July 2, 1966 Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night hits #1!
This song is such a club date song from my past. Now club dates are the weddings and parties on the weekends that all musicians are hired to play. On the west coast they call them socials. In the new lingo, artists who sing these kind of songs — like Strangers in the Night — call them The Great American Songbook. In the old days we just called them standards.
One of the first teachers to teach me jazz was John Solo. His real last name was a long Italian name I can’t remember, but he was the hot club date guy who knew every tune in every key and taught his students how to play left hand bass which was common in those days. Save the money not getting a bass player and add another horn player instead.
On club dates nowadays you might play a couple of standards at the cocktail hour but you better know the new hit song, for example “Call Me Maybe.” Funny thing is this new hip song has the same chords as old standards like In the Still of the Night and You Send Me. It’s just a different beat. Music is music. It keeps changing but when you strip it down it’s always going to be melody and chords.
I remember playing with Jaco Pastorious in Sweetwaters and someone came up to talk to him while we were playing and he screamed at them, “Hey mother fu—er, this aint no SOCIAL!”
strangers in the night…