Smorgasbord Music Column 2022 – William Price King meets the Music Legends – #Classical – Andrea Bocelli – Pavarotti, Celine Dion, Awards 1990s


It is eight years since William Price King joined Smorgasbord to share music across the genres. It is six years since we have featured some of the music legends and delighted to showcase them again in 2022.

Welcome to the next part in the Andrea Bocelli story. The multi-award winning cross over tenor has won not just critical acclaim for his beautiful voice, but the hearts of millions around the world

In September 1994 when Andrea was invited to sing at the renowned Pavarotti’s annual Charity Gala Concert, Pavarotti International in Modena. Bocelli sang Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s ‘Mattinata’ (Morning).. A song with quite an interesting back story.

It was the first song ever written for the then Gramophone Company in 1904 (which later became HMV). Ruggero Leoncavallo was an Italian composer who was best known for his two act opera, Pagliacci written in 1892, and still one of the top twenty list of most performed operas worldwide. ‘Mattinata’ was dedicated to the renowned Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso, and he was the first to record the song with Leoncavallo at the piano.. Just one of over 260 recordings between 1902 and 1920 by the great Caruso.

Also during the gala performance, Andrea sang a duet with Pavarotti, Maurizio Morante’s Notte e Piscatore’. Luciano Pavarotti 

This was the year that Andrea Bocelli made his opera debut in Verdi’s Macbeth as Macduff. Performing at the Teatro Verdi in Pisa. It was also in 1994 that Andrea, who considered himself to be an agnostic, reverted to catholicism. It followed his immersion in the works of Leo Tolstoy who promoted the belief that life was not the result of pure chance, but had purpose and meaning. He performed the hymn ‘Adeste Fideles in Rome before Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica at Christmas.

Having won the newcomer section at the 1994 San Remo Festival, Andrea was invited to return in 1995. This time he entered the main competition with ‘Con ti Partiro’ and finished in fourth place.

The song was included on his second album, Bocelli, produced by Mauro Malavasi and released in November 1995. In Belgium, the song became the best-selling single of all time.

In this piece, Con te Partiro, Bocelli’s young voice is strong and well supported.His mixing of high and low notes confirm his distinct timbrewhich is extraordinary and transcendent,and his performance is as impressive as the power he brings to its expression. Andrea Bocelli 

Later in 1995 Bocelli was invited to sing with soprano Sarah Brightman and they translated the title of the song to ‘Time to Say Goodbye’. The single topped the German charts and stayed there for over three months. Three million copies were sold and this beat the previous record of best-selling single by one million copies, the single also won a sextuple platinum award.

In 1996 Bocelli released his third album. Viaggio Italiano is Andrea Bocelli’s third studio album and first classical album. The album features some of the most popular opera arias and Neapolitan songs of all time, such as Ave Maria, Nessun Dorma, O Sole Mio and la Donna è Mobile. Although released only in Italy in 1996, it sold close to 300,000 copies. Bocelli later received the ECHO Klassik “Best seller of the year” award for the album, after its international release, in 1997

Bocelli gives a warm,passionate,and heartfelt delivery of Schubert’s Ave Maria. It’s unbelievably heavenly and inspirational.

Bocelli continued to gain fans around Europe, topping the charts in Spanish charts with ‘Vivo Por Ella’ ( I Live for Her) his duet with Queen of Spanish pop Marta Sanchez. This was followed in 1997 with the French version of the song, ‘Je Vis Pour Elle’ sung with French singer Hélène Ségara; a hit in Belgium and reaching number one in France.

On March 3rd 1997 he appeared in Hamburg, Germany, with Sarah Brightman to receive the ECHO music award for Best Single of the Year for Time to Say Goodbye. This was followed in the September with Bocelli’s concert at the Piazza dei Cavalieri in Piza, A Night in Tuscany which was his first concert to air on PBS.

