Lee-ping Lounge Lizards

The lee side starts with Brenda Lee: The Definitive Collection – maybe not all the hits but enough for me. ‘I’m Sorry’ is a classic, melodramatic, over-the-top song as she sings her codependent heart out. Her gumbo rock is fine & she survived being a child star quite well too. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree is a season fav too. Her life was no ‘normal’ there’s been no movie bio 🙂

Now to the cocktail lounge with an mp3 collection that includes. Julia Lee: And Her Boyfriends. This is an lp to cd transfer. I bought the lp based on the sweet cover – a portrait of her in a mink. The songs are ‘suggestive’ i.e. My Man Stands Out. Her voice is sexy & she knows an innuendo where she sings one. With her is Risky Blues – an lp compilation of even more suggestive songs ‘Big Ten Inch (record).’

Here too are a couple of lps by Blossom Dearie: Once Upon A Summer Time, Cafe-apres Midi. Blossom is on the less raunchy side of nightclub singers. A sweet, light, playful voice she is worshiped by jazz singers. her material pulls mainly from Broadway with some jazz standards thrown in. You can almost hear the cocktail shaker in the back ground.

The opposite is a pair by Mable Mercer: Sings Cole Porter, Merely Marvellous. I first heard her on a jazz magazine sampler singing Ballad of all the Sad Young Men. Mable has a nice alto range & is relaxing & fun. She doesn’t push jazz boundaries. Emotional without showing off. her material is similar to Blossom’s with a dash of more modern stuff – ie 59th Street Bridge Song.

More show-offish is Jane Morgan. I have the wonderfully over-produced Jane In Spain, & Time. Jane has a classic clear night-club voice. Spain is a delight with its hitch Latino flourishes of castanets & some of the songs, Granada, are ‘Spanish’ sung in English. Time is more diverse & ‘modern’ with songs like Moon River, Tammy given the nightclub treatment.

Final Lee is Peggy Lee – an inspiration for all the above – she started as a big band torch singer whose career changed with the times. I have in various mp3 collections: Beauty and the Beat (w: George Shearing), Latin Lee, Ole Lee, Fever, Christmas Carousel, Is That All There Is – her  Some are standard issue lie Latin Lee but all are elevated by her delivery. Her Christmas Carousel is one of my seasonal favourites.


this is the week

when the universal currency is

hearts & flowers 

chocolates & regrets

traded with eager expectations

I’ll give you a glimpse of this

if you give me a glimpse of that

I’ll put up with your doing that 

if you allow me to do do this

I’ll treat you like crap 

love you & put up with your crap

because you love me


we exchange these representations

of our willingness to continue 

our little patterns of regret dispute 

in the name of tender loving 

compassionate cooperation

because our relationship is perfect

bouquet trade-offs

of explanations for reality

how far we compromised 

our teenage ideals 

for our forty-year-old realities


so many of us

are still ruled by bitter teenagers

who didn’t get the pretty girl 

or great guy we idolized in high school

we still cart that fractured dream

around as a measure of what we want

as if we’d stop some teenager 

in the street today and ask 

‘is this the one for me’

not that a stranger 

can actually to talk 

to a teenager in the street today

without getting charged for something

but that’s another story

another compromise

to protect us from one another

so where was I


ah yes

the new universal currency

of regrets fears retribution 

being more satisfying than love

who wants to see things flow 

without the elegant 

encumbrance of expectations 

without the sunny 

undercurrent of resentment

mental telepathy doesn’t work

and it is your fault

I should not have to tell you 

what I want

you should just know

from the way I wear my hat

oh right I don’t wear hats

well that should tell you something


it tells you I love you


March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


Richard III – Stratford Festival


June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.


All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald! On an mp3 collection I have: Sings Gershwin; with Louis Armstrong; Rogers & Hart Songbooks. Plus a cassette of 30 by Benny Carter (so far unreleased in any other format). What can one say about this timeless singer. Adventurous and yet classic jazz at the same time. Her recordings with Louise Armstrong are amazing – their voice trade off so well – romantic, sexy & humorous. Their take on Porgy & Bess is wonderful.

She seems to have recorded non-stop, even her sleep, as she worked through song books of the great Broadway composers. Shows that she never would have been cast yet & she makes each song her own.

On this cd I’ve included work by her contemporaries: Rosemary Clooney: Ring Around Rosie with the Hi-Lows: this is an amazing set, the Hi-Lows’ arrangements are so campy at time I’m left breathless & one hears where groups like Manhattan Transfer got their best ideas. The song are energetic & fun. Her voice is clear as a bell.

Plus some Peggy Lee: Beauty & the Beat with George Shearing, Fever: a ‘hits’ collection. The Shearing is a live nightclub performance & listening to it one is right there sipping an extra dry martini. Fever is a selection of her 50’s work & leaves no doubt as to why she was revered. Very different from Fitzgerald or Clooney, she does some of the same songs but man, they are different songs in her hands.

Finally Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown & Beige featuring Mahalia Jackson. Two versions of it – the studio recording & a live take. Jackson has another of those monumental voices but she rarely sang ‘pop’, even her work here is more gospel & her reputation comes from her gospel recordings. A force of nature that draws even a cynic like me into the glory of the word.

A Mazed

‘How do like your room?’

‘It’s fine. Nice view of the Eldritch Enclosure.’

‘Ah yes. That north side is worth the extra steps.’

‘Extra steps?’

I hurried to keep up with Caliban. For a short guy he walked faster than my long legs could carry me.

‘Oh yeah. Didn’t you notice? That side of the dorm is about half a floor higher. Thanks to the Corner System.’

‘Oh great. Now I have to watch out for the corners’ too?’

‘Bright girl like you should have no trouble.’

‘Thanks. I guess.’

‘Sure. Well, here we are …’

We stopped at the edge of the Griswill Quad. Several students walked in large and small circles in front of us. I look at Caliban.

‘Maze meditations, Sycorax. There’s a new maze laid down in the grass every other week. Gives us a chance to focus and move. Very relaxing.’

‘I’m sure.’

‘Oh no, you’re not. No one is sure till they’ve tried it.’

‘Can’t be any worse than the Celtiric Labyrinth at Black Rock.’

‘You’ve been there?’

‘Last summer. The folks thought it was time to see what latent ability I had.’

‘How long did it take you.’

‘Just under an hour.’ I wasn’t going to tell him it took me nearly twelve hours. Not yet.


He was as impressed as I knew he would be.

‘Then you’ll find this one child’s play. Start here.’


‘First day here everyone has to go through at least one of the five mazes. I’ll wait for you at the other side.’

I swallowed hard and looked at the gentle pattern in the folded grass. Once I stepped on to it I felt the slight breeze of the Form rustle my hair. The Form meant that I could not step back, step off, or step over. I would have to follow through to the end.

I moved ahead quick. I knew hesitation would change the pattern. As long as I kept turning to the left whenever I could I’d be fine. As long as I remember which way was left. Small curves in the grass spun me around and I found myself passing the start point more than once. I took a breath and stopped.

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Thursday – September 7 at 7:30 PM – 11 PM – HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam


Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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