With world events on a seemingly inevitable path to world war, it’s time for a distraction. Let’s take our minds off things with some great music. I Like The Sunrise was written by Duke Ellington for his Liberian Suite in 1947. Commissioned for the Liberian centennial by the African nation to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding by freed American slaves, Ellington recorded it with vocalist Al Hibbler, and released it on the Columbia label.
It’s a beautifully evocative piece of music, and very uplifting in it’s message and lyrics. As such it has been an obvious choice for cover versions ever since. We’ll look at three versions by some legendary names, and take a poll at the end of this post.
Firstly, let’s take a listen to the original, released on 10 inch Vinyl LP by Columbia in 1947. American born, and blind from birth, baritone vocalist Al Hibbler sang with Ellington for many years before going on to have many pop hits as a solo artist. He featured on other Ellington classics, one of which was Do Nothin’ Til You Hear From Me.
Next up is from 1965, from Ella Fitzgerald and taken from the album she made with the Duke called Ella at Duke’s Place and released by Verve Records. A wonderful collaboration, with beautiful backing throughout from Ellington’s band, this is just one of it’s many highlights…
Last, but certainly not least, is the one and only Frank Sinatra. Surpisingly for such big names, Sinatra had never worked with Ellington before this collaboration in 1968, when the two released Francis A. & Edward K. on the label that Sinatra had started, Reprise. It just went to show what a shame it was that they had not done more together.
Time To Decide - Vote Now
So now it’s time for you to help decide which version is the best. Other people have also recorded it (including Nina Simone), but I want to limit the poll to these three “heavyweights”. Please feel free to leave any comments below in the relevant section.
70 years ago today in 1942, Capitol Records opened it’s first office in a second floor room, just south of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Founded by songwriters Johnny Mercer and Buddy DeSylva, along with record store owner Glenn Wallichs. Within a few weeks of this humble start it had released it’s first single Cow Cow Boogie. The recording by Freddie Slack and His Orchestra featured vocals by Ella Mae Morse. It quickly became their first number one single, and the first of many to sell a million copies. The rest as they often say, is history… Humble Beginnings Mercer
Saturday 21st April saw the latest annual Record Store Day celebrated here in the UK, and around the world. A raft of special limited edition vinyl and cd releases (and some tapes!) released especially for the event and available exclusively through participating independent stores. It’s now the busiest day of the year for those shops involved. Read on to see if it was a success this year, and to read my suggestions on how to improve it. Since it’s beginnings in the US in 2007, this annual event increases in scale and popularity each year. This year saw over 400
Between the two of them, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie seperately wrote many of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits. During a phenomenally successful period for the band that saw them sell millions of albums and singles worldwide. Hits such as Dreams, Don’t Stop, Little Lies, Rhiannon and You Make Lovin’ Fun showcased their talent to great degrees. But which of them was the best songwriter? As Harry Hill might say, there’s only one way to find out… I’ve set up a poll at the end of this post where you can decide. Before that, let’s take a little look at their