"More addictive than a goddam video game" - Balloon Juice

"One of my very favorite music blogs ever..." - Singer/Songwriter Emma Wallace

"Fascinating... really GREAT!!! You'll learn things about those tunes we all LOVE to play and blow on... SOD is required reading for my advanced students. It's fun, too!" - Nick Mondello of
AllAboutJazz.com

"I never let a day go by without checking it." - Bob Madison of Dinoship.com

"I had dinner the other night with some former WNEW staff members who spoke very highly of your work." - Joe Fay

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I'll Be Home for Christmas

By Walter Kent & Kim Gannon
1943

A warm yet melancholy Christmas standard that dates back to World War II, during which the lyric held a special meaning for soldiers stationed overseas for the holidays. Bing Crosby introduced the tune in time for Christmas 1943, and his version was shipped directly to those soldiers. A controversy ensued over the copyright when poet Buck Ram alleged that the title was stolen from a poem he had written. Some songwriting credits include Ram for this reason. Since WWII, it has become a standard expression of Christmas longing for families everywhere.

Lyrics:

I'll be home for Christmas,
You can count on me.
Please have snow
And mistletoe,
And presents under the tree.

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love-light gleams.
I'll be home for Christmas,
If only in my dreams.

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Perry Como
Al Green
Leon Redbone
Joe Williams

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

This Love of Mine

By Sol Parker, Henry Sanicola & Frank Sinatra
1941

As a way of commemorating the birthday of Frank Sinatra, perhaps the greatest ambassador of the Great American Songbook, we're spotlighting one of the handful of songs he actually had a hand in writing. Possibly his most famous composition (he served as lyricist), "This Love of Mine" was written during Frank's time with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra, and it was Dorsey's band that introduced it, with a record that rose to #3 on the charts. It would forever be associated with the crooner, who re-recorded the tune on his seminal 1955 album In the Wee Small Hours.

Lyrics:

This love of mine goes on and on,
Tho' life is empty since you have gone.
You're always on my mind, tho' out of sight
It's lonesome thru the day,
But oh! the night.

I cry my heart out it's bound to break,
Since nothing matters, let it break.
I ask the sun and the moon,
The stars that shine,
What's to become of it, this love of mine.

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald
Stan Kenton w/Cyd Charisse
Sonny Rollins Quartet
Jack Jones
Ray Charles

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRANK!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Rhode Island Is Famous For You

By Arthur Schwartz & Howard Dietz
1948

A ridiculously cute and catchy number from the obscure Schwartz/Dietz musical revue Inside the U.S.A. The show only ran for a few months, and only produced one hit, "Haunted Heart". Most attribute this to the ASCAP strike that prevented the recording of a proper cast album or radio version. This particular number was introduced in the show by Jack Haley, best known as the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. Like the rest of the numbers/sketches in the show, it spotlights a particular state--although in this case, it also includes many others in a classic "list-song" format.

Lyrics: 

Copper comes from Arizona
Peaches come from Georgia
And lobsters come from Maine
The wheat fields
Are the sweet fields of Nebraska
And Kansas gets bonanzas from the grain

Old whiskey comes from old Kentucky
Ain't the country lucky
New Jersey gives us glue
And you, you come from Rhode Island
And little old Rhode Island
Is famous for you

Cotton comes from Lou-siana
Gophers from Montana
And spuds from Idaho
They plow land
In the cow land of Missour-a
Where most beef meant
For roast beef seems to grow

Grand canyons come from Colorad-a
Gold comes from Nevada
Divorces also do
And you, you come from Rhode Island
Little old Rhode Island
Is famous for you

Pencils come from Pennsylvania
Vest from Vest Virginia
And Tents from Tent-esee
They know mink where they grow
Mink in Wyo-mink
A camp chair in New Hamp-chair
That's for me

And minnows come Minnesota
Coats come from Dakota
But why should you be blue?
For you, you come from Rhode Island
Don't let them ride Rhode Island
It's famous for you

Recorded By:

John Pizzarelli
Blossom Dearie
Jack Haley
Nancy Lamott
Layla Solomon (my daughter's own rendition, which I hope you enjoy!)

Listen to Martini in the Morning

Jazz News