« January 2007 | Main | March 2007 »

February 25, 2007

Song of the Day #796

Song of the Day: The Untouchables ("The Strength of the Righteous") is the main title to the 1987 film, composed by Ennio Morricone, who will be honored this evening at the 79th Annual Academy Awards with a long overdue Lifetime Achievement Award. The score to this film was nominated for a 1987 Academy Award for Best Original Score. Listen to an audio clip here. And so comes to an end our 2007 Film Music Tribute.

February 24, 2007

Song of the Day #795

Song of the Day: 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.

February 23, 2007

Song of the Day #794

Song of the Day: 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).

February 22, 2007

Song of the Day #793

Song of the Day: Let's Hear it for Me is a John Kander and Fred Ebb gem sung in grand style by Barbra Streisand from the film "Funny Lady," the 1975 sequel to "Funny Girl. Listen to an audio clip from the original soundtrack here.

February 21, 2007

As the (Yankee) World Turns

Spring Training is here, and that means that as the Yankees take Legends Field in Florida, Soap Opera takes Center Stage!

The media has been all over the changing relationship between Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez and shortstop Derek Jeter. A couple of days ago, A-Rod told reporters:

"Let's make a contract. . . . You don’t ask about Derek anymore, and I promise I’ll stop lying to you. Rodriguez went on to admit that he and Jeter were not the buddies they once were, while stressing that they function well as teammates. "We were best of friends about 10, 13 or 14 years ago, and we still get along well," Rodriguez said. "We have a good working relationship. I cheer very hard for him, and he cheers hard for me, and, more importantly, we’re both trying to win a world championship. We’ll leave it right there. . . . People are just assuming that things are a lot worse than what they are," Rodriguez said. "They’re not. But obviously, it's not as good as it used to be, when we were blood brothers. . . . You go from sleeping over at somebody's house five days a week and now you don't sleep over," Rodriguez said. "It's not that big of a deal."

Well, uh, A-Rod also got, uh, married. That could have helped to change his, uh, sleeping habits, no?

Oy vey. I could run with this one. (Biting tongue... trying hard not to say anything outrageous...)

So, Captain Jeter responded the day after:

"On the field and in the clubhouse, our relationship is fine," Jeter said before the workout. "Away from the field, people want to keep tabs on how many times we go out to eat. That has no bearing on what we're trying to do on the field. . . . I don't have a rift with Alex," Jeter said. "We go out there, we work together. This is our fourth year together. It's annoying to hear about it all the time. Everyone assumes they know what our relationship is. They see us on the field. If one person gives another one a look, it's a story. If we're at opposite ends of the bench, people say it's a story." Jeter, whose romantic life has turned up in the pages of gossip magazines, values his privacy. He said he considers his friendship with Rodriguez a private matter. "I understand my job is public," Jeter said. "But your private life is your private life. Once you open that door, it never stops. I don't feel it's necessary to talk about things that don't have to do with baseball. It doesn't have an impact on anything."

Asked to characterize his relationship with A-Rod, Jeter said further:

"How would I characterize it? I would characterize it as it doesn't make a difference," Jeter said. "I have a lot of relationships that have changed over 10 years. What we do away from the field, how much time we spend together, it makes no difference."

So, there you have it! Spring is in the air! Pretty soon we'll all be talking about the game, I hope!

American Idol 2007: The Top 24

Okay, so I have yet to watch this week's installments, but at least I know who the Top 24 are.

I'm very ambivalent... these folks have a lot to prove. In fact, my impression is that they may have gotten rid of a few people who should not have bit the dust.

What are your thoughts?

Song of the Day #792

Song of the Day: King of Wishful Thinking features the words and music of Martin Page, and Peter Cox and Richard Drummie of Go West. This hit song, an ode to heartbreak, was featured on the soundtrack for "Pretty Woman" (audio clip at that link).

February 20, 2007

Song of the Day #791

Song of the Day: Star Wars ("Main Theme"), composed by John Williams, is from the classic soundtrack that won the 1977 Oscar for Best Original Score. Listen to an audio clip of this famous theme here.

February 19, 2007

Song of the Day #790

Song of the Day: Singin' in the Rain, music by Nacio Herb Brown, lyrics by Arthur Freed, was first heard in the "Hollywood Revue of 1929," but was immortalized in the 1952 film by Gene Kelly. That film, with its classic screenplay by the late great Betty Comden and Adolph Green, is one of Hollywood's grand musicals. Listen to an audio clip from the film here.

February 18, 2007

Song of the Day #789

Song of the Day: Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, music by Sammy Fain, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, was the 1955 Oscar winner for Best Song from the film of the same title. Listen to audio clips from the Four Aces, Frank Sinatra, and Barry Manilow.

February 17, 2007

Song of the Day #788

Song of the Day: Ben-Hur ("Homecoming"), composed by the great Miklos Rozsa, opens my annual film music 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.

February 14, 2007

Song of the Day #787

Song of the Day: K.I.S.S.I.N.G., words and music by Dana Merino and Guy Babylon, is only one of many kissing songs that could be noted on this day. This one is sung in grand style by Siedah Garrett; an audio clip of the album version is available here. That version, however, does not compare remotely to the Shep Pettibone and Steve Peck house remixes that Garrett recorded separately for a 12" vinyl single (a Brothers in Rhythm remix followed some years later). Happy Valentine's Day!

February 07, 2007

Song of the Day #786 (Frankie Laine, RIP)

Song of the Day: That's My Desire, music by Helmy Kresa, lyrics by Carroll Loveday, was a huge hit for Frankie Laine, who passed away yesterday at the age of 93. His voice was one of those heard in the household of my youth; I will never forget some of his famous recordings. Listen to audio clips of this classic here and here.

February 01, 2007

Song of the Day #785

Song of the Day: 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.