Wednesday MidDay Medley
TEN to NOON Wednesdays – Streaming at KKFI.org
90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
New & MidCoastal Releases + Howard Iceberg
+ Guest Producer Nico Gray
1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
from: Motion Picture Soundtrack to All That Jazz / Universal / Dec. 20, 1979
2. The Decemberists – “Severed”
from: I’ll Be Your Girl / Capitol Records / March 16, 2018
[8th studio album by indie rock band The Decemberists from Portland, Oregon. The band consists of Colin Meloy (lead vocals, guitar, principal songwriter), Chris Funk (guitar, multi-instrumentalist), Jenny Conlee (piano, keyboards), Nate Query (bass), and John Moen (drums). Produced by John Congleton, the band experimented with new instrumentation during the album’s recording sessions, including several synth-based compositions inspired by New Order and Depeche Mode.]
[The Decemberists play The Uptown Theatre, Wednesday, May 23 with Eleanor Friedberger.]
3. MorMor – “Heaven’s Only Wishful”
from: Heaven’s Only Wishful – Single / Don’t Guess / February 2, 2018
[Artist, Singer-Producer, multi-instrumentalist, born and raised in Toronto. MorMor writes, records, and produces most of his own work. He tells pigeons and planes, “A lot of my inspiration stems from wanting to share a perspective of Toronto that I feel hasn’t been represented,” he says. “I’m glad Toronto is getting a lot of attention right now, but my experience of the city that has shaped me isn’t really part of the story yet.” he goes on to say, “I always felt different from the other kids at school. I went through a really hard time because I was the kid who always hung out with a wide variety of people. I kept searching for kids like me, but it never happened. In the end it gave me some good perspective. I was a pretty rebellious person when I was young. I had a problem with authority. I was reluctant to take orders if I didn’t believe in the cause. I might be the only kid who got suspended in the first grade. Music was something that I could escape through.]
4. Lucy Dacus – “Addictions”
from: Historian / Matador / March 2, 2018
[Lucy Dacus was born 1995 and grew up in Richmond, Virginia . She is an indie rock singer-songwriter who has has released two albums, both on Matador Records: 2016’s No Burden and 2018’s Historian. She started studying film at Virginia Commonwealth University but left to pursue her music career. She first performed in New York in March 2015. Sasha Gessen in Pitchfork wrote about Historian: ” It’s not an easy album to wear out. It lasts, and it should, given that so many of its lyrics pick at time, and the way time condenses around deep emotional attachments to other people.”
[Lucy Dacus plays Reverb Lounge in Omaha, NE, Monday, April 2, at 7:00 PM.]
5. Sinple – “SH-2 (SYSTEM SEGWAY)
from: Music For Machines Vol. 2 / Sinple / March 9, 2018
[Ambient Album Inspired by Brian Eno’s “Music for Airports.” Music for Machines: Written and Recorded by Sinple @ Moldy Basement. The Ambient, Darkwave, New Wave, R&B sounds of Sinple are created by KC based musician Jesse Bartmess on Synths, Drum Machine, and Vocals. Formed in 2011 and influenced by David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, Sade, Massive Attack, and Radiohead. Jesse Bartmess also plays keyboards in Rchel Mallin & the Wild Type. Info at: http://www.sinple.bandcamp.com/music%5D
[Today is the 30th Birthday of Jesse Bartmess who is hosting a skating Party, Friday night to celebrate.]
6. Khrystal. – “M e L A N i N P o P P i N”
from: Q u a r t e r C e n t u r y L i v i n g / Khrystal. / September 1, 2017
[Khrystal’s debut EP. Written and performed by Khrystal. Produced by Katheryne Johnson. Khrystal Coppage is Editor-in-Chief of Khorage Magazine. She served as Production Manager at UMKC University News from 2015 to 2016. She graduated from UMKC in 2016 where she studied Family Studies. She graduated from Kansas City Kansas Community College in 2013. She is a graduate of Sumner Academy of Arts & Science, in KCK. http://mixtapemonkey.com/2073/khrystal-q-u-a-r-t-e-r-c-e-n-t-u-r-y-l-i-v-i-n-g. Khrystal also released the three song EP, The Glow Up produced by Duncan Burnett on Novembr 7, 2017.
