Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Who is referring others to your blog? Guests, music and laughter


Welcome to the weekly round up of posts you might have missed.

This week I got back into the swing of things and began the 2019 book promotions and the first of the Sunday Interviews. It was a terrific break but very happy being back to normal.

As always a huge thank you to my regular contributors and guests as well as the support on social media. Whilst managing the various platforms is time consuming and sometimes distracting, it was interesting to see, when I looked at the year’s analytic data, where the most referrals were generated from.

At the top end of the list and accounting for approximately 50% of the referrals out of 221,000 views:

  1. WordPress Reader.
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Yahoo.com
  5. Other search engines.

The other 50% were referrals from individual bloggers.

This confirms a few things to me:

  1. That WordPress Reader is a very powerful promotional tool for promoting not just our own posts but also when we reblog and ‘press’ posts we enjoy by other bloggers. Since people browse the Reader looking for posts that are interesting, it is well worth making sure you titles and the short summary at the top of your post catch their eye.
  2. That my time spent on Twitter and Facebook is not wasted!
  3. That using key words and tags on blog posts gets results from search engines. (but need to do better)
  4. That connecting and becoming part of a supportive community is essential to the success of a blog.

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to share the posts this year directly to their own blogs which resulted in referrals and to all of you who took the time to like, share on social media and comment.

This week William Price King shared the life and music of the legendary Duke Ellington.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-duke-ellington/

This week Carol Taylor shares her favourite recipes of 2018… and they look delicious.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-column-with-carol-taylor-favourite-dishes-of-2018/

D. G. Kaye – Debby Gies shares a recap of her 2018 travel column with a reminder of the places you might like to visit on vacation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-recap-take-a-look-before-you-book-your-summer-holiday-with-d-g-kaye/

Welcome to the first of a new season of Getting to Know You and my first guest for 2019 is Australian author Frank Prem who has recently released a collection of poems and short stories about his childhood – Small Town Kid.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-author-frank-prem/

I was delighted to review Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration by Colleen M. Chesebro.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/smorgasbord-book-reviews-fairies-myths-and-magic-a-summer-celebration-by-colleen-m-chesebro/

I wrote the original Size Matters in 1998 about my 150lb weight loss… I did update when the book went digital but that was several years ago. After working as a nutritional therapist for the last 20 years, and having continued to research and study food and its role in our health, I decided that it was time to write the sequel. 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/11/smorgasbord-health-size-matters-the-sequel-after-20-years-by-sally-cronin-introduction/

It is 1996 and it is a year of change with a move to Brussels and Anthony Robbins Life Mastery.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1996-a-year-of-change-and-celine-dion/

I am had fun with Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 118 with the synonyms this week of ‘Begin’ and ‘Fresh’

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-poetry-challenge-week-118-etheree-initiate-and-crisp/

It is now 1986 and both David and my father have their birthdays back to back. We are also making plans for a day trip and a much longer road trip over to New Mexico.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-houston-1986-birthdays-and-plans/

New on the shelves this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-sciencefiction-fantasty-voyage-of-the-lanternfish-by-c-s-boyack/

Author update with recent reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-don-massenzio-marcia-meara-and-teri-polen/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-jane-risdon-and-christina-jones-sally-cronin/

The Gentle Detox

As part of a gentle detox it is useful to employ the power of nature as a cleanser for your liver and kidneys. Dandelion is powerful and has many health benefits.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-tool-box-water-retention-dandelion-by-sally-cronin/

It is a good idea to complete a gentle detox to find out what food triggers or environmental contaminants might be causing you to suffer from allergies or health issues.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-food-intolerances-nightshade-family-and-environmental-toxins-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-2/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-snitching-cheating-failing-and-a-change-of-career/

Thank you very much for dropping in today and for your continued support. It keeps me motivated to keep writing.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – #Jazz – Duke Ellington


Welcome to the first of William Price King’s music columns for 2019. And today he is sharing the work of the iconic Duke Ellington, composer, pianist and Jazz orchestra leader for over 50 years.

Edward ‘Duke’ Ellington was born in 1899 in Washington D.C. to James and Daisy who were both pianists. At the age of seven, Edward began taking piano lessons and with his mother’s guidance began to adopt an elegant and well-mannered approach to life. Daisy dressed him with style, which resulted in his childhood friends calling him ‘Duke’, a nickname that stuck with him throughout his career. Despite Daisy’s efforts, Duke preferred baseball over the piano… and whilst at high school is first job was selling peanuts at the Washington Senators baseball games.

