Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930s – Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson and The Charleston


Welcome to the new series of the music column where I am joined as always by Jazz singer and composer William Price King.  We hope you will join us every Tuesday for some of the chart hits of the big band era from the 1930s through to the 1950s.

Some of the earlier videos are not of the best quality however where possible we have sourced remastered copies to share with you. Considering some are almost 100 years old, it is remarkable that they exist at all.  A testament to the love of the music of that era. Along with our selections each week we will also be showcasing one of the dance crazes from the 1920s onwards and as with the music videos some are not of the highest quality and in some cases I have substituted more modern versions.

Here is my next selection from the Big Band chart in the 1930s from The Benny Goodman Quartet

“Moonglow,” composed by Will Hudson and Irving Mills, with lyrics by Eddie DeLange, was first recorded by Joe Venuti (the father of the jazz violin) in 1933. Venuti’s record didn’t hit the charts, but the following year the recording by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra did just that, and topped the Billboard chart at #1.

Here is my next selection from this era of popular music from Teddy Wilson

Teddy Wilson “Sweet Lorraine” (1935)

“Sweet Lorraine” is a popular song with music by Cliff Burwell and words by Mitchell Parish that was published in 1928 and has become a jazz standard. Theodore Shaw Wilson (November 24, 1912 – July 31, 1986) was an American jazz pianist. Described by critic Scott Yanow as “the definitive swing pianist”,Wilson had a sophisticated, elegant style. His work was featured on the records of many of the biggest names in jazz, including Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald. His version of Sweet Lorraine charted in October 1935, peaking at #17. OnlyJazzHQ

Other sources: Wikipedia

The early videos that I have managed to find are not always the best quality but hopefully they convey the wonderful joy that dancing brought to the times. Sally.

The Charleston is a dance named after the harbour city of Charleston, South Carolina. The rhythm was popularized in mainstream dance music in the United States by a 1923 tune called “The Charleston” by composer/pianist James P. Johnson, which originated in the Broadway show Runnin’ Wild and became one of the most popular hits of the decade. Runnin’ Wild ran from October 28, 1923, through June 28, 1924. The peak year for the Charleston as a dance by the public was mid-1926 to 1927.

Although it achieved popularity when the song “Charleston”, sung by Elisabeth Welch, was added in the production Runnin’ Wild, the dance itself was first introduced in Irving C. Miller’s Liza in the spring of 1922. Here is a modern video of the dance from
Der Charleston von Janin und Zsolt  Let’s Dance 2022 RTL

Your Hosts for The Big Band Era

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

Thanks for tuning in and as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930s – Ethel Waters, Duke Ellington and The Jitterbug


Welcome to the new series of the music column where I am joined as always by Jazz singer and composer William Price King.  We hope you will join us every Tuesday for some of the chart hits of the big band era from the 1930s through to the 1950s.

Some of the earlier videos are not of the best quality however where possible we have sourced remastered copies to share with you. Considering some are almost 100 years old, it is remarkable that they exist at all.  A testament to the love of the music of that era. Along with our selections each week we will also be showcasing one of the dance crazes from the 1920s onwards and as with the music videos some are not of the highest quality and in some cases I have substituted more modern versions.

Here is my next selection from the Big Band chart in the 1930s from Ethel Waters and the Dorsey Brothers’ Orchestra

Ethel Waters “Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin’ All the Time)” (1933)

“Stormy Weather ((Keeps Rainin’ All the Time)” was a torch song* written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. Ethel Waters first sang it at The Cotton Club in Harlem in a revue, then she recorded it with the Dorsey Brothers’ Orchestra in 1933 and it peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Pop chart. Ethel Waters’ recording of the song was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry in 2004.

* Torch Song – A sentimental love song, in which the singer laments an unrequited or lost love. The term comes from the saying, “to carry a torch for someone.”  OnlyJazzHQ

Here is my next selection from this exciting era of music from Duke Ellington

“Sophisticated Lady” is a jazz standard, composed as an instrumental in 1932 by Duke Ellington. Additional credit is given to publisher Irving Mills whose words were added to the song by Mitchell Parish. The words met with approval from Ellington, who described them as “wonderful—but not entirely fitted to my original conception”. That original conception was inspired by three of Ellington’s grade school teachers. “They taught all winter and toured Europe in the summer. To me that spelled sophistication.”

Duke Ellington and His Orchestra introduced “Sophisticated Lady” in 1933 with an instrumental recording of the song that featured solos by Toby Hardwick on alto sax, Barney Bigard on clarinet, Lawrence Brown on trombone and Ellington on piano. The recording entered the charts on 27 May 1933 and rose to number three.Classic Mood Experience  

Other sources: Wikipedia

The early videos that I have managed to find are not always the best quality but hopefully they convey the wonderful joy that dancing brought to the times. Sally.

The Jitterbug

Jitterbug is a generalized term used to describe swing dancing. It is often synonymous with the lindy hop dance but might include elements of the jive, east coast swing, collegiate shag, charleston, balboa and other swing dances.

