My Ten Favourite Songs (In No Order)
Tess's Torch Song (Dinah Shore)
Dinah Shore introduced this song in the 1944 motion picture Up In Arms. This is THE definition of a torch song.
A classic written during the midst of World War II, about a girl who finally has a good man (That is you see what I mean is I THOUGHT he was a good man).
She also has a good friend. (I told my friend 'bout my man 'cause I THOUGHT she was a good friend).
And well you all know what is going to happen. As the song says....Ain't got no man, Ain't got no friend, I bet you can guess just EXACTLY what happened.
I never really realized what a great singer Dinah Shore was and here she shows a new and brilliant side of her talent. On a side note her rendition of Georgia On My Mind kicks ass, the best ever version of that song. Song available on her album 16 Most Requested Songs
Autumn Leaves (Jo Stafford)
The lyrics were written by Johnny Mercer in 1949 and what can I say, this is truly beautiful song and only Jo Stafford can perform it with this much sincerity. A song that equates the death of summer into fall, as someone missing, a now gone, lover.
The music was written by Joseph Kosma taken from a French song called Les Feuilles Mortes which literally translates into "The Dead Leaves." I like Mercer's translations better.
This song actually went to Number 1 and stayed there for a month as an instrumental by Roger Williams. It kick started his career.
But I miss you most of all my darlin' when Autumn leaves start to fall.
I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me (Rosanne Cash)
This song went to #1 on the Country Music Charts and was comeback record for Rosanne after she got out of rehab. The music is breezy and upbeat and provides a contrast for the lyrics, range from optimistic, to pessimistic to deterministic.
Rosanne wrote this song with her then husband, Rodney Crowell and although I'm probably in the minority I think Rosanne has a lot more talent that her father Johnny Cash, both vocally and lyrically.
This is a terrific song for someone like me, who has one good date after another and is STILL waiting for something that never comes. What do I keep doing wrong?
They'll be no next time...If you won't be mine...Tonight. Available on her CD Rhythm and Romance and Greatest Hits.
I Wish (Stevie Wonder)
Written by Wonder this song was released in 1976. It shot to the top of the charts and by January 22, 1977 it was #1. The song is off the smash hit album Songs In The Key Of Life A less than flattering version of the song was recorded by Will Smith for the 1999 film Wild Wild West
It is a great story song about a man reflecting on his days of youth. How they were tough, but in someway was STILL the best time of his life, and the best time you will ever have.
Plus the music has a killer groove Why did those days have to go. Available on Song In The Key Of Life and Greatest Hits albums
My Heart Has A Mind Of It's Own (Connie Francis)
This was the second consecutive #1 of Connie Francis's songs. The first being Everybody's Somebody's Fool. Before Billboard changed its methodology for ranking songs, this was a rare accomplishment.
Ms Francis was to the 50s what Madonna was to the 80s and Mariah Carey was to the 90s. As a matter of fact until 1981 Connie was still the #1 female artist of the rock era.
Connie Francis's life is a fascinating story that involves, heartache, death, rape, murder and fear. Reading any biography of Connie Francis will provide interesting reading.
The song written by Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller, it's the story about love that shouldn't be but will be, because the heart can think for itself. This song with a country twinge to it, also ranked high on the Country Music charts too.
Connie is somewhat of a gay icon, having sung the Top 5 hit Where The Boy's Are from the film of the same name.
Somehow I can't dismiss...The memory of your kiss...my heart has a mind of it's own
Available on many of Connie's various Greatest Hits albums
In My Life (Judy Collins)
The cover of the classic Beatles's song is performed brilliantly by Ms. Collins. She sings it with such angst yet such detachment it is brilliant. Of all the versions I have heard, I like Collin's version the best and that includes the Beatles's version of the song. You can't help but think about days gone by when hearing this arrangement
This song first appeared on the 1965 album Rubber Soul. While it is clear that Lennon wrote the lyrics, it has never been determined if Lennon or McCartney wrote the music. Lennon claimed that McCartney only wrote the bridge section of the music. McCartney claims to have set the whole of Lennon's lyrics to music, and the music was "inspired" by the song Tears Of A Clown
You can't help but think about days gone by when hearing this arrangement There are place I remember all my life...though some have changed...Some forever not for better.
Available on Judy's album Greatest Hits
Wherever You Will Go (The Calling)
Performed in the movie Coyote Ugly guitarist Aaron Kamin wrote this song after his aunt died, inspired by his uncle's love for his aunt. It was popularized also due to the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
This song is a haunting little ditty about a love gone awry and the hope that maybe it can survive, no WILL survive if only in the mind and memory of anyone who ever love someone...
Lately been thinking who will be there to take my place...When I'm gone, you'll need love to, hide the shadows on your face.
Available on their CD Calling Palermo
Note: I've been unable to find its chart position. Anyone with that information please let me know.
Giving You The Benefit (Pebbles)
Pebbles, who now is officially, the born again Christian Perri Reid, recorded this song in 1990 which went to #4 on the Pop Chart and #1 on the R&B chart. Although Pebbles did also record the best "car song" ever, Mercedes Boy (#2), this song beats it by a mile. With great lyrics and a killer beat, I never tire of hearing this song.
Written by Babyface, you have to wonder if they lyrics were written today would they change a bit. From "Just take the benefit
Don't give me no lip" to... Well a word that actually rhymes with benefit. You get my hint. That's one thing that bothered me is they lyric would sound so much better if it was reversed to say "Don't give me no lip, just take the benefit." Then again what do I know?
I know I love this song. When you knew all the time...That you could've been with your homegirl...lovin' and a kissin' on me
Available on her album Always and Greatest Hits
Goodbye To You (Scandal)
This is an odd song for me to like, but it's darn catchy. It hit the airwaves in 1982 as the breakout single from "the next hot band" Scandal. The lead singer was Patty Smyth not to be confused with Patti Smith, one of the first Punk Rockers, who had a #12 hit with Bruce Springsteen's Because The Night in the mid 70s.
This song was the first released by the band Scandal off of an extended play record, known as an "EP." In other words the record company didn't think they had enough talent for a whole album. Although Goodbye To you stalled at #65 and the follow up Love Has Got A Line On You faired only better going to #59, the group was given another chance under the name "Scandal Featuring Patty Smyth." This produced their only hit The Warrior which got to #7. The group then disbanded and Patty Smyth went out on her own.
Smyth who is very good friends with Valerie Bertinelli, was offered to sing the lead for the group Van Halen, after David Lee Roth left the band. Smyth later commented it was a decision she "deeply regretted." In 1992 Smyth revisited the top 10 when Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" a duet with Don Henley went to #2. Smyth married John McEnroe in 1997 and hasn't done much since.
Someone To Watch Over Me (Sheena Easton)
This is my all time favourite song, no matter who does it but I think Sheena's version is perhaps the finest I've ever heard.
From the musical Oh Kay the song was written by George and Ira Gershwin in 1926. The plot of the musical revolves around a bootlegger in the prohibition era.
The song is about someone looking for love...Looking everywhere and will keep trying...
Won't you tell him please put on some speed...For I need little, how I need...Someone To Watch Over Me.
Sheena's version available on the albumns No Strings or Greatest Hits (Japanese version).