[Khrystal. plays the: I Heart Local Music Birthday Party Show at Jackpot in Lawrence, KS., with Bummer, and The Sluts on Friday, March 30, at 9:00 PM.]
7. Kadesh Flow – “Room Service”
from: Room Service EP / Ryan Davis / March 30, 2018
[Kadesh Flow is Ryan Davis is a rapper with an MBA. At age 11, he began rapping and playing trombone within two weeks of one another. His music has been featured on network television in multiple countries and territories across Southeast Asia. Locally, Kadesh can be found rocking solo hip hop sets, laying down bone bars with KC funk juggernaut The Phantastics, or jamming with various bands throughout the city. The Room Service EP was conceived between shows at MAGfest 2018, when Kadesh Flow, Atlas, and Bill Beats began creating in their hotel room. Producers/Writers include: Kadesh Flow, Atlas, Bill Beats, Shubzilla, Eye-Q, O.Super. Mixed By: Kadesh Flow. Mastered By: Out D Park Productions.]
[Kadesh Flow plays Pax east in Boston, Mass, Thursday, April 5]
[The Phantastics play Record Store Day at Josey Record, Saturday, April 21, at 8:00 PM.]
8. Kid Computer – “Dive”
from: Dive – Single / Kid Computer / April 6, 2018
[A Kansas City based 4-piece band featuring Matt Gore, Christian Sanchez and George McMillian. The band is getting set to release two separate singles “Afterglow” and “Dive” on Friday.]
[Kid Computer play a Single Release Show, Friday, April 6, at 7:00 pm with The UK’s and Quasar, at The Rino, 314 Armour Rd, North Kansas City, MO]
10:30 – Underwriting
10:32 – Interview with Howard Iceberg & Rich Hill
Howard Iceberg & Rich Hill on the March 28, 2018 edition of Wednesday MidDay Medley on KKFI 90.1 FM.
Legendary Kansas City Singer Songwriter – Howard Eisberg records and performs under the name Howard Iceberg. He is one of the most prolific and poetic songwriters of the Kansas City music scene. He has written hundreds, possibly thousands of songs. Howard has done all of this while also leading a distinguished career as an immigration attorney, and he has donated much of his time and music to valuable projects that serve our community. Howard Iceberg began performing in coffeehouses in the late 1980s with fellow area independent songwriters Scott Hrabko and Iris DeMent. Over the past three decades he has released countless CDs, and recorded multiple collections of songs. In 2011, Howard Iceberg & The Titanics released a seven CD, box set, of 106 new songs, all instant classics. In 2014 he released a collection called Spring 2014, on his birthday May 9, 2015 he released, Smooth Sailing which included 13 new songs. In September 2016 Howard released a 2 CD set of 26 new tracks called, “Kansas City Songs.”
Larry Kopitnik, for The Pitch writes, “Pianist-vocalist Rich Hill has a personal sound steeped in the rich jazz, blues and gospel traditions of his Kansas City hometown. His keyboard style is grounded in the long tradition of jazz piano from ragtime to stride, bebop and modern jazz. Depending on the song, he might play something that sounds like Fats Waller, then something with a kind of Bill Evans or Chick Corea feel, followed by a tune suggesting Ray Charles’ blues-tinged earthiness. His success entertaining audiences with his keyboard and vocal talents while maintaining a certain standard of artistry is a notable accomplishment proven by continued demand for bookings.”
Howard Iceberg and Rich Hill share music from Howard Iceberg & The Titanics’ new album, Netherlands. Howard Iceberg & The Titanics play an Album Release show at The Ship, 1217 Union, in the West Bottoms, Thursday, March 29, 7-9pm, w/ 3 sets of music & special guests. This is a benefit for Care Beyond the Blvd, a non-profit organization providing medical & social services to homeless and vulnerable groups.
Howard Iceberg and Rich Hill, Thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley.
On Netherlands Howard teamed with jazz artist Rich Hill on keys & backing vocals.
Other collaborating musicians include Jazz musicians: Bryan Hicks on stand up bass, electric bass and backing vocals; Charles Perkins on saxophone and flute; Gary Cardile on percussion; and Doug Auwarter on drums. All frequent collaborators with Rich Hill.