Whilst continuing to perform concerts and to record further albums, Bocelli remained committed to performing opera roles and early in 1998 he made his debut in a major role as Rodolfo in La bohème at the Teatro Comunale in Cagliari.

His fifth album Aria: The Opera Album’ was released in March. There was some negative reviews for the album from opera purists who felt that his voice was not strong enough to master the arias. If you read the reviews on Amazon, it is clear to see there is definitely a divide between the critics and the massive response from Bocelli’s fans who loved the album.. Here is one review that sums up this controversy.

CHANGE YOUR REVIEWER ! By DAVID WILLIAMS on March 1, 2000

Thanks to Rick Holden (Sceptic@traveller.com) for showing Ms Miller how to write a proper review. Having listened to the album myself I can only agree whole heartedly with his comments. Unfortunately there are too many critics out there who try to analyse music note by note and impress us with their technical jargon.

The joy of music is all about liking what you hear, and whether or not the music moves you. How can anyone enjoy listening if they’re listening for flaws or mistakes instead of enjoying what they hear. Perhaps Andrea Bocelli isn’t the greatest Opera singer, I don’t know, but I can say that he has one of the most wonderfully melodic voices I have ever heard and he sings like a man who is enjoying every note he delivers.

His background or his potential for the future don’t bother me, he is the man of the moment, and that’s all that matters. I recently watched a video performance of his ‘Evening in Tuscany’ which I would reccommend to all fans. Maybe Andrea will never be a great Opera singer, but who cares? He can move audiences without all the fancy dress. VIVA ANDREA!

It was now time to win over the United States and in April, Bocelli made his debut with a concert at the John F. Kennedy Centre in Washington. This was followed the next day by a reception a the White House with President Bill Clinton.

As a very definite response to some of his critics, Bocelli appeared in Monte Carlo in the May and won two World Music Awards. One in the category “Best Italian Singer”, and one for “Best Classical Interpretation“. He was also named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People of 1998. This was consolidated in September when he received his second Echo Klassik award for the best-selling Aria: The Opera Album which sold almost two million copies, one million of them in the United States achieving Platinum status.

Here is ‘E lucevan le stelle‘ from the album – Bocelli’s grasp of style and vocal technique are quite evident in this aria, and his talent undeniable.His sound is not rounded in a Pavarotti-like way but is quite virile with a *baritone-like color used over a wide *vocal range without any suspicion of strain. Do enjoy this aria which is performed lovingly, sincerely,and skillfully.

Note: barione-like color – timbre
Note: vocal range –the measure of the breadth of pitches that a human voice can sing.

As the millennium drew to a close there was very little that could stop the phenomenon that was Andre Bocelli.

On Thanksgiving Eve, Andrea was a guest on Celine Dion’s televised These Are Special Times where they sang ‘The Prayer‘. The duet was included on Celine Dion’s album of the same name and the song also appeared on the film Quest for Camelot in 1998. ‘The Prayer’ won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song in 1999 and at the 41st Grammy Awards, Bocelli was nominated for Best New Artist.

His seventh album, Sacred Arias contained exclusively sacred music and reached number one on the US Classic Billboard charts two weeks later. This made Andre the first vocalist to hold all three top places on the chart with Aria: The Opera Album in second place and Viaggio Italiano in third place. To promote Sacred Arias, Bocelli recorded his second PBS concert in Rome and this special was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Classical Music-Dance Program.

To end the decade and millennium on a high note, Bocelli performed at the Royal Variety performance at the end of November 1999 by invitation of Queen Elizabeth. The following day his autobiographical novel, La Musica del Silenzio was released in Italy.

BUY Andrea Bocelli’s Music: Amazon

Official Website:Andrea Bocelli

Additional materialWikipedia

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.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular Venue – Cave Wilson

 

As always William would love to receive your feedback… thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 2003 Part Two – Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow, Evanescence, Annie Lennox, Celine Dion


Welcome to our show and we are excited to share decades of music with you in 2022.

