Smorgasbord Summer Music Festival with hosts William Price King and Sally Cronin – Headliners Johnny Mathis, Led Zeppelin and the Beach Boys.


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

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

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

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

We hope you will enjoy the music…

From the Johnny Mathis series

“A Certain Smile,” written for the 1958 film of the same name, based on the novel, also titled “A Certain Smile,” by Françoise Sagan (known in French as “Un Certain Sourire”) was nominated for the 1958 Academy Award for Best Original Song. The music was written by Sammy Fain with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. Johnny Mathis appeared in the film as a bar singer performing the title song. Mathis’ recording, with backing orchestration by Ray Ellis, reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was featured in the 2010 BBC production of “A Passionate Woman.”

“Let It Be Me: Mathis in Nashville” was released in 2010, by Columbia Records and focused upon popular country songs. With the exceptions of the traditional folk song “Shenandoah” and George Strait’s “We Must Be Lovin’ Right” from 1993, the heyday of the selections that Mathis is covering coincided approximately with the first 20 years of his career, starting with Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” from 1956.

The album earned Mathis a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.

“Stairway to Heaven” is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in late 1971. It was composed by the band’s guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant for their untitled fourth studio album. The song is sometimes regarded as the most popular rock tune of all time: Wikipedia Thanks to Chili World – Music Led Zeppelin: Amazon US

“Good Vibrations” is a song by the American rock band the Beach Boys that was composed by Brian Wilson with lyrics by Mike Love. Released as a single on October 10, 1966, it was an immediate critical and commercial hit, topping record charts in several countries including the US and UK. Characterized by its complex soundscapes, episodic structure and subversions of pop music formula, it was the costliest single ever recorded at the time of its release. “Good Vibrations” later became widely acclaimed as one of the finest and most important works of the rock era: WikipediaThanks to Stephen McElvain

The Beach Boys Sounds of Summer: Amazon US

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

William Price King #Music Column – The artists so far – Bono and U2, Madonna, Johnny Mathis and Aretha Franklin


We began the William Price King Music Column in January of this year. And since we are on a week break before beginning the new series on Josh Groban next Wednesday, I thought today I would share the artists that have been featured so far with one of the tracks that hit the charts.

If you missed the series, or any of the episodes, just follow the links.

Bono and U2

Part one

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/william-price-king-music-column-bono-and-u2-meet-the-band/

Part two

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/william-price-king-music-column-bono-and-u2-part-two-the-early-years/

Part three

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-william-price-kings-music-column-bono-and-u2-part-three/

Part Four

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-william-price-kings-music-column-bono-and-u2-up-to-date/

Madonna

Part One

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazin-the-william-price-king-music-column-madonna-part-one-where-it-all-began/

Part Two

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/28/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-madonna-part-two-the-1980s/

Part Three

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-madonna-part-three/

Part Four

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-madonna-part-four/

Part Five

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/03/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-madonna-part-five/

Johnny Mathis

Part One

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-meet-johnny-mathis/

Part Two

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-johnny-mathis-the-early-hits/

Part Three

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-johnny-mathis-up-to-date/

Aretha Franklin

Part One.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-by-william-price-king-aretha-franklin-the-early-years/

Part Two

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/25/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-aretha-franklin-the-rise-to-fame/

Part Three

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-aretha-franklin-the-1970s/

Part Four

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-aretha-franklin-up-to-date/

To enjoy the Jazz, Classical and legend series of artists please follow this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-contemporary-classical-and-legends

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 called “Clear Cut,” 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

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

I hope you have enjoyed this catch up on the Music Column and will tune in next week for the start of the Josh Groban series.  Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – Johnny Mathis up to date.


Welcome to part three of the Johnny Mathis story… Born in Gilmer in East Texas in 1935, Johnny Mathis, with his distinctive voice would become one of the most popular and enduring singers of the last 60 years.

Johnny Mathis has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for three separate recordings – in 1998 for “Chances Are”, in 2002 for “Misty”, and in 2008 for “It’s Not for Me to Say.”

On June 21, 2014, Mathis was inducted into the Great American Songbook Hall Of Fame along with Linda Ronstadt, Shirley Jones, and Nat King Cole (his daughter Natalie Cole accepting the award on his behalf). The awards were presented by the Center for the Performing Arts artistic director Michael Feinstein. Defined on their website, “Conceived as an enduring testament to the Great American Songbook, the Hall of Fame honors performers and composers responsible for creating America’s soundtrack.”

