Author Topic: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"  (Read 420 times)

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2371
    • View Profile
Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« on: May 15, 2018, 08:37:35 PM »
I found this album in my stash the other day.  I decided I'd process it to digital and put it on a CD.  The album "Greatest American Waltzes" on MGM, SE-4145, circa 1963.  The title is a bit misleading.  This album was recorded in Nashville, with Bill McElhiney leading the band and with the Jordainaires providing background vocals.  There is some Floyd Cramer piano evident.  There may be waltz words to the songs, but the flavor is pure Nashville.  Bill McElhiney was the in-house bandleader for RCA.  Connie Francis was 26 when she recorded this album, and was absolutely on top of her form.  Her sweet, rangy voice still puts a lump in my throat.  "Three O'clock In The Morning", "Melody Of Love", "Fascination", "I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time" and the "Anniversary Waltz" are some of the standouts, although there is nary a bad note on the album.  The record and album are in very good condition I would say.  Connie Francis is an artist who never recorded a bad note.  She outdid herself on this one.
I'm great at multi-tasking.  I can listen, ignore, and forget all at the same time.

walyfd

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 09:08:17 PM »
Della Reese did a similar concept album around that time.  She is one of my favorite singers.  She could really belt out a song like "Don't You Know" which I used to play while floating down the hi way in the '57 Cadillac...

It was great then to see singers explore their range and different genre.  Currently, I was totally blown away by the Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga concert that was on PBS.  As a rock singer, I'd never waste my time.  As a jazz singer, I am stunned. 

Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 752
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 06:44:43 AM »
I have always enjoyed Connie's singing, and Floyd could always tickle the ivories.  Good combination!  I should start looking for that one.

Della Reese is another one that I enjoy but there don't seem to be many albums of her.  When the show was on TV I would occasionally watch "Touched by an Angel"  Enjoyed her singing there and enjoyed her acting as the tough, crusty, grumpy Angel.  She really did a good job with her part in the show.

Bill

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2371
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 09:02:46 AM »
I don't have anything by Della Reese.  I'll have to look around a bit.  You don't have to look for the Connie Francis album, Bill.  I'll send you a copy of the CD when I get the album processed if you'd like.

Just for my two cents, my list of the best girl singers of all time are, not in any particular order------Helen O'Connell, Patsy Cline, Connie Francis, Ralna English and Rosie Clooney.  Dinah Washington and K.D. Lang get honorable mention.
I'm great at multi-tasking.  I can listen, ignore, and forget all at the same time.

Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 752
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 02:25:33 PM »
Thanks Greg for the copy.  And I agree with your choice of girl singers.  I need to add Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, and I also like Linda Ronstadt.

Bill

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2371
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 05:10:58 PM »
Linda Ronstadt had her moments, particularly on the two albums she did with Nelson Riddle.  "Lush Life" and "What's New" if memory serves.

Another girl singer who deserves honorable mention is Marie Osmond before she turned 18.  She had a terrific set of pipes for a little kid.  Her first album was in 1973 when she was 13, "Paper Roses."  Sonny James produced three albums for Marie Osmond.  When these albums sold well, the Osmond family got greedy and kicked Sonny to the curb.  Along with Sonny went Marie's recording career.  After she turned 18, her voice got more raspy and she was done.  She also abandoned country music, another fatal error.  She recorded a couple singles with Dan Seals, but they went nowhere. 

And for the best girl singer in the "Who?" category is Amber Digby.  Go to YouTube and search for Amber Digby doing Tanya Tucker's "Cowboy Lovin' Night."  Why this young lady is not a huge star is beyond me.  Probably because she only sings hard core, beer drinking, traditional country. 
I'm great at multi-tasking.  I can listen, ignore, and forget all at the same time.

Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 752
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 07:25:15 PM »
You memory serves you well, and what could go wrong when you have Nelson Riddle at the helm.  He worked many a star and everything I have every heard that he was involved in was great.  I've never heard of Amber Digby but I'm about too!

Bill

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2371
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2018, 10:07:44 AM »
Bill, your comments about Linda Ronstadt got me curious.  I have "What's New" and "Lush Life" both processed to digital.  I listened to both albums again.  I really believe "What's New" is the one I prefer.  "Lush Life" is too gimmicky for my taste, really. 

