“ALPHABETICALLY YOURS” SERIES 24. (X) – By Des Kelly

She is a beautiful, multi-talented,entertainer that Australia is proud to call “their own”, however, she was born in England, of a German mother, Irene Born, and an English father Brinley Newton-John, who migrated to Melbourne in 1954, when Olivia Newton John was just six years old.

Like all true “Stars”, Olivia started showing off her talents at a very young age, and became active in showbiz since 1963 when she was fifteen, singing and dancing her way into the hearts of everyone she met.

Because of the nature of this “Series”, it is impossible to elaborate on the careers of the “Stars” or songs I feature, but suffice to say that Olivia Newton John, now 70 years old, became a World-famous Star, as “Sandy” in the film called Grease, with John Travolta, also starred in a film called Xanadu, which, although IT did not beat any box-office records, brought her fame with the song of that “title”.

She is not only beautiful and talented, she is also an extremely brave lady who is, at the moment battling breast- cancer, diagnosed, not once, but thrice, in later life.

On behalf of every single reader of eLanka, I wish Olivia Newton John, the very best that only a most merciful God could offer her. May the wonders of medicine keep her going, because, after all, they are beating Cancer at the moment, and hopefully breast cancer will be in their sights right now.

Following Olivia Newton John & Xanadu, is yet another Star that does not need any introduction whatsover. Born into a large family, Michael Jackson “stood out” from his older siblings, his brothers, automatically taking the lead in any production, usually overseen by a very strict father.

Later, one sister, Janet, came into the picture, the prettiest of the lot of them, still, Michael, who unfortunately died from a suspected homicide (medications prescribed by his doctor),was, without a doubt, one of the BEST entertainers that this World had ever seen. HE had no “XSCAPE” but may you now rest in peace, Michael Jackson. You were certainly from another “genre” of music, but still along with Elvis, “Entertainers” of the greatest calibre, that I have been lucky to watch, on-stage. Elvis had no Xscape either and died, far too young.

 Desmond Kelly.
Star of eLanka.
 (Editor-in-Chief).

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“ALPHABETICALLY YOURS” SERIES 23 (W) – By Des Kelly

Always an “outlaw” in every sense of the word.
An extraordinary entertainer, as well. He owns an old acoustic guitar that he calls Trigger, a Martin N.20 style accoustic nylon string, his “baby”, which unfortunately, has taken a severe beating over the years of roaming around the World, with this Singer/Songwriter “Star” Willie Nelson, who, when he is not on tour, protects ” Trigger” in a bank vault, the reason being, that old and holey, it may be, but this particular instrument is worth a small fortune.
Willie Nelson first based is guitar-style on another famous guitarist, Django Reinhardt, but latterly had his acoustic guitar tranformed into a “electric- guitar”, thereby bringing out his own style into the Country Music World.

In “Alphabetically Yours”, especially for our readers and members of eLanka, I have picked out the very best version of a beautiful waltz (a favourite of mine as well), entitled
“I could waltz across Texas”(with you in my arms), a song, so very melodic and beautiful, done, Willie Nelson Style.

Ronny Milsap, another Country Singer follows Willie Nelson, agreeing with every word that Willie has just sung.

This is another fact about Country Music, that not too many folk realize. Ronny “carries-on” with more endearing phrases about the girl who Willie could waltz across Texas, with.

She must have been extra-special, not only to Willie, but also to Ronny, as he “croons” ” You’re the reason I’m living”

Eventually, she left BOTH of them, but that is another story

Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls, enjoy Willie and Ronny.

Desmond Kelly.
Star of eLanka.
(Editor-in-Chief).

 

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“ALPHABETICALLY YOURS” SERIES 22 (V) – By Des Kelly

“She’s venom, wearin’ denim” is the name of the song.
This is another PLUS for Country Music. “Song-titles”, the likes of which, would never be seen in any other genre of music. Clever titles, clever lyrics, stories in song, as I always call them, this time, telling us that we males should always be careful with these pretty “Ladies of the night”, whether they wear denim or silk. Of course, they are not all venomous, but do the wrong thing, boys, and you’ll know exactly what Junior Brown is trying to tell us. WHO IS Junior Brown ?, you ask. Well, I didn’t know either, until I heard this particular song which was included in my huge library of music. On doing a bit of research, I find that, here IS another unique character. Born in 1952, he came out of Austin, Texas, complete with a double-necked guitar he had invented himself. To accompany himself, he not only had the usual six-string electric guitar, but ALSO his own “Steel- Sound” sitting up there within ease reach. An astounding new ” Instrument” that had nevet been seen before. This was not all, folks, he could PLAY both instruments with a skill, seldom seen in the present era, and is still very much in demand in America. I am therefore proud to present Junior Brown to my readers. Please sit back & enjoy.

