Image

Mark Steyn

Steyn's Song of the Week

A Presidential Medley, Part One

WhatsApp

In honor of Presidents Day, here's an audio special featuring 45 songs for 45 presidents - performed by everyone from Judy Garland to Groucho Marx to Lou Reed to ... Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump

Continue Reading

A Presidential Medley, Part Two

WhatsApp

Welcome to the second part of our Presidents Day musical tour through the Oval Office

Continue Reading

Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody

WhatsApp

One hundred years of a Dixie melody that's actually a Hungarian melody

Continue Reading

Bill

WhatsApp

P G Wodehouse, novelist ...and songwriter

Continue Reading

My Blue Heaven

WhatsApp

Mark celebrates one of the biggest-selling discs ever, from the dawn of the record biz

Continue Reading

Oh Happy Day

WhatsApp

The hit parade gets religion

Continue Reading

Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town

WhatsApp

Mark salutes Mel Tillis and an unforgettable song about a "crazy Asian war"

Continue Reading

I Wish You Love

WhatsApp

Mark remembers Keely Smith, and a signature song courtesy of Charles Trenet

Continue Reading

Auld Lang Syne

WhatsApp

Mark celebrates the classic song for the chimes of midnight

Continue Reading

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

WhatsApp

Steyn tips his hat to Hugh Martin and takes "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" on a merry ride:

Continue Reading

Baby, It's Cold Outside

WhatsApp

Vandalizing a classic

Continue Reading

I'll Be Home For Christmas

WhatsApp

Mark introduces Linda Purl in a live performance of a classic Christmas ballad:

Continue Reading

White Christmas

WhatsApp

Mark and Irving Berlin's daughter discuss the genesis of one of the most beloved Christmas standards

Continue Reading

Jingle Bells

WhatsApp

An enduring Christmas song that started out as a Thanksgiving song

Continue Reading

ROCKIN' AROUND THE HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS TREE

WhatsApp

Song of the Week #152 by Johnny Marks This Christmas at SteynOnline we've been marking the centenary of Johnny Marks, born November 10th 1909. We celebrate his most famous Yuletide hit here, and you can hear a unique bilingual version from my friends Monique Fauteux, one of the great treasures of Quebec music, and Dorothée Berryman, star of the Oscar-winning film Barbarian Invasions/Les Invasions Barbares, with a little help from yours truly, as the finale to this year's Mark Steyn Christmas Show. If Johnny Marks had written nothing but "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer", he would have gone down in his-to-ree. And 60 years ago it was such a blockbuster hit that anyone would have found it a hard act to follow. Nevertheless, he did follow it. ...

Continue Reading

L'Hymne Ă  l'amour

WhatsApp

We're honored to present another live-performance edition of Mark's Song of the Week. Patsy Gallant has sung rock, jazz, disco, musical theatre, but she has a special connection with Piaf, whom she met when she was a child performer in Quebec:

Continue Reading

O Sole Mio

WhatsApp

We're delighted to present another live-performance edition of our Song of the Week. Mark invites Paul Sorvino to reveal the connection between a great American actor and one of the most beloved songs on the planet:

Continue Reading

The Glory of Love

WhatsApp

If you saw singer/pianist Carol Welsman do "As Time Goes By" as our Sunday song a few weeks back, you'll know that she can freshen up the most familiar standard. So we're thrilled to have Carol back live, accompanied by the Steyn house band:

Continue Reading

Civilization (Bongo, Bongo, Bongo)

WhatsApp

Mark celebrates the seventieth birthday of a classic novelty song

Continue Reading

Yeh, Yeh

WhatsApp

Mark remembers Jon Hendricks, and a Number One hit from the Sixties

Continue Reading

Edelweiss

WhatsApp

The last song Oscar Hammerstein ever wrote

Continue Reading

Till There Was You

WhatsApp

Mark celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of the Beatles' only showtune

Continue Reading

Blueberry Hill

WhatsApp

What's the connection between Puccini, Neville Chamberlain and David Bowie?

Continue Reading

Where The Blue Of The Night

WhatsApp

For almost half a century, this was as well known as any song in America. The man who sang it was the biggest-selling recording artist of all time, and this was the biggest-selling recording artist's theme tune, the one the band struck up at the start of every radio, TV or stage show:

Where The Blue Of The Night
Meets the gold of the day
Someone waits for me
...

Forty years ago - October 14th 1977 - a golden half-century met the blue of the night on a golf course in Madrid: After finishing 18 holes at La Moraleja with three Spanish golf champions, Bing Crosby had a massive heart attack, collapsed, and died. He'd headed to his Iberian retreat for a few days of rest and relaxation after some sell-out concerts at the London Palladium, a recording session for BBC radio, a pre-taping of his annual Christmas show, and some tracks for a new album: a typical few days for an "Old Groaner" who was old but assumed he still had plenty of groaning ahead...

Continue Reading

I Tawt I Taw A Puddy Tat

WhatsApp

One hundred years ago today - October 15th 1917 - a man called Alan Livingston was born in McDonald, Pennsylvania. You probably don't know his name, and, if you think you know your songwriters, you may be confusing him with his older brother Jay Livingston, who with Ray Evans wrote "Que Sera Sera", "Mona Lisa", "Buttons and Bows" and the urban Christmas song "Silver Bells". Jay's kid brother doesn't have a song catalogue like that, but one way or another we owe a lot of the late 20th century's best known music to him...

Continue Reading

Beautiful Dreamer

WhatsApp

On this Columbus Day weekend, Christopher Columbus is close to being entirely obliterated from American life, and the barbarians have galloped on to newer targets for their rage. I mentioned yesterday how sad I was to see that in his home town a memorial to America's first great songwriter is to be dismantled and removed. Stephen Foster's songs were uniquely popular on both sides of the Civil War, but he seems less likely to survive the cold Civil War of 21st century America. And so the cultural vandals, who cannot create but can only destroy, scent another victory. In my book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, there's an entire section called "Mystic Chords" - that's an allusion to Lincoln, for all you know-nothing safe-spacers out there. It ...

