034: Dionne Warwick, ‘Walk On By’ (Burt Bacharach)

So much of the best music of the last hundred years has come from Jewish men writing songs for female Black singers. And it don’t get no better than the Burt Bacharach/Dionne Warwick, ‘Walk on By’.

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225: Brad Mehldau, ‘The Falcon Will Fly Again’/Luis Bonfa, ‘Manha de Carnaval’

A great contemporary artist inspired by an iconic original. Lilting, uplifting, in π/4.

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249: Bobby Vee, ‘The Night Has a Thousand Eyes’

Bobby Vee died in 2016 from Alzheimer’s. That’s pretty surprising, considering that he’s still an 18-year old pop star and I’m still a pimply 13-year old with my ear glued to a Top 40 transistor radio.

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246: Tom Waits, ‘Kentucky Avenue’

The things you wonder about at 12. Airborne by wonder, lifted on the wings of imagination, from Lima or from Whittier, all the way to places we couldn’t yet even dream of.

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076: Roy Orbison, ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’

Roy was working in his kitchen with his songwriting partner when wife Claudette came in and said she was going shopping. All three knew she had a lover in town. Orbison asked if she needed any money, and the partner cracked, “Pretty woman never needs any money.” By the time she got back, they had the song.

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245: Johnny Mathis, ‘Misty’

The gooiest song ever.
Let’s tryst again, like we did last summer.

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244: Bill Evans/Miles Davis, ‘On Green Dolphin Street’

Moledro — a feeling of resonant connection with an artist.
Some disparate notions about Bill Evans, all of them moledros.

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243: Ricky Nelson, “I’m Walkin'”

You can’t understand popular culture without understanding why it was worth waiting half an hour for Ricky. Thunder on the horizon.

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