Christmas Album Review: The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole (1962)

Posted in Music on December 12th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverGentler reader, I know I’m not saving the best for last in presenting this album on December 12, but this is the best Christmas album of all time. This album makes me wish Nat King Cole were my dad, okay? His warm, smooth voice infuses all of these tracks with a hominess that makes all of them mood music. Or better yet, primary music: you want to put the record on, stop what you’re doing, and just listen to it.

The track list includes:

  • The Christmas Song
  • Deck The Halls
  • Adeste Fideles
  • O Tannenbaum
  • O, Little Town Of Bethlehem
  • I Saw Three Ships
  • O Holy Night
  • Hark, The Herald Angels Sing
  • A Cradle In Bethlehem
  • Away In A Manger
  • Joy To The World
  • The First Noel
  • Caroling, Caroling
  • Silent Night

If I had to gripe, I’d say the version of “Deck the Halls” is a bit manic, but, hey, who hasn’t been a touch manic getting ready for a big party.

The modern CD rendition of the album features five extra songs and opens with a spoken Christmas greeting. Yes, I have both. Let that be your guide as to whether I recommend it or not.

Album mentioned in this review:

Christmas Album Review: The Little Drummer Boy by the Abbey Choir (?)

Posted in Music on December 11th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverThis album includes the definitive version of “The Little Drummer Boy” in my mind. When I was a little boy, I had a book with the lyrics to the song along with some pictures of what’s depicted in the lyrics, and when my mother played this album, the song came to life. Or so I thought at the time.

The truth of the matter is that this disk is a collection of choir renditions of some common Christmas carols and some uncommon ones.

The track list includes:

  • The Little Drummer Boy
  • Silent Night
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • The Twelve Days Of Christmas
  • As With Gladness Men Of Old
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Christians Awake
  • The Wassail Song
  • While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
  • Once In Royal David’s City
  • The Holly And The Ivy
  • Angels From The Realms Of Glory
  • Ave Maria

For the most part, I’ve reviewed individual artists’ albums and collections of individual artists’ songs, but the choral album is integral to the whole Christmas experience, and you can’t hardly go wrong with them as background music. This album gets plenty of play in the household. And, apparently, it’s available on MP3s for you 21st century types.

Album mentioned in this review:

Christmas Album Review: Christmas with Bing by Bing Crosby (1980)

Posted in Music on December 10th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverThis album is a Reader’s Digest compilation that collects a number of popular tracks from Bing Crosby. Jeez, I feel a little weird here, wondering if I have to explain who Bing Crosby is to you damn kids. You know him for his rendition of “White Christmas”, which he originated in the film Holiday Inn and then again in the film White Christmas. But, for Pete’s sake, you know he was a big time recording artist, the father of all pop music and music recording, and a hip enough fellow that he poked fun at his hipness and its own aging in the film High Time when the man was older than my father ever was. He’s Bing Crosby, &%^$&*!

Where was I?

Oh, yes. The album was released after his death, and collects a number of his songs, including:

  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  • O Holy Night
  • What Child Is This?/The Holly And The Ivy
  • The Little Drummer Boy
  • I Wish You A Merry Christmas
  • Frosty The Snow Man
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  • Christmas Dinner, Country Style
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

What’s missing? The aforementioned “White Christmas”. Instead, we get a treat that doesn’t appear often elsewhere, “Christmas Dinner, Country Style” about a large family gathering for a meal. The song is a treat; the others, standards. You’ll find them elsewhere, on compilation collections, but it’s fine to have them on a single platter to have as either background or mood music.

I mentioned that you don’t find Perry Como albums outside the Christmas work in book fairs, garage sales, or antique malls in southwest Missouri often. You do, and by “you do” I mean “You might if you get there before me,” find the occasional Bing Crosby album in the wild. I suppose that’s because he sold more albums than Perry Como did. Or maybe it’s just because that’s what I’ve found.

Regardless, this album should be pretty widely available since it’s a Reader’s Digest pressing. You could do worse, and probably will with anything you buy with a copyright date after 1980.

(See also Famous Today, Forgotten Tomorrow: If we don’t remember Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, will tomorrow’s generation remember the Beatles and Bob Dylan? from today’s Wall Street Journal.)

