Every two weeks William will be sharing posts from his music archives here on Smorgasbord with a reminder of the incredible musicians and singers that have been featured over the last five years
In Part Four of this series we looked at the 1990s and the films and music from that decade.This week brings the series into this new millennium as Barbra Streisand continued to entertain and delight her fans.
In February 2006, Streisand recorded the song “Smile” with Tony Bennett at Streisand’s home in Malibu. The song is included on Bennett’s 80th birthday album, “Duets.” They filmed a live performance of the song for a special entitled “Tony Bennett: An American Classic. The special aired on NBC November 21, 2006, and was released on DVD the same day. Streisand’s duet with Bennett opened the special.
“Smile” was originally the theme of an instrumental used in the soundtrack for the film “Modern Times” by Chaplin, in 1936. The music was composed by Chaplin and inspired by Puccini’s Tosca. John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and the title in 1954. Nat King Cole recorded the first version with lyrics and the rest is history. Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett do a fabulous cover of this great American classic. Enjoy.
Following the special with Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand announced a tour which included the classical group Il Divo. She intended to raise both money and awareness for a number of charities that she supported. To date The Streisand Foundation has raised over 7 million in profits (2018 figures) to these charities which still occupy much of her time and efforts. Streisand: The Tour, over the 20 concerts, set box-office records grossing over 92 million with profits distributed through the foundation.
In September 2014, she released “Partners,” a new album of duets that features collaborations with “Elvis Presley, Andrea Bocelli, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Billy Joel, Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, John Legend and many others.
In “I Still Can See Your Face” Streisand’s tremendous vocal blend with Andrea Bocelli is outstanding and spine tingling. This duet is taken from the 2014 album “Partners,” with an all male lineup. “Partners” topped the Billboard 200 in the first week of its release, making Streisand the only recording artist to have a number-one album in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. It was also certified gold in November 2014 and platinum in January 2015, thus becoming Streisand’s 52nd gold and 31st Platinum album, more than any other female artist in history.
This musical powerhouse has produced some incredible statistics. Apart from producing dozens of gold and platinum selling albums she is second in the all-time charts ahead of the iconic Beatles and The Rolling Stones and only bettered by the King.. Elvis Presley.
Apart from selling around 250 million records worldwide, she is the only artist to have earned awards from all the major award institutions, including two Academy Awards, one Tony Award, five Emmys, 10 Grammys, 13 Golden Globes, a CableACE Award, the University of Georgia’s George Foster Peabody Award and the American Film Institutes’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015, she was further honored as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Streisand has been nominated 43 times for a Grammy Award, winning eight. In addition, she has received two special non-competitive awards; the 1992 Grammy Legend Award and the 1994 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame four times. In 2011, she was honored as MusiCares Persono of the Year by the Grammy Foundation for her artistic achievement in the music industry.
In a last performance for the series, a wonderful duet between Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion.
“Tell Him” was the first single from Dion’s “Let’s Talk About Love” and Streisand’s “Higher Ground” albums. This duet was rejected by non-adult contemporary radio stations. Sony Music Entertainment canceled the U.S. single release, because it did not have a broad enough support to put the song on top of the charts. The song did manage to peak at number five on the Adult Contemporary and number 58 on the Radio Songs charts. However, “Tell Him” was a huge hit outside the US and was, nonetheless, nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 1998. Uploaded CelineDion
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.
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.