Wonderful Tunes Provided By Friends. Wild Tangents Provided By Me.

Posts tagged ‘Louis Armstrong’

Whistling While I Write

Hello blog reading world! Here’s a nifty version of “Whistle While You Work.” The song was written by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey for the 1937 movie “Snow White.” This version is performed by Satchmo so how can you go wrong?

I have said it a million times before but, since I love to hear the sound of my own typing, I’ll say it again. I love the *movie* “Snow White” but I do not like the *character* Snow White. That’s why I decided that I wanted to rework the story to give the girl half a brain. I’m on day 70 of my 100 day novel writing project and its going quite well. I like the story a lot. The writing is decidedly “first drafty” but hopefully that’ll get better when I edit.

My “Snow White” still ends up living with little dudes and talking to animals. She also gets a Prince Charming (though his role is almost as minor as his movie couterpart). Other than that, she’s pretty different from movie Snow White who is a freakin’ princess about to rule a kingdom. Maybe she should know better than to take food from an “old lady” with a “heart condition” who shows up in the middle of the nowhere with no visible means of transportation to “sell apples” in a completely unpopulated area. Especially when she knows there’s a magical person somewhere out there trying to kill her! Okay I know, it’s just a movie, I should really just relax, but c’mon!

PS- Writing a book is fun. I’m just dropping a line here to tell anyone who’s listening that I haven’t forgotten this blog.

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Food, Family, and Frim Fram

“Frim Fram Sauce” was composed in 1945 by Joe Ricardel with lyrics by Redd Evans. It was made popular by the Nat King Cole Trio but dozens of artists have performed it over the years. I don’t know when Louis and Ella recorded the song exactly but I’m guessing it was around 1956.

ETA: Alert reader Wesley Stamper has pointed out that this version of the song was recorded in 1946 and released on Decca. 

I picked this song because we were supposed to be going into the city today to have dinner with my Mom. Unfortunately the weather was bad so we didn’t make the trip. Instead I’ve been forced to sit around all day playing video games and watching reruns on Netflix. Now you can truly grasp the tragedy of how much living I missed out on while I was working yesterday!

I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead You Rascal You

Here’s a 1932 Betty Boop cartoon featuring Louis Armstrong’s orchestra playing the song “I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead You Rascal You” by Samuel Theard. It’s racist as all get out but I suppose we can consider it an “important part of our collective history” since it is one of Armstrong’s first film appearances. Besides, I love this song!

So… Osama Bin Laden is dead. Some people are dancing in the street. Some people find the celebration disturbing. I am not singing in the street but I feel no remorse at this man’s passing. I truly believe humanity is better off without some people. I appreciate the rhetoric of non-violence but I leave it to hearts and tongues more charitable than mine. I don’t believe in eternal damnation, but for the next few million foreseeable eons, do not rest in peace Mr. Bin Laden.

Happy Birthday Dr. King!

Here’s the 1947 Civil Rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.” It was written by Zilphia Horton using refrains from a Gospel song by Charles Albert Tindley. This version is by Louis Armstrong.

It inspired Dr King to make this speech on the Sunday before he was assassinated.

But today we are not mourning his passing. We are celebrating his birthday so here’s Stevie Wonder’s 1981 song “Happy Birthday” which he wrote in support of the campaign to make today a national holiday.

Happy birthday Dr. King!

Zat You Santa Claus?

Eat your heart out “Nightmare Before Christmas!” This spooky Christmas carol was written by Jack Fox and Louis recorded it in 1953. I couldn’t find much more info about it but it’s a great song!

I’m grateful to our internet mix masters for the fresh holiday music, and indeed all the fine tunes this year! I hope everyone who is celebrating is having a very Merry Christmas. And for those of you who aren’t, I hope you’re having a great weekend.

Ella and Louis Moonlight In Vermont

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong recorded five beautiful albums together in the 1950s. “Moonlight In Vermont” is from their 1956 album “Ella and Louis.” The song was written in 1943 by John Blackburn and Karl Suessdorf. It was an unusual composition for the time because it doesn’t rhyme and a it’s ballad that’s not a love song. I, for one, love the imagery.

I posted this song today in honor of my awesome new phone! It’s not night time and I have never been anywhere near Vermont in my life so what, you may ask, does this 1943 song have to do with my very modern smart phone? My phone plays Pandora internet radio! When I downloaded the app and switched to my jazz station this was the first song I heard. I think that’s the moment I went from really really liking my phone to loving it! Like I said on Facebook, if I find an app that tells me I don’t look fat in things I might just have to marry this thing!

Satchmo’s Vices

I don’t think I need to post a Louis Armstrong bio here. Instead, allow me to share with you the first of “Beautiful Grandma’s Crackpot Theories About Famous People.” Yes, she had quite a few. My Grandmother was convinced that the handkerchief that Louis used to wipe his brow as he performed was filled with cocaine so that he could discretely snort it while he was on stage. (Yeah, I have no idea how that was supposed to work either.) In fact I found no evidence that he battled addiction of any kind. He was probably overly fond of an herbal laxative called Swiss Kriss which he used for weight control. But I certainly can’t fault a man for enjoying a meal too many!

This version of “Just One Of Those Things” is from the 1957 album “Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson.”

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