At age 15 and working as a soda jerk at the Poodle Dog Café, Duke wrote his first composition “Soda Fountain Rag”… also known as “Poodle Dog Rag”.

“I would play the ‘Soda Fountain Rag’ as a one-step, two-step, waltz, tango and fox-trot”, Ellington recalled. “Listeners never knew it was the same piece. I was established as having my own repertoire.” In his autobiography, Music is my Mistress (1973), Ellington wrote that he missed more lessons than he attended, feeling at the time that playing the piano was not his talent.

Ellington started sneaking into Frank Holiday’s Poolroom at the age of fourteen. Hearing the poolroom pianists play ignited Ellington’s love for the instrument, and he began to take his piano studies seriously. Duke began listening to, watching, and imitating ragtime pianists, not only in Washington, D.C., but in Philadelphia and Atlantic City,where he vacationed with his mother during the summer months.

To improve his technique he took private lessons and he was also inspired by his first encounters with James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. Eventually he began playing in cafes and clubs around Washington and it became his focus and he turned down a scholarship in 1916 to the prestigious Pratt Institute in New York. To pay the bills Duke worked as a freelance sign-painter and began assembling groups to play for dances. In 1919 he met drummer Sonny Greer from New Jersey, who encouraged Duke to become a professional musician. His career was helped by his growing sign-writing business as he would offer his services to anyone who asked him to make a sign for a party or an event.

He formed his first group “The Duke’s Serenaders” in 1917 and from the mid- 1920s he was based in New York City where he gained a national profile through his orchestra’s appearances at the world famous “Cotton Club”.

Although widely considered to have been a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington embraced the phrase “beyond category” as a liberating principle and referred to his music as part of the more general category of American Music rather than to a musical genre such as jazz.

Some of the jazz musicians who were members of Ellington’s orchestra, such as saxophonist Johnny Hodges, are considered to be among the best players in the idiom. Ellington melded them into the best-known orchestral unit in the history of jazz. Some members stayed with the orchestra for several decades. A master at writing miniatures for the three-minute 78 rpm recording format, Ellington wrote more than one thousand compositions; his extensive body of work is the largest recorded personal jazz legacy, with many of his pieces having become standards. Ellington also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, for example Juan Tizol’s “Caravan”, and “Perdido”, which brought a Spanish tinge to big band jazz. In the early 1940s,

Ellington began a nearly thirty-year collaboration with composer-arranger-pianist Billy Strayhorn, whom he called his writing and arranging companion. With Strayhorn, he composed many extended compositions, or suites, as well as additional short pieces.

Following an appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, in July 1956, Ellington and his orchestra enjoyed a major revival and embarked on world tours. Ellington recorded for most American record companies of his era, performed in several films, scored several, and composed a handful of stage musicals.

Ellington was noted for his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and for his eloquence and charisma. His reputation continued to rise after he died, and he was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize Special Award for music in 1999.

Here are some of only a few of the exceptional pieces written by Duke Ellington.

“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” written in 1931 by Duke Ellington with lyrics by Irving Mills was characterized as a legendary, prophetic piece with a prophetic title, by historian Gunther Schiller. Critic Spike Hughes called Ellington a prophet. Nonetheless, Ellington was not a fan of reading too much into a song.

However, this song took Ellington out of the category of being simply a ‘bandleader’ and elevated him to the league of ‘composers’. According to trumpetist Bubber Miley, this song was the expression of a sentiment which prevailed among jazz musicians at that time and has since been covered by practically all of the jazz greats, including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Nina Simone, and Lionel Hampton.

“Sophisticated Lady”, composed as an instrumental mood piece by Duke Ellington in 1932, featured solos by Toby Hardwick on alto sax, Barney Bigard on clarinet, Lawrence Brown on trombone, and Ellington on piano. This recording entered the charts in May 1933 and peaked at number three. The tune was actually a composite musical sketch of three women, three of young Ellington’s grade school teachers in the U Street neighborhood of Washington D.C. Ellington said: “They taught all winter and toured Europe in the summer. To me that spelled sophistication.”

