7/22 music to watch the girls go by…

The Bob Crewe Generation was my musical selection for the drive in today, and similar to sunflowers, they have a way of letting you know that just every little thing will be quite all right.

A cheap immitation of Herb Alpert? Sure, i could see why some would make that argument. But Herb never gave the world “Music To Watch The Girls Go By” in the same way Bob did, a song that more than proves itself to actually be a good tune to watch the girls go by. Even if – much like Crewe and his generation – the hobby is no longer in vogue.

Now, i didn’t purchase the CD. i bought the album instead (Amvets*, 99 cents for every album – including boxed sets!), and then “ripped” it to disc via the very bestest Fathers Day present i ever did done receive – my USB turn table. The portable model, of course.

i never take it anywhere, but it takes me to all kinds of places via the musical landscapes i can now throw onto a disc that my car stereo will accept. It’s truly amazing how much music the human race has at one point produced, only to be totally ignored and/or forgotten by later generations. Much like blogging, i must assume that many musicians (the ones with a keen sense of history at any rate) must realize how quickly their hard work will be nothing more than an occasional “what ever happened to…?” or a faded record, sitting idley by in a thrift store.

But i digress – my USB turn table serves me very well indeed. And NO, i do not use programs that will remove the crackle, hiss and pop that can sometimes be heard. If asked, i proudly claim that i am a musical purist, and as such, require that these original elements be left in. But truth be told, it’s simply because i’m lazy, and i have no desire to go mucking about with a whole bunch of settings.

It plays, i click every time a song ends, it imports. And i’m happy. Just like Bob Crewe and his crew wanted me to be.

*i highly recommend everyone go to their local Amvets for some record bin diving. A treasure chest of musical goodies, AND you’re supporting Veterans with your purchases. Go ahead, pat y’self on your back. You know you want to.

7/19 because Lena KNOWS the language…

i’ve heard “You Don’t Have to Know The Language” done by several different performers, but i like Lena Horne’s version best.

The premise of the song – on the off chance that you’ve never heard it – is that a man travels to Brazil and falls in love with a local resident, even though he doesn’t speak Portuguese. Of the versions I’ve heard, most play it in this fashion. A nice and breezy, albeit improbable, love song.

But Lena is much smarter than to believe that this is the true meaning the songwriter was hoping to express, so she cuts to the chase. In her version she has a way of almost “growling” through certain verses, with a tone that reminds you what the song is really all about. So while you hear innocent phrases like “the girl in your arms”, you know from her tone that Ms. Horne is decidedly not thinking about mere snuggling.

If the real story line of the song is to be believed, it would seem odd that two people could meet and exchange “pleasantries” without ever being able to understand a word that either one is saying. Engaging in almost any task where the sole means of communication are facial expression and finger pointing must be difficult – never mind one wherein the fingers will be otherwise occupied and the facial expressions, well, a tad difficult to control at times.

As an idea, you’d be tempted to say that these types of unions don’t happen – but as a former member of the military who went overseas, i must report that it does occur quite more often than you’d think. Its surprising to see how humans can overcome almost any obstacle in the pursuit of sex. If nothing else, the lack of verbal communcation negates the need to exchange numbers, and  it provides a great “out” should the “pleasantries” start showing signs of becoming less than pleasant.

i don’t know that much about Lena Horne – but the way she sings this song – i have a strong feeling that she too knows that these “improbable” hook-ups can and do happen. i have an even stronger feeling that this knowledge may very well have come to her first-hand, much like it did me.