He was awarded the Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and he was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

I will now hand over to William Price King to bring the Johnny Mathis story up to the present day.

The end of the 1970s was a productive and successful period for Johnny Mathis. In 1978, his hit duet “The Last Time I Felt Like This” from the film “Same Time, Next Year” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Mathis and Jane Olivor sang the song at the Academy Awards ceremony, in his second performance at the Oscars.

“Too Much, Too Little, Too late” was penned by songwriters Nat Kipner and John Vallins. Johnny Mathis struck gold when he teamed up with R&B songbird Deniece Williams for this 1978 chart-topper. The song is about a couple who finally realize that there’s no spark left in their relationship and decide to go their separate ways. Mathis and Williams’ voices complement one another nicely on this bittersweet break-up ballad. The duet was born out of Mathis’ desire to take his music in a new direction. The single was a comeback of sorts for Mathis, as it was his first chart-topping hit in the US since 1957’s “Chances Are.” Released as a single in 1978, it reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, Adult Contemporary chart, and R&B chart. Outside the US, the song peaked at # 9 on the Canadian Singles Chart and #3 on the UK Singles Chart and was certified gold and silver in the US and in the UK.

The duo released a follow-up duet, “You’re All I Need to Get By,” peaking at number 47 on the Hot 100. The success of the duets with Williams prompted Mathis to record duets with a variety of partners, including Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Jane Olivor, Stephanie Lawrence, and Nana Mouskouri. A compilation album also called “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late” released by Sony Music in 1995, featured the title track among other songs by Mathis and Williams.

“Friends in Love” was released in April 1982 by Columbia Records and included six original songs, two of which were duets with Dionne Warwick. The album made its first appearance on Billboard magazine’s Top LPs & Tapes chart in May, 1982, and remained there for nine weeks, peaking at #147. It also made it to #34 during a seven-week run on the UK album chart that began the following week.

The title track from the album entered the Billboard Hot 100 in April, 1982, and eventually got as high as #38 over the course of 13 weeks. That same issue included its debut on the magazine’s list of the 100 most popular R&B songs in the US, where it also spent 13 weeks and peaked at #22. The next issue, in April 24, marked its first appearance on the

Adult Contemporary chart, and during its 17-week run there it rose to #5.
This was the first Mathis album whose initial release included the compact disc (CD) format.

Mathis continued to release and sell albums throughout the ’90s — his fifth decade of recording for Columbia. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1991 for Best Traditional Pop Performance for the album “In A Sentimental Mood: Mathis Sings Ellington.”

“Unbreak my Heart” is the from 1998 album “Because You Love Me: The Songs of Diane Warren” on which he covers 10 of the songwriter’s hits. This song was also chosen for the compilation of Mathis’ hits on his 2004 album “The Essential Johnny Mathis.” Diane Warren wrote “Un-Break My Heart” in 1995. When asked about her songwriting process, she said that songs usually come to her from a title, a chorus, or a drum beat. “Un-Break My Heart” was conceived from its title, and, according to Warren, “it popped into my head, and I thought, ‘I don’t think I’ve heard that before, that’s kind of interesting. I started playing around on the piano with these chords and did a key change, and then I knew, ‘OK, this is magic.’ Warren further explained that she wrote “Un-Break My Heart” as a ballad and dance song, because that was the way she heard it.

“Over the Rainbow,” the tenth song from the album, “Isn’t It Romantic: The Standards Album,” is a duet with Ray Charles that originally appeared on the late musician’s final release, “Genius Loves Company” in 2004, and won the Grammy Award for “Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists” for its arranger Victor Vanacore. Mathis received a Grammy nomination for this album in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. In an interview that year with National Public Radio’s Ed Gordon, Mathis describes a conversation he had with record company executives: “They said, ‘We want you to sing the most popular songs from the American musical theater that you haven’t sung in the past.”… I sat down and finally came up with a list of nine songs that I hadn’t recorded that were very familiar to the public.”

