Merry Christmas To You!
Frank Sinatra – White Christmas
Les Paul – Jingle Bells
Dean Martin – The Christmas Blues
Nat “King” Cole – My Two Front Teeth
Johnny Mercer – Winter Wonderland
Les Baxter – Santa Claus’ Party
Nat “King” Cole – The Christmas Song
Billy May – Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Mambo
Frank Sinatra – The Christmas Waltz
Yogi Yorgesson – I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas
Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely – Silver Bells
Les Paul and Mary Ford – Silent Night
Bobby Hebb (July 26, 1938 – August 3, 2010) was an American singer and songwriter born in Tennessee. Hebb’s parents, William and Ovalla Hebb, were both blind musicians.
On November 23, 1963, the day after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, his brother Harold Hebb was killed in a knife fight outside a Nashville nightclub. Hebb was devastated by both events and sought comfort in songwriting. Though many claim that the song he wrote after both tragedies was the optimistic “Sunny”, Hebb himself stated otherwise. Hebb also wrote many other songs for other artists, including Lou Rawls’ 1971 hit “A Natural Man” (co-written with comedian Sandy Baron).
“Sunny” was recorded in New York City, after demos were made with the record producer Jerry Ross. Released as a single, it reached #3 on the R&B charts, # 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. When Hebb toured with The Beatles in 1966 his “Sunny” was as well received as any Beatles tune, as evidenced by tapes of the concerts. “Sunny” has been recorded by, among others Cher, Georgie Fame, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra with Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, The Four Seasons, the Four Tops, James Brown and Wilson Pickett.
Where Are You
Got You On My Mind
Yes Or No Or Maybe Not
Good Good Lovin’
Love Love Love
A Satisfied Mind
You Don’t Know What You Got Until You Lose It
I Am Your Man
“This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley. I don’t know if Ray was the architect of rock & roll, but he was certainly the first guy to do a lot of things . . . Who the hell ever put so many styles together and made it work?”
Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known by his shortened stage name Ray Charles, was an American musician. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records.
He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums. While with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company. Frank Sinatra called Charles “the only true genius in show business.”
Ray’s legacy continues to live on. His version of “Georgia On My Mind” was made the official state song for Georgia. In 1987, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” in 2004, and number two on their November 2008 list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”. The biopic Ray, released in October 2004, portrays his life and career between 1930 and 1979 and stars Jamie Foxx as Charles. Foxx won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor for the role.
Honestly, I wish I had more of his albums, but these two will need to do for now:
What’d I Say
Paul Albert Anka, OC (born July 30, 1941 Ottawa) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actor.
Anka first became famous as a teen idol in the late 1950s and 1960s with hit songs like “Diana”, “Lonely Boy”, and “Put Your Head on My Shoulder”. He went on to write such well-known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and one of Tom Jones’s biggest hits, “She’s a Lady”, and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s signature song, “My Way” (originally French song “Comme d’habitude”).
In 1983, he co-wrote with Michael Jackson the song “I Never Heard”, which was retitled and released in 2009 under the name “This Is It”. An additional song that Jackson co-wrote with Anka from this 1983 session, “Love Never Felt So Good”, has since been discovered, and will be released in the near future. The song was also released by Johnny Mathis in 1984.
The Original Hits of Paul Anka
Put Your Head on My Shoulder
I Love You Baby
My Home Town
Adam and Eve
You Are My Destiny
Tonight, My Love, Tonight
Dance On Little Girl
Nelson Smock Riddle, Jr. (June 1, 1921 – October 6, 1985) was an American arranger, composer, bandleader and orchestrator whose career stretched from the late 1940s to the mid 1980s. His work for Capitol Records kept such vocalists as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Rosemary Clooney and Keely Smith household names. He found commercial and critical success again in the 1980s with a trio of Platinum albums with vocalist Linda Ronstadt.
The Best of Nelson Riddle
The Green Leaves of Summer
Naked City Theme
Younger Than Springtime
Route 66 Theme
I’m Getting’ Sentimental Over You
Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries
Louis Allen “Lou” Rawls (December 1, 1935 – January 6, 2006) was an American soul, jazz, and blues singer. He was known for his smooth vocal style: Frank Sinatra once said that Rawls had “the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game”. Rawls released more than 60 albums, appeared as an actor in motion pictures and on television, and voiced-over many cartoons. He was also known for his frequently used expression,”Yeah buddy!”
