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Archive for the tag “Frank Sinatra”

Quirky T’s Favorite Christmas Songs

 

Christmas greetings to all Guitar Train passengers!  To help you celebrate the holiday in a secular way, here is a reposting of Quirky T’s favorite Christmas songs. These are the songs I’ll be listening to repeatedly.

 

  1. “Jingle Bells” – Barbra Streisand
  2. “A Marshmallow World” – Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin
  3. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – Dean Martin
  4. “Shake Hands With Santa Claus” – Louis Prima
  5. “Sleigh Ride” – The Ronettes
  6. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – Bruce Springsteen

 

No Christmas season would be complete without hearing Barbra Streisand’s highly caffeinated version of “Jingle Bells”. It’s as if before the recording of this song, she was told, “Okay, we have only have the recording studio for two minutes. Finish drinking your extra large espresso and let’s go.” The result must be heard to be enjoyed. It brings me joy every time I hear it.

Christmas with The Rat Pack

“A Marshmallow World” from the CD “Christmas with The Rat Pack” portrays a lovely winter setting that makes me happy. I wish it would snow enough to re-enact this song.

 

There are many versions of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” but Dean Martin’s version is my favorite. It is also on the CD “Christmas with The Rat Pack”. Several of the lyrics (really, the whole scenario of the song) are outdated but I still like this song. The lyrics that always get me are the mention of death from pneumonia if the girlfriend leaves, very romantic.

Mob Hits Christmas

I put Louis Prima in the same category as Lou Monte (see my post on Lou Monte in Happy Month https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/happy-month-on-the-guitar-train/  ). Louis Prima’s novelty songs are fun like Lou Monte’s songs. “Shake Hands with Santa Claus” is just a fun, upbeat song. It can be found on the CD “Mob Hits Christmas” which sadly doesn’t contain Lou Monte’s “Dominick the Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey)”, another classic Christmas novelty song. That song is on the first “Mob Hits” CD which was released before the “Mob Hits Christmas” CD.

There are many versions of the song “Sleigh Ride” but by far my favorite is by The Ronettes. Their version is fast and fun. It cuts out the slow, boring verses and ends with you wanting to hear more.

 

I haven’t heard every single Bruce Springsteen song but from the ones I have heard, he seems to be quite a serious person. What I love about his version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is he seems to be having so much fun. It’s just a happy, energetic rocking song.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite secular Christmas songs and why?

Boarding the Wrong Train – Stop # 2

As frequent passengers on the Guitar Train know, Quirky T conducts this musical train with stops about The Beatles, Phil Collins, Genesis, Gloria Estefan, and Huey Lewis and the News. Along the way, there have been other stops to look at topics such as favorite movie and TV show soundtracks, We Are the World, and Live Aid. Also along the way, passengers have boarded this train by use of search terms on the Internet. Since my first stop on January 8, 2015 https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/boarding-the-wrong-train/ looking at whether these searches led to the correct blog, more interesting search terms have been entered. So let’s analyze them in this second stop.

Abbey Road - reverse angle

The Beatles’ Abbey Road – reverse angle

As in my previous stop on this topic, I am astonished that anyone searching anything relating to The Beatles would be led to my blog. At least people who repeatedly searched “The Beatles Anthology” book and were led to my blog did find mentions of the book in my stops called “Favorites Month – The Beatles” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/favorites-month-the-beatles/ and “Am I Fan Enough?” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/am-i-fan-enough/ Someone who searched “Paul McCartney playing guitar at Abbey Road” was led to my blog. That person did not find whatever he or she was looking for because this blog does not have photos of Paul McCartney playing guitar while literally standing outside on Abbey Road nor does it have photos of Paul McCartney playing guitar inside the Abbey Road Studios. My blog might have been more of what the person who searched “see inside Abbey Road from the angle of each Beatle” was looking for. Assuming the searcher meant the album cover of the same name and not inside Abbey Road Studios, the stop called “The Guitar Train Stops at Abbey Road (kind of) and sees The Beatles in Concert (sort of)” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/the-guitar-train-stops-at-abbey-road-kind-of-and-sees-the-beatles-in-concert-sort-of/ contains photos of the wax Beatles from Madame Tussaud’s in the Abbey Road album cover poise. The photos show the reverse angle behind George Harrison as well as the front view with John Lennon leading the band. My blog couldn’t help the person searching for “George Harrison Salisbury Train”. That is definitely boarding the wrong train.

