Summer Jazz – William Price King meets Ella Fitzgerald


William and his music

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her Early Years.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About William Price King.

williampriceking

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

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

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

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

Connect with William

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

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

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

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

 

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A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Diana Krall – the Finale


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In this final part of the Diana Krall story I would like to look at her most recent work and also include some of the honours that she has received so far. It is also interesting to find out what an artist feels about their own work, so I have some quotes by Diana to include in the post. For the previous posts in the Diana Krall Story – https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/diana-krall/

Here is a list of her honors so far in her wonderful career.

In 2000, Diana Krall was awarded the “Order of British Columbia.”
In 2003 she was given an honorary Ph.D. (Fine Arts) from the University of Victoria.
In 2004, she was inducted into “Canada’s Walk of Fame.”
In 2005, she was made an Officer of the “Order of Canada.”
In 2008, “Nanaimo Harbourfront Plaza” was renamed “Diana Krall Plaza.”
She is an honorary board member of the “Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.”
Krall has been selected a Steinway & Sons Artist and performs exclusively with Steinway pianos in recording sessions, concerts, and public appearances.

Here is one of her quotes that I think sums up Diana Krall’s down to earth approach to the music industry and its demands.

“I’ve played a lot of piano bars, I sound like Humphrey Bogart, but you don’t begin at the Royal Albert Hall. You have to work very hard to be a jazz musician and you’ve got to do some things you might not want to, as in any job. I was sent to Europe and I was like a human jukebox, playing six hours a night.”

Where we left off last time….

In 2009 Diana Krall entered into a collaboration with the incredible vocalist Barbra Streisand and it was expected that combining their two very individual talents would produce a very different sound for Barbra Streisand. The album Love Is The Answer was released in the September. It was co-produced with Diana Krall’s long term musical collaborator Tommy LiPuma and featured Johnny Mandel’s arrangements of the tracks selected from the Great American Songbook.

Johnny Mandel had been in the business for several decades and had begun to play professionally in the early 40s. He had played trumpet and then trombone with the most popular bands of the day including Buddy Rich and Jimmy Dorsey. He went on to play and arrange for the top artists in the business including Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and also Barbra Streisand.

Whilst there is no doubt about the polished performances and finish to the album, some critics felt that it was not quite as much a departure from previous Streisand albums as expected; especially with the input from Diana Krall and Tommy LiPuma. It is perhaps understandable that with two very seasoned musicians and performers such as Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mandel that they would stay within their comfort zone.

However, Barbra Streisand has millions of fans around the world and the album became her ninth Number 1 album on the Billboard 200 and this made her the only artist to have a number one album in the United States in five different decades. The album was certified gold in November giving Barbra Streisand 51 Gold records.

Here is a track from the album If You Go Away by Jacques Brel and Rod McKuen. Uploaded by babsfan2

Buy the Album: http://www.amazon.com/Answer-Deluxe-Edition-Barbra-Streisand/dp/B002DYJAIO

In 2011 Diana Krall took a break and was in Sri Lanka for a time, returning in September 2012 to accompany Paul McCartney at Capitol for his live performance of his album ‘Kisses on the Bottom, aired live on the Internet. Also on September 13th Diana performed Fly Me to the Moon at Neil Armstrong’s memorial service in Washington D.C. Here is the song which was written by Bart Howard and a fitting tribute to a great pioneer of space.

A new album Glad Rag Doll was also released in October 2012, produced with T Bone Burnett, and featured a much older set of songs; pre-dating most of the Jazz Standards, having been written between the two World Wars. These included the title track Glad Rag Doll written by Milton Ager, Dan Dougherty and Jack Yellen, When the Curtain Comes Down by Carl Hoefle, Al Lewis and Al Sherman and I’m a Little Mixed Up by Betty James and Edward Johnson.