John Bush of “AllMusic” noted that “singers from a variety of genres had jumped on the standards bandwagon” around this time due in large part to the success that Rod Stewart was having with his series of “Great American Songbook” albums. “There are a few qualities, however, that separate Mathis from the competition. His long mastery of singing love songs is one, and his comprehensive knowledge of the pop canon is another (the last would be, of course, that wonderful voice).” He also wrote, “His choices for the material on “Isn’t It Romantic” are excellent, all of them natural fits for both his voice and his persona.”

2006 was a very busy year for Johnny, marking his impressive 50th anniversary as a recording star. “Johnny Mathis – Gold: A 50th Anniversary Celebration” and “A 50th Christmas Celebration” were both released and PBS taped a special called “Wonderful, Wonderful”.  2006 also marked the year that he was honored with receiving the Society of Singers coveted Ella Award.

Mathis returned to the British Top 30 album chart in 2007 with the Sony BMG release “The Very Best of Johnny Mathis” in 2008 with the CD “A Night to Remember” and again in 2011 with “The Ultimate Collection.”

“Let It Be Me: Mathis in Nashville” was released in 2010, by Columbia Records and focused upon popular country songs. With the exceptions of the traditional folk song “Shenandoah” and George Strait’s “We Must Be Lovin’ Right” from 1993, the heyday of the selections that Mathis is covering coincided approximately with the first 20 years of his career, starting with Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” from 1956.

The album earned Mathis a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.

“Location matters little to Johnny Mathis,” writes Stephen Thomas Erlewine of “Allmusic” — “wherever he goes, there he is, sounding as smooth as ever. That’s quite an accomplishment for a singer of 74, to still make it all seem effortless.” He also notes that, with a few exceptions, the album “sounds as if it could have easily been released in the early ‘60s when Mathis was a regular fixture in the charts…, and that’s its strength.” He concludes that “Mathis sounds as silky as his surroundings,” and asserts that “that may be because he wound up having Nashville accept his terms instead of bending to the rules of the Music City.”

“Once Before I Go,” featured on “Johnny Mathis Sings the Great New American Songbook” is from the “Boy from Oz” – a jukebox musical based on the life of singer/songwriter Peter Allen highlighting songs written by him. The book is by Nick Enright. Premiering in Australia in 1998 starring Todd McKenney, the musical opened in a revised version on Broadway in 2003 with Hugh Jackman in the title role and co-starring Isabel Keating.

Jackman won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, and Keating won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical. The show also received nominations for four other Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Buy the music of Johnny Mathis: https://www.amazon.com/Johnny-Mathis/e/B000APEDOO

Find out more about Johnny Mathis and current news: http://www.johnnymathis.com/news.html

Additional sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Mathis

My thanks to William Price King for another wonderful series that shares the music of artists whose music has usually accompanied most of the major events in our lives.

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 called “Clear Cut,” 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 previous artists featured in these two links

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

And the Music Column: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/

Thank you for dropping in today and hope you have enjoyed the music… thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – Johnny Mathis – The Early Hits.


Welcome to part two of the Johnny Mathis story… Born in Gilmer in East Texas in 1935, Johnny Mathis, with his distinctive voice would become one of the most popular and enduring singers of the last 60 years.

Johnny Mathis has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for three separate recordings – in 1998 for “Chances Are”, in 2002 for “Misty”, and in 2008 for “It’s Not for Me to Say.”

On June 21, 2014, Mathis was inducted into the Great American Songbook Hall Of Fame along with Linda Ronstadt, Shirley Jones, and Nat King Cole (his daughter Natalie Cole accepting the award on his behalf). The awards were presented by the Center for the Performing Arts artistic director Michael Feinstein. Defined on their website, “Conceived as an enduring testament to the Great American Songbook, the Hall of Fame honors performers and composers responsible for creating America’s soundtrack.”

He was awarded the Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and he was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

I will now hand over to William Price King to share his early hits from the mid 1950s.

Last week we left Johnny Mathis, age 20, singing at the weekends at Ann Dee’s 440 Club, and on hearing that George Avakian, head of Popular Music A&R at Columbia Records, was vacationing nearby, Helen Noga his new manager, persuaded him to come and listen to Johnny play. After hearing Mathis sing, Avakian sent his record company a telegram stating: “Have found phenomenal 19-year-old boy who could go all the way. Send blank contracts.” Mathis signed with Columbia but continued his studies at San Francisco State while plans were being made in New York for his debut album.

