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FAVORITE SONGS

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MY FAVORITE SONGS

Here is the comment I made when I inaugurated this list on 1 September 2004; since then, the list has evolved to encompass both vocal and instrumental musical compositions
Today, I thought I'd share with my readers a new feature for "Notablog" and a new page on my site.  I have been promising readers to inaugurate additional "My Favorite Things" pages, pointing to such things as favorite books, favorite albums, and even favorite songs.  Why my personal aesthetic views are so interesting is beyond me... but the Favorite Things page is consistently one of the most popular pages on my "Dialectics and Liberty" website.  Perhaps it is due to the fact that I provide lots of entertaining links on such pages for your enjoyment.  So, I'm starting a new page today:  My Favorite Songs.  Rather than come up with a full list on a single day, I'll make it a regular (daily?) feature here at "Notablog."  (The songs will also be added to the "Favorite Songs" list, [below] alphabetically, with date of addition in [brackets]) There isn't a waking hour of any day where I don't have a song on my mind.  (I suspect there are quite a few songs playing in my mind during non-waking hours as well!)  Music is such an integral part of my life, that I could not for a moment imagine life without it.  And the songs I love come from a variety of genres, as readers will soon find out.


Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein ("Main Title") [YouTube clip at that link], composed by Frank Skinner, captures both the chills and the laughs of the classic film that drops the immortal comedic duo into the horrors of the Universal monster franchise.   Skinner's wonderful score for this 1948 film was given a Halloween tribute by conductor Wlliam Stromberg and the Golden State Pops Orchestra [YouTube link]. [25 January 2013] 

Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful) (audio clip at that link) features the Latin words and music of John Francis Wade, with an English translation by Frederick Oakeley.  Listen to audio clips of recordings of this uplifting melody by Celine Dion, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Luciano Pavarotti, Mario Lanza, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. [2 January 2006]

The Adventures of Robin Hood ("Duel, Victory, and Epilogue"), composed by the great Erich Korngold, is from one of the finest motion picture soundtracks of all time, winner of the 1938 Oscar for Best Original Score.  From the rousing Errol Flynn swashbuckling adventure, listen to an audio clip here[24 February 2007]

The Adventures of Superman ("Superman March")  [YouTube link], composed by Leon Klatzkin, opened one of my favorite childhood superhero shows.  Considering that the Superman character is celebrating his 75th anniversary this year, I can think of no better way to kick off my annual mini-tribute to television themes, in honor of the upcoming broadcast of the Emmy Awards.  The series ran from 1952 to 1958, and starred George Reeves as Clark Kent/Superman. [13 September 2013]

After You've Gone, words and music by Henry Creamer and John Turner Layton, was first published in 1918.  It has been recorded by such artists as Al Jolson, Sophie Tucker, and, for the 1942 film "For Me and My Gal," by Judy Garland (audio clips at artist links).  But my favorite version remains an instrumental by the Benny Goodman Trio, with Teddy Wilson on piano and Gene Krupa on drums.  Listen to a full-length audio clip here.   [14 December 2005]

Ain't Nobody, music and lyrics by David Wolinski, was a huge sleaze-beat R&B hit for Rufus and Chaka Khan.  The way Chaka bends and sails over these notes earned her a 1983 Grammy award for "Best Rhythm and Blues Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal."  It's ironic that this was the year of Michael Jackson's big Grammy haul for "Thriller"; Quincy Jones tried to get this track for Jackson's album before Chaka recorded it.  [7 November 2004]

Ain't No Mountain High Enough, words and music by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, has been performed by many artists, including Diana Ross (audio clip at that link), Michael McDonald (audio clip at that link), and classic disco versions by Boystown Gang (in a medley with "Remember Me") and by Inner Life, with vocalist Jocelyn Brown (listen to audio clip here).  My favorite version remains the Marvin Gaye-Tammi Terrell duet.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [17 April 2005]

Ain't Nothing Gonna Keep Me From You, music and lyrics by Barry Gibb, was sung by Teri De Sario in a grand 1978 Casablanca Records release.  A fantastic pop hook for the dancefloor. [19 October 2004]

Airegin (that's "Nigeria" spelled backwards, written in 1954 as "a salute to the newly independent African state") is a classic Sonny Rollins jazz composition that has been recorded by countless artists. It even sports a rarely heard lyric, composed by the great Jon Hendricks of Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross.  It has also been sung by such groups as The Manhattan Transfer; listen to an audio clip from their album "Vocalese."  One of my favorite blazing, blaring, scalding instrumental versions of this song is performed by the Maynard Ferguson band (from the album "New Vintage").  My brother, guitarist Carl Barry, has brought people to their feet when he's performed this hard bop evergreen in concert.  Just terrific.  [19 January 2005]

Airport ("Love Theme") features the last soundtrack composed by Alfred Newman, who passed away less than a month before the film's release (and a month before his 70th St. Patrick's Day birthday in 1970).  Nominated for 10 Oscars (only Helen Hayes walked away with a statuette, for "Best Supporting Actress"), the movie is credited as having initiated the 1970s "disaster film" genre, which reached its height, so-to-speak, in 1974, with "The Towering Inferno."  The Oscar-nominated Newman score is highlighted by this lush love theme (YouTube link).  (This particular take on the love theme is from "As You Remember Them," a Time-Life collection on vinyl that I've always treasured.)  [11 February 2012]

Alfie, the Oscar-nominated title song to the original 1966 Michael Caine film version (remade in 2004 as a starring vehicle for Jude Law), has been sung by everyone from Cher to Dionne Warwick.  But the version that tugs at my tear ducts is an instrumental, with Stevie Wonder on harmonica.  It's a Hal David-Burt Bacharach classic. [13 November 2004]

Alfred Hitchcock Presents (aka "Funeral March of a Marionette") was actually adapted from a Charles Gounod composition.  TV shows borrow such themes all the time. Listen to an audio clip here.  [16 September 2005]

Alien ("Main Title") [YouTube link], composed by Jerry Goldsmith, is one of those unforgettable science fiction-horror themes that conjures up images of an entire film and the franchise to which it gave birth.  "In space, no one can hear you scream," went the advertisement.  But screams were aplenty in this 1979 iconic film, directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Sigourney Weaver as Ripley.  This is one of my all-time favorite films of the genre, with a creepy score to match.  [15 February 2013]

Aliens ("Main Title") [YouTube link], composed by James Horner, opens "Aliens," the best of the sequels to the iconic 1979 film.  This action-packed 1986 film was directed by James Cameron, and starred, once again, Sigourney Weaver as a kick-ass Ripley Cameron-Horner is as distinctive a collaboration as Hitchcock-Herrmann and Spielberg-Williams.  This track is from one of the best scores (and one of the best films) in the sci-fi/horror genre.  [16 February 2013]

All About Eve ("Main Title") [sample at that link] opens composer Alfred Newman's Oscar-nominated score for the iconic 1950 film, which was nominated for a then-record 14 Academy Awards (tied in 1997 by "Titanic").  The film won a total of 6 Oscars, including Best Picture.  It boasts an outstanding cast, led by the incomparable (and Oscar-nominated Best Actress) Bette Davis, who utters that famous line:  "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night" (#9 on the list of the American Film Institute's all-time movie quotations).  And a special nod to Oscar-nominated Supporting Actress Thelma Ritter, who, as Birdie, just can't believe the life story being told by Eve (Oscar-nominated Supporting Actress Anne Baxter):  "Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at her rear end." (And check out the Live Lux Radio Theater version of the story!)  Today begins my Annual Tribute to Cinema Songs, Scores and Other Compositions featured in film, a traditional Film Music February en route to the 84th Academy Awards. [1 February 2012]

All Across the City was composed by Jim Hallthe great jazz guitarist, who was born on this date in 1930. Listen to various audio clips of this haunting jazz classic:  the brilliant Jim Hall-Bill Evans duet; a lush Jim Hall version; and sensitive collaborations of Jim Hall with Paul Desmond and with the great Pat Metheny too Happy birthday, Mr. Hall!  [4 December 2007]

(You Are My) All and All was written and performed by Joyce Sims.  I once heard a live remix of this song at a dance club called Bentley's in Manhattan, and was utterly astounded by the DJ's skill.  It was inspiring to me, as I was still DJ'ing parties back then in 1986.  Listen to audio clips of various remixes of this percolating freestyle dance track here.   [19 January 2006]

All Around the World features the words and music of Ian Devaney, Andy Morris, and the woman who sang it:  Lisa Stansfield. Listen to an audio clip of this soulful R&B-laced hit here.  [13 June 2006]

All Blues, composed by Miles Davis, is from one of my favorite jazz albums of all time: "Kind of Blue."  After "Blue Suede Shoes" and a Big Blue loss, I'll be in Blue for a few days.  This classic features such players as Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, and the great Bill Evans, who contributed much to the modal approach to jazz featured on this recording.  Listen to audio clips here and here. [9 January 2006]

All I Ask of You, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe, is from the musical, "Phantom of the Opera" (listen to the audio clip at that link).  It is featured in the 2004 film as well (audio clip here).  My favorite version of this melodic, romantic song is by Barbra Streisand (listen to the audio clip at that link).  [12 April 2005]

All in Love is Fair, words and music by the great Stevie WonderStreisand has a fine rendition of this, but Stevie's version makes me cry. [27 September 2004]

All in the Family ("Those Were The Days") [YouTube link], music and lyrics by Charles Strouse, is recognized as one of the Top Fifty Television Themes of All Time.  Its iconic status in the history of TV themes is only eclipsed by the iconic status of this remarkably daring show, which simultaneously made us collapse with laughter and confront the social prejudices that are as relevant today as they were when Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin introduced this show on the CBS Television Network.  Part of what made the show work was the real chemistry between its two prime players; no less than Lucy and Ricky, Alice and Ralph, Edith and Archie have become part of the culture of television excellence.  And this year, it is especially poignant to end our mini-tribute to TV themes with the song that introduced the world to Lear's comedy, and to the brilliance of Emmy-winning actress, Jean Stapleton, who passed away on 31 May 2013. Tonight, when they do that Emmy Awards "In Memoriam"  tribute section to people who have passed away, expect an ovation for this wonderful actress. And take a listen to that opening theme once more. So comes the end of our mini-tribute to television music. [22 September 2013]

All I Want for Christmas features the words and music of Walter Afanasieff and Mariah Carey, who can be seen in this jovial YouTube moment (with Johnny Depp).  Check out as well this slower version by The Cheetah Girls. [29 December 2008]

All My Loving, written by Paul McCartney (but credited to both McCartney and John Lennon), was the song that opened up the set that The Beatles performed in their first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," 50 years ago this very day. It was the ultimate symbol of the "British Invasion" appearing on one of the most popular variety shows of its day; indeed, 73 million people are estimated to have seen The Beatles that Sunday night, and I was among them.  A sample of this song also made it into the 1964 film, "A Hard Day's Night," a black and white classic of the comedy-musical genre.  Beatlemania had begun, and popular music would never be the same. Check out the single version, an excerpt from the "Ed Sullivan" performance on 9 February 1964, and its sample in "A Hard Day's Night" [YouTube links]. [9 February 2014]

All Night Passion, words and music by Rick Tarbox, was a hot mid-80s dance hit recorded by Alisha.  Listen to audio clips of the original version and the extended dance remix here.  [29 June 2006]

All of Me, words and music by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons, was featured in many renditions on the radio show of Danny Stiles, "The King of Nostalgia," "The Vicar of Vintage Vinyl," who passed away back on March 11, 2011.  Today, we remember the stylish Stiles, who gave all of himself to the cause of preserving great American standards.  Check out these performances:  Ruth Etting, Billie HolidayDinah Washington live "Jazz on a Summer's Day,"  Lester Young and Teddy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, the very Sassy Sarah Vaughan, Willie Nelson, John Pizzarelli, Tal Farlow and Red NorvoFrank Sinatra swingin' at Caesar's Palace, and the one and only Pops with Chops:  Louis Armstrong (all YouTube clips).  [29 August 2011]

All or Nothing at All, music by Arthur Altman, lyrics by Brooklynite Jack Lawrence, performed with a sense of tragedy by Sinatra to a fine Don Costa arrangement, from the album, "Sinatra and Strings" (check out that audio clip). [17 December 2004]

All the Things You Are, the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II masterpiece, is one of the most beautifully crafted songs ever written.  I mentioned Mario Lanza's version in my essay, "Celebrating the Great American Songbook."  But it has been recorded by everybody from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson to Ella Fitzgerald.  It is also one of the great standards of jazz improvisation; I really love pianist Bill Evans' playfully reworked version, which he renamed "Are You All the Things?"  It is featured on his brilliant album Intuition, with Eddie Gomez on bass.  [10 September 2004]

All the Way, music by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn.  This Oscar-winning song from the 1957 film "The Joker is Wild," is performed by a relaxed Sinatra to another terrific Nelson Riddle arrangement.  Listen to the audio clip at amazon.com.  [18 December 2004]

All This Time, words and music by Jonathan Peters, Richard Bush, and Delsena Walrond, features the vocals of Sylver Logan Sharp.  Listen to audio clips from two different remixes of this pumpin' dance track here and here. [28 September 2005]

Almost Like Being in Love, music by Frederick Loewe, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, has been sung with swing and gusto by everybody from Nat King Cole to Natalie Cole (click links for audio clips).  I also love a hot jazz violin version by Joe Venuti.  [11 March 2005]

Alright, Okay, You Win, words and music by Sid Wyche and Mayme Watts, is one of those jovial blues-based swing tracks that has been recorded by some fine jazz and pop vocalists, including Joe Williams with Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and Bette Midler, on a tribute album to Lee (audio clips at those links).  [8 December 2006]

Also Sprach Zarathustra, composed by Richard Strauss, was made famous when its introduction was used as the opening theme music to the 1968 Stanley Kubrick-directed film, "2001:  A Space Odyssey."  It is painted in bold musical strokes, a "tone poem for large orchestra" that was inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra.  Listen to audio clips from the work here.  [2 December 2005]

American Bandstand (Bandstand Boogie) features the music of Charles Albertine, Les Elgart, Larry Elgart, and Bob Horn and the lyrics of Bruce Howard Sussman and Barry Manilow.  Listen to audio clips by Les Elgart and His Orchestra and Barry Manilow.  [14 September 2007]

The American President (Main Theme) [YouTube link], composed by Marc Shaiman, is a stately theme that opens the 1995 film, starring Michael Douglas as widowed President Andrew Shepherd, who falls for Annette Benning as Sydney Ellen Wade, an environmentalist lobbyist.  The film has many of the trappings of contemporary liberalism in terms of its politics and its cast of characters, and it served as an inspiration to writer Aaron Sorkin, who launched the equally idealistic liberalism of the brilliant TV series "The West Wing," which began in 1997.  But it is not the politics that interest me here.  This is a film with a lot of heart, plenty of laughs, and much poignancy.  In anticipation of President's Day, I highly recommend the Shaiman soundtrack.  [11 February 2014]

America the Beautiful, music by Samuel Ward, lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates, is my favorite "patriotic" song, and so appropriate on this Independence Day.  My favorite version remains that of the soulful, heartfelt Brother Ray (Charles).  Listen to an audio clip here.  A happy and a healthy Fourth of July to all.  [4 July 2005]

An Affair to Remember, a 1957 Academy Award nominated song, music by Harry Warren, words by Harold Adamson and Leo McCarey, was recorded by such singers as Vic Damone and Nat King Cole.  "Our love affair is a wondrous thing. That we'll rejoice when remembering. Our love was born with our first embrace.  And a page was torn out of time and space."  Well, believe it or not ... that's exactly how I feel when I take my bike and ride along the bike path that sweeps under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.  Boy, you know you're getting a little older when you're older than a bridge.  Today just happens to be the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, still the longest suspension bridge in the United States.  Happy Birthday!  The bridge is so long that the tops of its towers are 1 5/8 inches further apart than their bases ... to allow for the curvature of the Earth.  I remember being overwhelmed by its majesty from the time when E.J. Korvettes was a stone's throw away.  I've seen the QE2 and the QM2 pass under its span. It has welcomed Tall Ships into New York harbor in celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial.  It's one of my great loves in my hometown.  Oh, and listen to a clip of this pretty song at amazon.com from the original soundtrack album of the romantic film, "An Affair to Remember," starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.  For those who are "starving for stars," as my colleague David Hinckley puts it, those were the days. (The film was made even more famous by references to it in the 1993 film, "Sleepless in Seattle"). Ironically, another great love of mine, The Empire State Building, figures prominently in the plot.  [21 November 2004]

And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going, lyrics by Tom Eyen, music by Henry Krieger, is one of the dramatic highlights of the Broadway musical, "Dreamgirls," inspired by the story of the Motown super group, The Supremes.  I never saw the original Michael Bennett production, but I was enthralled with the performance of this track, sung with Tony-winning gusto, by Jennifer Holliday.  The movie version, with an all-star cast, opens for an exclusive engagement at the Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan, before its nationwide debut on Christmas day.  In the film musical, another "J.H." takes on this song and the role of "Effie":  "American Idol" runner-up, Jennifer Hudson.  Listen to audio clips of the powerhouse Jennifer Holliday version (and check out her televised performance at the 1982 Tony Awards, courtesy of You Tube) and the new Jennifer Hudson version as well (clips at those links). [15 December 2006]

And the Angels Sing features the music of trumpeter Ziggy Elman and the lyrics of Johnny Mercer, who was born 100 years ago today.  The most famous version of this song was recorded by the Benny Goodman Big Band, featuring the sweet vocals of Martha Tilton and a rousing trumpet solo by Elman.  In celebration of the centennial of the birth of the Great Mercer, take a look at this YouTube moment of this terrific song.  [18 November 2009]

And the Beat Goes On, words and music by Leon Sylvers III, William Shelby, and Stephen Shockley, was performed with jazzy gusto by The Whispers.  Listen to an audio clip of this classic dance track here. [10 August 2005]

The Andy Griffith Show ("The Fishin' Hole") features the music of Earle Hagen (who whistled the theme in the opening credits) and Herbert W. Spencer and the lyrics of Everett Sloane.  Just as "The Andy Griffith Show" was a spin-off of an episode of "The Danny Thomas Show," so too did it give birth to spin-offs, including "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," Mayberry, R.F.D.," and the TV-reunion movie, "Return to Mayberry."  Andy Griffith exuded an effortless warmth in his TV performances, from his self-titled show to "Matlock."  And he had terrific acting chops (check out his remarkably jarring performance in "A Face in the Crowd"). He passed away yesterday at the age of 86. This theme and the famous TV show for which it was written have become part of Americana, something all the more noteworthy on this Day of Independence.  Check out the main theme on YouTube and Andy himself singing it. [4 July 2012] 

Angel Eyes has been recorded by artists as varied as Sting and Nancy Wilson (check out her awesome 1968 "Welcome to My Love" album for an audio clip).  But as my colleague David Hinckley recalls:  "Frank Sinatra used to create a magnificent moment in his concerts when the lights would dim to black at the end of the Earl Brent [lyrics]/Matt Dennis [music] song ... and Sinatra would sing, 'Excuse me while I disappear'."  Check out an audio clip here. What a nice way to kick off our celebration of Sinatra's birthday, which is today, and which we'll mark with a couple of weeks worth of favorite Sinatra song highlights.  [12 December 2004]

Angels We Have Heard on High (Les Anges dans nos Campagnes) (audio clip at that link) is a traditional French Christmas carol, whose words were translated into English by James Chadwick.  Listen to audio clips of renditions performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Caribbean Jazz Project.  [30 December 2005]

Another Part of Me, music and lyrics by Michael Jackson, is a pop-funk midtempo dance track.  Though it was one of an armful of hits from the album, "Bad," it actually made an Epcot debut as part of a 3D short film, "Captain Eo," starring Jackson and Angelica Houston, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [15 February 2006]

Another Sleepless Night, words and music by Mike "Hitman" Wilson and Tracey Amos, features the blazing vocals of Shawn Christopher.  Listen to an audio clip of this hot dance classic here.  (And, by all means, don't lose sleep ... Notablog will return on June 5, 2006.  NYU is moving my whole site to a "new, more robust server.")  [2 June 2006]

Another Star, music and lyrics by Stevie Wonder.  This Latin-tinged extravaganza is from an essential Wonder-ful album, "Songs in the Key of Life" (check out the audio clip).  What a career for this gifted musician.  [9 December 2004]

The Answer is Yes is a lovely composition by Jane Hall, wife of the legendary jazz guitarist, Jim Hall, who passed away Tuesday, 10 December 2013, having just turned 83 on 4 December. There are few musicians who have touched me as deeply as this stupendous guitarist. He had a deeply melodic sense; his understated solos were matched only by his brilliant capacity at interplay with the many legends with whom he performed and recorded. I feel as if I've lost a friend, one that I never met, but whose music touched my heart and soul in ways that only a truly personal relationship could. Just a cursory look at "My Favorite Songs" reveals the extent of the impact his musical legacy has made on my life. For example (and this is just a sampling of Hall recordings mentioned therein): the Jim Hall-penned "All Across the City" [YouTube link], (from the enchanting "Intermodulation"): a duet album featuring the mesmerizing interplay of two of the greatest practitioners of the art form: Hall and the legendary pianist Bill Evans [see my entry on 4 December 2007]; "Concierto de Aranjuez" [YouTube link] is the title track from the 1975 album "Concierto," an inspired jazz interpretation of the second movement of the great Rodrigo composition with an all-star line-up, arranged by Don Sebesky.  Also from that album is my absolutely all-time favorite jazz instrumental rendition of the Cole Porter gem, "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" [YouTube link], which features a seamless series of solos and utterly breathtaking interplay by Hall (on guitar), Paul Desmond (on alto saxophone), Chet Baker (on trumpet), Roland Hanna (on piano), Ron Carter (on bass) and Steve Gadd (on drums) [featured on 22 January 2005]. Back in 1997, in his liner notes to the CD re-release of "Concierto," Steve Futterman articulates what I've always felt: the improvisation on this album feels as if it is flowing from a single mind-set, expressed in different instruments. When Hall, Desmond, and Baker intertwine in contrapuntal conversation on the Porter song, for instance, "they sound like the same soloist playing three separate instruments"; "Down the Line" [YouTube link; from Hall's album "Commitment"] is a paean of sorts to Bill Evans's classic "Conversations with Myself"; on this composition, Hall overdubs his electric guitar with the acoustic guitar sounds of the handmade instrument designed by Jimmy D'Aquisto, who carried on the craft of his great teacher: John D'Angelico [see my entry of 30 January 2006]; and finally, "Scrapple from the Apple" [YouTube link] from one of the greatest live recordings ever put to vinyl: the 1975 album, "Jim Hall Live," with a trio featuring Don Thompson on bass and Terry Clarke on drums. The last time I saw Hall perform live was at a loving concert in which he participated in tribute to another legendary guitarist: Chuck Wayne. Alas, if there is a band in Heaven, I know not. But if we are to question whether that band just added one class act to its divine personnel, clearly "The Answer is Yes." [11 December 2013]

Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In, lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, music by Galt MacDermot, is a medley of two songs from "Hair," the Broadway hit that was nominated for a 1969 Tony Award for Best Musical.  The track was the first medley to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, performed with an R&B-jazzy groove by The 5th Dimension. As a 9-year old Aquarian, I fell in love with the recording the first time I heard it.  In 1969, the Score scored a Grammy for what is now called "Best Musical Theater Album."  And this particular medley won a 1970 Grammy for Record of the Year.  Check out The 5th Dimension recording on YouTube and each song performed separately by the original Broadway cast:  The Age of Aquarius and The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In).  Tomorrow, the Tony Awards will be broadcast on CBS. [8 June 2013]

Are You For Real?, a sleaze-beat funk track, written by Rick Suchow, recorded by Deodato (featuring the vocalist Camille Filfiley) and also by TKA.  "Who are you and where did you come from? Maybe you're an angel in disguise?"  Check out Rick Suchow's website too, and scroll down on Rick's music page to listen to great audio clips of various versions of this fab song.  See here too.  [29 October 2004]

Around the World in 80 Days features the music of Victor Young and the lyrics of Harold Adamson (with an uncredited tip of the hat to Kurt Feltz and Gasta Rybrant).  It was heard in the 1956 film of the same title Victor Young's score (audio clip at that link) won an Academy Award in the category of "Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture." Listen to audio clips from the 1956 soundtrack (unrelated to the soundtrack to the 2004 remake).  Also check out audio clips of lovely vocal renditions by Bing Crosby and the McGuire Sisters. [14 June 2006]

Armageddon It, composed by Steve Clark, Phil Collen, Joe Elliott, Mutt Lange, and Rick Savage, from the Def Leppard hard rock album Hysteria (check out that link for sample clip).  Listen to it once, and hum the catchy chorus for days ... [8 November 2004]

Armando's Rhumba (audio clip at that link) was composed by Chick Corea for the album "My Spanish Heart."  The featured soloist is the wonderful Jean-Luc Ponty on acoustic violin.  Chick also recorded this for solo piano on his album "Expressions," with vibes player Gary Burton for "Native Sense: The New Duets," and with vocalist Bobby McFerrin for "Rendezvous in New York" (listen to audio clips at linked titles). [16 June 2005]

Arrest and Trial ("Theme"), composed by Bronsilaw Kaper, is played deliciously by Jimmy Rowles on his "Lilac Time" album (take a listen here).  It's from a short-lived ABC television 1963-64 drama, but for me, it's another feather in the cap of the guy who wrote "Invitation," one of my absolutely favorite songs... we're talking a "desert island disc." [20 September 2013]

Arthur ("Arthur's Theme [Best That You Can Do]"), composed by Christopher Cross, Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Peter Allen, is the Oscar-winning song from one of my all-time favorite comedies.  In addition to the film rendition (YouTube link), check out this concert performance on YouTube, which features singer Christopher Cross and Dudley Moore, who played the title character in the film, and who was a magnificently talented musician as well.  I have no clue how the 2011 remake of this movie will be, but the original with Moore, Liza Minelli, and Best Supporting Actor John Gielgud remains a classic.  [23 February 2011]

Artistry in Rhythm was a signature tune for the progressive big band sounds of Stan Kenton.  Listen here to an audio clip of this classic Kenton tune.   [5 February 2006]

As Time Goes By was written by Herman Hupfeld in 1931 for the Broadway musical, "Everybody's Welcome."  But it is eternally enshrined in the minds of cinema fans worldwide for its appearance in the 1942 film, "Casablanca," starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman Dooley Wilson, "Sam" in the movie, plays it, and plays it again (even if "Play it Again, Sam" is never actually uttered by Bogie).  Speaking of "time," this is officially Leap Year Day, when, every four years, we add a day to our calendar.  And it's also the end of Film Music February, our month-long tribute to film music.  Take a look at two Dooley Wilson YouTube moments here and here.  And check out instrumental versions by jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli and classical guitarist John WilliamsHere's lookin' at you, kid.  [29 February 2012]

At Last features the music of Harry Warren and the lyrics of Mack Gordon.  Today, one hears it during a cat food commercial.  But it has been recorded by many artists, including Glenn Miller, Celine Dion, and, of course, Etta James (audio clips at those links).  [25 August 2005]

Auld Lang Syne is an 18th century Robert Burns poem, which has become a New Year's Eve anthem, thanks to band leader Guy Lombardo.  It is also featured in the final scene of the 1946 film, "It's a Wonderful Life."  Listen to the Lombardo clip here.  And bring in the new year with health and happiness!  [31 December 2004]

Autumn in New York, words and music by Vernon Duke, from the 1934 musical revue, "Thumbs Up," was sung ever-so-sweetly by Frank Sinatra. [23 September 2004]

Autumn Leaves, English lyrics by Johnny Mercer, original French lyrics by Jacques Prevert, music by Joseph Kosma, is truly apropos for the arrival of Fall.  It's been sung by Nat King Cole and so many others; I also love my sister-in-law Joanne Barry's jazzy version.  [22 September 2004]

Avalon features the music of Vincent Rose and the lyrics of G. "Buddy" DeSylva and Al Jolson, who had a huge hit with it in 1920, as did Benny Goodman in 1937.  And on this date, in 1938, Benny Goodman performed this tune with his classic quartet, live, on stage, in the famous Carnegie Hall concert.  Given the fact that today also happens to be Martin Luther King Day, it is all the more appropriate to celebrate the Goodman legacy in music.  For years, Goodman featured both black players and white players in his various bands; a person's race mattered not.  All that mattered was the person's ability to make great music.  Goodman's Carnegie Hall concert continued his policy of racial integration in jazz.  As for the history of this particular tune:  it includes a bit of litigation.  In 1921, Puccini actually won a suit against the writers, claiming that the melody was derived from "E Lucevan le Stelle."  Listen to audio clips from Al Jolson, the original swingin' recorded version by the Benny Goodman Quartet, and a blazin' Natalie Cole rendition. [16 January 2006]

Away in a Manger is a title that pertains to many songs, including the standard version, with lovely music based on "Mueller" by James Ramsey Murray (check out a Johnny Mathis audio clip of this version here).  Alas, the "alternate version" that I most adore uses "The Cradle Song" (listen at that link) by American gospel songwriter William J. Kirkpatrick.  One very fine instrumental, orchestral version of this was recorded by the Living Strings, played traditionally during hour 2 of the WPIX Channel 11 Yule Log, something I grew up with. A wonderful choral version is performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, with Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic.  Check out the audio link for the album "The Joy of Christmas." [2 January 2005]

Babes in Toyland (selections), music composed by Victor Herbert, book and lyrics by Glen MacDonough, opened on Broadway in 1903.  It is another charming seasonal favorite.  From its opening overture to the "Toyland" centerpiece and the "March of the Toys," the themes of this Herbert operetta always leave a lump in my throat.  I first heard these themes as a child when I saw the classic Laurel and Hardy 1934 film, "March of the Wooden Soldiers."  Listen to audio clips from the score here and here.  [23 December 2005]

Baby Be Mine, words and music by Rod Temperton, is Track #2 on the stupendous Michael Jackson album, "Thriller," which was released on this date, 30 years ago.  This recording predates "Spice of Life," but both songs have that same sweet Temperton groove.  Listen to the track on YouTube. [30 November 2012]

Baby I'm a Star, music and lyrics by Prince, was featured on the soundtrack for "Purple Rain."  Back in the day when I used to DJ, I did an edit of this energetic song for one of my sister's many award-winning high school dance teams.  We also enjoyed seeing Prince do this classic in concert.  Happy birthday, sister!   Listen to an audio clip here. [2 September 2008]

Baby It's Cold Outside features the words and music of the great Frank Loesser, who was born 100 years ago today.  This Academy Award winner was heard in the film, "Neptune's Daughter," but it always makes me think of the Christmas season. It has been recorded by many artists.  Take a look on YouTube at versions by Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark, Dean Martin, and Natalie Cole and James Taylor.  [29 June 2010]

Back Together Again, words and music by James Mtume and Reggie Lucas, is a classic soulful duet of Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway (audio clip at that link).  I also adore a "sentimental reunion" remix by Steve Anderson, produced for the June 1990 Disco Mix Club.  [14 September 2006]

Bad, words and music by Michael Jackson, is the title track to MJ's "Bad" album, which, on this date twenty-five years ago, debuted atop the Billboard 200 album chart.  The video, directed by Martin Scorsese, features choreography that is a paean to the great musical, "West Side Story."  The 25th aniversary of the album's release (officially, on 31 August 1987) is being commemorated this year by "Bad 25", a special remix 3-CD re-release package, and a Spike Lee-directed documentary, which premiered at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.  The original music video was filmed at the Brooklyn subway station at Hoyt-Schermerhorn.  And the track includes a hot solo by one of my all-time favorite jazz organ players, Jimmy Smith.  Check out the full music video version, the short-form music video, the Kids version, the 12" remix, the David Guetta remix, the Electro Mix by Ballistic, the new Afrojack remix, featuring Pitbull and DJ Buddha, and cover versions by country artist Ray Stevens, "Weird Al" Yankovic (a "Fat" parody), the Chipmunks, and the cast from "Glee". [26 September 2012]

Bad Girls, words and music by the Brooklyn Dreams and Donna Summer, is the title track to Summer's 1979 album, which became a #1 pop, dance, and R&B smash.  Check out the single version, the extended version, the famous medley with "Hot Stuff" and a nice live cover version by Jamiroquai [YouTube links].  [20 May 2012]

Baker Street features the words, lyrics, and performance of Gerry Rafferty, who passed away on 4 January 2011.   Spotlighting the saxophone of Raphael Ravenscroft, it's a late 70s pop gem.  Check out the full Rafferty version on YouTube and, among the many covers of this song, one by the Foo Fighters.  [2 March 2011]

The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde, music and lyrics by Mitch Murray and Peter Callander, was recorded in 1967 by Georgie Fame [YouTube music link].  The tune is not heard in the 1967 film, "Bonnie and Clyde," which starred Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker and Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow, the notorious Depression-era bank robbers. But the song was inspired by the film. The film score was written by Charles Strouse; the movie won Oscars for Estelle Parsons (Best Supporting Actress) and Burnett Guffey (Best Cinematography). [23 February 2013]

Barbara Allen is an ageless folksong whose origins go back to the 17th century.  It has been performed in countless permutations by chamber groups and singers from every genre of music. I remember it today, on Christmas Eve, because it is featured so prominently in poignant scenes of the 1951 film version of "A Christmas Carol," with the incomparable Alastair Sim.  For an equally poignant instrumental rendition, check out the audio clip on a very special album, "Christmas Jazz Guitar," by the terrific jazz guitarist Jack Wilkins.  Meanwhile, don't forget to track Santa Claus!  [24 December 2004]

Batucada (The Beat) is a Marcos Valle-Paulo Valle composition, sung in Portuguese by Brasil 66 on their album "Look Around" (listen to audio clip at that link or the song title link).  This song can be described as "viral"; if you listen to it, prepare to be infected by its rhythmic, melodic hook.   [14 January 2005]

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms ("Monster Does Manhattan") [sample clip at that link], composed by David Buttolph for the 1953 film, is one of the defining and most influential film soundtracks for the whole sub-genre of "Monster Movies," which feature giant monsters stomping on contemporary cities (everything from King-sized giant apes and Atomic Age-reawakened dinosaurs to mutant ants and tarantulas). This particular film's plot has a fabulous London counterpart, released in 1959:  "The Giant Behemoth," with special effects by Willis O'Brien, who was a mentor to Ray Harryhausen, the special effects wizard for Beast.  After the Beast wreaks havoc in Manhattan, it decides to visit BrooklynFuhgeddaboudit!  It comes to a violent end at the Cyclone roller coaster, in Coney Island Amusement Park.  Still, a little too close for comfort, if you ask this Brooklynite.  [24 February 2012]

Beat It, words, music, and performance by Michael Jackson, was one of the biggest hits from the album, "Thriller," which was released twenty-five years ago today.  Jim Farber's recollection gets it right; this brilliant Quincy Jones-produced album defined a remarkable moment in pop cultural history on so many levels.  Listen here to an audio clip of this classic track, with its scintillating Eddie van Halen electric guitar solo, and watch the video that had a huge impact on pop music.  [1 December 2007]

Beautiful Love, the Victor Young romantic ballad (lyrics by Egbert Van Alstyne), has been recorded by countless artists.  And yet, the version that sticks in my mind is a mysterious instrumental waltz rendering, heard as source music for the 1932 Universal Monster Classic, "The Mummy" with Boris Karloff.  Listen to tenor saxophonist Benny Golson talk about it for Billy Taylor's Jazz at the Kennedy Center. [9 November 2004]

Beautiful Sadness, words and music by M. A. Leikin and L. Holdridge, as performed by Jane Olivor on her album, "Chasing Rainbows."  As a paean to the end of a romance, this is what we call "slit-your-wrist-music" at its best.  [11 December 2004]

Beggin' features the words and music of Bob Gaudio and Peggy Farina.  Listen here to an audio clip of the original and also to a "Jersey Boys" soundtrack rendition.  And as the summer season melts into fall, a Happy Autumnal Equinox to one and all (the season officially arrived a little after midnight EDT). [23 September 2006]

Beginnings features the words and music of Robert Lamm of the group Chicago, from its jazz-rock fusion heyday.  It's one of my favorite Chicago tracks; listen to an audio clip here.  And for an alternative jazzy take on this classic track, listen to the Russ Kassoff arrangement for Catherine Dupuis at this link.  [14 October 2005]

Begin the Beguine, words and music by Cole Porter, was one of the biggest hits in the career of the late, great Artie Shaw (listen to an audio clip here).  And there are vocal versions of this great song too, sung by artists as varied as Ella Fitzgerald (audio clip here) and Mario Lanza (audio clip here).  But this remains a Shaw signature tune.  Viva Shaw!  [1 January 2005b]

Behind the Groove features the words and music of Richard Rudolph and Mary C. Brockert, whose stage name was Teena Marie.  I've been a bit 'behind the groove' in getting a Notablog entry up for the new year, so here's wishing health and happiness to all my readers in 2014.  Listen to the extended version of this classic R&B hit from the 1980 album "Lady T" on YouTube here.  [4 January 2014]

Behind These Hazel Eyes features the words and music of Martin Sandberg, Lukasz Gottwald, and Kelly Clarkson, the first "American Idol" winner, who also performs the song.  (And, yes, I've been watching the fifth season of the talent show.)  This song has been played so much that it essentially grew on me.  Big time.  I now sing along when I hear it on the car radio.  Listen to an audio clip here.   [26 January 2006]

Believe, credited to six writers, was performed by Cher, whose recording was Billboard magazine's #1 Hot 100 Single of 1999.  It was the biggest single of her career, and provided her with her first Grammy Award (for "Best Dance Recording").  It is known also for its use of the vocoder (though that particular link adds vocoder effects not on the actual recording).  Listen to an audio clip of this well-produced dance track here. [19 July 2005]

Be My Love, music by Nicholas Brodszky, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, is a 1950 Academy Award-nominated song from the film "The Toast of New Orleans," starring Mario Lanza, today's birthday boy.  Listen to an audio clip here.  And take a look at today's announced "Best Song" Oscar nominees for the 78th Annual Academy Awards here.  [31 January 2006]

Ben-Hur ("Arrius' Party") [YouTube link], composed by the great Miklos Rozsa, is a sedate but celebratory theme, from my all-time favorite film, the 1959 epic, "Ben-Hur."  Each year, on this date, since I inaugurated "My Favorite Songs," and since February has traditionally been that time of year spent in tribute to film music, I have featured a selection from this, the greatest of movie soundtracks. I saw the film again last night, as part of TCM's "31 Days of Oscar," and it remains the greatest "intimate epic" of all time, in my view.  Listening to the 5-CD "Complete Soundtrack Collection" released as a part of FSM Golden Age Classics, I will forever be in love with this music.  Happy 53rd birthday to me! [17 February 2013]

Ben-Hur ("The Battle") (audio clip at that link) is one of the most rousing cinematic achievements in the Miklos Rozsa film score canon.  No tribute would be complete without a nod to my all-time favorite film scoreRozsa's music for the naval battle, an action-packed highlight of the 1959 William Wyler-directed "Ben-Hur", remains one of his great Academy-Award winning cinematic moments.  And so we conclude our Centennial Celebration of the music of Miklos Rozsa on the occasion, today, of his 100th birthday Tune in to Turner Classic Movies to see a tribute to Rozsa-scored films throughout the day. [18 April 2007]

Ben Hur ("The Burning Desert") [YouTube clip at that link], composed by the one and only Miklos Rozsa, is from my all-time favorite film, the 1959 epic known for its colossal naval battles and chariot races, but also for its intimacy and intelligence.  It's been a tradition around these parts to feature a selection from this grandest of symphonic cinematic scores every February 17th.  This past year, life has sometimes felt like a struggle across a burning desert; just knowing that the sounds of redemption echo on the next horizon, that the cup of human kindness awaits in the hands of my truly blessed family and loyal friends, is enough to inspire the continuing trek across the many burning deserts to come.  Happy 52nd Birthday to Me (born on the day that made me "Wednesday's Child, Full of Woe") and Three Cheers to Rozsa!  [17 February 2012]

Ben-Hur ("Choral Suite") (audio clips at that link),  was composed by Miklos Rozsa and arranged and reconstructed by Daniel Robbins.   Happy Easter to my family and to all my Greek and Russian Orthodox friends.  And our Rozsa Tribute, which began here, comes to a conclusion.  Next year, the tribute will return to mark the Rozsa Centenary!  [23 April 2006]

Ben-Hur ("Fertility Dance") [audio clip at that link], composed by Miklos Rozsa, offers a rousing start to our Annual Movie Music Tribute, in anticipation of the 81st Academy Awards.  The tribute also begins on the occasion of my 49th birthday... so... uh... happy birthday to me! [17 February 2009]

Ben-Hur ("Friendship") [audio clip at that link], music by Miklos Rozsa, continues an annual tradition, in which I feature a composition from my all-time favorite soundtrack.  I pick this stellar theme today in celebration of my own birthday and in celebration of my friends, those who have given me their love and support over the past year, in good times and in very difficult times too.  Today also begins my annual salute to film music.  This year, instead of focusing on selections from my favorite film scores, like today's entry, I will focus on cinematic songs.  From tomorrow until the Oscars on March 5, 2006, I will highlight some of my favorite songs from the silver screen, taking a chronological trip down memory lane.  [17 February 2006]

Ben-Hur ("The Galley") was composed by birthday boy Miklos Rozsa for a classic scene, the rowing of the galley slaves, in this 11-Oscar-winning masterpiece.  The perfect wedding between cinematic scoring and film, this composition takes us from "battle speed" to "attack speed" to "ramming speed" in thrilling fashion.  It is Rozsa's music that directs the pace here as much as the great director William Wyler.  Check out the scene on YouTube, where Jack Hawkins as Quintus Arrius and Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur, Galley Slave No. 41, match wits.  And check out the YouTube Red Bull Spoof.  [18 April 2008]

Ben-Hur ("Homecoming"), composed by the great Miklos Rozsa, opens my annual film m+usic tribute, which will extend through Oscar Day, February 25, 2007.  This  year, I will feature a mix of cues and songs from the movies.  Today also happens to be my birthday; as in 2005 and 2006, I choose a track from my favorite film score of all time.  Listen to an audio clip here[17 February 2007]

Ben-Hur ("Love Theme") [audio clip at that link], music by Miklos Rozsa, is sensitively stated by a solo violin with orchestra.  It is a central theme from this William Wyler-directed epic, and one of the romantic highlights of the score and the film.  [18 February 2005]

Ben-Hur ("The Miracle") [audio clip at that link], music by Miklos Rozsa, is a restatement of the central theme from this magnificent soundtrack, with hallelujah chorus bringing the film to a triumphant finale.  A Happy Easter to all my Eastern Orthodox friends and family! Christos Anesti! (from St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery in Arizona, via Into the Light).  [27 April 2008]

Ben-Hur ("Parade of the Charioteers") [audio clip at that link], music by Miklos Rozsa, trumpets the bold and grand arrival of the charioteers before the Great Chariot Race in this all-time Oscar champ (its 11 Oscar record is tied with "Titanic" and "Lord of the Rings:  Return of the King").  It acts as a fanfare for a scene rated among the "most thrilling" action sequences ever committed to celluloid, according to the American Film Institute.  [19 February 2005]

Ben-Hur ("Prelude") [audio clip at that link], music by Miklos Rozsa, announces the main theme from what is probably my favorite film score, composed by one of my favorite composers, for my favorite movie, the 1959 film version of the General Lew Wallace novel, starring Oscar-winner Charlton Heston in the title role.  What better way to celebrate my own birthday than with my favorites?  [17 February 2005]

Ben-Hur ("The Procession to Calvary" / "The Bearing of the Cross") [audio clips at that link], composed by Miklos Rozsa, coincides with the Eastern Orthodox Good Friday.  It is as if Rozsa captures all the pain of The Passion; it's a classic musical moment in a classic film.  [21 April 2006]

Ben-Hur ("Roman March" or "Marcia Romana") [YouTube clip at that link], composed by Miklos Rozsa, is one of the master's grandest marches from the grandest of all epics.  Continuing Movie Music Month, this one's for me (on my 51st birthday)! [17 February 2011]

Ben-Hur ("Salute for Gratus") [audio clip at that link] is one of the grandest themes composed by Miklos Rozsa for my favorite film, "Ben-Hur." And so, it is fitting to highlight this one, from my favorite soundtrack of all time, on the occasion of my 50th birthday... today! [17 February 2010]

Ben-Hur ("Salute for Messala") [audio clip at that link] is a 10-second cue composed by the legendary Miklos Rozsa, which is heard in the 1959 MGM epic upon the arrival of Judah Ben-Hur's childhood friend, Messala, who has returned to Jerusalem, a tribune of Rome, ready to assume command of the Roman garrison.  To me, despite the flaws and corruptions that have engulfed the soul of the man who becomes Ben-Hur's nemesis, this particular cue, designed to express the requisite regality, also expresses strength of character and certainty of purpose. And it was a cue that never showed up on the umpteen versions of this film's soundtracks that had been released since the film's 1959 debut.  That was rectified in 2013 by FSM Golden Age Classics, with the release of an utterly definitive 5-CD collection illustrating the complete brilliance of Rozsa's Oscar-winning score, one of the 11 Oscars that remains an Academy Award record (tied, but never bested by "Titanic" and "Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King").  Since the beginning of Notablog, I've highlighted many cues from this soundtrack. Of this, one can be certain:  On February 17th of any year, you'll find a "Ben-Hur" selection:  in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and the tradition continues today.  It's my 54th birthday, after all, and it allows me to offer an annual salute to my all-time favorite movie and my all-time favorite score.  [17 February 2014]

Ben-Hur ("Star of Bethelehem"/"Adoration of the Magi"), composed by the great Miklos Rozsa, is perfect on the eve of the Epiphany.  From my favorite movie, the 1959 version of "Ben-Hur," these selections can be sampled from the soundtrack album here.  [5 January 2006]

Ben Hur ("Victory Parade, Parts 1 & 2") [audio clip at that link], composed by Miklos Rozsa, kicks off our annual film music tribute, which will take us right up to the 80th Annual Academy Awards.  And as is also traditional around here, the Movie Music begins on my birthday (I turn 48 today!) with a selection from my favorite film score from my favorite movie written by my favorite film score composer.  This regal composition is one of Rozsa's best.  [17 February 2008]