This departure from the Jazz Standards was Diana Krall at her most individual and also most comfortable; with her signature vocals bringing back the blues and vaudeville of the era perfectly. This was not an album for sweeping orchestral arrangements and it was stripped back to the basics of the original jazz and blues infused of course with the Krall magic. As you listen you can imagine yourself in a smoky bar watching a couple of musicians combining voice and instrument to create an intimate atmosphere. Diana also brought her husband Elvis Costello on board for this album providing ukulele, mandolin and guitar with backing vocals on the title track Glad Rag Doll. Diana said this of their work together on the album;

‘Some people might be wary of collaborating with their spouses, but I was thrilled to be working with Elvis.’ ‘The fact that he’s my husband didn’t really enter into it. There’s no power struggle in our marriage. Once we were in the recording booth, he’d give me a wink and a smile, and we had fun. Our lives get busy at home with the children, so it was lovely to have something else to share.’

Here is the title track uploaded by Alkiviadis

The most recent Diana Krall album, Wallflower, her 12th studio album was released in February 2015 by Verve records. The album is a return to the more well-known songs in recent music history, but all of course treated to the Diana Krall interpretation. Apart from the title track Wallflower written by Bob Dylan, other composers featured were artists who had inspired Diana Krall during her career such as Elton John, Gilbert O’Sullivan and Paul McCartney who had given Diana a song after their collaboration on his album Kisses on the Bottom in 2012. If I Take You Home Tonight was left off that album and Diana had this to say about the song.

“It was so great of Paul McCartney to give me that song.There’s always a few songs that don’t make an album. Not because they aren’t great. It just happens. So, I asked him if I could have it, and he just said sure.”

As another departure Diana Krall invited fellow Canadian David Foster to join her on the album. David is CEO of Verve records but also a 16-time Grammy Winner. As a composer, arranger, musician, songwriter and record producer he has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry. These included Alice Cooper, Celine Dion, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Madonna and Rod Stewart. David Foster did the arrangements for Wallflower and also provided most of the piano parts which left Diana free to focus on her vocal performances.

I had a chance to work with David Foster whom I’ve known for a long time. I felt that this was the right time and the right person to do this kind of record with. David has a jazz background, but he’s also a great pop producer and incredible accompanist which I discovered more and more as I was working with him. … I really made it clear that I didn’t want to do a jazz record. … I wanted to do a pop record and keep the integrity of the original melody and chord changes. I don’t think I’m abandoning anything. … I’ve always seen myself as a jazz pianist first. The major influence in my life is Nat King Cole, although I don’t put myself in the same category as him. I know that some will like this album and some will not. You cannot control that. … You just want to make a beautiful record that you love, coming from an honest place, and hope that everybody else will love it.”

Here is If I Take You Home Tonight written by Paul McCartney uploaded by nehoda69

Diana Krall is the only Jazz singer to have 8 albums debuting in at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums. She has won five Grammy Awards and eight Juno Awards.

I will leave you with a last quote from Diana about her childhood dream of becoming an astronaut and whilst she may not have taken to this route to the stars she has certainly achieved that ambition through her music.

I built rockets and became good friends with astronauts. I played for the 40th anniversary of Apollo 13 at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum [in Washington DC]. I met Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, and I went on the bus to Orlando with a lot of space people and watched the last launch at Cape Canaveral. It was one of the most awesome things in my life. I love to ride horses though I’m not very good, but I love to ride Western-style, down the beach. Two of the few things in life outside music that make me feel freest are skiing and swimming in the cold. I went skiing recently in Dubai. That’s how hardcore I am.”

I hope that you have enjoyed this series on this incredible and very beautiful musician. If you have not listened to Diana Krall before then I hope that it has introduced her unique voice and musical gifts to your attention.

You can buy all her music on Amazon and I recommend that you bring her magic into your lives.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Diana-Krall/e/B000AQ6RNS

More information about Diana Krall – www.dianakrall.com

http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_Krall
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_Krall

Diana Krall – Tour Dateshttp://www.dianakrall.com/tour-dates

About William Price King

Price et Eric au Studio Marilyn

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

We would love to have your feedback and also your help in spreading the post around social media for us.. thanks and hope you will join us next time for the start of a new series on the superstar that is Tony Bennett.

