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Time Flies –  That’s a Good Thing!

It has been almost two years since this mid week missive began as a way to keep a little more music in our day.  Now that things (fingers crossed) seem to be heading toward normal (whatever that means anymore), we still offer a musical interlude with a little information mixed in.

LVJS Sunday Bootlegger Jazz Series continues on February 27th starting at 11 am.

The concert will feature international jazz performers, trumpeter MIKE VAX, lead trumpet in the Stan Kenton Orchestra and Alumni Band and guitarist/educator JACK PETERSEN, formerly of Berklee College of Music and University of North Texas College of Music.

Yes, you will have to set an alarm to come out SO early, but it will be worth it.  Tickets are $20 for LVJS members and $25 for Prospective Members (General Admission by another name).  You can relieve yourself of extra cash by purchasing tickets online, sending money from your bank account to ours with Zelle at jazzsocietylasvegas@gmail.com, or entrusting the Postal Service with your check (what’s that?)  — PO Box 60396, Las Vegas, NV, 89160.  Word of caution:  Just because we are holding this at the “brunch hour,” food is not included in the ticket price.  That would have been a heckuva deal.  Bootlegger still expects food and drink purchases.  From Bootlegger the party continues at Ham Hall at UNLV for the Joe Wiliams Scholarship Fundraiser concert featuring the award winning Jazz Ensemble I and guest vocalists.  Tickets may be purchased online or at the PAC Box Office.  Maybe you should stay in Saturday night so you will be rested and ready to party all Sunday.

In a very exciting turn of events, Pete Barbutti, our comedic treasure, has not one but two shows at the Nevada Room!  Buy tickets to both – February 18th and February 25th.  Right now.  Chances like this don’t come around often.

And now, a special treat.  Mimi Williams offered a personal Valentine’s Day message for you which we are happy to pass along.

 

The story behind Paul Anka’s “My Way”

 

While Canadian singer-songwriter legend Paul Anka has left a long trail of hits over his 60-year career, he admits that early on, he was terrified to pen a tune for Frank Sinatra.  “He’d always tease me, ‘hey kid, when are you going to write me a song?’” Anka remembers. “But I couldn’t. I was scared to death. I was writing all this teen stuff.” Of course, there are few music lovers today who aren’t familiar with the poignant ballad Anka eventually crafted for Sinatra, “My Way.” Some dub it the most powerful of Anka’s many earworms, which also include classics like “Puppy Love,” “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” and even Johnny Carson’s theme song for “The Tonight Show.” Anka didn’t think twice 55 years ago when Sinatra called him out of the blue and declared, “kid, we’re going to dinner.” “When Sinatra says ‘we’re going to dinner, you drop everything and you go to dinner,” recalls Paul, who as a budding Vegas headliner in the 1960s had a friendly tie with the Rat Pack. During the meal, Sinatra dropped a stunning surprise: He was about to quit showbiz. “He said, ‘I’ve had it. I’m fed up. But I’m doing one more album,’” Anka remembers. “He said, ‘and you never wrote me that song’” Anka felt the pressure. Still reeling over the news at 1 a.m. in his apartment, he found himself toying with lyrics to a melody he had heard in France. “I thought, ‘What would Frank do with this melody, if he were a writer?’” Anka says. “And all of a sudden, it just came to me: ‘And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain.’” He finished the song at 5 a.m. and called Sinatra on the spot, promising him a song for his final album. “I knew I had something I wouldn’t be afraid to give him,” Anka says. The next day, he recorded a demo of the song and flew to Las Vegas, where Sinatra lived. “I played him the song and he looked at me and said, ‘I’m doing it.’” Two months later, Sinatra called Anka again. This time, with better news. “He says, ‘kid, listen to this,’ and puts the phone up to the speaker,” Anka remembers. “I heard ‘My Way’ playing for the first time, and I started to cry.” Paul Anka never knew what a legacy he had created when, at the request of Ol’ Blue Eyes, he wrote this song for Frank’s (presumed) retirement Frank Sinatra had a mega-smash hit with it, followed by the Three Tenors, Pavarotti, and numerous other big stars who covered the song over the years

In this video, 10 superb voices, an amazing orchestra, plus piano, saxophone, electric guitar, and extra choral support go well beyond of doing justice to Anka’s composition. The singers are Dutch, and you will notice that the majority of the orchestra are women. The performance is fantastic and extraordinarily beautiful!