Thursday, November 29, 2007


Around the same time Jane Morgan was struggling through lightweight arrangements of heavy songs like "These Boots are Made for Walking" and "Sounds of Silence," veteran lounge babe and Louis Prima-holster Keely Smith was likewise keeling over at the thought of giving up being a Top 40 songsmith due to some scruffy mop tops. In a similar "If you can't beat 'em, put a beat to 'em" mood, she made a mod album of swingin' Beatles covers.
Thing is, some of them actually do swing, and there's something appealing as well as appalling about her very valid New Yawk take on "Hard Day's Night." (Actually her "hawd" pronunciation may reflect her Cher-like Southern-styled roots more than her New Yawk and Vegas lifestyle). Generally, loungemeisters made clowns of themselves when trying to be cool with "today's sound." Old school talents like Sinatra and Dino were smart enough to leave that stuff alone and find their way into the charts with more age-friendly fare ("Strangers in the Night" and "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime").
Today there's a bit more tolerance for big band concepts. People are rediscovering rock covers by Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald, and yeah, having a laugh with Richard Cheese (or Paul Anka's one cheesy album of swingouts).
Keely is still gettin' it done, by the way. Now that lounge is so finger-snappin' cool to 20-somethings, she even made it to Jimmy Kimmel's show last month to premiere a track from her latest CD. No, it wasn't a Beatles cover. But hey, it coulda been.
KEELING OVER Instant download or listen on line. No pop-ups or Rapidshare wait time.

No comments: