spector101

To Know Him is to Love Him

One of the interesting things about the history of songs, is discovering what inspired the lyrics and/or melody of the song. For To Know Him is to Love Him, that inspiration was a tombstone.  Phil Spector was nine years old when his father died.  His family then moved from New York to Los Angeles.   As Read More

milestone_image_1927

Showboat

The musical theater in the 1920s was comparable to Vaudeville with comedic routines and side show attractions. However, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II had an idea for a revolutionary new approach. Now the daunting task of choosing their work.  They decided on Edna Ferber’s novel, Showboat.  This was a most unconventional topic and she was Read More

rutter-john-feb-13

Profile of a Composer: John Rutter

I was introduced to Rutter when I was in college.  I grew to absolutely adore several of his choral arrangements and have both sung them in choir and conducted them over the years. John Rutter was born in 1945 London, England.  He studied at Clare College in Cambridge, England. He currently resides in Cambridgeshire, England. Read More

Buddy Holly

That’ll Be the Day

Buddy Holly longed to write a hit and make it big in the music industry.  One evening he and his band mate, Jerry Allison, decided to see a John Wayne western, The Searchers. Wayne keeps repeating “That’ll be the day,” when he felt something was unlikely to happen. The phrase stuck and one evening while Read More

music man

Till There Was You

Meredith Wilson wrote the song for his 1957 musical, The Music Man.  In the musical, the librarian, Marion Paroo, sings the song to Professor Harold Hill near the end of Act II. The first release of the song appeared before the first cast album was release in November 1957.  The Broadway production of The Music Read More

Great Performances

Oklahoma!

Oklahoma! transformed the world of musical theater in more ways than one. Richard Rodgers was interested in adapting the 1931 play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs into a piece for musical theater.  However, his writing partner Lorenz Hart had no interest in the project. Oscar Hammerstein II expressed interest, but his writing partner Read More

Down_In_The_Valley

Down in the Valley

Down in the Valley is a popular request when I go to nursing facilities to perform. This folk song is believed to be an Appalachian Mountain song inspired by a British air.  The song was later transported to the Ozark’s. The ballad is set to a sweet and serene tune, however upon really noticing the Read More

My Way Frank Sinatra

Story Behind the Song: My Way

Frank Sinatra is best known for his hit, My Way.  To all who heard him sing the song, the song seemed to fit him.   Some even believed he may have written the song himself, but he didn’t. So it’s not surprising, that the song was written specifically for him by Paul Anka. Paul Anka was Read More