One of the greatest joys in life is celebrating the most special people in the most special moments. Think a wedding anniversary, a 21st birthday, a baby shower, a wedding. And one of my greatest joys in life is telling the story of the special person(s) through song.
The gig: Dan and Addie’s 50th wedding anniversary
I would like to share the SongSonnet™ created for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. Dan and Addie Farber were married June 21st, 1969. A mere few weeks before Woodstock would grab the world’s attention demonstrating collective love, Dan and Addie were declaring their own love quietly to each other in front of family and friends. I, for one, am grateful for this turn of events!
In preparation of celebrating their 50th, I peppered them with questions about their relationship to each other through song. They weren’t particularly subtle questions but I got the job done and had a list of tunes that they agreed were important in their relationship together or that had developed them as individuals. These are the four I chose to tell a bit of their sweet story:
Only You : composed by Buck Ram, made popular by The Platters in 1973. This was chosen as it is their “romantic song”. How adorable is that?!? I added on the jazz standard Where or When to give the tune a nostalgic and dreamy feel and called them out to dance at their anniversary party. Many tears were had.
Poinciana : composed by Nat Simon, with a version released by Ahmad Jamal in 1963. This song came rushing out of my mother’s mouth when I asked her favorite tune. I now know where I get my affinity for all things jazz. Not bad, ma.
Walkin’ After Midnight : composed by Alan Block and Donn Hecht, made popular by Patsy Cline in 1957. My father could not, for the life of him, pick a favorite and was in fact a bit angry with me that I had dared put him in that position. This tune is here by vocalist choice because of my father’s deep love of old country and folk and all things female led. He would now like me to inform you that he may veto this at any time…thanks, dad.
The Letter : composed by Wayne Carson, made popular by The Box Tops in 1967. Without a doubt, this was their “dancing song” – a contentious point as my father has refused to take my mother dancing ever since their courting days. (Is this true? I’m not convinced. But my mother seems to have more dance left in her than spent so…maybe?)
The debut of this SongSonnet™ was on Monday, May 20th at The Bar Next Door in NYC. The band that evening was Cat Toren on keys and Michael Bates on bass. We delivered the set to everyone who came out…MINUS my parents. Known for attending almost every gig, they had ironically decided to sit this one out. They finally received a taste of the set on their anniversary celebration on June 22nd with all of their friends and family present and singing along.
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