Welcome to the new series and over the next few weeks William Price King will be sharing the career and music of Josh Groban. You can find Part Two: Here
“Let Me Fall” from the Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam” is another gem from the album “Josh Groban,” and was penned by James Corcoran and Benoît Jutras. The Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun or Sun Circus) is a Canadian entertainment company. It is the largest theatrical producer in the world. Situated in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and located in the inner-city area of Saint-Michel, it was founded in Baie-Saint-Paul on 7 July 1984, by two former street performers, Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix. “Quidam” was the ninth stage show produced by the “Cirque du Soleil.”
In 2003, he received the Billboard Music Award for No. 1 Classical Crossover Artist of the Year. Some of Groban’s musical influences have been Radiohead, Steve Perry, Paul Simon, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Freddie Mercury, and Bjork. He cites as vocal influences “anyone who told a story with their songs,” including “Mandy Patinkin, Klaus Nomi, George Hearn, and Luciano Pavarotti.
“You Raise Me Up” is from Groban’s second studio album “Closer,” released in 2003. David Foster decided to produce this song after being introduced to it by Frank Petrone of Peermusic, the song’s publisher. He chose Groban to record the song, which was accompanied by the tenor Craig Von Vennik of the Establishment. Groban’s version made it to #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart in early 2004 and remained there for six weeks. This version also peaked at #73 on the Billboard Hot 100, his first single to do so, and was nominated for a 2005 Grammy award. Groban performed the song in a special NASA commemoration for the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. A special surprise performance by Groban, for Oprah Winfrey’s 50th birthday, also gave “You Raise Me Up” massive international prominence.
The song was originally composed as an instrumental piece and titled “Silent Story.” Some have claimed there is a strong resemblance to the traditional Irish tune “Londonderry Air,” to which Løvland has commented: “There are similarities but no plagiarism. When I made “You Raise Me Up” I asked myself – what is the inner essence of Irish music?” Løvland later approached Irish novelist and songwriter Brendan Graham to write the lyrics to his melody, after reading Graham’s novels.
“Remember When It Rained,” written by Groban and Eric Mouquet, is from the album “Closer” and also on the live album “Live at the Greek” (2004). When he plays the piano on this piece, he is outstanding. He performs with a freedom and expression that is engaging, as if the instrument were feeding his emotional core. This is an incredible performance.
Groban said that he believed that this second album was a better reflection of him, and that his audience would be able to get a better idea of his personality from listening to it.
“What most people know about me, they know through my music. This time, I’ve tried to open that door as wide as possible. These songs are a giant step closer to who I really am and what my music is all about. Hence the title.”
In the summer of 2004, Groban returned to Interlochen, Great Performances” special on PBS. Also in 2004, Groban performed “Remember When It Rained,” backed by a full orchestra, at the American Music Awards, where he was nominated for Favorite Male Artist in the pop category; he was also nominated for a People’s Choice Award in that year.
Groban earned his first Grammy nomination in 2005 for his single “You Raise Me Up” in the “Best Male pop Vocal Performance category. Youtube Channel.Josh Groban
“You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up)” is the second track and the first single from Groban’s third album, “Awake,” released in November 2006. The song’s music and lyrics were written by Tawgs Salter. The single peaked at #9 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The music video was directed by Meiert Avis. This song was featured in the TV series “The Simpsons,” episode “Lisa the Drama Queen” where Lisa and Juliet sing this piece while on the playground at their school. Youtube Channel.Josh Groban
Groban’s “Awake” world tour visited 71 cities between February and August 2007, and toured Australia and the Philippines with Lani Misalucha as his special guest in October 2007.
As to his future, Groban was open to a plethora of possibilities. He said, “I am fortunate enough to have had many really big moments in my career. I think the mistake a lot of people in my position make is to always search for the next big thing. I am looking forward to playing some small theaters. I’m looking forward to writing more. I want to delve further into my acting career and explore some of the film and TV opportunities that I haven’t had time for. My outlook is to expect the unexpected. And when the next step comes, I’m prepared to take it.”
“Petit Papa Noël” (literally Little Father Christmas) from Groban’s album “Noël,” is a 1946 song originally recorded by French singer Tino Rossi. Written by Raymond Vincy and Henri Martinet, this song was performed by Rossi in Richard Pottier’s film “Destins.” It is currently the best-selling single of all time in France, with over 5,711,000 units sold. “Noël is Groban’s Christmas and fourth studio album, which was released in October 2007. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album sold 3,699,000 copies in 2007 after its release, making it the overall best-selling album in the US for all of 2007. Youtube Channel.Josh Groban
Join us next time for part four and more music from Josh Groban..
William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.
His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.
While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.
His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.
In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.
William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION – William Price King on Tumblr
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My thanks to William for the amazing artists he has brought to the blog and thank you for dropping in today. As always your feedback is very welcome. William is on his summer break but will be back in person in September.