Tag Archives: Ella Fitzgerald

Pan Am Soundtrack Jets You Back To A More Glamorous Era For Air Travel

14 Jan

Pan Am — yes, I have flown on the airline — it’s been a long while though. Pan Am the TV show? Haven’t seen it yet. Pan Am the Soundtrack? It sends me. I admit it is a quirky mix of songs and artists. But that is what the early to mid-sixties were all about. Take a look at the Billboard charts during that time and you’ll see that I am right. So don’t get all uptight. Recline your seat, ask your attendant for a strong cocktail, and enjoy the flight.

Your ears will encounter very little turbulence as your musical journey cruises from Buddy Greco to Grace Potter or from Brenda Lee to Nikki Jean. Some tracks are pretty well-traveled, while others just might be new destinations for you and flying companions. You can’t go wrong with Bobby Darin’s Call Me Irresponsible, Getz and Gilberto’s Girl from Ipanema, or Count Basie’s swinging groove on an instrumental I Can’t Stop Loving You. Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 injects even more Latin spice to the cabin with Mas Que Nada and Nikki Jean turns in an impressive twist on Do You Want To Know A Secret?

My top pick of all is Dinah Washington’s Destination Moon.

Bang! Zoom! It is a complete and total gas.

So get your ticket and take a trip back in time.

Travel was far more classy then – and so was the music.  

***I prefer Engelbert Humperdinck’s version of Quando, Quando, Quando

Pan Am: Music From and Inspired By the Original Series, a collection of music from and inspired by the ABC television drama, slated for January 17, 2012 CD release from Verve Music Group, is a non-stop flight back to the early ’60s. The collection features 14 songs by Buddy Greco, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz & João Gilberto with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Peggy Lee, Shirley Horn, Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Brenda Lee, Connie Francis and Dinah Washington, plus new artists Grace Potter and Nikki Jean.

According to the Verve Music Group’s SVP of A&R Jay Landers, “The Pan Am series goes to great lengths to capture the dawn of the jet age with accuracy, and music plays a vital role. Many of the artists of the era are found in the classic Verve catalog so it was a great synergistic opportunity.” Also, S-Curve/Universal recording artist Nikki Jean sings the Lennon & McCartney classic “Do You Want To Know a Secret.”

The TV series Pan Am follows the travels of a young flight crew as they set off on international adventures at the dawn of the Jet Age in the 1960s. The show captures a time when only a few could experience a global adventure or gain a front-row seat to history. Those lucky enough flew Pan Am, the largest, most prestigious airline in the world. More than Coca-Cola, Elvis Presley or the transistor radio, Pan Am exported American culture to the world abroad and brought that world back to American shores. The crew travels to intoxicating cities such as Paris, Berlin, Monte Carlo and Rome and bumps into history along the way. Through their eyes, Pan Am revisits an era nearly half a century ago. So, buckle up . . . adventure calls . . . and thank you for choosing Pan Am.

Track List:
1. Buddy Greco – “Around The World”
2. Grace Potter – “Fly Me To The Moon”
3. Bobby Darin – “Call Me Irresponsible”
4. Ella Fitzgerald – “Blue Skies”
5. Stan Getz & João Gilberto w/Astrud Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim – “The Girl From Ipanema”
6. Peggy Lee – “New York City Blues”
7. Shirley Horn – “The Best Is Yet To Come”
8. Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 – “Mais Que Nada”
9. Billie Holiday – “Just One More Chance”
10. Count Basie – “I Can’t Stop Loving You”
11. Brenda Lee – “Break It To Me Gently”
12. Nikki Jean – “Do You Want To Know A Secret”
13. Connie Francis – “Quando Quando Quando (Tell Me When)”
14. Dinah Washington – “Destination Moon”

Buy This Magazine!

13 Dec


This issue just came out — I scored my copy at Barnes & Noble.

The annual CD release is as excellent & eccentric as always.

Don’t miss Ella Fitzgerald’s killer version of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” No kidding, folks — it is actually very good. The big band rocks and Ella gives the rock standard her own unique twist.

Neko Case’s “Hold On, Hold On” is 100% pure ear candy. This track alone is worth the cost of the 2 CDs and magazine that I am here to usher into your lonely little word. Neko’s voice is silky smooth & loaded with emotion.

Also noteworthy is Jerry Lee Lewis’ take on Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin’.” Lewis is backed by the Stax rhythm section of Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, etc. It’s a very unique interpretation I think you’ll dig.

I met Jerry Lee two or three years ago in Memphis. I told him that he still sounded great. He gave me a glassy-eyed stare, grinned and replied in his easy Louisiana drawl, “Why, Thank ya!” The Killer looks very frail these days, but he will no doubt go down rockin’ and rollin’.  Shake it, baby! 


Let the parties begin—The OA’s 10th Anniversary Music Issue is out! To celebrate this special birthday, we’ve packed TWO groovin’ CDs with firepower: enough fierce, funky, and fun music to keep your days and nights rockin’ into 2009 (and beyond). That’s right, kids, this issue is accompanied by FIFTY-FIVE party tunes (from Jack Tea to Jerry Lee, Little Walter to Lucinda, plus thrills and chills galore).

In addition to the music, the issue is chockful of exuberant and daring writing by some of the best writers in the country (and one or two from abroad). See below for FOUR FREE ARTICLES from the issue.

We’ll be updating the website every week in December with Online Exclusives: feature articles, multimedia extravaganzas, Editor Marc Smirnoff’s CD Liner Notes, interviews, holiday offers (check out our new line of stylish T-shirts), and other neat stuff.

Shangri-La in Memphis (a great record store and record label) has this to say about the issue: “Check out the bitchin’ cover pic of Jerry Lee Lewis in Mad Plaid! It’s fun time around the Shangri-La HQs when this issue comes out, and this year is no exception. Order it from the folks who keep Southern culture flowing.”