Continue Reading

At Last/Serenade in Blue

WhatsApp

Mark salutes two classic ballads from one entirely forgettable film

Continue Reading

(I've Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo

WhatsApp

An entirely forgettable film produces three unforgettable songs

Continue Reading

Songs in the Keys of Florida

WhatsApp

To see you through the hurricane: a musical celebration of the Sunshine State featuring a century and a half of Floridian songs, including a live performance of the "Miami Beach Rhumba", and veteran songwriter Irving Caesar on the Hindustani origins of "Swanee"

Continue Reading

Candle in the Wind

WhatsApp

On the twentieth anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, a musical footnote from Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Continue Reading

Theme from New York, New York

WhatsApp

Mark celebrates the 40th anniversary of a blockbuster - and talks to the pianist and conductor who helped make it a worldwide hit

Continue Reading

Love Me Tender

WhatsApp

To round out our Elvis Week, I thought we'd celebrate the biggest hit song supposedly written by Elvis: These days more or less every pop star is expected to come up with his own songs. It wasn't always that way...

Continue Reading

Rock-a-Hula Baby

WhatsApp

The composer who wrote more Elvis songs than anybody else

Continue Reading

Wichita Lineman

WhatsApp

Mark celebrates Glen Campbell, Jimmy Webb, and the all-time greatest love song about a guy who works for the utilities company

Continue Reading

I've Been Everywhere

WhatsApp

Mark on a one-hit songwriter whose one hit went around the world

Continue Reading

Light My Fire

WhatsApp

Mark on the 50th anniversary of an iconic psychedelic rock track turned faintly camp easy-listening classic

Continue Reading

At Long Last Love

WhatsApp

Another live-performance edition, with Robert Davi singing Cole Porter:

Continue Reading

The Meaning of the Blues

WhatsApp

We're honored to present a brand new live-performance edition, with a very brooding ballad from 12-time Grammy winner Cheryl Bentyne:

Continue Reading

Over There

WhatsApp

President Trump was a guest of President Macron this past week to mark not only Bastille Day but also the one hundredth anniversary of America's entry into the Great War. So, with that in mind, altogether now...

Continue Reading

Peg O' My Heart

WhatsApp

Irish hearts, lilting laughter, and a Number One hat-trick

Continue Reading

Stormy Weather

WhatsApp

Mark celebrates a long-lived American vocalist, Lena Horne, and her signature song by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler

Continue Reading

O Canada

WhatsApp

ImageOne hundred and fifty years ago today - on July 1st 1867 at 12 noon - the Dominion of Canada was born. So there's really only one song we could have as our Song of the Week this weekend...

Continue Reading

To Sir, With Love

WhatsApp

A 50th anniversary reunion for a great high school song

Continue Reading

GOD BLESS AMERICA

WhatsApp

Song of the Week by Irving Berlin In this anniversary week of 9/11, we'll be publishing various columns old and new from today and from September 2001. But we thought we'd begin with a musical remembrance: Mark presents a special audio edition of our Song of the Week telling the story behind the song spontaneously sung by Congressional leaders on the steps of the Capitol in the wake of that murderous event. We'll hear Irving Berlin's great anthem sung by Kate Smith, CĂ©line Dion and the composer himself - and we'll explore its origins in the First World War, and in a long forgotten ethnic novelty called "When Mose With His Nose Leads The Band". This podcast is adapted from Mark's essay in his book A Song For The Season. To listen to it, ...

Continue Reading

I'll Never Smile Again

WhatsApp

Mark celebrates Canada's 150th birthday with a week of great Canadian songs...

Continue Reading

Batman makes Girl Talk

WhatsApp

Steyn on songs for caped crusaders - and swingin' sexists

Continue Reading

TEACH ME TONIGHT

WhatsApp

Song of the Week #165 by Gene de Paul and Sammy Cahn Starting with the A-B-C of it Right down to the X-Y-Z of it Help me solve the mys-te-ree of it Teach Me Tonight... Sometimes a news item brings some fragment of song bubbling up from the bottom drawer of your mental filing cabinet, and that's the quatrain that swam into mine when I read that Cherie DeCastro, the last surviving DeCastro Sister, had died. Cherie, Babette and Peggy (plus cousin Olgita, who subbed for Babette and Peggy when, for one reason or another, they'd had enough of the act) were a Cuban Andrews Sisters who showed up in Miami in the 1940s. A talent agent brought them to New York and booked them into the Copacabana, with the Will Mastin Trio, which included Sammy Davis ...

Continue Reading

I'll Never Smile Again

WhatsApp

Tal Bachman is a hitmaker in his own right, and the son of Seventies rocker Randy Bachman. But Mark had him in mind for an even earlier contribution to the Maple Songbook. Live on stage, a great Canadian performer sings a great Canadian song - for the very first time:

Continue Reading

That's Amore

WhatsApp

Yesterday at SteynOnline we marked Dean Martin's hundredth anniversary this coming Wednesday with a celebration of Dean on screen. So, for our Sunday Song of the Week, I thought we'd pick a selection from the Dino songbook. As noted yesterday, the Martin centenary observances are nowhere near as extensive as the Sinatra centenary observances were. Frank and Dean were fast friends - until, at a difficult time for both men, a Rat Pack reunion led to a serious falling-out in 1989. But they had an entirely different approach to their craft. In their Vegas heyday, whatever Sinatra did, Sammy Davis and Peter Lawford tried to do too, sometimes pitifully and desperately; whatever Sinatra did, Dean just did the opposite. "I hate guys who sing ...

Continue Reading

As Time Goes By

WhatsApp

From The Mark Steyn Show, a valentine to one of the great iconic love songs performed live by Mark's special guest, Carol Welsman:

Continue Reading

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

WhatsApp

For Memorial Day, Mark celebrates a great song of the Civil War

Continue Reading

Over The Rainbow

WhatsApp

Mark celebrates one of the great iconic movie songs

Continue Reading

Waterloo

WhatsApp

Mark salutes an Abba classic from the glory days of Eurovision

Continue Reading

Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?

WhatsApp

To close out this presidential election in the twilight of the Fifth Republic, a suitably elegaic song of France...

Continue Reading

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

WhatsApp

Mark celebrates a favorite novelty number

Continue Reading

The Look Of Love

WhatsApp

A Bacharach & David classic celebrates its 50th anniversary

Continue Reading

There'll Always Be An England

WhatsApp

March saw, in rapid succession, Dame Vera Lynn's 100th birthday, a terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, and Theresa May formally beginning the process of British withdrawal from the European Union. The combination of events put me in mind of this song...

