Smorgasbord Summer Music Festival with hosts William Price King and Sally Cronin – Headliners Nat King Cole and Billy Joel

The music festivals such as Glastonbury will not be laid on this year with thousands of fans putting their glamping (and less than glam) weekends on hold until next year.

Whilst not the same as sitting in the rain and mud, amongst thousands of other fans listening to the headliners, over the next three months, every two weeks, we will be staging a summer music festival of our own.

William Price King has been writing the music column for the last six years, showcasing wonderful musicians and singers of the last 75 years and I will be playing music from those series.

I will be also sharing tracks from my favourite music from the last 50 years across the rock and roll, country and pop charts.

We hope you will enjoy the music…

The first track today is from the first series of music columns in 2014 from the wonderful Nat King Cole.

With success knocking at his door, Nat King Cole decided to widen his base and ultimately his popularity by doing pop-oriented songs for mainstream audiences. This was highlighted by his introducing a string orchestra into his recordings. With his luscious baritone voice he turned out hit after hit, cementing his iconic stature with “The Christmas Song,” which he recorded four times; as a pure trio, with an added string section (twice), and for a double album – The Nat King Cole Story. His hits are legion: Route 66, Nature Boy, Mona Lisa, Unforgettable, to name a few. Here is the wonderful “Unforgettable” uploaded by LFYBzone

Buy the music of Nat King Cole: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

I am a huge fan of Billy Joel and it was tough to choose just one of his songs to share with you but I hope you enjoy this track..

She’s Always a Woman is a song from Billy Joel’s 1977 album The Stranger. It is a love song about a modern woman whom the singer has fallen totally in love with to the extent of falling for her endearing quirks as well as her flaws. The single peaked at No. 17 in the U.S. in 1977, and at No. 53 in the UK in 1986, when it was released as a double A-side with “Just the Way You Are”. It re-entered the UK chart in 2010, reaching No. 29.  Uploaded by  Billy Joel 

Buy the music by Billy Joel: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK


Thanks for tuning in this week.. William is on his summer break but will be back with a new series in September.. in the meantime we hope you will enjoy the summer of music.

Smorgasbord Music Column – The Romantic Ballad Request Show – Part One – Becky Ross Michael, D.G. Kaye, Abbie Taylor, Cindy Knoke, Sue Vincent.

Last week I featured some of my most played romantic songs through the decades for a Valentine Special and I asked you for your favourite tracks to dance to. Here they are now, so grab the one that you love… or a friend and have a twirl around the room.

The first requests is for Becky Ross Michael originally from Michigan and now living in Texas, Becky’s writing has appeared in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, U.P. Reader, and Mystery Readers Journal. Becky has requested Sky Blue and Black by Jackson Browne – Amazon

The next request is from non-fiction author D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies

Debby’s books are available:

Debby has asked for Barry White and Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love…Amazon

Now for a request from author Abbie Taylor who is the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and is working on another novel. Her poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals and anthologies.

Abbie’s books are available:

Abbie has requested I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You from the film The Mask of Zorro.

Cindy Knoke is the most stunning wildlife and scenic photographer who has travelled the world, capturing sights most of us will never experience. I highly recommend that you head over to spend time in her archives, but be warned, take supplies as you will be there for some time.

Cindy has requested Bryan Adams and Have You Ever Loved A Woman. – Amazon

The next track has been requested by Sue Vincent. “I am a Yorkshire born painter and writer, living in the south of England. I paint the strange things that come as images in dreams and fantasies and write about life as it happens.”

You can buy all of Sue’s books:

Sue has asked for Billy Joel, Just The Way You Are – Amazon

Thank you for dropping in today and there will be more requests next week.. If you would like to share your most romantic track ever… please add into the comments.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column -William Price King – Summer Jazz – Diana Krall Part Three

Welcome to part three of the Diana Krall story and William takes us into the new millennium and a move away from the more traditional jazz that Diana had been producing until now.


