Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – Josh Groban- Part Three


Welcome to part three of the Josh Groban story, and William Price King shares more of his chart hits and albums from the first part of the 2000s.  You can catch up with the story and hits so far in this directory.

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

“Let Me Fall” from the Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam” is another gem from the album “Josh Groban,” and was penned by James Corcoran and Benoît Jutras. The Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun or Sun Circus) is a Canadian entertainment company. It is the largest theatrical producer in the world. Situated in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and located in the inner-city area of Saint-Michel, it was founded in Baie-Saint-Paul on 7 July 1984, by two former street performers, Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix. “Quidam” was the ninth stage show produced by the “Cirque du Soleil.”

In 2003, he received the Billboard Music Award for No. 1 Classical Crossover Artist of the Year. Some of Groban’s musical influences have been Radiohead, Steve Perry, Paul Simon, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Freddie Mercury, and Bjork. He cites as vocal influences “anyone who told a story with their songs,” including “Mandy Patinkin, Klaus Nomi, George Hearn, and Luciano Pavarotti.

You Raise Me Up” is from Groban’s second studio album “Closer,” released in 2003. David Foster decided to produce this song after being introduced to it by Frank Petrone of Peermusic, the song’s publisher. He chose Groban to record the song, which was accompanied by the tenor Craig Von Vennik of the Establishment. Groban’s version made it to #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart in early 2004 and remained there for six weeks. This version also peaked at #73 on the Billboard Hot 100, his first single to do so, and was nominated for a 2005 Grammy award. Groban performed the song in a special NASA commemoration for the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. A special surprise performance by Groban, for Oprah Winfrey’s 50th birthday, also gave “You Raise Me Up” massive international prominence.

The song was originally composed as an instrumental piece and titled “Silent Story.” Some have claimed there is a strong resemblance to the traditional Irish tune “Londonderry Air,” to which Løvland has commented: “There are similarities but no plagiarism. When I made “You Raise Me Up” I asked myself – what is the inner essence of Irish music?” Løvland later approached Irish novelist and songwriter Brendan Graham to write the lyrics to his melody, after reading Graham’s novels.

“Remember When It Rained,” written by Groban and Eric Mouquet, is from the album “Closer” and also on the live album “Live at the Greek” (2004). When he plays the piano on this piece, he is outstanding. He performs with a freedom and expression that is engaging, as if the instrument were feeding his emotional core. This is an incredible performance.

Groban said that he believed that this second album was a better reflection of him, and that his audience would be able to get a better idea of his personality from listening to it.
What most people know about me, they know through my music. This time, I’ve tried to open that door as wide as possible. These songs are a giant step closer to who I really am and what my music is all about. Hence the title.”

In the summer of 2004, Groban returned to Interlochen, Great Performances” special on PBS. Also in 2004, Groban performed “Remember When It Rained,” backed by a full orchestra, at the American Music Awards, where he was nominated for Favorite Male Artist in the pop category; he was also nominated for a People’s Choice Award in that year.

Groban earned his first Grammy nomination in 2005 for his single “You Raise Me Up” in the “Best Male pop Vocal Performance category.

“You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up)” is the second track and the first single from Groban’s third album, “Awake,” released in November 2006. The song’s music and lyrics were written by Tawgs Salter. The single peaked at #9 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The music video was directed by Meiert Avis. This song was featured in the TV series “The Simpsons,” episode “Lisa the Drama Queen” where Lisa and Juliet sing this piece while on the playground at their school.

Groban’s “Awake” world tour visited 71 cities between February and August 2007, and toured Australia and the Philippines with Lani Misalucha as his special guest in October 2007.

As to his future, Groban was open to a plethora of possibilities. He said, “I am fortunate enough to have had many really big moments in my career. I think the mistake a lot of people in my position make is to always search for the next big thing. I am looking forward to playing some small theaters. I’m looking forward to writing more. I want to delve further into my acting career and explore some of the film and TV opportunities that I haven’t had time for. My outlook is to expect the unexpected. And when the next step comes, I’m prepared to take it.”

“Petit Papa Noël” (literally Little Father Christmas) from Groban’s album “Noël,” is a 1946 song originally recorded by French singer Tino Rossi. Written by Raymond Vincy and Henri Martinet, this song was performed by Rossi in Richard Pottier’s film “Destins.” It is currently the best-selling single of all time in France, with over 5,711,000 units sold. “Noël is Groban’s Christmas and fourth studio album, which was released in October 2007. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album sold 3,699,000 copies in 2007 after its release, making it the overall best-selling album in the US for all of 2007.

Read the reviews and buy the music of Josh Groban US: https://www.amazon.com/Josh-Groban/e/B000APOD76

Read the reviews and buy the music of Josh Groban UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Josh-Groban/e/B000APOD76

Find out more about Josh Groban and tour information: http://www.joshgroban.com/

Other sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josh_Groban

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

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 all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/

and all the previous posts on jazz, classical and contemporary artists here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-contemporary-classical-and-legends/

Thank you for dropping in today and please tune in again next week for part four of the Josh Groban series.

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – Aretha Franklin up to date.


Over the last few weeks William Price King has taken us through the early years and career of Aretha Franklin.

