Sep 30, 2014

Della Let's It All Hang Out, Plus Ella's Dolly, A Li'l Knick And A Teensy-Weensy Secret Song!

Sometimes people, when they reach a "certain age," just don't give a fuck a gumdrop about what anybody thinks. Yes, they'll wear a lemony, color-coordinated outfit - but with leopard-print tennis shoes and clumsily dyed black and gray streaked hair - and they'll let fly with just about anything that pops out of their pie-hole.
Exactly like our dear Della, who can go from sincere proselytizing in "Touched By An Angel" to something a bit more colorful, like she does in the underrated "Harlem Nights" where she plays a madam who perfectly describes her prized hooker:

And speaking of not giving two gumdrops, get a load of Della's picture below on her album cover for "Some Of My Best Friends Are The Blues," a Down-Home Della Cheerful Exclusive! The hair says, "yeah-yeah-yeah, whatever," the dress says, "Somewhere in the world, pink polyester is bomb," the clutched handkerchief calls out, "We don't perspire, we sweat."

Yet the cover's just a preamble for this 1996 live recording in which Della keeps the audience in stitches and let's it rip with a series of scorching blues numbers, like "Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On" and "You've Got The Right Key, But The Wrong Keyhole." If you have a friend who's only familiar with "Nice Della," give this a spin when they're around and watch their jaw drop...and drop and drop till it falls past their knees and hits the floor.

From Della to Ella. From one era back to the next.

In the late 50's and early 60's, just about every vocal artist was putting out various "Songbook" LPs with numbers by popular Broadway composers and lyricists of the day, creating a happy glut of song standard albums. Ella was no different, of course, though in 1964, she decided to mix it up a bit and jump from from one composer/lyricist and pop artist to the next. She starts with probably the happiest version of "Hello, Dolly" you'll likely to hear, then broadens the net to include "Pete Kelly's Blues" and - are you ready? are you sitting? - a swingin' version of The Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love." Only Ella could pull this off.

Let's talk about Clive Owen for a moment, shall we? Why isn't this actor, whose performed in a few masterpieces, like "Children Of Men," a bigger star? He has the looks, he has the chops. Maybe he just doesn't want to do Marvel crap (because what else is there to do lately?), or maybe, like Della, he just doesn't give a fuck a gumdrop. I hope it's the latter.

Whatever the case, he's currently appearing as the suavely creepy head surgeon in the late-1800's medical drama "The Knick." It's well worth catching - and part of what makes it stand out is composer Cliff Martinez' electronica score, which, of course, is a time-period anomaly, yet it works brilliantly. Even better, if you haven't watched the program, the score is a worthwhile experience on its own with its enthralling panoramas of fast shifting moods and dreamy metallic melodies. Oh, and if you should happen to go in for an operation one day and hear this music being played by your surgeon, just casually walk out and then run for the hills!

Since The Secret Song File is made of 100% nylon pure beauty, she'll never need any kind of operation, and she's willing to wager that a certain Canuck songstress won't, either, or at least for a good long time. But then she shouldn't feel too confident. There's always someone younger, dont'cha know...just laying in wait for their moment to strike. 

Yet whoever leaps ahead of her on the charts tomorrow, The Secret Song File heartily endorses this little sprite of a singer, who moves effortlessly from pop to R&B to jazz - and all in one CD. No, really. No joke. She can do it all (and do it well). There's actual singing going on here, which is more than you can say for some would-be singers these days.

Motto Of The Day: WWDD (What-Would-Della-Do)! 

Tell everyone your li'l catchphrase in the comments, if you like. We won't make fun (of course we will). 


Bob said...

Love the music you post.
But... gotta say ... looks like FireDrive isn't working any more.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Hey, Bob, I've replaced the Ella link in this post, if that's the one you were unable to access. Firedrive seems to be down today, but it may not be permanent.