The new millennium arrived and Diana Krall was certainly one of the top Jazz artists performing at the time. There had never been any question that she was an astonishing pianist but her voice was only improving year on year combining jazz phrasing from artists such as Peggy Lee with the influence of Bossa nova artists that she worked with.

In mid-2000 Diana Krall and Tony Bennett began a 20-city tour ‘Two for the Road’ including Atlanta, Boston and Philadelphia with two sold out shows at the Hollywood Bowl and Radio City Music Hall in New York

Diana Krall commented, “It will be like a master class for me. I admire Tony immensely and to be able to watch and perform with him will be a great education for me.”

Here is Tony Bennett and Diana Krall with Alright, Okay, You Win to put you in the mood uploaded by plsdonttellmyhusband


Also in 2000 Diana recorded her sixth album The Look of Love with Verve with German composer and arranger Claus Ogerman and it was released in 2001. As one of the most prolific arrangers of the century, Otto Ogerman was very experienced across a number of fields including Rock, Pop, R&B, Jazz and Classical and had worked with some of the best in the business such as Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.

The album reached platinum status and was Diana Krall’s bestselling album, bestselling album of Canada, and bestselling album of 2001. It ranked number 5 in the Billboard magazine’s Top Jazz Albums of the Decade. The title track, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David: originally sung for the spoof Bond film Casino Royale by Dusty Springfield reached number 22 of the adult contemporary chart. Other tracks included I Remember You, Dancing in the Dark, and Love Letters.

The critics were not as positive about the album as the buying public with some criticising the obvious attempt at ‘crossover’ to pop. They also felt that under the influence of Claus Ogerman, who conducted either the London Symphony Orchestra or the Los Angeles Session Orchestra on all tracks, had turned the arrangements to a more ‘easy listening’ sound. It was felt that was at odds with the performances of both Diana Krall and her various collaborating musicians such as Russell Malone and Peter Erskine.

There were some particular tracks that were highlighted as being unimaginative such as the standards I Remember You and I Get along without You Very Well. However, if you read the majority of the reviews from those who bought the album at the time, her fans disagreed with the critics, which is why the album reached Platinum status. Here is one review in particular that addresses many of the issues raised by the critics.

The Sound Of Love… By J. Lund on September 18, 2001 Format: Audio CD

Sides will perhaps be taken as to whether or not THE LOOK OF LOVE is a step forward for Diana Krall, since it does veer in style from the expected. Not to marginalize her previous albums, but I consider this CD to be a major leap forward for an already impressive talent. Note the following: 1) Diana is accompanied by an orchestra here, rather than a small jazz combo (although of course Diana still contributes piano solos). 2) Those who liked some of the finger-snapping up-tempo tunes she has recorded in the past should prepare themselves–that isn’t the mood she is visiting this time around. 3) The music generally falls within the spirit or the letter of Bossa nova, and the expected degree of subtlety in this genre is maintained from the album’s beginning to finish.

The tone of the album isn’t sombre, but it does deal with adult emotions, specifically the ups and downs of love…and as anyone who is familiar with such bittersweet gems as I GET ALONG… can attest, the latter can be particularly poignant when the singer channels such tunes’ multi-layers of heartfelt emotion effectively, as Diana does here. Throughout, Diana’s voice is a flawless gem, not so much technically–although I have no complaints regarding that–as in her power to communicate from the soul to a degree that I find approaches that of the best 1950s-vintage Frank Sinatra concept albums. As did Sinatra, Diana often sings barely above a whisper, but at appropriate times raises her singing voice for dramatic effect.

Hopefully such a departure from previous CDs is an indication that Diana isn’t going to pander to the change-resistant faction of her fandom, but rather that she will risk her popularity by exploring whatever music that she is inspired to tackle at a given point in her career. Who says a traditionalist can’t think like a progressive?