From the age of fourteen to the present day Aretha Franklin has been entertaining and delighting audiences with her incredible voice. She has recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and twenty number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history.

She has also won prestigious awards, honorary degrees and Presidential recognition.

You can find the previous posts in the series with hits and honours and awards in this directory.  https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/

This legendary artist has been entertaining fans for six decades and today William shares just some of the massive hits from the 70s through to today.

“Amazing Grace” is the third live album that Aretha Franklin recorded. Released on June 1, 1972 by Atlantic Records, it sold over two million copies in the United States alone, earning a double platinum certification. As of 2017, it stands as the biggest selling disc of Franklin’s entire fifty-plus year recording career as well as the highest selling live gospel music album of all time. It won Franklin the 1973 Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance.

The double album was recorded at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles during January 1972.

Rolling Stone, in a review of the album wrote: “Amazing Grace is more a great Aretha Franklin album than a great gospel album. She plays havoc with the traditional styles but she sings like never before on record. The liberation and abandon she has always implied in her greatest moments are now fully and consistently achieved.”

“Jump To It” is the thirty-first studio album by Aretha Franklin, produced by Luther Vandross and released in the summer of 1982. This disc gave Aretha her tenth #1 R&B album – at the time it was the all-time record. It enjoyed a seven-week run at #1 on Billboard’s R&B albums chart and also reached #23 on Billboard’s main album chart. It was hailed as a comeback album, given that it provided Aretha with her first Gold-certified disc and Top 40 song since “Sparkle” in 1976. The title track, “Jump To It,” was Aretha’s first Pop Top 40 hit since 1976 and her first #1 R&B hit since 1977’s “Break It To Me Gently”. The infectious song was nominated for a Grammy Award. The album itself received an “American Music Award for Best Soul Album.

“Jump To It” was written by Vandross and Marcus Miller and features background vocals performed by Vandross and Cissy Houston. This major hit held the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart for four consecutive weeks.

“Freeway of Love” is a Grammy Award-winning hit song released as the first single from Franklin’s Platinum-certified 1985 album “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” It was produced by Narada Michael Walden. It was one of 1985’s biggest hits in the US, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and topping the Hot R&B Singles chart for five weeks. The accompanying promotional music video was filmed entirely in Detroit, Michigan and was one of the most popular videos of the year. In a remixed “rock” version, the song also topped the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.

This single became Aretha’s fifteenth Top 10 pop hit in the United States and earned her 12th Grammy Award, for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The song features a notable contribution from Clarence Clemons, the saxophonist from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Sylvester and Jeanie Tracy provided backup vocals.

“I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) is also a Grammy Award-winning number-one song recorded by Aretha Franklin and George Michael as a duet in 1987. It was written by Simon Climie and Dennis Morgan, and produced by Narada Michael Walden. It is Franklin’s biggest hit on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, spending several weeks at number two.

The song was a one-off project that helped Michael achieve his ambition to sing with one of his favorite artists, and it reached #1 in both the UK Singles Chart and the Billboard Hot 100. The song was Franklin’s first and only UK number-one hit, and only her fourth top ten achievement in the country since “I Say a Little Prayer,” nearly two decades earlier.

“A Rose is Still a Rose” is Franklin’s thirty-seventh studio album. Released in March, 1998, it resulted in the singer’s most critically acclaimed and best-selling album of the 1990s. It was also Aretha’s first Gold-certified studio album in twelve years and received two Grammy nominations: for “Best R&B Album” and “Best R&B Song” for the title track “A Rose Is Still A Rose”. The single became a success on release, reaching #26 on the Hot 100, the forty-fifth top 40 Pop hit of Franklin’s long career. The album was issued in March 1998, a month behind Franklin’s show stopping Grammy performance. It had robust sales from the start, debuting at #30 on the Billboard 200 and #7 on the R&B chart.

“A Rose is Still a Rose” was written and produced for Aretha Franklin by Lauryn Hill. The song is feminist-based, focused on a motherly figure giving advice to a younger woman who keeps getting into bad relationships. Throughout the song, Franklin advises that in spite of everything and despite the woman’s “scorned and thorn crowns” that the woman is “still a rose.”

“Rolling in the Deep” is a song written by and originally recorded by British singer Adele for her second studio album, “21.”

In 2014, Franklin covered the song on her “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics” album. It was released in September 2014 as the collection’s lead single. This version peaked at #1 on the US dance chart, giving Aretha Franklin her sixth number one on the chart. It also debuted at number 47 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Franklin thus becomes the first female, and fourth artist overall to place 100 songs on the charts (with her first entry on the chart being “Today I Sing the Blues” in 1960).

About Adele’s “21” album, Franklin explained:“I absolutely loved her CD. In addition to being a great singer, she’s a great writer, a deep, heavy writer. She doesn’t write the usual or the norm.”

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. This 1967 single was inspired by Atlantic Records co-owner Jerry Wexler. As recounted in his autobiography, Wexler, a student of African-American musical culture, had been mulling over the concept of the “natural man,” when he drove by King on the streets of New York. He shouted out to her that he wanted a “natural woman” song for Aretha Franklin’s next album. In thanks, Goffin and King granted Wexler a co-writing credit.