Bella Luna CD

Luckily some people have boarded the right train as I have mentioned subjects or written Guitar Train stops about subjects they were searching. The person searching for “Frank Sinatra Standards” found the perfect stop at “The Standards – Frank Sinatra”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/the-standards-frank-sinatra/ Whoever searched for “the Bella Luna CD from Starbucks” was led to a mention of that CD in the stop, “Quirky T’s Favorite Instrumental Movie Soundtracks”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/quirky-ts-favorite-instrumental-movie-soundtracks/ The search for “Huey Lewis guitarist” led to the stop mentioning the News’ guitarist James Harrah in “The Guitar Train Stops at a Huey Lewis and the News Concert!!!”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/the-guitar-train-stops-at-a-huey-lewis-and-the-news-concert/ As requested in a search, I have included ticket stubs from concerts by Richard Marx, Steve Winwood, and Phil Collins in the Guitar Train stop “Concerts Quirky T Has Attended”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/concerts-quirky-t-has-attended/

No Jacket Required CD back

There are some searches I feel like I have to correct in order to further my goal of conducting the Guitar Train to the destination of Advanced Musical Knowledge. I can tell the searcher not only “who wrote the music for We Say Hello Goodbye Genesis” but also the correct title of the Phil Collins written solo song is “We Said Hello Goodbye”. Being that it is my absolute favorite song, I better know those facts. Also, “Christie Allie” wasn’t exactly “Walking on Sunshine” but the actress Kirstie Alley did star in the move, “Look Who’s Talking” which contained The Katrina and the Waves song “Walking on Sunshine”. I mentioned this song in the stop “Quirky T’s Favorite Movie Soundtracks”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/quirky-ts-favorite-movie-soundtracks/ That also leads to correcting the search for “Kenny Loggins Look Who’s Talking To”. This I had to actually search for on my own since this topic was never mentioned on The Guitar Train. I found that the actual title of the 1990 movie is “Look Who’s Talking Too” and Kenny Loggins was not involved in the soundtrack for the movie. Interestingly, I did find some Guitar Train related info in my search. The movie soundtrack does contain George Harrison’s version of “Got My Mind Set on You”, John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy”, and “Please Mr. Postman” (although it’s the Marvelettes version, not The Beatles version).

Benny and Joon CD

Benny and Joon CD

Good thing the person who searched “Sunshine on Leith Aidan Quinn” was led to my stop “Do I Want To Hear More – The Proclaimers” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/do-i-want-to-hear-more-the-proclaimers/ where I explained that The Proclaimers’ song “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” from my favorite movie “Benny and Joon” starring Aidan Quinn led me to listen to more songs by The Proclaimers. “Sunshine on Leith” is the title of their CD containing that song. The person who searched for “Mary Stuart soundtrack instrumental” was probably led to my post about “Benny and Joon” called “The Guitar Train Looks at the 20th Anniversary of Benny and Joon”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/the-guitar-train-looks-at-the-20th-anniversary-of-benny-and-joon/ The movie also starred Mary Stuart Masterson. Except for the one Proclaimers’ song, the soundtrack for that movie is all instrumental.

 

Now for the category of “how did those search terms lead to my blog?”. I guess I can see why the search terms “train umbrella guitar” led to The Guitar Train blog but what I don’t know is what the person was actually looking for. The train where he or she left her umbrella and guitar? Sorry but I also cannot help the person searching for “Chanel old watches from 1960 – 1970”. The only topic I continually write about from the 1960’s is The Beatles. Although, now I’m curious to see photos of Chanel old watches from 1960-1970.

