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Golden Oldies Music


The Saga of "Lilli Marlene"

Perhaps the favorite song of soldiers during World War II, Lilli Marlene (or in the original German, "Lili Marleen") became the unofficial anthem of the foot soldiers of both forces in the war.

The lyrics were originally written as a poem by German soldier Hans Leip during World War I. Later published in a collection of his poetry in 1937, the poem's imagery and emotion caught the attention of fellow German Norbert Schultze, who set the poem to music in 1938. Recorded just before the war by Lale Andersen, the song was a mildly popular ditty until German Forces Radio began broadcasting it (among other tunes) to the Afrika Korps in 1941.

The soldiers made it their favorite tune, and British soldiers who were listening heard the wistful romanticism catch heartstrings, regardless of language.

Vera Lynn-“Angel of the Trenches”

When I first read that the majestic beech trees of Saint Pierre de Varengeville-Duclair forest which have stood in poignant testimony to the D-Day landings for more than six decades, had been felled, chopped up and turned into so much paper, my mind immediately flew to Dame Vera Lynn.

Thousands of American soldiers stationed there after the liberation of Normandy spent their spare hours thinking of their wives and sweethearts back home. They did what young men everywhere did down through the centuries, they carved the initials of their loved ones into the bark of a tree.

How many of them had Vera Lynn’s haunting song, We’ll Meet Again in mind as they carved out initials with a knife or bayonet?

Writing on the Wall Always There for Adam Wade

It was a catchy tune, a song whose beat teased me because I knew I had heard it sometime in the past, but somehow the where or when always seemed to elude me.

Every once in a while, (not nearly often enough for me), Radio740, my favourite station plays Writing on the Wall.

I began listening in just as fervently after the song was over, hoping that the announcer would identify the singer of the song, which he did.

The DJ mentioned the catchy beat of the tune and identified the singer as Adam Wade, so I went on an Internet search to find him.

Trini Lopez:: A Star whose light shines on barrio boys everywhere

Somewhere between my callow youth and now, I lost track of awesome Latino legend Trini Lopez.

So you can imagine my delight when I came across Trini on YouTube, singing the songs that made people everywhere fall in love with him. Hearing Trini sing, If I Had A Hammer, makes it seem like the years never passed.

Some people who never seem to age have the ability of making us all feel younger.

Trini Lopez will be honoured with his own star on the Las Vegas Walk of Starts on his May 15 birthday this year.

More than Sixteen Reasons to love Connie Stevens

"If you look up the word "cute" in the dictionary, you're going to find Connie Steven's picture illustrating it," was how one person described the singer after seeing her singing Sixteen Reason on You Tube.

The entertainment world knows Connie Stevens for her classic role as "Cricket Blake" in the television hit series Hawaiian Eye, but Sixteen Reasons was the number one record in the United States back in 1961.

Born with music in her genes, Connie came into the world as Concetta Rosalie Anna Ingoglia, daughter of Peter Ingoglia (known as musician Teddy Stevens) and singer, Eleanor McGinley.

Chubby Checker reflects on latest career "Twist"

"Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."

It's that famous moment of discovery, spoken by telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell to assistant Thomas A. Watson, that Chubby Checker most likens to his musical legacy.

"Before Bell, there was no telephone. Before Chubby Checker, there was no dancing apart to the beat," he says, referring to his 1960 No. 1 hit "The Twist."

"In two minutes and 42 seconds, when I sang on 'American Bandstand' and did the dance -- which is like putting out a cigarette with both feet or wiping off your bottom with a towel to the beat -- the world forever changed the way it danced," Checker says.

Paul Anka still doing it his way

NEW YORK (Billboard) - As a recording artist, songwriter or both, Paul Anka has appeared on the Billboard charts in every decade since the 1950s.

Anka began as a teen idol with such hits as "Diana" and "Puppy Love," but he later emerged as a powerhouse songwriter, responsible for perennials including "(You're) Having My Baby," Tom Jones' "She's a Lady" and of course, Frank Sinatra's signature song "My Way."

Along the way, Anka has helped other artists start out. He invited fellow Canadian David Clayton-Thomas to appear on an episode of '60s rock 'n' roll TV performance series "Hullabaloo" that he hosted, giving the future Blood, Sweat & Tears frontman a life-changing experience that made way for great things to come.

Fats Domino "Walkin' Back to New Orleans" this summer

By Judi McLeod

Some time in the summer of 2007, Fats Domino will return to his rebuilt New Orleans home. In effect, Fats will be "Walking to New Orleans".

The Boogie Woogie Boy of "Blueberry Hill" fame was driven out of his beloved home in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward, an area utterly devastated by the floods of Hurricane Katrina.

Although volunteers including university students are restoring the house, Domino's memorabilia, collected over a lifetime, are gone with the wind.

Tuned in to the radio in August of 2005, Fats who heard that Katrina was headed his way chose to stay at home with his family, due to his wife's poor health.

