Archive | October 2012

Amazing Grace

October 26, 1911 Happy Birthday Mahalia Jackson!

ice bucket

I love gospel singers and Mahalia Jackson was the original Queen of Gospel!

Well it just so happens we flew Cookie Watkins in from Vegas to sing at this Clive Davis tribute show for MMRF tomorrow night. Cookie sang with the Stingers for years and was in Beehive playing Tina Turner which she has continued in the show Legends and in her own show all over the world.

I’m thrilled she took a few minutes after a backstage rehearsal at the venue to sing Amazing Grace tonight with the wonderful singer Stanley Hopkins. I’m having Cookie sing Janis Joplin tomorrow night in our show and it will be amazing.

Rehearsal starts at 11, so I’m going to bed.

Amazing Grace!  Coming to you from Old Greenwich, CT!

Time Is On My Side

October 25, 1964, The Rolling Stones appeared for the first time on The Ed Sullivan Show performing Around And Around and Time Is On My Side. (via

day 202

I never sang Time Is On My Side before and I don’t know why!  It’s a great tune and an old friend of mine Jimmy Norman was one of the writers of it.  Jimmy passed away last year. He was a good old school blues singer and used to do the Night Owl show with me at Sweetwaters in the 80’s.

I remember that Jimmy would sing a tune and let the band jam on it, sing it again and then we’d jam some more.  Sometimes a song would last 20 minutes. And this was at 2 a.m.  Everyone would be drunk and no one was going anywhere so Jimmy was never in a rush to get to the next song. Those Night Owl shows were something else!

Tomorrow morning we move into the hotel and start loading in trucks and trucks of equipment for the MMRF Gala. (well, I’ll be drinking  coffee and watching the load in).  We have a killer lineup happening for this event I’m musical directing! Earth Wind & Fire, Jennifer Hudson and Jermaine Paul. My band and singers are the house band and we’ve got an amazing show planned. Do I sound excited?  I am.

Last year when we did this gig with Stevie Wonder we had the freak  October snow storm (17 inches) that almost cancelled the show. But it turned out to be the greatest and most magical night.

I hear there’s a hurricane headed our way this weekend.  I think that’s a GOOD omen!




I’ve Got A Crush On You

October 24, 1960 Frank Sinatra’s album Nice ‘N’ Easy hits #1!

i'm so tired i can't see

Spent the day working with some of the best and fiercest singers and musicians in the city.  Great day, great work, lots of it and I got nothing left!

I’m pretty ragged voiced in today’s video.  I looked through the songs on the Nice ‘n’ Easy album that hit #1 today and picked I’ve Got a Crush on You to do, but pretty much every song on that album is a winner!

Got a little more work to do right now and then it’s collapse time.

more tomorrow!



Runaround Sue

October 23, 1961 Dion’s Runaround Sue hits #1!


When I was playing this today, Dylan knew every word and he reminded me that I had used Runaround Sue in It’s My Party the show Lesley Gore and I wrote years ago. We rehearsed that summer at Cherry Lane. Casey and Dylan came to rehearsal every day and learned every word of every song.

Me, I forgot this one entirely until I saw the lyrics again today.

Gigging with the Stingers at the Red Lion tonight.   Time to pull it together….

Here’s today in music:  Runaround Sue!  more tomorrow.

Good Lovin’

October 22, 1945 Happy Birthday Eddie Brigati (The Young Rascals)!  

day 199

Good Lovin’ is a great bar song!  Every cover band plays it!

All right – in the midst of all this music I have to get done I went to the dentist today — hello, I haven’t been there in uhm, a while…!  Dr. Levy gave me a lot of guilt. I deserved it and well, I need root canal but it will have to wait for next week.

Got to get up very early for a session tomorrow, so I am hitting the pain-killer hay!

Happy Birthday EB!