The record was a big hit for Franklin, reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and became a standard song for her. Franklin also included a live recording on the album “Aretha in Paris” in 1968. Versions have also been performed and recorded by King herself, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, and many others. At the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors, Aretha Franklin performed the song to honor award-recipient Carole King.

Buy Aretha Franklin Music: https://www.amazon.com/Aretha-Franklin/e/B000APBG6M

Official website: http://arethafranklin.net/

Additional Information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretha_Franklin

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

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

 William will be starting a new series on the American Singer, Songwriter, actor and producer Josh Groban shortly… I hope you will tune in.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – Aretha Franklin – The Rise to Fame.


Welcome to the second part of the Aretha Franklin story and here is a reminder of this incredible artist’s honours and achievements.

From the age of fourteen to the present day Aretha Franklin has been entertaining and delighting audiences with her incredible voice. She has recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and twenty number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history.

She has also won prestigious awards, honorary degrees and Presidential recognition. Here is just some of the highlights.

  • Twenty Grammy Awards including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best Gospel Performance every year from 1968 to 1975 and further awards in 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 2006 and 2009. Aretha Franklin also one three special Grammy Awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.
  • Three American Music Awards – Favorite Soul/R&B Album “Jump to it” in 1983, Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist in 1984 and 1986.
  • Three NAACP Awards – Hall of Fame in 1997, Vanguard Award in 2008 and Outstanding Album for “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics” in 2015.
  • Some of her other honors include Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum as the first woman to be inducted in 1987.
  • Kennedy Center Honors in 1994, at the time the youngest recipient.
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 presented by President W. Bush
  • Induction into the Music Hall of Fame in the UK in 2005 only the second woman to be inducted.
  • In 2008, a panel of peers and musical experts convened by Rolling Stone magazine voted Aretha Franklin the greatest singer of all time.
  • Aretha was named “MusiCares Person of the Year” in 2008.
  • Induction into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012
  • In 2014, she was granted the honorary degree of Doctor of Arts from Harvard University for her contributions to music.
  • On June 8, 2017, the City of Detroit honored Franklin’s legacy by renaming a portion of Madison Street, between Brush and Witherell Streets, “Aretha Franklin Way.”

Time to hand over to William Price King who shares the early years of her career and rise to fame in the 1960s.

Aretha Franklin – The Rise to Fame

After turning 18, Franklin confided to her father that she aspired to follow Sam Cooke to record pop music. Serving as her manager, C. L. agreed to the move and helped to produce a two-song demo that soon was brought to the attention of Columbia Records, who agreed to sign her in 1960.

Franklin was signed as a “five-percent artist.” During this period, Franklin would be coached by choreographer Cholly Atkins to prepare for her pop performances. Before signing with Columbia, Sam Cooke tried to persuade Franklin’s father to have his label, RCA sign Franklin. He had also been courted by local record label owner Berry Gordy to sign Franklin and her elder sister Erma to his Tamla label. Franklin’s father felt the label was not established enough yet.

“Today I Sing the Blues,” written by Curtis Lewis, reached #10 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1960. The song appeared on her 1961 album, “Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo.” The song was produced by John Hammond. Franklin re-recorded the song in 1969 on the album “Soul ‘69 and it reached #101 on the US pop chart. It also charted on the Cash Box Top 100 chart. The composer, Curtis Lewis, subsequently became one of the first black composers and lyricists to own a music publishing company on Broadway in the early 1950s.

Won’t Be Long” is the first song by Aretha Franklin to reach Billboard’s Hot 100. Written by J. Leslie McFarland and produced by John Hammond. “Won’t Be Long” peaked at #7 on the US R&B chart and #76 on Billboard’s Hot 100. This wantonly exuberant and bluesy song appeared on her 1961 album, “Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo.”

Aretha Franklin’s recordings, produced by Clyde Otis, began to display her talent at crossing into diverse genres such as the popular standards, jazz and rhythm and blues. She achieved her first top 40 single with the standard, “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody,” which also included the R&B hit, “Operation Heartbreak,” on its b-side.This was also to become her first International hit in both Australia and Canada and Aretha Franklin was named a “new-star female vocalist” in “Down Beat” magazine. In 1962, Columbia issued two more albums, “The Electrifying Aretha Franklin” and “The Tender, the Moving, the Swinging Aretha Franklin,”the latter of which charted number 69 on the Billboard Pop LPs chart.

“Runnin’ Out of Fools,” penned by Kay Rogers and Richard Ahlert, is Franklin’s seventh studio album. It was arranged and conducted by Belford Hendricks, who is primarily remembered as the co-composer of numerous soft-R&B songs of the 1950s. His versatility allowed him to write in various styles, from big band swing for Count Basie, through blues ballads for Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan, and country and western songs for Nat King Cole. “Runnin’ Out of Fools” peaked at #57 on Billboard’s Hot 100, staying for a period of 10 weeks.

By the mid 60s, Aretha Franklin was headlining at top nightclubs and theaters with subsequent rise in her earnings. She also appeared on rock ‘n’ roll shows such as “Shindig” but it was felt, including at high levels within the Columbia organisation that her full potential was not being exploited, especially in her early gospel success.

In November 1966, choosing not to renew her Columbia contract after six years with the company, Franklin signed with Atlantic Records.

