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DECEMBER 31, 2006

Song of the Day #779

Song of the DayWhat Are You Doing New Year's Eve? features the words and music of Frank Loesser. It has been recorded by artists such as Clay AikenDiana Krall, and Ella Fitzgerald (audio clips at those links). Whatever you're doing tonight, have a safe and Happy New Year's Eve!

Posted by chris at 12:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | Posted to Music


Ella takes the cake here. Krall's ok but not of Ella's caliber, and Aiken's not fit to shine Ella's shoes.

(Yes, I backed Rueben in Season II.)

Posted by: Peri Sword | January 8, 2007 10:58 PM

Krall is a very understated singer (and, uh, even that is an understatement), but I do like some of her stuff a lot. On the other hand, Ella is Ella, and that's no mere tautology.

As for Aiken and Studdard, I was kinda torn between them... but I do remember Ruben doing one helluva wonderful version of the Bee Gees' "Nights on Broadway." I don't think they've marketed him very well.

The new AI begins next week! :)

Posted by: Chris Matthew Sciabarra | January 11, 2007 11:42 AM


DECEMBER 30, 2006

Song of the Day #778

Song of the DaySwinging on a Star, music by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Johnny Burke, won the 1944 Oscar for Best Song, from the film "Going My Way." The film starred Academy Award winner Bing Crosby as Father O'Malley; he would repeat that role in the 1945 sequel, another seasonal favorite, "The Bells of St. Mary's, which co-starred Ingrid BergmanCrosby also received a Best Actor nomination for the sequel. Not strictly a holiday song, it's still one that I associate with the holidays, having seen one or two seasonal plays that have used this song in reference to a certain star of Biblical proportions. Listen to audio clips of renditions by Bing CrosbyFrank Sinatra and pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Herb Ellis, and bassist Ray Brown.

Posted by chris at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 29, 2006

Song of the Day #777

Song of the DayCount 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.

Posted by chris at 12:44 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 28, 2006

Song of the Day #776

Song of the DayDeck the Halls is another great Christmas standard. Listen to audio clips of Joan Sutherland and the Ambrosian SingersOttmar Liebert, and Nat King Cole.

Posted by chris at 08:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | Posted to Music


I don't know what made me land on your pages - in cyberspace. But, I'm glad I have.. reading your favorite songs listings led me here (ultimately). As a stranger, but fellow Brooklynite - I'm impressed by you. As one of just a few years younger (but 2-3 years was like a GENERATION within those of our "age").. I traveled a similar path, through NYU but with far less focus, admittedly. However, between what was added by everything from impulses (at 5 yrs old) for Melanie & Joey Heatherton (and for Maria's older sister Charlotte), plus the "4:30 Movie", my older sisters' friends influences -- and reading while a preteen and teenager... the world's been an open book, for many of "our" generation (which HASN'T any name or significance, other to those of us knowing the difference) IN BETWEEN "Baby Boomers" and ultimately the "MTV Generation" and "Generation X".

Posted by: Joe N. | January 24, 2007 02:36 PM

Hey, Joe N., thanks so much for your kind words about the site, and for sharing the memories of "our" generation. Please keep coming back for more!

Posted by: Chris Matthew Sciabarra | February 3, 2007 11:54 AM


DECEMBER 27, 2006

Song of the Day #775

Song of the DaySleigh Ride features the music of Leroy Anderson and the lyrics of Mitchell Parish. Listen to audio clips from various renditions: one of my favorite versions by the Ronettes, and also those by Karen CarpenterJohnny Mathis, the Ventures, and Leroy Anderson himself.

Posted by chris at 09:42 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 26, 2006

Song of the Day #774 (James Brown, RIP)

Song of the DayI 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.

