It’s All About YOU!

photoIt all started with the opportunity to play an intimate concert for about 6 couples in the home of some former jazz piano students of mine. This husband and wife invite close friends over for an hour concert (with a dessert break in the middle) dedicated to the memory of Marty’s great aunt – a piano teacher who willed them her grand piano. It is a sweet gig for me, especially since I get to work up solo piano repertoire and select what I wish to play for a small, very appreciative audience.

For this upcoming recital I thought it would be fun to choose tunes which have the word “you” in the title and call the theme “It’s All About YOU!.” Little did I know just how many tune titles include the word ‘You’ (over 800). I decided to exclude those which are seasonal (We Wish You a Merry Christmas/What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve), non jazzy/gospel religious tunes (You Are Holy/You Are a Mighty God), non English language titles (Eres Tú), no “your” or contractions such as “you’re” “you’d” or “you’ve”, and no rap numbers like “You” by Lil’ Wayne because a cocktail pianist like me couldn’t do it justice – haha!

My husband and I thought of about 40 tunes, and then I decided to ask musicians at a FaceBook group called The Jazz World to help with more. Some people added video clips, others contributed lists 200+ titles long. They have kept me busy trying to catalogue all the “YOU” titles, while I had loads of fun hearing many obvious, swinging, and silly suggestions! There will be a contest at the party, where the guests will have to guess the titles of about 16 selected tunes, and then we will end by all singing It Had To Be You. 

Here are some of the funniest titles: You Won’t Be Satisfied Until You Break My Heart, The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil, Crossword Mama You Puzzle Me, I Gave You Up Just Before You Threw Me Down, If You Can’t Be a Bell Cow Fall In Behind, If You Can’t Get a Drum With a Boom Boom Boom. (Over 30 YOU-tunes alone start with “If”).

Some titles pose a question: How Are You Goin’ To Wet Your Whistle? How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I’ve Been a Liar? – which sounds like a whole country tune in the title right there – How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away? Will You Love Me When My Flivver Is a Wreck? How Can You Love Me Like You Do Do Do? & How Can You Toot a Toot-Toot?  Speaking of that last stuttering song, what does THAT mean? And there was one scratchy old LP recording of a warbling woman singing a very old tune called, First You Got Me High… Hmmmm.

Here is a list of  YOU-tunes (as of 2/13/16) and if you come up with more that you don’t see here, feel free to add, and please let me know how to contact you by leaving your name/email info. I’ll Be Seeing You!

Original list by Debbie Denke and Kim Collins:

  • A SONG FOR YOU
  • ALL OF YOU
  • ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE
  • BECAUSE THERE’S NO YOU
  • CLOSE TO YOU
  • EMBRACEABLE YOU
  • EVERYTHING I’VE GOT BELONGS TO YOU
  • EXACTLY LIKE YOU
  • FORGET  YOU
  • I AND YOU AND YOU
  • I CRIED FOR YOU
  • I L.O.V.E. YOU (TAKE 6)
  • I LOVE YOU (COLE PORTER)
  • I MEAN YOU
  • I REMEMBER YOU
  • I WANT YOU BACK (MICHAEL JACKSON)
  • I’VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN
  • IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU
  • IT HAD TO BE YOU
  • IT MUST BE YOU
  • JUST THE WAY YOU ARE (BILLY JOEL)
  • JUST THE WAY YOU ARE (BRUNO MARS)
  • JUST YOU JUST ME
  • LET ME CALL YOU SWEETHEART
  • LOVE YOU MADLY
  • MARRY YOU
  • NOTHING ON YOU (BRUNO MARS)
  • ON THE STREET WHERE YOU LIVE
  • P.S. I LOVE YOU
  • THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME BE MICE ELF
  • THE NEARNESS OF YOU
  • THE SONG IS YOU
  • THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT
  • THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU
  • TILL THERE WAS YOU
  • WAIT TILL YOU SEE HER
  • WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR
  • YOU AND I (ONE DIRECTION)
  • YOU AND I (STEVIE WONDER)
  • YOU AND THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC
  • YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE
  • YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL
  • YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE
  • YOU BELONG TO ME (MICHAEL MCDONALD)
  • YOU GO TO MY HEAD
  • YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO YOUNG
  • YOU MUST HAVE BEEN A BEAUTIFUL BABY
  • YOU STEPPED OUT OF A DREAM
  • YOU TOOK ADVANTAGE OF ME
  • YOU, YOU, YOU

Tunes contributed by The Jazz World:

  • A REMARK YOU MADE
  • A SONG FOR YOU (LEON RUSSELL)
  • A THOUSAND DREAMS OF YOU
  • AFTER YOU
  • ALL FOR YOU
  • ALL I DO IS DREAM OF YOU
  • ALWAYS TRUE TO YOU DARLING IN MY FASHION
  • ANYTHING YOU CAN DO I CAN DO BETTER
  • ARE YOU HAVING ANY FUN?
  • ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT/
  • BABY IT’S YOU
  • BABY WON’T YOU PLEASE COME HOME
  • BECAUSE I LOVE YOU
  • BEHAVIN’ MYSELF FOR YOU
  • BESS, YOU IS MY WOMAN
  • BLESS YOU FOR THE GOOD THAT’S IN YOU
  • BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?
  • CALLING YOU
  • COULD IT BE YOU?
  • DEPENDING ON YOU
  • DO I MOVE YOU?
  • DO NOTHING TILL YOU HEAR FROM ME
  • DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?
  • DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO MISS NEW ORLEANS?
  • DO YOU LOVE ME?
  • DO YOU MISS NEW YORK?
  • DO YOU WANNA DANCE?
  • EVERYONE KNOWS THAT I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU
  • EVERYTHING BUT YOU
  • FIRST YOU HAVE ME HIGH
  • FOR YOU, FOR ME, FOREVER MORE
  • GEE BABY AIN’T I GOOD TO YOU
  • GETTING TO KNOW YOU
  • HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY THAT I LOVE YOU
  • HAVE YOU MET MISS JONES?
  • HEY YOU GET OFF OF MY CLOUD
  • HOW ABOUT YOU?
  • HOW CAN I MISS YOU IF YOU WON’T GO AWAY
  • HOW COME YOU DO ME LIKE YOU DO DO DO?
  • HOW COULD YOU BELIEVE IN ME?
  • HOW DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO TO ME?
  • HOW DO YOU KEEP THE MUSIC PLAYING?
  • HOW DO YOU SAY AUF WIEDERSHEN?
  • HOW DO YOU SPELL LOVE?
  • I BELIEVE IN YOU
  • I CAN’T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE
  • I CAN’T MAKE YOU LOVE ME
  • I CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU
  • I COULD HAVE TOLD YOU
  • I COULD MAKE YOU LOVE ME
  • I DON’T STAND A GHOST OF A CHANCE WITH YOU
  • IF YOU ARE BUT A DREAM
  • I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU
  • I GET ALONG WITHOUT YOU VERY WELL
  • I GOT A CRUSH ON YOU
  • I GOT YOU BABE
  • I LIKE WHAT YOU LIKE
  • I LIKE YOU, YOU’RE NICE
  • I LOVE THE WAY YOU SAY GOODNIGHT
  • I LOVE YOU (WOODKID)
  • I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU’LL EVER KNOW
  • I LOVES YOU PORGY
  • I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU
  • I PUT A SPELL ON YOU
  • I REALLY LOVE YOU
  • I THINK I LOVE YOU
  • I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU
  • I TOLD YOU I LOVE YOU NOW GET OUT!
