Reviving this blog

8 03 2015

I had a notion to bring this blog out of dormancy, so I’ve gone through each post and appended clickable links to the song files to be played. Clicking the link will take you to a new window at with player controls for that song. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s something better than what I had right after the Box player widget went bust some time ago. Some songs might not be available, notably YouTube videos that are no longer active.

Click the link below to access my whole demo song catalog, stored at

Standard Issue tunes


24 01 2013


Thanks—A. Johnston/S. Coslow, 1933 (Recorded October 12, 2012) Well, here it is: the 100th song to be posted on my blog. I chose this 1933 Bing Crosby hit because I wanted to thank all my listeners for coming by over the past couple of years to visit my site and listen to my music. It’s been a lot of fun. Thanks!

Sometimes I’m Happy (Sometimes I’m Blue)

24 01 2013


Sometimes I’m Happy (Sometimes I’m Blue)—V. Youmans/I. Caesar, 1927 (Recorded December 31, 2012) I recorded this song on New Year’s Eve, 2012, just before driving up to New York City to spend the holiday with a couple of good friends. The title says it all: I was happy to hang out with my friends on NYE, but blue because my wife had a bad cold and decided to stay home to take care of our puppy. That’s life!

Reaching for the Moon

24 01 2013


Reaching for the Moon—Irving Berlin, 1930 (Recorded November 29, 2012) Here’s another “Moon” song, a lovely Berlin Ballad that I snagged from the recording that appears on the excellent Sinatra compilation, Moonlight Sinatra. I use the baritone ukulele on this one. I had to remix my original recording and work on the EQ to tone down some of the bass, but otherwise, it turned out OK.

Wedding Bell Blues

24 01 2013


Wedding Bell Blues—Laura Nyro, 1966 (Recorded October 1, 2012) Laura Nyro wrote this song when she was 18 years old. Genius! I’m a long-time fan. Here, I sing the song with an ironic sensibility: the lyric is from a woman’s point-of-view, but instead of changing the words to a manly voice, I sing it straight…er, I mean, queer…uh, well, youknowhatimean. I was prompted to record this song because of a series of Internet forum exchanges between two male ukulele-playing buddies of mine who can’t stand each other. One of them is named “Bill,” and Bill and my other friend can’t get through a common forum thread without flaming each other. I’ve often thought that they ought to get married, or at least get a room—that way they might work out their differences in private.

Blue Moon

30 08 2012

Blue Moon—R. Rodgers/L. Hart, 1934 (Recorded August 30, 2012) “Blue Moon”‘s familiar melody withstood three other lyric treatments that Lorenz Hart was compelled to write and re-write, thanks to the tune’s changing identity in various Hollywood movies. It was originally called “Prayer,” and then “The Bad in Every Man.” I suspect that by the time he got around to writing the lyric as we know it, Hart became a little punchy and penned the snippy opening verse that begins, “Once upon a time, before I took up smiling/I hated the moonlight.” I learned the verse by listening to a mid-1930s recording by singer and actress Greta Keller. I took an airy, slightly mad turn with this tune, happily singing and playing uke and then adding a vocal trumpet sound in the middle and at the outro.

It’s a simple song that didn’t impress Alec Wilder much:

It certainly is one of the most performed Rodgers and Hart songs. I have never been attracted to it, though I recognize it to be competently written. … but, compared with what Rodgers had been doing up till that time, the song, overall, was definitely undistinguished.”

(Excerpted from American Popular Song—The Great Innovators 1900-1950, edited by Alec Wilder, 1972.)

Tomorrow is an August “Blue Moon,” the second full moon in the month. The next such coincidence won’t happen until July 31, 2015.

Happy Blue Moon, world!

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

17 08 2012

Are You Lonesome Tonight?—L. Handman/R. Turk, 1926 (Recorded August 17, 2012) In honor of the day after the 35th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, I recorded this tune. I’d wager that not many people realize the song was written 34 years before Elvis’s 1960 smash hit. Its composer, Roy Turk is well known for having written many standard tunes back in the early part of the 20th Century: “Gimme a Little Kiss, Will Ya Huh?”; “I’ll Get By (As Long As I Have You)”; “Mean to Me”; and Bing Crosby’s unofficial theme, “Where the Blue of the Night Meets the Gold of the Day.”

Here’s to you, Elvis. And Roy. And lyricist Lou Handman. And everyone else who might be lonesome tonight.


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