Friday, April 14, 2006

a songbook for the ages...

Time to file away the Queen catalog as a distant memory and start focusing on Rod Stewart's The Great American Songbook series as next week the kids will dive into the pop standards, songs which have withstood the test of time and generation, have been recorded and performed by countless artists and will offer something for each of the seven remaining.

Somebody asked what the "standards" were. The group of songs referred to as "the standards" or "The Great American Songbook"were songs written during the golden age of songwriting, between 1930 and 1950, by composers such as Henry Mancini, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer and Richard Rodgers with either Lorenz Hart or Oscar Hammerstein. Of course, Rod Stewart has compiled probably the most exhaustive collection of these songs in his four-volume set, simply entitled The Great American Songbook, and apparently, it is from this set that the kids will choose their selections. Although, in typical fashion, the ambiguity of the theme might indicate that the kids are not restricted to only those standards chosen by Stewart in his set, for the list of appropriate songs is huge. [I hope that's true, actually, because, while the songs on Stewart's set are wonderful, he does leave out some classics.]

And, according to the vocal coach, the kids will not be allowed to alter these great songs from the original arrangements. They must be sung as they were originally intended.

[Me: doing happy dance!!!]

Hmmm. Maybe I'll get my most fervent wish after all, that Elliott sing You Send Me, since he skipped over it during 50s week, but Rod covered it with Chaka Khan on Volume IV.

Here are the choices with audio clips from
Volume I, Volume II, Volume III and Volume IV. I'm working on my list of wishes.

Got wishes? Please share!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear Paris sing Someone to Watch Over Me - after a great performance this week, she's finally worked her way back into my good graces. ;)

Taylor - Georgia on My Mind. It would just be perfect.

10:13 AM, April 14, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

LOL That's funny, I was thinking the very same song, but for Katharine. ;o)

11:04 AM, April 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope someone sings Stardust or Only You (is that a standard?)

11:22 AM, April 14, 2006  
Blogger lorguru said...

Katherine: Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
Taylor: I've Got You Under My Skin

11:23 AM, April 14, 2006  
Blogger lorguru said...

or Taylor: The Way you Look Tonight

I think Taylor, Katherine, and Elliot (especially Elliot)
will really shine and the only way they could really mess it up would be to pick a very obscure song. Picking a real favorite known by most generations is the way to go. I know they are all supposed to be "standards", but I listened and there are a few I'm not familiar with. Go for the really popular ones, I say, and the people who love the song will love you, too! (unless you butcher it, which these guys won't)

Chris could really win us all over by doing a great job with this.

12:53 PM, April 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely Katharine for Someone to Watch Over Me.

1:09 PM, April 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... and perhaps My Funny Valentine for Paris.

1:23 PM, April 14, 2006  
Blogger Sunny said...

I was thinking Elliott could sing The Way you Look Tonight instead of Taylor.
Taylor could do What a Wonderful World.

Katharine could pull off almost ANY of these songs, its definitely her style. My top choices for her are Smile or My Funny Valentine(which Constantine sang last season and did incredibly well-gave me chills).

Ace could do Blue Skies if he did a more upbeat version like Crosby and Kaye did in White Christmas.

Paris could sing It Had to Be You. (I laugh every time I hear that song cos I think of Marla Hooch from "A League of Their Own" singing it drunk.)

Maybe Chris won't be able to sing the Standards and really suck and go home next week cos he can't change his song into rock.

Kellie could sing Baby, It's Cold Outside, but I don't think its approprriate because its a duet.

I just grabbed songs from Jennifer's links to Rod Stewart's cd samples. That's how I picked.

1:34 PM, April 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something I noticed in the blurb about volume IV:

"On this fourth installation of the Clive Davis-produced series, Stewart....".

So now we know why Rod's a coach.

1:42 PM, April 14, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

Pretty much all of these guests with CDs are from the Clive Davis stable.

1:45 PM, April 14, 2006  
Blogger Dave said...

If the other themes have been hand-picked for some contestants (Queen for Chris, country for Kellie and Bucky, etc.), the standards theme is for VCM.

Without being able to change the arrangements around, the people who are the strongest vocalists should rise to the top, and that means Katharine and probably Elliott.

Paris should also do well, and if Ace picks the right song (and leaves out the unnecesary falsetto), he might also stave off elimination for one more week.

Kellie might struggle and Chris might, too. Of course, if Chris has been sandbagging this whole time and really does have the vocal chops to pull this one out, it could solidify him as the clear frontrunner.

Taylor should also do well (plus he's a Chosen One) so I would look for the bottom three to be Elliott, Ace and either Kellie or Paris.

I'd also look for them to pull the same crap they did on George (and tried to do to Bo) on the results night.