A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Quincy Jones – 1980s


In part four of the Quincy Jones story, William Price King explores the relationship that Quincy formed with some of the most iconic names in the music industry. Also how he used his influence to produce one of the top selling singles every released.

QJ Awards

Quincy Jones has now been at the peak of his musical career for the last 20 years having worked with the top artists in the industry.

In 1979 Quincy had produced Off The Wall with Michael Jackson for Epic Records. The two men had become friends after working on The Wiz together. They recorded the album between December 1978 and June 1979 and released it in the August. Michael Jackson had collaborated with other songwriters and composers such as Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. He had also written three of the tracks himself including the Grammy winning Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough. Five singles were released from the album becoming chart hits and over 8 million copies were sold. This cemented Michael Jackson as an International superstar and Quincy Jones as the most sought after record producer in Hollywood.

In 1980 his album The Dude won three Grammy awards. Collaborators on the album included vocalist James Ingram on two of the tracks; Just Once and One Hundred Ways. Razzmatazz with vocals by Patti Austin reached No. 11 in the UK singles chart and received a great deal of play time in the US… The album won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Instrumental Arrangement (Accompanying Vocalists).

Here is Patti Austin with Razzmatazz.

Quincy now settled in for the next ten years as head of his own label Qwest and putting his own releases on the back burner he focused on producing for other artists.

This included one of the bestselling singles of all time. We Are The World is a charity single written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the album of the same name We Are The World. Quincy had used his influence to draw in most of the top American recording artists of the day to raise funds for the victims of Ethiopia’s famine. When asked how he had managed to make this multi-talented cast of singers work harmoniously he explained that he had taped a notice on the door at the entrance. “Check Your Ego At The Door”.

It sold in excess of 20 million copies and is one of less than 30 singles to have sold at least 10 million copies worldwide.

Quincy and Michael Jackson worked together again in 1982 on the bestselling album Thriller with 40 million sold. Six of the singles were in the Top Ten including Billie Jean and Beat It.

In 1987 they teamed up again for Michael Jackson’s 7th studio album Bad and Michael not only composed nine of the eleven tracks but also received co-producer credit for the whole album alongside Quincy. The album received six Grammy nominations and won two. It was to be the successful team’s final collaboration.

One of the most successful singles… Billie Jean from the album Thriller.

On hearing of Michael’s death, Quincy said the following:

‘”For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don’t have the words. Divinity brought our souls together on The Wiz and allowed us to do what we were able to throughout the ’80s. To this day, the music we created together on Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it all…talent, grace, professionalism and dedication. He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.”

Another star that Quincy continued to work with during the 80s was Frank Sinatra and in 1984 they produced L.A. Is My Lady. After their long and successful artistic partnership Quincy had to say this about this megastar.

“Frank Sinatra took me to a whole new planet. I worked with him until he passed away in ’98. He left me his ring. I never take it off. Now, when I go to Sicily, I don’t need a passport. I just flash my ring.”

 Here is Frank Sinatra with the Quincy Jones Orchestra L.A. Is My Lady.

In 1985 a film arrived in the cinemas that was to take the world by storm; Stephen Spielberg’s adaptation of the novel, The Colour Purple. Starring Whoopi Goldberg and Opray Winfrey the movie received eleven Oscar Nominations. Quincy Jones wrote the score for the film and he also co-produced the musical adaptation of the novel which opened at The Broadway Theater in New York in 2005 The other producers were Scott Sanders, Harvey Weinstein and Oprah Winfrey. It was nominated for five 2006 Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding Broadway Musical and Outstanding New Score. In the same year the show was nominated for eleven Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score.

In 1989, Quincy Jones was presented with the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. With a wonderful career and many accolades and awards behind him, Quincy was playing is way into the 1990s with so much more to come.

To end this chapter in Quincy Jones story here is Miss Celie’s Blues from The Colour Purple.

My thanks to those who have uploaded videos to YouTube.

Buy Quincy Jones Music.

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

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

About William Price King

pricestudio

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and he is currently working on his new album available later in 2015.