Perhaps you might like to judge for yourself with the title track from the album. The Look of Love uploaded by daou007

In the autumn of 2001 Diana Krall began a world tour and concert at the Paris Olympia was released as her first live album. ‘Diana Krall – Live in Paris. She was accompanied by Grammy nominated Anthony Wilson jazz guitarist and composer who has continued to play with her since then. Also joining her on stage were John Pisanoon on acoustic guitar, John Clayton on bass, Jeff Hamilton on drums and Brazilian percussionist Paulinho Da Costaon. The album tracks ranged from Cole Porter, George Gershwin to more contemporary artists such as Billy Joel.

live in paris

On Just The Way You Are Diana was accompanied by Christian McBride on bass with a wonderful solo by Michael Brecker on tenor saxophone. For those fans that had been unable to attend any of Diana Krall’s concerts, this was an opportunity to experience the difference between a studio produced albums vs. ‘live’ performance.

Here is Just The Way You Are from the album recorded later at the Avatar Studios in New York uploaded by Alberto Jesús Salas Oblitas

The album won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album and the 2003 Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. Billboard ranked the album at number 8 on the magazine’s Top Jazz Albums of the Decade.

Sadly in 2002 Diana Krall’s mother died of cancer within months of two of her mentors, Ray Brown and Rosemary Clooney.

Diana had met the British rock musician Elvis Costello backstage at the Sydney Opera House when she was on tour and in May 2003 they announced their engagement, marrying in just before Christmas that year. Elvis Costello had begun his career in the London pub rock scene in the early 70s and was associated with the first wave of punk rock later in the decade. Following his first album My Aim Is True he formed his backing band, The Attractions and went on to release two further albums by the end of the decade. All appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Their marriage brought two musical powerhouses together and the result was a new album with Diana’s own compositions and Elvis’s lyrics. The Girl in the Other Room was released in April 2004 and rose to the top five in the UK and top 40 album charts in Australia. Again there was some disagreement between her jazz ‘purist’ fans and those who were enjoying the more eclectic side to her music. Those who were used to listening to her more traditional versions of jazz standards were not quite ready to embrace her own compositions despite the obvious jazz components. Tommy LiPuma and Diana Krall produced the album together and included jazz versions of blues as well as more contemporary songs by artists such as Joni Mitchell. Tracks include Stop This World – Mose Allison, title track The Girl in the Other Room with Elvis Costello, Black Crow – Joni Mitchell, Love Me Like A Man – Chris Smither.

Here is Almost Blue with lyrics by Elvis Costello originally recorded by him in 1982. Uploaded DianaKrallVEVO

As you will see from the reviews of the album the majority of Diana Krall’s fans were in favour of the new collaboration and resulting sound. album reviews

Also in 2004 Diana joined Ray Charles on his album Genius Loves Company for the song You Don’t Know Me. Verve records released Christmas Songs in 2005 followed by From This Moment On in 2006. This album provided all her fans with an opportunity to return to the jazz standards of her earlier albums and included such classics as Isn’t This A Lovely Day by Irving Berlin, From This Moment On by Cole Porter and Something’s Gotta Give by Johnny Mercer.

This was not the only production for 2006 as Diana and Elvis Costello welcomed twin sons in December of 2006.

To end this week’s post one of those classics From This Moment On by Cole Porter.

Buy Diana Krall music:

More information about Diana

Diana Krall Current Tour Dates:

Additional Sources:

About William Price King

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

Connect with William

Regular Venue 

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory:

and all the previous posts on jazz, classical and contemporary artists here:

Thank you for tuning in today and I hope you will join us again next Tuesday for the last part of the Diana Krall story –  Thanks Sally and William.



Sally’s Drive Time #Playlist – #Music to get the weekend started – The Requests – Sue Vincent, Jacquie Biggar, Mary Smith and Tina Frisco

Since the beginning of this series, I have asked you to share your favourite music with links in the comments. I thought I would create a special playlist, sharing the track and link to the latest post of those requesting the song.

The first track is requested by Sue Vincent  Eric Clapton and ‘Bad Love’ Apparently Sue cannot hit the road without this blasting out.