Tin Pan Alley lyricist Mitchell Parish (Stardust, Ruby, Moonlight Serenade ) added words to Ellington’s melody, telling a story of a wealthy, love-lost socialite. Ellington accepted Parish’s lyrics, though they did not entirely fit his original conception. “Sophisticated Lady “ was featured in the musical revue “Sophisticated Ladies” on Broadway in 1981 which celebrated the work of Duke Ellington. This song also appeared on the soundtrack of the 1989/90 documentary “Sophisticated Lady”, celebrating the life of singer Adelaide Hall, who recorded with Ellington in 1927, 1932, and 1933.

“ Prelude to a Kiss” Ellington’s success allowed him the privilege of becoming more ambitious and experimental in his compositions, thus abandoning the « Tin Pan Alley »* style hooks and dance tempos for melodic lines and harmonies mostly found in classical music. The result was « Prelude To a Kiss. » Its blending of classical and jazz sensibilities contributed to the song’s originality and splendor. This song was originally recorded as an instrumental in 1938. Weeks later, Ellington recorded it again, adding lyrics by Irving Gordon and Irving Mills.

  • Tin Pan Alley is the name given to the of New York City music publishers and songwriters who dominated the popular music of the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century – a reference to the sound of pianos, comparing them to the banging of tin pans, coming from songwriters modifying their pianos to produce a more percussive sound.

“Take the ‘A’ Train” is a 1939 composition by Billy Strayhorn which referred to the ‘A’ subway service that ran through NYC, going at that time from eastern Brooklyn, on the Fulton Street Line (opened in 1936) up into Harlem and northern Manhattan, using the Eighth Avenue Line which was opened in 1932. Strayhorn wrote this piece after Ellington offered him a job in his organization. Ellington sent him directions to get to his house by subway, directions that began with “Take the ‘A’ Train… “. Strayhorn initially wrote the lyrics to this song which was recorded by the Delta Rhythm Boys. Later, Joya Sherrill, 20 years old at the time, wrote new lyrics for the instrumental version of this piece. Thanks to her poise, vocal ability and her unique take on the song, Ellington hired her as a vocalist and adopted her lyrics which became the main stay.

“Satin Doll” was written by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn in 1953, with lyrics added after the song was a hit in its instrumental version, by Johnny Mercer. According to Mercer Ellington, the Duke’s son, his father wrote “ Satin Doll “ for his longtime mistress Bea ‘Evie’ Ellis. Capitol Records released this song in 1953, peaking at #27 on Billboard’s Pop chart. This piece is well known in musical circles for its unusual use of chords, and its opening with a turnaround.* Ellington used “Satin Doll” as the closing number in most of his concerts.

  • In jazz, a turnaround is usually the two measures at the end of a section of music whose function is to help you segue into the next section of music creating a strong sense of forward motion, harmonically.

Buy Duke Ellington Music: https://www.amazon.com/Duke-Ellington/e/B000APLKAY

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Ellington
Discover more about ‘Duke’ Ellington: http://www.dukeellington.com/home.html

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 https://williampriceking.tumblr.com

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/

Thank you for tuning in today and we hope you have enjoyed the music. We look forward to your feedback.. thanks Sally and William.

Smorgasbord Summer Jazz 2017 – William Price King meets Tony Bennett – The 1990s


We left Tony Bennett at the end of the 1980s having re-established himself in the charts and on television. With his son as his manager and reunited with his musical director Ralph Sharon, Tony was heading into the 1990s back on track.

And certainly his first album Astoria: Portrait of the Artist in 1990 was a great way to start the new decade. Released by Columbia Records the album included some classic tracks as well as some less well known. Astoria was Tony Bennett’s birthplace and several of the songs had references to ‘home and old friends’ in the lyrics such as A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet, The Folks Who Live On The Hill, I’ve Come Home Again.

I think one of the tracks that sums up the previous two decades for Tony is I Was Lost, I Was Drifting!

To get us in the mood today here is Tony with one of the songs that he has performed in the years since this album… The Girl I Love composed and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin. tonybennettVEVO

Following this album, Tony turned his attention to paying homage to some of the great artists of the industry and in 1992 he released Perfectly Frank as a tribute to Frank Sinatra. It reached Number #1 in the US jazz chart and also reached gold status and featured 24 tracks including Time After Time, Nancy, Night and Day, The Lady is a Tramp and another Gershwin number, A Foggy Day.