The choirboy who took the world by lightning

By Judi McLeod

It was my lucky night when I was able to meet the chart-topping Golden Oldie Lou Christie of stratospheric falsetto fame.

Former Toronto Police Association member Don Court introduced me to Christie at a Zentel concert taking place at the Hershey Center, Mississauga, Ontario, where the Golden Oldie legends often appear.

The cheering from the crowd was deafening when Christie started his number one multi-millions, success signature song, "Lightning Strikes".

Everybody in the audience was transported back to a simpler, gentler time, and here was the real thing in the flesh doing the transporting!

Jay Tell on Bobby Darin

By Jay Tell

Can it be 30 years since Bobby Darin's untimely passing? Walden Robert Cassotto was born May 14, 1936 in the Bronx, New York. As a boy he yearned for fame and a show business career. He searched the phone book, and became Bobby Darin. He tragically left us too soon, on December 20, 1973, at only 37, before he could embrace his future, before we fully appreciated the Darin treasure and mystique. I knew Bobby 10 years, 1963 to 1973. During his last four exciting years we were close friends, confidants and business partners. I was editor and publisher of the Las Vegas Free Press, and owned Nevada's first health food restaurant, Food For Thought.

Venues, Dancing, Music

Listening to Golden Oldies at Echos--where I want to be!

DJ Lenny, Kerry Wilkinson
D.J. Lenny (left) and Owner Kerry Wilkinson
Right up there with investigative journalism and gourmet cooking, the allure of the Golden Oldies is my passion.

Tuning in to AM740 is the start of my every business day. The songs of Dean Martin, Fats Domino and Gerry Vale keep me going. They make all the difference in my overly busy life in front of the computer screen.

Sometimes I get to tune in to AM740 when not writing for Canada Free Press (CFP). Barring business emergencies, at 2 p.m. every Sunday, I put everything aside to hear Gene Stevens. I rate his Vintage Favorites; from 2 to 4 as the best radio show I've ever heard!

Back by Popular Demand

By Debbra Macdonald

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Spider Jones SPIDER JONES returns to the Jukebox Live on October 12, 2007. As previously reported on April 13, 2007 Spider wove his web and sold out JB Live in Pickering. By popular demand, the Jukebox Live has brought Spider back to the club. His Dynamic preformance, sexy music from the fifties and sixties keeps you hopping all night long. With Spider and his band rocking out the house, the club should be filled with powerful energy, dancing and a guaranteed lively crowd.

Relive the magic of the Oldies But Goodies

Elvis Presley isn't dead. Neither are Dean Martin, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Buddy Holly, Jackie Wilson and countless others. They're not dead as long as radio stations like the Burlington, Ontario-based Radio 740 and the Albany, New York-based, WTRY keep bringing them into our front rooms every day

Media critics poking fun of "grandpa rockers" should be told music never ages

By Judi McLeod

Monday, August 27, 2007

Roger Daltry, Peter TownsendOf rockers on tour in Europe, Harold Peters, culture editor and music critic for the newspaper, Welt am Sonntag says: "The question is `why are they bothering?' Some of these groups are just plain burned out' (and get this:) "old and boring."

Only a culture editor could get away with criticizing entertainment legends for being "old and boring".

"They're getting torn to shreds in reviews. I'm not saying all of them should have stopped at age 40. But with some, it's so bizarre and you wonder why. Do they need the money? Didn't they get an education? Can't they do anything else for a living," Peters continued.

Keith Richards fumes at poor reviews

By Karl Ritter,

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has demanded an apology from Swedish newspapers for their scathing reviews of the group's performance in the country earlier this month.

Spider Jones 'souled' out the Jukebox Live

By Debbra Macdonald

Friday, May 11, 2007

On Friday April 13, 2007, Spider Jones and the Fabulous Web mesmerized a crowd of 400-plus with a great selection of soul music at the Jukebox Live in Pickering.� Spider rocked the house with his dynamic performance and the crowd danced up a storm. With the dance floor packed, he proved that once again the Golden Oldies era is alive and well in today's world. When interviewed, Spider complimented the Jukebox Live, as the best club in Durham Region for music lovers of all ages, but especially those who love the R & B, soul music and its era.

Five Stars for classy new dance club in Pickering

By Debbie Macdonald

Jukebox Live Resto Lounge provides an atmosphere filled with energy, which can be felt the minute you walk into the establishment. The management team ensures the best live entertainment in town and a great variety of music played by request through the DJs in between sets and during the after party. The management team, security and wait staff always provide a safe welcoming environment for patrons. The music caters to the crowds in the age group from 25 to 55 and plays the Top 40, R & B, 70 to 90 Retro and Classic Rock. With such a wide range of ages, no one is left feeling out of place and often everyone is dancing up a storm on the huge dance floor.

Canada Free Press, CFP Editor Judi McLeod