See You When I Get There
Early Morning Love
Some Folks Never Learn
Some Day You’ll Be Old
We Understand Each Other
It’s Our Anniversary Today
All the Way
I know what you’re thinking, how does Memorial Day and remembering our troops tie into the music? Well, whether they’re creating protest songs about the war or traveling to visit the troops, musicians are impacted by the subject. Some, like Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, and Elvis have even served in our military before starting their careers in music.
When I think of music and the miltary, the USO shows pop into my head immediately. The United Service Organizations Inc. (USO) is a private, nonprofit organization that provides morale and recreational services to members of the U.S. military, with programs in 160 centers worldwide. Since 1941, it has worked in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), and has provided support and entertainment to U.S. armed forces, relying heavily on private contributions. You can check out their timeline here. It’s really amazing to see how far the shows have come! Below is a list of just some of the musicians and other celebrities who have performed overseas for our troops:
Sammy Davis Jr.
As the grills are fired up for the weekend, the pools are opened, and everyone is enjoying the sunshine, I ask that you take a moment to remember our troops. Not just those in the past, but those serving our country now. As much as you may be against the war, these men and woman are out there everyday doing the work so we can go about our normal, every day lives. At the very least, they deserve a thank you. If you want to do more than just say thanks, there’s a number of ways you can help:
Coalition for Iraq + Afghanistan Veterans
US Department of Veterans Affairs
United Service Organization (USO)
Help Our Military Endure
It’s 10:00AM in Boston and it’s already absolutely beautiful out! This plus the fact I GET A TWO DAY WEEKEND because I have Monday off has inspired me to compile a little playlist from the albums already entered for guys to kick off summer with. I hope everyone has a great weekend and be sure to get outside at some point!
Abba – Summer Night City
Andy Williams – A Summer Place
Animal Collective – Summertime Clothes
B-52’s – Summer of Love
Bay City Rollers – Summer Love Sensation
Beach Boys – All Summer Long
Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69
Carmen Cavallaro – Summer Love
Chic – A Warm Summer Night
Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues
Frank Sinatra – Summer Wind
Glenn Yarbrough – Summer Sunshine
Jan & Dean – Summer Rain
Janis Joplin – Summertime…
Joan Baez – Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer
Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra, (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and film actor.
Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. He signed with Capitol Records in 1953 and released several critically lauded albums. Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records in 1961, toured internationally, was a founding member of the Rat Pack and fraternized with celebrities and statesmen, including John F. Kennedy.
Sinatra was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
I suppose I could have charged through or slowed down a bit, but it seems the universe picked today for me to enter Frank Sinatra. Not only did my dad have a TON on Sinatra albums, but there shared a name. Today marks the 9 year anniversary of losing my dad, so of course this coincidence seems like more.
Instead of getting all sappy on you, I just ask that you either hug your dad or donate to a hospital and/or charity relating to cancer. There’s always Dana Farber, where my dad once stayed or Lakes Region General Hospital where $50.00 gets you a leaf on the Tree of Life, which we donated to the hospital. Even better, a children’s hospital.
Enjoy the Ol’ Blue Eyes’ collection and pardon the four loose albums, I can’t seem to find the covers:
Frank Sinatra and His Greatest Hits
The Sinatra Touch
Strangers in the Night
The World We Knew
Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back
The Main Event Live
Love is a Kick
Come Back to Sorrento
Dean Martin (born Dino Paul Crocetti; June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995) was an American singer, film actor, television star and comedian. Nicknamed the “King of Cool”, he was one of the members of the “Rat Pack” and a major star in four areas of show business: concert stage/night clubs, recordings, motion pictures, and television.
Martin was diagnosed with lung cancer at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in September 1993, and in early 1995 retired from public life. He died of acute respiratory failure resulting from emphysema at his Beverly Hills home on Christmas morning 1995, at age 78. The lights of the Las Vegas Strip were dimmed in his honor.
My dad had a TON of Dino’s albums:
Everybody Loves Somebody
This is Dean Martin
Dean Martin Hits Again
The Hit Sound of Dean Martin
Sleep Warm (with Frank Sinatra)
Somewhere There’s a Someone