Album mentioned in this review:

Christmas Album Review: Perry Como Sings Merry Christmas Music by Perry Como (1956)

Posted in Music on December 9th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverIt’s strange; Perry Como was pretty popular in the early part of the 20th century, as he released records and starred on television, but you rarely see his albums in the wild. My mother owned a copy of this album, and I guess it must have sold for a buck at one of her garage sales as I had to buy my own copy. At an antique mall. For $3. That’s how fondly I remember the album from my youth. I spent three dollars on it.

Como has a baritone voice and inhabits the songs much in the way his early influence Bing Crosby does. As such, he does a great job with the Christmas music.

The track list includes:

  • ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
  • The Twelve Days Of Christmas
  • God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  • C-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s
  • Joy To The World
  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Frosty The Snowman
  • The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
  • That Christmas Feeling
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • Silent Night
  • O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
  • Jingle Bells
  • White Christmas
  • Winter Wonderland

This is definitely a definitive Christmas album to own, as Como really was associated with Christmas television specials into the 1980s and beyond (apparently, his last was in 1994). Unfortunately, my copy sticks, so I’m in the market for a replacement for it. And I’m willing to pay $3 for it.

Album mentioned in this review:

Christmas Album Review: That Holiday Feeling! by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme (1964)

Posted in Music on December 8th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverThis album is the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme Christmas album. No, I’m not emphasizing it enough: this is the Steve Lawrence and EYDIE GORME Christmas album. Too subtle? It’s the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme Christmas album. Listen, bub, they’ve taken the <blink> tag away, so I don’t know how much more clearly I can make it: I’m an Eydie Gorme fan, and I was very happy to find this album this year. Oh, her husband is okay, too. But he’s not Eydie Gorme.

The track list includes a number of common songs and a couple variations:

  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  • What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve
  • Happy Holiday
  • Sleigh Ride
  • Winter Wonderland
  • White Christmas
  • Let Me Be The First To Wish You Merry Christmas
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  • The Christmas Song
  • Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
  • That Holiday Feeling
  • That Ol’ Christmas Spirit

“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” has become a jazz/songbook standard of sorts and makes its appearance mixed into Christmas carols on the radio, but I don’t have many renditions of it on LP. “Let Me Be The First To Wish You Merry Christmas” might be the only representation of that song I have available, and “That Ol’ Christmas Spirit” is infrequent enough to be a treat when it appears.

As you would expect, especially if you’re familiar with the LPs where Steve and Eydie appear together, the songs are duets in most cases and they switch off primary duties on the songs. Their version of “Sleigh Ride” is particularly fun, with Steve singing the lyrics and Eydie chanting “Sleigh Ride” at the end of lines. Sadly, their laughter at the end of the song is forced and a bit desperate and maniacal.

Gorme’s voice is expressive and fun, and Lawrence’s is warm and engaging as well. It’s definitely mood music; something worth listening to with a bit of focus.

As I mentioned, I only bought this album this year, but it’s already in the rotation here at Nogglestead as often as I can get away with without making my wife fear I have an unhealthy obsession with Eydie Gorme.

Album mentioned in this review:

Christmas Album Review: The Sinatra Christmas Album by Frank Sinatra (1957)

Posted in Music on December 7th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverI got this album a couple of years ago, and I play it a couple of times a week throughout the season. It’s a serviceable collection of known favorites and a song that appears sparsely on Christmas albums (“Mistletoe and Holly”). It’s good background music, but it’s not ideal mood music because Sinatra’s more of a technical perfectionist of a singer rather than a warm singer who inhabits the songs. That is, when you hear these songs, you imagine being in a room where Sinatra is singing the songs on stage instead of someone who’s singing the songs with you.

The track list includes:

  • Jingle Bells
  • The Christmas Song
  • Mistletoe And Holly
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • The Christmas Waltz
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  • The First Noel
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  • O Little Town Of Bethlehem
  • Adeste Fideles
  • It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  • Silent Night

According to Discogs, this is one of the more expensive Christmas albums I’ve reviewed so far. And I only spent a buck on it at a book sale if I remember correctly.

