Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1977 – Part Two – Stevie Wonder, Manhattan Transfer, Elton John, Barbra Streisand


Each week William and I select two top hits from the charts in the US and UK starting with 1960 for two weeks followed by 1961 etc..through to 1985. We will also include some of the notable events in those years for the up and coming stars who were centre stage at the time. We are now in the 1970s.

William is now on a family break but will be back with us again in September, wishing him a wonderful summer.

Welcome to our show and we are excited to share decades of music with you in 2021. Here is my second selection of top 1977 hits which I hope you will enjoy and I will catch up with your comments on my return. William.

News EventMay 21st Stevie Wonder’s single “Sir Duke”, a tribute to Duke Ellington and other musical influences of Wonder’s, begins a 3-week run at #1

Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke

“Sir Duke” is from the “Songs in the Key of Life” album. It topped the charts in the US and around the world. “Sir Duke” was written as a tribute to Duke Ellington, and refers to Jazz greats Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald.

News Event: June 26th Elvis Presley sings in Indianapolis, the last performance of his career

Manhattan Transfer – Chanson d’Amour

“Chanson d’Amour” (French for Love Song), written by Wayne Shanklin, was an international hit, reaching #1 in the UK and other European countries as well as in Australia. This was the Manhattan Transfer’s most widespread international success, despite being only moderately successful in the US, where the song peaked at #16 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart.

News Event: October 1st Elton John honored by Madison Square Garden’s MSG Hall of Fame

Now time for my second picks from 1977 and I hope you will enjoy my selection from this interesting year in my life.

Queen – We Are The Champions

“We Are the Champions” is a song by the British rock band Queen, first released on their 1977 album News of the World. Written by lead singer Freddie Mercury, it is considered one of rock’s most recognisable anthems. The song was a worldwide success, reaching number two in the UK Singles Chart, number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, number three in Canada and the top ten in many other countries. In 2009 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

New Event: October 3rd “Comedy with Music (Victor Borge)” opens at Imperial NYC for 66 performances

Barbra Streisand – Evergreen

“Evergreen” (also called “Love Theme from A Star Is Born”) is the theme song from the 1976 film A Star Is Born. It was composed and performed by Barbra Streisand with lyrics by Paul Williams, and arranged by Ian Freebairn-Smith. The song was released on the soundtrack album to A Star Is Born.

In the US, the single became Streisand’s second number 1 single and spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and six weeks atop the easy listening chart.  In its year-end chart for 1977, Billboard ranked the platinum-certified single, which sold more than 2 million copies, the fourth-biggest single of the year. In the UK Singles Chart, the song peaked at #3 in 1977 – Barbra Streisand

Additional sources: On This Day – Music – Hits of the 70s: Playback FMWikipedia

Your Hosts for The Breakfast Show

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

Next week 1978 Part One. We hope you will tune in.. as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1969 – Part Two


Each week William and I will select two top hits from the charts starting with 1960 for two weeks followed by 1961 etc..through to 1985. We will also include some of the notable events in those years for the up and coming stars who were centre stage at the time.

Welcome to our show and we are excited to share decades of music with you in 2021. Here is my second selection of  top 1969 hits which I hope you will enjoy.  William.

News Event: July 11th David Bowie releases the single “Space Oddity” 9 days before Apollo 11 lands on the moon

Stevie Wonder – My Cherie Amour

The song peaked at #4 on both the Billboard Pop and R&B singles charts as well as in the UK. It was originally entitled “Oh, My Marsha,” as it was composed about Wonder’s girlfriend while he was at the Michigan School for the Blind in Lansing. Wonder also released Spanish and Italian-language versions entitled “Mi Querido Amor” and “My Cherie Amor.”

News Event: August 15th Woodstock Music & Art Fair opens in New York State on Max Yasgur’s Dairy Farm

The Edward Hawkins Singers – Oh Happy Day

Based on Acts 8:35 from the New Testament, this was originally a hymn from the mid-18th century (“O happy day, that fixed my choice”) by English clergyman Philip Doddridge. This rearranged gospel version became a worldwide hit, reaching #4 on the US Singles chart, and #2 in Canada and the UK. It has been included in the RIAA Songs of the Century list and won a Grammy Award for Best Soul, Gospel Performance in 1970.

