Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Cure

After a two-month long bombardment of hokey holiday music and your ears are about to turn to elf mush, who ya gonna call?

No, dummy, not call "HENRY"

Henry Mancini, of course. Though he's been dead for over 10 years, his music can be heard almost daily. His unique talent made movies special, unforgettable. Such elegance, such debonair. Like olives to the martini, Mancini was a perfect match to stars such as Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, and to the wonderful voice of Julie Andrews.

The theme song to "Peter Gunn" may have been Mancini's jumping board(and what a board it was), but he is probably more famous for "Moon River". Along with lyricist, Johnny Mercer, the song became an even bigger hit for Andy Williams. Check out this site's tribute to Moon River and be sure to click Bob Dylan's rendition. Strange, to say the least.

"The Days of Wine and Roses", "Baby Elephant Walk", "Theme from Pink Panther", "Breakfast at Tiffany's", "Arabesque", "Mr. Lucky", "Wait Until Dark", and "Charades" are but a fraction of the huge Mancini musical portfolio.

I am not sure I have a certain favorite, but I often hum this little tune:

When we played our Charade we were like children posing,
Playing at games, acting out names, guessing the parts we played.
Oh, what a hit we made. We came on next to closing
Best on the bill, lovers until love left the masquerade.
Fate seemed to pull the strings, I turned and you were gone.
While from the darkened wings the music box played on.
Sad little serenade, song of my heart's composing,
I hear it still, I always will, best on the bill Charade.

Another favorite is "Whistling Away the Dark" from "Darling Lili" (Short soundclips here)

However you like your Mancini, smooth or jazzed, the dude is a great alternative to Porky Pig singing "Blue Christmas".


joared said...

I sure agree with you about Mancini. Porky Pig I can do without, but I like "Blue Christmas" though only by certain artists, with full orchestra and strings.

Trace said...

Yeah Mancini.

My thoughts drift to our young people of today's world. Would they appreciate fine music of yesteryear? I believe some do. One has to have hope...

Anonymous said...

Awww, Trace...not all of us who are no longer young people ever thought of Mancini as producing "fine music". I don't mind having it as background music, but it is certainly nothing that I would want to be subjected to in a concert--where all I had to do was listen to it. A bit treacly, to me. To each his/her own, eh? Bring on Duke Ellington's stuff or Dave Brubeck's! ;^}
Cop Car

Anonymous said...

I'll pass on Porky singing "Blue Christmas." My preference seems to be carols or Christmas music played by brass quintets, but as Cop Car said...To each his own.

When I was at school, I had the pleasure of attending a concert conducted by Mancini. Something had happened to the sound system, and he stopped in mid-performance, saying that the French horns weren't supposed to sound like that. Immediately, it was corrected and he went on, very smoothly, I might add. Dear Husband LOVES anything Pink Panther. I like "Days of Wine and Roses," "Baby Elephant Walk," and your fav..."Charade."


Anonymous said...

I used to have several of his albums (you remember those don't ya? Big round things with grooves in them that scratched easily?)

Happy Holidays

SpookyRach said...

Hey, Trace. I guess I still qualify as young (maybe?) and I love Mancini. I learned his music by playing my mom's albums when I was a kid. She had Pink Panther, Cat Balou and lots of others.

I think Peter Gunn is my favorite.