Here is my second selection of top 2003 hits which I hope you will enjoy.

Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow – Picture

“Picture” was penned by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow from the album “Cocky,” and peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and #21 on its Hot Country Songs chart where it spent 33 weeks. In Canada “Picture “ was a huge success peaking at #2, according to Nielsen Soundscan. The song is Sheryl Crow’s second-most successful single in the US.

September 15th ISO/Columbia Records releases David Bowie’s 23rd studio album, “Reality”; he supports it with what becomes his final concert tour 

Evanescence – Bring me to life

“Bring me to life” is from Evanescence’s debut album, “Fallen” and topped the charts in Australia, the UK, and Italy. It charted in the top ten in more than 15 countries including the US, Argentina, Germany and New Zealand. At the 46th Grammy Awards the band won in the category for Best Hard Rock Performance, the song was also nominated for Best Rock Song. At the MTV Awards the band was nominated in the category for Best New Artist, and at the MTV Europe Music Awards it was nominated for Best Song. It won the Soundtrack Single of the Year award at the annual Billboard Music Awards and was ranked #69 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 2000s.

October 30th “Wicked” premieres on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre starring Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth 

Now time for my second picks from 2003 and I hope you will enjoy my selection.

Annie Lennox – Into The West

“Into the West” is a song performed by Annie Lennox, and the end-credit song of the 2003 film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. It is written by Lennox, Return of the King producer and co-writer Fran Walsh, and composed and co-written by the film’s composer Howard Shore. The song won the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 76th Academy Awards Annie Lennox

November 17th Britney Spears, at 21 years old, becomes the youngest singer to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Celine Dion – I drove all night

“I Drove All Night” is a song written and composed by American songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly and originally intended for Roy Orbison. Orbison recorded the song in 1987, the year before his death, but his version was not released until 1992. Cyndi Lauper recorded the song and released it as a single for her A Night to Remember album. Her version become a top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 1989. The song was covered by Canadian singer Celine Dion, whose version topped the Canadian Singles Chart and reached number 7 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart in 2003. CelineDion 

November 29th The first of Nelson Mandela’s 46664 AIDS benefit concerts held at Green Point Stadium, Capetown 

Additional sources: On This Day – Music – Hits of the 2000s: Playback FMWikipedia

Your Hosts for The Breakfast Show

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.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular Venue – Cave Wilson

Sally Cronin is an author, blogger and broadcaster who enjoyed four years as part of the team on Onda Cero International’s English speaking morning show in Marbella and then for two years as a presenter on Expressfm the local radio station in Portsmouth. She co-presented two ‘Drive Time’ shows a week with Adrian Knight, hosted the live Thursday Afternoon Show and The Sunday Morning Show guests including musicians and authors. Following this she became Station Director for a local internet television station for two years, producing and presenting the daily news segment, outside broadcasts and co-presenting the Adrian and Sally chat show live on Friday evenings.

She and her husband David have now returned to Ireland where they live on the Wexford Coast where she blogs and continues to write books.

Books :Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads – blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Next week 2004 Part One – We hope you will tune in.. as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Memories, Music and Movies – 1996 – Loss, Anthony Robbins, Belgium, Celine Dion, Brassed Off


I cannot remember a time when music and movies where not a part of my life.

Loss, Anthony Robbins, Belgium, Celine Dion, Brassed Off

It is 1996 and huge year of change for both of us as a couple and as a family. My father’s health continued to deteriorate but he was determined to make his 80th birthday on January 12th and we celebrated with a lunch at the Queen’s Hotel in Southsea.

I had come to the end of my contract in Peterborough and Norwich and was able to pop down from London three times a week to Portsmouth to help out over the next three months along with my sister and her husband.

Sadly on Good Friday my father died in hospital after a very brave fight and even the week before he was convinced that he was going to beat this thing!

