You listen to Mom’s Kitchen Radio, of course. You, a person of great discernment and taste—how could you not?
But are you aware of the resources available to you, just a few clicks away, in the sidebar to the momskitchenradio.com home page? We have gathered there links to artist and songwriter sites—106 of them at last count—from Alpert to Zentner, with stops at Clooney, Darin, Sinatra….
Some are the stars’ “official” sites, some are the passions of devoted fans, a few (when, sadly, no one thought to do a page) are from Wikipedia or the like. Site designs range from the basic “tombstone” to elaborate slide shows. Many of the sites include not only biographical notes but audio clips. Launch the Henry Mancini site, for example, and you launch the Peter Gunn theme. Most spectacularly, Johnny Cash himself welcomes you (from the Great Beyond) to johnnycash.com.
So, go to momskitchenradio.com (there’s also a handy widget over there to the right on this blog), and browse the MKR sidebar. There you can learn, for example, that:
Blossom Dearie’s real name was Blossom Dearie.
Julius Wechter, leader of the Baja Marimba Band, wrote “Spanish Flea” and once played marimba for Martin Denny. Nearly every Tijuana Brass album had a song written by Wechter.
Tony Bennett appeared in concert in Kuala Lumpur on September 9th. Doh! Missed it. But if you’re quick you might get to see him in Shangai on the 20th.
Johnny Mercer could never play piano with more than one finger.
Petula Clark is a Commander of the British Empire. (Perhaps you might complain to her if your supermarket fails to carry Marmite or Branston Pickle.)
Vic Damone wasn’t always Vic Damone. His parents named him Vito Farinola.
Jack Jones was working at his day job as a gas station attendant when he first heard one of his recordings actually playing on a customer’s car radio.
Raymond Scott’s site includes a toon by toon list of Warner Bros cartoons that used his music.
Tom Lehrer says, “Always predict the worst and you’ll be hailed as a prophet.”
Hey! Ho! “Buddy Greco’s world is a very swinging world.” Sammy Davis Jr. (Whoa!)
There is a Roger Miller museum in Erick, Oklahoma.
Dakota Staton was from Pittsburgh. Hey, wasn’t everyone?
There is a Jack Daniel’s whiskey named after Frank Sinatra. The maker says it has “an exceedingly smooth vanilla finish.” (Like Ol’ Blue Eyes, himself, eh? Although he was rarely “vanilla.”)
And, finally, although this isn’t on her website, per se, Eydie Gorme’s directions for her own funeral were, “Funeral at 2:00; cocktails at 4:00.” Classy to the end, and beyond.