We have some country coming up from Charlie Pride with ‘Kiss an Angel Good Morning‘, requested by Jacquie Biggar and if you head over you can read Jacquie’s review of Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs.

Billy Joel and ‘Uptown Girl’ was the selection by Mary Smith to keep her company when hitting the road.

The stunning voice of Loreena McKennitt and the song ‘Santiago’ was selected by Tina Frisco which I am sure you will enjoy. If you head over you can catch Tina’ recent guest post on The Story Reading Ape.

Tune in next week for part two of the requests from the series. Thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful weekend. Thanks Sally


Sally’s Drive Time Playlist #Music to get your weekend started – Billy Joel and Anne Murray

In the past I have been known to get up and either join the band or pick a few songs from the karaoke playlist. There have been some memorable karaoke sessions in various places around the world as back in the 80s and 90s there was a machine in nearly every pub or bar.

Due to the fact that we had a whirlwind romance (met on 16th September, engaged on first date 29th September, married five weeks later in 1980), David was not conversant with all my past life activities! This included my love of singing with the band, any band…

We were celebrating my new job as manager of the Eastex and Dereta fashion department in Owen Owen in the centre of Liverpool, and decided to go to a dinner dance at the swish Atlantic Towers. We thought it likely that we would be drinking a bottle of wine and they had a special rate at the weekend that included bed and breakfast so we decided to spend the night.

It was Saturday July 4th and although there had been some clashes reported on the news as a result of a traffic stop made by police on the 3rd of July 1981, we had no idea how things would escalate so quickly.

Here are some details of the Toxteth riots that escalated to massive property damage and many injured including one fatality.

THE Toxteth riots were sparked on a muggy evening in July 1981, when police intercepted a motorcyclist in Selbourne Street.

A crowd gathered, name-calling grew into jostling and within minutes there was a full-scale fracas that saw three police officers hurt and a young local man, Leroy Cooper, arrested on assault charges.

It did not stop there. Police mounted extra patrols in the area and early the following evening, July 4, they came under attack from a crowd armed with bricks and petrol bombs. The fuse had been lit on nine days of disorder that saw hundreds of police and public injured, one man dead, 500 arrested, 70 buildings destroyed and damage estimated at £11m.

Nearly 1,000 police officers were injured – 300 on one night alone – 500 arrests were made, 100 cars were burned out and one man, David Moore from Wavertree, was killed by a police van dispersing rioters. Police officers were accused of his manslaughter, although they were eventually acquitted.

You can read the rest of the article here: Toxteth Riots

Anyway we and around 40 other guests were enjoying dinner and listening to a four piece Italian band playing in quietly in the background, when the manager stepped up to the microphone and told us that the police had recommended that anyone who was not a guest should return to their homes as rioting had broken out in certain parts of the city. Obviously there was shock and a rapid exit by nearly all the guests except for one or two couples, who like us where staying the night.

The band played on but within 10 minutes David and I were the only ones who were still sat at a table with our wine and after dinner mints. The safest place we decided was to stay the night as planned but clearly there would be no dancing. We got up and chatted to the band and said how sorry we were not to hear them play more, when they suggested that since they were there and they could not go anywhere, that they continue…

We had been chatting about some of my favourite songs and before I could say that I was not that sort of girl….. I was up there behind the microphone and we jammed for the next hour.

Many days later when calm had returned to the city, I did feel very guilty about enjoying myself, however, that evening is definitely etched on my memory… And David discovered a little bit more about his wife!