Besame Mucho (Kiss Me Much), music and Spanish lyrics by Consuelo Velasquez, English lyrics by Sunny Skylar, has been recorded by the likes of Jimmy Dorsey, with vocalists Kitty Kallen and Bob Eberly (audio clip here), the Beatles, and Chris Isaak (audio clip here).  My favorite version is by Wes Montgomery on his masterpiece album, "Boss Guitar" (audio clip at that link).  [20 December 2005]

The Best is Yet to Come, composed by the late Cy Coleman, sung by a jazzy Sinatra in another fine collaboration with arranger Quincy Jones and the Count Basie Orchestra, from the album "It Might as Well Be Swing" (listen to that audio clip). [23 December 2004]

The Best of My Love, music by Al McKay, lyrics by Maurice White (of Earth, Wind, and Fire), was taken to #1 on the Billboard pop chart by The Emotions.  The performance netted them a 1977 Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group, or Chorus.  Its groove was so distinctive to its era that, 20 years later, it opened the soundtrack to the 1997 film, "Boogie Nights" (listen to an audio clip here). [26 May 2005]

Bewitched (various versions of the memorable theme archived at that link) was composed by Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller, for one of TV's classic comedies.  [26 August 2006]

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, a great Rodgers and Hart tune from "Pal Joey," kicks off our mini-tribute in honor of Halloween week (okay, so the song has nothing to do with witches and goblins, even if it has "bewitched" in the title... but I love it!).  Listen to audio clips of renditions recorded by Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Linda Ronstadt, Benny Goodman (with Helen Forrest), Rod Stewart and Cher, Barbra Streisand, and Oscar Peterson and Stan Getz.  [30 October 2006]

Be Without You features the words and music of Johnta Austin, Brian Michael Cox, Jason Perry, and its singer: Mary J. Blige.  While the original mix is classic Blige, nothing compares to the scalding Moto Blanco dance remix (audio clips at those links).  "Put Your Hands Up!"  [11 July 2006]

Big Fun, words and music by Kevin Saunderson, Paris Gray, Arthur Forest and James Pennington, was recorded by the group Inner City.   Listen to an audio clip of this classic house track here.  [7 September 2006]

Bill Bailey (Won't You Please Come Home?), words and music by Hughie Cannon, dates back to 1902.  It has been played by country and jazz artists alike.  Listen to audio clips of a plaintive version by Patsy Cline, a finger-poppin' version by Ella, a swingin' version by Bobby Darin, a Dixieland-Swing version by Pete Fountain, and a collaboration between Ann-Margaret and Al Hirt.  [12 October 2005]

Billie Jean, music, lyrics, and performance by Michael Jackson, was one of the biggest hits from one of the biggest selling albums of all time, "Thriller" (check out audio clip at that link).  Its video also made a big splash at MTV.   Like so many others, I saw Jackson perform this classic song live, with his famous moonwalk, at the 25th anniversary tribute to Motown back on May 16, 1983. But not even that compared to his live performance of it at The Garden, where I saw him in 1984 on the "Jacksons' Victory Tour," and, especially, in 1988, on his solo "Bad Tour."  Whatever else one might say about MJ, he was/is a remarkable performer.  And happy birthday to fellow MJ fan, Abe.  [18 January 2005]

Billionaire features the words and music of Ari Levine, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars and Travie Lazarus McCoy, who recorded the track for "Lazarus," his first studio album.  With clever rapping by McCoy and the smooth vocals of Bruno Mars, I can't think of a more appropriate song to feature on a day when the country is crazy for the Mega Millions Lottery, with the largest jackpot in history now roaring past half-a-billion bucks.  Hey, You Never Know!  So while you're waiting for the winning numbers, check out the music video to this cool song, a Danyo Wallem remix (Explicit Content Warning!), and a "Glee" cast version as well.  [30 March 2012] 

Bim-Bom, written by Joao Gilberto, has been recorded by many artists.  Listen to audio clips of various renditions of this lively Brazilian tune: a solo Gilberto, Gilberto with Stan Getz, and Stan Getz in a Big Band setting, and, finally, my favorite version from Brasil 66.  [8 June 2006]

Birdland was composed by Joe Zawinul, the keyboardist of the jazz-fusion group Weather Report, which recorded it for their seventh studio album, "Heavy Weather" (1977).  Named after one of the great 52nd Street jazz clubs in New York City, which took its name from the nickname of be bop pioneer, alto saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker, it became a landmark Grammy-nominated jazz-fusion track.  But the Grammy Award went to The Manhattan Transfer a few years later, for their jazz vocalese version of the celebrated track.  The lyrics for the track were written by Jon Hendricks (of the always-fascinating vocalese group, Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross), though Eddie Jefferson had started writing lyrics for the piece before his untimely death.  The Manhattan Transfer version appears on my favorite album of theirs:  "Extensions."  And the album is dedicated to Jefferson.  In 1980, they received Grammy Awards for Best Jazz/Fusion Performance, Vocal or Instrumental for "Birdland" and for Janis Siegel for Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices, for the same recording.  Check out the original instrumental classic by Weather Report and the equally classic vocalese version by The Manhattan Transfer [YouTube links]. [16 April 2012] 

The Bishop's Wife ("Main Title") [YouTube clip at that link], composed by Hugo Friedhofer, is a lovely theme to match an even lovelier movie.  The 1947 tale, starring Cary Grant, David Niven, and Loretta Young, is one of my all-time favorites. [13 February 2013]

Bitches Crystal, words and music by Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, is another classic high energy prog rock track from the Emerson, Lake and Palmer album, "Tarkus."  Listen to an audio clip of the original cut here, and also, from an ELP tribute album here.  [13 September 2006]

Black Cat, written and performed by Janet Jackson, from her socially conscious "Rhythm Nation 1814" album (check out that audio clip).  It may not be "Black Dog," and Janet may not be a bona fide rock singer, but she got a much-deserved 1991 Grammy nomination for "Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female." [18 November 2004]

Black Dog, words and music by John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant, of the immortal rock band, Led ZeppelinOne of their most memorable hits with a classic rock riff.  Check out audio clip here. [17 November 2004]

Black Velvet, words and music by Allanah Myles, who, with this song, beat out Janet Jackson's "Black Cat" at the 1991 Grammy Awards, for "Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female." Has a really nice churning bluesy groove.  From her debut album; check out the clip at amazon.com. [19 November 2004]

Blame it on the Boogie, words and music by Mick Jackson, David Jackson, and Elmar Krohn, was recorded in 1978 by both Mick Jackson and The Jacksons (no relation between them).  The Jacksons' version, my favorite, sported an infectious and happy disco beat, and a sweet R&B-laced vocal by its extraordinarily talented lead singer, who, today, would have been 51 years old.  In remembrance of Michael Jackson's birthday, Spike Lee is sponsoring a day-long festival in Brooklyn's Prospect Park today.  From the Jacksons' album, "Destiny," take a YouTube trip down memory lane. (And check out Mick Jackson's original version on YouTube as well!) [29 August 2009]

Blame it on the Bossa Nova, music by Barry Mann, lyrics by Cynthia Weil, was a huge Top Ten 1963 hit for the great Eydie Gorme, who passed away yesterday at the age of 84. Her discography was truly varied and wonderful and her many and her  many playful and swinging duets with husband Steve Lawrence were legendary.  She will be truly missed.  Listen to this song on YouTube, so reflective of a great era for pop music. [11 August 2013]

Blue Bloods ("Reagan's Theme") [YouTube link], composed by Rob Simonsen (on a show to which composer Mark Snow, of "X-Files" fame also contributes), is a wonderful theme for a show whose passion is not drawn so much from the danger and violence of New York City police life, but from the trials, tribulations, and poignant bonds of love among the individuals of a family working in various areas of law enforcement.  It often moves me emotionally, as does the theme every time I hear it.  It stars, among others, a strong Tom Selleck and combustive Donnie Wahlberg. [16 September 2013]

Blue Bossa is a jazz standard composed by jazz trumpeter Kenny Dorham.  It's a lilting bossa nova that has been recorded by many artists, including jazz greats Joe Pass and J. J. Johnson, super pianist McCoy Tyner, and Kenny Dorham himself (audio clips at those links).  And watch a YouTube video performance by Zack Kim,  Today is Super Bowl Sunday, and I'm cheering on Big BlueGo Giants!  [3 February 2008]

Blue Danube Waltz is a very famous waltz composed by Johann Strauss, Jr.  It was used to classic effect in the Stanley Kubrick-directed 1968 film, "2001: A Space Odyssey."  Listen to an audio clip here.  [26 October 2005]

Blue Moon, music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, is just the right song to pick today, the occasion of the Blue Moon. There's a classic Frankie Lane-Michel Legrand rendition of this song (but no audio clip).  But there are so many other renditions from which to choose:  Ella Fitzgerald, Django Reinhardt and Coleman Hawkins, Mel Torme, The Marcels, and Sha Na Na.  And as this past week marked the 38th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and the birth of the modern gay liberation movement, check out the Blue Moon Resort, the Blue Moon Cafe, and the Blue Moon B&B. [30 June 2007]

Bluesette features the words of Jean "Toots" Thielemans and the music of Norman Gimbel Thielmans first recorded this song whistling in unison with his guitar lines.  Thielemans is a consummate musician, and my favorite jazz harmonica player too.  Listen to audio clips of this song recorded by the Ray Charles Singers (aka Charles Raymond Offenberg), Mel Torme, and Thielemans himself (a live clip here as well). [12 January 2006]

Blues in Hoss' Flat, composed by musician Frank Foster, is one of those infectious perrennial Count Basie numbers that does not owe its origins to the movies.  But there is music that achieves eternal shelf life just from a cinematic association, as we have seen with "Cinderfella" Jerry Lewis.  In this instance, it's "The Errand Boy," with the irrepressible Jerry Lewis once more. [7 February 2013]

Blue Suede Shoes was composed and performed by Carl Perkins (audio clip at that link).  Today, however, I highlight my favorite version of this song, recorded by The King, birthday boy Elvis Presley.  Listen to an audio clip of this early rock and roll classic here.  [8 January 2006]

Body and Soul, music and lyrics by Johnny Greene, Edward Heyman, Robert Sour, and Frank Eyton, defines what is meant by a "Great American Standard."  On Amateur Night at the Apollo in 1942, Sarah Vaughan won first prize for singing this song, and her recorded versions remain among the finest.  Of instrumental versions, my favorites are the classic Coleman Hawkins 1939 tenor saxophone rendition and a superb version by jazz violinist Joe Venuti, recorded for his album "Fiddle on Fire," on the Grand Award Record label. [16 September 2004]

Body Heat ("Main Title") (soundtrack album audio clip at that link) is a bluesy, jazzy, steamy composition by the great John Barry.  Listen to an audio clip of a rendition by the "Jazz at the Movies Band."  [19 February 2008]

Boogie Nights, words and music by Rod Temperton (who wrote quite a few hits for Michael Jackson), was performed by the R&B-disco fusion band Heatwave.  The opening and closing bars of this classic dance track are oh-so-jazzy.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [1 July 2005]

Boogie Wonderland, music and lyrics by Jon Lind and Allee Willis, was a collaborative performance between two funky musical groups:  Earth, Wind, and Fire and The Emotions.  It remains a dance highlight of the Disco '70s.  Listen to an audio clip here.  Today marks the day that Earth, Wind, and Fire actually made its debut on the Billboard album chart, back in 1971.  Viva EWF!  [15 May 2005]

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B, words by Don Raye, music by Hughie Prince, was performed by the Andrews Sisters, and was nominated for a 1941 Academy Award as "Best Song" (from the Abbott and Costello film, "Buck Privates").  It was also recorded in 1972, in an updated, revved-up version by Bette Midler, who dubbed all three vocal parts, and took it into the Billboard Top Ten.  Reminds me of my Uncle Sam, a veteran of World War IIFor Veteran's Day!  Check out amazon.com for a clip.  [11 November 2004a]

Born Free, music by John Barry, lyrics by Don Black, won the 1966 Academy Award for Best Song from the heart-string-pulling film of the same title.  Listen to audio clips of versions by Andy Williams, Matt Monro, and from the original soundtrack.  [28 February 2006]

Born to Be Alive, music, lyrics, and performance by Patrick Hernandez, was a huge #1 dance hit in 1979 Happy 50th anniversary to Atlas Shrugged, the Ayn Rand novel that celebrates human beings who are ... born to be alive!  Check out this song on YouTube. [10 October 2007]

Bossa Nova U.S.A., composed by Dave Brubeck, is the sweet lyrical title track from the composer's 1963 album featuring the great jazzman's classic quartet, with alto saxophonist Paul Desmond Brubeck, who passed away today, was one of the greatest innovators in modern jazz.  Listen to this song on YouTube.  [5 December 2012]

Boulevard of Broken Dreams, music and lyrics by Green Day, is a song from the album "American Idiot" (audio clip at that link).  It's an anthem to alienation, with a nice pulse and memorable hook. [8 May 2005]

Bram Stoker's Dracula ("Love Remembered"), composed by Wojciech Kilar, is a moving, haunting, if slightly eerie, theme from this Francis Ford Coppola 1992 film masterpiece, with Gary Oldman as the Count, Winona Ryder as Mina, and Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Van Helsing.  Listen to an audio clip here. [3 February 2005]

Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major was written by Johann Sebastian Bach.  I'm particularly fond of a version played by the great classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin with the Bath Festival Orchestra.  Listen to an audio clip here. [15 March 2005]

Brian's Song ("The Hands of Time"), music by Michel Legrand, lyrics by Marilyn and Alan Bergman, was the main theme from the poignant television movie of the same name, starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams.  Listen to audio clips of versions by Sarah Vaughan and Michel Legrand.  [13 September 2007]

Brick House features the words and music of Lionel Richie, Ronald LaPread, Walter Orange, Roger Ball, and Milan Williams.  It was a huge funky hit for The Commodores (audio clip at that link).  And Happy 75th Birthday to the biggest "brick house" in NYCThe Empire State Building.  [1 May 2006]

The Bride of Frankenstein ("Main Title") is featured in the definitive score composed by Franz Waxman.  This 1935 movie is the first and the best of the sequels to "Frankenstein."  Directed by James Whale, it is one of the finest films in the Universal Monster Movie catalogue.  Listen to the classic opening theme here [mp3 link].   [22 February 2012]

Brooklyn Bridge, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, is featured in the 1947 film, "It Happened in Brooklyn."  What a lovely song of tribute today... on Brooklyn-Queens Day.  And speaking of the Brooklyn Bridge, I was there on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade on 24 May 1983 to commemorate the structure's 100th anniversary when the Grucci Family put on one of the most spectacular fireworks displays I've ever seen, with fiery "waterfalls" coming off the span and magnificent, colorful rockets launching from the cathedral-like towers.  Listen to a Frank Sinatra audio clip of this song from the film here. [9 June 2005]

Burn Rubber on Me, music and lyrics by Charlie Wilson, Lonnie Simmons, and Rudy Taylor, was performed by the funky Gap Band. Listen to an audio clip here. [24 July 2005]

Burning Up features the words and music of Madonna, who is inducted tonight into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I enjoyed dancing to the original 12" vinyl mix, which was less guitar-driven than its album incarnation on the singer's 1983 debut release.  Listen to audio clips of the album version and that 12" singleBoy does this bring back memories... [10 March 2008]

But Beautiful, music by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Johnny Burke, was first sung by Bing Crosby (audio clip at that link) in the 1947 film "Road to Rio."  Today, however, I remember this lovely American standard as interpreted by the late vocalist-pianist Shirley Horn, who died on October 20, 2005.  Listen to an audio clip of one of her tender renditions here.  [24 October 2005]

But Not For Me is a classic George and Ira Gershwin song (introduced in the 1930 Broadway production of "Girl Crazy" and performed in both the 1932 and 1943 film versions too) that has been recorded by countless artists from Ella Fitzgerald to Sarah Vaughan to Linda Ronstadt (audio clips at those links).  For a change of pace, check out an audio clip of a version by the original "space cadet," Sun Ra.  A happy and a healthy to #1 Herman Blount (Sun Ra) Expert, my colleague and pal Robert Campbell, who also celebrates his birthday today.  [31 July 2005b]

BUtterfield 8 ("Main Title") [YouTube link], composed by Bronislau Kaper, has that lush quality that Kaper brings to anything he touches with his musical sensibility and jazz inflections (take a listen to Bill Evans and Eddie Gomez on "Invitation" or Kaper himself [YouTube link]).  This theme opens the 1960 film that brought Elizabeth Taylor her first Oscar for Best Actress.  On this date, in 1932, Taylor was born.  [27 February 2014]

By Design, a composition by Larry Prentiss, Vince DiCola, Jodie Victor, and Steve Lane, is a wonderful duet that pairs jazz singer Diane Schuur and Latin singer Jose Feliciano, proving that seeing is a state of mind.  [2 October 2004]

Cabaret was one of the best musicals on Broadway that I've ever seen.  The revival was an entertainment tour de force, powerful and deeply effective in its exploration of universal themes.  The songs, written by John Kander and (now, the late) Fred Ebb, are boisterous, melodic, witty, and clever.  So here's to the title song ... 'cause life is a cabaret ... [13 September 2004]

Calabria, produced by Rune (DJ Enur), featuring the late Natasja Saad, is the soundtrack for one of the hottest Target commercials on the air.  The two women roommates who stage a "dance off" to this track express infectious joy as they decorate their room (see the commercial on YouTube).  The track features a sample from a Taana Gardner disco classic:  "Work That Body" (YouTube clip at that link).  Check out a full-version video clip of this track at YouTube.  [13 September 2008]

California Dreamin', words and music by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips, was a huge 1965-66 pop hit for The Mamas and the Papas, sporting a wonderful alto flute solo by one of my all-time favorite jazz musicians:  Bud Shank, who was born on this day in 1926, and became one of the finest musicians in the West Coast jazz scene.  It's not a "winter's day" in Brooklyn; we've had summer-like weather for awhile.  But I'm dreamin' of a particular California attraction that celebrates its 75th anniversary today:  Happy Birthday to the Golden Gate Bridge!  Check out the original Mamas and Papas track, and instrumental versions by Wes Montgomery, George Benson, and, yes, Bud Shank too! [27 May 2012]

Call Me, words and music by Randy Muller, was performed by the group Skyy.  Listen to an audio clip here.  It's particularly fitting on this day, the 130th anniversary of the first phone call made by Alexander Graham Bell to Thomas A. Watson.  Over the next week or so, I'll have a few more favorite musical "calls" to make, in honor of this anniversary.  (And "for all you frustrated musicians," see here, where you can access directions on how to play songs on your touch-tone phone.)  [10 March 2006]

Call Me features the words and music of Nikos Karvelas, ex-husband of the Greek singer Anna Vissi, who took this song to #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart.  Vissi recorded the song previously as "Ise" in Greek.  Listen to an audio clip of this song among others on disc #2 of Vic Latino's Ultra Dance 06.  [11 March 2006]

Call Me, words and music by Tony Hatch, has been performed by Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, Petula Clark, and Nancy Wilson (my favorite version), among others (audio clips at artist links).  It's a warm '60s chestnut.  [12 March 2006]

Call Me, words and music by Giorgio Moroder and Deborah Harry, the lead singer of the group Blondie, was the theme from the 1980 film, "American Gigolo."  The group is being inducted tonight into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  This song is probably my favorite Blondie track (in contrast to my favorite, and beloved, Blondie).  Listen to an audio clip from the original soundtrack. [13 March 2006]

Call Me Irresponsible, music by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, is the Oscar-winning song from the 1963 film, "Papa's Delicate Condition," starring Jackie Gleason.  I love a 12-string jazz guitar version by Joe Pass.  Listen to an audio clip of Ol' Blue Eyes singing this gem live in a Rat Pack performance at the Sands.  Listen to additional audio clips from Robert Goulet, Jack Jones, Nancy Wilson, and a swinging Bobby Darin. [14 March 2006]

Call Me Maybe features the words and music of Tavish Crowe, Josh Ramsay, and Carly Rae Jepson, a young Canadian singer and songwriter who delivers the most infectious song of 2012.  It provides what was probably "the year's most gripping hook," making it "one of the most irrefutable teen-pop songs in history," as New York Daily News music critic Jim Farber attests.  It also sported an adorable music video with a gay twist [YouTube link], but before too long, as Farber reminds us, everybody got in on the act, from the college frat boys of Ramapo Kappa Sigma to the Tennessee "Call Me Gaybe" boys to the cast from "Glee" to the U.S. Olympics Swimming Team [YouTube links].  It's a song that should be on any year-end countdown.  Tonight we'll be counting down till the ball drops in Times Square.  Have a happy, healthy, and safe New Year's Eve! [31 December 2012]

Can't Buy Me Love, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  This classic Beatles track is still one of my all-time favorite kickin' rock 'n roll songs. [12 September 2004]

Can't Fight the Moonlight, written by Diane Warren, is featured in the film "Coyote Ugly."  Today begins my mini-tribute to film music, in anticipation of the 82nd Academy Awards to be broadcast this Sunday, March 7, 2010.  Performed by LeAnn Rimes, it's a peppy track that's been remixed fabulously for the dance floor as well; check out various versions, including this YouTube moment, this remix and this one too. [5 March 2010]

Can't Take My Eyes Off You, words and music by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, was a huge Frankie Valli hit.  The song has shown up in many films as well, including "The Deer Hunter" (1978).   Listen to an audio clip here, and also to alternative versions by Gloria Gaynor and Lauryn Hill.  [22 September 2006]

Can You Handle It? features the words and music of Willie Lester and Rodney Brown.  This classic "Prelude label" dance track was performed by the late Sharon Redd.  It was one of those dance classics that has been remixed several times, but never at the expense of its wonderful feel. Listen to an audio clip here.  [2 October 2005]

Capote ("Out There") [YouTube link], composed by Mychael Danna, is a simple theme that holds within it the complexity of the person at the center of the 2005 film, Truman Capote, and the complexity of the performance of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won a Best Actor Oscar for the role. Sadly, this 46-year old actor passed away yesterday; death need not be tragic, since it is an organic part of life, but when it comes so young to an actor with so much talent and promise, I can find few other words to describe it.  RIP PSH. [3 February 2014]

Cappucino (audio clip at that link) is a Chick Corea composition that made its debut on the phenomenal album "Friends." It's an intense track with superb solos and ensemble playing, featuring saxophonist Joe Farrell, bassist Eddie Gomez, and drummer Steve Gadd.  [17 June 2005]

Captain America ("Theme Song"), composer mysteriously unknown, was the classic theme song to the 1960s Marvel Super Heroes cartoon.  It's a favorite from my childhood, and while there have been lots of takes on Captain America, this one still holds a special place in my heart. Take a look at the animated opening theme [YouTube link], and have a safe and happy Independence Day! [4 July 2013]

Caravan is credited to Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, and Juan Tizol.  It was made famous by the Ellington orchestra (audio clips here and here).  Among the scores of recordings of this song, my favorite version of this tune remains one recorded by Johnny Pate's orchestra featuring the burning bold boss guitar of Wes Montgomery.  Listen to an audio clip of that version here.  And so, for now, I conclude my Ellington tribute!  [11 December 2005]

