May 28, 2016

Daffy Sings, Paul Jams, Plus Judy Lost-And-Found, Carole Found At Last And A Monkeyshines Secret Song!

I admit it, Daffy Duck is my alter ego. His awful temper-tantrums, his outrageous ego, his brazen shallowness. All are qualities I share hide admire.  

And, yes, I also admire his singing abilities and those of his Loony Tunes friends. They're all featured in "That's All Folks," a dizzying, 2-CD collection that everyone should have (no, really). As you listen to all the songs - and they race by fast, one after another - I'll bet you get the same feeling that I do; these little ditties have been been stitched into your DNA. The best of them are gathered together into medleys, like "Swingin' Singers" and "Choral Classics," and you'll probably prefer those to the tracks which basically give you the soundtrack for an entire cartoon (but that's my bias). All I can say is that this CD makes me giggle and thank the stars above, and, yes, it's a fabulous goldmine for ringtones. 

And on we go, from one boisterous set of ditties to another, this time from jazz pianist extraordinaire Paul Smith. Are you having a Memorial Day gathering this weekend? A cocktail party? Then Paul is your man. Don't celebrate Memorial Day? That's okay. Pour some drinks - and make them strong; no one likes "weak tea," as they say - invite over a few friends and crank up Paul. He's perfect for all occasions, or no occasion at all.

If you don't know Paul, I'll bet you really do - just not by name. In his prime, every top jazz and pop singer wanted him by their side as their accompanist. He worked tirelessly (and brilliantly) with Anita O'Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Sammy Davis Jr. and oodles more. All the while, he released a steady stream of knock-'em-sock-'em jazz LPs with his trio, or his ensemble, or his quartet (or any other arrangement of musicians you can think of). His catalogue is seemingly endless, but two of his LPs are, I think, amongst his best. "He Sells Jazz By The Seashore" is a non-stop salvo of brassy swing, Broadway and pop tunes, while 1961's "Carnival! In Percussion" takes the 1961 musical "Carnival" and gives it a highly percussive, Latin kick.

Meanwhile, you can never have too much Judy, I think, especially when it's newly discovered Judy. And dig, if you will, the look she's wearing below. Who but Judy could pull off such a contraption? It's a reign of terror by way of frills, lace and unholy stitchery, yet somehow (how, exactly? I've no idea), we're looking straight at her (and not laughing). That, ladies and germs, is as good a definition of what makes a star as I can think of.

Think you have every Judy recording there is? Oh, bruthu, think again. This 2010, 4-CD release has a bounty full of never-released songs, plus her earliest recordings in which her mother (that nasty, evil, slave-driving mother who put li'l Judy on "pep pills" right from the start) accompanies her on piano. In short, this is a treasure trove. You can actually hear her vocal prowess growing song-by-song. And luckily, though these recordings have been restored, it's not done with a heavy hand. There's no metallic sound, for lack of a better phrase, which a lot of over-processed "restored music" sounds like these days (and I hate that) (don't you?) (just nod, "yes"). I doubt we'll see the likes of this sort of Judy release again. This is it, folks, the last of the last, so savor ever note.

Having a recovery "drunk brunch" on Memorial Day? Or a brunch with endless many a few cocktails? Carole Simpson's got you're back. And isn't she lovely?

If you think Carole Simpson and see this, I understand (she's wonderful in her own right, and did you know? She was the first African-American woman ever to anchor a network newscast) (plus she thinks George Stephanopoulos is a tool and I'm so with her on that). This Carole has an extra "e" at the end of her name, and yes, a lovely singing voice. In her time, not many people knew of her outside a few jazz haunts in New York City in the late 1950s and early 60s, which means hardly anybody talks about her now.

And that's a shame. She was a highly skilled jazz pianist, plus her vocal phrasing and diction is flawless, and at times thrilling, especially when she cuts loose, as she does on several occasions on this Surprise Simpson Cheerful Exclusive! from 1959, "Singin' and Swingin'." Oh, and did she really 'n' truly have a hot-and-heavy affair with Chet Baker during her early days out West? Ooo, I hope so. All the jazz gossips believe they did, and as a firm believer in all manner of tittle-tattle, I say the mystery's solved.

Even though The Secret Song File has always been in style (like Deneuve) (don't argue on that one), she can appreciate a good old-fashioned comeback, no matter how unlikely the source. And trust me, this latest release from a TV music group which originated in the 1960s - they actually sang and performed their music - is so far out of left field, it'll make your head spin. Especially since the heartthrob in their group is long dead. What-the-wha?

And yet - and yet - it's really good. I'm not joking. Old fashioned pop-rock hasn't sounded this good in ages. Who would have thought? Not The Secret Song File, who's convinced they made some sort of deal with an ugly dark lord. Have they? Dear God, I hope not. Let's not think about it, m'k?

Let's think of sunshine, alcohol and other pretty things!

Sprinkle some sunshine and glitter in the comments, if you like.


Apple Fanboy Dude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Sorry you're unable to DL. Is there a particular link you're having trouble with?

All the links on this page presently work.

If there's a particular LP you're interested in - and if you have a DL service you prefer - let me know and I'll do my best to accommodate you.

tony said...

Re: "Singin' and Swingin'": Many album covers of the late 50's are priceless! This is no exception. Makes you wonder what she is thinking here. All dressed up and nowhere to go?
Great voice/great album. Thanks!

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

You're welcome, Tony.
Personally, I believe she's thinking, "Anyone 'round here got a cigarette?" ;)

Faze said...

Thanks for the Judy material. I just finished reading the biography, "Get Happy", and even though it left a certain taste in my mouth, i am looking forward to listening to these tracks with fresh insight.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

I haven't read that one, but I have read other Judy bios, so I know exactly what you mean. Reading a singer's life story always enriches their music, or in Judy's case, adds that extra layer of heartbreak. A lot of newer bios claim that she was bi-polar or borderline, which seems reachy to me. How could anyone possibly know what was going on - decades after the fact - given the mountain of "pep pills" she was subjected to from an early age?

finleynyc said...

The Judy Garland Lost Tracks link from this post is no longer working, at least not for me. Any chance of restoring it or providing another link? Thanks so much, going through a major Judy kick and I so want to listen to this!

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Going through a Judy kick? Believe me, I understand. The link should be okay for you now. You might also want click Judy on the list "Selected Labels" on the site's right hand side. There might be more Judy you'll want. Enjoy!

finleynyc said...

Thanks so much for the new link! Much appreciated. There can NEVER be enogh Judy...