Other musicians bringing their talents to the album include: Dan Bliss on guitar, Betse Ellis on violin, Camry Ivory on vocals & backing vocals, Marco Pascolini on on baritone guitar & pedal steel, Phil Wade on dobro, Jeff Freling on guitar, and Chad Rex on guitar.
Netherlands was produced by Howard Iceberg and Rich Hill. Recorded by Pat Tomek at Largely Studios and Rich Hill at The Hilltop. Mixed by Howard Iceberg and Pat Tomek.
The songs on Netherlands were written by Howard Iceberg
Pat Tomek at Largely Studios is part of Howard Iceberg’s long time recording project. Howard tells us that he has more than 4 albums worth of new songs in the works.
Pat Tomek is longtime member of The Titanics, drummer and member of legendary band The Rainmakers, and drummer in the band Deco Auto, that we played earlier in the show. Pat Tomek is also a recording engineer and producer who has worked with countless area bands and musicians and has been a primary partner and caretaker in the recording and production of Howard’s recording project of songs.
9. Howard Iceberg & The Titanics – “My Love For You Is Real” (CD #9) (2:16)
from: Netherlands / Howard Iceberg & The Titanics / December 20, 2017
[On this track: Howard Iceberg on lead vocals & harmony vocals Rich Hill on piano, Bryan Hicks on stand-up bass, Gary Cardile on percussion, and Charles Perkins on sax. Words and music by Howard Iceberg © 2017 Howard Iceberg. All rights reserved. Produced by Howard Iceberg and Rich Hill. Recorded by Pat Tomek at Largely Studios and Rich Hill at The Hilltop. Mixed by Howard Iceberg and Pat Tomek.]
Howard Iceberg calls this album, “More songs from another time and place. This time around, a story album. Not mine, but that of spirits both close and far. Help from Durrell and Hemingway. The stories fleshed out by some of KC’s jazz cats, not to mention the usual suspects. I keep my eyes open and my mouth shut (heh heh). Imagining I am seeing the arc of love and the arc of life more clearly with the years. Waiting for a train.”
10. Howard Iceberg & The Titanics – “All In For You”
from: Netherlands / Howard Iceberg & The Titanics / December 20, 2017
[On this track: Howard Iceberg on lead vocals, Rich Hill on organ, Bryan Hicks on electric bass, Doug Auwarter on drums, Dan Bliss on guitar, and Chad Rex on guitar. All words and music by Howard Iceberg © 2017 Howard Iceberg. All rights reserved. Produced by Howard Iceberg and Rich Hill. Recorded by Pat Tomek at Largely Studios and Rich Hill at The Hilltop. Mixed by Howard Iceberg and Pat Tomek.]
Howard Iceberg began performing in KC while in Law School. In the 1980s he was rubbing elbows with fellow area independent songwriters Scott Hrabko and Iris DeMent. At one point Howard was playing accordion in one of Scott Hrabko’s bands.
11. Howard Iceberg & The Titanics – “I Can’t Find You At All”
from: Netherlands / Howard Iceberg & The Titanics / December 20, 2017
[On this track: Howard Iceberg on lead vocals & harmony vocals, Rich Hill on organ, Bryan Hicks on electric bass, Doug Auwarter on drums, Dan Bliss on guitar. All words and music by Howard Iceberg © 2017 Howard Iceberg. All rights reserved. Produced by Howard Iceberg and Rich Hill. Recorded by Pat Tomek at Largely Studios and Rich Hill at The Hilltop. Mixed by Howard Iceberg and Pat Tomek.]
Care Beyond the Boulevard was conceived by Jaynell (KayKay) Assmann after she noted the number of homeless people coming into the hospital where she worked as a nurse. As soon as she became certified as a Nurse Practitioner, her first goal was to establish an outreach to the urban poor and especially the homeless. She worked as a volunteer at the Micah Ministry food kitchen and in 2016 while working at Family Health Care, KayKay developed Care Beyond the Boulevard. We see 10-25 people each session (most Monday evenings) and provide care for urgent and chronic health needs. In addition we go on the streets into homeless encampments, providing healthcare directly to the homeless one other night per week, seeing between 7-15 patients. Additional services are provided as necessary through Family Health Care’s Southwest Boulevard clinic. More info at: http://www.carebeyondtheboulevard.org
Howard Iceberg and Rich Hill, Thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley
Howard Iceberg & The Titanics play an Album Release show at The Ship, 1217 Union, in the West Bottoms, Thursday, March 29, 7-9pm, w/ 3 sets of music & special guests. This is a benefit for Care Beyond the Blvd, a non-profit organization providing medical & social services to homeless and vulnerable groups.