Carol of the Bells emerges from a fascinating musical lineage, based on a musical composition by Mykola Dmytrovich Leontovych.  Most riveting when performed with a full chorus (as in this Robert Shaw Chorale audio clip) or full orchestra (as in this Leonard Bernstein audio clip).  Ring in a Happy New Year!  [1 January 2005a]

Carol for Another Christmas, composed by Henry Mancini, was the title track of a classic 1964 Rod Serling-scripted TV take on "A Christmas Carol," directed by Joseph Mankiewicz.  I was first exposed to this beautiful instrumental as a child, watching the great Yule Log on WPIX-TV.  It's one of those sensitively performed compositions, which has had a tendency to bring a bit of a puddle to my tear ducts.  Listen to an audio clip of Henry Mancini (here too). [28 December 2007]

Caught Up, words and music by Andre Harris, Vidal Davis, Jason Boyd, and Ryan Toby, opened the Showtime concert of Usher.  It is featured on the album "Confessions" (audio clip at that link).  Like "Yeah," this one's got a big bass line, minimalist instrumentation, and a great hook.  [25 March 2005]

Change Partners, words and music by Irving Berlin, was nominated for a 1938 Academy Award for Best Song, from the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film "Carefree."  Listen to an audio clip of a lovely, "carefree" bossa nova rendition by Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim.  [18 February 2006]

Charade is another magnificent collaboration between composer Henry Mancini and lyricist Johnny Mercer.  It was nominated for a 1963 Academy Award for Best Song, featured on the beautiful score for the classic Cary Grant-Audrey Hepburn film of the same title, the best Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never directed.  One of my favorite versions of this song is an instrumental rendering by jazz guitarist Joe Pass, who plays it on the 12-string guitar.  Listen to audio clips from the original soundtrack here and a version by Andy Williams.  [25 February 2006]

Cheek to Cheek, music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, is featured in the classic Fred Astaire film, "Top Hat."  It received a 1935 Oscar nomination in the "Best Song" category.  Listen to audio clips of renditions by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and of course, from the original film, Fred Astaire.  My favorite jazz rendition of this song is by alto sax player Phil Woods, "Live from the Showboat," an album that won the 1977 Grammy for "Best Instrumental Jazz Performance, Group" (unfortunately no audio clip is available). [23 February 2007]

Che La Luna Mezzo Mare is an Italian folksong composed, it is said, by Paolo Citorello, but infinite variations of the song have been heard throughout the years.  Growing up in the Sciabarra household, we heard the bouncy Louis Prima-Keely Smith version [YouTube link], with its funny double entendres sung in both Italian and English.  Other memorable versions have been performed by Rudy Vallee, Lou Monte and Dean Martin [YouTube links].  But the most memorable cinematic take is at the wedding of the daughter of Don Vito Corleone (played by Oscar-winner, Marlon Brando) in the original Mafia Family Values Movie:  "The Godfather," the Oscar-winning Best Picture, my all-time favorite gangster film, an epic crime drama directed brilliantly by Francis Ford Coppola.  At the wedding, Mama Corleone (played by Morgana King) is invited to the stage to begin the verses of the classic song; an old man, not unlike many I've seen at countless Italian weddings that I've attended since childhood, gets up, and completes the verses with the kind of hilariously perverse body language that the song inspires.  How appropriate to note this song today, for 40 years ago, on this date, on the Ides of March in 1972, "The Godfather" had its U.S. debut. Yes, it has a haunting Nino Rota soundtrack.  But it also has a "Che La Luna" wedding scene [YouTube link]. [15 March 2012]

Cherish features the words and music of Terry Kirkman, a founding member of The Association, which scored a Number 1 hit with this song in 1966.   Listen to audio clips of renditions by The Association and Nancy Ames. [3 August 2007]

Cherokee features the words and music of Ray Noble.  Listen to audio clips of versions by Charlie Barnet and His Orchestra, Johnny Smith and Stan Getz, and an early bop adventure by Charlie Parker.  As an aside, the Cherokee word for "Groundhog" is "Ogana"Happy Groundhog Day! (Punxsutawney Phil tells us six more weeks of winter... but Staten Island Chuck disagrees... )  [2 February 2006]

Chicago (That Toddlin' Town) features the words and music of Fred Fischer, a popular Tin Pan Alley composer.  It's my musical tribute to the Chicago White Sox for winning their first World Series Championship since 1917.  They swept the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros, and took 11 out of 12 in the postseasonShoeless JoeDirty Black Sox?  After the Red Sox, there are no more curses in baseball.  Maybe the Chicago Cubs are next!  Or maybe these triumphs are only possible for teams named after different kinds of, uh, socks.  Either way, listen here to an audio clip of Frank Sinatra singing this timeless tune.  [27 October 2005b]

A Child is Born, words and music by Alec Wilder and Thad Jones, is a song that has come to be identified with this day, but it has also become a jazz standard.  Listen to audio clips of renditions by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Diane Reeves, Bill Evans, Bill Evans and Tony Bennett, and, finally, Oscar Peterson, who passed away on Sunday, December 23, 2007.  A sad loss for lovers of music to contemplate on this Christmas Day. Rest in peace.  [25 December 2007]

The Children of Sanchez ("Overture"), words, music, film score written and performed by Chuck Mangione, comes from the Latin- and jazz-infused score that has a musical integrity quite apart from the fact that it's from a 1979 film, starring Anthony Quinn, that I've still yet to see!  Mangione won a much-deserved Grammy Award for this album for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.  Listen to the 14+ minute overture on YouTube. [19 February 2012]

Chiller Theatre ("Horror Upon Horror") [YouTube clip at that link], composed by Wilfred Josephs, was the opening theme music for the Saturday night WPIX-TV classic horror movie show. The theme made the hair of many New York tri-state area kids of the 1960s stand on end (including this one).  The show was hosted early on by the great Zacherley before switching to the film montage of memory, with clips from such films as "Plan 9 from Outer Space," "The Cyclops," and "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman."  There were other memorable "Chiller Theatre" openings, but this one was the real ... chiller.  [19 September 2012]

Chinatown ("Love Theme") [aural clip at that link], music by Jerry Goldsmith, is stated simply by a bluesy trumpet soloist, harking back to its 1930s' setting, accompanied by a full panoply of modern harmonies.  Evoking solitude, this composition was written for the 1974 Roman Polanski-directed film noir classic, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye DunawayGoldsmith's mentor was Miklos Rozsa, who passed onto his pupil a melodic sensitivity that is readily apparent in this work.  [16 February 2005]

The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) features the music and lyrics of Ross Bagdasarian, also known as David Seville and was recorded with Alvin and the Chipmunks.  It brings back cheerful memories of childhood.  It still makes me chuckle.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [28 December 2005]

Chock Full o'Nuts gave us a classic commercial jingle, one based on "That Heavenly Feeling," by Bernie Wayne and Bruce Silbert.  The original lyrics to the jingle boasted:  "Better coffee a Rockefeller's money can't buy," but when then-New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller took offense, the lyrics were changed to:  "Better coffee a millionaire's money can't buy" (YouTube link).  Today, however, inflation has taken its toll, and the lyrics have been adjusted accordingly:  "Better coffee a billionaire's money can't buy" (two contemporary versions at the "jingle" link).  The original version was sung by Page Black, wife of Chock Full o'Nuts founder, William Black.  [16 September 2011]

A Christmas Carol (aka "Scrooge"; "Main Title") [YouTube clip at that link], composed by Richard Addinsell, who mixes the sounds of a traditional carol ("Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing") with a grim theme of beckoning menace, foreshadowing the fate-altering tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, played in this 1951 film by the utterly superb Alastair Sim (of all the cinematic treatments of this timeless Charles Dickens tale, this one is my favorite).  Addinsell wrote one of my all-time favorite popular concertos ("Warsaw Concerto").  And he's in fine form here too. There are one or two neat videos on YouTube that provide an entertaining side-by-side comparison of the various Scrooges portrayed in film over the past century or so.  This concludes my mini-tribute to music from Christmas-oriented films, "in keeping with the situation" of this holiday season.  [30 December 2012]

The Christmas Song, words and music by jazz great Mel Torme and Robert Wells, as performed by the only Nat King Cole.  Listen to an audio clip here.  The warmth of his voice matches those chestnuts roasting on an open fire.  Merry Christmas!  Happy birthday to my friend JR!  And let's begin the 12+ Days of Christmas Songs!  [25 December 2004]

Christmas Time is Here was composed and performed by the ever-recognizable pianist Vince Guaraldi.  It has touched my heart from the first time I heard it on "A Charlie Brown Christmas."  Listen to instrumental and vocal renditions from the soundtrack here.  Also check out audio clips from lovely versions by Diane Reeves, Mel Torme, Anita Baker, and Brian McKnight, who is featured on a tribute album in honor of the 40th anniversary of the wonderful Peanuts cartoon. Also listen to another jazz instrumental rendering by the Airmen of Note (the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force).  [26 December 2005]

Cinnamon and Clove, music by Johnny Mandel, lyrics by Marilyn and Alan Bergman, is one of those melodic Brazilian classics recorded by Brasil 66.  Listen to an audio clip from their magnificent album, "Equinox."  [12 May 2006]

Claire de Lune, written by the French Impressionist composer Claude Debussy, the third movement of his Suite Bergamasque, has been recorded by many orchestras, including this lovely version by the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy.  I also adore a jazz version, featuring the Michel Legrand Orchestra, with alto saxophone soloist Phil Woods, from the album, "Images."  [29 January 2005]

Climb Ev'ry Mountain features the words of Oscar Hammerstein II and the music of today's birthday boy, Richard Rodgers.  It is a highlight from one of my favorite all-time musicals, "The Sound of Music," sung in the 1965 film version by the character Mother Abbess, played by Peggy Wood.  Listen to audio clips of this uplifting song from the 1965 soundtrack album, as well as from the original 1959 Broadway production, the 1961 London production, the 1987 studio cast album, and the 1998 Broadway revival. [28 June 2006]

C'mon Marianne, words and music by L. Russell Brown and Raymond Bloodworth, is my all-time favorite Four Seasons hit.  It's got a rock and roll pulse, which exhibits the group's integrated R&B and doo-wop influences.  As our Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute concludes, listen to an audio clip of this pop smash here.  [24 September 2006]

Come Back to Me, music by Burton Lane, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, is from the Broadway musical "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever."  It was sung in the 1970 Barbra Streisand film version by Yves Montand (audio clip here).  My sister-in-law Joanne Barry used to do a hair-raising, glass-breaking version of this on stage, but I also love a slammin' Sammy Davis Jr. version, recorded live with the great drummer Buddy Rich leading his Orchestra in Las Vegas at the Sands Hotel Copa Room (where Davis often sang with his Rat Pack friends) for the album, "The Sounds of '66" (check out the audio clip on the box set, "Yes I Can! The Sammy Davis Jr. Story"). [11 January 2005]

Comedian's Galop is a long-time favorite, composed by Dmitri Borisovitch Kabalevsky as part of an orchestral suite, "The Comedians."  Yes, I was first exposed to this composition while watching cartoon classics as a kid (audio clip at that link).  Also check out audio clips from the full suite, performed by the San Diego Chamber Orchestra. [11 May 2006]

Come Fly with Me, music by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, sung by a carefree Sinatra to a smooth Billy May arrangement, from the album of the same name (check out that audio clip).  The Winter Solstice arrives today at 7:42 a.m. ET, and what a nice way to celebrate it:  Above the clouds, "where the air is rarefied ... weather wise, it's such a lovely day!"   [21 December 2004]

Come Together, words and music by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, was the first Beatles single to go to #1 (in November 1969) as part of a two-sided number one single (with "Something").  It appears on "Abbey Road," the final recorded Beatles album.  As we commemorate the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's murder, listen to audio clips of this song recorded by Ike and Tina Turner (who took it to #57 in 1970), Aerosmith (who took it to #23 in 1978), and Michael Jackson (who has performed it in concert as well).  [8 December 2005b]

Coming Out of Hiding, music and lyrics by James Lee Stanley and James Melamed, was performed by dance music artist Pamela Stanley. This "Paradise Garage" dance classic packed the floors in 1983-84.  And I was among those dancing the night away to its rhymes and rhythms.  [19 March 2005]

Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (Opus 32) was composed by Miklos Rozsa at the request of cellist Janos Starker.  Listen to audio clips from three renditions:  one recorded by cellist Lynn Harrell with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; another recorded by cellist Raphael Wallfisch with the BBC Concert Orchestra; and yet another recorded by cellist Brinton Smith with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.  [15 April 2007]

Concerto for Viola (Opus 37) (audio clips at that link, featuring viola soloist Paul Silverthorne) is a richly textured four-movement work that is one of composer Miklos Rozsa's orchestral triumphs.  [14 April 2007]

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 24, composed by Miklos Rozsa, is one of my favorite Rozsa concert pieces.  Listen to audio clips of all three movements from the debut recording by violinist Jascha Heifetz, and another recording by violinist Robert McDuffie.  I saw this grand piece performed live with violin soloist Glenn Dicterow and the New York Philharmonic.  What better way to celebrate the First Anniversary of "Song of the Day"!  I'll be posting music favorites (sometimes more than one on a single day!) for as long as there's a song in my heart.  [1 September 2005]

Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra, composed by Chick Corea, was performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on the album "Concerto."  The composer found inspiration in the work of Mozart.  The piece features an improvised piano introduction and an improvised cadenza, enveloped by composed orchestrations.  Listen to various audio clips here. [19 June 2005]

Concierto de Aranjuez is one of the greatest and most memorable compositions of Joaquin Rodrigo Julian Bream recorded this classical guitar evergreen many times, but my favorite version is that recorded with the Melos Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Colin Davis, which received a 1964 Grammy nomination for "Best Classical Performance (Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra)."  The piece has also inspired many jazz artists, including:  Miles Davis, who recorded a classic version of it on "Sketches of Spain" (listen to audio clip at that link), with the superb conductor and arranger Gil Evans; Jim Hall, who recorded it with an all-star line-up on his "Concierto" album (listen to audio clip at that link); and Chick Corea, who uses the famous second-movement melodic hook of the "Adagio" as a prelude to his composition "Spain," heard on the album "Light as a Feather" (listen to audio clip at that link)  with his band "Return to Forever," and hinted at in a version he recorded with his sextet Origin and the London Philharmonic Orchestra for the album "Corea Concerto" (listen to audio clip at that link).  This concerto reminds me of my dear pal Lou, to whom I send birthday wishes today for much health, happiness, and success.  [22 January 2005]

Coney Island Baby, composed by Vinny Catalano and Peter Alonzo, is a 1961-62 doo-wop gem, recorded by the Excellents.  It inspired everyone from Lou Reed to Tom Waits to re-imagine their own Coney Island babies.  But today it is posted in tribute to all the residents of Coney Island, who live just a few Brooklyn blocks away from me, and who survived evacuation, the shutdown of the NYC subway system, and Irene herself, which was downgraded from a Hurricane to a Tropical Storm.  Irene touched New York City soil when it made landfall in Coney Island around 9am this morning.  So here's a doo-wop shout out:  enjoy the original single by the Excellents on YouTube.  [28 August 2011]

(The World of) Confirmation, music by Charlie Parker, lyrics by Eddie Jefferson, has been recorded by many instrumentalists and vocalists.  Listen to a sampling of audio clips from Charlie Parker, Gene Ammons, Manhattan Transfer, and Sheila Jordan. [30 September 2006]

Constant Rain (Chove Chuva) features the music and original lyrics of Jorge Ben, and the English lyrics of Norman Gimbel.  With a line that says "Everyday was Spring to Me," this melancholy Brazilian song is one of the highlights on a Brasil 66 album entitled "Equinox" (audio clip at that link).  Listen also to two audio clips from Miriam Makeba.  [21 March 2006]

Cotton Tail (chord changes at that link) was composed by Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, but "vocalese" lyrics were added later by J. Hendricks of Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross (audio clip here).  It was recorded in a classic rendition by the Duke (listen to an audio clip here) and also in a Duke session with three violinists (Stephane Grappelli, Svend Asmussen, and Ray Nance).  (Stay tuned for a Mega-Duke Tribute, coming up in December.)  I also love a Wes Montgomery blazing guitar version; listen to an audio clip of that rendition here. [29 November 2005]

Could I Have This Kiss Forever, words and music by Diane Warren, a duet by Whitney Houston and Enrique Iglesias, is a Latin-tinged dance track from "Whitney: The Greatest Hits" (2000).  The original track never hit the Billboard Dance Chart, but it provides the kind of chill rhythmic pulse best for sensual dancing.  Check out the original video version, the Tin Tin Out Mix, and the housed-up HQ Video Club Mix.  [6 March 2012]

Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep), music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, was an Oscar-nominated song from the 1954 film "White Christmas." Cliche though it may be, this is something I do every day of my life ... count my blessings.  Listen to an audio clip from the classic Rosemary Clooney rendition.   [29 December 2006]

Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse has no credited composer (the copyright is held by Tele Features, Inc.).   Listen to an audio clip of this jazzy cartoon theme, from one of my favorite childhood cartoons, here.  [31 August 2006]

Coventry Carol is a traditional English carol from the sixteenth century whose words are attributed to Robert Croo.  I always associated this gorgeous, haunting carol with the alternate version of "Away in a Manger," because it was recorded in a medley by the Living Strings (featured on an album, "The Spirit of Christmas," which I finally got after about 35 years of searching for it!).  Listen to audio clips of versions by The King's Sisters, the Mediaeval Baebes, and the Swingle Sisters. [27 December 2007]

Crazy, music and lyrics by Willie Nelson, was performed as a classic country song by the late, great Patsy Cline (listen to audio clip here).  Nelson himself has recorded the song several times; listen to one audio clip here.  [27 April 2005]

Crocodile Rock features the lyrics of Bernie Taupin and the music of birthday boy, Elton John, who celebrates his 60th tonight with his 60th concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  One of my all-time favorite Elton songs, this one still rocks.  Listen to an audio clip here.  And Happy Birthday, Sir Elton!  [25 March 2007]

Cute, composed by Neil Hefti, is one of those familiar tracks that has been heard everywhere, thanks to the famous chart Hefti wrote for the Count Basie Orchestra, featuring the fabulous fills of drummer Sonny Payne, who was born on this date in 1926.  The most memorable cinematic treatment of this tune, where one can see Music as Comedy and Comedy as Music, can be found in "Cinderfella"; watch how Jerry Lewis Does the Dishes. [4 May 2012]

Dancing in Heaven (Orbital Be Bop), words and music by Martin Page and Brian Fairweather, was a Q-Feel techno hit.  Listen to an audio clip here, just in time for All Souls' Day.  [2 November 2006]

Danse Macabre (Opus 40), composed by Camille Saint-Saens, is one of those Halloween staples.  Listen to an audio clip featuring the London Philharmonia Orchestra, another featuring Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, and also a performance by pianist Vladimir HorowitzHappy Halloween!  [31 October 2006]

Darn That Dream features the words and music of Eddie De Lange and Jimmy Van Heusen.  Some lovely versions of this song have been recorded; listen to audio clips from Benny Goodman & Mildred Bailey, Doris Day, and Kenny Hagood with Miles Davis (from the classic album, "Birth of the Cool").  But one of the sweetest versions was recorded by Tony Bennett on a very early album, his first for Columbia, "Cloud 7" (audio clip at that link).  The great Chuck Wayne is the featured guitarist on the album.  Chuck, who was a mentor of sorts to my brother Carl (who learned the "consecutive picking" technique from Chuck)  was such a well-known jazz guitarist back then that on his last European tour with Tony, many jazz enthusiasts seemed to greet him with even greater fervor than Bennett!  [17 August 2006]

Days Go By, words and music by Victoria Horn and Steve Smith, is the Dirty Vegas recording that received the 2002 Grammy Award for "Best Dance Recording."  The infectious track is best known for its use in a famous Mitsubishi commercial; also check out this hot mix, the Paul Oakenfold remix, the Mimosa remix, and the Jimmy Fallon MTV commercial parody [YouTube links].  [3 April 2012]

Days of Wine and Roses features the stellar music of Henry Mancini and the poetic lyrics of Johnny Mercer.  This great American standard was the 1962 Academy Award Winner for Best Song.  Listen to audio clips of versions by Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Tony Bennett with pianist Bill Evans, Bill Evans and harmonica player Toots Thielmans, guitarist Wes Montgomery, and Monica Mancini (Henry's daughter). [24 February 2006]

The Day the Earth Stood Still ("Prelude") [YouTube clip of opening credits at that link] was composed by the immortal New York-born Bernard Herrmann, the centenary of whose birth we celebrate today.  The score for this classic 1951 science fiction film was remarkable for its revolutionary use of the thereminViva Herrmann! [29 June 2011]

Dead End Street features the words and music of D. Axelrod and B. Raleigh, with a gritty monologue by Lou Rawls, who performs the tune to soul perfection.  When this Classic 45 came out, I took an instant liking to it because Lou Rawls referred to the wind as "The Hawk," a phrase my family had used for years.  Rawls won the 1967 Grammy Award for "Best Rhythm and Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Male" for this recording. Sadly, the three-time Grammy winner passed away today.  Listen to audio clips of the monologue and song here.  [6 January 2006b]

Dear Alice, music by Chick Corea, lyrics by Gayle Moran, is from one of my favorite Chick Corea albums of all time:  "The Mad Hatter."   Listen here and here to audio clips of this highlight from the album, featuring a superb bass solo by Eddie Gomez.  And Happy Birthday, Chick! [12 June 2006]

Dearly Beloved, music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, was nominated for a 1942 Academy Award for Best Song from the film "You Were Never Lovelier."  My brother, jazz guitarist Carl Barry, recorded this song on his first album.  Listen to audio clips from Fred Astaire (who starred in the film), Dinah Shore, and, for jazz guitar fans, the great Wes Montgomery.  [20 February 2006]

Deck the Halls is another great Christmas standard.  Listen to audio clips of Joan Sutherland and the Ambrosian Singers, Ottmar Liebert, and Nat King Cole. [28 December 2006]

Deep Impact ("A Distant Discovery") [YouTube link], composed by James Horner, is the central theme of the 1998 film, which had an all-star cast, echoing the approach of many of the "disaster films" of the 1970s. [8 February 2014]

Deep Purple, sometimes referred to as "When the Deep Purple Falls," lyrics by Mitchell Parish, music by Peter DeRose, has been recorded in many wonderful renditions.  I love an instrumental version by the "Dark Angel of the Fiddle," jazz violinist Eddie South (audio clip at that link).  Check out audio clips of other versions by Artie Shaw with vocalist Helen Forrest and Billy Ward and His Dominoes.  [6 April 2006]\

The Deer Hunter ("Cavatina") [YouTube link] is a piece composed by Stanley Myers, and was first heard in the 1970 film "The Walking Stick."  Singer Cleo Lane added her own lyrics to the piece, and recorded it as "He Was Beautiful" [YouTube link], accompanied by classical guitarist John Williams.  But it was that guitarist's version of the composition that is best remembered as the theme to one of the most shattering antiwar films ever made:  "The Deer Hunter" (1978), starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage, John Cazale, and Meryl Streep. [16 February 2014]