8:08 PM, April 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone think of a semi-rock standard that Chris could do well with? Maybe Mack the Knife?

11:28 PM, April 14, 2006  
Blogger purplvr said...

I can't think of a song that would be an ideal "Chris" pick, but I will say that wit his gravelly voice, he could probably pick just about any song as sung by Rod Stewart and get the same result. After all, Rod is known for the rough edge in his own singing voice.

I agree with the comment about song choice: I think it's really important for the songs they pick to be at least somewhat familiar to most everybody. Obscure songs may be great in their own right, but they have also proved to be detrimental in this competition.

I'm not worried about Katharine, Elliott, or Paris (as has been previously stated), but the rest of the crew may have somewhat more of a challenge.
Now that we're getting so close to the dead heat of the competition, it is crucial for each and every one of these contestants to make not good, but great song choices.

I really look forward to what they will present us with this coming week. Should be interesting and, hopefully, a nice change of pace. :-)

12:03 PM, April 15, 2006  
Blogger Nelle said...

Don't know if you caught the interview with Barry Manilow on Larry King last night but it was interesting on his experience with the kids from Idol. I had actually tuned in to see the advertised interview with Paula Abdul. I was baited and switched. Looking forward to Rod week. :)

1:27 PM, April 15, 2006  
Anonymous ChrisROCKS said...

I'm so excited for Standards Week!!! Yippeeee!!! My picks for the singers:

Chris - If he sings something to his wife, he'll have every woman in America swooning.
1) I Only Have Eyes for You
2) Unforgettable

Elliot - He can do anything in this genre but I'd love to hear him sing:
1) That's All
2) Autumn Leaves

Katherine - She, also, can do anything in this genre. Keep it slow and bend those notes, baby!
1) These Foolish Things
2) Smile

Kellie - Meh. But she's gotta sing something. I think she'd do decently on:
1) The Very Thought of You
2) Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered
(though she might not understand what these words mean)

Ace - I think he'll do better this week. I'd like to hear him sing:
1) Blue Moon
2) You Send Me

Paris - Something upbeat might be better for her. But either of these choices she'd do well on:
1) I'll Be Seeing You
2) Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Taylor - Hard to find something in this genre that fits his voice. However, I think he'd sound pretty good on:
1) Straighten Up and Fly Right
2) I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm

Okay, those are my 1st and 2nd choices for each contestant. I hope they're allowed to sing standards other than what's on Rod's albums. I put in a few of those alternates in my list. Overall, I think the group is going to do MUCH better than they did on Queen night.

Top 3: Elliot, Katherine, Paris

Bottom 3: Ace, Kellie, Taylor

Smack dab in the middle: Chris (if he stays away from AWG mode he'll soar!)

Counting down the hours! woohooo!!

5:54 AM, April 16, 2006  
Blogger lorguru said...

Well, I beg to differ on chrisrocks' assessment of Taylor and his ability to do or not do the standards. I think he'll shine. I can't imagine otherwise.

3:55 PM, April 16, 2006  
Anonymous ChrisROCKS said...


My comment re: Taylor was not intended to be a criticism of his voice nor his abilities. He's tremendously talented and I happen to love his voice. He's been a favorite of mine from his first audition. I simply meant that *I* can't hear his voice matching these types of songs. To me, he is all about Soul and Blues...that's where he shines. I'm sure we'll see him back next week. ;)

4:48 PM, April 16, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

Am I the only one who can totally hear Taylor ripping "What a Wonderful World" in the same way that Anwar did last season?

I can almost see that in my head.

5:10 PM, April 16, 2006  
Anonymous Gina said...

I can see Taylor singing It's A Wonderful World in my's a day dream of mine that he'll do it. It's perfect for him to sing. I'm still working on song choices for's been a busy holiday weekend. Going off track from AI a moment....I hope everyone had a great holiday!

11:09 PM, April 16, 2006  
Blogger angelof_mercy81 said...

I'm with Jennifer: I think "What a Wonderful World" would be a great choice for Taylor, or maybe something by Sinatra. I think he, Elliott, and Katharine will have no trouble tomorrow night. The others...not sure. At any rate, now song choice is even more crucial than ever. I can't wait until tomorrow!

2:53 PM, April 17, 2006  
Anonymous Hoppers said...

Oh my... I listened to those clips for just a second and was reminded I don't like Rod Stewart.

You are a brave woman for listening to them to narrow down song choices!

6:04 PM, April 17, 2006  
Blogger angelof_mercy81 said...

hoppers said
"Oh my... I listened to those clips for just a second and was reminded I don't like Rod Stewart.

You are a brave woman for listening to them to narrow down song choices!"


12:49 PM, April 18, 2006  

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