Aug 15, 2012

Temptingly Tawdry Tunes, Plus A Little Jazzy Passion And A Zig-Zaggy Secret Song!


Hotcha! No one needs to tell Ann Sothern how to "strike a pose." Oh, no, ma'am. This bold-as-brass comic actress' career spanned six decades - count 'em, six! She played tough gun molls, seductive burlesque queens (of course), and in her latter years, she was the voice of Gladys Crabtree, the car in "My Mother The Car" (why not?), and nearly stole the show right out from under Bette Davis and Lillian Gish in "The Whales Of August" at age 78.

She also cut a few records, like this Cheerful Exclusive "It's Ann Sothern Time" from 1958, a saucy little LP where she brings tunes like "Everybody's Doin' It" and "Ballin' The Jack" to slinky, impudent life ("That's right, man, you're beginning to catch on..." she purrs). As a side note, the second track on this LP has a brief hissing sound, but don't worry, it's brief. Which means there's virtually nothing standing in the way of you and Ann, which is just the way she likes it, I'm sure. Yeeeow!
Speaking of saucy little numbers, behold Miss April Stevens: 


No matter what mood I'm in, few things make me shiver with joy as much as April Stevens' 1959 LP "Teach Me Tiger" (here in lossless) (at last!). It's so breathy and suggestive and overly-the-top-coquettish that it was actually banned outright from most U.S. radio stations and a lot of record stores, too, which only adds to its allure. If you don't have it in your collection, trust me on this, you want it. You want it now.


As some of you may know, April wasn't exactly a solo act, even on her solo LP's, but instead worked alongside her singer-producer-arranger brother Nino Tempo. Their career peaked just as The Beatles exploded into the mainstream, which meant their heyday was brief.

Known for re-inventing standards like "Deep Purple" with a twang of early rockabilly, their duo tracks have a playful innocence (at least now). Better yet, some of them, like "Whispering" and "Stardust," have flirty spoken interludes from April that are beyond compare (and I mean that as praise). You'll see.

There's a bit of an overlap between this compilation - and yes, it's a Cheerful Exclusive! - and April's solo LP, but not much, so I know you'll want them both. Besides, where else can you hear "Tea For Two" this finger-snappin' and hip-swingin' except from April and Nino? Be forewarned, this collection's a whopping 30 tracks, so do something else while you're downloading 'cause it'll take a while (call a friend, do the dishes, go out for a kawfee), but it's worth the wait.


If you saw "Passion" years ago on Broadway, or the PBS broadcast of the show, then it may be impossible for you to think of the music as anything less than "dark" or "brooding." But think again. 


In yet another improbable effort, The Trotter Trio have reinterpreted "Passion's" music from a jazz angle. And I swear, as silly and awful and WTF? as that may sound, it works. No, really. I have no idea what prompted Trotter and his friends to raid the Sondheim library (alcohol? ganja?), but few jazz musicians out there have even attempted something so freakishly right. 


Speaking of freakish, sometimes The Secret Song File feels dark and vengeful, which is enough to make anyone want to swallow a jagged pill or two (cough), while other times, the mood is more playful and vaguely hopeful, which is, like, so ironic (cough-cough), because, honestly, you ought to know (cough-cough-cough) (Geez, I'm hacking up furballs, already!), the good times won't last long.


That's was one hint too many. If you can't figure out who this is by now, than I'm totally uninviting you to so many things. So there. At any rate, I'm actually not kidding when I say that this is a certain Canuck's best CD in years. I've already listened to it twice, and I actually want to hear it again. What are the chances of that these days?

I think her version of "My Humps" is the best. And I'm not afraid to admit it. 

Tell us all something giggly in the comments!

27 comments:

Keir said...

It must be that I'm in Deutschland, but none of these links, apart from Sondheim, enable me to download. I'm either forced to download some exe file, or have to give my "handynumber", or whatever. I really appreciate your little introductions to each piece, making me want to share the experience.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Strange.

I certainly want you to be able to download what you want!

I'll look into this over the weekend and see if I can find a solution, I promise.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Is anyone else having this problem??

Bob said...

Hi Cheerful...
I've tried downloading the "Teach Me Tiger" from Upload.whatever. I can never get a download link. The others work for me though.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Hmmm. Very mysterious.

For "Teach Me Tiger," try this direct link:

http://uploaded.net/file/as04eqcg

If that still doesn't work, I'll move it to another storage site and just stop using uploaded.net.

Thanks for letting me know, Bob!

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Bob, I moved "Teach Me Tiger" to Rapidshare, so it should work for you now. :)

Bob said...

Thanks Cheerful. That Sondheim Jazz album is lovely! I'm listening to it now as I'm working at the computer.
Regards
Bob
p.s. The Rapidshare link works fine.

Keir said...

Cheers, CE! Don't go through the effort just on my account!

E Craig said...

The Sondheim Jazz is great!

Thanks.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Ain't it something? And you're welcome. :)

moift said...

Ann Southern link is dead

Anonymous said...

Can you re-up the Ann Sothern Lp...thanks.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Hey, Anony and Moift, I'm on it. Check back in an hour - and there it will be! :D

Anonymous said...

Great stuff! Thanks for the re-up.

boppinbob said...

Nino Tempo link do-doed. BTW its his birthday today, so I did a blog about him.
Regards, Bob.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Should be ok now, Bob.

boppinbob said...

A big thank you for the re-up.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking everywhere on this blog for the password I'm being asked for for the April Stevens comp - what is it?

Anonymous said...

The April Stevens comp is asking for a password...can't find it.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

On every page of the blog, just after the comments on the far right, is the password.

Anonymous said...

Any chance you could re-up the '59 April Stevens LP please? Thank you!

~ Sophia.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Re-upped Sophie. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! Hugs!

Jack Gardner said...

The Ann Southern link is dead again. Any chance for a re-up?

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Ta-da! Ann's back, Jack! :D

John Mahan said...

Could you re-up the '59 April Stevens LP please? Thanks so much!

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Should be okay now, John.