Deja Vu (lyrics and video clip at that link) features the words and music of Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins and Beyonce, a star in the new film version of "Dreamgirls," and the singer of this track, which appears on her album, "B'day."   I like the original mix, but I love the Freemasons dance remix (audio clips at those links).  Both versions feature a guest rap from Jay-Z.  [16 December 2006]

Demetrius and the Gladiators ("Prelude") [YouTube link] features a score composed by Franz Waxman, who had two tough acts to follow:  the stupendously successful film for which this one stood as a sequel, and its equally stupendous soundtrack, written by one of the Golden Era's Greats.  This 1954 film was a "sword and sandal" sequel the stupendous 1953 epic, "The Robe," which was actually filmed twice:  once in the typical "flat screen" process of the day, and a second time in the revolutionary widescreen format of "CinemaScope," for which 20th Century Fox got an honorary Oscar (though, as a sidenote, for me, the performances in the "flat screen" version of "The Robe" are far better than its widescreen sibling).  The sequel picks up where "The Robe" leaves off.  Waxman wisely kept reverential musical references to certain heartfelt themes composed by Alfred Newman for this film's predecessor.  Listen up to 2:30 in the first YouTube link above to see how well Waxman incorporates the Newman motifs, while providing us with a strong score that stands on its own merits. [22 February 2014]

Desafinado, music by Antonio Carlos Jobim, lyrics by Newton Mendoca, made a huge impact when it was introduced to American audiences by tenor saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist Charlie Byrd on their album "Jazz Samba" (audio clip at that link).  There's also a memorable vocal rendition by Joao Gilberto on the "Getz/Gilberto" album (audio clip at that link).  The song is also featured on the soundtrack to the 2003 film, "Goldfish Memory."  Listen to an audio clip of that version here, sung by Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan.  Finally, here is an audio clip of this lovely bossa nova, played on piano by Jobim himself.  [18 April 2005]

Despicable Me 2 ("Happy"), words and music by Pharrell Williams, is one of 2013's Oscar-nominated songs in the "Best Original Song" category.  It's a #1 Billboard Hot 100 song that channels some wonderful R&B influences, from Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway to Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.  Check out the official music video and one that uses "Despicable Me" characters to showcase the lyrics.  Watch the Oscar telecast tonight to see if it wins its category.  Dare I say it:  This song really makes me feel happy.  And that's the way I'd like to conclude this year's tribute to film music. [2 March 2014]

Devil with a Blue Dress On, words and music by William Stevenson and Frederick Long, was made famous by Mitch Rider and the Detroit Wheels.  It's a rockin' rock 'n roll record, which sports a "Good Golly Miss Molly" interlude.  And it's oh-so-appropriate as Song of the Day #666.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [15 June 2006]

Diamonds Are Forever ("Main Title"), lyrics by Don Black, music by John Barry, is featured in the 007 film of the same name, starring the greatest Bond, James BondSean Connery.  This was the second Bond theme performed with gusto by singer Shirley Bassey (YouTube link).   [5 February 2011]

Diane ("Beauty and Grace"), composed by Miklos Rozsa, is from the film score to the 1956 MGM swashbuckler.  Listen to an audio clip from the soundtrack here and to full-length cues here (especially the lovely version with piano and violin).  [19 April 2006]

The Dick Van Dyke Show ("Theme") [YouTube link], music by Earle Hagen, rare lyrics by Morey Amsterdam, is heard at the beginning of one of the most iconic television shows of its era.  Check out YouTube also for this precious moment on "The Rachel Ray Show," with Dick Van Dyke singing the rare lyrics, with Mary Tyler Moore looking on.  [18 September 2013]

Dim All the Lights was written and recorded by the "Queen of Disco," Donna Summer, the five-time Grammy Award winner who died today at the age of 63.  Featured on her hugely successful "Bad Girls" album, this song, produced by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, was a massive hit in 1979.  Its classic balladic intro shifts into the disco beat for which Summer was so famous.  And the gal had amazing pipes; she was raised on gospel and electrified fans with her remarkably powerful vocal gifts.  This particular song, for example, contains the longest sustained note in an American Top 40 hit ever sung by a female artist.  Tonight, however, we "Dim All the Lights," as they do on Broadway in mournful tribute when a star dies; it is posted in genuine sorrow over the passing of a legend, whose music I've always danced to and loved.   For the next few days, I will be offering a tribute in song that celebrates the continuing influence of Donna Summer on so many of the kaleidoscopic sounds of pop music to this day.  Check out this selection on YouTube:  the single and the classic 12" extended mix.  [17 May 2012]

Dirty Boots, words, music, and performance by Sonic Youth, is featured on the band's album, "Goo."  There are a few hilarious comments in the film "Juno" about Sonic Youth (which has exhibited a fascination for Karen Carpenter and Joan Crawford in "Mildred Pierce").  Check out the music video on YouTube and a YouTube live performance too, and the full album line-up (with audio samples).  [2 April 2008]

The Dirty Dozen ("Main Theme") [YouTube clip at that link], composed by Frank De Vol, is the percussive-heavy military theme to the memorable all-star 1967 film.  Today is the last repeating date [12-12-12 12:12] of this century, and the cleanest of the 'dirty dozens' that we will see for a millennium.  [12 December 2012]

Disco Inferno, music and lyrics by L. Green and R. Kersey, was one of the hottest dance cuts featured on the soundtrack of "Saturday Night Fever" (nice Travolta interview at that link).  A #1 dance hit by the Philly dance band, The Trammps, this one still sizzles ("Burn Baby, Burn!").  And it also reminds us that the soundtrack brought together not only music from the Bee Gees, but music from an era.  The soundtrack may not have even been nominated for an Oscar, but it took the 1978 Grammy for "Album of the Year."  Take a look at the original Trammps video, and then check out alternative YouTube moments, renditions by Cyndi Lauper (another Cyndi audio mix here), Tina Turner, and Madonna (in an "Inferno"-laced remix of "Music," that is a tribute to the "Saturday Night Fever" disco era).  [12 December 2007]

Django, an elegy composed by John Lewis, was recorded famously by the Modern Jazz Quartet.  But my favorite version remains the one recorded by immortal jazz guitarist Joe Pass, who was born on this date in 1929.  That version is the opening track on Pass's tribute album to another immortal jazz guitar great, Django Reinhardt, to whom this piece was dedicated.  It remains my favorite Pass album of all time. Listen to audio clips of the Pass recording and the MJQ recording.  [13 January 2007]

DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love Again, written by Max Martin, Shellback, Savan Kotecha, and Pitbull (who guest raps), is a huge, infectious dance hit for 2010 American Music Award recipient, Usher.  Check out the official video, the smokin' Dark Intensity Remix, and Usher's AMA performance.  [22 November 2010]

Do I Do, music and lyrics by Stevie Wonder, in honor, today, of his receipt of Billboard's Century Award.  From his album, "The Original Musiquarium" (listen to the audio clip at that link), it features the incomparable be-bop jazz trumpeter, "Mr. Dizzy Gillespie." [8 December 2004]

Do It Again, words and music by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, was a huge hit for Steely Dan.  This song has been such an expression of American pop music that it was even part of two medleys with Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," one by Club House and the other by Slingshot (an early "mash-up," perhaps?).  Listen to an audio clip of that Club House rendition, and to the original and best version by Steely Dan.  And Happy Birthday to my pal, Aeon Skoble (who is a Steely Dan fan). [27 March 2006]

Don't Be That Way was written by Edgar Sampson, Mitchell Parish, and Benny Goodman, for whose band this was a huge hit. It was the tune that opened Goodman's famed 1938 Carnegie Hall concert (audio clip at that link).  Today, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the King of Swing, I feature this wonderful tune from his remarkable discography.  Take a look at a 1980 Goodman YouTube clip and for a vocal version, check out Ella Fitzgerald on YouTube.  [30 May 2009]

Don't Cha, words and music by T. Callaway and T. Smith, is one of those fluff, borderline-offensive pop hits that, when played over and over again, gets into your head, and just doesn't leave. First recorded by Tori Alamaze, this song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in a version by the Pussycat Dolls and Busta Rhymes. Sometimes when I'm not crazy about a song, the DJ in me gets hooked by a hot remix.  "Ralphi's Hot Freak" remix of this song is, indeed, scalding (audio clip at that link).  An audio clip of the original mix can be heard here.  [26 March 2006]

Don't Get Around Much Anymore, lyrics by Sidney Keith "Bob" Russell, music by Duke Ellington, was originally known instrumentally as "Never No Lament." Listen to audio clips of versions by Oscar Peterson, Ella, and, of course, the Duke himself featuring vocalist Al Hibbler.  Listen also to audio clips of the "Never No Lament" instrumental versions of this tune featuring Duke's Jimmy Blanton-Ben Webster Band and a Live at Fargo, North Dakota 1940 version.  [10 December 2005]

Don't Go, music and lyrics by Vince Clarke, is another Yaz (or Yazoo) dance gem from the 1980s.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [30 July 2005]

Don't Lose the Magic, words and music by M. Wilson, B. Dickens, and G. Christopher, was a hot dance hit for Shawn Christopher (who was highlighted last time out).  Listen to an audio clip here (which, unfortunately, never gets to the vocals!). [5 June 2006]

Don't Misunderstand, a Gordon Parks composition, sung by the ever-soulful O. C. Smith, for the soundtrack of Shaft's Big Score.  [26 October 2004]

Don't Rain on My Parade, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill, performed by Barbra Streisand on Broadway and in the William Wyler-directed film on the life story of Fanny Brice:  "Funny Girl."  Streisand tied for a 1968 Best Actress Oscar with the equally brilliant Katherine Hepburn, who played Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter."  This song has also been performed in a rousing swing arrangement by Bobby Darin, whose life is dramatized in the 2004 Kevin Spacey film, "Beyond the Sea."  Check out the Broadway audio clip or film audio clip.  It's been raining for two days in N.Y.C., but this song's lyrics transcend the weather:  "Don't tell me not to fly, I simply got to. If someone takes a spill, it's me and not you.  Who told you you're allowed to rain on my parade?"  [7 December 2004]

Don't Stop (audio clip for this song is mislabeled; it's the link at "Be with You") features the words and music of James Wirrick and Jeff Mehl.  It was performed to Disco Diva Perfection by Sylvester.  [6 June 2006]

Don't Stop the Music, words and music by Jonah Ellis, Lonnie Simmons, and Alisa Peoples, is a grinding, funky, synth-based, sleaze beat hit recorded by Yarbrough and Peoples.  Watch (and listen) to this infectious 80s track at YouTube.  [9 February 2008]

Don't Stop the Music,  words and music by T. E. Hermansen, M.S. Eriksen, T. Dabney, and M. Jackson, is nominated for "Best Dance Recording" on tonight's 50th Annual Grammy Awards. This Rihanna hit (not a remake of yesterday's Yarbrough and Peoples track) has a great beat, a catchy hook, and a very familiar sample from Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'."  MJ will be on hand, they say, as contemporary artists pay tribute to "Thriller," which debuted in 1983 (a new 25th anniversary edition of "Thriller" comes out on February 12, 2008).  Listen here to audio clips of today's song from the Rihanna album, "Good Girl Gone Bad."  And check out a YouTube video clip too.  [10 February 2008]

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, written and recorded by Michael Jackson, is from one of his finest solo albums:  "Off the Wall."  The song, highlighting Jackson's falsetto, captures a classic sound and era.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [7 June 2006]

Don't Take Your Love From Me, words and music by Henry Nemo, is one of those "slit-your-wrists" standards.  I loved when my Aunt Joan used to sing this (she'd performed it on radio too back in the day).  Listen to audio clips of versions by Billy Eckstine, Etta James, and Frank Sinatra (who does a mid-tempo swing version as well).  [30 March 2006]

Don't You Want My Love (audio clip at that link) is a disco stomper sung by Debbie Jacobs, with words and music by Paul Sabu.  It was also recorded by Rosabel, featuring Debbie Jacobs (audio clip at that link).  [6 February 2006]

Don't You Want My Love, words and music by Aldo Nova, was recorded by Nicole (actually Nicole J. McCloud).  It has the same title as yesterday's song, but it's a different composition. This hot dance track was featured on the soundtrack of the 1986 film "Ruthless People."  Listen to an audio clip of a 2002 remix.  Back in my DJ days, I'd create my own steamy remix of this song by interweaving its "dub version" to keep the dance floor jammed.  [7 February 2006]

Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing, words and music by Stevie Wonder, is also from "Innervisions."  Listen to an audio clip here (yes, that makes six tracks if you count this one and this one selected for my favorite list, all from one great album).  [18 May 2006]

Doralice, words and music by Dorival Caymmi and Antonio Almeida, is another great selection from one of my favorite all-time albums:  Getz/Gilberto (audio clip at that link).  [28 April 2006]

Down the Line, composed and performed by jazz guitarist Jim Hall, appears on his album, "Commitment."  Like pianist Bill Evans once did in "Conversations with Myself," Hall actually overdubs his own guitar comps and solos on both acoustic and electric instruments.  It is a tour de force performance.  No audio clips are available on the web.  Darn. [30 January 2006]

Do Ya Wanna Funk? features the words and music of Patrick Cowley and the singer Sylvester, who performs this R&B-laced hi-energy dance classic.  Some have called this "GDM," which has been interpreted to mean "Guido Disco Music" (a link that refers to an old pal of mine, the late Bobby "DJ" Guttadaro) or "Gay Disco Music" (take your pick).  Some films, such as "Kiss Me, Guido," have satirized the commonality here, playing with the equally ambiguous acronym "GWM":  "Guy With Money" v. "Gay White Male."  Either way, it's classic dance music!  [2 May 2005]

Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?, music by Louis Alter, lyrics by Eddie De Lange, is from the 1947 film, "New Orleans," in which it was sung by Billie Holiday (featured on "The Ultimate Collection").  It has been recorded by many artists.  I post it today as a tribute to the people of that great city of jazz, and to all those who are dealing with the horrific tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.  Godspeed.  Today's selections are from the children of New Orleans.  Listen to an audio clip of a live rendition from Satchmo, a soulful version by clarinetist Pete Fountain, and a vocal version by another New Orleans native, Harry Connick, Jr. [31 August 2005]

Dragnet is credited to Miklos Rozsa (from whom the "dum-de-dum-dum" motif was drawn, first heard in "The Killers") and Walter Schumann.  Known also as "Danger Ahead" and the "Dragnet March," the theme was a hit for the Ray Anthony Orchestra (YouTube clip at that link) in 1953 and for Stan Freberg thereafter (in a comedic take as "St. George and the Dragonet," YouTube clip at that link).  And so concludes our 2008 TV Theme Tribute.  Tonight, enjoy the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards!  [21 September 2008]

Dream a Little Dream of Me, music by Wilbur Schwandt and Fabian Andre, lyrics by Gus  Kahn, has been performed by many artists, from Louis Armstrong to Mama Cass Elliot (audio clips at those links).  It's a song my Dad used to sing, accompanying himself on guitar; he would have been 88 years old today (he passed away in 1972).  Sweet memories.  [11 June 2005]

Dream On features music by Bill Frisell, lyrics by Steven Tyler, and the powerful performance of Aerosmith.  It's a rock classic.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [25 July 2005]

Drive By, words and music by Patrick Monahan, Espen Lind, and Amund Bjorklund, was recorded by the band Train.  The full song can be heard on YouTube, but I must admit that I have a sentimental attachment to it because it was featured in a Tri-State New York-area Ford car commercial starring Yankees shortstop Derek JeterJeter misses Opening Day 2013, despite having started for 16 of the last 17 years.  He's still on the mend from last year's devastating post-season ankle break. I wish it were all an April Fools' Day joke, but it isn't.  Still, baseball is back in New York today, Big Time!  For the first time since 1956, when the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers each held Opening Day festivities, two New York teams are opening at home today:  the New York Mets host the San Diego Padres and the New York Yankees host the Boston Red Sox (and they are dedicating their games to those who lost their lives in the Newtown tragedy).  Here's hoping that The Captain joins the party before too long.  But for now:  Play Ball!  [1 April 2013]

Dr. No ("James Bond Theme") [YouTube link], composed by Monty Norman (though authorship has always been a source of controversy), is the signature James Bond theme, first featured in this premier 007 franchise film and heard in virtually all of the "official" Bond films thereafter.  It boasts a classic, jazzy John Barry arrangement (another YouTube link). [2 February 2011]

Dynasty ("Main Theme"), composed by Bill Conti, announces the patrician excesses of the Carringtons and the Colbys.  Listen to an audio clip here and here.  [15 September 2005]

Early Autumn was done in a poignant, moving instrumental version by the band of its musical composer Woody Herman; it's the song that featured tenor sax player Stan Getz in a 1948 breakout performance. But Johnny Mercer gave it lyrics, which Ella Fitzgerald sang with divine grace.  [24 September 2004]

Easy Living, words and music by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger, has been recorded by countless artists.  Especially memorable, for me, are versions by Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass, and Carmen McRae, with Joe Pass on guitar in a medley (audio clips at links).  [27 September 2006]

1812 Overture, composed by Tchaikovsky, has no historical connection to Independence Day celebrations, but it is heard regularly on the Fourth of July.  Listen to audio clips performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy and the Minnesota Orchestra, with commentary by Deems TaylorHave a Happy and a Healthy Fourth! [4 July 2007]

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (K525, Serenade in G Major) is one of my very favorite Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart compositions.  Listen to audio clips here. [4 November 2005]

El Cid ("Love Theme: The Falcon and the Dove"), music by Miklos Rozsa, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, was nominated for a 1961 Academy Award for Best Song from the epic film, "El Cid."  This was the only "Best Song" nomination of Rozsa's career; it lost out to another great song:  "Moon River."  Listen to an audio clip of an instrumental version here.  [15 April 2006]

El Cid ("Prelude") [audio clip at that link], composed by Miklos Rozsa, is a stirring theme from this heroic soundtrack from the 1961 film starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren.  [4 February 2005]

Eleanor Rigby, a classic John Lennon-Paul McCartney song, is superbly performed with strings, on the Beatles' album "Revolver" (listen to the audio clip at that link).  Also listen to the clip at this amazon.com link for a gritty rendition by the great Ray Charles (who is portrayed by Jamie Foxx in the 2004 film "Ray"). [15 January 2005]

Electric Storm is an electric guitar extravaganza, composed and performed by Sean Mercer, who just so happens to be hubby to my pal, Ilana.  It's the scintillating title track to a fierce album of neoclassical-rock fusion.  Listen to an all-too-brief audio clip here.  [25 April 2005]

E Lucevan le Stelle, an aria from "Tosca" (see synopsis) by the Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini, especially as sung by Mario Lanza. [9 October 2004]

Embraceable You, a classic George and Ira Gershwin song, has been recorded by so many people in so many fine renditions.  But my favorite version remains a quiet, jazz duo interpretation, the title track to a recent album of guitarist Carl Barry (my brother) and vocalist Joanne Barry (my sister-in-law).  And that's my dog Blondie with Joanne on the cover of the album.  Since it is Joanne's birthday today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!), I thought it apropos to add this gem to my list.  Click here for an audio sample (it sounds much better on the CD). Ironically, today, the NY Daily News publishes a little piece on George Gershwin in their "Big Town Songbook." [5 September 2004]

Emerge, composed by Lester Robertson, was first featured on a great Gerald Wilson Big Band album, "Moment of Truth."  Steeped in brilliant counterpoint, the recording features such soloists as tenor saxophonist Harold Land and pianist Jack Wilson.  Listen to an audio clip of this fine instrumental track here. [23 November 2005]

Emily, music by Johnny Mandel, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, additional lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, comes from the 1964 antiwar film, "The Americanization of Emily," starring Julie Andrews in the title role. In many ways, its opening bars remind me of the "Love Theme from Spartacus."  And it is just as melodically lovely.  Film Music February may have come to an end but we usher it out, the way we ushered it in ... with a Barbra Streisand audio clip, this one from "The Movie Album."  [1 March 2005]

Empire State of Mind features the words and music of Alexander Shuckburgh, Angela Hunte and Jane't "Jnay" Sewell-Ulepic, Bert Keyes and Sylvia Robinson (a sample from their "Love on a Two-Way Street"), Alicia Keys and Shawn Corey Carter, otherwise known as Jay-Z, both of whom perform on the recording. Tonight, Jay-Z opens up eight concert dates at Brooklyn's new entertainment arenathe Barclays Center, where Jay-Z's basketball team, the newly named Brooklyn Nets, will open their season in October.  Professional sports will return to Brooklyn for the first time since Dem Bums left.  This is a paean to the city where Jay-Z was born.  And any song with a shout out to Sinatra gets Two Thumbs Up in my book, any day.  Tonight, Brooklyn gives the Empire State another jewel in its crown.  Check out the official video.  [28 September 2012]

The Empire Strikes Back ("Imperial March, Darth Vader's Theme"), composed by John Williams, is one of the best cinematic marches ever written.  From one of the best movies in the "Star Wars" franchise, this one conjures up images of the Dark Side, heavy breathing and all!  Listen to an additional audio clip here.  [18 February 2008]

Empty Faces (Vera Cruz) features the words and music of Milton Nascimento, Marcio Borges, and Lani Hall.  Listen to an audio clip of this song by the great Sarah Vaughan and an instrumental version by guitarist Jim Hall.  My sister-in-law, Joanne Barry, does a terrific version of this song on the album, "Embraceable You."  It's her birthday... much happiness, health, and love always!  [5 September 2005]

The Enforcer ("Rooftop Chase") [YouTube clip at that link], composed by Jerry Fielding, boasts an absolutely sizzling big band arrangement that simultaneously reflects and drives this energized 1976 installment in the "Dirty Harry" film franchise, starring Clint Eastwood.  Check out a film montage that features this cue. [10 February 2013]

Enter Sandman, written by Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, and Lars Ulrich, is the Metallica song that allows us to celebrate the exit of The Sandman himself, legendary relief pitcher, Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer in the history of the game, with the most regular season and postseason saves in baseball history. One of the Core Four, who sports five World Series rings, he is the last active Major League Baseball player to wear the Number 42 (the MLB-wide retired number of the trailblazing Jackie Robinson), now retired at Yankee Stadium, on a ceremonial day that greeted him to the field as Metallica performed this song live in his honor (a theme song for Mo upon his entrance in any save situation at The Stadium). As we stand on the precipice of this year's World Series, the postseason isn't the same without him (or the Yankees for this frustrated fan), but no season will ever be the same without Mo.  Here's the official video from the band and their appearance at Yankee Stadium on Mo's Day. [18 October 2013]

E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial ("Escape/Chase/Saying Goodbye") [audio clip at that link], music by John Williams, exemplifies all the dramatic ups-and-downs of a succession of climactic scenes from this classic Steven Spielberg-directed 1982 film.  [12 February 2005]

Everybody Dance (Clap Your Hands), words and music by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rogers, was a huge hit for Chic (YouTube clip at that link). And for a nice twist on an old dance classic, check out a new version recorded by the great Deborah Cox (YouTube clip at that link).  [20 December 2007]

