate Ryhthm
Topic: Ray Ellis Conductor/arranger Ray Ellis, who arranged such classics as "Chances Are" by Johnny Mathis, "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin and "Standing on the Corner" by the Four Lads, died Monday, 27 October 2008, in Encino of complications from melanoma. He was 85. During a career that spanned almost 65 years, the Philadelphia native also arranged for acts including Tony Bennett, Doris Day, the Drifters, Connie Francis, Judy Garland and Ray Price.
Topic: Tony Bennett Tony Bennett says it was the genius of the late Toronto-born composer Robert Farnon that led to his long break from producing Christmas albums. Bennett's new record "A Swingin' Christmas," being released this week, is just his second holiday album. The first was 1968's "Snowfall: The Tony Bennett Christmas Album," and the iconic crooner says the 40-year gap is a result of Farnon's superb orchestrations on that disc...MORE - WEB - IMAGES - Available Here
David Rose Orchestra Podcast Now Playing: California Melodies 42 Topic: Maxine Gray JuanitaYears From Now SIBELIUS: Valse TristeCantcha Tell with vocalist Maxine Gray La PalomaRubyFrenesi with Maxine Gray Opus 6, Number 6 aka Jitterbug Fantasie
Topic: Johnny Mathis John Royce Mathis (b. September 30, 1935), known popularly as Johnny Mathis, is an American Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter of popular music. The last in a long line of traditional male vocalists who emerged before the rock-dominated 1960s, Mathis concentrated on romantic jazz and pop standards for the adult contemporary audience through to the 1980s. Starting his career with a standard flurry of singles, Mathis was far more popular as an album artist, with several dozen of his albums receiving gold and platinum status and seventy three making the Billboard charts to date. Mathis has sold more than 350 million records and albums.
Topic: Diahann Carroll The Legs Are the Last to Go: Aging, Acting, Marrying and Other Things I Learned the Hard Way All Things Considered, September 26, 2008 · For more than 50 years, actress and singer Diahann Carroll has been breaking barriers. She was the first black woman to win a Tony for best actress, and the first black woman to star in her own TV show — while not playing a maid. As the title character in that sitcom, Julia, Carroll became the model for one of the first black Barbie dolls...MORE - WEB - IMAGES - SHOP Diahann Carroll
Burt Bacharach's official press biography is effusive, impressive, overwhelming - and almost beside the point. The 14-page document dutifully lists the tangible signs of recognition given to the 80-year-old composer. There are chart-toppers and megahits, Grammys, Oscars and other awards, tributes from fellow legends - and even a placing on People Magazine's Sexiest Men Alive list as recently as 2000. But Bacharach's importance can't possibly be measured in statues, statistics and statements. What matters, in the end, is the groundbreaking level of sophistication he brought to pop music.---Bernard Perusse, Montreal Gazette Published: Thursday, September 25
Topic: Connie Haines Connie Haines, a peppy, petite, big-voiced singer with a zippy, rhythmic style who most famously teamed up with Frank Sinatra as lead vocalists with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, then went on to a prolific career of her own, died on Monday, 23 SEP 2008, in Clearwater Beach, Fla. She was 87. Born Yvonne Jasme she began singing and dancing at an early age. Her big break came in 1935, at age 13, when she won an amateur contest on Fred Allen's NBC radio program. During the late 1930s she worked for Howard Lally's orchestra. In 1939 bandleader Harry James heard Haines rehearsing at a New York music publishing company and hired her for his band, changing her name. She left the following year and kept busy with solo engagements around the New York area before being hired by Tommy Dorsey, where she joined former James bandmate Frank Sinatra. In 1941 Haines landed the spot as featured vocalist on Abbott and Costello's radio program.
Now Playing: VOA PODCAST Topic: Sammy CAHN Composer Sammy Cahn wrote the lyrics to some of America's most popular songs, recorded by Frank Sinatra and dozens of other artists. Cahn died 15 years ago, but Mike O'Sullivan reports, a recent tribute to the composer reintroduced his music to a new generation.