Posted by chris at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music Remembrance

Song of the Day #773

Song of the DayO Little Town of Bethlehem, words by Rector Phillips Brooks, music by church organist Lewis Redner, has been recorded many times.  Listen to audio clips of Barbra StreisandElla FitzgeraldOscar Peterson, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Posted by chris at 10:20 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 25, 2006

Song of the Day #772

Song of the DayWelcome Christmas, lyrics by Theodore Geisel, music by Albert Hague, is another great track from the Chuck Jones cartoon, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Listen to an audio clip from the animated version hereMerry Christmas!

Posted by chris at 10:07 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 24, 2006

Song of the Day #771

Song of the DaySanta Claus is Coming to Town, words and music by Haven Gillespie and J. Fred Coots, is a famous Christmas standard. It has been recorded by popular artists such as Bruce Springsteen, the Crystals, and the Jackson Five, and jazz artists such as Bill EvansElla Fitzgerald, and Diana Krall. And it's Christmas Eve... so you better be good, for goodness sake! Track Santa's global adventures here!

Posted by chris at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 23, 2006

Song of the Day #770

Song of the DayWe Wish You a Merry Christmas is a simple, but joyous traditional song of the season (audio clips at those links). And enjoy another audio clip of a rousing rendition by Kiri Te Kenawa with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

Posted by chris at 07:20 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 22, 2006

Song of the Day #769

Song of the DayLittle Drummer Boy features the words and music of Katherine K. Davis, Henry Onorati, and Harry Simeone. It is a staple of the Christmas season and can also be heard in a Rankin-Bass animated special. Listen to an audio clip from the most famous rendition by the Harry Simeone Chorale and to a duet featuring Bing Crosby and David Bowie (the duet clip never gets to the vocals, but there is also a clip of a Crosby solo version at that link).

Posted by chris at 08:38 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 21, 2006

Song of the Day #768

Song of the DayIce, which features the lovely sounds of keyboardist Tamlyn, from the Sean Brennan-spearheaded groupLondon 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!

Posted by chris at 07:40 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 20, 2006

Song of the Day #767

Song of the DaySilver Bells, words and music by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, was first heard in the 1951 film, "The Lemon Drop Kid," where it was performed by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell. Listen to audio clips of renditions by Perry ComoAndy WilliamsStevie Wonder, and the rich, multi-part harmonies of Take 6.

Posted by chris at 07:15 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 19, 2006

Joseph Barbera and Chris Hayward, RIP

I grew up on a steady diet of Hanna-Barbera cartoonsamong other favorites, including "The Flintstones," "The Jetsons," "Yogi Bear," "Jonny Quest," and "Huckleberry Hound."

So when I found out about the passing of Joseph Barbera, I paused for a moment to recall all the joy his wonderful animation brought me.

And this passing comes after the recent passing of Chris Hayward, a writer responsible for many of the characters on "Rocky and Bullwinkle," among other timeless TV shows (hat tip to David Beito).

Cross-posted to L&P.

Posted by chris at 07:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | Posted to Film / TV / Theater Review Remembrance


Chris; I heard Barberia died but missed the story about the Bulwinkle writer. Did he create Mr. Peabody? Best of the season to you Chris. Hope you are well in 2007.

Posted by: Chris Grieb | December 21, 2006 10:18 AM

Chris, I'm sorry it has taken me so long to post on this... and thank you so much for your good wishes. Best to you too!

I had searched all over the web, and no articles were providing information on Chris Hayward's connection to Mr. Peabody. Finally, I found this article, which says that Hayward was a co-creator of the Mr. Peabody character.

Brings back memories...

Posted by: Chris Matthew Sciabarra | January 11, 2007 11:29 AM


Song of the Day #766

Song of the DayO Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum) is a traditional Christmas carol of German origin. There are so many versions of this song and so many recorded renditions that it is almost impossible to pick a favorite. Listen to audio clips of Nat King ColeNancy Wilson, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.

Posted by chris at 07:03 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 18, 2006

Justin and Andy on SNL

Justin Timberlake was featured on "Saturday Night Live" this past weekend, as both the host and the musical guest. I loved him when he first appeared on the show back in 2003, and he was just as terrific this time around.