 

Finally, to answer Bill in the Russian Federation, this train does not stop at York. But to Bill and everyone else who was led to the Guitar Train by Googling and searching, I say, “Welcome Aboard”. Please stay on board for at least a few stops; you may find something else you like even if it isn’t exactly what you were searching for.

 

To other bloggers, have you ever been astonished by the search terms that have led people to your blog?

The Guitar Train’s Top 15 Albums

Help!No Jacket Required

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Guitar Train is joining the fun and listing my Top 15 albums today. I found out about this interesting blogging topic from the great Word Press blog 1,001 Albums in 10 Years https://1001albumsin10years.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/calling-all-artists-list-enthusiasts/  . I have added the twist that my list cannot be all Beatles albums and it has to contain albums from my five favorite bands/musicians – The Beatles, Phil Collins/Genesis, Huey Lewis and the News, Gloria Estefan, and Jon Secada.

 

So here’s my top 15 albums for September 15, 2015:

 

  1. A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles
  2. Help! – The Beatles
  3. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
  4. Genesis – Genesis
  5. Invisible Touch – Genesis
  6. No Jacket Required – Phil Collins
  7. Sports – Huey Lewis and the News
  8. Fore! – Huey Lewis and the News
  9. Cuts Both Ways – Gloria Estefan
  10. gloria! – Gloria Estefan
  11. Jon Secada – Jon Secada
  12. Heart, Soul, & a Voice – Jon Secada
  13. Traveling Wilburys Volume 1 – Traveling Wilburys
  14. Mob Hits Volume 1 – Various Artists
  15. Christmas With the Rat Pack – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.

gloria!

 

 

 

 

Jon Secada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will definitely be reading other bloggers’ Top 15 Albums lists.


 

 

Traveling WIlburys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guitar Train passengers, how many of my Top 15 Albums are also on your list?

New York Songs

This Guitar Train stop is the first of two stops looking at New York songs and California songs. Since I live on the East Coast, I am more familiar with and associate more with New York songs. Many of the songs written about New York are about one specific area of a large state – New York City. There may be songs about upstate New York towns such as Schenectady or Ithaca but I haven’t heard them.

 

Central Park, New York City

Central Park, New York City

New York songs I like

  1. “Theme from New York, New York” sung by Frank Sinatra
  2. “New York City Rhythm” by Barry Manilow
  3. “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel

 

Gate 4

Yankee Stadium

There’s nothing like a crowd of 50,000 happy New York Yankees fans singing along to “Theme from New York, New York” at Yankee Stadium after a Yankees win. It is a great tradition which brings everyone together in happiness for their beloved team. It is the perfect ending to a day spent at Yankee Stadium.

 

New York City

New York City

Barry Manilow left Brooklyn, New York a long time ago for California but his song, “New York City Rhythm” captures the atmosphere of New York City. It puts a spring in your step while walking through the city in an I’m-in-a-musical-fantasy kind of way.

 

Billy Joel is Mr. Long Island, New York. His song, “New York State of Mind” with its mentions of several specific New York locations does indeed put one in a New York frame of reference.

Phil Collins t-shirt

 

Upon researching this Guitar Train stop, I discovered several Genesis songs with New York connections that I had not previously heard. I found the songs from the Peter Gabriel led 1974 album, “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” to be creepy and scary. They reinforced my preference for Phil Collins over Peter Gabriel.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite New York songs?

Boarding the Wrong Train

 

Quirky T enjoyed looking at Word Press’ Annual Report for this blog and other blogs. One category that always fascinates me is the search engine terms which lead viewers to my blog. Since September of last year, I have been jotting down these terms knowing that there was a post in there somewhere. Well, here it is! I’ve divided the search terms into three categories – Unfathomable (How with the millions of websites on that topic, would anyone be led to mine?), Right On! (I actually wrote a post on that topic), and Huh? (Someone was searching for that?).