News Event: October 10th “Jesus Christ Superstar” soundtrack album by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice is recorded

Now time for my first top chart picks from 1969 and it seems like only yesterday that I was dancing at my local club to the music including one of my all time favourites.

Creedence Clearwater Revival – John Fogerty – Bad Moon Rising

“Bad Moon Rising” is a song written by John Fogerty and performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was the lead single from their album Green River and was released in April 1969, four months before the album. The song peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 on 28 June 1969 and reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in September 1969 (see 1969 in music). It was CCR’s second gold single.

News Event: December 14th “Leaving on a Jet Plane” single sung by Peter, Paul and Mary, written by John Denver is No. 1 on US Billboard’s Hot Top 100

Peter Sarstedt ~ Where Do You Go To My Lovely  

“Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?” is a song by the British singer-songwriter Peter Sarstedt. Its recording was produced by Ray Singer, engineered by John Mackswith at Lansdowne Recording Studios and released in 1969. The music has been described as “a faux European waltz tune,” and the arrangement is a very simple one of strummed acoustic guitar and bass guitar, with brief bursts of French-style accordion at the start and the end. The arranger and conductor was Ian Green

Additional sources: On This Day – Music – Hits of the 60s: Sixties City – Wikipedia

Your Hosts for The Breakfast Show

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 VenueCave 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 – blogSmorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Next week 1970 Part One. We hope you will tune in.. as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.

 

Previous Breakfast Shows can be found The Breakfast Show Archive

Smorgasbord Summer Music Festival – Summer songs to get you in the mood


Over the next nine weeks I am going to be sharing a range of music for jazz, pop, rock, country and classical fans.Unlike most music festivals, the sun will always shine, there is not camping or glamping…

On centre stage this week……

Katrina and the Waves with a live performance in 1985… you can buy the music Amazon

And now something to bring back memories of 1978….Summer Nights from Grease buy the movie Amazon

Another classic You Are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder from 1971 …. buy the Difinitive Stevie Wonder Amazon

And to finish this set…Percy Faith – Theme From a Summer Place 1959… available from Music Amazon

 

I hope that you have enjoyed this musical interlude thanks for tuning in… Sally.

 

Please feel free to chime in with your favourite songs and as always I will including your links with your request… you can leave the song name and the artist in the comments and I will do my best to include.

 

William Price King meets some legends – Stevie Wonder – Highlights from the last 20 years.


For the last part of the Stevie Wonder story (for the time being) we thought that we would share some of the highlights from the last twenty years. Stevie Wonder has not been performing or recording as prolifically as he did until the mid 1990s, but he has released some chart topping singles.

I will hand over now to William to introduce some of these hits from the last two decades.

Despite Stevie Wonder reducing his performance and recording schedule there was no reduction in the quality or popularity of his music. For this finale we are going to share some of the top charting hits of the 1990s and 2000s.

“Gotta Have You” is the first single from the soundtrack of the Spike Lee film “Jungle Fever,” written and co-produced by Stevie Wonder and Nathan Watts in 1991. Rolling Stone magazine said that Wonder had not “sounded so freewheeling, confident and engaging” since his 1980 album “Hotter Than July. The song peaked at No. 3 in the Hot R&B/ Hip Hop chart, making it one of Wonder’s very few Top 10s of the 90s.

Stevie Wonder won two Grammy awards for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song with this beautiful ballad “For Your Love,” which he wrote and produced himself. This song is from the album “Conversation Peace” which is reminiscent of Wonder’s classic albums from the seventies but with a modern sound.

Stevie Wonder won his fourth Grammy award in the category of Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for the song “From The Bottom of My Heart.” This single, from the album “A Time 2 Love,” peaked at #7 on the US Adult Contemporary chart.

This beautiful melody, written and sung by Stevie Wonder for the Spike Lee film “Bamboozled” is filled with pain, sorrow, and suffering, as well as hope. This is one of Wonder’s most passionate works. The film is a satire about a modern minstrel show featuring black actors in blackface makeup. Critics found the film a little “too over the top.”

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” was released in 1970 and spent six weeks at number one on the US R&B chart and peaked at number three on the US Pop chart. The song was arranged by Paul Riser and featured a distinctive “sitar-guitar” in the introduction. This was the first single Wonder produced on his own.

It was to achieve further prominence in 2008. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the then presidential candidate Barack Obama named Stevie Wonder as his musical hero… Stevie returned the compliment by performing at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. This song became the unofficial campaign anthem for the future president.