The following album in 1993 also did very well. A tribute to Fred Astaire, Steppin’ Out it was also Number #1 in the jazz chart and reached gold status and both these two albums won Grammys for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance. This was clear evidence that the new direction that Tony was taking with his career was paying off. One of the tracks on Steppin’ Out is They Can’t Take That Away From Me by George and Ira Gershwin. Uploaded by Johnboy Jones

Here is a quote from Tony Bennett which illustrates the tenacity and commitment to his career despite the setbacks.

“Number one, don’t quit. Number two, listen to number one!”

Tony was also appearing on MTV and television alongside the younger generation of music stars and here is what The New York Times had to say about Tony Bennett in the 1990s

“Tony Bennett has not just bridged the generation gap, he has demolished it. He has solidly connected with a younger crowd weaned on rock. And there have been no compromises.”

To capitalise on his MTV exposure, Tony released his next live album in 1994 – MTV Unplugged which did extremely well in the charts reaching #48 in the US charts, #1 in the jazz chart and #11 in the Australian charts. The album also went Platinum and won the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance Grammy for the third year in a row with the top Grammy for Album of the Year. Not only had Tony captured the hearts of the home audience but had re-established himself as an International star.

Tony also began collaborating with the younger generation of artists and in 1994 released the single Moonglow with K.D. Lang. tonybennettVEVO

Back in the studio the next album in 1995 was Here’s To The Ladies which featured the hits of singers such as Barbra Streisand, Peggy Lee, Judy Garland, Lena Horne and Billie Holiday. As with Tony’s previous albums of this decade, it did well in the charts. This was followed in 1997 with Tony Bennett On Holiday and in 1998 Tony Bennett – The Playground.

The last album of the 90s was Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool to celebrate the centenary of Duke Ellington’s birth. It reached #1 in the jazz charts and brought the decade to a wonderful finish.

As well as consistently releasing #1 albums, Tony Bennett did not neglect his legions of fans and he toured continuously with on average a staggering 100 shows a year. He also continued with regular television shows and appearances including a PBS special Tony Bennett’s Wonderful World: Live From San Francisco. He also created the concept of a series for A&E Network Live By Request series and he won an Emmy Award for his own first episode.

It was time for an autobiography and in 1998 Tony published The Good Life: The Autobiography of Tony Bennett.

Tony’s comeback ensured that he was now financially secure and despite now being 74 years old he had no intention of retiring. He said in reference to artists such as Pablo Picasso, Jack Benny and Fred Astaire: 

“right up to the day they died, they were performing. If you are creative, you get busier as you get older.”

To end the story of the 90s here is It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) by Duke Ellington. Uploaded by Jack Miller

Buy Tony Bennett’s music: Amazon

Next week in the finale we will bring Tony up to date as we celebrate his 90th year in style.

About William Price King

williampriceking

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 jazz album, ‘Home,’ is 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.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King

Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

You can find the other artists in the previous series here:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-classical-and-contemporary-legends/

We would love to have your feedback and also your help in spreading the post around social media for us…we hope you will join us next week for the finale of Tony Bennett’s story.

 

 

 

Summer Jazz with William Price King – Ella Fitzgerald – Part Four – Collaborations


William and his musicLast week in the Ella Fitzgerald story we discovered the delights of the eight Songbooks that Ella recorded up to 1964. This week a brief look at her appearances on the large and small screens and also her collaborations with some of the best performers of the day. My thanks as always to William Price King for his wonderful contribution to the blog and you will find links to his other articles at the end of the post.

Ella Fitzgerald was an exceptional performer and this did cross over into both television and film roles in the 50s. Her manager Norman Granz was able to negotiate a role for Ella in the Jack Webb 1955 jazz film Pete Kelly’s Blues alongside Janet Leigh and Peggy Lee. This was her first film since 1942 and Ella was thrilled by the opportunity.. Unfortunately the critics where not so thrilled with the film but despite this The New York Times did offer some comfort to Ella and her fans. “About five minutes (out of ninety-five) suggest the picture this might have been. Take the ingenious prologue … [or] take the fleeting scenes when the wonderful Ella Fitzgerald, allotted a few spoken lines, fills the screen and sound track with her strong mobile features and voice.”

At the time leading roles for African American actresses were difficult to find, but Ella appeared from time to time in cameos for St. Louis Blues in 1958 for example and on television in the 1980s drama The White Shadow.

However, she did make many guest performances with the established musical shows of the day including with one of her favourite singers Frank Sinatra. Also Andy Williams, Pat Boone, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Mel Tormé. She was a frequent guest on The Ed Sullivan Show and here is a wonderful, but unfortunately short, performance of “Three Little Maids from School” from The Mikado, alongside Joan Sutherland and Dinah Shore.

