Tag Archives: andy williams

“We get a happy feeling when we’re singing a song!”*

The title, of course, is from The Partridge Family theme song, “Come On, Get Happy,”* a true classic if ever there was one!

come on get happy

I’ve decided to introduce my granddaughters to the old TV show and Gemma just got to see the first three episodes last night. Tonight is Guini’s turn.


Sometimes you hop on Pinterest and find a theme. Pinterest has provided all of today’s great graphics! Music, songs – ahhhhhh, yes!


A chart explaining it all is so helpful.

alone with my music

It’s true.


Hey – in other music news, Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… {season one} is available on Netflix. Love Elvis, love executive producer, Elton John (who is guest on the first show). It’s a talk show with some of the best musical artists in the universe. “Talk and roll, rhythm and muse,” one promo tags it.

I just watched the episode where Elton John interviewed Elvis’s wife, the AMAZING Diana Krall (her vocal styling and interpretation is perfection and her piano playing – I nearly faint). The three of them on one show? It’s like a rich dessert! My moonlight indulgence while Dave is protecting the State of Colorado – extremely good music with a myriad of fantastically creative artists and the spontaneous performances that happen when they’re onstage telling their stories. So good. SO good!

Lastly, I just became the proud owner of a stash of Andy Williams (6), Perry Como (1) and George Maharis (1) albums for my collection. So retro, modern and beautiful. I also scored a couple of jazz albums I want to listen to soon.

The slight crackle of the needle on the vinyl, the spinning record and smooth love songs – instant transportation waaaaaaaay back in time!

Songs. :)

Thought-Collage Thursday // Song is My Native Language

amelie belle at pre-school

Nonna – can we put the music on?”  Amelie asks me so sweetly every Thursday morning when she arrives for pre-school.  We talk about pushing the big, rectangle button on the surround-sound, then carefully lifting the lid to place an LP on the player.  Then we lift the lever, place the arm over the spinning vinyl, and lower the lever with great care.  Then we lower the lid and after just a bit of crackling,  the dancing begins.

She loves the process, the steps to using the turntable.  She speaks them softly as she reverently plays a record, today: The Fabulous Fifties, last week, some Andy Williams.  I am trying to expose my grandbebes to older, American classics in music, for the new they will always find.  So I start them on 40s love songs and 60s Motown.  As they get older (like Gavin and Hunter), they want to hear the Footloose album or a song like “The Night Chicago Died.”  But it is all “old-timey” music to them.  :)

Hey – remember the 80s?

Well, as I may have mentioned before – I barely do, but not for the “usual” reasons.  I was just busy having babies and tending to my little family back in those days.  Movies?  Music?  Who the president was?  I can hardly recall (though my huge hair and Desperately-Seeking-Susan wardrobe was fantastic).  But our friends, Mary and David, invited us to a show last weekend with a B-52s cover band called, Hey Lady.  It was an all-80s music extravaganza, even with the openers, The Retrosonics (I could sing along with a lot of their music – they were great and the lead singer is the sister of another set of great friends: Joel and Marj).  But I had mostly missed the B52s the first time around.  Ha.

hey lady

Two things became very clear to me: I really AM  from the 1970s and I need that red wig!

I don’t drink and I don’t dance (I want to – just…can’t…dance, that is), so I was out of my element, but Mary has promised we’ll go back on Karoke night sometime – because I DO love to sing!

The keyboard is currently in the living room, where I plunk and play and sing a little most days

I have hit that horrible age where every song has a memory and I burst into tears at the drop of a hat or the gentle turn of a melody.  It isn’t because the memories are sad or bad, but just because I wish I had held every moment of life a little closer and more reverently.

Now I play a chord and sing a line and I see a person or place or time in my mind’s eye.  And I cry because I am so grateful I got to live it and know the people I know and to have loved them.  And my heart is full now because understanding seems to come with age.  Not one day is unimportant.  Do you hear me?  Not one.  The tears are just the overflow of a heart that can feel, that risks feeling, more and more as time goes by.

So just let me cry when I sing.  I am that age now.


For today’s #throwbackthursday ::  Highland Park Church of God in Des Moines, Iowa.  My mom was the choir director and she started it while I was about 7, at which time she taught me to sing alto.  In fact there was a whole alto section, Rhonda Sable being the rest of it, but nonetheless – there were parts.

Junior Choir 1968 j

This picture includes all 5 of us, my siblings and myself.  I am the girl in the back row clear to the right.  While the choir had been going for a year by this time (practices on Sunday evenings at 6 pm, while the YPE (aka Young People’s Endeavor, now more commonly known as Youth Group, except with some way more hip title) met upstairs.  But in the fall of 1968, when we got our poncho-robes and bright-white bow-ties, we were certainly at the zenith of our junior choir career.  Good times.

Back row, left-to-right: the late Lonny Sable, Brenda Smith, Sharon Smith, Wesley Sable, Rhonda Sable, MOI! //  Middle row, left to right: Timmy Rodgers, Timmy Moslander, Debbie Bettis, Joey Moslander, Rebecca Sable, Darryl Sable.  Front Row, left-to-right (the junior-est of them all): Tina Slight, Laurie Rodgers, Dana Mitchell Moslander, Tami (alias Tammy) Moslander, David Bettis, Carol Bettis and the late Ramona Whorley.