 

The Beatles' Abbey Road

The Beatles’ Abbey Road

Unfathomable

  1. Early Beatles Albums
  2. Abbey Road
  3. Beatles Abbey Road Outfits
  4. Beatles Abbey Road

 

I cannot comprehend how with the millions of websites, blogs, and mere mentions of The Beatles on the Internet, that anything relating to them would lead to my little blog. Sure, I have a photo of Madame Tussaud’s Wax Beatles in the Abbey Road album cover poise as my blog header image but I doubt that would attract much traffic (no pun intended). There are blogs that are only devoted to The Beatles that deserve these leads more than mine. Two very good ones are “All You Need is The Beatles” (www.allyouneedisthebeatles.wordpress.com) and “Meet The Beatles for Real” (www.meetthebeatlesforreal.com). At least some of the people who were led to the Guitar Train blog, will find something about Abbey Road, if not the in-depth information they were looking for.

Frank Sinatra: Greatest Love Songs

Right On!

  1. Religious Christmas Songs
  2. Jon Secada The Best is Yet to Come
  3. Huey Lewis Movie Soundtracks
  4. Frank Sinatra Love Greatest Songs

 

These search terms hit their intended target. Religious Christmas Songs is the actual name of my December 5, 2013   post. I wrote about my love for Jon Secada’s version of the song, “The Best is Yet to Come” several times including posts on May 15, 2014  and October 2, 2014 . On December 4, 2014, I wrote a Guitar Train stop about movie soundtracks by my favorite musicians which mentioned Huey Lewis and the News’ soundtrack for the film “Back to the Future”. Someone searched for “Huey Lewis Movie Soundtracks” exactly six days later and hopefully wasn’t disappointed by my post. In my October 2, 2014 post on Frank Sinatra, I mentioned his CD called “Greatest Love Songs” so hopefully that was another enjoyed post.

 

Gloria Estefan's Destiny

Gloria Estefan’s Destiny

Huh?

  1. Patriotic Songs for My Mom on Her Birthday
  2. In What Month Did The Beatles Change Their Name
  3. Conducting Audience in Sing Along Photos
  4. Gloria Estefan Destiny Photo 1996 by Bruce Weber

 

It’s ironic that despite the specificity of these search terms, they were led to the wrong site – mine. I apologize for that and will now try to help those searchers.

 

For the first one, I’m glad Mom is patriotic. Hopefully, she’s also American because I only posted about American Patriotic songs on my July 4, 2013 stop called (fittingly) “Patriotic Songs”. The Beatles changed their name several times before settling on “The Beatles”. Unfortunately, the months these changes took place is nowhere to be found on the Guitar Train blog. Sorry. I’ll leave it to more knowledgeable Beatles fans than myself to answer that inquiry.

 

I’m at a loss as to a photo of someone conduction an audience in a song along; it’s definitely not on the Guitar Train. I’m sure photos of this event exist but maybe adding a specific musician’s name might help with the search. Good luck.

 

You can’t be more specific than this request for a photo of Gloria Estefan. I included a photo of my copy of the “Destiny” CD cover in my September 19, 2013 post on Gloria Estefan. (https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/favorites-month-gloria-estefan/) Upon reading the credits in the accompanying CD booklet, I discovered that Bruce Weber is not listed in the photo credits. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help, searcher.

 

I would like to hear from other bloggers, what are the most unfathomable or “Huh?” search terms that have led to your blog?

Quick Station Stop – Quirky T’s Favorite Standards

 

 

 

Essential Dean Martin CD

 

To wrap up The Standards Month on the Guitar Train, here is a very short list of Quirky T’s favorite Standards:

 

“Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” – Dean Martin

“That’s Amore” – Dean Martin

“The Best is Yet to Come” – Frank Sinatra and Jon Secada

“For Once in My Life” – Frank Sinatra

“Come Fly With Me” – Frank Sinatra

“Fly Me to the Moon” – Frank Sinatra

 

Duets II

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite Standards?

