Last year, Rhythm Planet celebrated—or perhaps I should say observed—Valentine's Day with a show, The Dark Side Of Love. I played songs about co-dependency, sleepless nights, waiting for texts and phone calls that won't come, the gnashing of teeth and thrashing of souls. Utter misery.
This year, we counter all that suffering with songs that celebrate the joys and wonders of love: The Sunny Side Of Love. Sweet treats in today's mix include Barry White, one of my favorite doo wop songs by The Flamingos' with their transcendent, "I Only Have Eyes for You", an R-rated Tahitian song from 1930 which is on an Robert Crumb collection of rare 78 rpm recordings, a divine Puccini aria, a Jobim love ballad sung by Willie Bobo, and a Beatles song rendered by Brazilians Na Ozzetti & Andre Mehmari. You can't help but fall in love with Mark Murphy's voice when you hear him sing, "My Ship" which is a Kurt/Weill/Ira Gershwin song.
Also, we have music by Norwegian singer Radka Toneff, a Brazilian song by Marisa Monte, plus a great new version of the classic John Jacob Niles song, "Black Is The Color". This song was made famous by Nina Simone and rendered anew by a fantastic new singer named Rhiannon Giddens. I also play Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called To Say I Love You". In one of my past Music Salons, I instructed everyone to bring in a song they either really liked or had meaning to them to play for the group. One of my then Production Assistants Gina Blancarte-Millard chose this Stevie song because she would always play it for her mother. The entire class decided to call up Gina's mom and we played it for her over the phone. It was a very touching Music Salon moment!
All these tunes come recommended to embrace the sunny side of love. By listening to last year's show and this one, you will get the whole spectrum of love and what it does to us.
Rhythm Planet Playlist: 02/13/15
- Nina Simone / "Exactly Like You" / At Town Hall 1958 / Collectables
- Rhiannon Giddens / "Black Is The Color" / Tomorrow Is My Turn / Nonesuch
- Sam Cooke / "You Send Me" / Best Of Sam Cooke / RCA
- Bob Marley / "Is This Love" / Legend / Island
- Willie Bobo / "Dindi" / Lost And Found / Concord
- Quincy Jones / "The Midnight Sun Will Never Set" / Quincy Jones's Finest Hour / Verve
- Andre Mehmari & Na Ozzetti / "Because" / Piano E Voz / MCD
- Robert Crumb / "Chant D'Amour Tahiti 1931" / Hot Women: Women Singers From The Torrid Regions Of The World / Kein & Aber
- Barry White / "Love Serenade" / Barry White's Greatest Hits / Casablanca
- Frank Sinatra / "The Very Thought Of You" / London / Universal
- Stevie Wonder / "I Just Called To Say I Love You" / Stevie Wonder--Song Review / Motown
- The Flamingos / "I Only Have Eyes For You" / The Doo Wop Box / Rhino
- Ella Fitzgerald / "I Remember You" / Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Johnny Mercer Songbook / Verve
- Mark Murphy / "My Ship" / Midnight Mood / MPS
- Luciano Pavarotti / "Recondita Armonia" / Ti Amo / London
- Radka Toneff & Steve Dobrogosz / "My Funny Valentine" / Fairy Tales / Odin
- Marisa Monte / "Amor I Love You" / Memories, Chronicles And Declarations Of Love / EMI
- John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman / "My One And Only Love" / John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman / Impulse!
Banner Image Credit: Mary Falcone