Everybody, Everybody, composed by M. Limoni, D. Davoli, and V. Semplici, for the diva-and-piano-driven Italian house music recording outfit known as Blackbox, on their album Dreamland. But don't let them fool you.  The Big Voice on this recording, and so many others, is Martha Wash, who, with the late Izora Rhodes Armstead, made up both The Weather Girls and Two Tons o' Fun (and the back-up singers for R&B/dance artist Sylvester).  I think of my friend Peter when I hear this dance floor jam; and it's his birthday.  Happy Birthday, pal! [11 November 2004b]

Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon, music and lyrics by Jimmy Webb, was originally performed by the Philly soul group Three Degrees, but has been recorded also by Buddy Greco, Thelma Houston, and Dusty Springfield (live).  I used to love seeing my sister-in-law perform this live.  What better way to mark the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in song... listen to a Three Degrees audio clip here. [20 July 2005]

Every Day I Have the Blues, words and music by Peter Chatman (aka Memphis Slim), has been recorded by many artists.  I love the classic Joe Williams-Count Basie recording (an all-too-brief audio clip can be found here), but I also love another Joe Williams version, which uses the bass line of "All Blues."  Listen to an audio clip here.  And read more about the first recordings of the song as "Nobody Loves Me."  [10 January 2006]

Everything Happens to Me, words and music by Tom Adair and Matt Dennis, is one of those Murphy's Law meets Romance songs.  It's delivered with typical heartbreak by Billie Holiday in an audio clip here.  Listen also to a Frank Sinatra audio clip, with Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra here and, in a later version, here.  And check out an audio clip here of a version featuring alto saxophonist Charlie Parker with strings.  [28 July 2005]

Everything I Have is Yours, music by Burton Lane, lyrics by Harold Adamson, was introduced by Joan Crawford and Art Jarrett in the 1933 film "Dancing Lady."  It was recorded by singers such as Ruth Etting and Rudy Vallee.  Among my favorite versions are those by Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughan (audio clips at those links). [26 September 2005]

Everything's Coming Up Roses, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, is from the Broadway musical, "Gypsy: A Musical Fable," based on the memoirs of American burlesque entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee. The 1959 musical featured the choreography of Jerome Robbins, and was nominated for 7 Tony Awards, winning none (the year of this tie!). But the Tony-nominated powerhouse, Ethel Merman, starred as Mama Rose, Gypsy's mom; she sings this song famously at the close of Act I. The role was played big by Rosalind Russell in the fine 1962 movie version, Angela Lansbury in a 1974 Broadway revival, Tyne Daly in a 1989 Broadway revival, Bernadette Peters in a 2003 Broadway revival, and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film for Bette Midler in the 1993 TV version. I saw the 2008 revival with an absolutely stupendous Patti LuPone as Rose; she won the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for the role. Tonight is the Tony Awards, for which everything will be coming up roses, at least for the winners! Check out versions by Ethel, Rosalind, Angela, Tyne, Bernadette, Bette, and Patti, and enjoy the show! [10 June 2012]

Exodus ("Main Theme"), music by Ernest Gold, with lyrics added later by Pat Boone, is from the 1960 film, directed by Otto Preminger.  It's a great theme to mark the arrival at sundown of Passover, the prelude to an exodus led by Moses out of Egypt. Listen to audio clips of this  cinema theme from the original soundtrack, the Pat Boone vocal rendition, Percy Faith, a very cool Dizzy Gillespie, and the absolutely classic piano-and-orchestra rendition of Ferrante and Teicher.  [19 April 2008]

Falling Alice features music and lyrics by Chick Corea and vocalist Gayle Moran (who performs on the track).  The theme is played at both the midpoint and conclusion of one of my favorite jazz concept albums, "The Mad Hatter" (audio clip at that link).  I saw Corea perform the entire album, along with so many other classic compositions, on his remarkable 1978 concert tour.  [18 June 2005]

Falling Grace was composed by bassist Steve Swallow.  It's a touching jazz standard that has been performed in fine duets by guitarists Jim Hall and Pat Metheny, and pianist Chick Corea and vibraphonist Gary Burton (listen to audio clips at those links).  [6 May 2005]

Falling in Love with Love is a sweet song from the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical, "The Boys from Syracuse"  How apropos to be falling today... with the arrival of Fall (the Autumnal Equinox comes at 11:44 EDT).  Listen to an audio clip of a Tony Bennett swing version and check out YouTube moments with Allan Jones (from the 1940 film version), Frank Sinatra (and in a swing arrangement too), Vic Damone, Sarah Vaughan with Benny Carter, and Bernadette Peters (when the song was revived for the 1997 Disney TV version of "Cinderella"). [22 September 2008]

Fantasy, music and lyrics by Maurice White, Eddie del Barrio, and Verdine White, is one of those classic Earth, Wind, and Fire performances.  It has fine, jazzy harmonies and a great pulse.  Listen to an audio clip here. [7 July 2005]

Far From Heaven ("Autumn in Connecticut") [audio clip at that link], composed by Elmer Bernstein, opens the Todd Haynes-directed 2002 film, which serves as a lush, Technicolor paean to the work of Douglas Sirk.  This Oscar-nominated retro score amplifies the sensitivity of the film, which starred Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid.  [7 February 2005]

Feliz Navidad, lyrics by Kirby Shaw, joyful music and performance by Jose Feliciano. Listen to an audio clip here.  [27 December 2004]

Fever is credited to John Davenport and Eddie Cooley, but Otis Blackwell was actually the chief writer.  It has been recorded by Little Willie John, Rita Coolidge, Madonna, and Michael Buble, but Peggy Lee owns this one (audio clips at each link).  [20 November 2005]

55 Days at Peking ("So Little Time [The Peking Theme]"), lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, music by Dimitri Tiomkin, is heard on the soundtrack to the 1963 historical epic, starring Charlton Heston, David Niven, and Ava GardnerTiomkin received Academy Award nominations for both this song and the film's score.  The soundtrack features the performance of Andy Williams, who passed away on 25 September 2012 and left us memorable recordings of everything from classic melodic movie themes to classic Christmas perennials.  On this date, we also remember those for whom there was "so little time," who died, twenty years ago, in the first attack on the World Trade Center.  Check out Andy Williams on YouTube.  [26 February 2013]

Fight for Life, composed and performed by Jean-Luc Ponty on the electric violin, is one of those virtuoso jazz-rock fusion pieces that switches gears mid-stream and takes us "Upon the Wings of Music" (the title of the album on which it is featured).  Listen to an audio clip here. [13 May 2005]

Find Another Fool, composed by guitarist Marv Ross, performed by the group Quarterflash.  Vocalist Rindy Ross sounds Benatar-ish, and the "fours" (trading solos for four measures) between Rindy on sax and violinist Bruce Sweetman elevates this pop-rock track to another level.  Listen to a clip at amazon.com. [12 November 2004]

The First Noel is an English composition of unknown origin, which was first published in 1833.  I especially love a Nat King Cole version of this holiday favorite (audio clip at that link).  Listen also to an audio clip by Ol' Blue EyesMerry Christmas to All!  Happy Holidays!!! And Happy Name Day to Me!  [25 December 2005]

500 Miles High is another wonderful Chick Corea composition (co-written with Neville Potter) first heard on his Return to Forever album, "Light as a Feather" (audio clip here).  This version features the vocals of Flora Purim, and a band that included the late Joe Farrell, Stanley Clarke, and Airto Moreira.  [13 June 2005]

Flight ("Opening") [theost excerpt], composed by Alan Silvestri, is the pensive opening theme for the 2012 film, directed by Robert Zemeckis, and starring Denzel Washington, who gives a superb Oscar-nominated performance.  The film provides hair-raising moments of suspense and poignant moments of raw honesty.  [25 February 2014]

The Flight of the Bumble Bee was composed by Nikolai Andreevich Rimsky-Korsakov for the opera "The Tale of Tsar Saltan," based on a poem by Aleksandr Pushkin.  Listen to audio clips of this fleet-of-finger composition here and here.  [9 May 2006]

The Flintstones features the words and music of Hoyt Curtin, Joseph Barbera and William Hanna.  The show was inspired by another one of my all-time favorites:  "The Honeymooners."  Listen to an audio clip of the TV theme here.  [15 September 2007]

Flying Home is credited to Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, and Sid Robin.  Listen to the classic Lionel Hampton recording and another by Charlie Barnet and His Orchestra.  [25 May 2006]

The Flying Song (audio clip at that link) is an instrumental composition written and performed by Joe Maurone (aka Spaceplayer).  I first heard this track years ago and it still resonates with me.  A very happy and healthy birthday to its composer.  [31 July 2005a]

Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words), music and lyrics by Bart Howard, performed by Ol' Blue Eyes at the Sands (check out that audio clip) to a swinging Quincy Jones arrangement with the Count Basie Orchestra.  [13 December 2004]

Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread), music by Rube Broom, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, has been recorded famously by Frank Sinatra when he was with Tommy Dorsey, and by Sinatra solo, as well as by Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley (audio clips at artist links).  A Happy April Fool's Day!  [1 April 2008]

Footprints, music by jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, with lyrics added later by Donna Smith, has become a jazz staple.  Listen to an audio clip of one of Shorter's recordings of this track here.  In 1962's Downbeat magazine, Shorter polled second only to Duke Ellington (whose birthday is today) as a jazz composer.  My favorite version of the song, however, remains one by another birthday boy:  jazz guitarist, Carl Barry, from the album "Holding On."  Listen to the full-length track here.  Happy Birthday to my brother Carl!  [29 April 2005]

Forget Me Nots, words and music by Terri McFaddin, bassist Freddy Washington, and singer and pianist Patrice Rushen, received a Grammy nomination for "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance."  This pop, R&B and dance hit from Rushen's album, "Straight from the Heart," includes a nice sax solo by Gerald Albright.  The song has been covered and sampled by several artists (most famously, Will Smith for  "Men in Black" [YouTube link]), but Patrice's version is tops for pure finger-poppin' pleasure.  Check out her music video, the album version, the 12" dance mix, and a really jazzy live 2009 performance with guitarist Lee Ritenour at North Sea Jazz [YouTube links].  On a day when we lost "America's oldest teenager," at 82 years of age, we pause to celebrate the life of the irreplaceable Dick Clark, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who helped us embrace the promise of every new year with his New Year's Rockin' Eve specials, and who gave us countless productions and television shows, including the trailblazing "American Bandstand," on which Patrice Rushen performed this song (Season 25, Episode 29, airdate:  29 May 1982).  We forget you not ... ever! [18 April 2012]

For Me features the words and music of Harold Lobo and Norman Gimbel.  I adore a version by Brasil 66 from the album, "Equinox" (audio clip at that link).  [26 April 2006]

For Once in My Life, lyrics by Ron Miller, music by Orlando Murden, has been recorded in many different versions, including one in 1968 by the rollicking Steve Wonder, and a definitive 1967 vocal turn by Tony Bennett.  [23 October 2004]

(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons was most likely written solely by William "Pat" Best, but a lyric credit has also been given to Deek Watson.  Either way, the song has charted with many artists through the years, from Ella Fitzgerald to Sam Cooke to the Cleftones (audio clips at those links).  Listen to an audio clip of my favorite version, the #1 hit by Nat King Cole. [7 August 2005]

Fortress Around Your Heart, composed and recorded by Sting, is from his terrific, jazzy solo album "The Dream of the Blue Turtles," which features Branford Marsalis on the saxophone.  I saw him perform this at Radio City Music Hall on his Blue Turtles Tour; the band was superb.  Listen to an audio clip of the album version here.   [29 March 2006]

The 4:30 Movie ("Moving Pictures") [YouTube clip at that link], composed by Joe Raposo, opened up one of the most memorable New York tri-state area film shows of the 1960s and 1970s, when local networks actually showed movies instead of talk shows during the day.  I remember it when it was a 90-minute show on WABC-TV, and it would typically devote a whole week to the airing of classic genres or actors, or classic films, such as "Ben-Hur."  The theme music still brings a big smile to my face.  [20 September 2012]

Found a Cure, a #1 dance track from 1979, was written by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson.  It appears on the Ashford & Simpson album, "Stay Free."  Ashford passed away on 22 August 2011.  But he left behind a musical legacy that still provides the cure; listen to the energetic, soulful 12" remix on YouTube.  [26 August 2011]

The Fountainhead ("The Quarry"), composed by Max Steiner, is a highlight from this film score to the 1949 movie version of Ayn Rand's famous novel Glenn Alexander Magee wrote the liner notes to this newly released soundtrack album.  Magee quotes Christopher Palmer, who writes that this selection restates the memorable main theme of the score "on high violins, flute and vibraphone, with little harmonic or textural support other than the naturally reverberative properties of vibraphone, soft bass-drumroll and tam-tam.  Their overtones, mingling and lingering in the atmosphere, complement director King Vidor's insistence upon the heat-haze and white chalk dust which permeate the scene" in which Dominique Francon (played by Patricia Neal) and Howard Roark (played by Gary Cooper) gaze upon one another from the quarry where Roark works.  Smoldering, indeed.  And what better way to celebrate the Ayn Rand Centenary, which is today!  (See my review of the film score here.)  [2 February 2005]

Four on Six is one of those "incredible jazz guitar" tracks composed and performed by the outstanding Wes Montgomery.  A lyric was added later by Donna SmithWes recorded this a number of times; check out the audio clips on "The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery" or my absolute favorite rendition, performed live with the Wynton Kelly Trio:  Smokin' at the Half Note.  (The Half Note is now closed but it was a premier jazz spot in NYC; Carl and Joanne Barry, my brother and sister-in-law, appeared in the club too, opposite James Moody.)  Wes's solo on this version is indeed smokin':  a soaring, swinging, lyrical, deeply artistic statement.  [21 April 2005]

Fragile was written and recorded by Sting.  It is a passionate commentary on human fragility in the face of violence.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [16 December 2005]

Frankenstein ("Main Title" / Various) [YouTube clip at that link], music by Giuseppe Becce and Bernhard Kaun, is from the soundtrack to the James Whale-directed 1931 classic Universal monster movie, starring Boris Karloff as the Monster.  Today, I begin a mini-tribute within a tribute:  a brief foray into my favorite "Monster Movie" soundtracks.  I grew up on "Famous Monsters of Filmland" and was a regular Saturday night fan of "Chiller Theatre" and Zacherley on WPIX-TV in New York.  So it's only natural to start off with one of the grand-daddies in the unnatural Universal catalogue!  [21 February 2012]

Free Again (Non C'est Rien), music by Armand Canfora and Joss Baselli, French lyrics by Michel Jourdan, English lyrics by Robert Colby, is featured on "Je m'appelle Barbra" (1966), the eighth studio album of Barbra Streisand, who, today, turns 70.  The album was arranged and conducted by the great Michel Legrand, who, on February 24th, turned 80 (a belated Happy Birthday to Le Grand Michel!).  Listen to the English-language version of the song from the album, and the French-language version of the song [YouTube links], which was introduced on Streisand's third TV special, "Color Me Barbra" (which first aired on CBS on 30 March 1966).  This is vintage Barbra; she remains one of my all-time favorite artists and one of the most accomplished artists of her generation Happy Birthday, Funny Girl!  Forgive me, I'm getting a little Verklempt! [24 April 2012]

Fresh features the music and lyrics of J. T. Taylor, S. Linzer, and Kool and the Gang.  "Fresh as a summer breeze," indeed; listen to an audio clip of this 1984 dance-pop hit here.  [17 July 2005]

Fried Pies (audio clip at that link) was composed and recorded by the great jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery.  Swingin'.  [4 April 2006]

The Frog, words and music by Joao Donato, is a highlight from "Look Around," a Sergio Mendes-Brasil 66 album. Listen to an audio clip of that version here, and to a recent "Timeless" version as well (featuring Q-Tip).  [30 June 2006]

From Russia with Love, composed by Lionel Bart, is the title track to the second Sean Connery 007 flick.  This splendid theme features the memorable vocals of Matt Monro (YouTube link).  [3 February 2011]

Frosty the Snowman, words and music by Steve "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson, is the perfect song for the Winter Solstice, which arrives at 1:08 a.m., Eastern time.  And now begins the march back toward the light!  Listen to an audio clip of the famous Gene Autry and the Cass Country Boys version of this seasonal favorite.  And check out a YouTube video clip of the Rankin-Bass animated classic, with Jimmy Durante singing the title track.  [22 December 2007]

The Fugitive ("A New Love"), composed by Peter Rugolo, captures the alienation of the central character, Dr. Richard Kimble, played with subtle brilliance by the great David Janssen, as he searches, week after week, for the One-Armed Man who killed his wife. Dr. Kimble would have been executed had he not been "reprieved by fate" in a train wreck that freed him en route to "the death house" (as told to us with characteristic authority by the narrator William Conrad). Each week viewers saw a man torn between his struggle to survive in pursuit of the justice he deserves, while encountering characters who either need him (and the strength of character he provides) or who test his integrity. Through it all, he proves as unshakeable as Lieutenant Philip Gerard (played with relentless obsessiveness by Barry Morse), whose concern is not the justice of the verdict, but in apprehending the convicted killer and carrying out the sentence the law requires. There are so many magnificent episodes in the four year series (which I watched over the past year on DVD), including such gems as "The Girl from Little Egypt" (season 1), "Angels Travel on Lonely Roads" (a two-parter from season 1) and "The Breaking of the Habit" (season 4) (all three episodes of which provide us with a terrific star turn by the great Oscar-winning actress Eileen Heckart), and, of course, the final two-parter episodes of the series, "The Judgment," Parts 1 and 2, in which both Kimble---and Gerard---finally confront the One-Armed Man. Those episodes remain among the most-watched finales in the history of television (a 50.7 rating and a 73.2 audience share). This show was a morality tale for sure, with an obvious debt to Hugo's "Les Miserables." Its cast and guest stars were consistently splendid and its first three seasons were as close to classic film noir for television as has ever been seen (it went "in color" in the final fourth season). Fifty years ago today, the show debuted on the ABC television network. I can agree with Stephen King who understood how the series turned everything on its head, questioning the justice of 'the system'. As he put it in the Introduction to The Fugitive Recaptured by Ed Robertson, it was "absolutely the best series done on American television." After seeing the show for the umpteenth time, I confess to "A New Love" for it and its wonderful soundtrack by the great Peter Rugolo. Happy Fiftieth!!!  [17 September 2013]

The Fugitive ("Main Theme"), composed by Peter Rugolo (with lyrics by Roy Huggins, William Conrad, and Glen Campbell), was just the title track to a haunting score that echoed the existential loneliness and alienation of Dr. Richard Kimble, played to perfection by David Janssen in this television morality drama.  One of my favorite themes and scores from one of my all-time favorite series.  Listen to an audio clip here and here.   [13 September 2005]

The Fugitive ("Main Title") [audio clip at that link], composed by James Newton Howard, is from the 1993 motion picture, starring Harrison Ford.  One of my all-time favorite TV themes is the one by Peter Rugolo for the magnificent original David Janssen series.  I love listening to this soundtrack as well, just as much as I enjoy watching this film ... over and over again.  [20 February 2009]

Funny Girl, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill, was nominated for a 1968 Academy Award for Best Song from the film of the same title.  It replaced a magnificent song from the Broadway score, "The Music that Makes Me Dance," but it shines on its own as a memorable moment from a wonderful musical starring Oscar-winner Barbra Streisand.  Listen to an original soundtrack audio clip of Streisand singing this gem.  [2 March 2006]

Funny Lady (*Isn't This Better?"), words and music by John Kander and Fred Ebb, is a sweet song from "Funny Lady," the 1975 sequel to "Funny Girl". The film continues the (highly fictionalized) story of Fanny Brice, centering on her relationship with songrwriter Billy Rose, played by James Caan.  Check out Streisand's lovely rendition here on YouTube. [6 February 2014]

Fur Elise (aka "Bagatelle in A Minor"), composed by Ludwig van Beethoven, is a familiar and tender classical theme.  Listen to this audio clip of a version by Balazs Szokolay.  And, yes, I was first exposed to this as a child... when I saw Schroeder play it on "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (audio clips at those links).  [22 November 2005]

Gente, music and lyrics by R. Gilbert, M. Valle, P. Valle, is another memorable track from the Brasil 66 album "Equinox" (audio clip at that link).  [25 September 2006]

The Gentleman is a Dope, music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, is a song from the 1947 Broadway show, "Allegro" (check out the audio clip from the original cast album here).  A really nice recent recording of this song by Barbara Cook is featured on her album  "Barbara Cook's Broadway," where you can check out the audio link.  (And some people find hidden meanings in everything!)  [20 January 2005]

Georgia on My Mind, music by Hoagy Carmichael, lyrics by Stuart Gorrell, has been performed by Willie Nelson, whose voice bespeaks heartache even when it's joyful, and the incomparable Ray Charles (audio clips at those links).   [10 May 2005]

Get Down, words and music by Todd Terry, C. Gonzalez, C. Sosa, T. McDonald, and C. Ryden, is a fierce house track of the Todd Terry All Stars, featuring Kenny Dope, DJ Sneak, Terry Hunter, and Tara McDonald (who sings on the track). I first heard this club burner on Party 105.3, my favorite dance music station (broadcasting from Long Island, New York).  Listen to various remixes of this hot dance cut here, here, here, and here.  And check out an excerpt of Tara McDonald's performance on her MySpace page.  [27 November 2007]

Get It features the words and music of Stevie Wonder, who duets on this track with Michael Jackson.  The two had collaborated before (for example, Jackson performed Stevie's jazz-flavored composition "I Can't Help It"; the two also sang together on "Just Good Friends").  But this one dances to its own beat.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [23 May 2006]

Get Lucky [YouTube link to the official video, with lyrics], words and music by Pharrell Williams and the great Nile Rodgers (he of the band "Chic", providing us with some of the most memorable sounds of the disco era), recorded by them as the house music band Daft Punk, for the album "Random Access Memories," one of my absolutely favorite albums of 2013.  The album took home honors for "Album of the Year," while this song was named Record of the Year (the full list of Grammy winners is here) and also received a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The band is a mixture of Old School and cutting edge; this song has got that wonderful retro feel.  The album also won for Best Dance Electronica Album and Best Engineered Album, Classical. But nothing prepared me for the sweetly transformative performance of the song on the Grammy telecast  last night [YouTube link here],with its subtle "Le Freak" Chic references, and the cameo live appearance by Stevie Wonder, who provided the melodic mash-up, intermingling his utterly magnificent "Another Star". [27 January 2014]

Get On the Floor features the words and music of Louis Johnson (of The Brothers Johnson) and Michael Jackson, who passed away two years ago on this date.  A sweet disco track from the trailblazing album, "Off the Wall," it is given a YouTube tribute here. [25 June 2011]

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir ("Prelude"), film score composed by Bernard Herrmann, is one of the most haunting soundtracks ever written.  Herrmann captures the mysterious love portrayed in this romantic 1947 film with Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [20 February 2005]

Giant Steps, music by John Coltrane, is one of my favorite Coltrane tracks of all time.  Straight ahead, hot, and blazin'.  Listen to various audio clips here (where the main theme can be heard) and here (where more improvisation is featured).  [7 March 2005]

The Girl from Ipanema, music by the only Antonio Carlos Jobim, boasts Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes and English lyrics by Norman Gimbel.  Featuring the lilting lyricism of tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, vocalist and guitarist Joao Gilberto, and vocalist Astrud Gilberto, this song from the Grammy-winning Getz/Gilberto album, one of my all-time favorites, put bossa nova into American pop cultural hyper-drive.  Timeless.  [3 October 2004]

