Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Big Band and Big Birthday!

Yours truly has TWO items to share as this Fifth of October in the Year of Our Lord 2010 draws to an end. I'll try to Keep It Short & Simple!

First, to "Tunes Amid Tomes". If you've read this blog from near my commencement of it, you'll recognize that I'm referring to the "summer" concerts in the courtyard at the Nashville Public Library downtown. The finale for 2010 was this noon today, and featured Radio Daze, a Big Band Music group who call Music City "home". And they were TERRIFIC!

The show commenced with a young businessman (i.e, he was dressed in suit & tie) singing a solo of "Witchcraft". It's been decades since I'd heard this as a hit on the radio, but durned if he -- Mac McClenathan -- didn't sound like Ol' Blue Eyes himself! Mac later sang a couple of other Sinatra classics, one of which was meant to be the finale. But we liked him so much that we hollered for an encore. He obliged by singing "Mac the Knife."

In between, we got treated to women's trio, duet and solo singing, a quartet, and plenty of instrumental music. You know, dear reader, as I've stated before I consider myself eclectic in musical taste. Yet, as with Jazz, I have no Big Band recordings nor do I listen to the genre on the airwaves. But like Jazz, get me to a live performance, and my ears get decidedly blessed!

Oh, and Radio Daze don't just perform classic Big Band stuff like Sinatra. They also take hit songs of other genres and adapt them beautifully to the Big Band style. Thus we got treated to the Patsy Cline hit "Crazy" (and durned if she didn't sound like Cline!) and the ABBA hit "Dancing Queen".

Early in the concert, the emcee for the group while introducing the members, remarked that Mac McClenathan was "overdressed" (because he was on lunch break from his downtown job) -- all the other men wore white or light polo shirts. However, the women of Radio Daze were nicely and colorfully dressed, so my estimation was that the other men were under-dressed! As if th confirm my opinion, when it came time for the final door-prize drawing, the woman in charge of it said that she had a request from her staff present (all or mostly women), "that the handsome man who sings Sinatra draw the winner!"

Guys, there's just something about a man dressed up in suit & tie that attracts the women!

Okay, the second matter is the Big Birthday. . . .

Exactly eighty-five years ago on this very date at somewhat earlier than this very hour of the evening, the airwaves over Nashville cracled to life as a new radio station was born. The station, created by National Life and Accident Insurance (headquartered in the Tenn. capital city) as a promotional and publicity tool, wasn't the first here, but the older stations didn't last. Therefore, it's become one of the oldest radio stations in these United States that still carries the same call letters at the same AM frequency. And of course, this "the Air Castle of the South" broadcasts the longest continuously performing live radio show in history!

So. . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WSM - AM 650 ! ! !

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