“I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You” is Franklin’s eleventh studio album.
Released on March 10, 1967 by Atlantic Records, It went to number 2 on the Billboard album chart and number 1 on the magazine’s Top R&B Selling chart. It was certified Gold in 1967. It received a number 83 ranking on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time and inclusion in both the “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die” (2005) and “1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die,” (2008). The album included two top-10 singles: “Respect” was a #1 single on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop singles chart, and “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” peaked at number 9. The album was rated the 10th best album of the 1960s by “Pitchfork.”

“Respect” is a song written and originally released by Otis Redding in 1965. The song became a 1967 hit and signature song for Aretha Franklin. The music in the two versions is significantly different, and through a few changes in the lyrics, the stories told by the songs have a different flavor. Redding’s version is a plea from a desperate man, who will give his woman anything she wants. He won’t care if she does him wrong, as long as he gets his due respect when he brings money home. However, Franklin’s version is a declaration from a strong, confident woman, who knows that she has everything her man wants. She never does him wrong, and demands his “respect.” Franklin’s version adds the “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” chorus and the backup singers’ refrain of “Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me…”

Franklin’s cover was a landmark for the feminist movement, and is often considered as one of the best songs of the R&B era, earning her two Grammy Awards in 1968 for “Best Rhythm & Blues Recording” and “Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Female”, and was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2002, the Library of Congress honored Franklin’s version by adding it to the National Recording Registry. It was placed number five on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” It was also included in the list of “Songs of the Century,” by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. Franklin included a live recording on the album “Aretha in Paris” 1968.

“Ain’t No Way” is a song written by singer-songwriter Carolyn Franklin, Aretha’s elder sister, as the B-side to her 1968 hit “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone.” Aretha recorded the song and released it on her acclaimed “Lady Soul” album.

The song peaked at #16 on the “Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on the Hot R&B Singles Chart in 1968. Carolyn and members of the Sweet Inspirations performed backing vocals on the track. The Sweet Inspirations’ founder Cissy Houston showcased her operatic like upper range during Franklin’s bridges and the ending of the track.
In 1983, Whitney Houston made her world debut on “Merv Griffin Show Show” singing the tune with mother Cissy Houston.

Christina Aguilera performed the song to great acclaim in a tribute to Aretha during the 53rd Grammy Awards.

Franklin’s chart dominance soon earned her the title “Queen of Soul,” while at the same time she also became a symbol of black empowerment during the civil rights movement of the time. Franklin was enlisted to perform at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during which she paid tribute to her father’s fallen friend with a heartfelt rendition of “Precious Lord.”

Buy Aretha Franklin Music: https://www.amazon.com/Aretha-Franklin/e/B000APBG6M

Official website: http://arethafranklin.net/

Additional Information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretha_Franklin

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

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

Thank you for dropping in today and look forward to seeing you again next week.. William is working this week but will be back to respond to comments in a few days. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column by William Price King – Aretha Franklin – The Early Years


Welcome to the start of a new series of the Music Column with William Price King.. and before I hand over to William, in case you missed the Drive time Playlist on Friday, here are two performance that I am sure you will enjoy:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-william-price-king-roxanne-and-the-show-must-go-on/

Now time to hand over to William for part one of the Aretha Franklin story.

Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee in March 1942 to Barbara and Clarence Franklin. At the time Clarence Franklin was a travelling preacher and her mother an accomplished pianist and vocalist. The family moved to Buffalo, New York when Aretha was still a toddler and then again two years later when her father took on the pastorship of the New Bethel Baptist Church in Michigan. Unfortunately, despite the prospects of this new permanent position Aretha’s parents separated with her mother returning to Buffalo with her brother Vaughn. Over the next few years Aretha and Barbara would visit each other in New York or Michigan, but sadly just before her tenth birthday her mother died.

This left the upbringing of the children to other members of the family, including her grandmother as her father grew to prominence within the baptist church, travelling to deliver sermons across the country. He was known as the man with the ‘million-dollar voice’ that brought in a substantial and steady income. His celebrity status attracted celebrities such as Martin Luther King and Sam Cooke to the family home.

Aretha had also been busy during this period, learning to play the piano by ear and just after her mother’s death, still only ten years old, she began to sing solos at the New Bethel church with her first solo being “Jesus, Be a Fence Around me”. At age fourteen and with her father now managing her career, she went on the road for his gospel tours across the country, performing as part of the ministry.

With her father’s influence she was signed to her first recording contract with J.V. B Records in 1956 and her first album “Songs of Faith” resulted in two singles “Never Grow Old” and “Precious Lord, Take My Hand’ being released to gospel radio stations.

From the age of fourteen to the present day Aretha Franklin has been entertaining and delighting audiences with her incredible voice. She has recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and twenty number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history.

She has also won prestigious awards, honorary degrees and Presidential recognition. Here is just some of the highlights.