Followed, as usual, with something entirely different.
This one is just a little Spanish advice to all & sundry. The song, “Viya-con-dios” literally means “Go with God”, something that every one of us, especially in this day and age must think about more often, in a World that GOD created, but, must be getting thoroughly fed-up with.
I have listened to many versions of this song, as I do, with every one, I offer as entertainment, to all eLanka readers, and Anne Murray’s version, to me, is absolutely superb.
Anne has a beautiful “contralto” voice, and when she sings, one always seems to get that “peaceful easy feeling” so common with good Country Music. Need I say more ?.

Desmond Kelly.
 Star of eLanka
(Editor-in-Chief)

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“ALPHABETICALLY YOURS” SERIES 21 (U) – By Des Kelly

A former founder-member of the “Sinatra Ratpack”,but, even more importantly the “Stand-up” man of the Jerry Lewis comedy duo, he was the happy-go-lucky type of bloke that anyone would have liked, to have had at their parties and celebrations. Tall, good-looking, always, it seems, with a drink in his hands, a typical Italiano, Dino Martino (born Dino Paul Crocetti on April 7th 1917), was indeed one of the most popular Actor/Producer, Singer/ Comedian entertainers of his era. He had the special charm and charisma of a genuine “Star” whose version of the beautiful memories, gleaned from “Under the bridges of Paris” will never be forgotten.

Dean Martin, “The King of Cool” died on Christmas day, of 1995, aged 78. To all my eLanka readers, please enjoy Dean’s “top” version of a song dedicated to one of the loveliest Cities in the World which, like so many other such Cities, is presently in turmoil. I am happy to present this song, because, to me also , Cities such as Paris & Vienna have always conjured up imaginings of love & beautiful music.

This is followed by yet another superstar, Bette Midler, Actress, Singer, multi-award winner, whose song, “Under the Boardwalk” (down by the sea), tells us that even in days gone by, just like most of the young ones, in old Ceylon & later, in Australia, are passionately fond of the seaside, and, as a matter of fact, if I remember correctly, one of Bette’s famous films was also titled ” Beaches”.

Anyway, here she is folks, Bette Midler, goes “Under the Boardwalk” for you.

Desmond Kelly.
Star of eLanka
(Editor-in-Chief).

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“Alphabetically Yours”: Series 20. (T) – By Des Kelly

It almost did. The bottle, that is. When I served my Country in the Royal Ceylon Navy from 1953 to 1961, give or take a few weeks, “bending the elbow” or “hitting the bottle”, call it what you like, was part and parcel of being a member of the “Senior Service”. If one did not “participate” in everything one should NOT participate in, one could not boast of being a Navy-Man. Yes, I have to say it, as it WAS.

I have to blame it on my “grandfather” Jack, who drank anything but water. In the Navy, it was quite common to drink. The only problem was, how MUCH we drank.Speaking for myself, at least my head never had to have a close look into the toilet bowl, after any lengthy boozing session, I could “hold” my liquor. Coming to Australia in 1962, did not stop my habit of drinking AND smoking either. I am certainly not proud of writing all this, but then, I finally realized (after my left kidney was “removed” because of my bad habits, due to Cancer), that I would not have recorded the fact that “THE BOTTLE LET ME DOWN”, in fact, I would not be writing for eLanka at all, so folks, please take my advice. Do not SMOKE !, at all, and if you like the odd drink, make sure that you restrict the number of drinks to no more than a couple, AT HOME. Never drink & then drive any vehicle. In Ceylon, the bottle did let me down (on several occasions), but I am proud of the fact that, for the last 15 years, at least, I neither smoke or drink any alcohol, at all.

“The bottle let me down” by ” your’s truly, is followed by a
“TRIBUTE” to Vince Gill, yet another favourite Country Singer of mine, whose “key” chosen for his beautiful rendition of “Look at us” was much too high for me (as I am getting on a bit, myself), so I decided to “cover” Vince Gill’s version of the song, singing a complete octave LOWER. eLanka readers, please listen to, and hopefully enjoy my version of the song in TRIBUTE to Vince. Thank you very much. Here I go.

