Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Sweeter than Sweet

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Conniff Up_Up_And_Away

I truly think I’m losing my mind. Yesterday, I stumbled across the Ray Conniff Singers. Of course, I have a few Ray Conniff albums. Who doesn’t? But I never knew about the singers. First, the album covers are a symphony of blurry women. Each cover employees the lovely gauze filter that was popular for high school senior portraits when I was eighteen. I think it’s time this style returns to fashion. I don’t know why everyone is blurry. I understand watching Dynasty and the screen goes extremely soft when Joan Collins appears. The blurry effect is a good way to hide old age. Nobody would guess she isn’t twenty-two. The Ray Conniff album women are young, so that doesn’t apply. Perhaps they were embarrassed and requested a soft focus for recognition issues.

Second, the music. I thought I knew sweet and saccharine. I consider myself rather an aficionado of square and unhip, but this music transcends even my expertise. Their rendition of Up, Up, and Away is alarmingly nice and happy. It’s truly sickening and could drive sane people to torture. It is, however, a wonderful tool with teenagers. If you have one, or two, play this in the car when driving them around. Insist on singing along if friends are there also. This is a sure fire way to help any teen step away from the dark side and become pleasant.




The Sweet Sounds of Filth

Monday, June 13th, 2011

The woman and her pussy, really

I admit I’m a dingbat with some technology. But, I thought I could manage iTunes. Clearly I can’t. I thought I was purchasing a Jackie Gleason song, Serenade in Blue, and I somehow purchased the entire Jackie Gleason easy listening library. I now have 100 of your favorite quiet songs for sedation. Whooee, hot times at the old homestead are in store for you. I don’t understand why it’s called elevator music. They don’t play it on any elevator I’ve ever ridden. I would love to hear easy listening in the elevator.

On that note, I pulled out some of my favorite records. I hadn’t noticed the sexual overtones used, but then I was typically looking for a specific song. Now that I see it, I can’t get it out of my head. Who bought these albums? Did only men shop at record stores in 1955? It’s an odd marketing approach. Maybe women weren’t allowed to purchase records and were forced to listen to whatever the husband liked. “You will like this version of Wives and Lovers, dammit.” The woman with the pussy especially disturbs me. It’s oddly suggestive.


This is slightly suggestive, don't you think?

No description necessary

This dude is not relaxed

What happened to cause this injury?

There is nothing benign happening here

as Princess Leia

Cockeyed Optimist

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Rodgers and Hammerstein Carousel, 1955

19 The Sermon

20 You’ll Never Walk Alone

Some weeks are just plain hard. I know I’ve had a difficult week, when I find myself listening to Rodgers and Hammerstein albums. Oh, and drinking heavily, too. Many of you already know that when we were at the ranch growing up, the only records we had to play were Rodgers and Hammerstein records in my grandmother’s den. The lyrics had an evil way of knitting themselves into my head. So now, when I feel really crappy, one of those lyrics pops into my head: When you walk through a storm, keep your chin up high, climb every mountain, don’t worry about others not liking you, just try liking them, and you’ll never walk alone are the bits of advice I tell myself. But don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. There’s nothing wrong with a little pep talk. And when you’re feeling a little beat, play some Rodgers and Hammerstein. And when you’re really, really beat, listen to The Sermon from Carousel (above).

me at the ranch, 1978

Ricky not Zac

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Ricky Nelson, 1950s teen idol who combed his hair

My niece, Izabelle, is like most 12 year olds today. Last summer she loved Zac Efron, which was fine, except his hair is always in his face. I suggested she start listening to Ricky Nelson. This was as popular as suggestion as my idea of buying her a nice kilt and sweater set. I’ve even gone as far as putting publicity shots of Ricky Nelson, Tab Hunter, and Troy Donahue in frames next to her desk in her room at my house. I’m pretty sure she just feels sorry for me and considers me the squarest person in the world. But I’m not being square, Ricky Nelson is a cool guy. His music kicks ass, and he’s handsome in that way 12 year old girls like. When she’s older, she’ll discover how super groovy Ricky Nelson really is. At least he kept his hair combed.


Friday, March 12th, 2010

Rosemary Clooney, 1954

14 God Bless America (Live)

It may not be fashionable, and certainly far from hip, but I absolutely love Rosemary Clooney. Her voice is so unpretentious and clear. There is no overlay of sentimentality and she never milked a song for emotional impact. Rosemary Clooney seems like a fish out water in many of her movies. It’s not that she isn’t good, she’s just real. In White Christmas, everyone else, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, appears to be in a heightened state of slickness and artifice. But, Rosemary Clooney plays it directly and authentically. Her life was an amazing tale of poverty and abandonment, success and fame, a crashing career, and remarkable comeback. Somehow the fact that she had a breakdown after being several feet from Bobby Kennedy when he was shot at the Ambassador Hotel, reminds me that she was an actual human being. This seems like an appropriate response in this instance. Throughout everything she never took the role of a victim, she just kept punching. Her music is about this. Her last concert before her death was two weeks after September 11, 2001, the last song she sang that evening was God Bless America.