  • Twenty Grammy Awards including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best Gospel Performance every year from 1968 to 1975 and further awards in 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 2006 and 2009. Aretha Franklin also one three special Grammy Awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.
  • Three American Music Awards – Favorite Soul/R&B Album “Jump to it” in 1983, Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist in 1984 and 1986.
  • Three NAACP Awards – Hall of Fame in 1997, Vanguard Award in 2008 and Outstanding Album for “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics” in 2015.
  • Some of her other honors include Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum as the first woman to be inducted in 1987.
  • Kennedy Center Honors in 1994, at the time the youngest recipient.
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 presented by President W. Bush
  • Induction into the Music Hall of Fame in the UK in 2005 only the second woman to be inducted.
  • In 2008, a panel of peers and musical experts convened by Rolling Stone magazine voted Aretha Franklin the greatest singer of all time.
  • Aretha was named “MusiCares Person of the Year” in 2008.
  • Induction into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012
  • In 2014, she was granted the honorary degree of Doctor of Arts from Harvard University for her contributions to music.
  • On June 8, 2017, the City of Detroit honored Franklin’s legacy by renaming a portion of Madison Street, between Brush and Witherell Streets, “Aretha Franklin Way.”

Something to keep you going until next week when we pick up the story again.

(Sweet Sweet Baby) “Since You’ve Been Gone” was a single released from Aretha Franklin’s “Lady Soul” album in 1968. It peaked at #5 in the Top 100 for five weeks and in the #1 spot for three weeks in the R&B singles chart.

Buy Aretha Franklin Music: https://www.amazon.com/Aretha-Franklin/e/B000APBG6M

Official website: http://arethafranklin.net/

Additional Information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretha_Franklin

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

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

Thank you for dropping in today and look forward to seeing you again next week.. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist #Music to get the Weekend Started – William Price King.. #Roxanne and The Show Must Go On.


We have a guest arriving for the weekend..the beautiful daughter of friends we made when we lived in Houston. We first met her when she was a few months old on a return visit to Texas… and then as a child and a teenager.. Now a grown woman with a fabulous job in New York, she is in Dublin on business and is staying with us for the weekend.. A lovely treat and only sorry that her parents are now with her too.

And talking of friends… I would like to share a very special person who is on my playlist, who kindly sent me copies of his albums a few years ago.. You know him very well of course and it is William Price King.

Excitingly, with a new musical collaborator, he has just recorded some new videos and a CD which we can look forward to. For the past four years, William has contributed the music posts on a Wednesday.. now the Music Column and has introduced us to the backgrounds of some of the most iconic Jazz, Classical and Contemporary musicians and singers of the last 100 years.

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

In the current series, we have been enjoying the music of the unique Johnny Mathis whose distinctive tones have accompanied us on our own life journey. You will also find series on Bono and Madonna.

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

Anyway.. I am going to share two of William’s own videos today to remind you of why he is such an amazing artist himself.

I am sure you will enjoy and I know he would love to answer your questions and read your comments.

and another of my favourites.


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

Thank you for joining us this evening and look forward to your feedback.. 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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – Madonna Part Five.


Madonna is a multi-faceted artist and social activist, no stranger to controversy, but who has always been true to the image that she created as a teenager and young performer.

As a singer, songwriter, actress and astute businesswoman, Madonna has been referred to as the “Queen of Pop” since her debut as an artist in the 1980s. She has pushed boundaries both in her lyrics, music and visual performances and has no problem with changing directions whilst maintaining her dominance in the music industry. She has delighted and frustrated music critics, but has often been credited by other artists as an influential force in their own music.

The songs that Madonna has written and produced, are evidence of that influence and popularity with her fans. Many have topped the charts such as “Like a Virgin”, “Papa Don’t Preach” and “Frozen”.  Her music career was just one area where she excelled, taking on lead roles in critically acclaimed films such as Desperately Seeking Susan and Evita. For her role as Eva Peron, Madonna was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Actress.

As a business woman, she founded her own entertainment company Maverick including a record label in 1992. She has also ventured into fashion design, health clubs and film-making. Madonna is also the author of a series of children’s books, including the latest released in December. The English Roses.

Now William will pick up the story in 2008 and bring us up to the present day in Madonna’s story.

“4 Minutes” is from her eleventh studio album “Hard Candy” (2008), featuring vocals by American singers Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. It was released as the lead single from the album on March 17, 2008. According to Madonna, the song (which was initially called “4 Minutes to Save the World”) is about saving the environment and “having a good time while we are doing it”. She also cited the song as the inspiration for the documentary “I Am Because We Are” (2008).

“4 Minutes” received positive reviews from critics, who called it a busy dance track and complimented its music, which was compared to that of a marching band. Some reviewers noted that it was Madonna who appeared more of a featured artist on the track, rather than Timberlake. The song peaked at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100, giving Madonna her 37th top-ten single, breaking the record previously held by Elvis Presley, as the artist with the most top-ten hits. It remains Madonna’s best-selling digital single in the United States, with sales of over three million copies. Internationally, “4 Minutes” topped the chart in 21 countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

In the song’s video, Madonna and Timberlake sing and run away from a giant black screen that devours everything in its path. At the end of the video, both of them are consumed by the screen. “4 Minutes” was performed by Madonna on the promotional tour for “Hard Candy” and the 2008–09 “Sticky & Sweet Tour” where the song served as the opener of the *rave segment, where Madonna wore a futuristic robotic outfit. During performances of the song, Timberlake and Timbaland appeared on video screens and sang their lines. The song received two Grammy Award nominations for “Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals” and “Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical” at the 2009 ceremony.

*rave – A rave is a large dance party at a nightclub, dance club or festival featuring performances by DJs, who select and mix a seamless flow of loud electronic dance music songs and tracks.

