I promised you more exclusives in 2015 - and here are three! Let's start with Linda Lawson, someone you probably know if you've watched TV shows like "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" or "Bonanza." She guest-starred on everything. Or maybe you know her from the fabulously weird, carnival freak-show movie "Night Tide" (with a very young Dennis Hopper). She was the original "long cool woman." And, yes, she was a singer, too.
She even had a bit of success with her first LP, 1960's "Introducing Linda Lawson" (which has since been re-issued with bonus tracks as "Easy To Love"), which was recorded almost as an afterthought. Years previous, she was a struggling aspiring singer in Vegas, but there were barely any bites. She found more immediate success as an actor, and so nearly a decade later, it took jazz producer and band leader Marty Paich to convince her to lay down some tracks.
Sadly, "Introducing Linda Lawson" was her only LP. Critics at the time dismissed her voice as "limited." I'll agree to disagree with them and say they were - what? Stupid? Ate paint chips as kids? Clueless? She may not have had the widest vocal range, but she had a wonderfully expressive, smooth-as-silk voice for jazz. I love her casually rhythmic take on "Like Young," and her cooing, sultry tones are just right for "Mood Indigo."
Let's move on to another unjustly ignored singer. Believe it or not, that teensy picture below is the best I could find for the one and only Margie Rayburn (it almost looks like some high school girl's slightly-slutty-but-not-really yearbook picture) (which means I like it). I'm not sure why she's been forgotten, or at least by Google Image Search, because she had quite a few Top 20 radio hits in the 50s.
Her lone LP, "Margie," recorded in 1959, has been a sought-after collector's item for some time, and you'll know why when you hear the first track, "Blues In the Night," which she knocks out of the park. She's brassy, she's sassy - even on "Body And Soul" and "The Man I Love." And let's just say that she puts the moves on when she performs "Come Rain Or Come Shine." You'd never guess that she started out in rockabilly. She sounds more like a seasoned, old-school Broadway belter (I mean that as high praise) (of course) (but you knew that). Sadly, when the LP didn't hit it big, Margie said "Get stuffed, show business," then moved to Los Angeles and married banjo player Norman Milkin. I wish she'd done more. This kind of sass and class is hard to come by.
Latinos are so-o-o-o trending right now. And I'm not just talking about everyone's favorite Latin drag queen, either. Or even the most beautiful Latino blossom ever to grace our world. They're all over the place; on TV, in the movies, and, of course, in music. Speaking of Latino blossoms, I've always had a special place in my heart for golden-age Mexican movie queen Maria Felix, even though I've never had a chance to watch any of her movies (if you know of a good one, by all means let me know). Look at her below. Just daring you not to be dazzled, wowed and, yes, maybe a wee bit frightened.
And look at her movie posters. The colors! The passion! They promise. Ev. Re. Thing.
Even when she got older, she still had it - that certain sumthin-sumthin that said, without words, "You love me? I know. Most people do." So in honor of our beloved Santa Maria, let's enjoy some old-school "South Of The Border" tunes, as interpreted by the likes of Sammy Davis, Jr., The De Castro Sisters, Julie London, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee (doing an embarrassing Mexican accent) (nice try, Peg!), and more. Perfect for any occasion, or just for eating chips 'n' salsa around the house.
Remember before? When we talked about paint chips? People do crazy things with paint. Like our dearly departed Farrah (cross yourself) Fawcett, who got naked...
...poured paint all over her body, then writhed around on various canvases. And not just in gold paint, like below, but lots of different colors. If you saw her subsequent pay-per-view Playboy special, "All Of Me," and were ready to ogle and smirk at her so-called "naked art," as I was, then you were probably surprised; what she did was kinda cool. Was it art? Probably not. But it sure looked like fun. And who else but Farrah (cross yourself) Fawcett would do it? And with such gusto?
I'll say this, it's a whole lot better than eating paint chips. I just hope and pray that you, dear reader, never ate paint as a kid. Please tell you didn't! Maybe all you did was appreciate the many colors on your street corner - and for no good reason walked around naked and stood in front of a spray-painted wall. I'll bet you met lots of new friends that way.
I hope you still like colors as an adult, or "colours," as they say, especially in your music. Why? (you knew this was going somewhere, didn't you?) Because you're about to get another dose of colour - a double-dose! The "Colour" series has proved pretty darn popular on the Cheerful, so here's more mesmerizing house music tracks you've likely never heard before. They're like little dirty bombs of fun. No, really.
The Secret Song File has never painted naked and doesn't plan to start any time soon, so don't ask. She does, however, enjoy getting together with her gal pals for post-hippie, semi-nude dance parties. "Post-hippie," you say? Why, of course. That's why she's listening to the latest CD from a certain post-hippie Scottish indie group (Arab straps and all) (*cough*cough*).
Despite her good time parties, nasty peepers have been known to ruin the fun by looking through her window - which is so not cool, you guys, so knock it off. Don't make her go from hippie to flippy, 'cause you know she will. She want peace this time (*cough*cough*). And, really, don't we all?
Think of Farrah this week. Rub up against a painting or two!
Or doodle in the comments, if you like!