  • I WAITED FOR YOU
  • I WANNA BE LIKE YOU (JUNGLE BOOK)
  • I WANT YOU (MARVIN GAYE)
  • I WANT YOU TO BE MY BABY
  • I WAS TELLING HIM ABOUT YOU
  • I WILL WAIT FOR YOU
  • I WISH YOU LOVE
  • I’D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE
  • I’LL BE GLAD WHEN YOU’RE DEAD YOU RASCAL YOU
  • I’LL BE SEEING YOU
  • I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN
  • I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS
  • I’M A FOOL TO WANT YOU
  • I’M BEGINNING TO THINK YOU CARE
  • I’M CONFESSING THAT I LOVE YOU
  • I’M GETTING SENTIMENTAL OVER YOU
  • I’M GLAD THERE IS YOU
  • I’M GOING TO LAUGH YOU RIGHT OUT OF MY LIFE
  • I’M SHADOWING YOU
  • I’M TIRED OF EVERYTHING BUT YOU
  • IF EVER I WOULD LEAVE YOU
  • IF I LOVED YOU
  • IF I SHOULD LOSE YOU
  • IF I WERE YOU
  • IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW
  • IF YOU’D STAY THE WAY I DREAMED ABOUT YOU
  • IF YOU NEVER COME
  • IF YOU SEE SALLY
  • IF YOU SHOULD EVER LEAVE ME
  • IF YOU TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT
  • IF YOU WANT THE RAINBOW
  • IS YOU IS OR IS YOU AIN’T MY BABY?
  • IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOU
  • IT ONLY HAPPENS WHEN I DANCE WITH YOU
  • IT WAS NEVER YOU
  • IT’S ALWAYS YOU
  • IT’S YOU I LIKE
  • IT’S YOU OR NO ONE
  • I’VE GOT MY EYES ON YOU
  • KEEPING MYSELF FOR YOU
  • LAWD YOU MADE THE NIGHT TOO LONG
  • LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU
  • LET ME LOVE YOU
  • LOOKING AT YOU
  • LOVE IS WHERE YOU FIND IT
  • LOVE, YOU DIDN’T DO RIGHT BY ME
  • MEMORIES OF YOU
  • MOONLIGHT BECOMES YOU
  • MORE THAN YOU KNOW
  • MY INSPIRATION IS YOU
  • NEAR YOU
  • NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT
  • NOTHING LIKE YOU
  • OH YOU CRAZY MOON
  • ONE SWEET LETTER FROM YOU
  • PICTURE ME WITHOUT YOU
  • REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE
  • RHODE ISLAND IS FAMOUS FOR YOU
  • SAVING ALL MY LOVE FOR YOU
  • SAVING MYSELF FOR YOU
  • SINCE I FELL FOR YOU
  • SING YOU SINNERS
  • SOFTLY AS I LEAVE YOU
  • SOMEBODY LOVES YOU
  • SOMETHING TO REMEMBER YOU BY
  • SPRING CAN REALLY HANG YOU UP THE MOST
  • STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU
  • SWEET SUE, JUST YOU
  • TAIN’T WHAT YOU DO
  • THANK YOU
  • THAT’S HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU BABY
  • THE BALLAD OF YOU AND ME AND POONIEL
  • THE BEST THING FOR YOU WOULD BE ME
  • THE HEART YOU STOLE FROM ME
  • THE MORE I SEE YOU
  • THE ONE WHO REALLY LOVES YOU
  • THE TROUBLE WITH ME IS YOU
  • THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU
  • THEN I’LL BE TIRED OF YOU
  • THERE’S NO YOU
  • THINKING OF YOU
  • THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU
  • THIS I DIG OF YOU
  • TIL YOU
  • TONIGHT YOU BELONG TO ME
  • WELL ALRIGHT OK YOU WIN
  • WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEW YEAR’S EVE (SEASONAL)
  • WHAT ARE YOU DOING THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
  • WHAT DO YOU MEAN? (BIEBER)
  • WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
  • WHEN DID YOU LEAVE HEAVEN?
