Saturday, November 27, 2010

Comin' Home Baby

I loved the movie An Education. Set in 1962, it captures period details in such a picture-perfect manner. What a fascinating time that was--the year before the Beatles hit America and the music landscape changed for certain!

Ray Charles's "Hit the Road Jack" won a Grammy for Best Rhythm & Blues Performance that year. It was also the year that Mel Torme recorded my favorite song on the soundtrack to An Education: "I'm Comin' Home".

"I'm Comin'Home" by Mel Torme

Hearing the organ in this song, I was reminded of how it almost instantly makes a song cool or hip. Why don't you hear it more often? Frank Sinatra got the shot of hipness he desperately needed after the Beatles landed when Nelson Riddle inserted an electric organ into the 1966 arrangement for "That's Life".

"That's Life" by Frank Sinatra

"Cmon' Home" was first a Herbie Mann instrumental. He played jazz flute--another instrument that adds a terrific flavor to a song. Sit back and enjoy his version of the song.

I'm glad that Michael Buble is around and opening the door to the Great American Songbook for generations of young listeners. Turns out he appreciates "I'm Comin' Home" too.

Michael Buble version

When I was researching this song, I came across a hilarious staging of it on TV.

Here's "Comin' Home" performed by Mel on The Judy Garland Show. Dig the boa-feathered gals on the motorcycles and the way Mel shindigs. Priceless!

Also discovered in my research was a group called The Peddlers who employed the organ in their music and interpreted standards in an original contemporary way. Check out their version of "What'll I Do".

Mining a song is fun! I'm grateful to collections like The Leopard Lounge: Swinging Lounge Tunes from The Atlantic and Warner Vaults that inspire searches like I've just done. Consider buying it!

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