Ted Sommer and Bill Lavorgna – Cole Porter in Pleasing Percussion

Today’s record which was $6 brings together to favorites of this blog, Cole Porter and percussion.  An added bonus is the promise of organ on the cover.  A bit on the pricey end, but this is the way things are post-2017.  If you have not heard, I moved by upper spending bound from $5 to $8.

I am continually amazed from doing this blog of the span and reach of Cole Porter’s music.  He was truly one of America’s greatest song writers and perhaps one of the greatest of all time.  It is hard to accurately place one on an infinite line of tine and space.

Ted Sommer, born in New York City in 1924, is a jazz drummer who worked with such greats and blog guests as Dick Hyman and Terry Synder as well as Zoot Sims, the inspiration for the Muppet’s Zoot.

Bill Lavorgna, born in Patterson, NJ in 1933, was best known for his work as a musical director on Broadway.  A Korean war vet, upon return he worked with such greats as Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Dizzy Gillespe, and Frank SInatra.  Lavorgna past on in 2007 at the age of 74.

The Lowrey Organ, made by Fred Lowrey in Chicago, was the most popular brand of organ in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Lowrey made it’s one millionth organ in 1989.  Also apparently, Chicago is the hotbed for organs as the Hammond was invented there as well.

Well, here they are on this album which features the skills of both men pitted against the illustrious work on Porter. I am not sure what year this came out.  I am guessing late 60’s.  It was released on budget label Pickwick under the Grand Prix Series.  Decent enough album.  Pretty good light jazz interpretations of popular Porter songs.  Nice little organ parts as well as good percussion breaks.  Songs include favorites such as “I Love Paris”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, and “It’s D’Lovely”.  However, for a sample, I went with “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To” as I feel it capitulates everything this record was trying to do, which it largely accomplishes for the most part.


Crystal Gayle- We Must Believe in Magic

IMG_4934My parents had this 8-track. This is Crystal Gayle’s biggest album. Half-price books had four copies. Some people might view that as negative on the album but in reality, that just means a lot of people bought this record. I paid $3.00’s for it.

I did not know that Crystal Gayle was Loretta Lynn’s youngest sister. Maybe everybody knew that. Well, I did not. I did not have the Internet as a child. I do know that she is very beautiful and has a lovely voice. She still is. As stated before, this was her biggest album and had her biggest hit, “ Don’t it make my Brown Eyes Blue”. It also produced one of the creepiest Muppet’s segments for what is already a strange song:


This was a Crossover record. This also came out in 1977, which was a pretty radical year for music. There is very little that is truly country on this album. There are moments, but overall, it is more Jazz-based than not. But there are country elements and there are a lot of good songs including the Title track, “Brown Eyes” and “River Road”. And at the end of the day, it was hugely successful.IMG_4933

I was tempted to be lazy and include one of these hits as a sample, but decided to go for a different track that is slightly more country flavored, despite being a Cole Porter standard- It’s All Right With Me.

I had to give this a Top Rating because it is a good album. I knew what I was getting into when I bought it.