Posts Tagged ‘Cy Coleman’

Pearl Bailey – Big Spender

(click song title above to listen)

Born in 1918 in Newport News, VA, Pearl Bailey was more than an Emmy-winning actress and a singer. She was an author of six books, received a bachelor’s degree in theology from Georgetown University at the age of 67, and served as special ambassador to the United Nations. Last, but certainly not least, she was funny.

Bailey began singing and dancing in Philadelphia’s black nightclubs in the 1930s, opened for Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington in New York in the 1940s, and made her Broadway debut in St. Louis Woman in 1946. Bailey recorded a number of sides for Columbia Records in the 40s and didn’t return to the label until 1966 cutting “If My Friends Could See Me Now” and this week’s signature comedic take on “Big Spender”, both written by composer Cy Coleman and lyricist Dorothy Fields for the hit musical Sweet Charity.

pearl bailey big spender columbia 300x300 Pearl Bailey   Big Spender

Contact & Licensing info:
Published by Notable Music Co. (ASCAP) & Lida Enterprises (ASCAP). Contact: Damon Booth /
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing.
Contact: Sean McGraw /
Master Controlled by Sony Music Group.

no comments

Bonebrake Syncopators – Playboy’s Theme

(click song title above to listen)

Hugh Hefner, who passed away this past week at the age of 91, made his first foray into television in 1959, debuting “Playboy’s Penthouse.” Filmed in Chicago, the informal variety show was set in a “house party” atmosphere. Hef needed to set the tone for this jazzy affair, so he went to his pal Cy Coleman and tapped him to write a theme song for the show. “Playboy’s Theme” would go on to become one of the generation’s defining instrumentals and has gone on to define “bachelor pad cool.”

Hefner left an immeasurable impact on American society in a multitude of areas. He was a visionary of the sexual revolution but also the social changes that roiled the 1960s. The show was the first national program where whites and blacks sat down together and partied as equals. Hef featured guests like Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Marvin Gaye, and James Brown in the 1960s to great societal backlash but he never backed down (for perspective, MTV had to be pressured to air vids featuring black artists in the 1980s).

“I think Hefner helped build the audience for a different attitude about civil rights” – Mike Wallace.

This week’s version of this cocktail classic is from none other than DJ Bonebrake of legendary Los Angeles punk rock band, X!

tumblr m262g41nNd1r7uiu5o1 1280 300x216 Bonebrake Syncopators   Playboys Theme

Contact & Licensing info:

“Playboy’s Theme” was written by Cy Coleman. Published by Notable Music Co. (ASCAP). Contact: Damon Booth / Administered by Downtown Music Publishing. Contact: Sean McGraw / Master controlled by Notable Music Co.

no comments

Rosemary Clooney – The Rules of the Road

(click song title above to listen)

Thanks for Nothing was Rosemary Clooney‘s only album recorded for Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records and the last full-length lp she recorded until 1977. Arguably considered the last of her great albums, this 1964 work was arranged by Bob Thompson (Duane Eddy, Van Dyke Parks, Phil Ochs) and doesn’t pull a lot of punches lyrically.

The stresses of her personal life at the time are said to be audible on many of the tracks. Her masterful delivery on the brilliant Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh song “The Rules of the Road” just one clear example. Some of us will miss a bend in the road or two but will keep on driving. That’s how it goes, you live and you learn the rules of the road.

COL 00012 03611 300x298 Rosemary Clooney   The Rules of the Road

Contact & Licensing:
Published by Notable Music Co. ASCAP (Cy Coleman) / Contact: Damon Booth –
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing/contact: Sean McGraw /
Publishing controlled by Carwin Music Co. Inc ASCAP (Carolyn Leigh) / Administered by EMI U. Catalog Inc.
Master controlled by Warner Music Group.

no comments

Bill Henderson – My How The Time Goes By

(click song title above to listen)

In the should-have-been-a-household-name department, near the top of the list for our money is Chicago-born jazz/swing/soul singer Bill Henderson. The slight, bespectacled vocalist had his first hit on “Senor Blues” with Horace Silver before relocating to NYC and signing with the Vee-Jay label in 1959. Henderson went on to record with a “who’s who” list of jazz luminaries including the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Count Basie Band, Yusef Lateef, Nat Adderley, Elvin Jones, Frank Sinatra, and Dizzie Gillespie to name a few.

“Henderson’s phrasing is virtually his own copyright,” Leonard Feather observed. “He tends to space certain words as if the syllables were separated by commas, even semicolons; yet everything winds up a perfectly constructed sentence”. Deliberate and thoughtful, natural and smooth all the way through.

Bill’s 1963 recording Bill Henderson with the Oscar Peterson Trio remains a classic and he remained a fixture on the Playboy circuit throughout the 70′s including many appearances at Playboy Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl, Monterey Jazz and Litchfield Festivals.

This week’s bluesy gem was recorded in Chicago on December 20, 1960 with Count Basie’s band arranged by Thad Jones. Please enjoy!

bill henderson his complete veejay recordings volume two cd 300x300 Bill Henderson   My How The Time Goes By

Contact & Licensing Info
Written by Cy Coleman & Carolyn Leigh
Published by Notable Music Co. ASCAP (Cy Coleman)
Contact: Damon Booth/
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing
Contact: Sean McGraw/
Published by Edwin H. Morris Co. ASCAP (Carolyn Leigh)
Administered by MPL Communications Inc.
Master controlled by Universal Music Group.

no comments