Sep 29, 2012

Relax With Lena, Della And So Many More, Plus A Raggy Secret Song!


Fall is nearly here. But you wouldn't know it. It's practically tropical here in Los Angeles and. I. Am. Sick. Of. It. Fall will be so pleasant. Certain people have left town, which means it's safe to go out again. And the awful summer movie season is finally over. Hooray!

If you're feeling wistful and relaxed in these waning days of summer, then kick back, light a fattie (if you're so inclined) (I won't judge), because I have a perfect set of LPs so-o-o-o guaranteed to help you unwind.

Let's start with Lena Horne. A Cheerful Exclusive Lena! This is her 1958 namesake LP, recorded at the height of her fame and vocal mastery. Which means this is creamy-smooth yumminess from start to finish, with gently playful numbers like "Just Squeeze Me" and quietly heartbreaking songs like "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child," the kind of song Lena does best. You know her heartache's real; you can feel it in your bones.


Meanwhile, not to be outdone in the creamy-smooth sweepstakes, behold Miss Della:


Now that's a damn pose. Face. Face. Face. Most people know Miss Della from her fast-paced cha-cha CDs (mostly because those are the only ones being reissued these days), but she actually earned lasting international fame by going slow, baby, slow. Who knew?

In 1960's "Della By Starlight," she's as mellow as mellow can be in numbers like "Embraceable You" and "Lamplight" and lots more. But don't worry, her sharp, molasses-snap delivery is ever present - she doesn't muffle anything (as if she could).


And now for a Cheerful Exclusive! 1963's "Waltz With Me, Della!" Yipee! It's the LP that broke her career internationally, and you'll understand why when you hear it. Listening to her sing, you feel as if she's rocking you in a blanket in her arms, gently crooning the likes of "Tenderly" (my favorite number on the album), "Always," and "Fly Me To The Moon." And it's all in 3/4 time!


Of course, good relaxation requires a little vigorous kneading - like a really excellent  massage that pounds out the tight parts. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your masseuse:


An, no, her name is not Dita (though I understand the confusion), it's our old friend, the perpetually perky Beatrice Kay, who's singing a set of chipper songs in this giggly Cheerful Exclusive, 1973's "Livin' in the Sunlight." And they're all co-written by Al Sherman - the father of Richard and Robert, who wrote the music and lyrics for "Mary Poppins." Most of the songs sound as if they could have been performed by Beatrice in her vaudeville days. She was sixty-six when she recorded this LP, yet sounds as buoyant as ever.


In porn movies, massage eventually leads to sex (or if you're Jennifer Love Hewitt, at least a hand job). And who better to give it to you then that joyous bundle of loveliness below:


No, silly, I'm not talking about Bonnie Rait, I'm talking about Miss Sippie Wallace, a jazz and blues legend who got her start early - very early - by sneaking out at night from her Baptist minister father's home and running off to sing at local tent shows in the early 1900's.

You can hear her on "Sugar In My Bowl," a compilation that promises to deliver "vintage sex songs," and it's not false advertising. So shoo away the kids and cover the kitten's ears, because when Sippie sings "I'm a Mighty Tight Woman," she's singing just what you think she's singing about. Yeeeow!

Other songs are more direct, like "He's Just My Size" performed by Lillie Mae Kirkman and "Nobody in Town Can Bake A Sweet Jelly Roll Like Mine" performed by Bessie Smith. Phew! Is it me or is it hot in here? Is that electric or gas heat I'm feeling? Oh, throw open the window - I need the ocean breeze! Do you hear it? The pounding surf? Lord, I need water! I need to be cleansed! Aw, I'm just foolin' with and you know it. We both know if I dared step inside a church, I'd burst into flames. But I'd burn oh-so brightly, I'm sure.
The Secret Song File needs to chillax, too. Everything's set with a bubble bath, wine, a cig. If only there was some jazz. But something new - brand new. Maybe something by a celebrated Canuck jazz vocalist and composer. Hmm. And maybe she's done a thing or two live - and in paris. Maybe a few loves scenes (she has that look of love). It would also be nice if she guest starred on "Melrose Place" back in he day (what??) (no, really).


Since the Secret Song File is feeling, like, oh, I don't know - a raggy doll, let's say - then I'm sure this singer will deliver the goods. If not, then I guess there's always Jennifer Love Hewitt. But really, wouldn't you rather get a massage from Loretta Devine?

If your fingers do the talking and your feet do the walking, what do your knees do?

Don't you dare tell me to rouge them! And, hey, kiki in the comments if you want!

11 comments:

Faze said...

Unbelievable! I've been scouring the net for "Living in the Sunlight" and had more or less given up. You are indeed the sugar in the bowl of blogland. After "Sunlight" I may download "Starlight", but that blue period Della is about the scariest album cover I've ever seen. Thanks as always for your singular gifts.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Oh, goodie, I'm glad you have your Bea!

As for Della, she's either all blue in one LP cover, or vaguely purple in the next. I guess the record companies were afraid of her real color: black!

But really, don't let the covers scare you, they're really good.

:)
CE

Anonymous said...

I think you mean Sippie Wallace. I may be spelling her surname wrong. I love "Women Be Wise".

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

You're right!

Thanks for catching that.

:)
CE

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

And, yes, I love "Women Be Wise," too. Here she is performing it with Bonnie Raite:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1tlR62MDlQ

Daddy Squeeze Me! said...

yesssssssssssssssssssss WALTZ WITH ME AND SPECIAL DELIVERY WERE THE ONLY 2 DELLA ALBUMS I WAS MISSING! YOU KNOW IM A DELLA STAN!!!

OF COURSE YOU REMEMBER MY BLOG WITH DELLA PLASTERED ALL OVER IT CHEERFUL.

LORD I ALMOST HAD A HEART ATTACK SEEING U POSTED IT.

LET ME ALSO SAY, YOU POST THE PRETTIEST ALBUM COVER SORT OF I GUESS QUALITY I GUESS I WANNA SAY. ALWAYS SO PRETTY AND WITHOUT SCRATCHES OR FLAWS OR SUPER SMALL.

ALSO I HAVE TO ASK....SINCE YOUR LUVUH IS CUBAN, MIGHT HE HAVE CELESTE MENDOZA!!

I AM THE BIGGEST CELESTE MENDOZA FAN I KNOW. I AM LOOKING FOR AN ALBUM CALLED ACQUI, EL GUAGUANCO. I WONDERED IF HE HAD IT.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

I'm so glad you have your missing Della. You more than anyone should have EVERYTHING by her. I'll ask my Cuban Luvuh about Celeste. Given how much you like her, I'm intrigued!

:)
CE

E Craig said...

Love Miss Della! You've filled some holes in my collection.....thanks.

E. Craig.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Hooray! Gladt to hear it. You can never have to much Della.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Della done!

RayKay said...

Thank you for the reupload. Much appreciated.