Ella was very popular with producers when it came to television commercials and one of her longest running was for Memorex tapes. Here is a short compilation to remind us not just of her amazing voice but also those days when we all thought that cassette tapes where the last word in technology! In the original advert Ella sang and shattered a glass, when the tape was played back the recording also broke the glass, asking: “Is it live, or is it Memorex?”

The Collaborations.

There is no doubt that Ella Fitzgerald performed and often recorded with the finest musicians and singers of the day. These included Bill Kenney & The Ink Spots, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.

Out of the seven songs that Ella recorded with the Ink Spots, four reached the top of the pop charts including “I’m Making Believe” for Decca Records in 1944. With hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women over in Europe this song was hugely popular and reached number one in the chart.

The three Verve Studio albums with Louis Armstrong also did very well including the last album that featured the music from the Gershwin musical Porgy and Bess. Ella also recorded with Louis on a number of records for Decca in the 50s.

Her collaboration with Count Basie pleased the critics and her 1963 album Ella and Basie! is considered to be one of the best. Here is one of the classics from the album “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” written by Harry Brooks, Andy Razaf and Fats Waller

Ella and Count Basie also collaborated on the 1972 album Jazz at Santa Monica Civic ’72, and on the 1979 albums Digital III at Montreaux, A Classy Pair and A Perfect Match.

Last week we covered the Duke Ellington Songbook but Ella and the ‘Duke’ also worked together on the 1966 album Ella and Duke at the Cote D’Azur, and in Sweden for The Stockholm Concert 1966. Their 1965 album Ella at Duke’s Palace is also extremely well received. Here is a video of one of the live performances from Stockholm. “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)”.

One of the stars that Ella would have dearly loved to collaborate with on an album was Frank Sinatra. Despite several memorable performances by them on stage and in television specials, that was never to happen. A great shame, although thankfully we do have recorded magic available on YouTube to share, including this wonderful performance of “Can’t we be friends”.

One of their most successful joint collaborations was with Count Basie in 1974 for a series of concerts at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas which was so popular and when they transferred to Broadway for two weeks in September 1975 the show grossed a million dollars in two weeks.

Join us next week for the final part of the amazing and wonderful life of Ella Fitzgerald with some more outstanding performances.

Buy Ella Fitzgerald music.
http://www.amazon.com/Ella-Fitzgerald/e/B000APP6OU

Additional sources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella_Fitzgerald
http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/
https://www.youtube.com
Marilyn Monroe Video Archives
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Granz

William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.

williampriceking

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 jazz album, ‘Home,’ is 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.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

I hope that you have enjoyed and would love to receive your comments. Please feel free to reblog and share to others who love jazz and good music.

Summer Jazz, William Price King meets Ella Fitzgerald -Part Three – The Songbooks


William and his music

This week in the Ella Fitzgerald story a slight change of format as we look at the eight Songbooks that Ella recorded showcasing the best music of the 20th century.. Enjoy the concert of the most iconic songs of the era.

From 1956 to 1964 Ella Fitzgerald under the banner of the Verve record label recorded eight of her very popular ‘Songbooks’ beginning with Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook, which was also her first album with the label.

These Songbooks are amongst the most well-known of her many albums and the songs ranged from the popular Jazz standards to lesser known songs from the composers and lyricists featured and also some cross over for her non-jazz fans.

The Cole Porter Songbook was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000 in an award that recognised excellence in the previous 25 years. Here is the fabulous I Get a Kick Outta of You…

The second Songbook followed quickly in 1956, Ella Fitzgerald sings the Rodgers & Hart Songbook. Accompanied by a studio orchestra conducted by Buddy Bregman.. The four-sided Songbook was filled with many popular tracks including Have You Met Miss Jones, With A Song In My Heart, and My Funny Valentine..

Here is The Lady is a Tramp…

“Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook” in 1957 was the only Songbook on which the composer she interpreted played with her. Duke Ellington and his long-time collaborator Billy Strayhorn both appeared on exactly half the set’s 38 tracks and wrote two new pieces of music for the album: Tracks include Prelude To A Kiss, Take The A Train and Don’t Get Around Much Anymore. Duke Ellington composed and performed all the music with lyricists including Irving Mills, Johnny Hodges and Harry James. Here is Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.