Continue Reading

Born Free

WhatsApp

A special edition of our Song of the Week with a brace of 007 guests: Bond lyricist Don Black (Diamonds Are Forever) and Bond villain Robert Davi (License To Kill) are on hand to celebrate the first British song to win an Oscar:

Continue Reading

A Winter's Tale

WhatsApp

One of the most successful lyricists of our time, the multi-Oscar and -Tony winner Tim Rice, joins Mark to talk about one of Tim's comparatively few hits not to come from a film or show score - after which Emma Kershaw sings it live, complete with previously unheard third verse:

Continue Reading

La Vie en rose

WhatsApp

Mark celebrates the 70th anniversary of one of the most beautiful of all French songs, performed by the great Patsy Gallant. Patsy had a monster disco hit around the world with "From New York To LA" and then an incredible eight-year run in Starmania, the blockbuster Paris musical hit. But she has always loved Édith Piaf, and Mark is thrilled to present not only her version of "La Vie en rose" but also another Piaf success - "Sous le ciel de Paris":

Continue Reading

This Masquerade

WhatsApp

For this week's live-music edition of Steyn's Song of the Week, multi-Grammy-winning Cheryl Bentyne of the Manhattan Transfer sings Leon Russell's slinkiest love song:

Continue Reading

Dance Me To The End Of Love

WhatsApp

Mark welcomes the Klezmer Conservatory Band to perform their haunting klezmerized version of his favorite Leonard Cohen song - and be sure to stay tuned for a bonus number - the irresistible "Miami Beach Rhumba":

Continue Reading

Aba Daba Honeymoon

WhatsApp

For this week's live-music edition of Steyn's Song of the Week, Maria Muldaur temporarily abandons "Midnight at the Oasis" for a wild jungle ride:

Continue Reading

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

WhatsApp

As a postscript to this year's Mark Steyn Christmas Show, here's a first-footing video edition of our Song of the Week, celebrating the only New Year number since "Auld Lang Syne" to become a seasonal staple:

Continue Reading

The Wexford Carol

WhatsApp

On this year's Mark Steyn Christmas Show Mark was in sentimental mood, recalling some of his earliest festive memories from his grandparents' home in Ireland. So he asked Anthony Kearns to sing his favorite Irish Christmas carol:

Continue Reading

The (Christmas) Glow Worm

WhatsApp

The return of a festive favorite

Continue Reading

Roses of Picardy

WhatsApp

This week's Song of the Week is one hundred years old today: that's to say, it was published by Messrs Chappell & Co of New Bond Street, London on December 4th 1916, at a price of one shilling and sixpence. And in one form or another it's been with us ever since...

Continue Reading

A Greasepaint Medley

WhatsApp

Three enduring songs from one flop musical

Continue Reading

Dance Me To The End Of Love

WhatsApp

Mark on his favorite Leonard Cohen song

Continue Reading

It's All In The Game

WhatsApp

The only hit song written by a candidate on a winning presidential ticket

Continue Reading

It's De-Lovely

WhatsApp

A SteynOnline audio special on the 80th anniversary of a great Cole Porter standard

Continue Reading

It's the End of the World as We Know It

WhatsApp

A pop culture footnote to our tenth-anniversary observances of America Alone

Continue Reading

Morningtown Ride

WhatsApp

The grueling schedule of my sellout Aussie tour kept my nose mostly to the grindstone, but I did get a couple of hours off on the Victoria leg and so treated myself to a matinée of Georgy Girl: The Seekers Musical at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne...

Continue Reading

I Honestly Love You

WhatsApp

The Steyn Oz tour moves on. We had a great time in Parliament House today, where the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, gave me a far better introduction than I deserve. I'll be in Sydney on Tuesday. As I said last week, we always like to have a few Aussie Songs of the Week on my forays Down Under, and I'm not sure "Georgy Girl", written by two Englishmen, quite qualifies. But this one does: Ten years ago, I found myself sitting in a taxi in George Street in Sydney behind another cab bearing a big ad for Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz – the Peter Allen musical. Of course! Peter Allen! Australia's most successful pop songwriter – "I Go To Rio", "Arthur's Theme (When you get caught between the moon and New York City)", "Don't Cry Out Loud", "I ...

Continue Reading

Georgy Girl

WhatsApp

Hey there, Georgy Girl Swingin' down the street so fancy free... We always like to have an Australian Song of the Week to kick off my tours Down Under, but this one isn't strictly speaking an Aussie song, in the sense that its composer and lyricist are English. On the other hand, it's indelibly associated with the biggest pop group ever to come out of the Lucky Country – and it provides the the title for the brand new biotuner about them that's enjoying its world premiere at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne and which I hope to catch if I get a spare couple of hours over the next fortnight. But my main reason for picking "Georgy Girl" is because the novelist and biographer Margaret Forster died last week. I can't claim to have known her, ...

Continue Reading

Ain't Misbehavin'

WhatsApp

A hit song by the great nephew of Queen Ranavalona III of Madagascar

Continue Reading

Down Under

WhatsApp

Happy Australia Day to all our readers Down Under. It's actually Tuesday, which is tomorrow, but tomorrow here is probably already yesterday there, so I may be too late. I'm looking forward to seeing many of those antipodean readers next month on my Aussie tour, which kicks off on Valentine's Day in Perth. Half the dates are already sold out, so, if you haven't booked your seats yet, don't leave it too late. Details of towns, times and tickets can be found via the IPA here. We always like to have an Oz song for Australia Day, and, what with one thing and another, "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" doesn't seem to get played as often as it used to. So in lieu of that: Do you come from a land Down Under Where women glow and men plunder? Good ...

Continue Reading

The Man Who Sold The World

WhatsApp

I've received a remarkable number of emails in the last week more or less taunting me to eschew my usual Jerome Kern and Cole Porter and pick a David Bowie number for our Song of the Week. Well, I like a challenge, and, given that the British press has been full of people with not a thing to say about Bowie saying it at great length, I figured that I might as well get a piece of the action. That said, it would be hard to beat this last word in Bowie-eulogizing from The Croydon Advertiser:

Old Coulsdon man delivered David Bowie's milk in summer of '69

Continue Reading

Sixteen Tons

WhatsApp

A backbreaker of a blockbuster, courtesy of the company sto'

Continue Reading

Unforgettable

WhatsApp

Mark remembers Natalie Cole, an unforgettable song, and an unshuttupable songwriter

Continue Reading

Sinatra Century at SteynOnline

WhatsApp

In case you missed it, here's our rundown of Mark's Sinatra Century - 100 years in 100 songs: 1) IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR 2) THE SONG IS YOU 3) HOME ON THE RANGE 4) AFTER YOU'VE GONE 5) IT HAD TO BE YOU 6) THE ONE I LOVE (BELONGS TO SOMEBODY ELSE) 7) LOVE'S BEEN GOOD TO ME 8) STARDUST 9) MY FUNNY VALENTINE 10) WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE? 11) CHICAGO 12) THE CONTINENTAL 13) ALL OF ME 14) WHEN YOUR LOVER HAS GONE 15) NIGHT AND DAY 16) I WON'T DANCE 17) I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN 18) SOUTH OF THE BORDER 19) EAST OF THE SUN (AND WEST OF THE MOON) 20) ON THE ROAD TO MANDALAY 21) A FOGGY DAY (IN LONDON TOWN) 22) I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU 23) I'M A FOOL TO WANT YOU 24) OUR LOVE 25) ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL 26) I'LL NEVER SMILE AGAIN 27) FOOLS RUSH ...

