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Catamount Community Radio - February 9, 2014

The gray day that was ... is turning into a blue skies day that is... I'm happy either way. As Jim Dandy once put it "ideal conditions for my condition." I don't care what kind of weather we're having, as far as I'm concerned, it's lovely. Now, when I'm driving a car, that affirmation does not apply.

I rolled in today at 9:45. Now that's the earliest I've been in a long time. Maybe on days like today I should consider something other than the screeching tires for my opening sound effect.

Theme One today was the music of Johnny Mercer. While the Savannah, GA native is known primarily as lyricist, he would also write music from time to time. Here are the Johnny Mercer tunes we listened to:

1. "Tangerine" as interpreted by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Shirley Scott. Davis has a muscular style on tenor, and Shirley Scott's tasteful organ couldn't help but make me think of organs you used to hear at the ball park. Do they still play live organ at baseball games? If not, when were they finally phased out? It won't be long until the Tigers are down in Lakeland, FL, getting ready for the new season.

Tangerine, when she dances by,
señoritas stare and caballeros sigh.

2. "Satin Doll" done by McCoy Tyner. Tyner, at 175 years of age, is still gigging in New York. Mercer was responsible for the lyrics, which were written after the tune (by Ellington and Strayhorn ... which would likely mean Strayhorn) was already a hit as an instrumental.

Cigarette holder which wigs me over my shoulder, he digs me
Out cattin' my satin doll
Baby, shall we go out steppin', careful, amigo, you're flippin'
Speaks Latin, my satin doll

He's nobody's fool and I'm playing it cool as can be
I'll give it a whirl but I ain't for no boy catching me, swich-e-rooney
Telephone numbers well you know, I'm doing my rumbas with uno
And that'n my satin doll

3. "Moon River" done by Bill Frisell. Henry Mancini wrote the music and Mercer the lyrics. It was sung by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 flick "Breakfast at Tiffany's." The complete lyric:

Moon river, wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style some day
Oh dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you're going, I'm going your way

Two drifters off to see the world
There's such a lot of world to see
We're after the same rainbow's end
Waiting 'round the bend, my huckleberry friend
Moon river and me

4. "Fools Rush In" done by Teddy Wilson. I would love to be able to play the piano like Teddy Wilson played it. Magic. Music by Rube Bloom; lyrics by Mercer.

Fools rush in
Where wise men never go
But wise men never fall in love
So how are they to know?

5. "I'm an Old Cowhand (from the Rio Grande)", played and sung by Harry Connick, Jr. See last week's post.

6. "Come Rain or Come Shine." Music by Harold Arlen; lyrics by Mercer. Sarah Vaughan is one of the greatest singers of all time. Her voice is truly a musical instrument and she always makes the songs her own.

You're gonna love me like nobody's loved me come rain or come shine
Happy together unhappy together and won't it be fine?
Days may be cloudy or sunny
We're in or we're out of the money.

I also like Ray Charles' version of this tune.

7. "Too Marvelous for Words," sung by Ella. Richard Whiting wrote the music, with lyrics by Mercer. These are my favorite Mercer lyrics:

You're just too marvelous
Too marvelous for words
Like glorious, glamorous
And that old standby amorous

It's all too wonderful
I'll never find the words
That say enough, tell enough
I mean they just aren't swell enough

You're much too much, and just too very very
To ever be, in Webster's dictionary
And so, I'm borrowing a love song from the birds
To tell you that you're marvelous
Too marvelous for words

8. Miles Davis playing "I Thought about You." Music by Jimmy Van Heusen; lyrics by Mercer. Mercer said of the tune:

"I can remember the afternoon that we wrote it. He [Van Heusen] played me the melody. I didn't have any idea, but I had to go to Chicago that night. I think I was on the Benny Goodman program. And I got to thinking about it on the train. I was awake, I couldn't sleep. The tune was running through my mind, and that's when I wrote the song. On the train, really, going to Chicago."

I took a trip on a train
And I thought about you
I passed a shadowy lane
And I thought about you

Two or three cars parked under the stars
A winding stream
Moon shining down on some little town
And with each beam, the same old dream

And every stop that we made, oh, I thought about you
When I pulled down the shade then I really felt blue
I peeked through the crack, looked at the track
The one going back to you
And what did I do? I thought about you

9. Slam Stewart and Errol Garner playing "That Old Black Magic." Music by Harold Arlen; lyrics by Mercer. You can always recognize Stewart because he bows his bass solos and sings along an octave higher.

That old black magic's got me in its spell
That old black magic that you weave so well
Those icy fingers up and down my spine
The same old witchcraft when your eyes meet mine

Are you still with me? I admire your fortitude and stick-to-itiveness.

Theme Two was "I'm sorry." I'm sorry, I apologize; from the bottom of my heart my deepest, most sincere apologies. Whatever was done, your boy done it, and I'm sorry. The thing about apologies is that they're good when they're sincere and heartfelt and when they come from a real of real examination of conscience. But how often are they merely ploys, just to save one's ass so that one can continue with whatever nefarious agenda that one is pursuing.

1. Brenda Lee - I'm Sorry
2. Aaron Neville - Wrong Number (I'm Sorry, Goodbye)
3. Lefty Frizzel - Sick, Sober, and Sorry
4. Eddie Condon - Who's Sorry Now


Tyler entered the cover contest today and tied with Mary Ellen for the win. The two of them edging out perennial champion Jim "I have the heart of a child / I keep it in a jar on my desk" Dandy.

1. We heard Johnny Horton do "Honky Tonk Man." The question was, who later covered it. The clues: he was a Buck Owens protégée; he had an acting role or two; and he shared a name with a US president from the fifties. Answer - Dwight Yokum.

2. Who was covering Glen Campbell's "Wichita Lineman"? - Cassandra Wilson

3. What tune is Nicholas Payton playing? - Tiger Rag. Only Tyler nailed it.

4. Whose tune is it and who is covering it? - "I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry" Hank Williams / Al Green.

Catamount Community Radio, Sunday mornings 10-12 on WWCU-FM.

1. Duke Ellington – My Little Brown Book
2. Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis & Shirley Scott – Tangerine
3. Brenda Lee – I’m Sorry
4. Aaron Neville – Wrong Number (I’m Sorry, Goodbye)
5. McCoy Tyner – Satin Doll
6. Johnny Horton – Honky Tonk Man
7. Bill Frisell – Moon River
8. Lee Dorsey – A Mellow Good Time
9. Teddy Wilson – Fools Rush In
10. Harry Connick, Jr. – I’m an Old Cowhand
11. Bix, etc – There Ain’t no Land like Dixieland
12. NEXT Collective – Africa
13. Cassandra Wilson – Wichita Lineman
14. Elvis Presley – All Shook Up
15. Sarah Vaughan – Come Rain or Come Shine
16. Nicholas Payton – Tiger Rag
17. Ella Fitzgerald – Too Marvelous for Words
18. Lefty Frizzel – Sick, Sober and Sorry
19. Louis Armstrong – Some Day You’ll be Sorry
20. Jimi Hendrix – Stone Free
21. Miles Davis – I Thought About You
22. Don Gibson – Give Myself a Party
23. Big Boy Crudyp – Give me a 32-20
24. Al Green – I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry
25. Hall & Oates – Thank You for …
26. Slam Stewart & Errol Garner – That Old Black Magic
27. Kenny Burrell – Ballad of the Sad Young Men
28. Eddie Condon – Who’s Sorry Now?
29. Cyrus Chestnut – Gospel Improv #1

Johnny Mercer



June 2019



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