Swing dancing originated in the African-American communities of New York City in the early 20th century.Many nightclubs had a whites-only or blacks-only policy due to racial segregation, however the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem had a no-discrimination policy which allowed whites and blacks to dance together and it was there that the lindy hop dance flourished started by dancers such as George Snowden and Frank Manning.

The term jitterbug was originally a ridicule used by black patrons to describe whites who started to dance the lindy hop, as they were dancing faster and jumpier than was intended, like “jittering bugs”, although it quickly lost its negative connotation as the more erratic version caught on. Both the lindy hop and the “jitterbug” became popular outside Harlem when the dance was featured in Hollywood films and Broadway theatre, starring the performance group Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers.  Rusty Frank

Your Hosts for The Big Band Era

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

Thanks for tuning in and as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930s – Duke Ellington and Leo Reisman with Frank Sinatra


Welcome to the new series of the music column where I am joined as always by Jazz singer and composer William Price King.  We hope you will join us every Tuesday for some of the chart hits of the big band era from the 1930s through to the 1950s.

Some of the earlier videos are not of the best quality however where possible we have sourced remastered copies to share with you. Considering some are almost 100 years old, it is remarkable that they exist at all.  A testament to the love of the music of that era. Along with our selections each week we will also be showcasing one of the dance crazes from the 1920s onwards and as with the music videos some are not of the highest quality but in some cases there are some more modern versions.

Here is my next selection from the Big Band chart in the 1930s from the iconic Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington with Ivie Anderson “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing” (1932) – Bob Figurante

“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) was penned by Duke Ellington in 1931 with lyrics by Irving Mills. It was first recorded by Ellington and his orchestra for Brunswick Records on February 2, 1932. Ivie Anderson sang the vocal and trombonist Joe Nanton and alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges played the solos. Jazz historian Gunther Schuller characterized it as “now legendary” and “a prophetic piece and a prophetic title.” The song became famous, Ellington wrote, “as the expression of a sentiment which prevailed among jazz musicians at the time.” Ellington’s recording went onto the charts for six weeks, peaking at #6. In 2008, Ellington’s 1932 recording of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Jazz Standards

Here is my next selection from this exciting era of music and dance with Fred Astaire in 1932.

Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman’s Orchestra “Night and Day” (1932)  

“Night and Day” is a popular song by Cole Porter that was written for the 1932 musical Gay Divorce. Fred Astaire introduced “Night and Day” on stage. His studio recording of the song with the Leo Reisman orchestra was released on Victor Records on January 13, 1933, and it became a No. 1 hit, topping the charts of the day for ten weeks. Astaire performed it again in the 1934 film version of the show, renamed The Gay Divorcee, and it became one of his signature songs. warholsoup100

Other sources: Wikipedia

Since man first made music feet have been tapping and the urge to move in time to the beat became irresistible. Ballroom dancing has been enjoyed for centuries but over he decades other dances have become popular, often beginning spontaneously on the streets and then filtering into the dance halls.

The Cakewalk

The cakewalk was a dance developed from the “prize walks” (dance contests with a cake awarded as the prize) held in the mid-19th century, generally at get-togethers on Black slave plantations before and after emancipation in the Southern United States.

Alternative names for the original form of the dance were “chalkline-walk”, and the “walk-around”. It was originally a processional partner dance danced with comical formality, and may have developed as a subtle mockery of the mannered dances of white slaveholders.

Following an exhibition of the cakewalk at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the cakewalk was adopted by performers in minstrel shows, where it was danced exclusively by men until the 1890s. At that point, Broadway shows featuring women began to include cakewalks, and grotesque dances became very popular across the country.[3]
The fluid and graceful steps of the dance may have given rise to the colloquialism that something accomplished with ease is a “cakewalk” adamgswanson 

Other sources: Wikipedia

Your Hosts for The Big Band Era

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

Thanks for tuning in and as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930s – Earl Burtnett and Cab Calloway


Welcome to the new series of the music column where I am joined as always by Jazz singer and composer William Price King.  We hope you will join us every Tuesday for some of the chart hits of the big band era from the 1930s through to the 1950s.

Some of the earlier videos are not of the best quality however where possible we have sourced remastered copies to share with you. Considering some are almost 100 years old, it is remarkable that they exist at all.  A testament to the love of the music of that era. Along with our selections each week we will also be showcasing one of the dance crazes from the 1920s onwards and as with the music videos some are not of the highest quality but in some cases there are some more modern versions.

Delighted to be starting 2023 with a new series and hope you will enjoy the music. Here is my first selection from the Big Band chart in the 1930s when they certainly knew how live it up.

Earl Burtnett with Harry Richman “Puttin’ on the Ritz” (1930)

“Puttin’ On the Ritz” was composed by Irving Berlin in 1927 and introduced by Harry Richman in the musical film of the same name in 1930. It was directed by Edward Sloman and starred Harry Richman, Joan Bennett, and James Gleason. According to “The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin,” this was the first song in film to be sung by an interracial ensemble. The title comes from from the slang expression “to put on the Ritz,” meaning to dress very fashionably. This expression was inspired by the opulent Ritz Hotel in London. The song topped the Billboard Chart in the US at #1 for 8 weeks. warholsoup100

There were certainly some humourous songs in the early days and here is one that made me smile.

