November 30, 1943 The Nat King Cole Trio is recording Straighten Up and Fly Right.
I love Nat King Cole because initially he was known as one of the greatest jazz pianists and then he started singing and now the masses only think of him of as a beautiful crooner!
I decided late in my professional career that I wanted to sing. I’ve always loved playing for great singers and one day I said “I want to sing,” so now I’m a singer/pianist as opposed to only a piano player!
Saw my mom today in Arizona. She is doing great and tomorrow we’re going to take her out to a fair near our hotel with Claudia’s brother and his kids, and for some reason there are hot air balloons across the street right now, so Claudia and I are going to explore!
Straighten Up and Fly Right!
November 29, 1969 The Beatles’ Come Together hits #1.
Come Together is one of the funkiest Beatles songs in my opinion!
This song came out in ’69 but I remember listening to it a couple of years later and all through high school – Nazareth Catholic High School for Boys. It sounds strict but this was a loosey goosey parochial school taught by young dudes right out of college. There were some hard nose brothers but generally it was fun, loose and a great time with great friends. I’m not sure if I learned anything, but the memories are the best!
They closed the school a couple of years ago but I still get Nazareth alumni notices that I don’t pay attention to. Luckily, Facebook has brought a few of us back in touch.
November 28, 1929 Happy Birthday Berry Gordy, Jr.
Berry Gordy is a music icon the way very few people are! The founder of Motown Records! He discovered and signed and is associated with so many great artists, including the Temptations, which is why I chose The Way You Do The Things You Do for his birthday today.
I met Berry a few years back when he was honored at a TJ Martell Awards gala. I made sure Dylan got to talk to him and get a picture with the both of us! Tried to find the picture tonight but it’s buried deep in the mountain that is my desk!
I play The Way You Do the Things You Do all the time but never sang it before. This is and always will be Stanley Hopkins’ song. Stanley has been with me since before the Stingers when we were doing Beehive. Now he’s is my vocal contracter and hires only the best singers!
I have been on more gigs, more car rides and more road trips with Stanley than with anyone and no matter how freakin tired he is, when we get on stage, he turns it out!
I should have asked Stanley to come over to do this song but he’s so busy and Claudia and I are packing up to go to Arizona in the morning to see my mom and we’ll also see Claudia’s brother and his three great kids. My sister Alyson lives there and is taking great care of my mom, and we got reward points so the hotel is close to free! YEAH BABY!
Trying to pre-record some songs so I don’t have to think about finding a piano on the road!
More tomorrow. (from the desert!)
November 27, 1966: Winchester Cathedral by The New Vaudeville Band is the #1 Billboard pop hit!
It’s funny how I can walk around singing little ditties and I know the 1 or 2 lines and then I sing doo doo ooh e ooh we for the words I don’t know. I think that started with me in church when I was little. Before I could read the hymnal I used to just scat along with the hymns.
Now if I go to church I’m so damn blind I can’t see the hymnal so I’m back just scatting along.
The reason I mention this is because Winchester Cathedral was one of those ditties I never knew the words to.
Well, here it is with all the words!
November 26, 1966 Wilson Pickett’s Mustang Sally enters the pop charts!
Mustang Sally is another great crowd pleaser! My good friend Pepper (Genie Swinson) sang back up for Wilson Pickett for years. Pepper is an amazing singer. It’s funny how many great singers there are in NYC who sing backup for other artists but should be stars themselves.
Well, I just got home from hosting the Ann Ruckert Songwriters Circle at the Red Lion. We had some good songwriters show up and now I have to set up the studio here for Casey to record. He’s going to record a new Christmas song tonight and new original song he’s written!
Here’s Mustang Sally. More tomorrow.