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Thursday, April 22, 2010

"And the Band Played On"



Music is well, music to my ears. If you listen carefully you can hear me singing as I write. It is as much part of me as breathing. This blog post is about the music that Bruce and I both like. And although we like some artists from this era, most performers and music styles go back a few years, especially back to the big band sound.
   Frank Sinatra is Bruce’s number one singer. Bruce sings along whenever Frank is singing. We have over a dozen Frank Sinatra CDs (Guess what music is going to be played at someone memorial service many, many years from now.) There is XM satellite radio in the car, almost always on the Frank Sinatra station. We have 4 books about old blue eyes.
   This past week Bruce read two biographies, one by Vic Damone and the other by Andy Williams. Andy has the Moon River Theater near us in Branson, MO and will be performing this fall and Christmas season. He still has a strong voice, always sings his old popular hits, tells funny stories, and packs the house every show. Across the street from the Moon River Theater is Andy's Grill, naturally called Moon River Grill. The deco is quite upscale..I love it.
   Vic Damone retired several years ago. His book was really a page turner, Bruce and I both read it in one sitting in a few hours. He started singing as a young boy because his mother made him practice. His talent was remarkable, even as a youngster he was singing for a few dollars here and there. He credits Frank Sinatra for getting him a start in as a professional. They remained best friends. When Bruce was just a teenager his family drove through New York City doing a bit of sightseeing on their way to West Point. Vic Damone name was on a marquee, all lit up in neon. Bruce has never forgotten how magical that was to a country boy from Missouri.
   Last night when Bruce was read the Andy Williams book he stopped and said out loud, “Boy, he did not like Frank Sinatra at all”. For a minute I thought Bruce was going to stop reading the book. What special memories the music of Williams, Damone, and Sinatra bring. Thanks fellows, you were swell.

Books mentioned can be bought on Amazon

Moon River and Me: A Memoir

Singing Was the Easy Part
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