The next Songbook in the series was in 1958 Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook. A studio album with music arranged and conducted by Paul Weston. It featured some of Irving Berlin’s most popular work and included Let’s Face The Music And Dance, Puttin’ On The Ritz, and Cheek to Cheek.. Here is Alexander’s Ragtime Band…

The next in the series is Ella Fitzgerald sings George and Ira Gershwin Songbook arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle. Some of the wonderful tracks included Someone To Watch Over Me, Strike Up The Band, I’ve Got A Crush On You.

The sixth Songbook came along two years later in 1961 Ella Sings the Harold Arlen Songbook another studio album and this was the only time that Ella worked with Billy May. Tracks included Stormy Weather, lyrics by Ted Koehler, That Old Black Magic, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, and It’s Only A Paper Moon by E.Y Harburg and Billy Rose.

Number seven in the series was Ella Sings The Jerome Kern Songbook in 1963 again with Nelson Riddle..Tracks included All The Things You Are by Oscar Hammerstein and The Way You Look Tonight by Dorothy Fields.

The last in the eight Songbooks in 1964 was Ella Fitzgerald Sings Johnny Mercer in 1964 another arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle including Too Marvelous For Words lyrics by Richard A Whiting and When A Man Loves A Woman lyrics by Bernie Hanighen and Gordon Jenkins.

The Songbook series ended up becoming the singer’s most critically acclaimed and commercially successful work, and probably her most significant offering to American culture. The New York Times wrote in 1996, “These albums were among the first pop records to devote such serious attention to individual songwriters, and they were instrumental in establishing the pop album as a vehicle for serious musical exploration.”

You can enjoy the complete songbooks.
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Ella-Fitzgerald-Song-Books/dp/B0000046RN

Additional sources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Complete_Ella_Fitzgerald_Song_Books
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella_Fitzgerald_Sings_the_Cole_Porter_Songbook
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella_Fitzgerald_Sings_the_Duke_Ellington_Song_Book
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella_Fitzgerald_Sings_the_Irving_Berlin_Songbook

williampricekingWilliam Price King

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 jazz album, ‘Home,’ is 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.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

 

 

 

 

Summer Jazz – William Price King meets Ella Fitzgerald


William and his music

We continue with the Summer Jazz  with  the First Lady of Song Ella Fitzgerald. An incredible talent and listening to her voice makes me wish that I could have heard her singing live. This series was first posted in February 2015 so although some of you may have read it before, I hope you will enjoy listening to her performances again. For new readers, during the summer months, whilst William Price King is away, I will be repeating the early artists that we featured.

Ella_Fitzgerald_(1940)A young Fitzgerald, photographed by Carl Van Vechtan in 1940

Ella Jane Fitzgerald would become ‘The First Lady of Song‘ and was one of the most popular American Jazz singers for over 60 years. During her career she won 13 Grammy awards and sold 40 million copies of her over 70 Albums. She was also was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush.

Her greatest hits include ‘Let’s Fall In Love’, ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’, ‘Every time We Say Goodbye’ and ‘Summertime’. Her versatility and range enabled her to sing everything from soulful ballads through to the most popular jazz standards of the day. She worked with all the big names in the business including Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Mel Torme. She travelled the world performing to packed houses and the audiences loved her.

Here is her wonderful performance of Summertime.…by George Gershwin and lyrics by Dubose Heyward from the 1935 hit show ‘Porky and Bess’

Her start in life was tough but Ella would later say that she appreciated how much the difficult times had matured her and how the memories helped her build the emotion into her performances. She also understood what it was like to face challenges and setbacks in life and she treasured her success all the more for them.

Her vocal range spanned three octaves (D♭3 to D♭6). Often referred to as the First Lady of Song, the Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella, she was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

Her Early Years.

Ella was born in Newport News, Virginia on April 25th 1917 to William and Temperance (Tempie) but they split up shortly after Ella was born. Tempie and Ella moved to Yonkers, New York and Tempie moved in with Joseph Da Silva father to Ella’s half-sister Frances who was born in 1923. Jo supported the family by digging ditches and was a part-time chauffeur, while Ella’s mother Tempie worked in a Laundromat and restaurants. As she grew older Ella would take on small jobs to add to the family’s upkeep. Times were tough.  It was the height of the prohibition and the numbers racket business and Ella spent some time as a runner for some of the local gamblers.

