Friday, December 21, 2012

Being Married To A Gigolo: The Wild Relationship Between Louis Prima And Keely Smith

Being Married To A Gigolo: The Wild Relationship Between Louis Prima and Keely Smith

1.            A man who has a continuing sexual relationship with and receives financial support from a woman
2.            A man who is hired as an escort or a dancing partner for a woman.

Not, one would think, the kind of thing a normal man would admit to.  Certainly not the kind of thing that one would proudly claim on the opening track to your big hit album, and signature song.   Not the sort of thing a normal man would do if he were in his 40s, in the middle of his fourth marriage, and singing with his practically teenage wife.

Later on he and his practically teenage wife (although she had well and truly entered  young womanhood by the time they got to it) would sing “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon” (better known for the Andrews Sisters version, but a minor hit for Louis and Keely reaching No.55 on the Australian charts in August 1955), featuring the lyric “of all the girls that I’ve known, and I’ve known some” thus seeing Louis boast to his wife (with quite a bit of pride) about all the girls that he’s slept with, which in polite society is just not done.

But then Louis Prima was not a normal man.

He was a dirty old man.

And he knew it.  He was proud enough of it to sing a lyric like “there’ll come a day/ when youth will pass away/what will they say about me?”  You already know what they will say Louis… what they are already saying… that you are a dirty old perverted man.  With a practically teenage wife. 

That practically teenage wife was Keely Smith.  They met when she was 17 (some say 16), when she joined his band.  And she was  - with her big wide eyes and the shortest, chicest hair cut that side of France - rather hot, in an entirely 100% aloof kind of way.

It certainly was an odd little relationship.

How to explain it…

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Understanding Why Lou Monte Was Supposedly Funny

Understanding Why Lou Monte Was Supposedly Funny

It’s a highly subjective thing.

It often has difficulty crossing cultural boundaries. 

But for those sitting in the middle of his target demographic, he was the best thing since sliced lasagne.

I was feeling a little bad, resorting to such culinary clich├ęs, but I needn’t… Lou did it himself, on albums such as “Sings Songs For Pizza Lovers”

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Voluminous Versions Of Volare

Voluminous Versions Of Volare"
It started off being called “Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu.”  It went through an awkward phase when it was called “Volare (Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu)”, before finally settling on the final, simple, title of “Volare”, which was what everyone had actually been calling it all along.

It was the first Eurovision song to become a hit!  The first Eurovision song that people wanted to hear ever again, once the competition was over.  A Number One on the Australian charts for Seven Weeks from October to December 1958.

And it didn’t even win.  Which some people think is a little unfair. 

But in another way it did win, because, before you know it, suddenly it was a worldwide hit, an unstoppable global super-hit, even though nobody really knows what the singer - Domenico Modugno – was singing, or even what the song was about, beyond perhaps maybe a vague idea that it had to do with flying.

This, clearly, was not a situation that could last for long.  Pop stars, non-Italian pop stars, were clamouring to make cover versions of the song, and they couldn’t do that if the song was in Italian.  And so a translation appeared.  If you could call it that, since they didn’t so much translate, as simply make up their own lyrics.

And no wonder.  A direct translation of “Volare” into English reveals a level of surrealism that record buyers wouldn’t have been able to deal with in 1959.

“I think that dream never return
I painted the hands and the face blue
Then suddenly I was abducted by the wind
And started to fly in the infinite sky”

And then continues to go on about flying around and various things being blue, for the remainder of the song.  All very odd. 

The title: “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu”, translates to “In The Blue, Painted Blue”, which makes it sound more like a expressionist art piece or romantic poem than it does a pop song.  Obviously something had to be done about this, in order for “Volare” to achieve its destiny as an unstoppable global super-hit.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Worst Song Of 1958 Poll!

The Worst Song Of 1958 Poll!
You know how people sometimes say that music just isn’t what it used to be.  Well, sometimes that’s a good thing.  Here are some absolutely terrible songs from 1958.

But which one is the worst.  Well, that’s for you to decide!

VOTE NOW!  For the WORST SONG OF 1958!!!!

The voting form is on the left, just over there ---------->

The Applejacks – Mexican Hat Rock