A Man and his Music – William Price meets Nina Simone part two.


William and his music

Last week in the first part of the Nina Simone story, William left us at the point when Nina’s debut album Little Girl Blue in 1958, was gaining her a much wider audience and she had moved on from Bethlehem Records to sign a contract with Colpix which was a division of Columbia Pictures.

With more experience of the record industry under her belt, Nina’s contract with Colpix included the important clause which clearly handed all the creative control over to her as an artist. This included all the material that she recorded. Her first album for Colpix was the 1959 release of The Amazing Nina Simone and here is one of the tracks from the album It Might As Well Be Spring.

The song was from the 1945 film State Fair with music by Richard Rogers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year.

This album led to opportunities to perform in upscale venues including her first major New York show in theTown Hall in Manhattan. The evening was a resounding success and critics and audience alike were captivated not just by her incredible musicality but also her unique and spontaneous performance style. One of the songs that she performed that night was You Can Have Him by Irving Berlin, which had previously been covered by both Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald. It was such a stunning version that Colpix released the track as a single. Note the opening keyboard arpeggio that would become Nina’s signature throughout her career.

In 1960 Nina would achieve her second Pop and R&B chart success with her version of the original Bessie Smith classic “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out.” The blues song was written in 1923 by Jimmy Cox and the lyrics told the story from the point of view of a one-time millionaire during prohibition.

Nina’s increasing chart success and rising popularity resulted in an invitation to perform at the prestigious Newport Festival.

The festival had been established in 1954 as the First Annual American Jazz Festival and was held at the Newport Casino in Newport, Rhode Island. It was financed by socialites Lorraine and Louis Lorillard for many years and it became one of the key venues for the top performers of the day. Following the success of the festival in the first year with over 13,000 attendees, the Lorillard’s bought a large estate called Belcourt in the hopes of holding the larger event in 1955 but planning permission was not granted. The festival did go ahead at Freebody Park which was a sports arena and workshops and receptions being held at Belcourt.

Not all the residents of Newport were in favour of the event. Jazz was not as popular amongst the wealthy residential community and they felt that the festival attracted an undesirable element. Mainly low income students and music fans without money for the high-end hotels who were sleeping rough across their exclusive environment. And of course many of the musicians and their fans were African American which in the 50s was a factor as it was across most of the country. The influx of thousands of people also caused logistic problems such as traffic congestion which only increased each year until 1960. Things got out of hand amongst the festival goers that year and the National Guard was called in to restore order. After that the festival underwent a number of changes to format before relocating to New York in the 70s.

However 1960 was the year that Nina Simone was invited to perform which she did on June 30th. She was accompanied by her long term musical collaborator Al Shackman on guitar, bassist Chris White and drummer Bobby Hamilton. Colpix recorded their performance and in 1961 released the popular blues track Trouble in Mind which gave Nina her third chart success.

Trouble in Mind is a blues song written by jazz pianist Richard M. Jones in the early 1920s and the first known recording of the song was in 1924. It has been covered many times by artists such as Dinah Washington, Sam Cooke and of course this version by Nina Simone.

Over the five years with Colpix Nina recorded nine albums and she had several tracks that were pivotal to her career including Cotton Eyed Joe and the lyrical and descriptive Norwegian folk song Black Is The Colour Of My True Love’s Hair. Nina also recorded one civil rights song, written by Oscar Brown jnr, Brown Baby which was a track on her fifth album for Colpix, At The Village Gate.

Next time we catch up with Nina Simone as she moves on from Colpix Records.

Buy Nina Simone Music
http://www.amazon.com/Nina-Simone/e/B000APGYE6

Additional sources
http://www.ninasimone.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Simone
http://denisesullivan.com/tag/al-schackman/

William Price King.

williampricekingWilliam 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

You can find all the series by William Price King at this link.

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

A Man and his Music – William Price King performs ‘Cheek to Cheek’


Welcome to the mid-week musical interlude with an exclusive performance by William Price King filmed during one of his concerts this summer..

This Saturday William will be completing the series on Mel Torme and then we shall be moving onto one of the most incredible female singers of our time Miss Ella Fitzgerald.

225px-TopHatORGI

In the meantime and to keep you in the mood for love, after all it is Valentine’s Day this week, William is performing “Cheek to Cheek” written in 1935 for the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie Top Hat. In one of the most romantic moments captured on film over the years, this must rank in the top ten.. Fred sings it to Ginger as they glide across the dance floor and was so good it was nominated for the Best Song at the Oscars in 1936. It did not win but it spent five weeks in the charts and was voted the number one song of 1935.

Mel Torme Fred Astaire

Over the years it has been recorded time and again by artists of course including the wonderful Mel Torme and Ella Fitzgerald.. For more modern filmgoers it was also featured in The English Patient.

“Heaven, I’m in heaven and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak…..here is William to perform for you – suggest if you are in the company of the one you love, turn the volume up and get cheek to cheek……

William Price King

Price tuxedo jazz comedy club

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
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

William Price King meets Mel Tormé
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme/ Part One.
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-two-1940s/ Part Two
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-three-the-50s/ Part Three
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-four-the-1960s/ Part Four

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-five-the-70s-and-80s/ Part Five
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-iconic-jazz-my-funny-valentine/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/william-price-king-iconic-songs-of-the-last-century-stardust/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-sings-jazz-prelude-to-a-kiss/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-sings-moonlight-in-vermont/

THE DIRECTORY FOR NAT KING COLE AND MEL TORME
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

Additional sources.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Hat