There was however time for social activities and Ella and her friends spent time singing and dancing and would head into Harlem to watch the variety acts at the Apollo Theatre.

According to Ella’s biography on her official website her mother, Tempie died from serious injuries that she received in a car accident in 1932 when Ella was just 15. Ella went to live with Tempie’s sister Virginia and she was joined shortly afterwards by Frances when Joe suffered a fatal heart attack.

This was not a happy time for the young Ella and schooling took a back seat as she began to get into trouble with the police. Eventually she was sent to reform school which was unbearable, especially as she suffered beatings at the hands of the caretakers. Still only 15 she escaped and found herself on the streets along with thousands of others displaced by the Great Depression.

It was not until 1934 when 17 year old Ella’s luck would change. Her name was pulled out of a draw at the Apollo and she won the chance to compete on Amateur Night. Her first thought was to dance for the audience but having seen the Edwards Sisters, Ruth and Louise, considered the fastest tap dancing team in the business, she decided she could not compete and would sing instead.

The crowd was rowdy and the young Ella stood scared and ‘unpolished’ before them on stage. She asked the band to play Hoagy Carmichael’s “Judy,” a song she knew well as it was one of her mother’s favourites. As she began to sing the audience quieted down and at the end of her performance demanded an encore. She obliged and sang the flip side of the Boswell Sister’s record, “The Object of My Affections.” She won the first prize of $25.

Ella was not confident away from the stage but once in the spotlights she came alive.. She was to say “Once up there, I felt the acceptance and love from my audience,” Ella said. “I knew I wanted to sing before people the rest of my life.”

The musicians in the band that night were impressed with Ella and her singing voice. One of these was saxophonist and arranger Benny Carter. He knew talent when he heard it and he began to mentor Ella and introduce her around contacts in the music business. They would maintain that friendship and working relationship their entire lives.

Here is Ella singing I’ll Chase the Blues Away with Chick Webb in 1935.

With the backing of Benny and her growing audience of fans, Ella began entering and winning every available talent show in town. In January 1935 she won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House and there she met drummer and bandleader Chick Webb. Although he already had a male singer he gave Ella the chance to test with the band at a dance at Yale University… It was a tough crowd by in her usual style Ella won their hearts and Chick hired her to travel with the band for $12.50 a week.

Ella was on her way…..next time we will look at the rest of the 30s and the 40s as she sang her way into the hearts of a nation.

Sources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella_Fitzgerald
http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/

About William Price King.

williampriceking

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 jazz album, ‘Home,’ is 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.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect with William

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can explore all of William’s series at this link:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-jazz-and-music-series/

Thanks for dropping by and hope you have enjoyed part one of the Ella Fitzgerald Story. Sally

 

A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Quincy Jones Part Three


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Still under thirty, Quincy Jones has been making a name for himself in the music industry as a soloist, composer and arranging music for some of the top stars in the business. Quincy had huge success on the silver screen and his work on the emerging television top shows was to follow.

For those of you who watched television in the 70s, the show Ironside was one of the most popular dramas on both sides of the Atlantic. Running from 1967 to 1975 its distinctive theme music is still very recognisable today. This was the first time that a theme song was synthesizer based.

Quincy also composed the theme tunes for Sanford and Son, and The Bill Cosby Show.

Behind the scenes Quincy was also beginning to make his mark as a social activist and was a firm supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. In particular Operation Breadbasket which was aimed at promoting economic development in the inner cities. After Dr. King’s death in Memphis on April 4th 1968, Quincy served on the board of Reverend Jesse Jackson’s People United to Save Humanity.

In 1969 at age 36, he signed a contract as a recording artist with A&M records and won a Grammy for best jazz instrumental on his first album with the label, Walking in Space.

Whilst he may have been up there with the stars of the music industry, Quincy Jones was also on his way to the moon. In the July of 1969 his arrangement of Frank Sinatra’s recording of Fly Me to the Moon with the Count Basie orchestra was the first music played by Buzz Aldrin on the first lunar landing mission.

The Grammy nominations continued with Quincy being nominated in 1970 for Best Original Score for The Lost Man and MacKenna’s Gold, in 1971 for Best instrumental arrangement, composition and Jazz performance for the album Gula Matari. In 1972 Quincy was nominated and won the award for Best Pop Instrumental performance for the album Smackwater Jack.