As I mentioned in the last post my weight had blossomed! By the August of 1995 I had weighed over 24 stone (330lbs) and I was now in the process of losing that weight and was down about four stone (56lbs. Although I was being very strict about my diet, I was finding it tough going despite my best efforts. I was however devouring every book on nutrition and health that I could which was proving to be illuminating.

Back in 1995 as I began my weight loss process and in need of all the motivation I could muster, David heard that Anthony Robbins the American motivational speaker was coming to Birmingham and had signed us up for his Fire Walk Weekend. I had no idea what to expect and to be honest when we had attended this motivational event I was very self-conscious about my weight and somewhat resistent. However, we met some very interesting people, many who were also looking for a kick up the backside and it would be the start of me getting back control of my body and willpower. David actually walked across 25 foot of burning coals but I was far too heavy to attempt it! Not to mention too chicken!

Over the next two years we would attended Tony Robbins Life Mastery series in America, Hawaii and the Caribbean and it certainly helped keep me motivated as I lost another seven stone in weight.

Belgium

David was head hunted for a job in Brussels and we decided to put the house in South Woodford on the market rather than let it. It was sad to leave the house as we had enjoyed nine years there and made a lot of friends both locally and through our respective jobs. But we both felt that a new adventure would be good for us and it would prove to be just that.

David went ahead of me to Brussels and we eventually found a very nice house in Rhodes -Saint- Genese which was very close to the town of Waterloo and the battleground. We would spend 18 months there and were very happy exploring Brussels and the wonderful surrounding countryside.

I had brushed up my French that I had studied at school but it was not good enough to work in Belgium. So I  took the opportunity to continue my nutritional studies, developing a workable eating programme tailor made for my needs and walking 5 miles every week day. I also began wriiting the daily journal that would later become my first book Size Matters.

By the end of 1996 I had reached my target weight..

It was during this time in Brussels that we also made another emotional journey. My mother’s father had been killed on November 2nd, 1918 only nine days before peace was declared when she was just over a year old. My sister researched his whereabouts through the War Graves Commission and had discovered that he was buried in a small military cemetery close to the village of Poix du Nord just across the border into Northern France. She and her husband Robert had taken my mother to see her father’s grave a couple of years before our time in Belgium but both she and my mother came to stay with us in November 1996 so that we could lay a wreath on his grave on Remembrance Sunday.

In the charts

To be honest there was little time for music in the first few months of 1996 and when I look back at the charts there are many artists that I did not remember and who seem to have been one hit wonders.

It was the start of Spice Girl fever and they had two hits in the charts with Wannabe and Say You’ll Be There, George Michael with Fast Love, Los Del Rio with Macarena (love dancing to that), Take That with How Deep Is Your Love, Boyzone and Words, Celine Dion and Because You Loved Me and It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, Dunblane and Knocking on Heaven’s Door and Gina G and Ooh Aah, Just a Little Bit.

Because my father was a huge fan of Celine Dion, here is It’s All Coming Back To Me Now CelineDion 

Buy Celine Dion music: Amazon

We managed to see a  few films in London early in the year, but once we moved to Brussels we had to go into the city for version original films or wait until the video came out. Television was in Dutch or French so we watched a lot of videos that year. There were some great films released however that we have enjoyed since including Fargo, Trainspotting, Independence Day, Jerry Maguire, The English Patient, Mission Impossible, Primal Fear, The Rock, Brassed Off, Bed of Roses and Broken Arrow.

My father also loved brass bands so here is the William Tell Overture from the film Brassed Off…

 

I hope you have enjoyed joining me on this trip down Memory Lane and will join me next year for our adventures in 1997.. and our move back to Ireland.

Smorgasbord Music Column – William Price King – Life and Music of Barbra Streisand Part Five – The new millennium..


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.

Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway

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

Buy the music of Barbra Streisand: Amazon US  – and: Amazon UK –   Additional sources: Barbra Streisand Website – And: Wikipedia

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.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular VenueCave Wilson

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.