  • WHEN I AM HOUSEKEEPING FOR YOU
  • WHEN I LOST YOU
  • WHERE ARE YOU?
  • WHERE CAN I GO WITHOUT YOU/
  • WHERE DO YOU START
  • WHEREVER YOU ARE
  • WHO DO YOU LOVE?
  • WHY CAN’T YOU BEHAVE
  • WHY DON’T YOU DO RIGHT?
  • WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW?
  • WITH PLENTY OF MONEY AND YOU
  • WITHOUT YOU
  • WON’T YOU COME HOME BILL BAILEY?
  • YEARNING JUST FOR YOU
  • YOU
  • YOU AND I (BETTY CARTER AND RAY CHARLES)
  • YOU AND ME
  • YOU AND ME AND A DOG NAMED BOO
  • YOU ARE MY LUCKY STAR
  • YOU ARE MY SPECIAL ANGEL
  • YOU ARE THE ONE FOR ME
  • YOU ARE THERE
  • YOU ARE TOO BEAUTIFUL
  • YOU BEAT ME TO THE PUNCH
  • YOU BELONG TO ME (JO STAFFORD VERSION)
  • YOU BETTER GO NOW
  • YOU BETTER LOVE ME WHILE YOU MAY
  • YOU BROUGHT A NEW KIND OF LOVE TO ME
  • YOU CALL IT MADNESS
  • YOU CAME A LONG WAY FROM ST. LOUIS
  • YOU CAN CALL ME AL
  • YOU CAN DEPEND ON ME
  • YOU CAN TAKE MY WORD FOR IT BABY
  • YOU CAN’T GET A MAN WITH A GUN
  • YOU CAN’T STOP THE BEAT
  • YOU CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME
  • YOU COULDN’T BE CUTER
  • YOU DO SOMETHING TO ME
  • YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME
  • YOU DON’T KNOW ME
  • YOU DON’T KNOW MY MIND
  • YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS
  • YOU FASCINATE ME SO
  • YOU FOR ME
  • YOU GOT ME
  • YOU GOTTA BE
  • YOU GOTTA HAVE A GIMMICK
  • YOU GOTTA PAY THE BAND
  • YOU HAVE LIVED IN AUTUMN
  • YOU HIT THE SPOT
  • YOU KEEP COMING BACK LIKE A SONG
  • YOU LEAVE ME BREATHLESS
  • YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU
  • YOU MADE ME SO VERY HAPPY
  • YOU MAKE ME FEEL BRAND NEW
  • YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING
  • YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
  • YOU OTTA BE IN PICTURES
  • YOU OUGHT TO BE HAVING FUN
  • YOU REALLY GOT A HOLD ON ME
  • YOU REALLY GOT ME
  • YOU SAY YOU CARE
  • YOU SEND ME
  • YOU SHOWED ME THE WAY
  • YOU STARTED SOMETHING
  • YOU TAUGHT MY HEART TO SING
  • YOU TURN ME ON BABY
  • YOU TURNED THE TABLES ON ME
  • YOU WERE ALWAYS ON MY MIND
  • YOU WERE ONLY FOOLING
  • YOU WERE THERE
  • YOU WON’T BE SATISFIED UNTIL YOU BREAK MY HEART
  • YOU WON’T FORGET ME
  • YOU, YOU’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY
  • YOU’RE MINE YOU
  • YOU MUSN’T KICK IT AROUND
  • YOU’RE NOBODY TIL SOMEBODY LOVES YOU

List by Gary Kiser:

  • ADORING YOU
  • AFTER ALL THAT I’VE BEEN TO YOU
  • AFTER I’VE CALLED YOU SWEETHEART
  • AFTER YOU GET WHAT YOU WANT, YOU DON’T WANT IT
  • AIN’T NOTHIN’, NOTHIN’, BABY WITHOUT YOU
  • AIN’T YOU ASHAMED
  • AIN’T YOU BABY?
