4

185: Frank Sinatra, ‘High Hopes’

‘Lyrist’ Sammy Cahn and his composer partner Jimmy Van Heusen wrote 87 songs for Frank Sinatra.
Asked “Which comes first, the words or the music?” Sammy answered “The phone call.”

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2

058: Dave Frishberg, ‘Van Lingle Mungo’

Here’s an unpredictable gem of a song – the lyric consists entirely of names of obscure baseball players from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Trust me, you don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate this song, the magic that only music can create, this poignant statement about how we perceive the treasures of our childhood.

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0

SoTW 28: Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, ‘The Tracks of My Tears’

Go on, take a teenage trip. Listen to this song like a 17-year old burger-flipping cretin out on a Saturday night, overdosing on hormones, bopping down the boulevard, bouncing in the driver’s seat, pounding the steering wheel in time, shouting out “Take a goo-ood look at my face!” Nobody will know, and you’ll feel better than you have in a long time.

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0

032: Duke Ellington, “Take the ‘A’ Train” (Billy Strayhorn)

When young Billy Strayhorn played for him backstage, the legendary Duke Ellington was very impressed: “I’d love to have you in my organization. I’ll call you.” But no call came, so Billy, literally hungry, took the chance of showing up at the Duke’s door. Not wanting to go empty-handed, he took the note the Duke had written: “Take the ‘A’ train…”

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4

026: Andy Bey, ‘River Man’

The finest male jazz vocalist you’re never heard of, with a heart and a vocal range as wide as his 66-year professional career is long.

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3

023: Tommy Edwards, ‘It’s All In the Game’

Q: Who was the only sitting Vice President to write a song that became a #1 hit?
A: Gen. Charles Gates Dawes.

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3

006: Elvis Costello, ‘Accidents Will Happen’ (live)

In which Jeff maintains that Elvis Costello is as talented as John Lennon.
Duck, Jeff! Run for cover!!

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4

002: Buddy Holly, ‘Learning the Game’

Written and sung at 22 and a half, a month before he died. At that age, Lennon was recording ‘Love Me Do’ and Dylan had just finished his first album of original material. The heartrending, unadulterated version from ‘The Apartment Tapes’.

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