Such Are the Dreams

This series from 1998 is one of my all-time favorites. It’s appeared here before but not recently. It was inspired by a recent concert I had attended in a renovated small-town theater, an appearance of the “Tommy Dorsey Band.” It was, of course, a pale and threadbare reincarnation of the famous group from the big-band era, but they put on a good show. They had a young female singer who, when she wasn’t singing, demurely sat toward the back of the stage in a folding chair with a shawl over her shoulders. When a number  called for her services, she would shed the shawl and, in a low-cut dress not unlike Janis’, belt out the requisite tune in arresting fashion. She was quite spell-binding, really. Obviously, she made an impression on me. And she did sing “Tangerine.”

17 thoughts on “Such Are the Dreams”

  1. Not that it makes any difference, but Tangerine was pretty much “owned” by Bob Eberly and Hellen O’Connell and they sang with Jimmy Dorsey, not Tommy. Of course you can’t possibly be old enough to know that. That was my era. I recently attended a concert by the “Glenn Miller” band. Moonlight Serenade has to be one the most beautiful pieces ever written.

  2. I remember going to a dance where The Glenn Miller band performed back in 1950s when I was about 13 or 14. I was always huge fan and thought even then they were not as good.

    Gulf Oil always hired any big band orchestras that were touring South America for our country club in Venezuela so I heard a lot between 1955-1959. These were still the Big Band years in Cuba before the revolution so lots came through.

    My boarding school was in heart of the Catskills and east coast sound, think Dirty Dancing minus the dirty part!

    • A close friend of mine in the town where I grew up for years booked these acts into the aforementioned “renovated small-town theater.” It was a lot of work and was, mostly, a labor of love. There in the 90’s, I saw the modern version of many of those old orchestras. All of them, save “The Glenn Miller Orchestra,” traveled with only a small number of front people. The rest of the orchestra was composed mostly of guild musicians picked up out of Atlanta. Their music might not have been as good as the originals in their prime, but it amazed me how well they could play together considering they were assembled for the one performance. As the years passed and the century turned, my friend had to book acts such as “A John Denver Tribute” and “The Kingston Trio.” Most of the customers on his early mailing lists were dead!

  3. I love singing and fortunately I can carry a tune. Sometimes at church I will really nail it and I’ve learned over the years to simply thank the person who thanks me as well as my accompanist as well as the Lord above. When the song that I am singing really makes a difference, it is a wonderful feeling, but I always remind myself that I am not doing it alone.

    Then there are times that you really stink up the joint and look for a rear exit….:-)

  4. Vaughn Monroe sang Tangerine, though I don’t remember his doing so the night he got tipsy at a Cornell U. formal in ’49-’50. [I was a nerd w/ no knowledge of big band music then, but was annoyed. Elaine was, too.] Later, at BSU, a colleague had an excellent big band show on the college FM station, and would play V.M. singing it just to get my goat.


  5. LOVE the music of the Big Band era. When I was a teenager, all my classmates were going crazy about the rock and roll singer of the moment… me? I was listening to big bands, and older singers. Such as… Frank Sinatra… Bing Crosby… Perry Como…
    I have learned to appreciate ALL kinds of music (well, almost all kinds, but some of it isn’t music!), but 30’s, 40’s and 50’s are still my favorites.

  6. Galiglo, c x-p: “… ALL kinds of music (well, almost all kinds, but some of it isn’t music!)” Here’s another arrow for our quivers. I consider what often passes for “new music” to be sound effects.

    Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (Salzburg, Au., 27 Jan. 1756-5 Dec. 1791). “Music, in even the most terrible situations, must never offend the ear but always remain a source of pleasure.”


  7. I like all sorts of music, but big band in all its flavors stirs my romantic side. It doesn’t matter whether I’m playing some sort of sax or clarinet, in a symphonic orchestra or a band, it’s all good. My favorites are Ellington and Gershwin.

  8. As for Oumuamua, we know less about it than any asteroid native to our system. It never came close enough to really measure its dimensions and its color is all wrong for either a comet or a native asteroid. All we know for certain is its speed and its projected course. Unless we somehow discover how to travel at a significant fraction of light speed, we’ll never know much more about it.

  9. What an amazing piece! Janice as a torch singer and you all talking about my favorite genre. Huge Big Band fan. I tried to see The Glenn Miller Orchestra once but they were sold out. String of Pearls was my Parents favorite song to dance to. I loved Bob Eberly and Hellen O’Connell’s Tangerine. Vaughn Monroe, loved his versions of Ballerina and Ghost Riders. Thank you for the memories!

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