Give It 2 Me features the music and lyrics of Pharrell Williams and Madonna, who celebrates her 50th birthday today. This hot dance track is one of my favorites from her most recent release, "Hard Candy."  Listen to an audio clip here and check out the YouTube video and a Paul Oakenfold remix.[16 August 2008]

Give Me the Night features words and music by Rod Temperton, production by the great Quincy Jones, and performance by jazz guitarist and singer, George Benson.  It has a nice groove, with those sweet unison vocal-guitar lines that Benson does so well.  Listen to an audio clip here. And check out two audio clips of alternative versions, featuring singer Randy Crawford, who formerly performed with the Crusaders.  [21 July 2005]

Give Me the Simple Life, words and music by Harry Ruby and Rube Bloom, was first heard in the 1946 film, "Wake Up and Dream."  Listen to audio clips from renditions by Ella Fitzgerald, Julie London, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, and Mel Torme and George Shearing.  [10 October 2006]

Give Me Tonight, words and music by Chris Barbosa and Ed Chisolm, was a smash dance hit for Shannon.  Along with "Let the Music Play," this freestyle classic was spun regularly on the Sciabarra DJ turntables in the mid-80s.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [30 May 2006]

Give My Regards to Broadway, music and lyrics by that great Irish composer, George M. Cohan, was immortalized by another great Irishman, James Cagney, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the composer in the 1942 film, "Yankee Doodle Dandy."  Listen to an audio clip hereHappy St. Patrick's Day! [17 March 2005]

Glory Days, composed and performed by "The Boss," Bruce Springsteen, appears on his huge hit album, "Born in the U.S.A."  It's the perfect way to kick off the New York Yankees' 2012 baseball season, which begins today in Florida against the Rays.  Check out the terrific baseball-inspired video on YouTube.  And Go Yanks!!! [6 April 2012]

God Bless the Child features lyrics by Arthur Herzog, Jr. and music by Billie Holiday, who would have celebrated her 90th birthday today. Listen to a poignant Lady Day audio clip here.  And for a change of pace, listen to an audio clip of the classic Blood, Sweat & Tears version here. [7 April 2005]

The Godfather ("New Godfather") [audio clip at that link], music by the great Italian film composer Nino Rota, signifies the passing of the criminal baton to Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, in the original 1972 Francis Ford Coppola-directed gangster flick (also heard in the 1974 and 1990 sequels).  A haunting, forbidding thematic triumph.  [21 February 2005]

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is a traditional olde English carol that stretches back to the 18th century. Listen to an audio clip from Leontyne Price.  [30 December 2004]

Go Home, words, music, and performance by Stevie Wonder, is a melodic-and-rhythmic highlight from his fine album "In Square Circle" (audio clip at that link).  [19 May 2006]

Golden Girls ("Thank You For Being a Friend"), composed by Andrew Gold, was the main title for this golden television comedy, which starred the late Bea Arthur, the late Rue McClanahan, the late Estelle Getty, and the very much alive Betty White, who, today, turns 90.  As crazy and entertaining as ever, perfect in her comic timing, and still laughing it up on such shows as "Hot in Cleveland," the lady is poised for another 90 years!  Take a look at the opening of this hilarious show, with its theme music, on YouTubeAnd Happy Birthday, Betty!  [17 January 2012]

Golden Lady, words and music by Stevie Wonder, is yet another "Innervisions" classic.  Listen to an audio clip here. [17 May 2006]

Goldfinger ("Dawn Raid on Fort Knox") [YouTube clip at that link], composed by John Barry, expresses all the urgency of a classic James Bond score, from my all-time favorite 007 film, "Goldfinger."  On this date, in 1962, the very first James Bond franchise flick made its debut:  "Dr. No".  On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Bond phenomenon, long live 007!  [5 October 2012]

Goldfinger ("Into Miami") [YouTube clip at that link] is the sexy, jazzy second track from the stupendous John Barry score to my absolutely all-time favorite 007 flick, starring the one and only Sean Connery as James Bond. [4 February 2012]

Goldfinger ("Main Title"), music by John Barry, lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, performance by Shirley Bassey, from my favorite 007 flick. The score from this 1964 James Bond film is classic Barry:  jazzy, sexy, cool, hip.  Listen to a Bassey audio clip here, and a recent recording of the song by Chaka Khan here.  And a "shout out" to my friend Barry:  Happy Birthday to a great 007 fan!  [6 February 2005]

Good King Wenceslas (audio clip at that link) features words by John Mason Neale, who used the melody of "Tempus Adest Floridum" ("Spring has Unwrapped Her Flowers"), a thirteenth-century Latin carol.  Listen to audio clips by Mel Torme, Loreena McKennitt, and the Harry Simeone Chorale. [29 December 2005]

Good Life, words and music by Kevin Saunderson, Paris Gray, and R. Holman, was a huge club hit for the group Inner City.   Listen to an audio clip of this hot dance recording here.  [12 August 2006]

The Good Life, words by Jack Reardon, music by Sascha Distel, was featured on the soundtrack to the 1962 film, "The Seven Deadly Sins."  The song was a hit for Tony Bennett, who celebrates his 80th birthday this month.  Listen to an audio clip here from the fabulous album "I Wanna Be Around."  And join us for the next Twelve Days of Tony!   [13 August 2006]

Good Love, by Gary Taylor, is delivered soulfully by Anita Baker in a "sleaze-beat" rhythm (the so-called "morning music" of the DJ: a slow and sexy dance rhythm hovering around 100 beats-per-minute).  Delicious.  Listen to an excerpt at amazon.com (though they leave out the best parts).  [14 October 2004]

Good Morning Heartache, words and music by Ervin M. Drake, Dan Fisher, and Irene Higginbotham, has been recorded by many artists.  But the most memorable and poignant version is by Billie Holiday.  Listen to an audio clip of that recording here.  [15 December 2005]

Goody Goody, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Matty Malneck, is, along with such compositions as "I Wanna Be Around," one of the Classic "F*&% You" Songs in the Great American Songbook.  Listen to audio clips from two different swingin' Ella Fitzgerald renditions here and here. [21 November 2005]

Gotta See You Tonight, words and music by Paul Simpson, was a #1 dance hit in 1986, recorded by Barbara Roy.  Listen here to an audio clip of this dance track, driven by a propulsive bass line.  [11 April 2006]

Got to Be Real features words and music by David Paich, David Foster, and Cheryl Lynn, who sings like the R&B Disco Diva that she is.  It's a mid-tempo dance classic.  Listen to an audio clip from the "Will & Grace" soundtrack here.  [25 May 2005]

Got To Get You Into My Life, words and music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, was a hit for the Beatles, from their album, "Revolver."  Tomorrow, Paul McCartney turns 64.  Yes, Sir PaulWe still need you!  Like so many of the Lennon-McCartney songs, this one has been covered by many other artists (including my sister-in-law).  Listen to audio clips of a hit rendition by Earth, Wind, and Fire and another by Ella Fitzgerald. [17 June 2006]

The Graduate ("Mrs. Robinson"), words and music by Paul Simon, first appeared in an early version in this 1967 film, which starred Anne Bancroft as the older Mrs. in question, and Dustin Hoffman as the younger Benjamin Braddock, whom she seduces.  The complete version of the song debuted on the Simon & Garfunkel album, Bookends.  The record won a Grammy Award in 1969 for "Record of the Year."  And any record that mentions Yankee great Joe DiMaggio gets extra points.  In celebration of movie music this month, and in recognition of the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, which air tonight, check out YouTube. [13 February 2011]

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, written by Randy Brooks, was recorded by Dr. Elmo.  This crazy comedy Christmas classic can be viewed on YouTube.  And check out the rap version and the remix too.  Today begins our Annual Holiday Music Tribute!  [21 December 2007]

The Greatest American Hero ("Believe It Or Not"), music by Mike Post, lyrics by Stephen Geyer, was a huge 1981 hit for Joey Scarbury, from a TV series that I never really watched.  But, growing up, I confess... I really liked the theme. Check out the full-song on YouTube, with clips from the TV series.  [15 September 2008]

Greek New Year Song is a traditional tune sung in many Greek households on this day.   An audio clip of a "New Agey" version of it can be found here, by pianist George Skaroulis.  It marks not only New Year's Day, but the feast of St. Basil the Great (Agios Vassilis), one of the saints of the Greek Orthodox Church in which I was baptized:  The Three Hierarchs Church, founded by my maternal grandfather (the paternal side is Sicilian):  the Rev. Vasilios P. Michalopoulos.  There is currently a beautiful concrete monument to him in front of the church.  It would have been his "name day" today, and it's my sister's name day too (Elizabeth, derived from Vasiliki).  A Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year Chronia Polla!  [1 January 2006]

Greensleeves, a traditional English ballad with no known composer, is said to have been written by King Henry VIII.  Listen to a rendition by the Heavenly Harpist.  My favorite version remains a playful one by jazz guitarist Chuck Wayne, whose recorded version for his superb album, "Tapestry," features Chuck on a very jazzy banjo.  This seasonal favorite is in keeping with the day:  Happy Winter Solstice!  After today, the light begins its march back toward summer in the Northern Hemisphere!  (So, uh, Happy Summer to my Southern Hemisphere friends...)  Today also begins my annual 12+ days of Christmas songs and seasonal favorites.  (Last year's list was kicked off here and here.)  [21 December 2005]

Grenade features the words and music of Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Claude Kelly, Andrew Wyatt, Brody Brown, and Bruno Mars, who recorded the song for his debut album, "Doo-Wops & Hooligans."  The song ranks with some of the best F-U pop songs of relationships (sing it Ella!) gone wrong (the Great Tony and Eydie too!).  Mars is today's birthday boy; he has a new album coming out soon.  Check out the official video of one of his best [YouTube link].  [8 October 2012]

The Groove Line features the words and music of Rod Temperton, who would later compose such classic Michael Jackson hits as "Thriller."   This song was one of the best dance tracks of 1978, recorded by the R&B-funk-disco band, Heatwave for their album, "Central Heating."  Check out the single version and the extended 12" version, and "leave your worries behind . . ."  [19 March 2012]

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing had multiple origins, including the music from an 1840 cantata "Festgesang no. 7" by German composer Felix Mendelssohn and the words of such writers as Charles Wesley.  Listen to an audio clip from Andy Williams.  [29 December 2004]

Harlem Nocturne, composed by Earle Hagen, has been recorded by many artists since 1940.  It was even heard as a jazzy signature theme for the TV series,  "Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer," in the mid-1980s.  Listen to an audio clip of Herbie Fields, perhaps the most famous version. [27 May 2006]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ("Hedwig's Theme") [YouTube clip at that link], composed by the prolific John Williams, derives from the 2001 Oscar-nominated and Grammy-nominated score for the first film in the Harry Potter franchise, one of my all-time favorite fantasy series. The theme became the central musical leitmotif of the entire series, as powerful a contribution to thematic cinema scoring as any that Williams has ever made in his remarkable career.  Happy 80th Birthday to the Maestro!  Bravo!  [8 February 2012]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ("Dragon Flight"), composed by Alexandre Desplat, is one of the most exhilarating musical moments of the fantastic 2011 final film in the Harry Potter film franchise.  Check this out on YouTube. Though Desplat's wonderful soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media" in 2012, it lost to "The King's Speech," composed by Alexandre Desplat Last night's Grammy's had just as many surprises.   [11 February 2013]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ("Showdown") [YouTube link], composed by Alexandre Desplat, encompasses all the passion of the ultimate film of the great series of feature films dramatizing the ultimate showdown between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort.  A truly terrific piece from a truly terrific scene, illustrating the art, and the power, of a great score.  (If you ask me, the people who give out Oscars truly missed the boat, so-to-speak, in virtually ignoring all the films of this series.) [26 February 2014]

Have You Met Miss Jones?, music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, is from the 1937 Broadway musical "I'd Rather Be Right."  My brother, guitarist Carl Barry, along with his guitar pal Jack Wilkins, played this tune at a jazz guitar tribute to Tal Farlow, and the guys brought down the house.  I don't have an audio clip of that duet, but you can listen to a full-length live club clip of Carl with guitarist Joe Giglio (Carl is in the right-hand speaker).  Today is the 60th annual Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall; listen to audio clips of renditions of this Broadway nugget by Louis Armstrong, a scatting Anita O'Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Robbie Williams, Phil Woods and Stephane Grappelli, and a live version by Tony Bennett. [11 June 2006]

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, music by Hugh Martin, lyrics by Ralph Blane, has been sung by artists as diverse as Judy Garland (original version in the 1944 film, "Meet Me in St. Louis") and James Taylor (on his fine album, "October Road"; check out Taylor's full, sensitive treatment of the song here).   [4 January 2005]

Hawaii Five-0 ("Main Theme") composed by Mort Stevens, conjures up images of that tropical surfer wave in the opening title sequence.  Book 'em, Danno!  Murder One!  Listen to an audio clip here.  [12 September 2005]

The Hawaiians ("Main Theme") [YouTube link], composed by Henry Mancini, opens the 1970 film I saw (a sequel of sorts to "Hawaii," covering the later chapters of James Michener's book) at the Somer Highway Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, where its star Charlton Heston made an appearance to promote the film. I was awestruck; I could not believe the redness of his hair or all the freckles. Just the previous year, I'd seen "Ben-Hur" for the first time, at the Palace Theatre, and here he was in Brooklyn: Judah Ben-Hur, Michelangelo, Moses in the flesh.  Anyway, today begins my annual film music tribute, now beginning its ninth consecutive year, leading up to the 86th Annual Academy Awards. [1 February 2014]

Here I Am, music and lyrics by William Shelby, Nidra Beard, Melvin Gentry, and Belinda Lipscomb, was performed by the group Dynasty.  The song encapsulates that late '70s-early '80s R&B "SOLAR" sound that I love so much.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [9 May 2005]

Heartbreaker, words and music by G. Gill and C. Wade, was recorded in typically fiery form by Pat Benatar.  "Your love is like a tidal wave," and that's how this song feels ... with the volume way up.  Listen to a clip at amazon.com. [10 November 2004]

Hearts Take Time, words and music by Janis Ian and Kye Fleming, has been recorded by Diane Schuur (no audio clip available), and my sister-in-law Joanne Barry (audio clips at that link).  A Happy Valentine's Day to one and all!  [14 February 2008]

Heaven Can Wait features the Oscar-nominated score of composer Dave Grusin.  It's one of my favorite cinema comedies (actually an adaptation of Harry Segall's 1938 play of the same name, and a remake of the 1941 film, "Here Comes Mr. Jordan").  But it's also a movie whose final sequences take place at the Super Bowl.  And that's where the New York Giants are today, facing off with their arch football rivals, the New England Patriots, whom Big Blue beat at the 2007 Super Bowl.  (Okay, okay, I'll give handsome Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady 1/2 of 1 point, just for admitting to a "man-crush" on New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.)  But I say:  One Mo' Time!  Go Eli Manning!  Go Giants!  And Go Grusin for capturing so many moods in his kaleidoscopic main theme from this 1978 film (YouTube clip at that link).  [5 February 2012]

Help!, words and music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, was a #1 Billboard pop hit in 1965, the title track from the rollicking Richard Lester-directed Beatles film.  A classic foot-tappin' Beatles melody.  [26 March 2005]

Here Comes Santa Claus, words and music by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman, is another holiday favorite.  Listen to an audio clip of the Gene Autry version.  [23 December 2007]

Here Come the Yankees is music to my ears, given that today is the opening of baseball's 2004 post-season.  The New York Yankees face-off against the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series. GO YANKS!  [5 October 2004]

Here's that Rainy Day, music by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Johnny Burke, is a standard that has been performed by singers such as Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald and instrumentalists such as Paul Desmond and Stan Getz.  The song actually originates from a 6-performance 1953 Broadway flop, "Carnival in Flanders," which starred John Raitt (father of Bonnie Raitt).  Listen to a Nancy Wilson audio clip here.  [26 January 2005]

Higher Ground, words, music, and electric performance by Stevie Wonder, is rockin' funk incarnate. Listen to an audio clip here and to a Red Hot Chili Peppers version too. [27 September 2005]

Hi Lili Hi Lo, music by Bronislau Kaper, lyrics by Helen Deutsch, was first recorded by Dinah Shore in 1952 (YouTube clip at that link), but the song was featured in the 1953 movie "Lili," starring Leslie Caron, who performed a duet with Mel Ferrer in the film [YouTube link].  Kaper, who wrote one of my all-time favorite film songs ("Invitation"), won the Oscar for this film's soundtrack for "Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture." But by far, my all-time favorite instrumental of this sweet song is that performed by the trailblazing pianist Bill Evans and the stupdendous bassist Eddie Gomez on their incomparable duet album, "Intuition" [check out that version at this YouTube link].  That album, a  Desert Island Disc if ever there were one, also features the duo's equally incomparable version of Kaper's "Invitation" (YouTube clip at that link).  [6 February 2013]

Holding On (full-length version at that link), music and lyrics by Philip Verdi and Joanne Barry, is the title track from the Joanne and Carl Barry album.  This gorgeous song is a perfect tribute to today's birthday girl:  the vocalist, Joanne Barry, who happens to be my sister-in-law.  Happy birthday, with much love!  [5 September 2008]

A Holly Jolly Christmas, music and lyrics by Johnny Marks, has been recorded by several artists, including Burl Ives and Alan Jackson (audio clips at those links).  I was first introduced to this song as a kid, in my annual viewing of one of my favorite animated Christmas tales of all time:  "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."  [26 December 2007]

(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays, music by Robert Allen, lyrics by Al Stillman, was popularized by Perry Como (YouTube moment at that link).   And check out another YouTube moment with the Carpenters.  So ends our mini-holiday tribute.  A Happy and a Healthy New Year to all!  [1 January 2009]

The Honeymooners (aka "You're My Greatest Love"), music by Jackie Gleason, lyrics by Bill Templeton, opened this immortal TV comedy.  We began our TV theme tribute with The Great One and we close this year's installment with him again.  With the Harvest Moon arriving only a few hours ago, listen to an audio clip of this wonderful theme here and here.  [18 September 2005]

Hooked on You, words and music by Joseph Malloy and David Sanchez, was recorded by Sweet Sensation.  Back in 1986, I packed the dance floors with a custom remix that I did of this song, using its "Diamond Dub" version.  Listen to an audio clip of the original mix here[2 July 2006]

Hooray for Hollywood, music by Richard A. Whiting, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, made its debut in the 1937 movie "Hollywood Hotel,"  The original film rendition featured Johnnie Davis, Francis Langford, and the Benny Goodman Orchestra.  Listen to audio clips of renditions by a swinging Rosemary Clooney, Nancy Sinatra, and Doris Day (and Doris on YouTube too).  There's also a YouTube video montage featuring the original rendition!   As our annual Movie Music Tribute concludes, don't forget to check out the 80th Annual Oscars tonight!  [24 February 2008]

Horror Hotel (in the U.K., known as "The City of the Dead") features the music of two composers:  Douglas Gamley, who wrote the spooky themes, and Kenneth V. Jones, who composed the jazz music heard throughout.  This 1960 film stars a superb Christopher Lee and a terrifically terrifying Patricia Jessel, who plays the witch, Elizabeth Selwyn, burned at the stake in Whitewood, Massachusetts on March 3, 1692 (coincident with the Salem Witch Hunts), but still living as Mrs. Newless (a play on Selwyn, spoken backwards), the owner of the Raven's Inn.  It's one of my all-time favorite horror movies. Some have compared it to "Psycho," in terms of structure, but the films were released months apart (Hotel actually started shooting in 1959, a month before filming began on "Psycho"), and this Hotel is no derivative. The version released in the U.S. is slightly shorter than the U.K. original; the U.S. edit can be viewed here.  The creepy Main Title by Gamley can be heard at 00:01-01:24; some of the best Jones jazz can be heard at 31:21-33:04 (my favorite at 32:49).  The first human sacrifice in the movie takes place on Candlemas Eve:  at the hour of "13" (the stroke of midnight, when February 1st becomes February 2nd), the bells in the churchyard ring 13 times.  At which point, poor Nan Barlow (played by Venetia Stevenson) is ritually slaughtered.  That makes today, uh, gulp, "Candlemas"; I say:  Happy Groundhog Day (a big shout out to Staten Island Chuck and Punxsutawney Phil)!  [2 February 2012]

Hotel ("Key Case") [YouTube link], written by Scottish big band composer and arranger Johnny Keating, is a grooving classy jazz track.  It's a real throwback to the cool 1960s jazz sound, and is featured in the 1967 film. [10 February 2014]

Hotel ("Main Title" / "Love Theme") features the music of John Keating and the lyrics of Richard Quine, who was the director of the 1967 film, "Hotel."  The Keating soundtrack earned a Grammy Original Score nomination; on the album, the great jazz singer, Carmen McRae (YouTube clip at that link), who stars in the film, sings the love theme.  The instrumental version can be heard in its entirety here; also, check out one of my all-time favorite renditions by Nancy Wilson (MySpace full-length clip at that link); it's from the 1968 album "Welcome to My Love," which was also one of my Mom's favorite albums; today, she would have been 93.  [20 February 2012]

Hot Stuff, words and music by Pete Bellotte, Harold Faltermeyer, and Keith Forsey, is one of the "essential" Donna Summer dance hits, a rock-disco hybrid, electrified by the guitar work of Jeff "Skunk" Baxter Summer got a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for this #1 hit from her 1979 album, "Bad Girls."  Check out the single version, an extended version, and the Funky House Remix [YouTube links].  (And an honorable mention must go to the great Steve Allen, who did a hilarious reading of the lyrics to this song on a television special.)  [19 May 2012]

Hound Dog, words and music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was performed with characteristic gusto by Elvis Presley.  Though the song was performed by Big Mama Thornton in 1953 as a #1 R&B track, it would not become a pop hit until three years later.  On this date, in 1956, the song ascended as a double-sided record with "Don't Be Cruel" to #1 on the Billboard charts and stayed there for 11 weeks.  It's one of my favorite Presley recordings.  Listen to an audio clip here.  This past week also marks the 28th anniversary of Presley's death. [18 August 2005]

A House is Not a Home, another Hal David-Burt Bacharach song, has been performed lovingly by both Luther Vandross and Dionne Warwick, and in an utterly shattering instrumental version by pianist Bill Evans (from his "I Will Say Goodbye" album; check out a sample at amazon.com too).  [14 November 2004]

How About You?, music by Burton Lane, lyrics by Ralph Freed, is from the 1941 Busby Berkeley film musical "Babes on Broadway," starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.  This Oscar-nominated song has also been recorded in a live swinging version by jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli.  Listen to a Sinatra audio clip here or three different audio clips from a 1956 Stan Getz album, "The Steamer" (audio clips at that link).  Today kicks off a multi-day tribute to Broadway, music from, or inspired by, The Great White Way, in honor of the American Theater Wing's Antoinette Perry AwardsThe Tony's!  "I like New York in June, how about you?"  It's one of my favorite months of the year!  [1 June 2005]