So it’s worth a couple of spins every year in fairly heavy rotation at Nogglestead, but mostly it’s because of the Sinatra cool factor than the music itself.

Speaking of the Rat Pack, I’ve already reviewed the The Dean Martin Christmas Album

Album mentioned in this review:

Christmas Album Review: A Very Merry Christmas Volume Two by Various Artists (?)

Posted in Music on December 6th, 2014 by Noggle

Album coverThis album belonged to my mother from the time she served in the Marine Corps; the address label in the corner was for El Toro MCAS. The price tag in the corner means she tried to sell it at one or more yard sales after she moved on from LPs. Obviously, it didn’t sell, which is fortunate, since it is a relic from my youth I can hold onto.

It’s a compilation album, and the second of a series. It has Christmas carol standards by a number of the popular artists from the middle of the 20th century.

The track list includes:

  • Mitch Miller And The Gang, “Joy To The World”
  • Robert Goulet, “O Holy Night”
  • Anita Bryant, “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear”
  • Andre Kostelanetz, “Sleigh Ride”
  • Steve Lawrence, “The Christmas Song”
  • Mahalia Jackson, “O Little Town Of Bethlehem”
  • The New Christy Minstrels, “Here We Come A-Caroling”
  • Jim Nabors, “Jingle Bells”
  • Doris Day, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
  • Johnny Mathis, “Silver Bells”
  • Skitch Henderson And His Orchestra, “We Need A Little Christmas”
  • Johnny Cash, “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day”
  • Eydie Gorme, “White Christmas”
  • Bing Crosby, “What Child Is This? The Holly And The Ivy”
  • The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, “Silent Night, Holy Night”

It’s a fine mix, and I enjoy the compilation albums more than most Christmas albums by a single artist simply for the variety’s sake. Some songs on the compilations appear on some of the individual albums (cough, cough, Robert Goulet).

This album includes “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”, a song not found on many of my other compilation discs and a couple of artists I’ve not heard of or seen in record bins (Mahalia Jackson, Skitch Henderson and His Orchestra). Additionally, this album, played in my youth, would have been the first times I heard Eydie Gorme, and how could I tell thirty-five years ago how big of a fan of hers I would become?

At any rate, this album is aces and gets a lot of play during the Christmas season here.

Album mentioned in this review:

Christmas Album Review: Come All Ye Faithful by Kate Smith (?)

Posted in Music on December 5th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverThis album features Kate Smith of “God Bless America” fame singing a selection of Christmas carols and other things. I know, a day after saying that Robert Goulet’s Christmas album was too big, I’m giving a favorable review to Kate Smith’s.

However, the different between the two is a big voice and a big delivery. Although Kate Smith has a big voice, she’s singing these songs instead of belting them out. Additionally, she’s balanced well with the other musicians on the album, including other vocalists who help out and the instrument arrangements. Besides, Kate Smith is like your grandmother singing these things if your grandmother could sing.

The track list includes:

  • Deck the Halls
  • White Christmas
  • Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
  • The First Noel
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  • He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands
  • Greensleeves
  • Joy To The World
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Moonlight In Vermont
  • It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  • Silent Night
  • Jingle Bells

The set includes a couple of interesting, non-Christmas specific songs (“He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” and “Moonlight in Vermont”) which tangentally touch on the theme. They’re nice enough interludes in the Christmas music to be welcome.

You can get this album in vinyl or MP3 on Amazon, but it looks to be a collection that the studios overlooked when releasing material on CD. I, of course, recommend the vinyl.

Album mentioned in this review:

Christmas Album Review: This Christmas I Spend With You by Robert Goulet (1963)

Posted in Music on December 4th, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverThis album comes from early in Goulet’s career; in 1960, he got his big break in the musical Camelot, and three years later this album was out. You can tell that Goulet’s got a musical theatre background from this album, as he’s not so much singing these songs in a recording studio as he’s booming these songs out so you can hear them in the cheap seats.

The track list includes:

  • This Christmas I Spend With You
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  • December Time
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  • The Christmas Song (Chesnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
  • Silver Bells
  • Winter Wonderland
  • White Christmas
  • O Holy Night (Cantique De Noel)
  • Panis Angelicus
  • Ave Maria
  • O Come, All Ye Faithful

Given the booming presentation of each, this record does not get a lot of play. I think I hit it once last year (the first year we owned it), and I played side one this year. And that might be enough. It’s not mood music, and it’s not background music. It’s like a recording of a concert, and I’m not into live albums.

