Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pops Memories from YouTube

I can’t remember the year, they have all seemed to blend together into puddles, like “the 80's” or “when Thomas was watching Lambchop,” but somewhere back there we had EmmyLou Harris as a Pops artist and I couldn’t believe I was going to share the stage with her. She is the only artist I have both paid to see AND played with. One song I remember vividly was Rose of Cimarron, but I really wish she had done this Beatles tune. I love her description of it: "Way more than three chords".

Rosemary Clooney came to Knoxville in 1999 in the twilight of her career, but it was such a joy to hear her sing Tenderly,  a song I am trying to convince my band(s) to do.

Spring of Y2K sported  probably the most power-packed Pops line-up that I can remember. The artists that year were Monica Mancini, Ben E. King, Doc Severinsen, and the Smothers Brothers. Ms Mancini’s voice was a breath of fresh air, proof that she was not merely riding on the coattails of her ultra-famous father (who, by the way, was a Pops artist a couple years prior). Ben E. King was a perfect gentleman as well as an engaging performer, Doc Severinsen was entertaining in many ways, (catch him back with us on April 13, 2013!!), and the Smothers Brothers were just plain ridonculous.

Today happens to be violist Jennifer Bloch’s birthday! In her honor I have selected a blast from the past, via a forgotten Pops act. (This particular Youtube video has the fewest "hits" but IMHO it is far and away the most honest and entertaining version). A Stephen Sondheim song whose lyrics just, umm, drove us crazy.

Art Garfunkel was maestro Trevor's final Pops artist, and I was thrilled to accompany one of "America's Beatles." While it was an absolute hoot to hear his 12-year-old son (who was a viola student of a very good friend of mine in NY) sing "Feelin' Groovy," flutist Cynthia D'Andrea and I struggled to find the point of doing a Randy Newman song entitled "A Real Emotional Girl." Inasmuch as Randy Newman's voice is an acquired taste at best, the song was somewhat improved by Garfunkel's ethereal voice. I would have just died if he sang "99 Miles from LA," but he didn't, and I didn't.

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