“Celebration” is the third greatest hits album by Madonna, and the final release under her contract with Warner Bros. Records, her record company since 1982. The release follows her two previous greatest hits albums, “The Immaculate Collection” (1990) and GHV2 (2001). The single “Celebration” was released as the first single of the album. It became Madonna’s 40th number-one song on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
Rob Sheffield from “Rolling Stone” noted that “Celebration kicks off with pure bliss and never lets up. It’s a dizzying, non chronological spin through the Madonna years, years it makes you feel lucky to be living through. Her hit making genius is unmatched and undiminished.” Joey Guerra from the “Houston Chronicle” praised the album saying “every song on “Celebration” defines a moment in time, a radio sing-along, a twirl under the glitterball. It’s a pulsing testament to Madonna’s often-overlooked pop prowess”.

“Masterpiece,” composed by Madonna, Julie Frost, and Jimmy Harry and produced by Madonna and William Orbit is a mid tempo pop ballad which is reminiscent of Madonna’s works from the 1990s and written for the soundtrack of the 2011 film “W.E.” “W.E.” is a 2011 British historical romantic drama film co-written and directed by Madonna and stars Abbie Cornish, Andfea Riseborough, Oscar Isaac, Richard Coyle, and James D’Arcy. The song was later included on her twelfth studio album MDNA (2012). The song garnered positive reviews from contemporary critics, who praised its lyrical content and Madonna’s vocal performance.

On January 15, 2012, “Masterpiece” won the “Best Original Song” category at the 69th Golden Globe Awards. Its nomination sparked rivalrous comments on the red carpet from fellow singer Elton John, whose song “Hello, Hello” from “Gnomeo & Juliet”was also nominated in the category. John told host Carson Daly that Madonna “hasn’t got a fucking chance” of winning the award. When Madonna later had her red carpet interview with Daly, she took swipes at John’s masculinity first, asking about his wardrobe: “Was he wearing a dress?” and after being informed of his comments stating, “May the best man win.”

“Masterpiece” was ineligible for the “Best Original Song” category at the 84th Academy Awards, since it was not “used either in the body of the film, or as the ‘first music cue’ in the closing credits (i.e. the first song that plays once the screen fades to black).” It was used too late in the film credits to be eligible. “Masterpiece” was also nominated for “Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film” at the 2012 “World Soundtrack Awards,” but lost to Albert Nobbs’ theme “Lay Your Head Down” by Brian Byrne and Glen Close.

“Turn Up the Radio” is from Madonna’s twelfth studio album, MDNA (2012). It was written by Madonna, Martin Solveig, Michael Tordjman and Jade Williams, and produced by Madonna and Solveig. The song was released as the fourth and final single from the album on June 29, 2012. “Turn Up the Radio” received generally positive reviews from music critics, most of whom deemed it as an album standout and complimented its production. Some reviewers believed that the song should have been the lead single from the album.

In the United States, “Turn Up the Radio” debuted at number 39 on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart, and reached number 19 the following week, earning the title of “Greatest Gainer”. In its third week, the song once again earned the title of “Greatest Gainer” and reached number eight. It was Madonna’s 57th top-ten song on the chart, and her 28th top-ten in a row, starting from “Beautiful Stranger” in 1999. It was the sixth song in the history of Hot Dance Club Songs to jump into the chart’s top-ten in its third week. However, “Turn Up the Radio” had minor placements in other nations, peaking at number 175 on the UK Singles Chart.

The video was shot in Italy, and directed by Tom Munro. It shows Madonna escaping the paparazzi on the back of a convertible. She travels throughout the city and the Italian countryside, while picking up men from the roadside and having a party on the car. The video received general acclaim from critics, who commended the simplicity of the video and labeled it as Madonna’s most fun video in years.

At the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, Madonna won three trophies for Top Touring Artist, Top Dance Artist and Top Dance Album. Madonna was named the top-earning celebrity of the year by Forbes. Madonna’s fourth live album, “MDNA World Tour,” was released in September 2013. It debuted at number one on the U.S. Top Music Videos chart, becoming her tenth release to top the chart—the most for any artist.

By 2013, Madonna’s “Raising Malawi” organization built ten schools to educate 4,000 children in Malawi at a value of $400,000.

“Devil Pray,” a techno pop song, which combines elements of country-pop and folk, was written and produced by Madonna, Avicii, DJ Dahi, and Michael Diamonds, with additional writing by Arash Pournouri, Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub, and Savan Kotecha for her thirteenth studio album, “Rebel Heart” (2015). “Devil Pray” was composed after Madonna desired to talk about her experiences with drugs and quest for spirituality. Lyrically, the song deals with themes of drug addiction, sin, temptation, and the desire for salvation. “Devil Pray” received mostly positive response from music critics. While noting that the song “reaches back smartly, not only to the hoe-down pop of (her single) “Don’t Tell Me,” but to the subject matter, and bluesy gait of “The House of the Rising Sun.”

