But romantically, I’m incurable.

July 14, 2009

Welcome back to the working week — hoping you all had a grand weekend. I know I had quite a good one, even if “Bruno” did feature a little too much male genitalia for my personal comfort. Still made me laugh, but it’s one of those movies you leave going, “Yeah… so….”

Thankfully, that didn’t happen ’til Sunday afternoon and got me out of the house to avoid witnessing the Cubs drop the 2nd of a doubleheader to the goddamn St. Louis Cardinals. I did get to see the Cubs beat the Cards Saturday and in the first game Sunday, however, so that was pretty fabulous.

What’s more, my good friend Grandma Cyd invited me back to the guest mic on her fabulous radio show, “The Heavy Petting Zoo” Saturday night. 

I certainly hope you listened but if you didn’t, here are the highlights you missed.

*A brief appreciation (I use that term liberally) of Tab Hunter, who celebrated a birthday on Saturday, and a resuscitation of long-since dead rumors about shenanigans between he and Debbie Reynolds (although we quashed those rumors just as quickly as we revived them)

*A realization that I (maybe unsurprisingly) know pathetically little about Elvis Presley, so much so that I couldn’t even tell you who wrecked his and Priscilla’s home (even after an ever-so-encouraging, “Come on, EVERYONE knows this” from Grandma Cyd)

*Sinatra’s “One For My Baby (And One More For the Road)” off the Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely — the finest version of that song ever and the greatest bit of piano ever committed to acetate

*Some left field song by a dude named Rolf about pinching wrinkles

*A single handed resuscitation on Grandma Cyd’s part of the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ career (despite this being a show committed only to playing songs from the 1930s to the 1950s)

But despite all that good listening, somehow — completely unbelievably, I might add — I think we totally avoided playing Bobby Darin. Which I’m still losing sleep over two days later. The guy’s one of my all time favorite artists, and he makes some kind of showing on the show almost every single week and yet… nothing on Saturday… on the show I’M CO-HOSTING.


"Dude... Paul... Seriously... WTF?!"

"Dude... Paul... Seriously... WTF?!"

As atonement for the sin, I’m going to give you a double dose of Bobby here — and what’s more, a couple tunes that are absolutely fabulous but that you might not even know.

Bobby Darin – Hush, Somebody’s Callin’ My Name
The one absolutely stellar cut from an otherwise pretty lackluster album, 1960’s Bobby Darin Sings for Teenagers Only, this song is so friggin’ fun, it’s almost criminal. What’s impressive (and worth noting, all you songwriters and arrangers out there), is that it’s so effective with only the most minimal accompaniment. This is just piano, bass, drums and light horns. The only real ornamentation is the tambourine. No overstated background singers, no handclaps, no over-the-top superfluous scat. Not that all that crap ruined OTHER Darin songs, it’s just kind of worth remembering that this guy could fuse enough verve into any song with his natural delivery. This thing is contagious. Seriously. See how quickly this song’s play count racks up listens in your iTunes library this week.

Bobby Darin – Have You Got Any Castles, Baby
Darin’s more successful (and critically acclaimed) album from 1960, This is Darin was for the teenagers’ parents and showcased why Darin was just as formidable big band leader as Sinatra or Dean-o. The song, written by Richard Whitling and Johnny Mercer, dates back to the 1930s, but Darin (as he did with so many standards) pretty much wrapped up the ultimate version with this take, confidently assuring a killing-by-revolver of a few dragons, a cheap laugh in the “you’ll never get into Westerns that way” aside and, perhaps more importantly, a willingness to step aside and let the band (conducted by Richard Wess) take the spotlight themselves.


  1. I’m learning that the musical selection on my show gets tons better when you’re around! I used to play more 50s stuff, but in the last year or two I’ve shied more toward 1930s-early 1940s for fear of sounding like an Oldies station. But now I’m remembering how much fun the 50s were. And most oldies stations are turning to 60s-70s anyway…

    Thanks for co-hosting again!

  2. yes, Of course, what a critical site and edifying post.

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