Stevie Wonder continues to advocate for social justice and for those with disabilities. In June 2013 he performed a concert in Marrakesh for negotiators from the World Intellectual Property Organisation, when they agreed on an International treaty providing blind and visually impaired individuals around the world, with more access to books.

In 2014, Wonder received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. The following year, the singer/songwriter/musician was paid tribute by a pantheon of performers on the telecast “Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life – An All-Star Grammy Salute,” recognizing his classic 1976 album.

Buy the music of Stevie Wonder: https://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Wonder/e/B000AQ0PZO

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

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

Previous Legends can be found here:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-meets-some-legends/

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/classical-music-with-william-price-king/

And for the Jazz in this directory.

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

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the show.. Please feel free to share.

William Price meets some Legends – Stevie Wonder – Part Three – The 1980s


Welcome to some more background to the career of the multi-Grammy artist Stevie Wonder. We are now in the 80s and not only will we share some of his music over the next couple of decades but also hear from some of his fans.  Time to hand you over to William Price King to pick up the story.

 Hotter Than July (1980) became Wonder’s first platinum-selling single album. The album included “I Ain’t Gonna Stand for It,” and the sentimental ballad, “Lately”. Wonder wrote “Master Blaster Jammin’” as an ode to reggae icon Bob Marley. The song has a reggae feel and was number one on the Billboard R&B Singles Chart for seven weeks, reaching #5 on Billboard’s Pop Singles Chart and #2 on the UK Singles Chart.

Stevie Wonder, a social activist, campaigned to have the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. celebrated as a holiday in the US. The song, “Happy Birthday,” from the album  was written for the cause. The song was a big hit in the US and peaked at #2 in the UK. Wonder performed this song at the Diamond Jubilee Concert in London for the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

CLASSIC ALBUM(CD) on May 16, 2014

This album along with Streetsongs by Rick James is all I can remember hearing as I enter into my teens in the summer of 1981. Stevie Wonder had all the Motown greats on this album. What a classic listen to the words in “Rocket Girl” and him paying a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. I can listen to “All I Do” over and over and over again. THANKS STEVIE YOU ARE A GIFTED MUSICIAN!!!!!!

“Ebony and Ivory,” a duet by Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, was a #1 hit in the US and the UK in 1982. This song is about the ebony (black) and ivory (white) keys on a piano with overtones dealing with integration and racial harmony on a human level. In 2013, Billboard Magazine ranked this song as the 69th biggest hit of all time on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

That same year Wonder also released his greatest hits compilation Original Musiquarium I, which featured the No. 1 R&B/top 5 pop single “That Girl,” as well as additional hits “Ribbon in the Sky” and “Do I Do,” featuring jazz great, Dizzy Gillespie.

“I Just Called to Say I Love You,” written by Stevie Wonder, is from the 1984 Gene Wilder film The Woman in Red. This song won both a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar for Best Original Song and was a number one hit in both the US and the UK.

Like so much of Wonder’s work, the song appealed to a wide audience, paving the way for it to become Motown’s biggest international hit of all time. The single also won Wonder an Academy Award for Best Song. Wonder accepted the award in the name of Nelson Mandela and was subsequently banned from all South African radio by the Government of South Africa.

I loved the movie and most of all the OST to this wonderful show. The songs recorded by Dionne Warwick & Stevie Wonder are just beautiful & amazing. Songs that still will live on and endure for future years to come. Something that cannot be said for a lot of the so called *new tunes being served up by this new generation. So much garbage out there nowadays. Songs about calling women whores; drug use; fighting & killing etc;etc;etc;…..Buy this album and have an enjoyable journey through your mind. AND…..do get up & dance if a certain song makes you want to do that. I love you Stevie & Ms. Dionne !!

In the latter half of the 1980s Stevie Wonder released two more albums.  Square Circle, in 1985, which featured the historic track “Part-Time Lover,” the first song to ever reach No. 1 on the pop, R&B, adult contemporary and dance charts.  This was followed in 1987 by the album Characters  featuring two No. 1 R&B hits—”Skeletons” and “You Will Know.”

Stevie Wonder was also a part of the iconic “We Are The World,” the African Famine Relief video/recording, and the AID’s inspired “That’s What Friends Are For.” And to round the decade off, he collaborated with Michael Jackson with “Get It” and with Julio Iglesias “My Love”.  As a final honour of the 1980s he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

To finish off the post today “Part Time Lover” and we look forward to seeing you again next week with the next part of the Stevie Wonder story.