Back at San Francisco State, Mathis, a gifted athlete, set a high jump record of 6 feet, 5½ inches, only two inches shy of the Olympic record at the time. In 1956 he was asked to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team that would travel to Melbourne, Australia, that November. Mathis had to decide whether to go to the Olympic trials or to keep his appointment in New York City to make his first recordings. On his father’s advice, Mathis opted to embark on a professional singing career.

“Misty” is a jazz standard written in 1954 by the pianist Erroll Garner. Originally composed as an instrumental, Garner recorded this song on his1955 album “Contrasts.” Mathis had heard Garner play the song, and told him that he’d love to sing it if it had lyrics. Garner asked Johnny Burke to put lyrics to the instrumental and the rest is history. This became Mathis’ signature song, appearing on his 1959 album “Heavenly” and reaching number 12 on the U.S Pop Singles chart later that year. Garner was in attendance when Mathis recorded the song, which sold well over two million copies in the US alone.

The Johnny Mathis version of this song (recorded in April 1959) was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. His version of the song plays prominently in a ballroom dancing scene in the 2012 film “Silver Linings Playbook.”

“Chances Are,” written by Robert Allen and Al Stillman was one of a large number of compositions by the Stillman-Allen team that were chart hits in the 1950s. Listed on Billboard’s “Most Played by Jockeys” survey for Johnny Mathis, in 1957, it was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998. The song reached No. 4 on Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores survey, along with its flip side “The Twelth of Never,” which Mathis initially disliked. It was included in the 1958 Mathis compilation “Johnny’s Greatest Hits.”

“Chances Are” went to #1 on the Billboard Pop Chart, #1 on Cash Box, and #12 on the U.S. R&B Chart. It was well-loved by the public. The single was backed with “The Twelfth of Never,” which also charted well, going to #9 on the Billboard Pop Chart. It sold more than one million copies and was awarded an RIAA gold record. Mathis was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for “Chances Are” in 1998.

“A Certain Smile,” written for the 1958 film of the same name, based on the novel, also titled “A Certain Smile,” by Françoise Sagan (known in French as “Un Certain Sourire”) was nominated for the 1958 Academy Award for Best Original Song. The music was written by Sammy Fain with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. Johnny Mathis appeared in the film as a bar singer performing the title song. Mathis’ recording, with backing orchestration by Ray Ellis, reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was featured in the 2010 BBC production of “A Passionate Woman.”

“Wild is the Wind” was written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington. The track was originally recorded by Johnny Mathis for the 1957 film “Wild is the Wind,” starring Anna Magnani and Anthony Quinn. The song was very popular and was one of five songs nominated for an Academy Award and was sung by Johnny Mathis at the 1958 Oscar presentations. Mathis’ version of the song was also released as a single by Columbia Records in 1957, and reached #22 on the Billboard chart.

In October 1964, Mathis sued Helen Noga to void their management arrangement. After the split, Johnny Mathis established Jon Mat Records, Inc., to produce his recordings, and Rojon Productions, Inc., to handle all of his concert, theater, showroom, and television appearances, and all promotional and charitable activities. His new manager and business partner was Ray Haughn, who, until his death in September 1984, helped guide Mathis’s career. Since that time, Mathis has taken sole responsibility for it.

“Moonlight in Vermont” is a fantastic song about the US state of Vermont, written by Karl Suessdorf and John Blackburn. The lyrics are unusual in that they do not rhyme. John Blackburn, the lyricist, has been quoted as saying, “After completing the first 12 bars of the lyric, I realized there was no rhyme and then said to Karl, ‘Let’s follow the pattern of no rhyme throughout the song. It seemed right.'” These lyrics set “Moonlight in Vermont” apart from other soft, contemplative music of the era. Each verse is a haiku, with a 5/7/5-syllable structure, and it doesn’t even rhyme. The effect is brilliant, moonlight twinkling through the branches of sycamore trees or glinting off the snow in winter, presenting a mysterious and mercurial sense of blurry beauty.

Johnny Mathis’ version of Moonlight in Vermont is sweet and wistful and his beautiful voice oozes the song’s impressionistic lyrics like maple syrup, as the orchestra glows incandescent around him.

