Monday, October 6, 2008

The Most Romantic LP Ever Made

First of all, if you’re asking “What’s an LP?” you need to go find another blog to read.

This is just one person’s opinion, of course, and there’s no accounting for taste. De gustibus non est disputandum, and all that. I get it. For example, Mrs. RWP always used to enjoy listening to Johnny Mathis. But my vote for the most romantic 33-1/3 revolutions-per-minute long-playing (LP) vinyl record album ever made goes to one recorded in December 1956 and released in 1957. I got mine through the Columbia Record Club. With the Gorden Jenkins Orchestra doing the accompaniment honors, it was -- drum roll, please! -- Love Is the Thing by Nat King Cole. Back in those days, there were no videos to watch when you listened to music, and no CDs or DVDs or iPods or iPhones, either -- nothing, nada, zilch. You had to make up your own mental videos as you listened.

There was just something about the husky, grainy voice of the REAL king (Elvis, eat your heart out) coupled with those banks of cascading strings that got me every time. Wikipedia puts it this way: The singer’s “restrained vocal approach” and the arranger’s “unhurried string charts” combined to produce a romantic album of enduring popularity. You can say that again.

But don’t just take my word for it. Listen to these songs (they were all on that album):

“Love Is The Thing”

“When I Fall In Love”

“Star Dust”

Someone has put together a video of literal star dust with the last one, along with photos of the song’s composer. Can you name him? The composer, I mean, not the video maker.

You’re free to disagree, of course. De gustibus non est disputandum. But as a former pastor of ours used to say, “Can I help it if you’re wrong?”

Here’s further evidence that 1957 was a very good year:
Nat King Cole music, a brand-new turquoise ’57 Chevy, and the girl of my dreams in my arms. At the time, one out of three wasn't bad. Not bad at all.

Somehow my copy of the most romantic LP ever made, the one I purchased from the Columbia Record Club in 1957, took up residence at my son’s house several years ago as part of his extensive record collection.

[Addendum: Just for the record (no pun intended), I wasn’t personally in love with Nat King Cole. Just his voice. Somehow, when he sang, it was me singing. And he wasn’t singing to me. He, er, I was singing to my idealized, perfect, absent, non-existent girlfriend. I just wanted to make that perfectly clear! Oh, and one other thing: I would not want to go back and re-live my teenage years for all the tea in China.]

[Addendum #2: I tried to find a YouTube clip of the most romantic song on the most romantic LP ever made, but I couldn’t. I did find the lyrics, however. Here they are:

That’s All
by Alan Brandt and Bob Haymes

I can only give you love that lasts forever
And a promise to be near each time you call,
And the only heart I own
For you and you alone,
That’s all, that’s all.

I can only give you country walks in springtime
And a hand to hold when leaves begin to fall,
And a love whose burning light
Will warm the winter night,
That’s all, that’s all.

There are those, I am sure, that have told you
They would give you the world for a toy.
All I have are these arms to enfold you
And a love time can never destroy.

If you’re wondering what I'm asking in return, dear,
You’ll be glad to know that my demands are small.
Say it’s me that you’ll adore
For now and ever more,
That’s all, that’s all.]

[Addendum #3: As for my fantasy girl fantasizing about me, Peggy Lee singing “And Then My Heart Stood Still” tops the list.]

8 comments:

Jeannelle said...

So what are you trying to do......get me hooked on YouTube, keeping me from ever getting the lawn mowed or the raspberries picked......how can I live like this?!

Thanks for the links.....I just listened to several Nat King Cole songs.....how wonderful these videos are out there for anyone to enjoy now!

I certainly have no idea who the composer in the "Stardust" video is, although his name is given in one of comments, I think.

I'm assuming Nat King Cole sang "That's All", too. Yah, I'm quite ignorant of his music.....your post is helping bring me up to speed. I remember years ago my mom talking about what a wonderful singer Nat King Cole was. But, she didn't buy records, and there was no radio station playing his songs, or any videos on TV, so I wasn't familiar with him, except for knowing his name. He must have been gone by the time I became a viewer of Ed Sullivan, etc.

Thanks for a wonderful interlude.....but, now I must get busy!

Jeannelle said...

Forgot to say: In "Love is the Thing", here's my favorite line:

"While others fight for power,
We can walk among the flowers."


My mootoo.....I mean, motto!

Rosezilla said...

I love Nat King Cole anyway, plus I have a good memory of enjoying his album (well, ok, cd) with my hubby's elderly Aunt Ruth, who lived with us for a few months before she died. He's timeless! She'd light up like a teenager, and one time we were out somewhere and one of his songs came on. She smiled at me and said, "Oh, listen! Our song!" Definitely gave me a warm fuzzy.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Ah, I missed this because of my Sunday blog sabbath. Nat King Cole did have the smoothest voice ever.

Jay said...

Nat King Cole did have quite a remarkable voice - I love many of his songs. 'When I Fall in Love' is a classic, for sure.

I love the way you say 'If you're asking 'what's an LP?' you need to go find another blog to read.

LOL!

rhymeswithplague said...

Thanks, Rosezilla, Ruth, and Jay -- Florida, Illinois, England -- for reading my blog again.

And, by the way, Hoagy Carmichael wrote "Star Dust" (and also "The Nearness of You").

I appreciate Natalie Cole's singing duets with her dad's old recordings remember "Unforgettable" from a few years back), but I prefer to hear just him.

rhymeswithplague said...

(remember

The opening parenthesis must have gone on holiday.

Egghead said...

Bob,

I have to say that I love Nat's "When I Fall In Love". Makes my wee little heart flutter. You are a hoot and gave me a great chuckle reading about how you pictured yourself singing this. By the way, 1957 was a very good year.....the year I was born.