 

Buy the music of Stevie Wonder: https://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Wonder/e/B000AQ0PZO

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

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

Previous Legends can be found here:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-meets-some-legends/

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/classical-music-with-william-price-king/

And for the Jazz in this directory.

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

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the show.. Please feel free to share.

William Price King meets some Legends – Stevie Wonder – Part Two – The 1970s


Last week we enjoyed the music from Stevie Wonder’s teenage years as he established himself at the Motown label.. This week William Price King takes us through the 1970s and some of the most productive years for this talented artist.

In 1971, Wonder negotiated a new contract with Motown that gave him almost total control over his records and greatly increased his royalty rate.

This concession was unheard of at the time, but it was the impetus that Stevie Wonder needed to produce an outstanding body of work in the next few years. For the first time Stevie received the credit for writing or co-writing every track on the Where I’m Coming From album producing a top ten single ‘If you Really Love Me’.

‘Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You),‘ an emotionally rich jazz-soul opus that highlighted Wonder’s pioneering work in synthesized/electronic sounds. It was the first single from Wonder’s Music of My Mind album (1972). This song chronicles the relationship he had with his first wife, singer-composer Syreeta Wright, and features Stevie Wonder as a virtual one-man band. The song peaked at #33 on the Billboard Pop charts.

Stevie Wonder’s fans were not to be disappointed with the next album released at the end of 1972. Talking Book contained some of his most popular tracks including ‘Superstition’ and ‘You are the Sunshine of my Life’ both of which hit #1. The release of the album coincided with a tour with the Rolling Stones broadening his appeal from R&B to pop, and it was instrumental in the success of both those iconic songs.

Stevie Wonder’s ‘You are the sunshine of my life’ won him a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (1973) and was nominated for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. This song was Stevie’s third number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and his first number one on the Easy Listening chart. Rolling Stone ranked this song #281 on its list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Innervisions’ released in 1973, featured Higher Ground’ (No. 4 on the pop charts) as well as the distinctively stylish ‘Living for the City’, (No. 8). Both songs reached #1 on the R&B charts. Popular ballads such as ‘Golden Lady’ and ‘All in Love Is Fair’ were also present, in a mixture of moods that nevertheless held together as a unified whole. Innervisions generated three more Grammy Awards, including “Album of the Year.” The album is ranked # 23 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” Wonder had become the most influential and acclaimed black musician of the early 1970s.

Unfortunately in August 1973, Stevie Wonder was in a serious automobile accident while on tour in North Carolina when the car he was riding in hit the back of a truck. He was in a coma for four days but despite this serious setback he was back and performing for his European tour in early 1974 in venues from Cannes to London. In March 1974 he returned to the US and played a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden.

Immediately after this he returned to the studio and album Fulfillingness’ First Finale appeared in July 1974 and set two hits high on the pop charts: the # 1 You Haven’t Done Nothin, which railed against President Richard Nixon and featured The Jackson 5, and the Top Ten Boogie on Reggae Woman.  The album won two Grammy awards, one for Best Album and the other for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

The next milestone in Stevie Wonder’s career was the double album with EP set Songs in the Key of Life, released in September 1976, which many consider to be not only his most legendary project but also one of the greatest albums of all time. The theme of the tracks covered elements of life in America in the 1950s including ethnic diversity and love in all its varying shades of light and dark. The album became the first by an American artist to debut straight at #1 in the Billboard charts, where it stood for 14 non-consecutive weeks and the album had two pop/R&B #1 singles.

I Wish‘ single from the album  focuses on Stevie’s childhood from the 1950s into the early 1960s. The single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and the R&B charts.

Songs in the Key of Life won Album of the Year and two other Grammys bringing Stevie Wonder’s total for the 1970s to fifteen. The album ranks 57th on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

To end the post today ‘Isn’t she lovely’  another well known composition from the album Songs in the Key of Life. This song, which celebrates the birth of his daughter Aisha, was not released as a single in the US but received major air play across the country and around the world. Stevie Wonder performed this song “live” for Queen Elizabeth II at her “Diamond Jubilee Concert,” where he modified the lyrics to refer to the Queen.