“When A Child Is Born” is a very popular Christmas song. The original melody was called “Soleado,” a tune from 1974 by Ciro Dammicco (alias Zacar) which was based on Damicco’s earlier tune “Le rose blu” published in 1972. The English lyrics were written a few years later by Fred Jay who wrote many hits for Boney M.

The best known version of this song is the version by Johnny Mathis, which became Mathis’ sole number one single in the UK Singles Chart, spending three weeks at the top of the chart in December 1976, and selling 885,000 copies. In the US, it appeared in the Record World survey in both the Christmas seasons of 1976 and 1977, reaching a maximum position of No. 123, and racking up 10 chart weeks. In addition, Mathis re-recorded the song as a duet with Gladys Knight and the Pips. This version reached Record World No. 137 during the Christmas season of 1980, and the UK Singles Chart at No. 79.

Mathis has become associated with Christmas like turkey and pudding, thanks to this festive hit.

Yet, in spite of it being a #1 Christmas song, earning him £16m in royalties and being played millions of times each year, Mathis claims he has no memory of actually recording it.

Next week we pick up the Johnny Mathis story with his 1978 hit duet “The Last Time I Felt Like This” from the film “Same Time, Next Year” which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Buy the music of Johnny Mathis: https://www.amazon.com/Johnny-Mathis/e/B000APEDOO

Find out more about Johnny Mathis and current news: http://www.johnnymathis.com/news.html

Additional sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Mathis

My thanks to William Price King for another amazing post.

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 called “Clear Cut,” 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

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

You can find previous artists featured in these two links

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

And the Music Column: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/

Thank you for dropping in today and hope you have enjoyed the music… thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – Meet Johnny Mathis –


Welcome to the first part of the Johnny Mathis series with a brief look at his early years and some of his awards and accolades.. His voice had a unique tone that is instantly recognisable and his songs certainly played a big role in my teen years and romantic dalliances..

I will hand over to William Price King now to introduce you to the early years of this enduring musical artist.

Johnny Mathis was born in 1935 in Gilmer in East Texas to Clement and Mildred Mathis. Interestingly for Eagles fans… Don Henley was also born in Gilmer. However, the family moved to San Francisco where his father continued to work in Vaudeville. His background exposed all the children in the family to music and spotting an early talent in Johnny, he bought him an old upright piano. The story is that it would not fit through the door so Clement dismantled it and then reassembled in their living room.

At first Johnny followed his father’s influence with songs and routines that were performed in front of family and friends. The first song that he mastered was “My Blue Heaven” and if you listen to this version by Fats Waller you can understand how it would have been a crowd pleaser for Johnny”s audiences.

Johnny Mathis made his first public appearances at church functions and he had this to say about the beginning of his career. “As a child all I knew was that people kept asking me to sing and because I liked to please I would sing. It wasn’t until my dad told me that my singing made him happy that I began to think my voice might be good.”

At age 13 he was lucky enough to be accepted by voice teacher Connie Cox, in exchange for chores, and he studied with her until he was 19 years old. His training which included voice production, classical and operatic singing and gave him an important advantage over many popular singers of the day. His inspirations evolved from the Vaudeville routines to the smoother crossover jazz vocalists of the 1940s such as Nat King Cole and Lena Horne. The first band that Johnny Mathis performed with was at high school under the leadership of Merl Saunders, who would himself go on to enjoy a long and successful career working with musicians such as Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) and Tom Fogerty.

Music was Johnny’s only talent and he excelled at athletics, particularly as a high jumper, hurdler and on the basketball team. He went to San Francisco State University on an athletic scholarship with the aim of becoming either a Physical Education or English Teacher. However, he began playing at a small local bar, The International Settlement, where he met Maya Angelou and Joan Weldon. This led to a jam session at the Black Hawk Club where Johnny attracted the attention of one of the club’s founders, Helen Noga, who became his music manager.

At age 20, Johnny Mathis was singing at the weekends at Ann Dee’s 440 Club, and on hearing that George Avakian, head of Popular Music A&R at Columbia Records, was vacationing nearby, Helen Noga persuaded him to come and listen to Johnny play. After hearing Mathis sing, Avakian sent his record company a telegram stating: “Have found phenomenal 19-year-old boy who could go all the way. Send blank contracts.” Mathis signed with Columbia but continued his studies at San Francisco State while plans were being made in New York for his debut album.