12. Howard Iceberg & The Titanics – “Rainy Rainy Day”
from: Netherlands / Howard Iceberg & The Titanics / December 20, 2017
[On this track: Howard Iceberg on lead vocals, Rich Hill on piano & organ, Camry Ivory on harmony vocals. All words and music by Howard Iceberg © 2017 Howard Iceberg. All rights reserved. Produced by Howard Iceberg and Rich Hill. Recorded by Pat Tomek at Largely Studios and Rich Hill at The Hilltop. Mixed by Howard Iceberg and Pat Tomek.]
11:00 – Station ID
11:00 – Guest Producer Nico Gray
13. Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark — “The New Stone Age”
from: Architecture & Morality / Dindisc-Virgin / November 8, 1981
[3rd studio album by British electronic music group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. English electronic music band formed in Wirral, Merseyside in 1978. Spawned by earlier group The Id, the outfit is composed of co-founders Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass guitar) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), along with Martin Cooper (various instruments) and Stuart Kershaw (drums); McCluskey is the only constant member. OMD released their influential debut single, “Electricity”, in 1979, and gained popularity throughout Europe with the 1980 anti-war song “Enola Gay”. The band achieved broader recognition via their album Architecture & Morality (1981) hailed as the band’s seminal work, the album received critical acclaim and has appeared on various “best albums” lists; The Morning News named it the finest record of 1981, and “the blueprint for synth-pop”. The album also became a commercial success, selling over 4 million copies by 2007. The record spawned three international hit singles, which sold more than 8 million copies combined.Critic Hugo Lindgren wrote that OMD have cultivated a “legacy as musical innovators”. In February 2007 a Scotsman journalist said: “If Kraftwerk were the Elvis Presley of synth-pop, then Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark were its Beatles.” In 2008, American publication The A.V. Club noted that McCluskey and Humphreys were “often labeled as the ‘Lennon-McCartney of synth-pop’.” In a 2008 piece on OMD, The Quietus magazine editor John Doran called them “the only Liverpool band to come near to living up to the monolithic standards of productivity and creativity set in place by the Beatles”, and asserted: “Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark are not one of the best synth bands ever: they are one of the best bands ever.” Veteran BBC DJ Simon Mayo described OMD as “the fathers of electronic music in this country [the UK].”]
We welcome back to the show, our friend Nico Gray, joins us as “Guest Producer” for our second hour. Nico is a former theatre actor, performance artist, writer, and is currently a marketing and advertising consultant. Rooted in KC, Nico grew up with radio. Nico writes that, “Music has always served as the ‘passport’ through spiritual journeys that have transplanted him to the brownstones of Chicago, the rooftops of Paris, the sea-side of Marseille and the balconies of NYC.” For WMM Nico Gray has co-hosted three of our on-air fund drive shows. He participated in our special 700th show, his writing has been featured on three of our Bowie Tribute Shows, and today is his 6th appearance as Guest Producer from over the past three years.
Nico Gray welcome back to Wednesday MidDay Medley.
14. Annie Hart — “Hard to Be Still”
from: Impossible Accomplice/ Instant Records / 2017
[Annie Hart is a keyboardist, songwriter and vocalist. She primarily composes and performs in the band Au Revoir Simone. In 2017, she released a solo album entitled Impossible Accomplice. She has contributed vocals to other artists’ projects and appeared on the 2017 series of Twin Peaks. Annie Hart was born on Long Island, New York. She has been in other groups including Uninhabitable Mansions, featuring members of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and collaborated as a composer with French band Air for their soundtrack to Les Voyages Dans La Lune. In 2017, she began releasing music under her own name apart from Au Revoir Simone and embarked on a world tour. She has appeared on screen along with the other members of Au Revoir Simone in Episodes 4 and 9 of the 2017 series of Twin Peaks. Her song, “Hard To Be Still,” appeared on episode one of the Netflix series, Gypsy, starring Naomi Watts. Au Revoir Simone is an American dream pop/synth-pop band from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2003. The group is composed of Erika Forster (vocals/keyboard), Annie Hart (vocals/keyboard/bass) and Heather D’Angelo (vocals/drum machine/keyboard). The band’s name comes from a line Pee-wee Herman says to a minor character (named Simone) in Tim Burton’s 1985 film Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. The group’s musical inspirations were compared by the band’s European label, Moshi Moshi Records, to “a dutifully mined musical thrift store”; these diverse influences include Modest Mouse, Stereolab, the Mountain Goats, Louis Prima, Pavement, the Beach Boys, Björk, Broadcast, Belle & Sebastian, David Bowie, Bee Gees and Billie Holiday.]
