Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.
The weekend has finally arrived.
The sun has set.
The evening sky has erupted.
Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.
Tonight, a very special musical theme. In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, I’ll dip into my late father’s record collection.
Those old LP’s are quite memorable. Music was often played in the Fischer house. Naturally, I had no idea back then how good some of those albums were and still are. Any time something with more than one violin came through the speakers, all I could think was, “why?”
To best describe my dad’s rainbow of music would be to categorize it as ultra-lounge. Oh yeh, when it came to music, my dad was very cool. Andre Kostelanetz and Arturo Toscanini? You bet. He also loved The Beatles and the Dave Clark Five.
So let's begin.
He was the most successful orchestra leader of the rock and roll era, enjoying great success in the 50’s, some success in the early 60’s, and then falling victim to the full blown onslaught of rock, he was forced to retire from the music business in 1970.
His sound was characterized by smooth saxophones.
"Shine on, shine on harvest moon...
(as they used to sing it on the south side of Milwaukee, "Up in duh sky.....")
Is everybody happy?
Now about the time Billy Vaughn was blowing on his sax, the cha cha was a huge dance craze. My Aunt Rose and Uncle Claude would make an evening of moving all the furniture up against the walls before putting on a cool album.
They would touch.
They would embrace.
"Ready, Rose. And one, two, cha cha cha."
And as Jackie Gleason would say, and away they went.
When you really, really think about it, the cha cha is muy cool.
"Enoch Light was a popular bandleader of the '40s and '50s who is best known for his Persuasive Percussion and Provocative Percussion albums of the mid-'50s, which were some of the first albums to exploit the capabilities of stereo recording and 35mm film as a recording devise.
During the '30s, he headed the Enoch Light and the Light Brigade big band. The Light Brigade primarily played in theaters and on the radio, although they also toured
After the Light Brigade disbanded, Light became a session musician, playing on various records and radio broadcasts, including Hit Parade. During the '40s, he recorded versions of popular hits for budget labels, for sale in discount stores.
Light's career bounced back in the late '60s, when the Charleston City All-Stars, under his direction, had a series of hit albums entitled Roaring 20's. After their success, he founded the Command record label, which gave him an outlet for his sonically adventurous records. Light happened to begin the label around the time stereo became widely available, and he exploited the new technology to its fullest, creating albums that used the full sonic spectrum of stereo. The first of these albums were Persuasive Percussion and Provocative Percussion, and they were wildly popular, charting in the American Top Ten. One of the most notable features of these albums were their 'ping-pong stereo,' which featured the music jumping from the left speaker to the right, and vice versa."
Here's a toe-tapper, finger-snapper, if you're not persuaded to hit the dance floor.
I want to be happy,
but I won't be happy,
until you make me happy, too.
What do we have here?
Now this is a real classic:
“American musician hailed as one of the best and most influential pianists and small-group leaders of the swing era. Cole attained his greatest commercial success, however, as a vocalist specializing in warm ballads and light swing.
Cole was known for a compact, syncopated piano style with clean, spare, melodic phrases.During the late 1930s and early '40s the trio made several instrumental recordings, as well as others that featured their harmonizing vocals. They found their greatest success, however, when Cole began doubling as a solo singer. Their first chart success, 'Straighten Up and Fly Right' (1943), was followed by hits such as 'Sweet Lorraine,' 'It's Only a Paper Moon,' '(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons,' and 'Route 66.' Eventually, Cole's piano playing took a backseat to his singing career. Noted for his warm tone and flawless phrasing, Cole was regarded among the top male vocalists, although jazz critics tended to regret his near-abandonment of the piano.
Cole's popularity allowed him to become the first African American to host a network variety program, The Nat King Cole Show, which debuted on NBC television in 1956. The show fell victim to the bigotry of the times, however, and was canceled after one season; few sponsors were willing to be associated with a black entertainer.”
Cole died of lung cancer in 1965 at the age of 47.
Fast forward about a dozen years.
Tom Jones was enjoying a television career after exploding on the scene in the mid 60's. Dad liked Tom Jones, but another singer from overseas was even more impressive to my father.
Dad said as good as Tom Jones was, that Jones just yelled.
Engelbert Humperdinck, now he really sang.
Here's the title track.
That's it for tonight.
Thank you for joining me on my trip down Memory Lane via Dad's old record collection.
We close with a track from one of the most famous albums of all-time.
Way to go, Dad!
Actually, if I'm not mistaken, my Mom bought this album for Dad.
Way to go, Mom!
The album features musical pieces with food-related or flavorful titles including a rendition of big band leader Jimmy Dorsey's famous, "Tangerine."
The following video is taken from a ballroom scene during a 1967 Herb Alpert TV special. The closing theme is the classic, "I'm getting semtimental over you."
I sure miss you, Dad.
Be good to Dad Sunday, and have a great Father's Day weekend.