Last week we mentioned that today's edition of Steyn's Song of the Week on Serenade Radio would be the last in the series - because both Mark and his excellent producer Brian Savin are in rather poor health at the moment. There was a huge outpouring of wailing and ululations from listeners, and, as a result, Serenade management has decided to keep the show going in reruns until at least the end of the year, in hopes that the team will at least manage a Christmas special and who knows what else. Song of the Week airs thrice a week on Serenade. You can listen from anywhere on the planet by clicking on the button at either the top right or bottom left here.
Next Sunday, by the way, we shall have something rather special for you - one of our occasional video editions of Mark's Song of the Week.
In the meantime, to celebrate the continuation of our audio edition, here is the very first song in the series. From the Steyn archives, its lyricist, the late Mitchell Parish, joins Mark to recall the origins of what very quickly became the most recorded number in popular music. For the last ninety years, we've known it as a beautiful ballad, but, as Mitch tells our host, that's not at all how it started out. We'll hear this great standard sung by big names - Sinatra, Nat Cole, Marvin Gaye, Willie Nelson - but there'll be a few recordings from way off the beaten track, too.
To hear Steyn tell the story of "Star Dust", simply click above.
This show was very well received on its first broadcast. Mark Steyn Club member (and Mark's fellow Granite Stater) John Barrett wrote:
We tuned in to Serenade Radio and very much enjoyed your first Song of the Week. We look forward to future shows.
Rich Klein also enjoyed it in Illinois:
So far I've heard the Stardust (via link above) and the New York, New York (via my receiving apparatus at the appointed time). I enjoyed them immensely. They're a great half-hour respite from our gloomy times.
That's the idea, Rich. From Rich's fellow First Weekend Founding Member, Colin Bastable:
Big thumbs up.
Tennessee member Stephen Perkins wrote:
Thanks for everything you do. I'm not a Willie Nelson fan, but his version of Stardust made me reconsider him.
David Coats enjoyed that too:
Thank you, Mark, for leading off your show with Willie Nelson's recording of Stardust. I always preferred Willie's and Nat King Cole's recordings of Stardust the most. The piano on which Hoagy said he composed Stardust was in a building called the Book Nook which was an Indiana University student hangout at that time. The building still exists, located at 114 S Indiana Ave. and is directly across from campus. During the time I was a student at IU The Gables restaurant occupied the building.
Nancy, one of our Michigan members, added:
I tuned in and love the show, Mark. I'm looking forward to the next one. In the meantime, I caught part of Serenade Radio's programming. One of the shows reminded me of the days hanging out in my dad's office. He played lots of that kind of music.
Not sure which show you're talking about there, Nancy. But there are a significant number of people who are nostalgic not only for the music of their youth but also for the music their parents listened to during that youth. So you're not alone there.
Ken in Washington State, on the other hand, found himself waxing nostalgic for the youthful host:
This is the earliest recording of Mark's voice I've heard, predating even the "Paul Simon Tapes". It was a wonderful treat.
Well, Mark's voice has certainly taken a clobbering this last year, so make the most of it, Ken.
This airing of Steyn's Serenade Song of the Week is a special presentation of The Mark Steyn Club. We launched the Steyn Club over six years ago, and we're 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 - Mark's variation on a theme of H G Wells - and no fewer than five dozen thrilling predecessors;
~Other audio series on pertinent topics, such as our serialization of Climate Change: The Facts and our adaptation of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade;
~Mark's exclusive anthology of video poetry - because, as he always says, 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 Mark (such as this coming Friday's);
~Transcript and audio versions of The Mark Steyn Show, and other video content;
~Advance booking for the fourth annual Mark Steyn Cruise and other live appearances around the world;
~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.
To become a member of The Mark Steyn Club, please click here. And for our special Gift Membership see here. Oh, and by the way, the above-mentioned Steyn cruise always includes a live performance of a Song of the Week.
One other benefit to Club Membership is our Comment Club privileges. So, if you feel this show is more of a star bust, 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.