Now, from the "What If....." department.  What if Carrie Underwood had recorded either some Connie Francis material or "Lush Life"?  The problem I have with Carrie Underwood is that her material is not very good.  She could use the services of Harlan Howard, Cindy Walker or really any prominent song writer of that era.  I heard Carrie Underwood sing "How Great Thou Art" one time and she has a terrific set of pipes.
I'm great at multi-tasking.  I can listen, ignore, and forget all at the same time.

walyfd

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2018, 12:08:54 PM »
What saddens me is how many great SINGERS are we losing out on?  Would it even be possible for Ella Fitzgerald to be discovered today, let alone to have the career she did?

Not until being saturated by Holiday music on the XM radio in the car did I even know Seth McFarland sang, let alone recorded.  I was truly impressed.  Yet I'm not so big a fan of Bouble or Grobin.  Like Dean Martin made EVERYTHING effortless but the rest of the pack were working at it...  Sinatra was cool but Martin was one I think the rest of them really envied.

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2371
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2018, 01:02:55 PM »
Probably not.  The most important thing about "singers" today is their ability to screech and to act trashy on stage.  To appear "hot,"  ::)

I can remember a time when country music artists presented a professional and decent image on stage.  The men had sequined suits, felt hats and fancy boots.  The women wore dresses and looked like they could have been the girl next door.  I credit Clint Black and Garth Brooks for the murder of traditional country music.  They appeared on stage like they had been welding all day---holey pants, ragged dirty shirts and had a mic sticking out of their ear.  The band members looked like they had escaped from a chain gang.  The artists feel the need to girate and dance all over the stage, rather than standing in from of the mic stand and lettin' 'er rip.  Patsy Cline was not an attractive woman, even compared to her time.  Today, so would not even get the second look with record executives.  Ella Fitzgerald was the same way.  Lots of the singers from the classic era would not be considered "hot" today.  We need to give honorable mention to Eddie Fisher, the Justin Bieber of 1952.   ;)
I'm great at multi-tasking.  I can listen, ignore, and forget all at the same time.

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1327
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2018, 08:05:08 PM »
Of course, the real key to a musical career is talent.  That's how musicians without good looks can make it.  There are always the ones whose careers are generated by PR departments, but they are the exception.  I've told my story of discovering Patsy Cline when I was a kid so I won't repeat it, but the important thing is that I knew right away that I was hearing somebody worth listening to--even if it was country music, which was not at all fashionable in my rock'n'roll childhood. The lesson for me was that category didn't matter.  Some elusive quality did.

I don't have a TV so I don't get distracted by antics or odd clothing choices.  The whole focus is via the ears and the mind.  It's still possible to be annoyed by eccentricity.  I hate those "little girl" voiced singers who whisper into the mic.  It seems to be the style now for women. 

Chris Campbell

Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 752
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2018, 09:07:31 PM »
You all have good points that I can relate too.  What I rely on is my ears, and my ears are fussy.  It has too be musical, and most singers today are not very musical!  I know there are exceptions, but they are few and far between.  IMO!

Bill

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1327
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2018, 11:32:19 PM »
Tonight the Sunday night blues show had a couple white gospel music tunes that were good.  I missed the announcement so had to go to the playlist to see who performed.  It was Ry Cooder, the guy with impeccable musical taste. 

Chris Campbell

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1327
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2018, 08:06:48 PM »
Every night after work I go off on a trek of about 3-1/2 miles, up our biggest hill and back through a recreation area, listening to NPR's All Things Considered evening news show on the Sony SRF-59 headphone radio.  Tonight they had a great feature, "What Makes  a Jazz Standard," with Christian McBride.  It's about The American Songbook, that great bunch of tunes from the 20th century.  You can listen to it here--select "what makes a jazz standard."

https://www.npr.org/series/347139849/jazz-night-in-america

McBride noted that a song is a standard when lots of musicians perform it. But just listen to the great tunes & singers they lead off with.  At one point they're listening to Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse singing a duet.  McBride is adding encouragement--"Sing it, Tony" and "Tell 'em, Amy." 

All that glorious music and all those talented performers.  This is America's gift to the world. Have a listen to the episode--its only a bit over 7 minutes, and I was grinning like a fool as I walked up the hill.  There are times when life is not just good, but best.

Chris Campbell


Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 752
    • View Profile
Re: Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2018, 04:19:18 PM »
Thanks Chris, I will take a listen.

Bill