The tracks that I have chosen today that are on my playlist are from two artists who have been bringing music into my life for the last 45 years… the first is Billy Joel and his 1973 Piano Man… I am a huge fan and can drive hundreds of miles in his company

If you want a great compilation album I can recommend:

You can find out more about Billy Joel and tour dates (would love to see him live)

The second track today is from one of my idols, Anne Murray and is one of the songs (among many of her tracks) that I have been known to sing when I have had a couple of glasses of wine.. apologies Anne.  All of Me…

You can buy the album that this is the lead track on:

And Anne’s Autobiography:

And the Anne Murray Website:

I hope you have enjoyed the selection today and please leave your favourite tracks in the comments and all the better if you can find the YouTube link so that others can head over to listen too. Thanks Sally

A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Mel Tormé – Part Five – The 70s and 80s

Welcome to the Saturday Jazz session with singer and composer William Price King and his series on the incomparable Mel Torme.  Many of us grew up listening to him perform and I seem to remember a couple of romances being helped along by his smooth style…. Anyway enough reminiscing – on with the show in the capable hands and voice of William Price King…


We catch up with Mel Tormé in the early 70s and he had not released an album since 1969. He continued to work in television and film however and by 1971 he was host and co-producer for an ABC documentary series ‘It Was a Very Good Year,. The major events of all the years from 1919 to 1964 were presented each week and Mel would sing musical hits and interview personalities of the featured dates. He would appear in acting and singing roles on TV during those leaner years as well as continue to perform live at every opportunity.


Mel would not release any studio recordings until 1977 but he did privately record a new live album Mel Tormé live at the Maisonette in 1975, recorded at the Maisonette room in the St. Regis Hotel in New York, which he sold to Atlantic Records.. Despite not making money on the album it did produce a nomination in 1976 for the Grammy Award for Best Accompanying Vocalist for the 15 minute Gershwin medley. One of the songs that he performed live on the album was the 1972 Stevie Wonder Motown hit ‘Superstition’

After a seven year gap, in 1976, Mel signed a new record contract with Gryphon Records and recorded the LP Tormé! A New Album in London in June 1977. One of the tracks on the album was New York State of Mind by Billy Joel

Whilst this album was being produced Mel was working in collaboration with long-time friend, drummer and band leader Buddy Rich and their January 1978 sessions, Together Again: For the First Time was released before his Gryphon label album.


However both albums would provide Mel with further Grammy nominations – for his album with Buddy he was nominated in the Best Jazz Vocal Performance category in 1978 for the fourth time and a fifth nomination followed in 1979 in the same category for his work on Tormé! A New Album.

Jazz vocals were making a great comeback in the 70s and Mel’s consistent loyalty to live performing in the 60s stood him in good stead now. He had developed a reputation as a talented Jazz singer and he was in big demand to perform around the world with often over 200 performances a year. He headlined at Jazz festivals, concert halls and with symphony orchestras and was booked to appear annually in major cities around the globe. His awards were not limited to the US or the Grammys as he was honoured in Europe as well.


His success continued into the early 80s with more traditional pop music making a return to the charts. There was a sixth Grammy nomination, again for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, for his LP, Mel Tormé and Friends Recorded Live at Marty’s New York City, which was released on Finesse Records in 1981 and reached number 44 in the Billboard jazz chart. One of the songs on that album was The Best is Yet to Come by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh which was very apt considering how well Mel’s career was doing as he entered the new decade.

The 80s continued on track for Mel and his next collaboration with jazz pianist George Shearing in 1982 at the Peacock Court of the Hotel Mark Hopkins in San Francisco would result in the album An Evening with George Shearing & Mel Tormé released by Concord Records. It reached number 34 in the jazz chart and cemented their association for the rest of the 80s. Mel was nominated for his seventh Grammy again in the Best Jazz Vocal performance and this time he won in February of 1983. Here is a live performance from the album.. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.

The pair teamed up for the album Top Drawer, winning Mel his second Grammy win and their album An Evening at Charlie’s released in 1984 provided his ninth nomination with a studio album An Elegant Evening producing the tenth for 1986.

At last Mel Tormé was receiving the recognition he deserved and next time we will explore the rest of the 80s and the 90s with this amazing singer and performer.

Additional sources


William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and more details in the Buy Music for Christmas.

Links to website –
Facebook –
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue –

William Price King meets Mel Tormé Part One. Part Two Part Three Part Four