 

Next month’s Guitar Train stops to ask the question, “Do I Want to Hear More?” Have you ever liked the one (hit) song you have heard from a musician or band and wondered if you would like more of their music? Well, I’m going to answer that question. Will I like more of their songs or will I be a music grouch about them? Hop aboard The Guitar Train next month to find out.

Quirky T’s Favorites Sing The Standards

 

The third stop as the Guitar Train explores The Standards listens to cover versions of these timeless songs performed by Quirky T’s favorite musicians. Interestingly, three of my five all time favorite musicians have recently released CDs with their versions of classic songs from the 20’s – 50’s.

 

Every time I hear music from the 40’s to the 50’s, I think “This is why The Beatles had to come along and why they became so popular, so no one would have to listen to this music anymore.” Apparently, Paul McCartney didn’t feel the same way as he released a CD of his version of songs from this time period. 2012‘s “Kisses on the Bottom” is the first and only Paul McCartney CD to put me to sleep. The pace of the music is much too slow for me. I just couldn’t get into it. Frank Sinatra recorded a version of George Harrison’s “Something” so I can imagine Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin singing other Beatles’ songs such as “Yes It Is”, “I Will”, and “I’ll Follow the Sun” but why is Paul McCartney doing The Standards? His voice doesn’t lend itself to this type of music.

 

I am very familiar with the Paul McCartney remake of the song “Get Yourself Another Fool” because it was one of only 20 songs that was continuously played where I work. It always annoyed me that of all The Beatles and Paul McCartney songs that could have been played – why that one? It’s not even his original song; it doesn’t accurately represent him.

 

The Beatles album

The Beatles album

Another remake Paul McCartney did on this CD is called “Bye Bye Blackbird”. All I could think about when I heard this song was The Beatles’ song “Blackbird” from “The Beatles” (White) album. I prefer The Beatles song.

 

Jon Secada - Classics

As I mentioned in the Guitar Train stop about Frank Sinatra songs, Jon Secada recorded a “duet” with Frank Sinatra on the song, “The Best is Yet to Come.”  https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/the-standards-frank-sinatra/  Then in 2010 Jon Secada released a CD of his versions of The Standards called “Classics” in English and “Clasicos” for the Spanish version. I’d rather he make some new, original music for me to dance to and sing along with. At least “Classics” includes a fast song like “La Bamba” (which, while not a Standard, is a classic). Interestingly, the CD also contains a cover of a Frank Sinatra song, “My Way” and “Besame Mucho” which The Beatles also covered.

Gloria Estefan also recorded a “duet” with Frank Sinatra on the song “Come Rain or Come Shine”. While I liked that recording, I was not excited in 2013 to hear that Gloria Estefan was going to release her version of The Standards. Why, why, why? At least I’m used to slower songs from Gloria Estefan but enough with these classics. The songs on Gloria Estefan’s CD simply called “The Standards” drag out so much. Just sing the next word already! They are the opposite of Gloria Estefan songs such as “Conga” where she sings very fast. I guess it shows how talented she is to be able to sing two drastically different styles of music. I certainly wouldn’t expect Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin to sing “Conga” or “The Rhythm’s Gonna Get You.”

 

Paul McCartney and Gloria Estefan have stated they recorded their versions of The Standards because they have connections to the songs. They grew up listening to the songs and have memories associated with these songs. I don’t have those connections or memories and hearing these songs hasn’t given me any. So please, Huey Lewis and the News, keep your remakes to soul songs and don’t torture me with more Standards.

 

Guitar Train passengers, have any of your favorite musicians recorded cover songs in a genre you don’t like? Did these remakes change your opinion of that genre?

 

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