Continue Reading

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

WhatsApp

ImageA Christmas song rewritten for Sinatra

Continue Reading

Baby, It's Cold Outside

WhatsApp

Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban launch the clash of civilizations

Continue Reading

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

WhatsApp

A happy 75th birthday to the most famous reindeer of all

Continue Reading

All I Want For Christmas Is You

WhatsApp

Mark hits a new high as he takes a crack at Mariah Carey's Christmas classic

Continue Reading

One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)

WhatsApp

ImageFrank Sinatra called himself a "saloon singer," because that's where he used to sing, way back when, in Jersey juke joints and roadhouses....

Continue Reading

Put Your Dreams Away

WhatsApp

ImageOur 99th Sinatra Century song is, after "My Way", the second most performed Sinatra song written by a Canadian...

Continue Reading

That's Life

WhatsApp

ImageA big hit, but a tense moment in the studio

Continue Reading

Body And Soul

WhatsApp

ImageTwo takes separated by four decades

Continue Reading

Mack the Knife

WhatsApp

ImageThe last crowd-pleaser of a six-decade career

Continue Reading

You'd Be So Easy to Love

WhatsApp

Image...but not so easy to sing

Continue Reading

Pick Yourself Up

WhatsApp

ImageThe sexy polka that made a presidential inaugural speech

Continue Reading

Time After Time

WhatsApp

ImageA timeless ballad from a Sinatra stalwart

Continue Reading

The Lady Is A Tramp

WhatsApp

ImageApril 14th 1937: a major expansion of the American songbook

Continue Reading

Goody Goody

WhatsApp

ImageFrank sings a classic Johnny Mercer revenge song

Continue Reading

Try A Little Tenderness

WhatsApp

ImageVia Frank and a couple of Londoners, a black American soul classic

Continue Reading

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

WhatsApp

ImageFrank and Nancy sing Sonny and Cher

Continue Reading

Theme from New York, New York

WhatsApp

ImageOn September 19th 1979 in Los Angeles, it fell to Vinnie Falcone to conduct what would become one of the biggest Sinatra recordings of all time:

Start spreading the news...

Continue Reading

Something

WhatsApp

ImageOn the first of our Sinatra Century audio specials, Frank's longtime pianist and conductor Vincent Falcone talks, among other things, about the singer's relationship with the George Harrison ballad "Something". So I thought we'd spend a little time with the song as we head into the final stretch before the big 100th birthday.

In November 1968 George Harrison and his then missus Pattie Boyd attended the recording sessions in Hollywood for Sinatra's album Cycles...

Continue Reading

Send In The Clowns

WhatsApp

ImageUntil the mid-1960s Broadway was the biggest supplier of the most enduring standards ...and then gradually it all sputtered to a halt, and even hit shows didn't produce really popular songs. With one notable exception...

Continue Reading

My Way

WhatsApp

ImageBy sheer coincidence, our scheduled Sinatra song is, in fact, a French song. Indeed, by further coincidence, it belongs to a lost age of Franco-Arab cultural co-mingling...

Continue Reading

Some Enchanted Evening

WhatsApp

ImageSinatra's highly variable results with the acme of the mid-20th century showtune

Continue Reading

For Once In My Life

WhatsApp

ImageRonald Miller's hit-makers share a hot tub...

Continue Reading

Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars

WhatsApp

ImageThe meaning of existence, and all that jazz...

Continue Reading

The Girl From Ipanema

WhatsApp

ImageThe girl who launched a song, and the song that launched an industry

Continue Reading

Me And My Shadow

WhatsApp

ImageThe black cat who crossed Sinatra's path

Continue Reading

Moon Love

WhatsApp

ImageIn 1960, Frank Sinatra left Capitol and founded Reprise Records because he wanted to have total artistic control. But oddly, once he'd got total artistic control, he seemed disinclined to exercise it...

Continue Reading

Strangers in the Night

WhatsApp

ImageBy 1966 it had been over a decade since Frank Sinatra had had a Number One single. It's fine to be acclaimed as a great artist, to have big-selling albums, sell out in Vegas and on world tours, and star in Hollywood movies. But, if popular singing is what you do, there's something special about a Number One hit single...

Continue Reading

A Theme to a Kill

WhatsApp

An encore presentation of Mark's audio salute to James Bond's music man, John Barry

Continue Reading

This Is All I Ask

WhatsApp

ImageSinatra Sings The Sacroiliac Songbook

Continue Reading

The Best Is Yet To Come

WhatsApp

ImageThe song Sinatra took with him to the grave

Continue Reading

The End of a Love Affair

WhatsApp

ImageWe've been spending a little time this Columbus Day weekend with a man who was born in Columbus, Ohio exactly a century ago - October 10th 1915 - and was at Sinatra's side for some of his most thrilling records of the Fifties and Sixties: Harry "Sweets" Edison, whose trumpet mute was a big part of Frank's Capitol sound.

When you're as good a jazz player as Edison, studio sessions aren't really what you want to do. You'd much rather be in some night spot with a handful of other guys taking a full chorus for every solo...

Continue Reading

I Thought About You

WhatsApp

ImageThe master of the muted trumpet, Harry "Sweets" Edison

Continue Reading

We'll Gather Lilacs

WhatsApp

ImageSinatra in London with a classic British ballad...

Continue Reading

Come Rain Or Come Shine

WhatsApp

ImageA bluesy ballad Sinatra sang for 30 years

Continue Reading

Moonlight In Vermont

WhatsApp

Image

Sinatra, a meadowlark, and a rhymeless romance

Continue Reading

It's All Right With Me

WhatsApp

ImageA classic Sinatra moment - on record, on film, on TV.

Continue Reading

Autumn Leaves

WhatsApp

Image

A truly great song for the season isn't about the calendar, or the weather. It's about the seasons of life and love...

