Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kay Starr-Happy Birthday and other news.

Well, on July 25th Big Band host Chris Valenti on WYYR-Yesteryear Radio, had an on-air birthday party for Kay Starr. You remember Kay-"Wheel of Fortune," "Rock and Roll Waltz," and other favorites. Van Alexander, bandleader and co-author with Ella Fitzgerald on their tune " A Tisket-A-Tasket," that everlasting tune from way back when, was present, as was I, Peter Marshall, Bandleader Ben Grisafi, and others who spent 90 minutes talking over old times and her career. Kay Starr has always been an appreciative artist. She sang with Charlie Barnet, Glenn Miller ( On only two sides "Love with a Capitol You," and "Baby Me," when Marion Hutton was unavailable at the time.)
We have to sadly report that Patty Andrews husband Wally Weschler, her piano player and manager, passed away. Patty is worried about staying alone, but many are coming to her rescue.
Frankie Dee, leader of GMMY Radio just had a heart bypass and is already back to work dispensing our kind of music. And, of course, Tony Bennett is still tearing them up all over the place, from Italy, from England and Wales, and venues all over the globe,  and receiving deserving accolades from everywhere he performs, this according to his great follower Mark Fox from the UK who sends us almost daily reviews and comments about Tony's tour.
Sinatra Singing is going well and listed high with, being # 1 in relevance. One of the young stars of the book, Dana Marcine, is scoring well with her album "Crossing Lights" receiving a great review from Chris Spector of the Midwest Review who says, "it's not often that you get a new jazz diva that writes her own rather than dip into the chestnuts, but Marcine is out to break the mold. This album is a nice set of satisfying dult listening that works well throughout."
We are thinking about writing a book about songwriter Ervin Drake who wrote " It's a Very Good Year," "I Believe," "Al Di La," among many more including "Good Morning Heartache," for Billie Holiday. I am having a Sunday brunch with him in late September to work it out.
Actress Rhonda Fleming and Pat Boone both wrote nice letters praising "Sinatra Singing." And lastly, it was great to see Tony B. Babino at the annual Al Jolson festival in Oceanside New York where he performed Jolson and his own song " Fifty Years" which is the most played recording on Long Island station WHLI. He sang it beautifully with his golden voice and the couples filled the dance floor with golden smiles.
Talk to you soon.
Richard Grudens