In 1971 Quincy was the first African American to be named as musical director and conductor of the Academy Awards ceremony. This appointment illustrated the impact his promotion of appreciation of African-American music and culture was having on the industry. He helped establish the IBAM (Institute for Black American Music and proceeds from events were donated toward the establishment of the Annual Black Arts Festival in Chicago.

One of the major projects of the IBAM was the CBS television special co-produced by Quincy in 1973. Duke Ellington, We Love You Madly featured performers such as Aretha Franklin, Peggy Lee and Count Basie with Quincy Jones leading the 48 strong orchestra.

His next Grammy win was for the best instrumental arrangement for the track Summer In The City in 1973.

His career had been intense and also very exhausting and in 1973 Quincy decided to take a break from producing sound tracks for Hollywood and take explore a new direction in his music.

One of the areas that Quincy had not yet showcased his talent was as a vocalist, and in 1973 he debuted his voice on You’ve Got it Bad with Valerie Simpson. The song stayed at the top of the charts for most of the summer

The follow up album in 1974, Body Heat sold over a million copies, staying in the top five in the charts for over six months. Hit songs from the album included Everything Must Change and If I Ever Lose This Heaven.

This title was a little too prophetic as in the August of 1974 Quincy Jones at just 41 years old suffered a near-fatal cerebral aneurysm. Over the next six months he underwent two very delicate operations to repair the blood vessels in his brain and recuperation.

Thankfully following this, Quincy was back at work and concluded his contract with A & M records with the albums Mellow Madness, I Heard That and The Dude.

Taking more control of his recording commitments was achieved by the founding of Qwest Productions in 1975. He continued to arrange and produce with singers such as Frank Sinatra and in 1977 wrote the score for the iconic mini-series Roots.

In 1978 he produced the soundtrack for The Wiz, the musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. Here is Everybody Rejoice to end this part of the Quincy Jones story and his return to full recovery.

BUY THE MOVIE: http://amzn.to/sBeUfl

My thanks to those who have uploaded videos to YouTube.

Buy Quincy Jones Music.

http://www.amazon.com/Quincy-Jones/e/B000AQ0MV6

Sources and information on tours and news for Quincy Jones.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincy_Jones
http://www.biography.com/people/quincy-jones-9357524
http://www.quincyjones.com/

Next time… Quincy Jones and the 1980s

About William Price King

cover of Home by William Price King

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 he is currently working on his new album available later in 2015.

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find the previous post for Quincy Jones and the other series including Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Sir George Shearing in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

We both would be very appreciative if you could leave a comment and share this new series on social media – Twitter and FB in particular. Many thanks Sally and William.

 

William Price King in concert – A medley of original compostions and Jazz standards


A medley of songs for you this morning written and composed by William Price King and his talented wife Jeanne King and Francois Barucco.

Also the Jazz standard from 1940 Don’t Get Around Much Anymore written by Bob Russell and Duke Ellington.

This Saturday part three of the Nina Simone story with more of her incredible performances hope to see you there.

The Last Rose Blues (Jeanne King / William Price King)
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Bob Russell / Duke Ellington)
Laura Lou (Jeanne King / François Barucco)

William Price King

DSCN0091m

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 from his website.

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

Previous performances.
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-in-concert/

Previous artists in the series and Nina Simone – Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald and Roberta Flack
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

Thank you for popping in today and please feel free to share and we welcome your comments as always.

 

 

William Price King in concert – “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”


This song is a jazz standard with music by Duke Ellington that began life as “Never No Lament” in 1940 as an instrumental for his band. The lyrics by Bob Russell and the change to “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” came in 1942. Two versions, one by the Inkspots and one by Duke Ellington reached #1 in the R&B charts in 1943 and also did well in the pop chart.

Bob Russell went onto to work in Hollywood on many movie scores and was an Oscar Nominated for his work. He also had a major hit with popular music with his collaboration with Bobby Scott, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” in 1969, recorded by The Hollies.

The song has been covered by many jazz and pop artists over the years including Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Paul McCartney, Harry Connick Jnr, Anne Murray, Tony Bennett and Michael Buble.

Here with his own terrific version of the song is William Price King.

William Price King

DSCN0091m

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the last 30 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
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find William’s performances that we feature each Wednesday in the following link
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-in-concert/

And the previous posts on the life and music of Nat King Cole, Mel Torme and Ella Fitzgerald here..
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

Additional Sources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Get_Around_Much_Anymore