15. Nina Simone — “Seems I’m Never Tired Lovin’ You”
from: Nina Simone and Piano! / RCA Victor / 1969
[Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon, on February 21, 1933 and died in France on April 21, 2003. Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist. She worked in a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. The sixth child of a preacher’s family in North Carolina, Simone aspired to be a concert pianist. Her musical path changed direction after she was denied a scholarship to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, despite a well-received audition. “Simone said she later found out from an insider at Curtis that she was denied entry because she was black.” To fund her continuing musical education and become a classical pianist, she began playing in a small club in Atlantic City where she was also required to sing. She was approached by Bethlehem Records, and her rendition of “I Loves You, Porgy” was a hit in the United States in 1958. Over the length of her career Simone recorded more than 40 albums, mostly between 1958, when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue, and 1974. Her musical style arose from a fusion of gospel and pop songs with classical music, in particular with influences from her first inspiration, Johann Sebastian Bach, and accompanied with her expressive jazz-like singing in her characteristic contralto voice. She injected her classical background into her music as much as possible to give it more depth and quality, as she felt that pop music was inferior to classical. Her intuitive grasp on the audience–performer relationship was gained from a unique background of playing piano accompaniment for church revivals and sermons regularly from the early age of six years old.]
16. Sabina — “Won’t Let You Break Me”
from: Toujours / Bar None Records / March 24, 2014
[The singer of avant-garde electro-punk outfit Brazilian Girls, Sabina Sciubba is a multi-lingual artist whose music transcends both space and time. Across no less than five different languages, her straight talking debut solo album Toujours is a compelling, intimate, narcotic dreamscape you might call The Parisienne Velvet Underground and Nico, with a surprising sense of humour. “I photographed myself naked, sitting on a closet, like a French dresser,” she laughs describing the DIY semi-animated video for the album’s title-track. Paying homage to Pythonesque surrealism it sees Sciubba riding a donkey whilst playing a ukulele, wearing nothing but a smile. “The actual photos are ridiculous. My older son was looking at me like, ‘oh no, she’s lost it’.” Equally adept at casting opinion as well as writing songs, Sciubba is a modern day heroine, skilled in the art of elegant seduction. Cut from the same rebellious cloth as other uncompromising femme fatales Patti Smith or Madonna, whilst channelling the visual impact of Grace Jones and Bjork (one billowing outfit appeared to be a ventilation shaft, made of crepe), she is a fearless woman, whose passion for speaking her mind – in German, Italian, French, Spanish, and English – only enhances her sophisticated lo-fi pop music. Born in Rome to German and Italian parents, raised in Munich and Nice, and discovered in Hamburg at age 19 by virtuoso guitarist Antonio Foricone before relocating to New York to lend her stunningly sultry vocals to Brazilian Girls (incidentally one girl – Sciubba – and no Brazilians), the new album was written on guitars in Paris and has found Sciubba reunited with Brazilian Girls producer Frederick Rubens.]
17. Jacqueline Taieb — “7 Heures Du Matin”
from: 7 Heures Du Matin – Single / Impact / 1967
[Jacqueline Taïeb was born November 9, 1948 in Tunis, French protectorate of Tunisia. She is a French singer and songwriter of Tunisian descent. She achieved her greatest success as a pop and yé-yé singer in France in the 1960s. Taïeb arrived in France from Tunisia with her parents at age eight. She began composing songs with her guitar at 12 and in 1966 was discovered by a talent scout while Taïeb was singing with friends. After arriving in Paris, she was signed to Impact Records and released the song “7 heures du matin” in 1967, which became her biggest French hit. She was subsequently voted Best Newcomer at the inaugural Midem music festival in Cannes for the song. The song was about a bored teenage girl who doesn’t wish to go to school that day and fantasizes about rock and roll stars such as The Who and Paul McCartney. In the early 1970s, Taïeb took a break from recording. In 1988, she penned the song “Ready to Follow You”, which became an international hit for American singer Dana Dawson. The single sold more than 500,000 copies, and the album sold 300,000 in France alone.]