Cab Calloway “Minnie the Moocher (The Ho Do Ho Song)” (1931)

“Minnie the Moocher” is a jazz song first recorded in 1931 by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, selling over a million copies. “Minnie the Moocher” is most famous for its nonsensical ad libbed (“scat”) lyrics (for example, “Hi De Hi De Hi De Ho”).

In performances, Calloway would have the audience and the band members participate by repeating each scat phrase in a form of call and response, until making it too fast and complicated for the audience to replicate it.Released by Brunswick Records, the song was the biggest chart-topper of 1931. moontreal 

Since man first made music feet have been tapping and the urge to move in time to the beat became irresistible. Ballroom dancing has been enjoyed for centuries but over he decades other dances have become popular, often beginning spontaneously on the streets and then filtering into the dance halls.

This week the Jazz Foxtrot/One Step from 1928 as seen in three different scenes from the Joan Crawford film “Our Dancing Daughters“. The music is “I’m Feeling Good” from Gus Arnheim and his Orchestra.

The foxtrot is a smooth, progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor. It is danced to big band (usually vocal) music. The dance is similar in its look to waltz, although the rhythm is in a 4 4 time signature instead of 3 4. Developed in the 1910s, the foxtrot reached its height of popularity in the 1930s and remains practiced today.

At its inception, the foxtrot was originally danced to ragtime. From the late 1910s through the 1940s, the foxtrot was the most popular fast dance, and the vast majority of records issued during these years were foxtrots. The waltz and tango, while popular,
never overtook it. Even the popularity of the Lindy hop in the 1940s did not affect the foxtrot’s popularity, since it could be danced to the same records used to accompany the Lindy hop.

Other sources: Wikipedia

Your Hosts for The Big Band Era

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

Thanks for tuning in and as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – New Year’s Eve Party – Contributors, Community and Music


Welcome to the New Year’s Eve party and an opportunity to thank the friends who have contributed amazing posts throughout the year and those who have visited, commented and kept me motivated.

It would be impossible to mention everyone but I do hope that you know how much your support means to me as a person, blogger and author.

I cannot take all the credit for the blog as I have an amazing group of contributors who bring their expertise and talent to the weekly line-up.

William Price King – American Jazz singer, musician and composer has been writing the Music Column for the last eight years.

This year The Breakfast Show every Tuesday hosted by the two of us has been showcasing the hits of the 1940s onwards. On Fridays William shared the lives and music of the music legends of the last 100 years.

In 2023 William and I will continue to co-host the Tuesday Music show and we have selected the top Big Band Era hits to share with you. Along with the dance crazes and the incredible dancers who delighted us with their footwork. The first show is on January 3rd and every Tuesday throughout the year.

William has some stunning performances on his YouTube Channel and here is just one of my recent favourites Autumn in New York

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

In 2023 I will continue to promote the authors in various ways. I also want to utilise my podcast as an additional platform and this includes recording the blurb of new books on the shelves to share in the promotional post but also on Anchor and Soundcloud along with the book cover and links. The authors can also embed the audio blurb on their own blogs if they have WordPress or are on a blogging platform that is compatible.

My focus in 2023 is also going to be on my book reviews with some more reading time if I can wangle it. There will also be the usual Summer Book Fair, Christmas Book Fair and a new interview series.

Now time for some music to liven this party up….one of my all time favourites from Creedence Clearwater Revival and you will have to excuse me for a few minutes as I have to get up and dance.

Now time to thank another contributor who has been providing wonderful recipes and support for the blog for the last seven years and Carol Taylor’s first contribution was a post about her dog Saangchai and Soi Dogs in 2016. She then began to share her food expertise the following year.

 Carol Taylor lives in Thailand following along career in the catering industry who has written the Food and Cookery Column for the last six years. In 2021 Carol brought The Green Kitchen to Smorgasbord with a wonderful mix of food, recipes, sustainability, conservation and commonsense.. This year Carol shared her A-Z of food and culinary terms with some great recipes and that continues through to mid- 2023.

One her own blog Carol Cooks 2 Carol shares a wonderfully varied exploration of food, culinary terms and processes, conservation, sustainability and healthy eating, along with some entertaining Saturday Snippets to end the week.

Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor

Time for some more music and another of my favourites Christina Aquilera courtesy of her official channel..Christina Aguilera you can check out her albums Amazon  – I will be back after his brief dance break.. if I don’t pull a muscle….

Another amazing supporter to the blog for the last seven years is D.G. Kaye… Debby Gies we began emailing each other back in 2015 and Debby’s first Travel Column was posted here in 2018 followed by the Relationship Column. Debby has also been co-presenting the Laughter posts for several years and has great foraging skills when it comes to finding gems.

