Posts Tagged ‘Nelson Riddle’

Ella Fitzgerald – The Best is Yet to Come

(click song title above to listen)

Ella Fitzgerald and the great guitar virtuoso Joe Pass recorded four albums together toward the end of Fitzgerald’s career and appear together on the album of this week’s title track. The studio orchestra Nelson Riddle assembled for this 1982 set also included such superb musicians as Tommy Tedesco (guitar), Shelly Manne (drums), Al Aarons (trumpet) and Jimmy Rowles (piano) and won Ella the 1984 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. It was one of three Grammys she won for her work with Riddle.

The tune of course is the classic by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh, the pair of Great American Songbook writers whose marvelous, witty, and sophisticated output also included Witchcraft, I’ve Got Your Number, I Walk A Little Faster, and Hey Look Me Over just to name a few.

Come the day your mine
I’m gonna teach you to fly
We’ve only tasted the wine
We’re gonna drain that cup dry!

Ella+Fitzgerald+The+Best+Is+Yet+To+Come+474895 300x300 Ella Fitzgerald   The Best is Yet to Come

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

no comments

Nelson Riddle – Playboy’s Theme

(click song title above to listen)

LENNY BRUCE: “This is a kind of a…an interesting party. You know, I first figured it would be like, sort of a TV typical fake party. But it’s got a good party feeling to it, with some pretty chicks, which is a good composite.”

HUGH HEFNER: “Well, yes…the girls, and we serve real liquor. It does the trick!”

LB: “That’s what grooved me about the show. That it’s an honest…it’s actually a party. So whatever happens at a party, within, you know, limitations…”

HH: “Well, we’re trying to build the personality of the show out of the magazine itself and make the thing sort of a sophisticated weekly get-together of the people that we dig and the people who dig us. Just have ourselves a kind of late night ball”.

It was this week in 1959 that Playboy founder/editor/publisher Hugh Hefner would broadcast his first episode of the new variety television talk show, Playboy’s Penthouse. Hefner would put his personal touch on the show throughout, cruising Lake Shore Drive, party-bound, in his own Mercedes 300SL to the opening credits and an original theme song which was composed and recorded by Cy Coleman two weeks before the premiere episode. The show was filmed in downtown Chicago’s WBKB-TV studios (where decades later Oprah Winfrey began her show) and ran in syndication from 1959-1961 for 44 episodes.

The debut party included Lenny Bruce, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and Cy Coleman who would unveil his newest tune, “The Best is Yet to Come”, which Sinatra would soon record. It was a blatantly color-blind, happy, gutsy, unapologetic swirl of vice on-the-set with some of the greatest recording artists, comics, actors, authors, bunnies, & various other late-night dignitaries canoodling amid the smoke, the booze, and the wall-to-wall cocktail piano.

This week we feature the great arranger Nelson Riddle‘s version of the theme from his 1962 lp, Love Is A Game of Poker. If you don’t swing, please don’t ring!

5128087889 e933c57694 b 300x300 Nelson Riddle   Playboys Theme

Contact & Licensing info:
Original Master controlled by Capitol Records. “Playboy’s Theme” written by Cy Coleman, Published by Notable Music Co. Inc. (ASCAP). Contact: Damon Booth Administered by Downtown Music Publishing / contact:

no comments

Johnny Mathis – The Riviera

Johnny Mathis captured the spirit of France’s swingin’ Cote D’Azur on this week’s Top Tune. The French Riviera became the hedonistic playground for the great masters of 20th century painting. As transatlantic liners brought America’s super-rich to the region during the 1950′s and 1960′s, art & celebrity became intertwined as multi-millionaires all partied on the beach. There was sunshine, cinema, fast cars, and Monte Carlo casinos. Sounds like a real bummer.

Without a doubt this atmosphere rubbed off a little bit on the young composer, Cy Coleman and his slightly older lyricist collaborator, Joseph McCarthy. In 1962 they found the perfect partners in crime with the duo of Johnny Mathis and Nelson Riddle who rewarded them with the Top 20 charting album, Live It Up! on Columbia Records.

Take a trip with Johnny to The Riviera…

Johnny Mathis Live It Up  Frontal 300x300 Johnny Mathis   The Riviera

Contact & Licensing Info:

Master controlled by Sony / by Cy Coleman & Joseph A. McCarthy. Published by Notable Music Co. Inc (ASCAP) contact: Damon Booth admin. by BMG Chrysalis contact: and Sony/ATV Tunes LLC (ASCAP).

no comments

Frank Sinatra – Witchcraft

Frank Sinatra’s recording of Witchcraft (Coleman/Leigh) received 6 Grammy Award nominations at the first ever Grammy Awards in 1957 for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Vocal Performance (male), Best Arrangement (Nelson Riddle), and Best Album Cover.

Sinatra would re-record the song in 1963 for his Reprise collection, Sinatra’s Sinatra and again in 1993 as a duet with Anita Baker.

The tune has gone on to become a pop and jazz standard, recorded by the likes of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, and Bill Evans just to name a few.

Catch this great live performance by The Chairman HERE.

tumblr m1k62cHksq1r7uiu5o1 5001 Frank Sinatra   Witchcraft

Master controlled by EMI Music Group,

Publishing (Cy Coleman, ASCAP) controlled by Notable Music Co. / Administered by BMG Chrysalis / contact:

Publishing (Carolyn Leigh, ASCAP) controlled by Morley Music Co c/o MPL Communications Inc / contact:

no comments