Continue Reading

Fly Me To The Moon

WhatsApp

ImageAccording to Johnny Mercer, "Writing music takes more talent, but writing lyrics takes more courage." What he meant was that a tune can be beguiling and melancholy and intoxicating and a lot of other vagaries, but there comes a moment when you have to sit down and get specific, and put the other half of the equation on top of those notes. A songwriter spends his life chasing the umpteenth variation of "I love you"...

Continue Reading

Ol' MacDonald

WhatsApp

Image

In honor of Alan Bergman's 90th birthday, we've been spending a little time this weekend with some of his early hits for Sinatra. Although I myself have recorded an Alan & Marilyn Bergman number, I reluctantly concede that, vocalist-wise, they're better known for their association with Barbra Streisand ("The Way We Were", "You Don't Bring Me Flowers", etc). But long before Barbra they wrote a few songs for Frank that have a different character...

Continue Reading

Nice 'N' Easy

WhatsApp

Image

Mark celebrates Alan Bergman's birthday, and one of his biggest hits...

Continue Reading

I Cover The Waterfront

WhatsApp

Image

A Sinatra song for Labor Day

Continue Reading

Just In Time

WhatsApp

ImageA record the songwriter didn't like, of a song the singer didn't like

Continue Reading

Angel Eyes

WhatsApp

ImageSteyn on a saloon song classic

Continue Reading

Come Fly With Me

WhatsApp

ImageUp there where the air is rarefied: Sinatra and the soundtrack of the Jet Age...

Continue Reading

Ebb Tide

WhatsApp

ImageFirst the tide rushes in. Then you rush out and write the song...

Continue Reading

Witchcraft

WhatsApp

ImageI've always loved songs that use magic as an image of romantic seduction...

Continue Reading

Stars Fell On Alabama

WhatsApp

ImageWhen Frank Sinatra and Nelson Riddle found their groove in the mid-Fifties, the music just poured out. In 1956 there was so much of it: The year began with the sessions for the defining album of the early LP era - Songs For Swingin' Lovers. It ended with the sessions for Swingin' Lovers' swingin' successor, A Swingin' Affair!...

Continue Reading

(Love Is) The Tender Trap

WhatsApp

ImageA Sinatra signature - and the birth of a new songwriting team

Continue Reading

Learnin' The Blues

WhatsApp

ImageThe strange story of a one-hit wonder

Continue Reading

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning

WhatsApp

ImageFor over half a century songwriters tried to get their best work to the best singer of the best songs. The sitcom "Frasier" devoted an entire episode to the proposition, after Dad revealed that he'd written a song for Frank, "You're Such A Groovy Lady".

But in the entire history of Getting Songs to Frank there are no luckier guys than Dave Mann and Bob Hilliard...

Continue Reading

Baubles, Bangles and Beads

WhatsApp

Image2015 is the centenary year not only of Frank Sinatra but also of Chet Forrest, born one hundred years ago this weekend on July 31st 1915 in Brooklyn, New York.

Chet who? Well, Robert Wright and his partner George "Chet" Forrest were never exactly household names in the music biz, but they certainly worked with a lot of household names, including Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov...

Continue Reading

The Gal That Got Away

WhatsApp

ImageA Sinatra song that wore out a jukebox in Toms River, New Jersey...

Continue Reading

Young at Heart

WhatsApp

ImageAn ode to youthful optimism

Continue Reading

I've Got The World On A String

WhatsApp

ImageThe opening of Frank Sinatra's spectacular Second Act

Continue Reading

Why Try To Change Me Now?

WhatsApp

ImageFrank Sinatra poses a musical question to Mitch Miller....

Continue Reading

I Have Dreamed

WhatsApp

ImageThe early Fifties were a rough time for Sinatra - and for his voice...

Continue Reading

(Ah, the Apple Trees) When the World Was Young

WhatsApp

ImageWe're a day away from Bastille Day, France's fĂŞte nationale, and so it seems appropriate to spend a little time with franco-Sinatra. He sang a lot of French songs over the years, most famously this:

Je me lève et je te bouscule
Tu n'te réveilles pas
Comme d'habitude...

Oh, no, wait. Frank sang the English lyric:

And now the end is near
And so I face
The final curtain...

Continue Reading

We'll Be Together Again

WhatsApp

ImageFrankie sings Frankie

Continue Reading

Luck Be A Lady

WhatsApp

ImageFrank Loesser was a busy Hollywood lyricist who decided he was going to turn himself into a Hollywood lyricist-and-composer. Having pulled that off, he then decided to become one of Broadway's great musical dramatists to boot. His first stage musical, an adaptation of Charley's Aunt, opened in 1948, with a great score and a legendary showstopper of a song in "Once In Love With Amy". On our double-CD Frank Loesser centenary celebration (exclusively available from SteynOnline), you can hear me...

Continue Reading

The House I Live In

WhatsApp

ImageWe had a Sinatra song from Canada for Dominion Day, and so we surely have to have an American Sinatra song for Independence Day...

Continue Reading

How About You?

WhatsApp

ImageDominion Day looms - on Wednesday - and we always like to have a Canadian song for the national holiday. Sinatra recorded many maple-infused numbers over six decades, from "I'll Never Smile Again" and "Put Your Dreams Away", both by my fellow Torontonian Ruth Lowe, all the way to Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" and, of course, Paul Anka's "My Way" (he wrote the English lyric). But, for a great national occasion, I figured what could be more Canadian than...

I like New York in June
How About You?

Continue Reading

I Concentrate On You

WhatsApp

ImageA Sinatra classic - as ballad, bossa or swinger

Continue Reading

The Coffee Song

WhatsApp

Image

He was the saloon singer - quarter to three, set 'em up, Joe, drinkin' again and thinkin' o' when... spinning round in my brain, like the bubbles in a glass of champagne... But Sinatra liked a non-alcoholic tipple, too. He took "Tea For Two" with Dinah Shore in 1947, and in 1960 recorded "When I Take My Sugar To Tea". But he wasn't averse to something a little more caffeinated:

Way down among Brazilians
Coffee beans grow by the millions
So they've got to find those extra cups to fill...

Continue Reading

Soliloquy

WhatsApp

ImageHappy Father's Day to you and yours. I miss my dad more and more as the years go by. Our Sinatra Century would be incomplete without this particular entry:..

Continue Reading

I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)

WhatsApp

A one-hit wonder who never got to hear her one hit sung by anyone - from Sinatra to Molly Ringwald

Continue Reading

You Make Me Feel So Young

WhatsApp

ImageOn January 9th 1956, Frank Sinatra went into the not yet famous Studio A of Capitol Records at Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles for the first of a handful of sessions for a new album...