  • AIN’T YOU COMING BACK TO DIXIELAND
  • AIN’T YOU COMING OUT, MALINDA
  • ALL BECAUSE OF YOU
  • ALL FOR YOU
  • ALL I DO IS DREAM OF YOU
  • ALL MY LIFE
  • ALL THE LITTLE LOVIN’ THAT I HAD FOR YOU IS GONE, GONE, GONE
  • ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE
  • AM I WASTING MY TIME ON YOU?
  • AND ESPECIALLY YOU!
  • ANNA, LET ME HEAR FROM YOU
  • ANYTHING YOU SAY
  • ARE YOU ALL FROM THE SOUTH?
  • ARE YOU FROM DIXIE?
  • ARE YOU HALF THE MAN YOUR MOTHER THOUGHT YOU’D BE
  • ARE YOU HAPPY?
  • ARE YOU HAVIN’ ANY FUN?
  • ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT?
  • ARE YOU SORRY?
  • AREN’T YOU GLAD YOU’RE YOU
  • AREN’T YOU KIND OF GLAD WE DID?
  • BABY – OH WHERE CAN YOU BE?
  • BABY OH WHERE CAN YOU BE?
  • BABY WON’T YOU PLEASE COME HOME
  • BABY, ARE YOU KIDDIN’?
  • BABY, WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO?
  • BEAUTIFUL GIRL, I LOVE YOU
  • BECAUSE OF YOU
  • BILL BAILEY WON’T YOU PLEASE COME HOME?
  • BLESS YOU! SISTER
  • BLUE BECAUSE OF YOU
  • BLUE BIRD, WHY DON’T YOU CALL ON ME?
  • BLUE BONNET, YOU MAKE ME FEEL BLUE
  • BLUE LITTLE YOU
  • BLUE, TURNING GREY OVER YOU
  • BLUES, WHY DON’T YOU LEAVE ME ALONE?
  • BRING IT WITH YOU WHEN YOU COME
  • BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME
  • BROWN EYES WHY ARE YOU BLUE?
  • BUT I DO – YOU KNOW I DO
  • BUT I LOVED YOU
  • BUT YOU DO
  • CAN I TELL YOU?
  • CAN YOU TAME WILD WIMMEN?
  • CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU
  • CAN’T YOU HEAR ME CALLIN’, CAROLINE
  • CAN’T YOU READ BETWEEN THE LINES?
  • CAN’T YOU SEE I’M LONELY
  • CAN’T YOU SEE? (HOW I LOVE YOU)
  • CARESSING YOU
  • CHERIE, I LOVE YOU
  • CLOSE TO YOU
  • CONCENTRATIN’ ON YOU
  • COULD YOU CARE FOR ME
  • CROSSWORD MAMMA, YOU PUZZLE ME..
  • A CUP OF COFFEE A SANDWICH, AND YOU
  • THE CUTE LITTLE THINGS YOU DO
  • DADDY WON’T YOU PLEASE COME HOME
  • DADDY, I AIN’T MAD AT YOU
  • THE DAY THAT I MET YOU
  • The DAY YOU CAME ALONG
  • DE BAD MAN WILL KETCH YOU
  • DEDICATED TO YOU
  • DEVIL’S GONNA GET YOU
  • DID YOU EVER
  • DID YOU EVER SEE A DREAM WALKING?..
  • DID YOU MEAN IT?
  • DIDN’T I TELL YOU?
  • DO I LOVE YOU (PORTER)
  • DO I LOVE YOU (HAMMERSTEIN)
  • DO NOTHIN’ TILL YOU HEAR FROM ME
  • DO YOU BELIEVE IN DREAMS?
  • DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE AT SIGHT?
  • DO YOU CARE?
  • DO YOU EVER THINK OF ME
  • DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO MISS NEW ORLEANS
  • DO YOU KNOW? (WELL I DO)
  • DO YOU MISS YOUR SWEETHEART?
