Happy "Valentine's Day," everyone! Isn't February wonderful? Because of leap year, we get a whole extra day in 2016, along with so many terrific holidays. Did you know? "National Tooth Fairy Day" is in February. And "National Hoodie-Hoo Day" (I'm not kidding). And, yes, it's also Black History month (though Morgan Freeman doesn't want that). Here on the Cheerful Earfull, February is Jazz Babe Appreciation Month! And why not? Whose going to stop me? Who would want to?
Let's kick it off with Felicia Sanders, a vastly under-appreciated big band and jazz singer who frequently performed at L.A.'s Cafe Gala, an ultra-glitzy gay nightclub which attracted Hollywood luminaries of all persuasions in the 1930s and 40s - and boasted headliners such as Dorothy Dandridge, Phil Moore and Bobby Troupe & His Trio.
Though Felicia had already been knocking around (and for many years), Cafe Gala is where Benny Goodman first spotted her - and from there her career took off. He recommended her to Mitch Miller, Percy Faith, and soon she was cutting LPs and singing at Manhattan's revered Blue Angel. Her self-titled 1957 LP - a Fab Felicia Cheerful Exclusive! - highlights her diverse, silky vocals, from her intensely hushed opener "I Wish You Love" to her slyly playful "I'm Through With Love" and practically every variation in-between.
Evidently, standing was a thing with her. How else to explain the title of her exhilarating 1957 LP - a Poised Pat Cheerful Exclusive! - entitled, you guess it, "Standing Pat." I don't know much about Pat, but what I do know is this: apparently, her career started when her friends dared her to stand up and sing one evening at Mother Kelley's in Miami, a legendary night spot where Billie Holiday often held forth. Pat killed. So much so, in fact, that Mother Kelly (who was actually an aging Russian gentleman with bushy gray hair) hired her for a ten week gig. Right on the spot. For reals.
Then she hit the road, performing in New York, London, Vegas and Hollywood. According to a few reviews I've been able to scare up, she created quite the impression: "Morrissey's a buxom blonde who crouches low in front of her microphone and rubs her derriere against the piano. She 'sells sex' in her songs - and there are plenty of buyers. (She's) a singer who's both intriguing and disturbing to watch." What that last part means, exactly, I've no idea, but color me fascinated. I wish I knew more about her. Her LP, which is alternately snappy and soulful, and, yes, sexy, is well worth including in our Jazz Babe Appreciation Month, I promise. And, hey, next time you're standing up, think of Pat!
And so endeth our Jazz Babe Appreciation Month posts. But fear not. Since the gals have been shaking it, the guys decided to join in:
They're so excited because there's a new release from an old school compilation series - with its ubiquitous espresso 'n' li'l cube of sugar. Yes, it's Saint-Germain Des-Pres Cafe. Have you missed them? I didn't realize I had till I learned they put out a new CD. Like a good espresso, it starts mellow, then hits hard, then goes up-down, up-down, up-down. I used to love all those Saint-Germain CDs in the 1990s, didn't you? And go on, admit it, didn't we all look great back then?
Since it's Valentine's, the Secret Song File would like to chat about our friends on the Seine - because if anyone knows V.D., it's the French (amirite)? To celebrate, the Secret Song File is listening to a spanking new CD by a celebrated French DJ - because if anyone knows white boy funk, it's those darn French. But who is this mystery figure, you may wonder? Let's just say that he's no friend of Bruno Mars, whom he once accused of copying one of his songs. Sacre bleu! The shade of it all!
But they've both moved on (they say), with our French boy pointing out that since they both come from the
Remember, February 22 is National Margarita Day!
Celebrate any way you like in the comments!