18. Miley Cyrus — “Twinkle Song”
from: Saturday Night Live / October 6, 2015
[Originally recorded for her 5th studio album, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, which was independently released on SoundCloud on August 30, 2015. Opting for an album relying less on computerized elements than her previous release, Bangerz (2013), Cyrus began planning the project in 2013 before Bangerz was released. Work continued into 2014 and 2015, when she befriended and began collaborating with the Flaming Lips. Without previous promotion, Cyrus announced that Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz was available for free online streaming when she hosted the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, released independently. Cyrus has promoted the album with music videos for “Dooo It!”, “Lighter” and “BB Talk”, performances of “Karen Don’t Be Sad” and “Twinkle Song” when she hosted Saturday Night Live, and the Milky Milky Milk Tour in November and December 2015. Miley Ray Cyrus was born Destiny Hope Cyrus on November 23, 1992. She is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. After playing minor roles in the television series Doc and the film Big Fish in her childhood, she became a teen idol starring as the character Miley Stewart on the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana in 2006. Her father Billy Ray Cyrus also starred on the series, which aired for four seasons until 2011. Cyrus has earned five number-one and eleven top-ten albums on the US Billboard 200, including releases credited as both herself and Hannah Montana.]
19. David Bowie — “Sorrow”
from: Pin Ups / RCA Records / October 19, 1973
[7th studio album by David Bowie, containing cover versions of songs. Pin Ups entered the UK chart on November 3 1973 the same day as Bryan Ferry’s covers album These Foolish Things and stayed there for 21 weeks, peaking at No. 1. According to co-producer Ken Scott, the LP was originally conceived as “a complete opposite of [Bowie’s] other albums”, consisting of all cover songs except one original composition, and mainly turned towards the US market since “he wanted to do songs that weren’t known as well in the States as they were in England”, yet eventually the plan was dropped. Pin Ups was the first of two “1960s nostalgia” albums that Bowie had planned to release. The second, which was planned to be called “Bowie-ing Out,” would have contained Bowie covering his favorite American artists, but was never recorded. Bowie also apparently considered making a Pin Ups sequel: he had compiled a list of songs he wanted to cover, some of which showed up on his later releases of Heathen (2002) and Reality (2003). In the album booklet, Bowie, writing in his own hand, describes Pin Ups as: “These songs are among my favorites from the ’64–67′ period of London. / Most of the groups were playing the Ricky-Ticky-Scene club circuit. / Some are still with us. / Pretty Things, Them, Yardbirds, Syd’s Pink Floyd, Mojos, Who, Easybeats, Merseys, The Kinks. / Love-on ya!”The woman on the cover with Bowie is 1960s supermodel Twiggy in a photograph taken by her then-manager Justin de Villeneuve. It was shot in Paris for Vogue magazine, but at Bowie’s request was used for the album instead. “Sorrow” was originally recorded by The Merseys.]