  • Don’t You Know I Care
  • DON’T BELIEVE ALL YOU HEAR, HONEY
  • DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU DREAM
  • DON’T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYIN’
  • DON’T MAKE ME CRY (OVER YOU)
  • DON’T YOU KNOW I CARE
  • DON’T YOU KNOW OR DON’T YOU CARE
  • DON’T YOU LEAVE ME HERE
  • DON’T YOU REMEMBER ME
  • DREAM OF LOVE AND YOU (LIEBESTRAUM)
  • DREAM OF YOU
  • EITHER YOU DO OR YOU DON’T
  • EMBRACEABLE YOU
  • ESPECIALLY FOR YOU
  • ESPECIALLY YOU!
  • EV’RY DAY AWAY FROM YOU
  • EV’RYONE SAYS “I LOVE YOU”
  • EVERY EVENING, I MISS YOU
  • EVERY NIGHT I CRY MYSELF TO SLEEP OVER YOU
  • EVERYBODY LOVES YOU
  • EVERYTHING BUT YOU
  • EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON YOU
  • EVERYTIME I LOOK AT YOU
  • EVERYWHERE YOU GO
  • EXACTLY LIKE YOU
  • FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU
  • FOR 2¢ I’D LEAVE YOU
  • FOR JUST A LITTLE LOVE FROM YOU
  • FOR YOU
  • FOREVER AND EVER WITH YOU
  • FORGET IF YOU CAN
  • FORGETTING YOU
  • GEE BABY, AIN’T I GOOD TO YOU
  • GEE, BUT I’D LIKE TO MAKE YOU HAPPY
  • THE GIRL IN MY DREAMS TRIES TO LOOK LIKE YOU
  • GO BACK WHERE YOU STAYED LAST NIGHT
  • GOOD LITTLE BAD LITTLE YOU
  • GOT A NEED FOR YOU
  • GOT EVERYTHING BUT YOU
  • GOT YOU WHERE I WANT YOU
  • A GREAT BIG BUNCH OF YOU
  • GREEK TO YOU
  • GRIEVING FOR YOU
  • HAPPY-GO-LUCKY YOU AND BROKEN-HEARTED ME
  • HAVE A SMILE FOR EVERY ONE YOU MEET
  • HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY THAT I LOVE YOU?
  • Have You Ever Been Blue
  • HAVE YOU EVER BEEN LONELY
  • HAVE YOU EVER FELT THAT WAY?
  • HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN
  • HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN SO SOON
  • HAVE YOU MET MISS JONES?
  • HAVIN’ YOU AROUND IS HEAVEN
  • HELLO ALOHA – HOW ARE YOU?
  • HELLO, HAWAII, HOW ARE YOU?
  • HEY! MAMMY TELL PAPPY, WHO’S BABY ARE YOU?
  • HOBO, YOU CAN’T RIDE THIS TRAIN
  • HONEY, I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU
  • HONEY, WHERE YOU BEEN SO LONG?
  • A HOT DOG, A BLANKET AND YOU
  • THE HOURS I SPENT WITH YOU
  • HOW ABOUT YOU AND ME?
  • HOW ABOUT YOU?
  • HOW ARE YOU GOIN’ TO WET YOUR WHISTLE?
  • HOW CAN I GET IT (WHEN YOU KEEP
  • HOW CAN I TELL YOU I LOVE YOU
  • HOW CAN YOU FACE ME?
  • HOW CAN YOU LOOK SO GOOD?
  • HOW CAN YOU SAY YOU LOVE ME?
  • HOW CAN YOU TOOT A TOOT-TOOT?
  • HOW COME YOU DO ME LIKE YOU DO
  • HOW COULD YOU BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAID I LOVE YOU WHEN YOU KNOW I’VE BEEN A LIAR
  • HOW DO YOU DO, MISS RAGTIME?
  • HOW MANY HEARTS HAVE YOU BROKEN?
  • HOW YOU GONNA KEEP KOOL?