D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies – Non-fiction and memoir author who loves to pack her suitcase and take off to warmer climes and wrote the Travel Column for two years before sharing her wise words on relationships in 2020 and 2021. This year Debby began a new series of Spiritual Awareness which has opened our minds and hearts to the essence within us all that reaches out to others… That will continue through 2023 and Debby has some new ideas for later in the year to share with us.

Debby published a new book just before Christmas which I loved and I know will be enjoyed by many.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads –  Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye – Twitter: @pokercubster Linkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye

Time for some music, and as I still need to catch my breath back from dancing around the kitchen to Christina… time to slow things down. Celine Dion with The Power of Love and wishing you all that magic in 2023. Released at the end of 1993 in Canada and the US and hitting the UK Charts in 1994 –CelineDion 

Time to thank two contributors who also bring the funny side of life to the blog… and first the best selling author Daniel Kemp who allows me to steal funnies from his Facebook page to share with you.

For the last four years author Daniel Kemp has permitted me to share his funnies from his facebook page in the Open Mic Night once a month

Daniel Kemp is an ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel –The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do?

In May 2018 his book What Happened In Vienna, Jack? became a number one bestseller on four separate Amazon sites: America, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Here are a few examples of the hilarious funnies to be found on over to Danny Kemp  .. Facebook page.

A selection of books by Daniel Kemp

Read the reviews and buy the books also in audio: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – follow Daniel: Goodreads – Website: Author Danny Kemp – Facebook: Books by Daniel – Twitter:@danielkemp6

The next song is from one of my favourite all time bands and we had a rerun of the two Mama Mia films again recently and I expect we will watch them again in a year or two. Brilliant… here is Mama Mia. ABBA’s Music: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

In the last two years it has been entertaining to have another Open Mic regular join the comedy team..Author Malcolm Allen

Malcolm’s funnies never fail to make me laugh and I know that he has also entertained the audience for his Open Mic nights here once a month.  Here is just a small selection.

About Malcolm Allen

The author was born in London UK and experienced a challenging childhood, leaving school with no academic qualifications at the age of 15. He had mixed fortunes in his early working days but managed to secure a job in the banking industry at the age of 19. During a period of 32 years he enjoyed a demanding and successful career in London, the pinnacle of which was becoming a Company Director at the age of 37. Following a life changing experience in November 1998 he emigrated to Perth, Western Australia in September 2001, relocating to his current home in Melbourne, Australia in November 2015.

Buy the book: Amazon US And:Amazon UK – And: Amazon AU

And the last song today is Katrina and the Waves and even when it is bitterly cold outside with pouring rain, it always cheers me up…If you are lucky enough to be spending the holidays in the Southern Hemisphere then I guess you will already be walking on sunshine. Buy the music Amazon

 

Thank you so much for spending some of your holidays with me and I hope that you will join me and my friends again in 2023… Happy New Year.. Sally ♥

 

Smorgasbord Music Column at Christmas – William Price King – Andrea Bocelli – My Christmas Album


Earlier in the year William Price King shared the life and music of the amazing Andrea Bocelli – as part of the celebration of the music of the festive season, here are three tracks from Bocelli’s wonderful Christmas Album.

Andrea Bocelli My Christmas

The album was Andrea Bocelli’s 13th studio album and first Christmas release in November 2009. Apart from one original track, God Bless Us Everyone, which closed the 2009 film, A Christmas Carol, all the other songs are ones we all recognise and love.  I have had this album since 2009 when David bought it for me for Christmas. It is played every year and is much loved.

Over 2 million copies sold before Christmas that year in the United States alone with worldwide sales of over 5 million and it was one of the best-selling albums of 2009.

You can buy the album: Amazon

The first track I have chosen is Adeste Fideles by John Francis Wade and Jean Francois Borderies.

My second choice is a classic Christmas song that most of us will have listened to over our lifetime.  White Christmas by Irving Berlin live from the Kodak Theatre 2009.

My last choice is one that shows the showmanship, humour and universal appeal of Andrea Bocelli… Andre Bocelli with Jingle Bells with The Muppets..

 Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas..William

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 – Christmas Music with William Price King Rewind – Favourite Carols –


This week William Price King shares some of the all time favourite carols for us all to enjoy.

“In the Bleak Midwinter” is based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti which was first set to music in The English Hymnal in 1906 by Gustav Holst. In 1911 Harold Drake wrote another version of this hymn which became a popular Christmas carol, mostly preferred by choir masters and choral experts. Sung here by the Choir of  Gloucester Cathedral  4FabBEATLES 

“Ding! Dong! Merrily on High” The Portland Ensign Choir and Orchestra perform this exciting Christmas Carol, arranged by Mack Wilberg. This song first appeared as a secular dance tune, “Branle”, from the dance book Orchésographie, written by Jehan Tabourot. The lyrics are from the English composer George Ratcliff Woodward and the carol was first published in 1924.