“Rolling Stone” published an article in which Madonna advocated “intense personal exploration” over drug use. While being asked if “Devil Pray” could run the risk of being misunderstood as a song encouraging drugs, Madonna replied: “I’m certainly not judging people who take drugs or saying ‘don’t do drugs’, however, I’m saying you can do all of these things to connect to a higher level, but ultimately you’re going to be lost. People who are getting high are instinctively also trying to connect to a higher level of consciousness, but are doing it in a way that will not sustain them.”

Sasha Geffen of “Consequences of Sound” considered “Devil Pray” as “one of Madonna’s best releases in years and its chorus as one of her strongest in decades. “The New York Times” also shared this view, noting that the song “showcases some of Madonna’s best singing in years.”

Read the reviews and buy the music of Madonna: https://www.amazon.com/Madonna/e/B000APIQE2

.

All Madonna’s books can be bought here: https://www.amazon.com/Madonna/e/B018GACIKA

Find out news and tour dates: http://www.madonna.com/

More information and sources:Wikipedia Madonna

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

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/

Thanks to William for his wonderful contributions and to you for dropping in today.

See you next week for a new series on the life and music of Johnny Mathis.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – William Price King’s Music Column – Bono and U2 up to date.


Welcome to the William Price King Music Column.. A weekly post about the background and music of the top artists across the different styles of music. The first artist of 2018 is Bono and the band U2.

U2 has one of the most impressive catalogues of awards of any of the groups in the last forty years. Apart from 170 million + records sold world wide, the group has also won an impressive number of industry accolades.

Please visit the directory for the previous columns: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/

Bono and U2 up to date.

Just a quick reminder of just some of the awards that Bono and U2 have achieved in their long career.

U2 has one of the most impressive catalogues of awards of any of the groups in the last forty years. Apart from 170 million + records sold world wide, the group has also won an impressive number of industry accolades.

  • Academy and Golden Globe awards for movie tracks “The Hands That Built America” – Gangs of New York and “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
  • Billboard Music and Touring Awards for best rock song, rock artist and world tours.
  • Brit Awards for best International Group, Most Successful Live Act and Outstanding contribution to Music.
  • Twenty- two Grammy Awards, including induction into the Hall of Fame, as well as Ivor Novello, Juno, MTV, NME and UK Music Video Awards.

“Discothèque” is the lead single from U2’s 1997 album, “Pop.” It peaked at number one in many countries, including the UK. “Discothèque” debuted at #3 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart, and hit #1 the following week. It was certified Gold by the “RIAA” on 7 April 1997. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #10, but dropped off the charts after only four weeks in the Top 40. It was also the band’s sixth (and last) top ten single in the US. It debuted at #1 on the UK singles chart, remaining on top for one week and spending a total of eleven weeks in the chart.

In the accompanying music video, which was directed by the Frenchman Stéphane Sednaoui, the band performed in what seemed like the inside of a mirrorball. They alluded to several elements of the disco era, including disco-style dancing and the film “Saturday Night Fever.” U2 further and directly alluded to the “Village people,” a popular disco era band, by similarly adopting the guises of various professions: a motorcycle police officer (Bono), a gay-fetish biker (the Edge), an American sailor (Adam Clayton) and a cowboy (Larry Mullen, Jr.). “Stylus” magazine described the video as “sublimely bizarre.”
This was U2’s first experiment with Electronica. “Discothèque’ is a riddle about love,” Bono explained in the book U2 by U2. “Once you know that, it changes the way you hear the song. You can reach but you can’t grab it, you can’t hold it, control it, you can’t bag it.”

“Beautiful Day” is the first track from their 2000 album, “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” and it was released as the album’s lead single. It was a commercial success, helping launch the album to multi-platinum status, and is one of U2’s biggest hits to date. “Beautiful Day” revisits the group’s past sound. Bono explained that the upbeat track is about losing everything but still finding joy in what one has. The song received positive reviews, and it became their fourth number one single in the United Kingdom and their first number one in the Netherlands. It also reached the top of the charts in Australia, Canada, Finland, their native Ireland, Italy, Norway and Spain.

The song peaked at number 21 in the United States, the band’s highest position since “Discothéque” in 1997. In 2001, the song won three Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Rock performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. In 2010, “Rolling Stone” updated its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and placed “Beautiful Day” at number 345, making it one of eight U2 songs on the list.

According to Bono, “Beautiful Day” is about “a man who has lost everything, but finds joy in what he still has.” The song’s video showed the band walking around in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, with scenes of the band playing on a runway interspliced with large jets taking off and landing overhead.

“The Saints are Coming” was originally recorded by the Scottish punk rock band Skids. The song became an international number 1 hit when it was covered in 2006 by U2, featuring “Green Day.” The song’s lyrics were written by Richard Jobson with music by Stuart Adamson. U2 and Green Day’s version peaked at #2 in the UK and #51 in the US. It also topped the Canadian chart. The song was recorded to support “Music Rising,” an organization that helps return music programs to New Orleans, and helps musicians replace the instruments they lost to Hurricane Katrina.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, U2 and Green Day recorded a new version of this song in 2006 to raise money for victims of the hurricane. The images of weather-related disaster made the song an appropriate choice, and The Saints are the name of the New Orleans professional football team. It was a big deal when The Saints played again in their home stadium, The Superdome, after it was used to shelter victims of the hurricane and nearly destroyed. On September 25, 2006, U2 and Green Day performed the song when The Saints played there for their season opener on Monday Night Football, which was a nationally televised event and symbolic of the resurgence of the city.

