Jane Wyman – The Singer

Mostly remembered as an Oscar-winning actress (and former wife of Ronald Reagan) Jane Wyman was also a pretty good singer. Although she was never a major recording star, she was talented enough to work as a songbird -- a big band singer -- early in her career, and she found a lot of musical spots … Continue reading Jane Wyman – The Singer

The Geezer And The Gigolo

Okay, I'm not going to get all silly and turn this into a new special feature, but I do want to report that I've had another one of those funny musical coincidences. You might recall that I wrote about this kind of thing in a previous post titled Mysterious Musical Occurrences. If you're new to … Continue reading The Geezer And The Gigolo

Cindy Walker – A Favorite Of Many Stars

Current country music fans might not recognize Cindy Walker's name, but even though she died at age 87 in 2006, she is still remembered -- and revered -- by many music pros. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, she could hold her own as a performer but her legacy will always be … Continue reading Cindy Walker – A Favorite Of Many Stars

Anatomy Of A Song – Dreaming Of Distant Lands

I always enjoy putting together Anatomy Of A Song posts because digging into the background of classic old songs often leads to interesting discoveries. For example, today's spotlighted song is a very familiar one that was a solid hit for many singers, but none of them took it all the way to #1 on the … Continue reading Anatomy Of A Song – Dreaming Of Distant Lands

The Many Talents Of Bobby Sherwood

Bobby Sherwood's "Elks Parade" has always been one of my favorites from the big band era and it's probably the best known song from his bandleader days. But it was just the tip of the iceberg for this multi-talented performer, who could play many different instruments, sing and dance like the vaudeville trouper he once … Continue reading The Many Talents Of Bobby Sherwood

Anatomy Of A Song – A Cowboy’s Request

It might be hard to believe that a Cole Porter song sat virtually unused for its first decade of life, but that's pretty much what happened to the tune we're featuring today. In fact, that might be one of the reasons why Porter said it was his least favorite composition. But "Don't Fence Me In" … Continue reading Anatomy Of A Song – A Cowboy’s Request

Anson Weeks And The Crosby Brothers

In the late 1920s, successful musical ensembles usually featured a style that sounds pretty square to us now. Bands often included string sections and specialized in sweet songs perfect for dancing. They usually had a crooner or two around too, and groups led by guys like Paul Whiteman and Anson Weeks provided work for a … Continue reading Anson Weeks And The Crosby Brothers

Bing Crosby’s British Rival Met A Tragic End

When legendary crooner Bing Crosby was first rising to stardom in the 1930s, he wasn't the only guy vying for the adoration of music fans. In fact, one of his contemporaries was a British singer who was often compared to him. But even though Al Bowlly had a world of talent and seemed to have … Continue reading Bing Crosby’s British Rival Met A Tragic End

Eddie Lang – The Father of Jazz Guitar

Throughout musical history, most professional artists have had numerous opportunities to work with some of the best of their contemporaries, sometimes building up an impressive list of collaborators during a long career. But in at least one case, a pioneering jazz guitarist with a tragically shortened career still left behind a legacy that included working … Continue reading Eddie Lang – The Father of Jazz Guitar

Covering The Holidays

The holiday season is all about traditions, and one that has been around a long time also happens to be an established part of the music world, so it fits in very nicely with what we do here. For many years, musical stars of just about every genre have regularly issued Christmas albums. That being … Continue reading Covering The Holidays