Connie Francis – Who´s Sorry Now (1958)

LPFrontCover1.jpgWho’s Sorry Now? is the first studio album recorded by U. S. Entertainer Connie Francis.

By 1957, none of Connie Francis’ first nine solo singles had charted. Her duet single with Marvin Rainwater, “The Majesty Of Love”, b/w “You, my Darlin’ You” had only been a minor hit, peaking at # 93 (though it sold over one million copies). As a result of these failures, the managers at MGM Records had decided not to renew her contract after the last scheduled single release.

During what was supposed to be her last recording session for MGM Records in October 1957, Francis recorded a cover version of the song “Who’s Sorry Now?”. For quite some time, Francis’ father, George Franconero, Sr., had wanted his daughter to record this song with a contemporary arrangement, but the discussion had become heated and Francis had refused to record it, considering the song old fashioned and corny. Her father persisted and Francis agreed.

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As her father had predicted, “Who’s Sorry Now?”, released as MGM Records Single K 12588, became a huge hit. With this success, MGM Records renewed the contract with Francis. The recording sessions for a new album, which would include the breakthrough hit, began in March 1958 and were completed in April 1958.

The album’s formula is clearly inspired by the arrangement of its title song: Choose Standards from the time between the 1910s and 1940s, but present them in a contemporary arrangement. To give the album some diversity in music styles, there were two exceptions: “My Melancholy Baby” and “How Deep is the Ocean,” which featured grand orchestra arrangements. When the album was released in May 1958, it failed to chart. The album was re-packaged with a new cover design and re-released in March 1962. (by wikipedia)

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The music for the brilliant song Who’s Sorry Now? was written by Ted Snyder with lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, and published in 1923. Snyder (1881-1965) gave Irving Berlin his start in the music business by hiring him in 1909 as a song plugger for his publishing company, as I wrote here. Kalmar (1884-1947) ran away from his home in New York at the age of ten and worked in a travelling tent show as a magician. He performed in vaudeville mainly as a comedian and began writing material for his own and other performers. He did not have much success until he met Ruby and they began working together. Ruby (1895-1959), also from New York, failed at his early ambition to become a professional baseball player. He then toured the vaudeville circuit as a pianist. Kalmar and Ruby were a successful songwriting team for nearly three decades.

Singles

Who’s Sorry Now? was featured in the 1946 Marx Brothers film A Night in Casablanca, but was best known as a hit for Connie Francis. She had released nine records which all flopped when she went into the studio in October 1957 for the last session in her ten-record contract with MGM. Her father wanted her to record Who’s Sorry Now? but she didn’t like the song, and deliberately took so long at the session with other numbers that there was almost no time left. She recorded Who’s Sorry Now? with just a few seconds to spare on the tape. In April 1958, it reached No 4 in the US and No 1 in Britain. (am-records.com)

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Personnel:
Connie Francis (vocals)
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Joe Lipman Orchstra

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Tracklist:
01. Who’s Sorry Now (Snyder/Kalmar/Ruby) 2.20
02. I’m Nobody’s Baby (Davis/Ager/Santly) 2.24
03. It’s The Talk Of The Town (Livingston/Neiburg/Symes) 2.55
04. I Miss You So (Henderson/Robin/Scott) 2.35
05. I Cried For You (Arnheim/Freed/Lyman) 2.59
06. Heartaches (Hoffman/Klenner) 2.34
07. I’m Beginning To See The Light (Ellington/Hodges/James/George) 2.41
08. My Melancholy Baby (Burnett/Norton) 3.54
09. You Always Hurt The One You Love (Fisher/Roberts) 2.26
10. How Deep Is The Ocean (Berlin) 2.25
11. If I Had You (King/Shapiro) 2.48
12. I’ll Get By (Ahlert/Turk) 2.48
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13. Too Young (Dee/Lippman) 2.56
14. That´s My Desire (Kressa/Loveday) 3.22
15. April Love (Webster/Fain) 3.57

(taken from the Connie Francis album “One For The Boys” (1959)

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Jan Akkerman – Profile (1973)

LPFrontCover1Jan Akkerman (born 24 December 1946) is a Dutch guitarist.[1] He first found international commercial success with the band Focus, which he co-founded with Thijs van Leer. After leaving Focus, he continued as a solo musician, adding jazz fusion influences. (by wikipedia)

Profile is the second solo album by Dutch jazz guitarist Jan Akkerman.

In 1972, Focus was experiencing planetary success with the single “Hocus Pocus” and the accompanying LP Moving Waves. With this kind of momentum, guitarist and leader Jan Akkerman decided it was time for a parallel solo career. Profile is not disconnected from his work with Focus, but was at the time a good medium to show the extent of his talent. The two main musicians on this record apart Akkerman himself are Focus alumni Pierre van der Linden (drums) and Bert Ruiter (bass). The first half contains “Fresh Air,” a 20-minute epic in seven parts. This is a jazz-rock track like Focus rarely recorded (except maybe the In and Out of Focus version of “Anonymous”). Akkerman is smoking on the electric guitar and the whole thing sounds a lot like early Mahavishnu Orchestra: There is a strong sense of urgency to it coupled with the feeling that these guys were having a wonderful time.

Jan Akkerman 1974

The second half is more eclectic in styles and in results. Here, Akkerman indulges in his interest for medieval and classical music. A rendition of “Kemps Jig” (a medieval tune that was also part of Gryphon’s repertoire) and an Etude by Carcassi are both played on the lute, and Diabelli’s Andante Sostenuto is performed on Spanish guitar. A rather poor blues number and two Focus-inspired tracks complete the set. More technical, the album’s second half is a showcase for Akkerman’s guitar chops, but it is really “Fresh Air” that best exemplifies his talent both as a composer and a performer and puts this album Jan Akkerman 1974_02.jpga cut above other prog guitarists’ solo projects, namely Steve Howe’s first two records. (by François Couture)

This album is full of excellent electric & acoustic guitars and Baroque lute parts. Akkerman here can be classical (Baroque), hard rock and even slightly bluesy, and sometimes a bit folk. He includes some powerful rhythmic elements, especially on the first side of the record. The album is at least very original and unique. The first side is an epic track of nearly 20 minutes, full of good moments, sometimes melodic, although it may sound experimental, improvised and raw like the more bizarre stuff of Jimi Hendrix, if you consider the visceral electric guitar notes and the fast drums: it reminds me a bit the Lenny White’s “Venusian Summer” album. The other side is made of short tracks full of acoustic and electric string instruments, with sometimes good bass and drums parts. Jan Akkerman proves here that he is an outstanding guitarist. (by greenback)

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Personnel:
Jan Akkerman (guitar, bass)
Pierre Van Der Linden (drums)
Bert Ruiter (bass)
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Jaap Van Eyck (bass on 08.)
Ferry Maat (piano on 08.)
Frans Smit (drums on 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. Fresh Air (Akkerman) 19.55
01.1Must Be My Land
01.2.Wrestling to Get Out
01.3. Back Again
01.4.This Fight
01.5.Fresh Air – Blue Notes for Listening
01.6.Water and Skies Are Telling Me
01.7. Happy Gabriel?
02. Kemp’s Jig (Anonymous) 1.35
03. Etude (Carcassi) 1.33
04. Blue Boy (Akkerman) 2.26
05. Andante Sostenuto (Diabelli) 4.09
06. Maybe Just A Dream (Akkerman) 2.35
07. Minstrel/Farmers Dance (Akkerman) 1.46
08. Stick (Akkerman) 3.39

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More from Jan Akkerman:

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