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

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

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

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

 

 

A Man and His Music – William Price King meets Mel Tormé – Part Four – The 1960s


Part four of the series on the life and music of Mel Tormé and it is becoming clear that this talented musician, songwriter and performer, struggles to find his niche in the ever changing music industry. As mentioned in the first part of the series, Mel felt that he had been born just a decade too late to really take full advantage of the Jazz and Big Band Era, which produced the music that he loved to both write and perform. If the 50s had produced a shift in the taste in the fans for popular music, the 60s were going to be even more challenging for an artist such as Mel. It was a time of compromise, recording singles and albums to fit in with the leading label’s demands for popular music, to support his live performances of the music he really loved.

I will hand over to William Price King now to pick up the story.

at the red hill 

We move into the 60s with Mel Tormé struggling to find a record label who will allow him to release the music that is his passion… Jazz. He is now with Atlantic Records who very clearly want him to produce pop music, and eventually a compromise was made with another live album, Mel Tormé at the Red Hill in March of 1962. However he bowed to pressure from the management and released the more current number ‘Comin’ Home Baby’ in the September.

The song was written by the jazz lyricist Bob Dorough and bass player Ben Tucker. The song got Mel into the top 40 in both the US and UK and also earned him his first two Grammy nominations for Best Solo Performance, Male and Best Rhythm & Blues Recording. Whilst a terrific achievement for any artist Mel still felt disappointed that he was not being recognised as a jazz performer. To capitalise on this nomination, Atlantic rushed out the LP of the same name but it did not enter the charts.

What was a little bit more heartening for Mel was the comment made by jazz and gospel singer Ethel Waters to say that “Tormé is the only white man who sings with the soul of a black man.”

In 1963 Mel began a collaboration with The Judy Garland Show as musical director working closely on set with Judy and writing songs and musical arrangements combined with the occasional guest appearance. The show itself was in trouble from the beginning and Judy Garland’s unpredictability due to her personal issues resulted in a roller-coaster ride of triumphs and disasters in the few months that the show aired.

Judy Garland Show

The personal relationship between Mel and Judy was not a harmonious one and he was fired shortly before the series itself was cancelled. Mel wrote a book after Judy Garland’s death “The Other Side of the Rainbow with Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol”. It was clearly an unhappy time for the aging actress and singer as her star faded and Mel related the behind-the-scenes dramas that he witnessed. Whilst not popular with Judy’s legions of fans and family, after a rewrite of the introduction to the book to mollify their criticisms, Mel paid tribute to the fact that Judy could still pull out all the stops when performing.

right now

Free to return to live performing from late 1964, Mel signed to Columbia Records and as well as some singles he cut the album That’s All. But, as at Atlantic Records, he was being pressurised to produce more contemporary/pop/rock songs. In 1966 his Album Right Now was released and included some of his recent hits such as ‘Homeward Bound’, and ‘Red Rubber Ball’. Mel made the Easy Listening chart in the summer of 1967 with ‘Lovers Roulette’ but by the end of the year he was off the label.

Red Rubber Ball written by Paul Simon and Bruce Woodley

Mel had been appearing in films over the last few years, including playing himself in The Patsy and this was followed by A Man Called Adam. He also began to be seen more on the small screen as well as writing episodes and guesting in popular series such as Run for Your Life and The Virginian.

220px-Mel_Tormé_-_A_Day_in_the_Life_of_Bonnie_and_Clyde

Mel signed with Liberty Records in early 1968 and on the wave of public enthusiasm for the film Bonnie and Clyde that had been released in 1967, he wrote the original title track ‘A Day in the Life of Bonnie and Clyde’. With the exception of this track, the album mostly consists of covers of popular songs of the late 1920s and early 1930s, around the period when the real-life Bonnie and Clyde were committing their bank robberies.

By 1969 Mel was back with Capitol Records and cut two more albums,A Time for Us’ and ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head’. ‘A Time for Us’ was the love theme from Romeo & Juliet that had been an instrumental arranged by Henry Mancini and it was to become one of the most romantic ballads of the late 1960s.

Mel was now entering the 1970s and he would be out of the music charts for some time although he would still be in the public eye with his work in television and film and with his live performances.