How Deep is the Ocean is a classic Irving Berlin song that has been recorded by so many artists, including vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams, and Diana Krall and instrumentalists such as Bill Evans (here too), Joe Pass, Stan Getz, Ben Webster, and Allan Holdsworth (audio clips at each link).  [19 November 2005]

How Deep is Your Love, written and performed by the Bee Gees, was a #1 hit for an astounding 17 weeks in 1977-1978.  Listen to an audio clip of this melodic "Saturday Night Fever" song here. [7 December 2007]

How Do You Keep the Music Playing? [full song audio clip at that link], music by Michel Legrand, lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, was an Oscar-nominated song from the 1982 film, "Best Friends," starring Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn.  It was performed on the original soundtrack by James Ingram and Patti Austin.  It can be found too on a James Ingram "Greatest Hits" package.  Its tender lyrics have also been sung by Barbra Streisand (listen to an audio clip here).  [18 March 2005]

How High the Moon, music by Morgan Lewis, lyrics by Nancy Hamilton, is one of those great jazz standards that has been recorded by so many musicians through the years.  One of my favorite versions is by the master jazz violinists Stephane Grappelli and Stuff Smith (audio clip at that link).  Benny Goodman and Helen Forest recorded a terrific rendition (YouTube clip at that link) and Ella Fitzgerald recorded it several times as well (check out an audio clip from "Ella in Berlin").  But the song went to #1 on the Billboard chart in a classic version by Mary Ford and Les PaulLes passed away today; he was a wonderfully talented musician and a titanic innovator in the art and science of modern recording.  Check out Les and Mary on YouTube. [13 August 2009]

How Insensitive (Insensatez), music by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes, English lyrics by Norman Gimbel, boasts a title that is in total contradiction to the sensitivity of this bittersweet song, performed by artists from Sinatra to Sting (audio clips at those links).  [19 April 2005]

How's It Going to Be (audio clip and pop-up lyrics at that link) features the words and soulful vocals of Jennifer Ahmed, with music provided by the group Intransition.  From the debut album, "Intransition," this infectious rock groove is aided by the guitar accompaniment of my pal Walter Foddis.  "Keeping me tied down, locked in, making me crazy, with the tangled web you spin. ... Isolated, abbreviated, how's it going to be?"  [26 April 2005]

Humoresque, composed by Antonin Dvorak, is a charming piece that has been recorded by many classical and jazz instrumentalists.  It was featured in the 1946 film of the same name, starring Joan Crawford and John Garfield.  The violinist who dubbed for Garfield in the film was Isaac Stern (audio clip at that link).  I'm very fond of a jazz rendition by violinist Joe Venuti found on the album, "Fiddle on Fire."  That version isn't available online, but an alternative version with guitarist George Barnes is available in infuriatingly short audio clips here and here.  For a more traditional rendering, listen to an audio clip featuring the London Symphony Orchestra.  [24 March 2006]

Humpty Dumpty (audio clip at that link), composed by Chick Corea, is a blaring, blazing straight ahead tune from one of my favorite Corea albums:  "The Mad Hatter."  This musical journey into Wonderland features superb solo and ensemble work by saxophonist Joe Farrell, bassist Eddie Gomez, drummer Steve Gadd, and, of course, Chick on piano.  Chick also recorded an alternative live version with his Akoustic Band (audio clip at that link).  Breathtaking.  [15 June 2005]

Hungarian Dance No. 5, composed by Johannes Brahms, is my favorite of his lively Hungarian Dances.  Listen to an audio clip here (and sample all 21 of them).  [22 October 2005]

Hungarian Nocturne (Opus 28, Notturno Ungherese] is composer Miklos Rozsa's "attempt to recapture the rare beauty of the nights" he remembered in rural Hungary.  For me, it evokes the rare beauty of Rozsa's melodic sensibility. Listen to an audio clip here, performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Sedares.  Today begins my one-week tribute to the great Miklos Rozsa, which will culminate on April 18th, to mark the centennial of the maestro's birth (check out my other Rozsa tributes as well).  (Noted too at the Miklos Rozsa Society's Rozsa Forum.)  [12 April 2007]

Hungry for Your Love features the words and music of Kurtis Mantronik and the team of Aaron Hanson and E. J. Davis, who perform this fiery freestyle track.  Listen here to an audio clip of this 80s dance hit.  [6 May 2006]

Hung Up is credited to Madonna, Stuart Price, and B. Anderson and B. Ulvaeus of ABBA (because of the "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" sample).  It's the lead single from the new Madonna album, "Confessions on a Dancefloor."  Sample aside, something about the recording reminds me of Claudja Barry's "Boogie Woogie Dancin' Shoes."  It's nice to have the Material Girl back where she belongs ... in the disco ... though it's not like she ever really left it.  Take a look at the full video clip for this infectious dance track here. [10 November 2005]

Hush, music and lyrics by Joe South, was performed with hard rock gusto by Deep Purple.  The song was originally performed by Billy Joe Royal (audio clip here), and has been recorded by others as well.  But my favorite version remains the Deep Purple one:  From the howling wolf opening to its organ-and-electric guitar-drenched instrumentation, this track percolates.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [28 April 2005]

I Am A Paleontologist, words and music by Danny Weinkauf of the Brooklyn-based band, They Might Be Giants, is my nod to current TV commercial fare, which hasn't lost its knack for using catchy tunes.  The original full-length track can be found on the band's album, Here Comes Science, but it has gotten its biggest airplay, I suspect, from this TV commercial for Payless Shoesource (clip at that link).  The original music video, with its animated dinosaur bones, is a lot of fun.  I don't know if Payless is a sponsor of tonight's Primetime Emmy Awards, but they get Thumbs (Halluces?) Up as our annual mini-TV-oriented-music tribute draws to a close.  [18 September 2011]

I Believe in Love features the music, lyrics, and performance of Paula Cole.  As much as I like the original album version (audio clip here), I fell in love with the Jonathan Peters dance mix.  It is astounding.  Listen to an infuriatingly brief audio clip here.  [20 September 2005]

I Burn for You, words and music by Sting, performed with The Police for the soundtrack of the 1982 film "Brimstone and Treacle," in which Sting starred.  By far, the best version of this track, however, is on the hard-to-find B-side of the 12" vinyl version of "Russians" (not to be confused with the live version from "Bring on the Night").  This superior version from Sting's post-Police "Blue Turtles" band, includes a scintillating saxophone solo by Branford Marsalis. [5 December 2004]

I Can't Get Next to You, words and music by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, recorded by The Temptations, was one of the choice #1 Motown hits featured in the 1969 Stonewall Inn jukebox, when it was raided by police on the 28th of June.  Now, with gay marriage having been approved in New York State, the events of that night seem as if they happened in an almost alien culture.  But I still salute the bravery of those who fought back in that Greenwich Village bar 32 years ago.  Listen to this classic song on YouTube.  [28 June 2011]

I Can't Get Started, music by Vernon Duke, lyrics by Ira Gerhswin, was heard in the Broadway production, "Ziegfeld Follies of 1936" (listen to an audio clip here from a reconstructed soundtrack of the show).  It has been performed by many singers through the years, but the definitive version is by Bunny Berigan, whose vocals and famous trumpet solo are heard as  "source" music in the classic 1974 film, "Chinatown."  Listen to an audio clip of that recording here.  [8 June 2005]

I Can't Give You Anything But Love, music by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Dorothy Fields (the centenary of whose birth was marked in July), has been performed by many artists through the years.  It debuted in a 1928 production, "Blackbirds of 1928," the longest-running black musical of the twenties.  Listen to a few audio clips from the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, Ella Fitzgerald (which features the lovely introduction), and New Orleans native, Louis Armstrong.  [4 September 2005]

I Can't Go for That (No Can Do), words and music by Daryl Hall, John Oates, and Sara Allen, was a #1 Pop, R&B, and Hot Dance Club track recorded by Hall & Oates for their 1981 album, "Private Eyes."  This smooth "blue-eyed soul" recording has had a huge impact on popular music; it has been sampled on countless dance and hip hop tracks and its influence can even be found on "Billie Jean" (check out Daryl Hall's memories of Michael Jackson).  Here are YouTube links to:  the original music video, the extended 12" mix, another extended mix, and Daryl with Canadian electro-funk duo Chromeo.  [8 April 2012]

I Can't Help It, music and lyrics by Stevie Wonder and Susaye Greene, has been performed by both Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson Wonder performed this sleek, jazz-infused song on the January 9, 2005 United Negro College Fund Telethon in tribute to Quincy Jones, who, ironically, produced the track for Jackson's Top 500 Rolling Stone magazine album, "Off the Wall" (listen to the audio clip at that link).  [10 March 2005]

I Can't Wait, written and recorded by Nu Shooz, reached #1 on the Billboard dance chart in 1986.  The wait is over, though, and 2011 is hereJanuary 1 was dedicated by the ancient Romans to Janus, a god of gates, doors, beginnings, and endings, one who looks back in time to the old and forward to the new.  How very dialectical!  A very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year to All!  Get up and dance! [1 January 2011]

Ice, which features the lovely sounds of keyboardist Tamlyn, from the Sean Brennan-spearheaded group, London After Midnight, might seem like an "odd" choice for a holiday song list.  How appropriate, then, that it is the final track of "Oddities," an album that begins with a track entitled "The Christmas Song" (audio clip here).  And I really love it; listen to an audio clip of the song, officially Track 72 on the album (the very end of the song features a tip of the hat to "Jingle Bells").  And Happy Winter Solstice, which, coincidentally, arrives at 7:22 pm, Eastern Standard Time!  [21 December 2006]

I Concentrate on You, a Cole Porter golden nugget, performed by Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman.  Bliss.  Pure bliss.  Listen to the audio clip at amazon.com.  [14 December 2004a]

I Could Have Danced All Night, music by Frederick Loewe, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, is from the classic 1956 Broadway musical, "My Fair Lady," based on the 1914 comedy, "Pygmalion," by George Bernard Shaw.  The production starred Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews.  Listen here to an audio clip from the original Broadway soundtrack, sung by Andrews.  The 1964 film version also starred Rex Harrison, but surprisingly Andrews was replaced by Audrey Hepburn (even though Julie ended up with the Oscar that year anyway, for "Mary Poppins").  Listen here to an audio clip from the film soundtrack, as sung by Marni Nixon (whose vocals were lip-synched by Hepburn). So many other artists have recorded this show standard, but the one version that still makes me chuckle is that featuring Hank Azaria in the hilarious 1996 film, "The Birdcage."  Listen to an audio clip of that version here.  A very happy and healthy birthday to my friend Karen, who shares with me a love of this wonderful musical.  [22 May 2005]

I Could Write a Book is a Rodgers and Hart gem from "Pal Joey."  Check out audio clips of versions by Tony Bennett with Count Basie, Dinah Washington, and Ella Fitzgerald.  [9 September 2006]

I Cried for You, words and music by Arthur Freed, Gus Arnheim, and Abe Lyman, is another one of those 'poetic justice' standards of the Great American Songbook.  Listen to audio clips by Billie Holiday (the clip doesn't quite get to her vocals), Harry James (with vocalist Helen Forest), Sarah Vaughan, and a swingin' live version by Carmen McRae. [19 March 2006]

I'd Rather Be Blue Over You (Than Happy with Somebody Else), words and music by Fred Fisher and Billy Rose, was introduced by Fanny Brice in the 1928 film "My Man."  Of course, Brice first became famous in the Ziegfeld Follies.  Today is the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Ziegfeld Follies (hat tip to David Hinckley).  Marking the centennial, "The Big Broadcast" is featured on New York's Fordham University radio station WFUV (90.7 FM) tonight, 8 p.m. to midnight!  Listen to this recording of Fanny Brice (with the rarely heard introduction) and also an audio clip from the 1968 movie version of "Funny Girl," with Barbra Streisand.  [8 July 2007]

I Didn't Know What Time it Was, music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, was heard in the 1957 film, "Pal Joey" (yes, another one from that production).  The song was actually not heard in the original 1940 Broadway production of "Pal Joey"; it debuted in the 1939 Broadway show, "Too Many Girls."  Among the many versions recorded, listen to audio clips of renditions by Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Anita O'Day, Gogi Grant, Betty Carter, and Bobby Darin.  [10 September 2006]

I Didn't Mean to Turn You On, words and music by Jimmy Jam (James Samuel Harris III) and Terry Lewis, was a 1984 Top Ten R&B hit by Cherrelle.  The music video features an homage to the 1933 blockbuster, "King Kong" [YouTube link].  A year later, Robert Palmer recorded his own version (following a trajectory similar to "You Are in My System").  The track appears on his album, "Riptide," and in a video featuring The Girls, prominent in other Palmer solo hit videos.  Check out the Palmer music video and the extended video, as well as a live "American Music Awards" performance [YouTube links].  Mariah Carey also did a version of the song for the film "Glitter" that was faithful to the original Cherrelle arrangement. The soundtrack was released on September 11, 2001 (not a good sign, apparently).  Check out this "Glitter" film excerpt and the soundtrack version [YouTube links].  But I still love the original full-length version that appears on Cherrelle's self-titled album [YouTube link].  [25 March 2012]

I Don't Care Much, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, is a dramatic musical highlight that comes from the revival of the Broadway production of "Cabaret."  Listen to a clip of star Alan Cumming from the cast album here.  [7 June 2005]

I Don't Know Enough About You features the words of singer Peggy Lee and the music of Dave Barbour.  It's a 1945 hit that has been revived again and again.  Listen to audio clips from Peggy Lee, Russell Malone and Diana Krall (at those links).  [30 August 2005]

I Fall in Love Too Easily, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, is from the 1945 film, "Anchors Away," where it was introduced by Frank Sinatra [YouTube link].  The musical director Georgie Stoll received an Oscar for the Scoring of a Musical Picture, and this song received an Oscar nomination for "Best Original Song" (losing out to Rodgers and Hammerstein's gem, "It Might As Well Be Spring").  Check out versions by Keith Jarrett and Anita O'Day. One of my favorite versions of this standard can be found on "Cloud 7" [YouTube clip at that link], an early Tony Bennett album, featuring the trailblazing jazz guitarist Chuck Wayne, who was born on this date in 1923, and served as Bennett's musical director and accompanist from 1954-1957. The trumpet solo here is by Charles Panely.  (And three cheers to host Billy Crystal for some truly hilarious moments at the 84th Annual Academy Awards last night; to Meryl Streep for finally getting Oscar #3, after nearly 30 magnificent acting years since Oscar #2; and to Zach Galifianakis for the Best Zinger of the Night in presenting the Oscar for "Best Original Song," today's highlighted category.)  [27 February 2012]

I Fall to Pieces, words and music by Garland Perry "Hank" Cochran and Harlan Perry Howard, was the first #1 Country Hit by the immortal Patsy Cline.  It was released on 30 January 1961, three days after Dr. Franklin Edward Kameny submitted a petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court to review his case, Kameny v. Brucker, which protested the U.S. Army's unjust dismissal of him in 1957 from his position as an astronomer in the Army Map Service for being gay.  He lost the case, but not the causeFrank was an indefatigable warrior, a great trailblazer, on behalf of individual rights,  I corresponded with him a few times over the years; he may have been known for his thunderous style, but I was always warmed by his gentility. So it's no wonder that many of us fall to pieces over his passing at the age of 86 on 11 October 2011.  Check out Patsy Cline on YouTube. [15 October 2011]

I Feel Fine is a John Lennon-Paul McCartney composition, recorded by The BeatlesSpeaking of anniversaries, today is a big one:  The 40th anniversary of The Beatles' Shea Stadium concert (a midi audio clip of this song at that link).  Nobody could actually hear this song or any other performed at Shea because the roar of the crowd was deafening. But it was a seminal moment in rock history.  I also love a version of this song by singer Nancy Ames, from her album "Spiced with Brasil." [15 August 2005b]

I Feel Love was written by Giorgio Moroder, Peter Bellotte, and Donna Summer, who propelled this driving synthesized track (from her 1977 album, "I Remember Yesterday") to its exalted status in dance music history, influencing later dance styles, such as house and techno.  Check out the original album version, the 12" extended mix, the famous Patrick Cowley underground 15+ minute megamix, and covers by Bronski Beat, Blondie, Madonna, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.   [18 May 2012]

I Feel the Earth Move, music and lyrics by Carole King, is from one of my all-time favorite albums:  "Tapestry."  Those first piano chords on this first track of the album provide the pulse for a great pop record.  Listen to audio clips from the original album, an R&B take by Eternal (on a tribute set, "Tapestry Revisited"), and a dance version by Martika.  "Mellow as the month of May," indeed.  [14 May 2005]

If Ever I Would Leave You, music by Frederick Loewe, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, was performed famously by Robert Goulet in the 1960 Broadway musical, "Camelot."  The production also starred Julie Andrews and Richard Burton.  Listen to an audio clip of this lovely song here. [12 May 2005]

If He Walked Into My Life, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, was featured in the 1966 Broadway musical, "Mame," starring Angela Lansbury.  The most memorable recording of it was sung by Eydie Gorme, who received a 1967 Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Female. I could find no audio clip, unfortunately, but it's offered as part of a double album of classics:  "Don't Go To Strangers"/"Softly As I Leave You." [6 October 2005]

If I Can't Have You, written by the Bee Gees, was performed by Yvonne Elliman on the soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever."  Listen here to an audio clip of this sweet melodic song about the tribulations of love.  [8 December 2007]

If I Had You, written by "Irving King" (actually the British songwriting team, James Campbell and Reginald Connelly) and Ted Shapiro, is a bona fide jazz standard, which has been recorded by many artists.  Take a look and a listen to versions by Benny Goodman, Oscar Peterson and Stephane Grappelli, and Sarah Vaughan. [15 November 2010]

If I Had You (not that one), written by Max Martin, Shellback, and Savan Kotecha, is performed with disco gusto by Adam Lambert, runner-up in the 2009 "American Idol" competition.  Take a look at the "official video" on YouTube. [16 November 2010]

If I Love Again, a song I mentioned in an article "Celebrating the Great American Songbook," with music by Ben Oakland and lyrics by J. P. Murray (from the 1933 Broadway show, "Hold Your Horses"). Many recordings of this song have graced us, from a rendition by the Paul Whiteman Band to a Barbra Streisand rendition in "Funny Lady," the sequel to "Funny Girl."  But, for me, the most memorable version was recorded by Tony Bennett in 1962. [8 September 2004]

If I Ruled the World, words by Leslie Bricusse, music by Ciral Ornadel, from the 1963 musical "Pickwick."  Recorded by artists such as Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder, and in a splendid version with jazz trio by my sister-in-law Joanne Barry, from her first album, "This is Me." [29 November 2004]

If I Told You That, words and music by LaShawn Daniels, Rodney Jerkins, Fred Jerkins III, and Toni Estes, is a duet by Whitney Houston and George Michael.  The original version of this song [YouTube link] appeared on "My Love is Your Love," as a solo Whitney track.  But the duet featured on "Whitney: The Greatest Hits" (2000) provided nice interplay between the two artists.  This particular track never scored on the Billboard Dance Chart, but its "sleaze-beat" (a slower but still very danceable Beats-Per-Minute tempo) provides a lot of chill spaces for sexy moving.  Check out the video, the smooth Johnny Douglas Mix, and Nic Mercy's Bavaro Beat Mix.  [7 March 2012]

If You Go Away,  words and music by Jacques Brel (English translation by Rod McKuen), speaks of a "summer day"... which is precisely what I'd like right now.  There's not too much to complain about this winter in New York City, as it has been milder than usual.  However, we are expecting a bit of snow, ice, and rain tonight.  Ugh.  But hey, only 14 days till pitchers and catchers report to the Yankee Spring Training Camp!  In any event, this is a terrific song that has been recorded by artists such as Damita Jo, Frank Sinatra, and Dusty Springfield (audio clips at those links).  I first heard this song when my sister-in-law, Joanne Barry, performed it at Gil Hodges' Grand Slam Cocktail Lounge.  [1 February 2007]

If You Leave Me Now, music by Glenn Gutierrez, Dadgel Atabay, and Stevie B., who also provides the lyrics.  Listen to an audio clip of a rendition by Stevie B., but the version that I love most was recorded by Jaya (audio clip at that link).  Stevie B. actually produced that track, and provided the background vocals too. [5 April 2006]

If You Really Love Me is a 1971 Stevie Wonder-Syreeta Wright composition.  They were married when this tune was recorded, and it shows. Check out audio clip here. [23 November 2004]

If You Should Ever Be Lonely, music and lyrics by Fred Jenkins and singer Val Young, for whom it was a huge 1986 club hit, has also been covered by the Real McCoy [audio clip at that link], Reina, and Mariah Carey as part of a dance remix medley with the song "Heartbreaker" [audio clip here].  [10 April 2005]

If You Were Mine, music by Matty Malneck, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, is one of my favorite popular standards and one of my favorite Tony Bennett recordings of all time.  Listen to an audio clip here.  [18 August 2006]

I Get a Kick Out of You, composed by Cole Porter, with a playful Sinatra singing to a kickin' Neil Hefti arrangement, from the album "Sinatra & Swingin' Brass" (listen to that audio clip). (I also have another playful version from Dinah Washington; listen to an audio clip from "The Jazz Sides.")  [22 December 2004]

I Get Along Without You Very Well, words and music by Jane Brown Thompson and Hoagy Carmichael, has been performed in a melancholy vocal version by Billie Holiday. [25 September 2004]

I Got it Bad (And That Ain't Good), words and music by Paul Francis Webster and Duke Ellington, is another classic American ballad.  Listen to an audio clip of one sample Duke recording here, which features the vocals of Ivie Anderson.  I love a version of this song by my sister-in-law Joanne Barry.  Check out audio clips of Ella (doing the rarely heard introduction), Diane Reeves, Nat King Cole, and a Duke-tribute version in the style of the Count Basie Band. [6 December 2005]

I Got You (I Feel Good), words and music by James Brown, reworks a Brown song entitled "I Found You" (audio clip at that link), recorded by Yvonne FairThis track is my personal Brown favorite; it was a mega-hit and a signature tune for the "Godfather of Soul," who passed away yesterday, on Christmas Day 2006.  Brown was one of the most important artists of the past forty years, influencing everything from R&B to hip hop, and everyone from the Rolling Stones and Public Enemy to Prince and Michael Jackson (and check out a rare You Tube clip featuring Brown, Jackson, and Prince).  Listen to an audio clip of this classic track here.  [26 December 2006b]

I Got Your Love, words and music by Bruce Roberts and Donna Summer, who performs this song with both intensity and restraint.  This hot dance track was heard in 2003 on "Sex and the City," but remains unreleased (except through iTunes).  Listen to an audio clip at Summer's Site. [9 November 2005]

I Have Nothing, words and music by David Foster and Linda Thompson, was an Oscar-nominated song performed powerfully by a full-voiced Whitney Houston in the 1992 film, "The Bodyguard."  Listen to an audio clip here.  [13 April 2005]

I Hear a Rhapsody, words and music by George Fragos, Jack Baker and Dick Gasparre, was first recorded by the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, with Bob Eberly on vocals (audio clip here).  There's also a wonderful duet version of this song on the album "Undercurrent" (listen to audio clip at that link), featuring guitarist Jim Hall and pianist Bill Evans.  [16 March 2005]

I Heard it Through the Grapevine, words and music by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, was a mega-hit for two different Motown artists: