Sunday, November 6, 2011

Eleven '11.


The grand, blue-gray morning-after sleep from a manic, magic October.

And though it is still very Autumn, it is the test pattern for Winter.

A time of change and preparation, calm and peace all at once.

And in honor, I've changed up the music in the ol' S&P jukebox...

First, we always have Vince Guaraldi's The Great Pumpkin Waltz. It is the official theme song of the Skull & Pumpkin.

Next, I've added another 3/4-time Guaraldi classic, fit for the month of November: the Theme from 1973's A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. 

I still want that Thanksgiving meal.

Next up, a tribute to my late father Dick Cathcart, who would have turned 87 today. He died just two days after his 69th birthday, and November always reminds me of his life and death. As a highly regarded and sought-after trumpeter and singer, he did much during his life, and saw plenty, and I find one particular recording to be most evocative of my feelings about him.

In 1957 he played on his good friend Paul Weston's fabulous musical ode to New Orleans, Crescent City. Dad's horn lead on Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen is one of his finest pieces, and I am proud to present it for the month.

I am grateful to have had him for a father, and thankful for so many things he taught me, so many gifts he gave me... so I had to add a song about being grateful for the good things in our lives.

From the 1973 film (of the 1971 musical) Godspell comes All Good Gifts, a pretty and heartfelt song of thanksgiving...

... and then I remembered that this is a Hallowe'en pub and our Thanksgiving celebrations are a raucous, monstery affair.

The Bash is a wild big band piece from Maury Laws' amazing score to Mad Monster Party (1967), and if Count Basie's band ever played at a party thrown by Dr. Frankenstein, this is what it would sound like.

Frankenstein. That reminds me... didn't Mary Shelley have the Monster being created this very month?

"It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils..."

Just as I thought.

So we gotta have some Frankenstein music (as Livy would say). From the original 1931 film comes Bernhard Kaun's main title piece, the Frankenstein Theme. I've left the very smooth introduction from actor Edward Van Sloan, warning us of the horrors about to unfold.

"How do you do?"

I have decided to leave my own composition, Autumn Storm, on the player, since it's still Autumn. And it's my pub.

Plus, it's still pretty. It still 'works', as they say.

Lastly, as ever, comes the Anger/Higbie Quintet's 1986 beauty Pumpkintime, the official incidental music of the S&P.

New music for a new month, for your pleasure.

Stoke the fire a bit, though. It's getting chilly...


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