Which brings me to this question:  Where has all the harmony gone?

What is up with all 5 vocalists onstage singing the melody these days?  I miss hearing harmony?  Part it out, people.

Beautiful music makes the whole world go around!  Who wants to sing with me right this second?

When Christmas specials were really special

Ah, the 1960s and 70s…

Andy Williams churned out Christmas specials regularly. They are part of the background noise of my growing up years, an easy-listening soundtrack to my life and times.

Obviously at some point I became too sophisticated and cool for Andy’s shows (she says rolling her eyes at her posturing silly-determined-girl phase, before real maturity set in).  Apparently the whole world got over him, too.  For the Christmas specials ceased.

He died a few months ago and I wrote about it {HERE}, but I happened across this yesterday on YouTube (thanks for the suggestion You-tube-robots – you really do get me, it seems) and how delightful!  59 minutes and 17 seconds of  pure, unadulterated red-and-green-over-the-top-joy-to-the-world-sacred-and-silly CHRISTMAS.  Yes, CHRISTMAS in all caps!

There are appearances by the Williams Brothers Singers (Andy’s sibs) and the Osmonds started with Andy, ya know.  Claudette Longet, Andy’s French and oh so very modern and extremely cool wife is a treasure.  She sings.  Lovely!

Hook it up to your giant flat-screen TV and get some hot chocolate and cookies and I promise you will have a Christmas experience like never before…unless you were watching in the 1960s and 70s…in which case you will do it because you KNOW it was wonderful and the best of Christmas times!  A little hokey?  Well, heck yes!  That is why I LOVE it.

It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year!  Just ask Andy!!!

Moon River

Wherever you’re going, I’m going your way…

The iconic, mellow crooner, Andy Williams died tonight.  He was 84.  Probably known best for “Moon River,” I was just thinking about how many songs of his I really do love, even though he is a little more easy-listening than I usually go for.

Because of course there is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and every Christmas, even if I have neglected his work all year long, still, the Andy Williams album is dusted off and enjoyed.

But my favorite of all his many-many recordings, is the theme from the Ali McGraw-Ryan O’Neal 1970 blockbuster, “Love Story.”  The movie captured an era, white cable knit sweater and scarf, her long, black hair and free spirit, his tousled hair in spite of a rigid, formal upbringing.  Andy captures it in song, the impossibility of the love between the two of them:

Where do I begin to tell the story of how great a love can be?

The sweet love story that is older than the sea

The simple truth about the love she brings to me

Where do I start?

And darned if he doesn’t sing the stuffing out of that song, and even though he didn’t know if he could even find the words to begin to describe it, somehow he did find them and he found them powerfully:

How long does it last

Can love be measured by the hours in a day

I have no answers now but this much I can say

I know I’ll need her till the stars all burn away

And she’ll be there


Thanks, Andy Williams for telling us the story of how great a love can be.  In song.

This one’s for you, Chyrl.

With scenes from the movie {click}

Christmas Playlist

I tend toward the sentimental with Christmas music.  And I’m a little bit {more} country.  At Christmas.  For some odd reason.


But certain sings must have certain singers.

  • “Happy Holiday”s has to be Andy Williams.
  • “Winter Wonderland” belongs to Johnny Mathis.
  • “Drummer Boy” has to go to Bing, but Bing gets bunches of them (including “White Christmas” and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”) because I love him.  he is Mr Christmas!


Ellie invited me to do a Christmas music swap, my favorites for hers and I decided, though on different days I am in love with different moods and melodies of Christmas, to put together 12 songs that represented our family from 1981 to the present.  They include Bing, and there is Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” but I included Whitney Houston (“Joy to the World”) and Mariah Carey (“O Holy Night”).  Kenny Rogers got 2 selections (“Kids” and “Christmas is My Favorite Time of Year”) because his was the first cassette Christmas music tape we bought as a new family.  I did include Casting Crown’s updated version of “I heard the Bells” because Dave really likes it and of course, the collection would not be complete  with the Charlie Brown Christmas song, “Christmas Time is Here.”


I didn’t get ot include a lot of songs I love by Dolly Parton, Karen Carpenter or Elvis, Alabama, Amy Grant or the Partridge Family.  I just really love Christmas music and I have lots and lots of it representing the 1940s to the present.  They made thousands of recordings in the 50s, it seems and each year, a new song or two is added to my list Christmas songs I love…


And I am kinda in love with this duet, which is more about winter than Christmas, but don’t you just love Willie and Norah?  I do!  CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN*

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It WAS actually cold yesterday for about 17.238 minutes and we actually got at least 6.798 minutes of some sleety, snow-ish, rainy/gray/sky something or another before blue skies busted back out just before sundown.  I had inserted the word “finally” above the word “cold” but alas this morning, another sunny, temperate day and they are saying no snow for Christmas.  But I am sure we’ll have some for May Day.  Grrrrr…….

What are you singing these days?

*Willie Nelson & Norah Jones – Baby, It’s Cold Outside