Back at San Francisco State, Mathis, a gifted athlete, set a high jump record of 6 feet, 5½ inches, only two inches shy of the Olympic record at the time. In 1956 he was asked to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team that would travel to Melbourne, Australia, that November. Mathis had to decide whether to go to the Olympic trials or to keep his appointment in New York City to make his first recordings. On his father’s advice, Mathis opted to embark on a professional singing career.

Over his long career Johnny Mathis has been asked to perform for many heads of state, including the President of Liberia, the British Royal Family and for President and Mrs. Reagan at a state dinner in honor of the Prime Minister of Japan. This was followed by performances for Presidents Bush and Clinton.

Apart from a four year break with Mercury records, Johnny Mathis has been with Columbia Records throughout his career, joining Bob Dylan and Barbra Streisand in that respect.

He has had five of his albums on the Billboard charts simultaneously, an achievement equaled by only two other singers: Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow. He has released 200 singles and had 71 songs charted around the world. He is one of only five artistes who have had hits in every decade of their career.

He has taped twelve of his own television specials and made over 300 television guest appearances, with 33 of them being on “The Tonight Show.” Longtime “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson said, “Johnny Mathis is the best ballad singer in the world.” He appeared on the show with Carson’s successor, Jay Leno, on March 29, 2007, to sing his song “The Shadow of Your Smile” with the saxophonist Dave Koz. Through the years, his songs (or parts of them) have been heard in 100 plus television shows and films around the globe. His appearance on the “Live by Request” broadcast in May 1998 on the A&E Network had the largest television viewing audience of the series. Also in 1989, Johnny sang the theme for the ABC daytime soap opera “Loving.”

Johnny Mathis has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for three separate recordings – in 1998 for “Chances Are”, in 2002 for “Misty”, and in 2008 for “It’s Not for Me to Say.”

On June 21, 2014, Mathis was inducted into the Great American Songbook Hall Of Fame along with Linda Ronstadt, Shirley Jones, and Nat King Cole (his daughter Natalie Cole accepting the award on his behalf). The awards were presented by the Center for the Performing Arts artistic director Michael Feinstein. Defined on their website, “Conceived as an enduring testament to the Great American Songbook, the Hall of Fame honors performers and composers responsible for creating America’s soundtrack.”

In 1978 his hit duet with Jane Olivor “The Last Time I Felt Like This” from the film Same Time, Next Year was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. He was awarded the Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and he was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

In 2017, having dropped out of San Francisco State University over 60 years earlier to pursue his musical career, Johnny Mathis was awarded and honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the university.

Johnny Mathis has supported many organizations through the years, including the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, the YWCA and YMCA, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the NAACP.

Buy the music of Johnny Mathis: https://www.amazon.com/Johnny-Mathis/e/B000APEDOO

Find out more about Johnny Mathis and current news: http://www.johnnymathis.com/news.html

Additional sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Mathis

My thanks to William Price King for another amazing post.

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 called “Clear Cut,” 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

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

You can find previous artists featured in these two links

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

And the Music Column: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/

See you next week where William introduces us to the early hits for Johnny Mathis

An Evening with William Price King – Christmas Music – Sleigh Ride


My thanks to William Price King for  putting together this festive series for the run up to Christmas.. If you are lucky enough to live in the South of France; William is performing at a number of venues in the next couple of weeks. Contact William via his links for details.

Sleigh Ride was composed by Leroy Anderson as a light orchestral piece and was inspired by a particularly hot heat wave in July of 1946. By the time Leroy had finished the work it was in fact winter of 1948. The lyrics for the song were written in 1950 by Mitchell Parish.

Leroy Anderson recorded his own version in 1950 for Decca and it continued to be popular through the early part of the 50s.There were a number of versions that benefited from the addition of sound effects such as the clopping of horses hooves and even the sound of a horse whinnying.

There have been some notable versions of the song released over the years of this Christmas song including Johnny Mathis in 1958 and The Ronettes in 1963.

According to ASCAP, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Sleigh Ride consistently ranks in the top 10 list of most performed songs during the Christmas season worldwide.

Here is a wonderful version by the incomparable Miss Ella Fitzgerald.

About William Price King

 williampriceking

About 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 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 to William

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 of William’s posts on Jazz, Classical and Contemporary artists in this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-classical-and-contemporary-legends/