But if you’re into musical theatre or to an over the top style, perhaps it would be to your liking.

Album mentioned in this review:

As I Said

Posted in Music on December 4th, 2014 by Noggle

In the The Federalist, Leslie Loftis doesn’t like the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” very much:

The worst Christmas song ever isn’t actually a Christmas song. It’s just a song that uses Christmas in the hook and was popular when it was released. So Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” gets played every year starting at the end of November. Every year, I think that the awfulness comes in part from the refreshed shock of dreadful lyrics I’ve not heard in 11 months. Instead, my loathing of the song grows through the season and year by year.

She goes on to take apart the song and make many of the same points I made in 2011:

I hate this song. If I hear this song on the radio, I turn it at once, and sometimes I even turn the radio off for a half hour to punish the radio station that played it.

I mean, not only is it a bunch of wealthy secularists trying to shame the less fortunate into pouring money into the coffers of large organizations with large overhead to send pink jeeps and swag with cool logos to Africa, but it has fundamental flaws.

I am one of the infinite monkeys on the Internet, and eventually we will type everything and subtle variations of everything.

(Link via Hot Air.)

Christmas Album Review: Silent Night and 13 Other Best Loved Christmas Songs by Lawrence Welk (1961)

Posted in Music on December 3rd, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverThis album is less of a big band sound than a modified bell and chimes choir sound. There are no singers vocalizing the words from the carols, but there are some choral voices singing notes to accompany the orchestra. And, as I said, bells and chimes (and harpsichord) are featured, but they’re backed with a depth of other instruments. So it falls somewhere in between a bells and chimes album and an instrumental bell album.

The track list includes:

  • Silent Night
  • Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  • I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  • White Christmas
  • Deck the Halls
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • The First Noel
  • Adeste Fidelis
  • It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem
  • Joy to the World
  • Good King Wenceslas
  • Thanks for Christmas

I bought this album this year, so I don’t have a large sample size of its presence in the rotation, but it’s pleasant enough to have as background music while cooking or otherwise doing things in rooms adjacent to our parlor, where we have the record player and its records. But it’s not mood music, where you want to be in the same room while the record plays.

Books mentioned in this review:

Christmas Album Review: The Dean Martin Christmas Album by Dean Martin (1966)

Posted in Music on December 2nd, 2014 by Noggle

Book coverIf you’re expecting “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on this album, baby, it’s the wrong record; that omnipresent song, the one most associated with Dean Martin and Christmas, is from his 1959 platter A Winter Romance.

This album, from 1966 (and on a different label), features Dean Martin’s laid back takes on these classic Christmas songs:

  • “White Christmas”
  • “Jingle Bells”
  • “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
  • “Blue Christmas”
  • “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”
  • “Marshmallow World”
  • “Silver Bells”
  • “Winter Wonderland”
  • “The Things We Did Last Summer”
  • “Silent Night”

It’s a mood-setting collection, which is a step above background music; it’s worth listening to Dean sing the songs as he invests feeling in them, and his relaxed delivery is reflective.

My beautiful wife quibbles with the inclusion of “Marshmellow World” on the album, as it is her least favorite secular Christmas carol of all time and might be mathematically the absolute worst song for her ever as she cannot stand marshmallows, whipped cream, or most of the things the winter landscape reminds the singer of. On the other hand, it transitions right into “Silver Bells”, which is her favorite secular Christmas carol, so the crisis is averted.

Meanwhile, I think it’s odd to include “The Things We Did Last Summer” on the LP as it’s more of a reflective, nostalgia song than a winter song or a Christmas song. But I guess it gets included to break the theme up a little bit with a tangental tune, like “A Few of My Favorite Things” gets included on Christmas albums because it mentions packages and gifts.

At any rate, I recommend it; it’s definitely on heavy rotation here at Nogglestead.

Albums mentioned in this review:

It Sounds Like The Setup Of A Joke

Posted in Music on November 28th, 2014 by Noggle

So, I read an article about the new AC/DC album in the Wall Street Journal today.