Sources
http://www.mtv.com/artists/mel-torme-00/biography/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Torm%C3%A9
http://www.amazon.com/Mel-Torm%C3%A9/e/B001HMPC1C
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comin‘_Home_Baby!

William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.

Price Russian photo Cave Wilson

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and more details in the Buy Music for Christmas.

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

William Price King meets Mel Tormé
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme/ Part One.
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-two-1940s/ Part Two
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-three-the-50s/ Part Three
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-iconic-jazz-my-funny-valentine/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/william-price-king-iconic-songs-of-the-last-century-stardust/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-sings-jazz-prelude-to-a-kiss/

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

A Man and His Music – William Price King meets Nat King Cole Part Three


album2

We continue the story of the talented and charismatic Nat King Cole and we are now into the 50s and the rising popularity of television music shows. Here is William Price King to pick up the story…

In 1953 the trio signed a deal with Capitol Records. A first hit tune “I’m Lost” helped make enough money to launch the trio and the recording company, too. Revenues from Cole’s sales played a major role in financing the Capitol Records building, which was known as “The house that Nat built.”

The Nat King Cole Trio had the honor of playing in the very first “Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts.” The line-up of: piano, guitar, and bass became very popular and was emulated by the likes of Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, and Ahmad Jamal, to name a few. When Nat Cole wasn’t playing with his own trio he played on sessions with Lester Young, Lionel Hampton and others, but always under the pseudonym of “Aye Guy.”

Cole’s first mainstream vocal hit was one of his own compositions – “Straighten up and fly right,” based on a black folk tale that his father used as a theme for a sermon. This recording sold over 500,000 copies. It is said that this song led the way for “rock and roll.”

Once again, understanding the power of radio, the trio financed their own 15 minute spot (usually paid for by Ads), called the “King Cole Trio Time.” This was a “first” for black artists. Recordings from these shows eventually became commercial rerecords.

With success knocking at his door, Nat King Cole decided to widen his base and ultimately his popularity by doing pop-oriented songs for mainstream audiences. This was highlighted by his introducing a string orchestra into his recordings. With his luscious baritone voice he turned out hit after hit, cementing his iconic stature with “The Christmas Song,” which he recorded four times; as a pure trio, with an added string section (twice), and for a double album – The Nat King Cole Story. His hits are legion: Route 66, Nature Boy, Mona Lisa, Unforgettable, to name a few. Here is the wondeful “Mona Lisa”

In 1956 Nat King Cole went on to do TV with the Nat King Cole Show on NBC. It was a first by an African American and created lots of controversy. Unfortunately the show was taken off the air because of a lack of sponsorship, despite the appearances of such greats at the time like Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte, Mel Tormé, Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, and others. Cole quipped after the show was killed: “Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark.”

Price et Eric au Studio Marilyn

I have just recorded some videos titled ‘Remembering Nat King Cole’ and here is my version of the very well loved (Get your kicks on) Route 66, which became popular as “Route 66”, and is a rhythm and blues standard composed in 1946 by songwriter Bobby Troup.

The idea for the song came to Troup on a cross-country drive from Pennsylvania to California. Troup wanted to try his hand as a Hollywood songwriter, so he and his wife, Cynthia, packed up their 1941 Buick and headed west. The trip began on Highway 40 and continued along Route 66 to the California coast. Troup initially considered writing a tune about Highway 40, but Cynthia suggested the title “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.” The song was composed on this ten-day journey.

The lyrics read as a mini-travelogue about the major stops along the route, listing several cities and towns that Route 66 passes through.

“Route 66” was first recorded in 1946 by Nat King Cole, whose rendition became a hit on both the U.S. R&B and pop charts. Cole would later re-record the tune in 1956 (on the album After Midnight) and in 1961 (on the album The Nat King Cole Story).

Route 66

Next time we will move into the 60s with this iconic singer and the last few years of his life.

William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and more details in the Buy Music for Christmas.

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

Sources and Album Cover
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nat_King_Cole
http://www.biography.com/people/nat-king-cole-9253026#synopsis

 The other two episodes of this series are in the following directory.

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