 

Desmond Kelly
Star of eLanka
 (Editor-in-Chief).
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“ALPHABETICALLY YOURS” SERIES 19 (S) – By Des Kelly

A father & daughter combination that is second to none.
Frank Sinatra, “old blue eyes”, “cranky Frankie”, call him what you will, Sinatra (R.I.P.), was well known as technically, the best Vocalist in the entire World. He had his “good points”, he had his “bad”, but so does every one of us. During his “younger days”, no-one could touch him, in the entertainment stakes. He had his choice of beautiful women, mainly because, when he sang a song, he would pick a “beauty” in his audience and sing TO HER. He once said that he’d rather stay in bed than sing a few songs at the “Sands” hotel & casino in the Las Vegas Strip, in Nevada
for 50 thousand dollars offered to him, one weekend in the mid 1950’s, and this was a huge amount of money, even in the old days. Colour meant nothing to Frank Sinatra, who once refused to enter a hotel unless his buddy Sammy Davis Jnr., could go in, with him. To add to his musical talent, he also became an Oscar-winning Actor in the film ” “From Here To Eternity”, Starred, in ” The Man With The Golden Arm” & received critical acclaim for his part in “The Manchurian Candidate”.

Frank Sinatra’s daughter, “Nancy with the laughing face”, as he called her, was also a singer, although, not half as famous as her dad, still idolized him and recorded a song with a title that I would NEVER have chosen, myself. However, this father/daughter combination was so special that I forgive them for doing ” SOMETHING STUPID”.

This will be followed with the man HIMSELF, singing a tribute to another Nancy, (his first wife), Nancy Barbato, saying “SHE’S FUNNY, THAT WAY”. Please enjoy Francis Albert Sinatra, folks, one of the best singers who graced our Planet.

Desmond Kelly
 Star of eLanka
 (Editor-in-Chief).

 

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“ALPHABETICALLY YOURS” SERIES 18 (R) – By Des Kelly

From one “story-teller” to another. Firstly, the original “S.T”., came from America. I have written about Tom T. Hall very often. His “stories in song” were always appreciated by his audiences all over the World, and the double entendre that I offer the readers of eLanka are also favourites of mine. Tom wrote “Ravishing Ruby” after visiting this truck-stop cafe in Redding, as a truck-driver, where her met this young waitress and decided to write a song about her.Clayton Delaney was also a personal friend of Tom, I believe, and both songs are superb “Country-fare”.

Following Tom. T. Hall, is Australia’s “Story-Story-teller”. Another fine Aussie talent who eventually went off to America, then toured the World, making music, was Kevin Johnson. He was a singer/songwriter/guitarist & entertainer of no mean repute. While the icon of Australian Country was, and will always be, Slim Dusty, Slim mainly “stayed-put” in Oz., while Kevin Johnson actually made his name in America, recording what has to be an original composition with the longest “title”, I have ever heard of.
“Rock n roll I gave you all the best years of my life” was his song, performed to perfection by himself. I loved the song, the “single, flip-side” of which was “Mohair-Sam” (the Charlie Rich version), I present to my readers, purely for the reason that, not only was it in contrast, but also the version that I preferred. Kevin Johnson did compose the song, but, as usual, I tend to pick the BEST for my readers.Please, ladies & gentlemen, listen to the best of them, I give you, Tom T. Hall, Charlie Rich and Kevin Johnson.

Desmond Kelly
  Star of eLanka
 (Editor-in-Chief).
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ALPHABETICALLY YOURS SERIES 17 (Q) – By Des Kelly

They tell us that French is the language of love, but there is nothing wrong in giving “Italian” the same status. As we all know, some Italian vocalists (and bands) are, without a shadow of a doubt, on the top rungs of the “musical ladder” of fame. Italians are among the best “tenors” in the World, Sophia Loren would still have to be one of the most beautiful “olderLadies” on our Planet, although I don’t think that she “sings” very much. Now, where am I going with this Series 17 ?. Oh, yes, I remember it now.

