May 30, 2017

All Guys-A-Go-Go With George All For You, Ben Off Stage, Lenny's West Side, Plus Sammy's Whammy And A Deluxe Vision Secret Song!

All-men, all the time! Or Revenge Of The Men, you might say, since this is the first Cheerful Earfull post with only YX chromosomes. Ever. I do this, of course, since there's so many manly men in the U.S. these days. And who better to kick off such a post than the dreamy-smooth George Chakiris?

In his 1963 LP "You're Mine, You" - a Cheerfully Ay Papi Exclusive! for the fellas in your life - George croons several winning tunes, the best being the ultra-suave opener, "Love Is The Thing," and the buoyant "You're My Girl." As you may know, this was his second-to-last LP. Just after, his greedy manager, without Chakiris' knowledge, demanded more money from Capitol Records. Capitol declined and said buh-bye - and Chakiris was majorly p.o.'d. As he noted in a public appearance a few years back (attended by yours truly and Los Cuban Luvuh), he would have happily kept on recording for the same exact fee. But it was too late. The manager done him in.

When you think of hot-cha! jazz hands!, do you think of Liza? I do! But a close second is surely Ben Vereen, who all but stole the show as the smiling MC in Fosse's blistering movie autobiography "All That Jazz."

I'll forgive both Ben and Bob for "Pippin," a musical that gives me hives, if only because it gave the two a much needed hit at just the right time. Ben didn't have a whole lot to fall back on, since he wasn't all that interested in R&B or pop music. When it came down to it, he really was a hot-cha! kinda guy. Yet in his 1975 LP "Off Stage," he delivers the R&B goods - and how. It's a bluesy classic, and evidence enough that Ben really could do anything.

Speaking of the Great White Way, was there ever a more conceited asshat talent than Leonard Bernstein? When he attended concerts by other conductors, he critiqued them from his seat - loudly enough to be heard by anyone within earshot. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

But, yes, he had an excuse. He was a genius. That happens sometimes. Picasso, Hitchcock; the list of conceited, vindictive geniuses is long. He hit his popular nadir with "West Side Story," of course, on stage and on screen, and in "West Side Story Symphonic Dances," all the vocals have been stripped away from the movie's tracks, leaving only the music, lushly orchestrated by Johnny Greene. It's as mesmerizing as it sounds. Leonard would surely tell you so. Repeatedly.

Few men epitomize the word "cool" without question. When you say, "Matthew McConaughey is really cool," for instance, you're likely to get a negative, or at least tepid, reaction. When you say, "Sammy Davis, Jr. is cool," no one bats an eye. Why? Because it's reality.

A lot of great Sammy tunes are included "The Wham Of Sam," starting with the rousing "A Lot Of Livin' To Do," and the truly snazzy "Guys And Dolls." Did you know? His parents were vaudeville performers, and yes, little Sammy hit the boards as a youngin', performing in a dance troupe with his father. Some performers start early - and in Sammy's case, it shows. Movies, Broadway, Vegas; he conquered it all.

The Secret Song File has just about had it with male-this and female-that. Can't we all get along? And what in hells-bells is going on with this nonsense? Dafuq? Has the world gone completely bonkers (don't answer that)?

Given the state of things and the need to recline fetchingly, The Secret Song File has decided to listen to a spine-tingling new CD from an indie band whose name is the letter before the last two in the alphabet (but twice). You so know who it is - you might even say that you can see it (*cough*cough*) - but do you have the Supah Dupah Deluxe version? Oh, and a brief mention about my long absence. My excuse? Work, life, raging against the machine.  Plus good old-fashioned laziness! But I'll be back again sooner rather than later, I swear.

It's true, I missed all of you out there in Internets land!

Give a wave in the comments, if'n you like.


almason said...

Hooray, you're back! Your blog is great and you have been missed.

Anonymous said...

CE is always the best!!!!

John said...

Lawdy Chil, I am glad yoz back fo sho. I missed you!! oxoxxo

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Thanks guys. My heart, if I had one, would be swelling right this very moment! :D

Schmo said...

About time!

Burney Redding said...

Glad you're still screeching!!
Luv ya, Mean it!!

Emily Shorette said...

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I hope you enjoy this. Please paste the following:

If you like it, please consider putting it among your favorite blogs. I would greatly appreciate it.



tony said...

Adding Sammy as part of your return, along with your unique critiques, made the wait worthwhile, so thanks!

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

You welcome, Tony. Sammy's good for any occasion. :)

RayKay said...

Hi, Glad to have you back.

The George Chakiris link isn't working. They say no such file or somesuch.

Thanks for all the great uploads.


The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Hi RayKay! I checked and re-checked the Chakiris link and it's still working. Maybe try turning on your AdBlock or using a different browser. If those options don't work, let me know!