There’s no punchline. Because there’s actually an article about Mr. Young and company.

A Venn Diagram For Perplexed Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Staffers

Posted in Music, News on July 27th, 2014 by Noggle

Story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Ted Nugent calls Wisconsin critics “unclean vermin,” but Oshkosh show still sells well:

The Detroit-born rock star encountered bad concert karma this week. A Native American tribe in Idaho canceled an August show he planned at its casino, citing his “racist and hate-filled remarks” as cause for concern. Soon afterward, a Washington casino followed suit, canceling two August shows for the same reason.

But Nugent’s Saturday show at Oshkosh’s Leach Amphitheater is still on and selling well — even though the performer, 65, had some choice words for his critics here.

In an interview with the Appleton Post Crescent, Nugent said Wisconsinites who are upset by him are “unclean vermin,” calling it “a badge of honor” to know that some people had problems with his Badger State visit.

He went on: “By all indicators, I don’t think [the critics] actually qualify as people.”

Nugent, 65, was reacting to the online uproar caused by a letter published in the Post Crescent by an Oshkosh resident that called for the show at the Waterfest Concert Series to be canceled, criticizing what the writer called “outlandish behavior and threatening statements that border on the obscene to the bizarre.”

So.

To recap:

  1. Ted Nugent does as Ted Nugent is.
  2. Some of his concerts were cancelled elsewhere.
  3. Someone in a letter to the editor to an Oshkosh newspaper complaining that Ted Nugent Thinks Bad Thoughts And Should Be An Unperson.
  4. Ted Nugent does as Ted Nugent is.
  5. People who think Ted Nugent’s concerts should not be allowed did not buy tickets to Ted Nugent’s concert.
  6. People who are aware of Ted Nugent when he is not part of the Approved Current Two Minute Hate, that is, his fans, bought tickets to the non-cancelled concert.
  7. Perplexion!
  8. Sorry, that’s a chain of thought, which might be a bit much for journalists. Here, I have produced a Venn diagram of the situation as Venn diagrams are very popular on Web sites that feature lists of pictures instead of flowing logical thought:

    A Venn diagram of Ted Nugent's fans and Ted Nugent's critics, part 1

    A Venn diagram of Ted Nugent's fans and Ted Nugent's critics, part 2

    In a stunning turn of events, people who wanted to see Ted Nugent and know Ted Nugent did not boycott Ted Nugent at the behest of a letter to the editor.

    Ted Nugent is conservative and outspoken. One would say extreme, but one who said that does not know the word hyperbolic. That is what Ted Nugent does.

    What sorts of headlines did we see when the Dixie Chicks went off on the president of this country abroad during a time of war? “Dixie Chicks Mock President, and Commercial Appeal Evaporates”? No, see saw things like, “After Speaking Truth To Power, Dixie Chicks Release New Album”. Which did not sell, because the appropriate headline should have been “Dixie Chicks Offend Their Audience, Appeal To People Who Do Not Buy Dixie Chicks Albums”. The Journal-Sentinel headline would read “Dixie Chicks Express Right Sentiments, But Concert Sales Flag”.

    It’s not even a matter of who’s right or wrong politically here; Ted Nugent played to type, and the Dixie Chicks did not. He said something characteristic to Ted Nugent, and Ted Nugent fans accepted it.

    The perplexion comes in because journalists think what Ted Nugent said is wrong, and that the mere power of a letter to the editor should have illumined that to backwards classic rock fans and hunters in outstate Wisconsin. The unspoken follow-up, perhaps, is, “Gawd, people in the state where I live and work are soooo dumb! I wish I could get a job in Austin or Boston.” I suspect it’s there anyway.

    (Full disclosure: I’m a lightweight fan of Ted Nugent, having bought a greatest hits collection of his on cassette way back when one bought greatest hits collections from record clubs one saw advertised in magazines. I also, when attending the university, was tasked with writing a myth for my Mythology class, and my shaggy long-haired nineteen-year-old self wrote about the invention of rock and roll where Prometheus “gives” an electrified six-stringed lute to a boy in Detroit, and the teacher asked me to read the myth to the whole seventy kids in the auditorium-sized class.)

