25 YEARS IS LONG ENOUGH…

Life goes by too quickly.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since I recorded my last CD, “Plain Old Me,”  with my “Hoi Polloi” band back in Los Angeles in 1993.  But simple math can be unforgiving.

In the intervening quarter century, my life has been full with both the poignant and the joyous – as all lives are.

I’ve been working on getting my vocal “chops” back up for the last few years with the idea of getting back into the studio and giving voice to the last 25 years of life and love – as I’ve lived it and felt it.

“I’ve got so much inside me still left unsung.”

And so, with The Great American Songbook as my script, I’ve selected some truly classic and wonderful tunes that speak deeply to me and, hopefully, to you.  Some you’ll know and a few you may not be familiar with – yet.

The result is a personal yet universal saga of love lost and love found.  We’ve all been there and each tune on this album dwells with authenticity in a different aspect of the eternal story which you’ll probably recognize — in some cases, all too well.

There is a select array of torch songs, or what I call “saloon songs” — heartfelt ballads you’ll associate with a jukebox and wet quarters and soggy dollar bills in some dimly lit barroom.

And then there are those uplifting tunes of love’s pure, unbridled joy.

It’s all captured on this album.

I’m excited and honored to be working with some top-flight jazz musicians on this special recording:  Ziad Rabie, Sax.  Keith Davis, Piano.  Ron Brendle, Acoustic Bass. Al Sergel, Drums.  This is a magical combination of talent that makes each of the 14 tunes sparkle in their own unique way.

I HOPE YOU’LL STAY TUNED for the upcoming release date – and that you’ll share in the truth, love and joy we all brought to this special project, appropriately titled, “IF LOVE WERE ALL.”

The album will soon be available for digital download on many online music platforms, as a CD — and also, as a limited edition 180 gram audiophile vinyl double LP!

Until that time…

‘w.

G’BYE DERE, MARTY

Best known for his “Hello Dere” greeting and comedy team partnership with Steve Rossi – wild-haired, bug-eyed Marty Allen died last night at the ripe old age of 95. 

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Amazingly, he was still working up until several months ago with his wife, Karon. performing the “straight man” role.
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Marty was a TV mainstay during the 60’s and 70’s on talk shows, game shows, variety shows, (including appearances on 44 Ed Sullivan Shows) and even dramatic roles.  
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I first met and worked with him many years ago.  While chatting backstage, I told him about my favorite of his routines — a rarely performed pantomime of a clown applying and removing his makeup. It was a very poignant and powerful piece.

A few weeks later, a package arrived for me at my agent’s office. It was from Marty and contained an inscribed photo of him performing that classic routine I loved so much. 

Truly a class act.
G’bye dere, Marty.
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MARTY ALLEN
(Morton David Alpern)
23 March 1922 – 12 February 2018

WHEN IT WAS HIP TO BE HEP

Fondly Remembering HARRY “THE HIPSTER” GIBSON…
… On His 102nd Birthday.

Frantic and eccentric … Rockin’ and Rollin’ twenty years before Elvis, Harry was a true master of boogie woogie piano — and every other musical style, too!

HARRY “The Hipster” GIBSON
Julliard trained, he blazed his own musical trail and was popular during the mid-1940’s during the heyday of the “Zoot suit with the drape shape and the reet pleat.”  Today, Harry is often remembered for the dubious distinction of being arrested with jazz pal and drug buddy Billie Holiday.  

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“Big Butter and Egg Man”

When we moved production from Hollywood down to Texas for the second season of “13 East” (NBC), the folks in Dallas were so warm and welcoming in so many ways – even presenting me with a Texas flag which had flown over the capital in Austin.

They really made us feel right at home – and, of course, I had to show my appreciation by getting into the Texas spirit.
Here I am arriving for a public appearance at a rodeo – complete with Tony Lama snakeskin boots & matching belt w/sterling buckle set, a 7x Stetson and a brand new Cadillac Eldorado with my “preferred vantage point” parking spot adjacent to the women’s restroom!  Is it any wonder that producer Scoey Mitchlll introduced me as “Wayne Powers – that Big Butter and Egg Man.”  Yeehah!  What great fun we had!
 
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “Big Butter and Egg Man,” CLICK HERE for a wonderful YouTube video Doc Cheatham & Carrie Smith performing this classic tune in a tribute to the great Louis Armstrong.
Ironically, this jazz festival performance was from 1990 – the same time as the photo!
For further info, visit the “13 East” page HERE.

“All Hail the Cat”

THE JAZZ CAT SWINGS, STRUTS & CROONS ABOUT THOSE CATS OF THE FELINE VARIETY

Combing the archives turned up this fun recording done several years ago with some extraordinary talented folks.

Give yourself a “Cheshire grin” and check it out right meow!

 

 

HE WAS MY ENTRY INTO HOLLYWOOD

TODAY WOULD HAVE BEEN HENRY MANCINI’S 93rd BIRTHDAY.

I can’t let today go by without acknowledging one of my greatest mentors and benefactors, never to be forgotten.
Upon arriving in L.A. back in 1976, I was greatly blessed to work for Henry, eventually administering all his music publishing for a short time before moving on to build my performance career – the original purpose in my relocating to the west coast.

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