11:35 – Underwriting
20. Bert Kaempfert — “Wonderland By Night”
from: Wonderland By Night – Single / Decca Records / August 1960
[“Wonderland by Night” (German title “Wunderland bei Nacht”) is a popular song by Bert Kaempfert that was a Billboard #1 hit for 3 weeks, starting Jan 9, 1961. Written by Klaus-Günter Neumann with English lyrics by Lincoln Chase. It was Kaempfert’s 1st hit with his orchestra. The song featured Charly Tabor on trumpet. The original version of “Wonderland by Night” also crossed over to the R&B chart where it peaked at number five. Another cover, recorded and released by Louis Prima, also charted in the same year, reaching #15 on the Billboard charts. Anita Bryant’s version, which included orchestrations by Lew Douglas, reached #18 on the US Pop Chart. Berthold Heinrich Kämpfert, (Oct. 16, 1923-June 21, 1980), better known as Bert Kaempfert, was a German orchestra leader, music producer, arranger, & songwriter. He made easy listening and jazz-oriented records and wrote the music for a number of well-known songs, including “Strangers in the Night” and “Moon Over Naples”. Kaempfert’s own first hit with his orchestra had been in 1960, “Wonderland by Night”. Wonderland by Night, which was recorded in July 1959, couldn’t get a hearing in Germany. Instead, Kaempfert brought the track to Decca Records in New York, who released it in America in 1959 (or fall 1960); with its haunting solo trumpet, muted brass, and lush strings, the single topped the American pop charts and turned Bert Kaempfert and Orchestra into international stars. Over the next few years, he revived such pop tunes as “Tenderly”, “Red Roses for a Blue Lady”, “Three O’Clock in the Morning”, and “Bye Bye Blues”, as well as composing pieces of his own, including “Spanish Eyes (Moon Over Naples)”, “Danke Schoen”, and “Wooden Heart”, which were recorded by, respectively, Al Martino, Wayne Newton, and Elvis Presley. For Kaempfert, little may have brought him more personal satisfaction than Nat King Cole recording his “L-O-V-E”. As a producer, Kaempfert also played a part in the rise of The Beatles when he signed a Liverpool-based singer named Tony Sheridan, who was performing in Hamburg, and needed to recruit a band to play behind him on the proposed sides. He auditioned and signed the Beatles, and recorded two tracks with them during his sessions for Sheridan: “Ain’t She Sweet”, sung by rhythm guitarist John Lennon and the instrumental “Cry for a Shadow”, co-written by Lennon and lead guitarist George Harrison. Kaempfert’s recording of the Beatles, even as a backing band for Sheridan, provided an impetus to their subsequent success, even though none of the Kaempfert-recorded sides resembled the music for which they became famous. On October 28, 1961, a man walked into the music store owned by Brian Epstein to ask for a copy of “My Bonnie”, recorded by the Beatles (but, actually credited to Tony Sheridan). The store did not have it, but Epstein noted the request and was so intrigued by the idea of a Liverpool band getting a record of its own out, he personally followed up on it. This event led to his discovery of the Beatles and, through his effort, their signing by George Martin to Parlophone Records after getting clear of any contractual claim by Polydor. Jimi Hendrix included the melody of “Strangers in the Night” in his improvised guitar solo for his famous guitar-burning version of “Wild Thing” at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.]
21. Janelle Monáe — “Make Me Feel”
from: Dirty Computer / Wondaland Arts Society – Bad Boy – Epic / April 27, 2018
[Janelle Monáe moved from Kansas City, Kansas to New York to study theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Her original plan was to pursue a career on Broadway, but she soon changed her mind and returned to music. After moving to Atlanta, GA, where she met OutKast’s Big Boi, Monáe founded the Wondaland Arts Society with like-minded young artists and made appearances on Outcast’s Idlewild, where Janelle is featured on the songs “Call The Law” and “In Your Dreams”. In 2007, Monáe released her first solo work, titled Metropolis. A few months later she was signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ label, Bad Boy Records. Dirty Computer is the third studio album by Janelle Monáe. In October 2016, Monáe made her big screen acting debut in the critically acclaimed film Moonlight. Monáe also starred in the film Hidden Figures. While filming her two movie roles, Monáe remained active in music with features on Grimes’ “Venus Fly” from her Art Angels album and also the soundtrack for the Netflix series The Get Down with a song titled, “Hum Along and Dance (Gotta Get Down)”. She was also on the tracks “Isn’t This the World” and “Jalapeño” for the Hidden Figures soundtrack. In an interview with People, Monáe revealed that she was already working on her third studio album when she received the scripts for her two first acting roles; therefore, she put the album on hold. It was confirmed by Monae after “Make Me Feel” was released that Prince, with whom she collaborated on her preceding album, The Electric Lady, had worked on the single, as well as the entire album, before he passed away. This was confirmed after listeners noticed similarities between the single’s sound and the late musician’s work. Monae stated in an interview with BBC Radio 1: “Prince was actually working on the album with me before he passed on to another frequency, and helped me come up with some sounds. And I really miss him, you know, it’s hard for me to talk about him. But I do miss him, and his spirit will never leave me.” The synth groove in “Make Me Feel” was played at one of Prince’s parties years prior to its inclusion in the single, as confirmed by Prince’s DJ, Lenka Paris.]
