Welcome to the fourth re-run from our Serenade Radio series of Steyn's Song of the Week. This weekend I trace the history of a blockbuster song from Ray Noble and Ruth Etting to Otis Redding and Three Dog Night.
On Sundays Song of the Week is introduced by Trish Bertram, Serenade's weekend announcer (and the voice of the London Olympics). But for the Thursday repeat the show was introduced by Patrick Lunt, and it is the Thursday edition we are airing today in honor of Patrick, who died two weeks ago. He joined the BBC from BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Service) and was a fixture on Radio Two for decades. Patrick happened to be the son of my old headmaster, Canon Lunt, who officiated at his wedding to one of BBC TV's first female newscasters, Jan Leeming. It was a great pleasure to have Patrick's wonderfully rich voice introduce me each Thursday, and I shall miss it.
~If you didn't catch today's audio edition of Steyn's Song of the Week on Serenade Radio in the UK, do treat yourself and catch one or other of the repeats:
It airs again on Monday morn at 5.30am London time - that's 9.30pm Sunday on the US and Canadian West Coast, so a kind of late-night vibe to it, but it's early Monday afternoon in Oz, so a mellow post-prandial feel to it.
And, as mentioned above, Serenade has added an additional rerun of the show on Thursday at 9pm UK time. Whichever you prefer, we hope you'll tune in. You can listen from anywhere on the planet right here.
~Thank you for your enthusiastic comments about this series. Bernadette Cahill, a Mississippi member of The Mark Steyn Club, writes:
Last week's Song of the Week on Serenade Radio, gave me an ear worm that's still looping inside my head. Good reason for it. Sinatra's unhappy emotional history that you told makes it clear that 'What is This Thing called Love?' was the perfect song with the perfect arrangement for the perfect singer.
All the song's creators collaborated at the perfect time to produce nearly three minutes of pure beauty - haunting, philosophical, mystical, plaintive - producing the definitive rendition for an album (In the Wee Small Hours) that captures the desolation of spirit of that period for Sinatra.
Very personal. Thanks for airing and telling its story.
Thank you, Bernadette. Glad you enjoyed the show. And hope you'll like today's selection.
This airing of my Serenade Song of the Week is a special presentation of The Mark Steyn Club. We launched the Steyn Club over four years ago, and in this our fifth year I'm immensely heartened by all the longtime SteynOnline regulars - from Fargo to Fiji, Madrid to Malaysia, West Virginia to Witless Bay - who've signed up to be a part of it. Membership in The Mark Steyn Club also comes with non-musical benefits, including:
~Our latest audio adventure in Tales for Our Time, and its four-dozen thrilling predecessors;
~Other audio series on pertinent topics, such as our 2019 serialization of Climate Change: The Facts and our current adaptation of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade;
~My exclusive anthology of video poetry - because, as I always say, that's where the big bucks are;
~Exclusive Steyn Store member pricing on over 40 books, mugs, T-shirts, and other products;
~The opportunity to engage in live Clubland Q&A sessions with yours truly (such as last Thursday's);
~Transcript and audio versions of Mark's Mailbox, The Mark Steyn Show, and other video content;
~Advance booking for my live appearances around the world, including exclusive members-only events such as The Mark Steyn Christmas Show, assuming such events are ever again lawfully permitted;
~Customized email alerts for new content in your areas of interest;
~and the chance to support our print, audio and video ventures as they wing their way around the planet.
One other benefit to Club Membership is our Comment Club privileges. So, if you feel the urge to try a little brutalness on my musicological musings, then give it your best below. Please do stay on topic on all our comment threads, because that's the way to keep them focused and readable. With that caution, have at it.