 

“Carol of the bells” was composed by Mykola Leontovych in 1914, based on the Ukrainian folk chant “Shchedryk “,with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky. The song is based on a four-note ostinato and has been performed in many musical genres. Performed here by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

“For unto us a child is born” -Sir Colin Davis conducts the London Symphony Orchestra, Susan Gritton, Sara Mingardo, Mark Padmore, Alastair Miles and the Tenebrae choir in “For Unto Us a Child is Born” from Handel’s Mesiah, composed in 1741.

We hope you have enjoyed singing along to these carols from and Merry Christmas. William.

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 – Weekly Round Up – 12th – 18th December 2022 – Ice skating, International Carols, Old Souls, Podcast, Book reviews, Christmas Guest posts, Funnies


Welcome to the round up of posts on Smorgasbord you might have missed this week.

I hope your week has gone well and I am sure you are busy with your holiday preparations. We have gone from white, frosty and Christmasy to gale force winds and driving rain overnight. I am not complaining as I will take a wet road over an icy one any day.

Although a few weeks away I am making preparations for my 70th, not a party but to renew my driving licence which is the age we have to do it here. It used to be you had to produce a medical certificate at 70 but they have just moved to 75 which is one step out of the renewal. To renew online however I have to go to a local office tomorrow with all my IDs and prove my identity, which gives me a card which enables me to avoid going 20 miles to the nearest licence office. I also get a free travel card when I am 70 which I can use on any public transport including all buses and trains. So whilst there may be a few more cracks in my face than last year, there are definitely benefits of turning 70.

I will however forgo any invitation to compete in Dancing on Ice as yesterday proved that I might not have the aptitude I used to have on roller skates. I went out to pour warm water in the bird bath, and next thing I knew I was flat on my back, having slipped on the ice that had accumulated around the bird bath during their ablutions. I was wet through from the bucket of water I was still carrying, and startled crows circled me calling out in distress. I assume it was concern that the human who spends copious amounts of money and time feeding the garden birds, and the crows when they can get at it, was lying injured on the ground. I suspect however it was excitement at the sight of the largest piece of road kill they had ever seen… possibly an early Christmas gift!

Anyway, I broke my fall with my wrist and apart from various bruises from top to tail I have escaped with another lesson learnt. Throw the water in the bird bath from a distance when the hose is frozen.

This week I will be sharing the final Christmas book fairs including new book news for John Howell and Dan Antion, there will be festive music, videos and funnies with a couple of short stories, book review and the round up over the holiday weekend.

Contributor News this week.

William Price King has been sharing some wonderful international carols this week and there will be more festive music on Tuesday and Friday…and on New Year’s Eve a party  with music from William and some special guests .  You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ was here on Monday morning with the next post in her Spiritual Awareness series – Old Souls.. It was amazing to read the comments and discover how many of you resonated with the post.  Over on her own blog you can find Debby’s own exciting news of her latest release Fifteen First Times: Beginnings: A Collection of Indelible Firsts and you can read all about that in the promotion post that went out here this morning. On Debby’s own post you will find December’s very useful selection of writer’s tips, and the Sunday book reviews... for Robbie Cheadle and D.L. Finn. Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor will be back after Christmas with the next in her Culinary A-Z and the letter ‘N’ – Carol is also one of the special guests at the New Year’s Eve Party. Over on her own blog you will find some amazing holiday recipes including Homemade Christmas Ham, …Winter Warmers…Hot Chocolate, Fish Pie and a delicious Thai Duck Curry…Carol shares more edible flowers and if you have room after the Fish Pie, there are some fabulous White Chocolate Chip Cookies…make a delicious ice cream sandwich…Head over for the winter warmer recipes… take your appetite: Carol Taylor’s Christmas Recipes Winter Warmers

Time for some shameless self promotion… and a heartfelt thanks for the generosity shown by the writing community.

My thanks to Joy Neal Kidney who didn’t just review my latest book but the other three collections in the ‘Life’ series. Wow.. I was blown away..

Joy’s lovely feature: Prose and Poetry Gems

Colleen Chesebro is celebrating the release of her latest collection Fairies, Myths, & Magic II: A Winter Celebration, and as part of her blog tour she kindly featured each of her hosts in a post. Colleen also included her review of my latest so I am feeling quite chuffed this week as you can imagine.

Head over to Colleen’s: Colleen’s blog tour and review for Variety is the Spice of Life.

Author Aurora Jean Alexander included me in her festive newsletter this week with an update on her writing, including her latest release  and recent blog posts, and a delicious recipe for tangy honey glazed ham topped off with a delightful poem. If you have a newsletter you have sent out during December please drop the URL in the comments so we can all enjoy..

Head over to enjoy AJ’s festive newsletter: A.J’s Writing Adventure

Thank you too for all your visits, comments and shares during the week. As always very much appreciated…♥

 On with the show….