A friend of mine, made a name for himself, singing numbers mostly recorded by Englebert Humperdinck, and so, I have decided to put in an Italian song entitled ” Quando quando, quando” (Italian for, When ?, Woman, When ?). a question that, I suppose, ANY hetero-sexual man will ask of his woman at any given time/s. An absolutely handsome entertainer, now much older, of course, but still looking quite personable in his 80’s, Englebert gives us this “earlier” video clip of the song I have picked for our eLanka readers.
Please enjoy the song that was first recorded by Tony Renis and Emillio Pericoli, in Italian, (the Composers of the music), Alberto Testa wrote the lyrics.
This is followed by another great entertainer in Paul Simon, who, with Arthur (Art) Garfunkel, recorded many songs, although this particular one is what I would term a “Simon-Solo”. The title simply gives us what the song is about. Two complete “changes of cadence”, a great tune and written by Paul Simon himself, as far as I am concerned
“QUALITY” is the “tops”

 Desmond Kelly
 Star of eLanka
 (Editor -in-Chief).
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ALPHABETICALLY YOURS” SERIES 16 (P) – By Des Kelly

It is certainly a wonderful “feeling”, a peaceful, easy one, as performed by a more recent group calling themselves the “Eagles”, a superb bunch of musicians from America, founded initially by Glenn Frey on vocals & guitar, and Don Henley (also vocals, and Drums), plus Bernie Leadon (another guitarist and backing vocalist), & Randy Meisner on bass & vocals, they became one of the most sought-after “groups” of the 70’s era, winning many awards along the way, but “lost” original founder Glenn Frey in 2016, but carried on with other members including Joe Walsh, Don Felder, & Timothy D Schmit, and still do the odd gig to date.

Because of the multi-talented individuals & songwriters in this group, there was obviously going to be some “divisions” as to their ideas, so, although I have picked “the peaceful, easy feeling” with which to introduce this story, this ideal existence wasn’t always present, but, as they say, ” the show must go on” & it certainly did, making the Eagles the 4th ranking top group in the music business era of the 70’s, selling over 120 million dollars worth of “Albums” during the period of about four or five years of “Eagles” epic years.

Following the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt once again comes into focus with a song titled “Perfidia” the Italian word for faithlessness, betrayal, mistrust etc., ), and so Linda warned everyone around her, that “perhaps” was the best way to think,in terms of any romance in their lives. I do believe her, myself, and anyway, I am sure that all readers of eLanka will enjoy this song from a wonderful Artiste.

Desmond Kelly
 Star of eLanka
 (Editor-in-Chief).

 

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“ALPHABETICALLY YOURS” SERIES 15 (O) – By Des Kelly

And so, we come to “The Storyteller” as he was called.
Tom.T.Hall, born in May, 1936 in Kentucky, another multi-talented performer. He sang, of course, (in story-telling vein), played guitar, banjo, mandolin & even a saxophone, at times, started to be “noticed” by the Nashville hierarchy in 1963, and he wrote his first “hit” for Jeannie C.Reilly (the girl more likely), the called her, titled “Harper Valley P.T.A.” This song became a No1 hit for Jeannie & from then on, Tom also began to score his own hits, 10 of which, went to No.1, catapulting the story-teller into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He had 26 more songs climbing into the top-ten, got married to Iris Dixie Dean (who he fondly nicknamed Miss Dixie), and had one son, named Dean. Tom.T.Hall “returns” in this particular Series of mine, later on, but here is something that most of my readers wouldn’t know. If you watch him perform, he seems to be quite “laid-back”, holding his acoustic guitar up against his chin sometimes, as he plays his own accompaniment with chord-perfection, but the fact of the matter was that he was a perfectionist, rather difficult to work with, & sometimes gave his other backing musicians a hard time. This takes nothing away from the “Star” that he was. When he was not doing any stage-work, he was writing short stories, as a Novelist, or, as he now states, (in retirement), “Miss Dixie & I still write songs together”. The song featured on this Series 15 is :-
“Old dogs, children, & watermelon wine”.

This is followed by a lesser-known, but still enjoyable song by a Liverpool Group called “The Beatles”. John, Paul, George and Ringo, a song “credited” to Lennon/Macartney, but actually penned by Paul McCartney, the main songwriter of the group. The title of the song was a rather silly little family phrase of a friend of Paul, “Obladi-Oblada”, a catchy Latin/Rock rhythm, quite easy on the ear.

 

Desmond Kelly
  Star of eLanka
 (Editor-in-Chief).
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