Uncle Bardie’s Music Spot: Miss Ella sings

Today’s song calls attention to the fact that they don’t write songs like they used to. And they don’t sing them like they used to either. With the exception of a few artists.

If you want to know what an angel sounds like when they sing, check out Ella Fitzgerald. Whether she sang a little ditty like “Tisket a tasket” or a song like “Someone to Watch Over Me,” she could take you to the moon and back with her voice. Listening to her, we’re listening to perfection.

And she makes it look so easy. When I’m listening to Miss Ella singing, I know what a song was meant to sound like. She invites you for a ride and it is so smooth and easy and wonderful, you want to take a second ride, then a third, and a fourth and a fifth.

So relax and listen to a true master. The choice for today’s Thursday’s Music Spotlight is Miss Ella giving us “But Not for Me.” It’s from George and Ira Gershwin’s musical, “Girl Crazy,” originally performed by Ginger Rogers. It’s one of the great love songs of the twentieth century.

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Thursday’s Music Spot: How Sweet the Moonlight Sleeps

Mostly Shakespeare doesn’t work on film for me. I only have a short list of Shakespeare plays on film I have thoroughly enjoyed. There’s two Hamlets, Lawrence Olivier’s and Franco Zeffirelli’s, as well as Zeffierelli’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The comedies, “Midsummer Night’s Dream” with Kevin Kline, and Trevor Nunn’s “Twelfth Night”. And the BBC productions of the seven plays of the War of the Roses: Richard II; Henry IV, V, and VI; and Richard III.

I think part of the problem most directors have when approaching Shakespeare is they simply don’t understand the medium of film. They want to give us the play, and nothing but the play.

But I have to say that director Michael Radford got his film of “The Merchant of Venice” right and gave me my all-time favorite Shakespeare. From the set designs to the actors to the music by Jocelyn Pook, he takes me to a time and place that Shakespeare would absolutely have loved.

In Act 5 Scene 1, Jocelyn Pook gives us this lovely piece of music, How sweet the moonlight sleeps.The voice is that of Andreas Scholl, a German countertenor, specializing in Baroque music. Enjoy.

Thursday’s Music Spot: A Blast from the Past

It was 1975 and all seemed right with the world. Nixon was gone and Ford was okay. Vietnam was behind us. Sure, gas prices had sent America into a panic. But there was nothing like a good song blasting out from the car radio.And who better than the three-man band, America, to blast it. It was the perfect radio band with their wonderful harmonies. And perfect for a summer driving down the highway without a care in the world. After all, I was young and starting a new life after my time in the Air Force.

America sang very sing-along-able songs. Short very memorable lyrics and equally memorable melodies. Songs like A Horse With No Name, Sandman and Ventura Highway. They were songs with no deep meaning. Just fun in the sun kind of songs. And as far as I am concerned, Sister Golden Hair was the best.

Thursday’s Music Spot: A new feature

I have been listening to a lot of great music lately. So I have decided to take the Song out of the Weekly Spotlight and give it its own Feature. Consequently, on Thursdays, I will feature a song I have taken to recently. The songs will range from pop to folk to jazz to classical to blues and back again. Some will be new releases; some will be older. And some back in the Old School days. My tastes are pretty eclectic and there will be no repeats. I may repeat the artists but not the songs. And some will come with commentary and some may not. All are there for your listening pleasure.

Today’s is a Willie Nelson. For a man eighty-five years young, he’s still got the goods. The song is “True Love” off his 2017 album, “God’s Problem Child”.