Christmas Music with William Price King Rewind – Carols from around the World – #Germany, #Greece and #France

Carols from around the World – #Italy, #Nigeria, #Sweden

Spiritual Awareness – Old Souls by D.G. Kaye

#Flash Fiction – Season of Goodwill and Retail Therapy by Sally Cronin

New Book on the Shelves – #Memoir – Fifteen First Times: Beginnings: A Collection of Indelible Firsts by D. G. Kaye

#Shortstories Hugh W. Roberts, #Crimestories Jane Risdon, #Historystories Lisette Brodey

Book Review – #Contemporary #Romance – Falling by Stevie Turner

 

New Book on the Shelves and my review – Fairies, Myths, & Magic II: Book 2: A Winter Celebration by Colleen Chesebro

Previous Reviews from 2022 – Oh Baubles: A Christmas Romance Novella by Harmony Kent

#Thriller #Mystery John L. DeBoer, #Malaya #1950s Apple Gidley, #Romance Stevie Turner

#ElementarySchool Pete Springer, #Fantasy #Magic Chris Hall, #Poetry Balroop Singh

#Photography #Poetry #Flash M.J. Mallon, #Women’sLit Toni Pike, #Family #Poetry Lauren Scott

A Christmas Eve Poem: Children Singing in Latin by Elizabeth Gauffreau

#Recipe #History – French Canadian Tourtière, Our Family Tradition by Dorothy Grover-Read

#Christmas #Santa Darlene Foster

Cooking up Memories- EggNog French Toast #Recipe #Christmas #FamilyFirst by Jacquie Biggar

Host Malcolm Allen December 2022 Part One- #Christmas Crackers

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week if you have time.. Sally

Smorgasbord Music Column 2022 – William Price King meets the Music Legends – #Classical – Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – Part Three – Career Highlights


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 latest in the features on musical legends and in this series we are delighted to feature Kiri Te Kanawa, the renowned soprano from New Zealand who took the world by storm in the 1960s, and continues to inspire and delight audiences with rare but outstanding performances.

Kiri Te Kanawa is retired from performing in opera but still gives virtuoso performances of both classical and contemporary music that we can all enjoy. Here are some of the highlights of the last 20 years of her formal career and also a look at some of her passions off stage.

Te Kanawa - Greatest HitsThere are almost 120 albums featuring Kiri Te Kanawa and in the 1980s and 90s she released a great many recordings of both classical and popular music.

A wonderful project resulted in both an album and a documentary when the great Leonard Bernstein decided to re-record West Side Story This was a very personal project as he conducted her own music for the first time. Of course it was wonderful casting to bring Kiri Te Kanawa into the role of Maria, and to continue this more operatic theme to the musical, José Carreras was cast as Tony. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Cast Show Album in 1985 and here is an excerpt from the exceptional documentary of the rehearsals.

This is one of the finest versions of West Side Story, conducted by Leonard Bernstein, ever. It is certainly on par with the original Broadway version. It’s always a big gamble to place opera singers in the roles of Broadway singers, but this one works to perfection as you will hear with Jose Carreras as Tony, and Kiri Te Kanawa as Maria. It is a privilege to see these great artists at work and especially to hear Kiri Te Kanawa deliver a sublime performance under the baton of Leonard Bernstein. It’s magic!

Following the success of this more operatic approach to the popular musicals, Kiri performed again alongside José Carreras and American jazz singer Sarah Vaughan in the recording of the musical South Pacific (music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II). Here is This is How it Feels in rehearsal with a few words from José Carreras about the adjustments he made to his operatic voice to reflect the lighter musical theme.

There were some other noteable recordings released in the next 15 years including
Other recordings include, Blue Skies (1986); Kiri Sings Gershwin (1987): Italian Opera Arias (1991); Our Christmas Songs For You (1996); and The Ultimate Christmas Album (1996) with Luciano Pavarotti, Leontyne Price and Dame Joan Sutherland.

This album included both classical and more contemporary Christmas music such as Mendelssohn’s Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane for the 1944 musical Meet Me in St. Louis with Judy Garland.

Here is a review by one of the fans of the album.

The Title Is No Lie By R. Mixon December 25, 2006

I probably own too many Christmas CDs.

Many of them, though good, are indistinguishable from one another. But ‘The Ultimate Christmas Album’, a compilation of holiday recordings culled from London’s vaults, has set itself apart. It has been my most-played Christmas CD for several years now.The recordings are unparalleled; the Bach Choir’s vigorous “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (complete with thunderous pipe organ), Pavarotti’s tender “Ave Maria” and “O Holy Night”, Leontyne Price’s spritely “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and wistful “Silent Night”, the crystaline children’s voices in the Choir of Trinity School’s reading of “The First Nowell”–every selection on this CD could stand alone as a highlight.

For those of you who prefer your Christmas music with a classical bent, this is the CD you’ve been looking for. The selections are brilliantly chosen, recorded and programmed. I cannot recommend this any more-strongly. It is perfect.For once, you can believe the hype–this IS the ultimate Christmas album.

As a departure from music, Kiri Te Kanawa also wrote a Children’s book in 1989. Land of the Long White Cloud – Maori Myths, Tales and Legends. A collection of nineteen tales from various Maori tribes of New Zealand about the trickster Maui, the Creation, monsters, birds, animals, and special places.