The video for this song (directed by Chris Milk) reminds the viewers about the devastation the hurricane caused, and shows a different version of events that followed the tragedy. In this video the troops are redeployed from Iraq to help victims of Katrina and thus play the role of “the saints”. While showing the musicians’ and director’s perception of how things should have been done, the video also criticizes the way the government acted on the events in reality, as well as the way the media covers tragic events such as Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent rescue operations.

U2 and Green Day recorded the song at Abbey Road Studios. The proceeds from its sale go to “Music Rising,” an organization founded by the Edge and producer Bob Ezrin to help New Orleans musicians who had lost their livelihoods due to the hurricane.

“Magnificent” is the second track on the band’s 2009 album “No Line on the Horizon” and was released as the album’s second single. It is played before the start of every New York Rangers home game at Madison Square Garden.

The single was released on 4 May 2009 and reached #42 on the UK Singles Chart. While well received by critics, it was the first domestically-released U2 single not to make the UK Top 40 since “A Celebration” in 1982. The song also made a one-week appearance on the Billboard Hot 100. However, “Magnificent” did much better in continental Europe, entering the Top 20 in several countries: #6 in the Netherlands, #11 in Italy, #15 in France, #16 in Sweden; the song also reached the Top 5 in Ireland. The music video was filmed in Fez, Morocco, directed by Alex Courtes.

Bono noted that the lyrics were influenced by both Cole Porter and Bach, and that the song is about “two lovers holding on to each other and trying to turn their life into worship.” Lanois described the song’s origins: “We wanted to have something euphoric and Bono came up with that little melody. And he loved that melody, and stuck with it. Almost like a fanfare. And then I was involved in the lyrical process on that, because we wanted to talk about sacrifice that one makes for one’s medium or one’s art. I thought it had for a setting New York in the 1950s; looking out a small bedroom window. Maybe a Charlie Parker kind of figure.”

“Ordinary Love” is the fourth track from U2’s 13th studio album “Songs of Innocence,” (based on Mandela’s love letters written to his wife while he was still imprisoned) and was written to honor Nelson Mandela. This song is included in the biography film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” The song was given a limited 10-inch vinyl release on “Record Store Day,” (November 29, 2013) less than a week before Mandela passed away.

“Ordinary Love” peaked at number one on the Top Digital Download chart in Italy, where it was certified platinum by the “Federation of the Italian Music Industry.” U2 won the 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and in January 2014 the song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

 

U2 had been friends with Nelson Mandela for several years, having played concerts in South Africa. When the movie producer, Harvey Weinstein, invited the band to write a song for the soundtrack of the Mandela biography film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” they responded with a quick yes. After seeing early cuts of the film, the group was inspired to write a song reflecting upon Mandela. “Rolling Stone” said, “Ordinary Love” is about the seeds of dreams, and U2 play it perfectly: down to earth, while looking up.”

“Song for Someone” is the fourth track from their thirteenth studio album,“Songs of Innonence,” and was released as its third single on 11 May 2015. It was produced by Danger Mouse and Ryan Tedder. Bono has described it as a love song dedicated to his wife,Ali. He told Rolling Stone, “Before I even knew what commitment was, I ended up as a young man in the arms of this young woman, in a world somewhat hostile to the concept of the childhood sweetheart and a first love.” “Rolling Stone” compared the track to the band’s Grammy Award-winning single, “Walk On,” stating that the song “begins with gentle acoustic guitars before gradually building up to a “Walk On” style crescendo.” The song has peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Top 40 chart, number 13 on theBillboard Adult Alternative Song chart, number 19 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and number 30 on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs Chart.

You’re the best thing about me” is the first single from their fourteenth studio album, “Songs of Experience. Guitarist the Edge said that “You’re the Best Thing About Me” originated from an attempt to write a song in the spirit of Motown, combining rhythmic music with a joyful mood, although he said there was nothing “obviously Motown” about the end result.Bono referred to the song as “defiant joy”, something that he and the Edge said was more important than ever in the “difficult times” in which they were living.

According to the Edge, the song was one of several from the album for which Bono wrote lyrics to his friends and family after having a “major scare where he really wasn’t sure he would be around very much in the future”. Bono composed the lyrics after having a dream that he had destroyed something that’s most important to him, his relationship with his wife Ali.

On 7 September, the band performed the song on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon before debuting it live three days later at a concert in Indianapolis on the” Joshua Tree” Tour 2017. The song was the band’s 42nd track to enter the Alternative Songs chart in the US, further extending their record for the chart. It was also the group’s 27th entry on the Adult Alternative Songs chart, the second-most all time; the track eventually reached number one on Adult Alternative Songs, making it U2’s record-breaking 13th track to top the chart. The song’s official music video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund and premiered on 27 September 2017. It was filmed earlier that month while U2 were in New York City.

 

Buy the music of U2: https://www.amazon.com/U2/e/B000APTGBO

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/U2/e/B000APTGBO

Additional sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bono
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U2
U2 Website – News and Tours: http://www.u2.com/tour

A massive thank you to William for the work that has gone into the post.

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

We hope that you will join us again next week for a very special interview . Thanks for dropping in and your feedback would be very welcome.