Continue Reading

Somethin' Stupid

WhatsApp

ImageAs a companion piece to Friday's "Nancy (with the Laughing Face)", here's a Frank-and-Nancy moment from a couple of decades later...

Continue Reading

Nancy (With the Laughing Face)

WhatsApp

ImageSeventy-one years ago this Monday, June 8th, a cute little four-year-old girl was having a birthday party, and a couple of pals of her dad decided to present her with a very special gift...

Continue Reading

Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry

WhatsApp

ImageFrank Sinatra rescued a lot of songs over the years, but rarely on the scale he did with this one. It was from an awe-inspiringly hideous train-wreck of a musical. But Sinatra recorded it, and made it a standard - and the only torchy ballad of lost love whose central image is of laundry...

Continue Reading

Blues In The Night

WhatsApp

ImageOn June 24th 1958 Nelson Riddle raised his baton, and Frank Sinatra made one of the greatest recordings of a great song...

Continue Reading

Pennies from Heaven

WhatsApp

ImageThis one stayed in Sinatra's book almost to the end, mainly because he just had so much fun singing it...

Continue Reading

The Nearness of You

WhatsApp

ImageWhat's the connection between Frank Sinatra and Mickey Rooney?

Oh, that's easy. They were both married to Ava Gardner.

What's the connection between Frank Sinatra and William Shakespeare?

Hmm, well, lemme see...

Continue Reading

I'll Be Around

WhatsApp

ImageIn the pithy summation of Terry Teachout, Alec Wilder "spent his life looking for cracks to fall through". Back in the days when we still had record stores, he didn't quite fit the pop bins or the classical bins or the jazz bins. Which is why, if you're hung up on categorization, it's easier to leave him out of the store altogether...

Continue Reading

The Way You Look Tonight

WhatsApp

ImageMany years ago - when a lot of the guys who wrote the American Songbook were still around - I started asking composers and lyricists to name their all-time favorite song. This one came right at the top...

Continue Reading

I'll Be Seeing You

WhatsApp

ImageAs much as "It Had To Be You" or "The Way You Look Tonight", "I'll Be Seeing You" belongs to a select group of über-standards, the ones we'll still be singing when 90 per cent of the rest have fallen away. It's one of those "our song" songs - especially if you happened to find yourself on a railway platform in the early 1940s waving a loved one off to war...

Continue Reading

Everything Happens To Me

WhatsApp

ImageWhen I first got interested in the great standard songs as a teenager, I sort of assumed that they were all written by the big names - Cole Porter, Gershwin. It took a while to dawn that not everything from, say, the Thirties was concocted by a major writer for a famous Broadway score or a Fred Astaire movie. So after a while, when I heard a song I liked, I'd say, "Hey, I wonder who wrote that." Quite often, the answer would be "Matt Dennis & Tom Adair". Let's just stick to the Sinatra end of their catalogue: Who wrote "The Night We Called It A Day"? Matt Dennis & Tom Adair. Who wrote "Let's Get Away From It All"? Matt Dennis & Tom Adair. Who wrote "Violets For Your Furs"? Matt Dennis & Tom Adair. Who wrote "Angel Eyes"? Matt Dennis. Who wrote "There's No You"? Tom Adair. And who wrote..?

Continue Reading

My One And Only Love

WhatsApp

Before St George's Day fades for another year, I thought we'd have a Sinatra English song

Continue Reading

Fools Rush In

WhatsApp

Image"Fools Rush In" isn't thought of as a Sinatra song. If you were anywhere near a jukebox or a transistor radio in the early Sixties, you'll think of it in Ricky Nelson's bouncy-bouncy teenypop arrangement. But once upon a time the song was new, and Frank Sinatra was the guy singing it...

Continue Reading

I'll Never Smile Again

WhatsApp

ImageWe began the week with Sinatra's one big hit with the Harry James band. We end it with his first big hit with the Tommy Dorsey band. This essay contains material from Mark's book A Song For The Season:

I'll Never Smile Again
Until I smile at you
I'll never laugh again
What good would it do?

Continue Reading

All Or Nothing At All

WhatsApp

ImageIt was June 1939 and the singer Louise Tobin was in her room in the Lincoln Hotel in Manhattan, packing for a gig in Boston with Bobby Hackett's band. Her hubby was napping on the bed. He was a trumpeter, name of Harry James, who'd just left Benny Goodman to put together his own orchestra. The radio was carrying a remote from some joint in New Jersey, and a male vocalist came on...

Continue Reading

Our Love

WhatsApp

Someday someone should release an album called Classical Frank. I mentioned a couple of days ago that "Take My Love" was adapted from Brahms' Third Symphony. Aside from Brahms (whose Lullaby he also recorded), Sinatra sang over the years Anton Rubinstein, Grieg, Rachmaninov, Ravel and Borodin. That's to say, "If You Are But A Dream" (Rubinstein's Romance No 1), "I Love You" and "Strange Music" (Grieg's "Ich Liebe Dich" and "Wedding Day At Troldhaugen", respectively), "Full Moon And Empty Arms" and "I Think Of You" (both from Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto), "The Lamp Is Low" (Ravel's Pavane pour une infante défunte)...

Continue Reading

I'm A Fool To Want You

WhatsApp

Image2015 is not only the centenary year of Frank Sinatra but also of Billie Holiday, born April 7th 1915 in Philadelphia. We will mark the occasion formally a little later this week, and acknowledge Sinatra's admiration for Holiday. But the respect was mutual, and on Billie Holiday's last major recording the stand-out track was a Sinatra song...

Continue Reading

I Get A Kick Out Of You

WhatsApp

When Frank Sinatra was 18, it was a very good year. Anything Goes opened at the Alvin Theatre in November 1934 and provided young Frank with a slew of Cole Porter material he would sing in his maturity:.The title song turned up in 1956 on his landmark album Songs For Swingin' Lovers; "Easy To Love" was dropped at the insistence of leading man William Gaxton, but became a highlight of Sinatra's first album at Reprise...

Continue Reading

A Foggy Day (In London Town)

WhatsApp

Sinatra sang a lot of Gershwin over the years, but if you had to name the most important "Gershwin song" in his book it would probably be "The Gal That Got Away" - words by Ira Gershwin, but music by Harold Arlen. He made a terrific record of it when the song was new, and then returned to it a quarter-century later to make it - in a medley with "It Never Entered My Mind" - the last great saloon-song sequence to be added to the Sinatra act.

But a lot of George Gershwin tunes stayed with him to the end, too...