Sadly Kiri and her husband Desmond Park divorced in the late 1990s. Although a very private person, the remarks that Kiri made at the time, reflect her belief that her career and the pressures and demands to remain at the top of a very difficult profession, played a part in the split. In the first post on her life we covered her early training with the nuns at school but it was only as an adult that she revealed the abuse that she suffered at the time.

The Whanganui Chronicle reported. “I am as tough as I am today because from age 12, when I was at a convent school in Auckland, I was beaten by the nuns.” “You have to be tough in the opera world or you are not going to make it. Just because you can sing an aria does not make you an opera singer.”

The world continued to delight in her performances through to her eventual retirement from the opera stage and she also received some further prestigious awards from her own country and around the world.

In the 1990 Australia Day Honours, Te Kanawa was appointed an Honorary Companion of the Order of Australia for services to the arts, particularly opera, and to the community. In the 1995 Queen’s Birthday Honours Te Kanawa was appointed to the Order of New Zealand.

There is no doubt about Kiri Te Kanawa’s love of New Zealand and in 1999 she released a new album, Maori Songs. She admits to seeking solace and rejuvenation in the lush, green north coastal region, where the ocean amiably wanders in and out of peaceful inlets. Ironically, the diva who made her mark singing the roles of royalty in elaborate costumes on ornate stages, is a self-described tomboy, who enthusiastically fishes, hikes, boats, plays golf and tennis, and even shoots clay pigeons

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa excels in this Maori song cycle. Her voice is excellent and she moves smoothly and effortlessly through these haunting melodies and creates an atmosphere which is quite soothing to the ear. She modulates her voice to the point that one would not believe that she is an opera singer and sings these New Zealand Maori compositions in a creative and heartfelt way.

In recent years her appearances on stage have become infrequent, although she remains busy as a concert singer. She appeared in performances in Samuel Barber’s Vanessa in Monte Carlo (televised in 2001), with the Washington National Opera (2002), and the Los Angeles Opera in November/December 2004.

She sang in her last opera, Vanessa, in 2004, but continues with recitals and concerts and organizing the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, to help young music students.

The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation

Founded in 2004, Kiri Te Kanawa stated that here vision was “that talented young New Zealand singers and musicians with complete dedication to their art may receive judicious and thoughtful mentoring and support to assist them in realising their dreams.”

The foundation manages a trust fund to provide financial and career scholarships to young New Zealand singers and musicians. As part of its mission, the Foundation created scholarships at both the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. Kiri Te Kanawa takes a very active role in ensuring that her vision is realised. She conducts master classes and coaching sessions around the world and supported other musical institutions who shared her aims, such as the in the position of Patron for the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and her own BBC Radio 2 initiative to find gifted opera singers of the future.

In April 2010 she sang the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss in two performances at the Cologne Opera in Germany.

Also in 2010 Te Kanawa played the spoken part of The Duchess of Krakenthorp in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment at the Metropolitan Opera, and sang a tango. She repeated this role at the Met in a revival during the 2011–12 season, and repeated it again in Vienna in 2013 and at Covent Garden in March 2014 (a run that comprised her 70th birthday).
In 2013, Kiri Te Kanawa appeared in Downton Abbey playing Dame Nellie Melba, an Australian operatic soprano.

To end this short season on this beautiful and charasmatic singer one last peroformance and return to her classical roots. “Dove sono,” from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, as the Countess, very brilliantly laments her broken heart and her husband’s wandering affections in this aria,” Dove sono” in Act 3. This is quite challenging because this aria has long *legato phrases that require skilled breath control and great vocal technique. When sung well, this aria reveals all of the beautiful qualities and textures of the voice. Kiri Te Kanawa is exceptional in this role and her mellow tone and elegance are admirable.

*legato – sung or played in a smooth flowing manner, without breaks between notes.

Buy the music of Kiri Te Kanawa: Amazon

Additional Sources – Wikipedia Kiri Te Kanawa
Foundation for young singers: Kiri te Kanawa

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 Music Column 2022 – William Price King meets the Music Legends – #Classical – Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – Part Two – International Debuts


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 latest of the features about musical legends and in this series we are delighted to feature Kiri Te Kanawa, the renowned soprano from New Zealand who took the world by storm in the 1960s, and continues to inspire and delight audiences with rare but outstanding performances.

Kiri Te Kanawa – International Debuts

The professional life of an opera singer, particularly a soprano is demanding. Jazz, Pop and Country singers tend to be judged and measured on their latest single or album releases, which have taken months to compose and then record. They have been edited and enhanced in the studio to produce the best possible sound. With opera, a singer is judged on their last performance; by a very critical audience and also professional commentators. Every note has to be perfect and the performance flawless to meet the exacting standards of the conductor, other cast members, audience and critics. This is stressful enough at each performance, but also between roles, an opera singer must safeguard their voice at all costs.

This takes a toll on not just an artist’s professional life but also their personal one too. The demands for travel, living out of suitcases and infrequent visits home are the rarely appreciated cost of stardom. Over the years, Kiri Te Kanawa has made a number of comments about the world of opera.

