The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

Step back to a time when singers were as bright as the stars in the heavens
and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

She's Available

Artist: Margie Rayburn
Song: And He Told Me A Lie (b-side) (a-side is To Each His Own)
Label: Liberty F-55159 (White Label Promotional Copy)
Number: 45-LB-888
Songwriter: R. Bagdasarian
Time: 2:35
Released: 1958

Despite the fact that Margie Rayburn had quite a varied career, there isn't that much to find out about her on the internet. Just a few tantalizing tidbits here and there. She was born Marjorie Helen Orwig in Madera, California on June 3rd, 1924 and sadly passed away from a heart attack on June 14th, 2000. In between those dates she was the singer with The Sunnysiders, whose hit was Hey Mr. Banjo; was a member of the Ray Anthony Orchestra; appeared on such television shows as The Spike Jones Show and American Bandstand; and even toured with Buddy Holly and The Crickets, in January of 1958!
Her career never really seemed to take off, even when she was signed to Liberty Records, because she wasn't selling sex like her labelmate Julie London was. It wasn't until her fifth single for Liberty that she had a hit, with her #7 in the charts recording of I'm Available. Six more singles and one album, Margie, for the label were unsuccessful. This song, And He Told Me A Lie, was one of the six singles released after her big hit, but one that did not chart. Interestingly enough, it was written by a man already familiar here on Music For Every Mood - Ross Bagdasarian. It is a wistful piece of betrayed love and even though I'm not familiar with much of the music of Margie Rayburn, this record is quite moving in it's own way.
Be sure to download this song and hear Margie Rayburn singing And He Told Me A Lie. They just don't make records like this anymore.

The Rat Pack, Part Two

Artist: Sammy Davis Jr.
Song: It's Bigger Than You And Me (b-side) (a-side is Back Track!)
Label: Decca 9-29649 (Pink Label Sample Copy - Not For Sale)
Number: 45-L 8562
Songwriter: Jule Styne - Leo Robin
Time: 2:21
Released: 1955

Here is part two of my special Rat Pack edition of posts. This one features Mr. Wonderful himself, Sammy Davis Jr.
Sammy Davis Jr., who could have been called the hardest working man in show business, started appearing on stage when he was only 3 years old. Born on December 8th, 1925, his parents divorced when he was three. His father received custody of him and immediately took the boy with him on the vaudeville curcuit. Except for a stint in the Army during World War II, his career would last until he died in 1990. He lost an eye when he was involved in an automobile accident in 1954, which almost cost him his life.
This record dates from the following year, when he had regained control of his life and career. Columbia Pictures released the movie Here Comes Eileen, in 1955, and the song It's Bigger Than You And Me was featured in it. Although Sammy didn't appear in the movie or sing the version on the soundtrack, it was nevertheless included as the b-side of his latest single, Back Track! Featuring an orchestra led by Sy Oliver, Sammy sings it in his own inimitable way and ends up making the song his own. Here is that swinging cat Sammy Davis Jr. doing It's Bigger Than You And Me. You won't want to miss this other fine addition to the Rat Pack canon.

The Rat Pack, Part One

Artist: Dean Martin
Song: Promise Her Anything (a-side) (b-side is The Triche Trache)
Label: Capitol F3787 (White Label Promotional Record)
Number: 45-17074
Songwriter: Roy Alfred
Time: 2:54
Released: August 29th, 1957

I just received the belt I ordered through the mail, so in honor of getting my turntable back into operation, I have not one special Rat Pack-related post, but two! This is the first one and what needs to be said about the artist that most people don't already know? Of course I'm speaking about Dean Martin, born Dino Paul Crocetti on June 17th, 1917. Dean's career was so big that he was the only star to be a major hit in all four major areas of show business: concert stage, recordings, motion pictures, and television.
This particular song, Promise Her Anything, with the subtitle of (But Give Her Love), features an orchestra conducted by Gus Levene. The record itself is stamped August 29 1957, so I know that's when it was released. When it came out, it was at the period when his career was seeing a sudden resurgence. He had split with his longtime partner Jerry Lewis and started concentrating more on his recording and acting. What a powerful combination that came to be when he appeared in the series of movies based on the Matt Helm spy character. Those are some of my favorites of his. But enough of this preliminary stuff, let's get on to the actual record which features the oh-so-smooth crooning of Dean Martin as he sings Promise Her Anything. I'm sure you're going to enjoy this one and it's companion piece coming next from Sammy Davis Jr.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Now Appearing On The Gary Moore Show

Artist: Denise Lor
Song: Everything I Do (Concerto Of Love) (b-side) (a-side is You're Everywhere)
Label: 20th Fox 45-114 (MF-145) (Cloud Label, Promotion Copy - Not For Sale)
Number: JBOW-9969
Songwriter: Victor Young - Eddie Heyman
Time: 2:43
Released: ?

I can't find much information at all about Denise Lor. Other than the fact that she was on the Garry Moore show from 1950-64, had a #8 hit in 1954 called If I Give My Heart To You, and was one of the classiest girl singers of the fabulous fifties, there is next to nothing about her on the internet. I suspect this record is from a later period. On it she is backed by Hugo Montenegro and his orchestra. The flipside was probably the intended hit, but I can't seem to locate that it even made the charts, so that's no help. I think I'll just leave you with the impassioned singing of Denise Lor while she performs Everything I Do. Listen to it and that's probably all you need to see that she was a very good singer!
As always, if anybody can provide more information about any of these fine artists, please don't hesitate to comment and let me know.
August 17th, 2010 Update: Apparently since this post about Denise, she has come back into the public eye. There has been a little information posted about her on Wikipedia and I received an interesting little tidbit about her through some e-mail correspondence. Here are both bits of information:
Wikipedia: Denise Lor (born May 3, 1929) is an American popular singer and actress.
She was a featured artist on Garry Moore's television show. Ms. Lor was married to and subsequently divorced from TV director and singer Jay Martin, with whom she had sons, Ron and Dennis. They had met when she was singing on The Garry Moore Show at CBS, where he was an associate director. She subsequently married writer Charles Horine (Chuck Horner). Her main hit was "If I Give My Heart to You," which charted in 1954 at the same time as another recording of the same song by Doris Day. She has appeared in numerous musical comedies including Gypsy, Annie and Sweeney Todd.
Related to her appearances on the Garry Moore show: Ivan T. Sanderson, naturalist, author, World War II intelligence agent and media personality, used to appear every week on the Garry Moore daytime show in the 1950's, and he used to do things to Denise Lor like put bats in her hair and release bees while she was onstage singing.
Well, there you have just a little bit more information about Denise Lor. It looks like she's still alive, so if she is, please let her know that her fans remember her well and I wish she would contact me here at Music For Every Mood. I'm sure her fans would like to hear from her!