Continue Reading

On The Road To Mandalay

WhatsApp

ImageSeventy years ago, the 14th Army under the command of General Bill Slim finally liberated Mandalay and returned it to British rule. Given the popularity of this song among British military concert parties of the time, more than a few of Slim's men must have found themselves singing:

Come you back to Mandalay
Where the old flotilla lay...

Continue Reading

East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon)

WhatsApp

Where do you head after you've gone "South Of The Border"? Oh, that's easy...

Continue Reading

South Of The Border

WhatsApp

St Patrick's Day looms, and so a Sinatra Irish confection would seem to be appropriate. Unlike Peggy Lee, he never recorded "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling"; unlike Rosie Clooney, he never recorded "Danny Boy". In the 1949 film Take Me Out To The Ball Game, he sang a song called "O'Brien To Ryan To Goldberg" - Gene Kelly, who was of Irish ancestry, played O'Brien; Jules Munshin, who was of Russian Jewish ancestry, played Goldberg; and Frank Sinatra, who was of Italian ancestry, played, er, Ryan.

But what of the great Irish songwriters..?

Continue Reading

I've Got You Under My Skin

WhatsApp

The night it took 22 takes...

Continue Reading

I Won't Dance

WhatsApp

The 1930s were the golden decade of American popular song. The great Broadway blue chips - Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart - were hitting their stride, and, as we've explored in recent weeks, a whole generation of far lesser known names were providing great individual numbers that, thanks to Sinatra, have lasted across the decades...

Continue Reading

Night And Day

WhatsApp

What's the connection between the Muslim call to prayer and Frank Sinatra?

Continue Reading

When Your Lover Has Gone

WhatsApp

E A Swan?

Who's he?

Well, if you saw Frank Sinatra on stage...

Continue Reading

All Of Me

WhatsApp

A Sinatra classic, born from a happy accident at a summer resort, and a widow's grief

Continue Reading

The Continental

WhatsApp

It's the wee small hours after Oscar Night, and so our Sinatra Centenary song is obliged to take a nod at least in the direction of the Academy Awards. Frank made a whole album of Oscar winners, with the unwieldy title of Sinatra Sings Days of Wine and Roses, Moon River, and Other Academy Award Winners...

Continue Reading

Chicago

WhatsApp

An anthem to "the town that Billy Sunday couldn't shut down"

Continue Reading

What Is This Thing Called Love?

WhatsApp

On March 27th 1929 the Charles B Cochran revue Wake Up And Dream opened at the London Pavilion, with a host of West End talent, including Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale, Tilly Losch and Douglas Byng. And at one point in the evening Britain's "Radio Sweetheart Number One", Elsie Carlisle, stepped forward and sang...

Continue Reading

My Funny Valentine

WhatsApp

Valentine's Day looms, and, given his contribution to its popularity, we would be remiss not to include in our Sinatra Century the one great Valentine standard...

Continue Reading

Stardust

WhatsApp

It's July 8th 1939 and the Harry James orchestra is on stage at the Roseland Ballroom in New York. They have a new singer - a 23-year old boy vocalist who signed with the band a few days earlier - and he steps to the microphone to sing...

Continue Reading

Love's Been Good To Me

WhatsApp

ImageThe other day I was reading, strictly for pleasure, The Complete Lyrics Of Johnny Mercer, and in particular the work of his somewhat frustrating final years. And a handful of pages before the end you turn the page, and from one of those projects that never came to fruition are a couple of songs bearing the credit "Words and music by Johnny Mercer and Rod McKuen".

My God, what was he thinking?

Continue Reading

The One I Love (Belongs To Somebody Else)

WhatsApp

We're spending this weekend with the Isham Jones/Gus Kahn end of the Sinatra songbook. Following "It Had To Be You" on Friday, here's a song Frank sang for almost half-a-century from June of 1940, as the new boy vocalist with a hit orchestra, to deep into the 1980s, as a lion in winter jumpin' all over a hard-swingin' band...

Continue Reading

It Had To Be You

WhatsApp

An ĂĽber-standard everyone sang before Frank

Continue Reading

After You've Gone

WhatsApp

A song as old as Sinatra that he only got to in the Eighties

Continue Reading

Home on the Range

WhatsApp

I received a letter, as I do from time to time and particularly since we launched this series, making the familiar complaint that I "only write about the kind of songs Frank Sinatra sings" and thereby ignore the older, vernacular American musical tradition. Well, I happen to think Frank chose pretty good songs, so why kick the habit? For example, here's a ring-a-ding-ding Sinatra classic he recorded in 1946:

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam
And the deer and the antelope play...

Continue Reading

The Song Is You

WhatsApp

It's often said that the pop songs you like when you're 17 years old are the pop songs that stay with you your entire life. And in that respect Frank Sinatra was very fortunate: When he was 17, to pick up where we left off last week, it was a very good year. The songs in the air as a Hoboken schoolboy prepared to start his adult life were the songs he would record a quarter-century later and still be singing on stage, at Caesars' Palace and the Royal Albert Hall, another quarter-century beyond that...

Continue Reading

It Was A Very Good Year

WhatsApp

Our Sinatra Song of the Century Number One

Continue Reading

Morning Train (Nine To Five)

WhatsApp

I love the Great American Train Song. It's a genre that has the sweep and size of the nation...

Continue Reading

It's the End of the World as We Know It

WhatsApp

After "Cat Scratch Fever", Mister Squaresville goes in search of other rockers to cover

Continue Reading

The Quality of Mercer

WhatsApp

A musical moment from The [Un]documented Mark Steyn

Continue Reading

Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead

WhatsApp

This month marks the 75th anniversary of one of the greatest and most enduring film musicals ever made, and one of the few to match the dramatic ambition of the best Broadway shows. The Wizard Of Oz gave us a standard song that won the Oscar that year and was potent enough to provide Eva Cassidy with a posthumous hit in the 21st century. We'll get to that next week, but for this week's Song of the Week here's one of my personal favorites from a truly marvelous score: Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead Which old witch? The wicked witch! Ding-dong! The wicked witch is dead... If you associate those lines not with Munchkins but with layabout lefties, you're probably British. In early 2013, that was the bestselling song at Amazon UK and at iTunes. ...