One hilarious "digital short" was aired, with Justin and Andy Samberg. For those who enjoyed the "Lazy Sunday" clip last December, the new one, "Dick in a Box," will provide a few laughs. Check it out on YouTube.

Update: Jon posts the uncensored, unedited version, which also happens to feature audio and video that is more, uh, NSYNC. Watch it here.

Posted by chris at 07:31 AM | Permalink | Posted to Film / TV / Theater Review Frivolity Music

Song of the Day #765

Song of the DayYou're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch features the lyrics of Theodore Geisel (aka "Dr. Seuss") and the music of Albert HagueOn this dateforty years ago, the Ben Washam and Chuck Jones-directedanimated version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" made its debut on CBS-TV. The cartoon (one of my favorites of all time) showcased the voice of the great Boris Karloff, and this song was sung by Thurl Ravenscroft. The song is also featured in the 2000 motion picture (audio clip at that link) and the 2006 Broadway production (audio clip at that link) of the classic Dr. Seuss story. Listen to an audio clip of the original version here.

Posted by chris at 07:30 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 17, 2006

Song of the Day #764

Song of the DayThe Twelve Days of Christmas is one of those traditional songs of the season that has been recorded countless times (and the cost of all its enumerated items has gone up considerably since the eighteenth century). So join me, starting today, for my annual holiday music tribute; I won't settle for 12 days, however. We've got 16 songs coming your way over the next 2+ weeks. Let's begin with some holiday cheer from Perry ComoBing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters, and Joan Sutherland and the Ambrosian Singers.

Posted by chris at 12:41 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 16, 2006

Song of the Day #763

Song of the DayDeja 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.

Posted by chris at 10:50 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 15, 2006

Song of the Day #762

Song of the DayAnd 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).

Posted by chris at 06:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | Posted to Music


Thanks for the clips!

As an American Idol fan who felt that Ms. Hudson was "voted off" WAY too soon in Season 3, I'm delighted that she's finding such sucess.

Somewhere out there, Sir Elton John is telling Simon Cowell, "I told you so, you prat."

Posted by: Peri | December 22, 2006 10:13 AM

Still haven't seen the movie, Peri, but the Elton John imagery made me chuckle. Less than a week away to AI. :)

Posted by: Chris Matthew Sciabarra | January 11, 2007 11:32 AM


DECEMBER 12, 2006

Song of the Day #761

Song of the DayMy Baby Just Cares for Me, music by Walter Donaldson, lyrics by Gus Kahn, is from the Broadway musical "Whoopee." This little jazzy nugget has been recorded by Tony Bennett and guitarist Chuck WayneNina SimoneNat King ColeNatalie ColeGeorge Michael, and today's birthday boy, Frank Sinatra, who was born on this date in 1915 (audio clips at those links).

Posted by chris at 07:14 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 08, 2006

Song of the Day #760

Song of the DayAlright, 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 BasieElla FitzgeraldPeggy Lee, and Bette Midler, on a tribute album to Lee (audio clips at those links).

Posted by chris at 06:43 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music

DECEMBER 01, 2006

Song of the Day #759

Song of the DayShine features the words and music of James ("Jimmy Jam") Harris III and Terry Lewis, with a sample taken from the Chic hit, "My Forbidden Lover," by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers. The song was recorded by Luther Vandross some years ago, but was not released until recently as part of "The Ultimate Luther Vandross: Special Collector's Edition" (audio clips at that link). While the original mix is good, nothing beats the Freemasons Mix on the Bonus Disc, which weds the Velvet Vandross Voice to a sexy dance beat (audio clip here). This production is Classic Luther. Hearing him in this setting reminds me that he wasn't just a balladeer; his voice jazzed up some of the greatest R&B dance tracks of the past quarter century. Shine on, Luther!

Posted by chris at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Posted to Music