Indeed, Te Kanawa describes opera, which requires not simply singing talent, but the ability to act and move in concert with all the other performers on the stage as, quite simply, “a mess.” She explains, “There’s the music. There’s the coaching. There’s the instruction. There’s the language. There’s the stage movements, the conductor, the agents, singing teachers, and everybody else.” It is, in her view, nothing short of “a circus.” Actually, Te Kanawa marvels, “You feel as though your brain is going to break.”

During her career there have been a number of criticisms of both her approach to learning her roles and also in comparisons with other sopranos who have played that particular role in the past. However, they are more than balanced with positive reviews and the loyalty of her millions of fans.

As we enter the 1970s, Kiri Te Kanawa is a rising star and word of her success is reaching across the world. In the July of 1971, John Crosby at the Santa Fe Opera then in its 15th season, cast Kiri in the role of the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro.

“The performance also featured Frederica von Stade in her debut as Cherubino. “It was two of the newcomers who left the audience dazzled: Frederica von Stade as Cherubino and Te Kanawa as the Countess. Everyone knew at once that these were brilliant finds. History has confirmed that first impression.”

Later that year in the December this performance was repeated at Covent Garden and the well-known critic of the Financial Times, Andrew Porter, proclaimed her “a new star.”

Over Kiri Te Kanawa’s career there were certain composer’s that she was most comfortable working with and these included Mozart, Verdi, and Strauss. She once described Strauss as “music that fits me like a glove, lyrical and passionate at the same time.” There is no doubt that her voice and range suits the more expansive style required by the Strauss roles.

“Im Abendrot”

In 1948, Richard Strauss, a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras, was failing in health. There was a new world order, he was old, and he felt tarnished by the tribulations of World War II and the appropriation of his music by the Third Reich. It was in this ambiance that he wrote his swan song – “Vier Letzte Lieder” (Four Last Songs). One can conclude that his acceptance of death and his search for inner peace led to this great composition which is a masterpiece. He died in 1949, at 84 years old. In this video, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa sings the last movement of this work –”Im Abendrot” (At Sunset).

Under the baton of Sir Georg Solti, with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Kiri Te Kanawa gives a sublime performance. Her voice soars, her phrasing is perfect, and the emotion is rich.

Kiri Te Kanawa’s voice is a lovely bright soprano, with great ease and beauty in the upper register. The wonderful legato phrasing and good technique have served her well in in many Mozart roles.

“Exsultate, jubilate”

In this video Dame Kiri Te Kanawa triumphs in the opening aria of “Exsultate, jubilate.” This sacred music solo *motet was written by Mozart in 1773. Her voice has a young bell-like tone, and her impeccable *coloratura performance is mesmerizing. She hits the high note at the end with ease and perfection. A joyful experience.

*A motet is a vocal composition, accompanied or a cappella, based on a sacred Latin text.

* Coloratura refers to elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody.

Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly provided another outstanding role that showcased Kiri Te Kanawa’s stunning voice.

Madama Butterfly is an opera in three acts composed by Puccini with an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. It is based on the short story Madame Butterfly written in 1898 by John Luther Long, based on the semi-autobiographical 1887 French novel, Madame Chrysantheme by Pierre Loti. This was dramatised by David Belasco as a one act play Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan which premiered in New York in 1900 and then moved to London where it was seen by Puccini.

“Un bel vedremo”

Kiri Te Kanawa is at her best in “Un bel di vedremo” from Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly,” directed by Sir John Pritchard with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Her voice is young, clear, rounded, and even from top to bottom,and quite effective in the way she expresses herself.

This beautiful aria, one of my favorites, suits her well, as you will hear in the video.

In 1974 Kiri was released by Covent Garden to understudy soprano Teresa Stratas performing as Desdemona in Verdi’s Othello at the New York’s Metropolitan Opera..

After attending the dress rehearsal and secure in the knowledge that Teresa Stratas would be performing on stage on the Saturday, Kiri decided to go shopping.. However, things were about to get a little more frantic and finally her agent tracked her down and told her to get to the opera house where she found the matinee about to begin.

Backstage the dressers frantically prepared Kiri for her unexpected debut not only on the stage of The Met, but on television across America. There was, she remembered, no time for nerves, only “all-out panic.” This one illustrious performance that made Kiri Te Kanawa an international sensation

There were further débuts in Paris and (1975), Sydney (1976), Milan (1978), Salzburg (1979) and Vienna (1980). In 1982 she gave her only stage performances as Tosca in Paris. In 1989 she added Elisabeth de Valois in Don Carlos to her repertory at Chicago, and in 1990 the Countess in Capriccio, sung first at San Francisco and with equal success at Covent Garden and Glyndebourne.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours at the age of only 38 in 1982, Kiri Te Kanawa was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to opera.

Kiri Te Kanawa also won a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording in 1983, for Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro”. It was produced by Christopher Raeburn and the London Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Georg Solti.

Buy the music of Kiri Te Kanawa: Amazon

Additional Sources – Wikipedia Kiri Te Kanawa
Foundation for young singers: Kiri te Kanawa

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.