A Paean To Personal Relics

Posted in Music on June 13th, 2014 by Noggle

Dierks Bentley talks about holding on.

I try to explain this to my beautiful wife whenever she gets into a decluttering mood about how I keep many of these things because they remind me of too many people who aren’t around to remind me of themselves.

That Frank Sinatra Album That Looks Like The Die Hard Poster

Posted in Movies, Music on May 9th, 2014 by Noggle

If someone ever refers to the Frank Sinatra Album that looks like the poster for the movie Die Hard, you know they’re talking about Only the Lonely:

Frank Sinatra Only the Lonely album

See?

The Poster for Die Hard

Of course, if someone says, “That Frank Sinatra album where he’s singing songs about getting older and being lonely,” you’re not going to nail it down that quickly because that could mean any number of them.

Are You A Psychopath? Take This Quiz And Find Out!

Posted in Life, Music on April 18th, 2014 by Noggle

Listen to this song:

I’m obviously a psycho, because when I hear this song, I have an allergic reaction: My eyes start to water and my throat closes off a bit.

When this song came out in 2004, it was about me and my father. You’ve not heard much about him on this blog because after my parents divorced in the early 1980s, my mother got custody and moved from Milwaukee to St. Louis, so I didn’t see my father but for a couple weeks in the summer. Eventually, I did return to Milwaukee for school and lived in his basement, but after that, when I moved back to St. Louis again, our relationship was a little strained. Perhaps he felt a little betrayed that I didn’t stay in Wisconsin. At any rate, he died a year and a couple months later.

So when this song came out, I missed him and acutely wondered what he would think of me as a man.

But, now, ten years later, the song is doubly potent because not only do I think about how I miss my father, but how much my boys will miss me. I know it, and they won’t until they do.

(If you want further confirmation of whether you’re a psychopath, you can take this quiz linked by neo-neocon to find out. In running down your list of favorite bloggers, gentle reader, you’re bound to surmise I’m not really a psycopath because I can’t actually affect concern for other people effectively.)

St. Louis Presumes Too Much

Posted in Milwaukee, Music, St. Louis on March 24th, 2014 by Noggle

The city of St. Louis is about to hand the keys of its kingdom to some out-of-town company promising to make St. Louis just like a Real City by having music festivals, and some writer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch dares, DARES compare the music festivals to be named later to Summerfest in Milwaukee.

Friends, Summerfest in Milwaukee is the best music festival in the known inhabited planets of the galaxy. It has twelve hours of music daily for ten days in the summer, and it has, what, ten? A dozen? stages with acts running almost constantly from local bands in the early afternoon to regional bands in the early evening to a national act headlining each stage at night. And there’s a major national act at the Marcus Ampitheatre with attendant opening acts every evening.

How dare does a St. Louisian compare anything St. Louis and its out-of-state lackeys can produce to Summerfest?

Brothers and sisters, here is a potential list of national acts likely to play Summerfest this year.

Note that this list comprises the headline acts for the ground stages at the musical festival. Not the major acts booked to the Marcus Ampitheatre.

QED.

They’re Gonna Take My Fedora For This, But….

Posted in Music on March 5th, 2014 by Noggle

Any song that Frank Sinatra did that Eydie Gorme also covered, Eydie Gorme did it better.

Read more »

A Well-Kept Pet

Posted in Music on February 2nd, 2014 by Noggle

Undoubtedly, Charles has already seen this, but you might not have: Bob Greene, formerly of the Chicago Tribune, has a bit about Petula Clark in the Wall Street Journal:

Last year she released an album called “Lost in You” with a song, “Cut Copy Me,” that Time magazine deemed one of the 10 best of 2013. As remarkable as her life has been—she was Fred Astaire’s last big-screen dance partner (“Finian’s Rainbow,” 1968), she co-starred opposite Peter O’Toole (“Goodbye, Mr. Chips, ” 1969)—the girl who sang in solitude in the Welsh mountains remains. “We all build up our facade,” she says. “But the 5-year-old, she’s still there.”

You might know, gentle reader, that I continue to be impressed with the number of the 1960s people who continue to put out quality music outside the mainstream awareness.

Full disclosure: I own two Petula Clark LPs.