Buy the music of Stevie Wonder: https://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Wonder/e/B000AQ0PZO

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

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

Previous Legends can be found here:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-meets-some-legends/

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/classical-music-with-william-price-king/

And for the Jazz in this directory.

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

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the show.. Please feel free to share.

William Price King meets some Legends – Stevie Wonder – The Early Years


Welcome to the new series of musical legends and William Price King is going to take us through the life and music of Stevie Wonder, whose songs have played a massive role in our lives for the last fifty years.. Who has not ended the evening on the dance floor to one of his tracks or even taken our first wedding dance? I am personally going to enjoy this walk (dance) down memory lane.

Time to hand over to William to take us through the early years.

When we listen to the timeless quality of Stevie Wonder’s music it is hard to remember that in fact he was a child prodigy, and that many of his iconic hits were recorded when he was just a young teenager of 12 years old. He is considered to be the most successful and commercial musical performer of the last fifty years. He signed to Motown at the age of 11 and recorded throughout most of his career.

Some of his more memorable songs are You are the Sunshine of my Life, I Just Called to Say I Love You, Uptight and For Once in my Life. He has recorded more than 30 U.S. Top Ten hits and received 25 Grammy Awards making him one of the most awarded male solo artists. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide and is one of the top 60 best-selling artists.

His life has not been just about music with his active involvement in political causes and in 2009 he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Stevie Wonder the early years.

He was born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13th 1950 in Michigan, the third of six children of Calvin Judkins and songwriter Lula Mae Hardaway. He was born prematurely with an eye disorder associated with pre-term babies and this condition was accelerated when he received too much oxygen in an incubator that led to blindness.

His mother and father split up in 1954 and Lula Hardaway took all the children to Detroit. Stevie was introduced to musical instruments at an early age including the piano, harmonica and drums. He was soon performing as part of a duo, Stevie and John on street corners and occasionally at parties and dances.

Stevie was only 11 years old when he was discovered by Ronnie White of the Motown band The Miracles when he performed his own composition called Lonely Boy. This was followed by an audition with the founder of Motown, Berry Gordy who signed the young musician to a five year record deal under the name of Little Stevie Wonder. With his royalties being paid into a trust fund until he was 21 years old and with a weekly amount to cover expenses and tuition, Stevie began his amazing career.

“Fingertips” (1963) was the first live, non-studio recording to reach number one on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in the US since 1952. This piece, originally, was a jazz instrumental recorded for Wonder’s first studio album, “The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie.” Little Stevie Wonder was just 12 years old.

However, at thirteen years old, Stevie’s voice was beginning to change and his next few recordings were not successful. This put the Motown executives in a dilemma and there was talk of cancelling his recording contract. Despite some exposure in two films where Stevie appeared as himself in 1964, things did not appear to be getting any better.

However Sylvia Moy songwriter and the first woman to write and produce for Motown acts, persuaded Berry Gordy to give him another chance. This would lead to a successful collaboration between Sylvia and Stevie.

This included the tracks Uptight and My Cherie Amour.

Uptight (Everything’s Alright) was a true Motown classic in the sense that it defined the Motown sound in its glory. Its strength lay in the sophistication of the musical arrangement. Stevie’s voice had developed into the voice we know today and his harmonica playing was superb. This song was the first Stevie Wonder hit single to be co-written by the artist and it peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in early 1966, at the same time reaching the top of the Billboard R&B Singles chart for five weeks.

Following this new surge in his career, Wonder went on to have a number of other hits during the mid-1960s, including With a Child’s Heart, Blowing in the Wind, a Bob Dylan cover, co-sung by his mentor, producer Clarence Paul and the jubilant I Was Made to Love Her. The 1968 album For Once in My Life offered even more successful singles with the title track, Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day and You Met Your Match, with Wonder serving as co-writer on all three songs. Rather than rest on his laurels, the hard-working Wonder, who would go on to study classical piano, pushed to improve his musicianship and song writing capabilities.

“For Once In My Life” was written by Ron Miller and Orlando Murden in 1966 for Motown Records’ Stein & Van Stock publishing company, and first recorded by Barbara McNair. Stevie’s up tempo version of this song, recorded in 1967, was highly successful, peaking at number-two on both the Billboard Pop Singles and Billboard R&B Singles charts and was a top-three hit in the UK in late 1968 and early 1969.

