Avalon - with Carol Welsman and Russell Malone

The coronavirus has wiped out Broadway and Bond and basketball, so there's increasingly little to leave the house for unless your idea of live entertainment is toilet-paper riots. In lieu thereof, we're committed to providing a full slate of digital delights you can enjoy right here from your electronic device. Tonight Mark is honored to present another live-performance edition of Steyn's Song of the Week, featuring two of our favorite guests - singer/pianist Carol Welsman and guitarist Russell Malone, together with the Steyn Show band.

Carol was a big hit on our Christmas show with her beautiful rendition of "In the Bleak Midwinter" and on our Valentine's show with two classic love songs - "The Glory of Love" and "As Time Goes By". A couple of Yuletides back, Russell evoked Charlie Brown with "Christmas Time Is Here" and, more recently, evoked Charlie Dickens with "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen".

So we thought we'd bring Carol and Russell together for a song that is celebrating its centennial this year. There aren't many standards whose story ties Al Jolson to Vladimir Putin and Giacomo Puccini, but this one does, as Mark explains in his introduction.

Speaking of accidental connections, on our Christmas show Carol was talking backstage with another of Mark's guests, Randy Bachman of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and Randy happened to mention a song of his he thought would rather suit Carol. We're pleased to say it will now be a track on her forthcoming Latin CD. For the first time, Carol is launching the album through Kickstarter, and there's still a few opportunities left to attend the recording sessions in Toronto and Los Angeles, or get an autographed CD and other goodies. For more information, please click here. To get through enforced quarantine sanely requires not just bathroom tissue, wipes and ammo: some good music helps, too.

And, with that, on to "Avalon" upon the occasion of its one hundredth birthday: Here's Mark's telling of the tale, followed by a wild performance by Carol, Russell and the band. Click below to watch:

"Avalon", music and lyrics by Al Jolson and Vincent Rose

Carol Welsman, piano and vocals

Russell Malone, guitar

Michel Berthiaume, drums;
Jon Geary, guitar;
Mathieu McConnell-Enright, bass;
Bill Mahar, trumpet;
and Jean-Pierre Zanella, saxophone.

Eric Harding, musical contractor

~Steyn's Song of the Week is made possible through the support of members of The Mark Steyn Club, for which we're profoundly grateful. Among the pleasures of membership is that you can enjoy our TV content in any medium you desire. So, if you'd rather sample our Song of the Week in audio only, please log-in here. For more on that upcoming album from Carol, see here.