22. Jimmie Spheeris – “Open Up”
from: Original Tap Dancing Kid / Columbia / 1973
[2nd studio album from Jimmie Spheeris (Nov. 5, 1949-July 4, 1984). He was an American singer-songwriter who released 4 albums in the 1970s on Columbia and Epic Records. He was of Greek descent. He was brother of film director & producer Penelope Spheeris, and cousin of musician Chris Spheeris and film director Costa Gavras. Jimmie (James) Spheeris was born in Phenix City, Alabama, to Juanita ‘Gypsy’ and Andrew Spheeris, who owned and operated a traveling carnival called the Majick Empire. These childhood years of colorful transience were a major influence on later work, as evidenced in songs such as “Lost in the Midway” and “Decatur Street,” among others. Spheeris had two sisters, Penelope and Linda, and a brother, Andy. After his father was murdered by a “belligerent carnival-goer,” Gypsy Spheeris moved the family to San Diego, CA. The family eventually settled in Venice, California. Gypsy Spheeris tended bar at an establishment on Main Street called The Circle. Spheeris moved to NYC in the late 1960s to pursue and develop his songwriting career. The liner notes on his debut album credit friend and fellow songwriter Richie Havens, who introduced Spheeris to Columbia Records executive Clive Davis. Davis signed Spheeris to a 4 album recording contract and his debut album was released on Columbia. Spheeris’ 1971 debut album, Isle of View, garnered a devoted following and FM radio airplay, notably for the song “I am the Mercury.” His 1973 album, The Original Tap Dancing Kid, was followed by a period of extensive concert touring. Spheeris returned to the recording studio in 1975 with The Dragon is Dancing and released Ports of the Heart in 1976. After Ports of the Heart, Spheeris had no recording contract. Except for a 1980 single, “Hold Tight,” Spheeris released no new material through a major record label. Spheeris died at the age of 34 in Santa Monica, CA, when his motorcycle collided with a van at 2 a.m. on the morning of July 4, 1984. The driver of the van, Bruce Burnside, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and felony vehicular manslaughter. Hours before his death, Spheeris finished the self-titled album, Spheeris, which was produced by Paul Delph. This final album was not publicly released for 16 years. Delph would later record two of Spheeris’ songs for his final album A God That Can Dance.
11:47 – Original Spoken Word Piece by Nico Gray about his father Terry Edward Gray, 84, who passed away on March 7, 2018 in Harrisonville, Missouri, surrounded by his family.
23. Sinéad O’Connor — “Kyrié Eléison”
from: Faith and Courage / Atlantic / June 13, 2000
[5th full-length album by Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor. It was O’Connor’s first release in three years, her previous album being the greatest hits package So Far… The Best of Sinéad O’Connor in 1997, plus it was her first studio album in six years. O’Connor composed a majority of the tracks on Faith and Courage and production duties were shared by a variety of artists including Wyclef Jean, David A. Stewart, Brian Eno, Kevin “She’kspere” Briggs, Anne Preven and Scott Cutler among others. The album sold 1,000,000 copies worldwide and was certified gold in Australia in 2000. As of 2014, sales in the United States have exceeded 219,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Magda Davitt was born Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor December 8, 1966. She rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra. As Sinéad O’Connor, she achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a new arrangement of Prince’s song “Nothing Compares 2 U”. Since then, while maintaining her singing career, she has occasionally encountered controversy, partly due to her statements and gestures—such as her ordination as a priest despite being a woman with a Roman Catholic background—and her strongly expressed views on organised religion, women’s rights, war, and child abuse. In addition to her ten solo albums, her work includes many singles, songs for films, collaborations with many other artists, and appearances at charity fundraising concerts. In 2017, O’Connor said that she had changed her legal name to Magda Davitt.]
24. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]
[WMM Closing Theme]
Nico Gray thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley.
Next week, on April 4 Austin Williams and his band Ten Thousand One join us live in our 90.1 FM studios. Also the band Olivia Fox will join us to share their new music, and Artist Ryan Wilks joins us to share the latest news about his new exhibit, Here Where You Wish, an immersive public installation coming to the Kansas City Public Library, at 14 West 10th Street, First Friday, April 6, 2018.
Our Script/Playlist is a “cut and paste” of information.
Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios, wikipedia.org
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