From waaaay back in 1926, this one. What hap­pened was, I want­ed the se­ries to drop by Wil­lie Nel­son, and my fave Wil­lie al­bum is Star­dust, and song on it is Blue Skies. That whole al­bum is salve for the wound­ed soul I think, and Blue Skies maybe the sweet­est and strongest. But, boy, does this one ev­er have a his­to­ry.

Typ­ing “Blue Skies live” in­to YouTube gets you in­to some sur­pris­ing ter­ri­to­ry. Just so you don’t have to, I lis­tened to ver­sions by Ni­na Si­mone, Frank Si­na­tra, Di­nah Wash­ing­ton, Al Jol­son, Earl Hi­nes, and El­la Fitzger­ald. I think the clear win­ners on mu­si­cal mer­it are El­la and Wil­lie.


Then there’s this sub-sub-sub-genre of peo­ple who do weird shit with Blue Skies, no­tably Al Jol­son in the Jazz Singer, a lit­tle on the creepy side, and then this com­plete­ly de­ranged jazz mashup star­ring Nat King Cole, Pat­ti Page, Ben Web­ster, and Gene Kru­pa. I guar­an­tee you’ve nev­er seen any­thing quite like it.

As for the song, it’s on­ly got about thir­ty sec­onds worth of lyrics and a melody that goes around three times, but oh my good­ness that melody, it’s a keep­er.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. This tune on Ama­zon, iTunes, Spo­ti­fy. Now, as for live video, it seems there’s one post­ed to YouTube for each of Willie’s many years of life, and he’s got­ten in­to this re­al­ly man­nered phras­ing, where the beats are cruis­ing by pleas­ant­ly, then Wil­lie goes “BlueSkiesShiningAtMe…” all packed in­to the first quar­ter of the line; I think he’s try­ing to in­tro­duce a lit­tle sad­ness? But it doesn’t work, be­cause while ev­ery singer fools with the phras­ing on Blue Skies, you have to feel the at­tach­ment to the un­der­ly­ing beat, which by the way Wil­lie does ef­fort­less­ly on Star­dust. In this Bu­dokan show, Wil­lie is bet­ter an­chored; plus, he plays a pret­ty cos­mic gui­tar break.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights

March 03, 2018
· Arts (11 fragments)
· · Music (95 fragments)
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· Song of the Day (62 more)

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