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
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.