Blood Sweat and Tears, Cy Coleman, Downtown, Four Lads, Frank Loesser, Frank Sinatra, Gershwin, Judy Garland, love, memories, nostalgia, Peter and the Wolf, romance, special songs, Susannah McCorkle, Unchained Melody, Victory at Sea
A friend and I spent the evening recently going over lists of popular songs from various years in our pasts. I won’t tell you how far back we went to review the top 100. I’ll just say we had a lot of fun traveling memory lane together.
My friend is interested in history, so as we were proceeding through the years, he noted the trends as the music changed to reflect – or in some cases initiate – the times. And we talked about how the music we listen to shapes not just our memories, but pieces of our lives and our connections with history.
We were looking at lists of popular songs, but it’s not just the Top Ten or the Top 100 that tell us about our pasts or inform the present. For me, there are big memories connected with music like “Peter and the Wolf” which I first heard at a Public Library when I was about six. There’s the overture to “Carmen.” There’s “Victory at Sea” and there’s “Witchcraft” by Cy Coleman. “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers and “Downtown” by Petula Clark.
Different places, different memories, something significant about each. And my list goes on.
What’s on your list? Music that makes you stop what you’re doing when you hear it and lift your head and get that funny, dreamy look in your eye.
For now, here are a few of the others on my list. I’ll leave it to your imagination to consider the whys and wherefors of what they could mean to me. Or just listen and enjoy.
Ciao, Jazz Babies…
Frank Sinatra sings “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” from Frank Loesser’s score for the wonderful Guys and Dolls. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX1iKx7J1Is
The lovely late Susannah McCorkle on Gershwin’s poignant “Someone to Watch Over Me,” complete with verse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OmN3A3lmrA
Staying with the ladies for one more, here’s Judy with a great version of “Just in Time.” Tempo and key changes in under three minutes. She was something. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLi9-2airqY
And back a little further in time, the Four Lads and “No Not Much.” Dancin’ at a little off-campus joint so long ago… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7pvvaIxMec
Closing with a fast forward to one of the best groups of the 70s (in my humble opinion and that of a million other fans), Blood, Sweat and Tears. They were a cut above so many groups with their incorporation of blues, horns and the jazzy sound this brought. Oh, man, this one does take me back. “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know.” Mellow is the word. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMp4bedPF1o