Monday, March 9, 2015

a memory stroll through the park

"Aspen Trees" ~ 28" h x 22" w memory of Barbara and me in the park...

Recorded by Johnny in 1989 as a duet with Take 6, on the album "In The Still of the Night", and in 1991 on the duets album "Better Together". This song has a very interesting history. The melody was written in 1911 by then banker Charles Dawes- it was called "The Dawes Melody" or "Melody in A Major". Charles Dawes became VP under Calvin Coolidge - thus the song is the only #1 hit written by a U.S. Vice President. It was a favorite of Jascha Heifitz who used it as a concert encore number. In 1951, Carl Sigman wrote the lyrics, and changed the title to "It's All in the Game". While it was given a jazz treatment by Louis Armstrong and Gordon Jenkins, and later Nat King Cole, many artists covered the song. In 1958, with only one recording session left in his contract, Tommy Edwards cut a rock and roll arrangement- it became a #1 hit in the U.S. and Britain and is often used in movies depicting the 1950's.


  1. I'm loving the Mathis!

    My favorite (I didn't know it was on a soap opera, but apparently so)

    Check it out, Dixie!

    1. Hi Cherdo. I wasn't a soap fan, but I did get some info from wiki.

      In 1985 Mathis guest starred on the daytime drama Ryan's Hope in the April 9 and May 1 episodes,[6] the latter of which included a performance of the song "Right from the Heart".[7] In the plot of the show, Dave Greenberg (Scott Holmes) has written the song, and Katie Ryan Thompson (Julia Campbell) "takes the song to Mathis in the hope he'll record it."[4] Mathis lip syncs to his recording of the song as he pretends to be cutting the song in a studio while the characters look on from the next room.[8]

      I'm trying to place the song, but I'm not sure I remember it.

      Glad you're having some fun. I love spinning tunes!!

    2. I've never watched a soap in my life. But that is what came up when I went looking for that song. It's a keeper (the song...not the soap).

    3. Soaps weren't for me. Actually, television wasn't a big draw for me. Early soaps found me outdoors or in school. I was an inner city kid; tons of things to do.

      Anything Mathis is a keeper to me...

  2. This Mathis version is rather unusual because of that arrangement, with the strong, solo percussion intro.

    My parents had the Tommy Edwards album, so that's the recording I knew first. It was really good.

    Mathis has an absolutely remarkable voice, but the arrangement... I dunno. I don't dislike it, but it seems too ostentatious and "commercial" for this song.

    To be honest, I think Van Morrison may have recorded the best version of this song, on what is unquestionably one of his very, very best albums (if not THE BEST).


    For sure, Morrison doesn't have the vocal chops of Mathis, and the Tommy Edwards hit is the one all covers are ultimately compared to, but... damn, there is just so much heart, soul and feeling in Van Morrison's version that I'm sure I'd vote for him if this were a 3-Way BOTB. (And, by the way, this WOULD have made a memorable BOTB with the final result hard to predict.)

    The painting is "out of this world" wonderful!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Undergourd'

    1. ~ D-FensDogg,

      Actually I posted the wrong song but didn't realize it until the note from Cherdo. It was supposed to be, "Young Love." Barbara liked that one... but I don't know if Mathis was the version she liked. I don't have the album, so I don't even know if "Young Love" was on it. Just celebrating her memory, mostly. That said, I do have a listening issue or two with Mathis' "All in the Game." My personal favorite is not on this album. A movie theme from some years back.

      I thought Junior Walker and the All Stars did it... not the original, though. It would be a cover, I'm sure. Tommy Edwards - can't remember his version, I'll check out in a bit. Wait, I think it's already playing in my flippin' head. That happens to me,

      Van Morrison is so sweet and soulful. Just love that piano and violin. He justs put ya right there - palm of his hand. At times he reminds me of Sachmo. So bluesy... It's almost too much joy... makes me feel tears. & life.

      Three way? I do well to create a two way! Five battles, and I don't think I've picked the winner at my house yet. Ha! last one could have been a tie and I wouldn't have cared. So, so liked them both.

      Glad you got to see the painting before bugging outta here. Make a copy, and hang it on the ceiling in your bathroom. Wouldn't that be funny?!! Ha! I need to have someone make posters. Big circular ones.

      Btw > I finished reading your 1-6 posts on L.A. For now, I'm speechless. Yeah, me, go figure.
      ~ dp