Continue Reading

They Didn't Believe Me

WhatsApp

When this weekly feature began eight and a half years ago, our Song of the Week Number One was "San Francisco", to mark the centenary of the 1906 earthquake. But, if I'd been thinking about a Number One song in more profound terms, our Number One song would have been the song we're finally getting round to almost a decade later - because this week's song was really the Number One song for an entire school of songs. As Mel Tormé put it, when Jerome Kern composed this melody, he "invented the popular song". If your idea of a popular song is "Call Me Maybe" or "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" or "The Tennesee Waltz", Tormé's claim is a bit of a stretch. But it's not unreasonable to claim that with this tune Kern invented what we now call the American Songbook - standards that endure across the decades and can be sung and played in almost any style. It is, thus, the Number One Song, the first and most influential entry in that American Songbook...

Continue Reading

(I'm In Love With) A Wonderful Guy

WhatsApp

A few weeks back, apropos "June Is Bustin' Out All Over", I mentioned that we hadn't done a lot of "month" songs in the years we've been running this feature. Some months - mostly spring ("April Showers", "April In Paris") and fall ("September Song", "September In The Rain") - seem to lend themselves to musicalization. If "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" is about as big a hit title as the sixth month of the year has ever produced, the eighth (which looms this very week) can't even manage a title at all. In the Seventies, Neil Diamond had a monster album called Hot August Night, with him doing what I recall as a denimed and vaguely pelvic thrust on the cover. But, unless I'm mistaken, Hot August Night doesn't actually include a song called ...

Continue Reading

Cinderella Rockefella

WhatsApp

What with all the Jew-hate around on the streets of Europe in recent days, I thought it would be nice to have a big Europop hit from that fleeting cultural moment when the Continentals regarded Israel not merely as a normal sovereign state but in fact a rather cool and enviable one...

Continue Reading

Put On A Happy Face

WhatsApp

Some musical advice from Mark's graduation season

Continue Reading

Nessun dorma

WhatsApp

The all-time great World Cup song

Continue Reading

Georgia On My Mind

WhatsApp

Steyn celebrates the song Ray Charles used to hum in the back of his car on the way to the gig - until one day his driver told him to record it.

Continue Reading

June Is Bustin' Out All Over

WhatsApp

Well, it's the beginning of June and that means June is bustin' out all over! Except that June doesn't really bust, does it..?

Continue Reading

Yesterday When I Was Young/She

WhatsApp

Ninety years ago this Thursday a baby boy was born in Paris ...well, that was the first unexpected plot twist. He was supposed to be born in America...

Continue Reading

My Lady Nicotine

WhatsApp

Mark explores the art of the cigarette song

Continue Reading

Tea For Two

WhatsApp

One of the biggest pop standards of the 20th century celebrates its 90th birthday this month. Exactly nine decades ago - April 21st 1924 - a new musical comedy opened in Chicago on its pre-Broadway tour. The plot was the usual fluff - three couples in Atlantic City, complications ensue, etc. It should have been a breeze, but it wasn't going well...

Continue Reading

Rock Around The Clock

WhatsApp

Six decades ago - April 12th 1954 - a chubby-faced kiss-curled man pushing 30 with a backing group named after a theory published in Synopsis Astronomia Cometicae in 1705 went into the recording studio at the Pythian Temple on West 70th Street in New York and sang a song written by a man born in the 19th century...

Continue Reading

Blue Moon

WhatsApp

A Rodgers & Hart classic - after three false starts...

Continue Reading

On The Good Ship Lollipop/Animal Crackers In My Soup

WhatsApp

Shirley Temple - singer, dancer, actress, and rock'n'roller

Continue Reading

Almost Like Being In Love

WhatsApp

A song for Groundhog Day?

Continue Reading

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

WhatsApp

This column comes by way of request from several readers, ever since the demise of Cecil the Lion hit the front pages. Here is the story of the biggest hit ever to come out of Africa - and why its author never reaped the benefits: In the jungle, the mighty jungle The Lion Sleeps Tonight... A third of a century ago, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" got to Number One in Britain for Tight Fit. Can't quite place Tight Fit? It sounds like a vaguely parodic name for a boy band, but in fact they were a coed combo - one boy, two girls, a male model and two female dancers, hired as a photogenic front after the record had already been made. The girls had failed to make the cut at an audition for the more successfully contrived group, Bucks Fizz, and were ...

Continue Reading

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

WhatsApp

Number One in January 1934 ...and January 1959

Continue Reading

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

WhatsApp

Happy New Year with one of Mark's favorite songs for the season

Continue Reading

Camelot

WhatsApp

On the centenary of the birth of John F Kennedy, Mark tells the story of how a Broadway musical became a key part of the President's posthumous mythology

Continue Reading

Ain't That A Kick - Sammy Cahn All The Way

WhatsApp

2015 is Frank Sinatra's centenary year, which necessitates a few modifications to SteynOnline's music, film and entertainment coverage. Our official observances commence tomorrow when our Song of the Week department becomes a Song of the Semi-Week in order to squeeze in 100 Sinatra songs of the century between now and December. Several other folk seem to have opted for this approach, too - our old friend the Pundette has launched a dedicated Sinatra Centenary site for that very purpose - so we hope you'll have lots of finicky fun nitpicking through competing hit parades and demanding to know why this or that song hasn't made the list. Don't worry, we'll still make space for other musical content this year, not least because I need to come ...

Continue Reading

Light My Fire

WhatsApp

How a psychedelic anthem from the summer of love became an easy-listening blockbuster

Continue Reading

What A Diff'rence A Day Made

WhatsApp

A day late for Cinco de Mayo, here's Steyn's Song of the Week: the most successful composition by Mexico's first successful female composer.

~and don't forget, if you like Mark's Song of the Week essays, some of his most requested are collected in his book A Song For The Season - including many songs for national days, from "America The Beautiful" to "Waltzing Matilda". You can order your personally autographed copy exclusively from the SteynOnline bookstore.

Continue Reading

The Sheik of Araby

WhatsApp

April 29th apparently marks the anniversary of the launch of the Islamic conquest of the Iberian peninsula in the year 711. So I thought it would be fun to have a suitably Islamo-dominant number for our Song of the Week.

~and don't forget, some of Mark's most popular Song of the Week essays are collected in his book A Song For The Season. You can order your personally autographed copy exclusively from the SteynOnline bookstore.

Continue Reading

Easter Parade

WhatsApp

Here's a special Steyn podcast on the most famous pop hit about Easter and its (sort of) centenary...

Continue Reading

Image

The Mark Steyn Club

Member Login

Email:

Password:

Not yet a member of the Mark Steyn Club? Join now!

Follow Mark

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Join Mailing List

Search SteynOnline.com

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

© 2018 Mark Steyn Enterprises (US) Inc. All rights reserved.
No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of Mark Steyn Enterprises.