 

Buy the music of Stevie Wonder: https://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Wonder/e/B000AQ0PZO

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

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

Previous Legends can be found here:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-meets-some-legends/

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/classical-music-with-william-price-king/

And for the Jazz in this directory.

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

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the show.. Please feel free to share.

A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Mel Tormé – Part Five – The 70s and 80s


Welcome to the Saturday Jazz session with singer and composer William Price King and his series on the incomparable Mel Torme.  Many of us grew up listening to him perform and I seem to remember a couple of romances being helped along by his smooth style…. Anyway enough reminiscing – on with the show in the capable hands and voice of William Price King…

mel

We catch up with Mel Tormé in the early 70s and he had not released an album since 1969. He continued to work in television and film however and by 1971 he was host and co-producer for an ABC documentary series ‘It Was a Very Good Year,. The major events of all the years from 1919 to 1964 were presented each week and Mel would sing musical hits and interview personalities of the featured dates. He would appear in acting and singing roles on TV during those leaner years as well as continue to perform live at every opportunity.

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Mel would not release any studio recordings until 1977 but he did privately record a new live album Mel Tormé live at the Maisonette in 1975, recorded at the Maisonette room in the St. Regis Hotel in New York, which he sold to Atlantic Records.. Despite not making money on the album it did produce a nomination in 1976 for the Grammy Award for Best Accompanying Vocalist for the 15 minute Gershwin medley. One of the songs that he performed live on the album was the 1972 Stevie Wonder Motown hit ‘Superstition’

After a seven year gap, in 1976, Mel signed a new record contract with Gryphon Records and recorded the LP Tormé! A New Album in London in June 1977. One of the tracks on the album was New York State of Mind by Billy Joel

Whilst this album was being produced Mel was working in collaboration with long-time friend, drummer and band leader Buddy Rich and their January 1978 sessions, Together Again: For the First Time was released before his Gryphon label album.

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However both albums would provide Mel with further Grammy nominations – for his album with Buddy he was nominated in the Best Jazz Vocal Performance category in 1978 for the fourth time and a fifth nomination followed in 1979 in the same category for his work on Tormé! A New Album.

Jazz vocals were making a great comeback in the 70s and Mel’s consistent loyalty to live performing in the 60s stood him in good stead now. He had developed a reputation as a talented Jazz singer and he was in big demand to perform around the world with often over 200 performances a year. He headlined at Jazz festivals, concert halls and with symphony orchestras and was booked to appear annually in major cities around the globe. His awards were not limited to the US or the Grammys as he was honoured in Europe as well.

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His success continued into the early 80s with more traditional pop music making a return to the charts. There was a sixth Grammy nomination, again for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, for his LP, Mel Tormé and Friends Recorded Live at Marty’s New York City, which was released on Finesse Records in 1981 and reached number 44 in the Billboard jazz chart. One of the songs on that album was The Best is Yet to Come by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh which was very apt considering how well Mel’s career was doing as he entered the new decade.

The 80s continued on track for Mel and his next collaboration with jazz pianist George Shearing in 1982 at the Peacock Court of the Hotel Mark Hopkins in San Francisco would result in the album An Evening with George Shearing & Mel Tormé released by Concord Records. It reached number 34 in the jazz chart and cemented their association for the rest of the 80s. Mel was nominated for his seventh Grammy again in the Best Jazz Vocal performance and this time he won in February of 1983. Here is a live performance from the album.. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.

The pair teamed up for the album Top Drawer, winning Mel his second Grammy win and their album An Evening at Charlie’s released in 1984 provided his ninth nomination with a studio album An Elegant Evening producing the tenth for 1986.

At last Mel Tormé was receiving the recognition he deserved and next time we will explore the rest of the 80s and the 90s with this amazing singer and performer.

Additional 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/Together_Again:_For_the_First_Time
http://www.discogs.com/Mel-Torm%C3%A9-Mel-Torm%C3%A9-And-Friends/release/2925374
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torm%C3%A9:_A_New_Album

wpk

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

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

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

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

William Price King meets Mel Tormé
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme/ Part One.
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-two-1940s/ Part Two
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-three-the-50s/ Part Three
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-four-the-1960s/ Part Four
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-iconic-jazz-my-funny-valentine/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/william-price-king-iconic-songs-of-the-last-century-stardust/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-sings-jazz-prelude-to-a-kiss/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-sings-moonlight-in-vermont/

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