Category Archives: music

“Dark Rapture” and the incomparable Lester Young

I’ve waited for this song to be posted on YouTube for a long time, as it’s one of the earliest recorded solos of one of my favorite jazz saxophonists, Lester Young (1909-1959) Like so many jazz greats, he died too young from substance abuse—alcohol in his case. Just the other day I discovered that the song had at last […]


I came across this song while futzing around on YouTube, and realized that I hadn’t heard it in a coon’s age. Looking it up, I discovered that “Goodbye” was actually written by Paul McCartney, though it was never released by either McCartney or the Beatles, and recorded by Paul only as a demo (see below). It was a […]

“Without a Song”

A while back I put up a video of Perry Como singing one of my favorite underappreciated songs from the classic American songbook, “Without a Song,” At that time I bemoaned the fact that my favorite version, by the great (and also underappreciated) Billy Eckstine (1914-1993), wasn’t available. But I found it the other day, and submit […]

The music of K T Tunstall

I must admit that until just a few days ago I hadn’t heard of the Scottish singer/songwriter KT (Kate Victoria) Tunstall (born 1975). I stumbled across the first video below, her smoking cover of the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back,” while looking at other music on YouTube, and  I was blown away by her musicianship, her […]

“Why don’t you do right?”

I feel music coming on this week; but I suspect it will be an eclectic mix. Here’s a classic song from the 1940s. “Why don’t you do right?” started life as a song called “Weed-smoker’s dream,” recorded in 1936 by the Harlem Hamfats (not from Harlem, but Chicago; you can hear the original version here). It then […]

“I Can’t Tell You Why”

How about some nice music this morning? For your delectation I’ve chosen something mellow, something not likely to jar you awake: “I Can’t Tell You Why“, written by The Eagles band members Timothy B. Schmit (lead singer here), Glenn Frey, and Don Henley, and appearing on their 1979 Album The Long Run.  Here it’s performed […]

Four Ways of Looking at “But Beautiful”

Fortuitiously, after I had prepared this post yesterday, Google Doodle celebrated today as the 201st birthday of the inventor of the saxophone, Adolphe Sax (1814-1894), who patented the instrument in 1846. Click the screenshot to go to the Doodle; there are five variants, including one in which he blows into the word “Google” itself. And what better way […]

Reader’s Halloween performance

Reader Taskin, a harpsichordist, has sent her rendition of two Halloween-appropriate songs. Can you name them? and this one:

Lecture music

by Matthew Cobb I was reading the Times Higher Education this morning, and my attention was drawn to a set of articles about how to deal with sullen students. One suggestion, from Tara Brabazon, caught my eye as I had a 10 o’clock lecture this morning. I tw**ted: Hmm. Should I try this with 500 first […]

Caturday felid trifecta: cat controls yappy dog, cats sleeping weirdly, free cat rap album

Once again we start your Saturday with three cat-related items. In the first, a cat, by virtue of its power and magnificence, controls a yappy d*g: ******* And here’s a nice video of cats sleeping in weird positions. (Sometimes I wish I were a cat, for never have I seen a cat have trouble sleeping!) […]


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