  • HOW’D YOU LIKE TO BE THE ICEMAN?
  • HUGGABLE KISSABLE YOU
  • I CALL YOU SUGAR
  • I CALLED YOU MY SWEETHEART
  • I CAN BEAT YOU DOIN’ WHAT YOU’RE DOIN’
  • I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE
  • I CAN SEE YOU ALL OVER THE PLACE
  • I Can’t Give you Anything But Love
  • I CAN’T BEGIN TO TELL YOU
  • I CAN’T ESCAPE FROM YOU
  • I CAN’T FIND A SUBSTITUTE FOR YOU
  • I CAN’T FORGET YOU, SOMEHOW
  • I CAN’T GET OVER A GIRL LIKE YOU
  • I CAN’T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE
  • I CAN’T KEEP YOU OUT OF MY DREAMS
  • I CAN’T LOSE THAT LONGING FOR YOU….
  • I CAN’T STOP BABYING YOU
  • I CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU
  • I CAN’T TELL YOU WHY I LOVE YOU, BUT I DO
  • I CAN’T THINK OF NOTHIN’ IN THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD BUT YOU
  • I CONCENTRATE YOU YOU
  • I CRIED FOR YOU
  • I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT YOU
  • I DIDN’T START IN TO LOVE YOU
  • I DON’T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT YOU
  • I DON’T WANT YOU TO CRY OVER ME
  • I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU USED TO BE
  • I DON’T CARE WHOSE MAMA YOU WERE
  • I DON’T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT YOU
  • I DON’T LOVE NOBODY BUT YOU
  • I DON’T WANT TO LOVE YOU
  • I DON’T WANT TO WALK WITHOUT YOU
  • I DOUBLE DARE YOU
  • I DREAM A LOT ABOUT YOU
  • I DREAM OF YOU
  • I FOUND A WAY TO LOVE YOU
  • I FOUND YOU OUT WHEN I FOUND YOU IN
  • I GAVE YOU UP JUST BEFORE YOU THREW ME DOWN
  • I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU
  • I GET ALONG WITHOUT YOU VERY WELL.
  • I GOTTA LEAVE YOU NOW
  • I GUESS IT WAS YOU ALL THE TIME……
  • I GUESS THAT WILL HOLD YOU FOR AWHILE
  • I HAD SOMEONE ELSE BEFORE I HAD YOU..
  • I HAD TO LOSE YOU
  • I HADN’T ANYONE TILL YOU
  • I HATE A MAN LIKE YOU
  • I HATE TO LOSE YOU
  • I HEARD YOU CRIED LAST NIGHT
  • I KNOW THAT YOU KNOW
  • I LIKE WHAT YOU LIKE
  • I LOVE YOU
  • I LOVE YOU IN THE SAME SWEET WAY
  • I LOVE YOU SO MUCH IT HURTS
  • I Love You, Apples
  • I LOVE, I LOVE, I LOVE MY WIFE BUT OH YOU KID
  • I MISS YOU MOST OF ALL
  • I NEED YOU NOW
  • I ONLY FOUND YOU FOR SOMEBODY ELSE
  • I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU
  • I REMEMBER YOU
  • I STILL BELIEVE IN YOU
  • I STILL LOVE TO KISS YOU GOODNIGHT
  • I STILL LOVE YOU
  • I THINK OF YOU
  • I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU
  • I USED TO LOVE YOU, BUT IT’S ALL OVER NOW
  • I WANNA BE LOVED BY YOU
  • I WANNA SING ABOUT YOU
  • I WANT YOU, MORNING, NOON AND NIGHT
  • I WANTS TO PICK A BONE WITH YOU
  • I WILL WAIT FOR YOU
  • I WISH YOU LOVE
  • I WISH YOU THE BEST
  • I WONDER WHOSE DANCING WITH YOU TONIGHT
  • I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR YOU
  • I WOULDN’T CHANGE YOU FOR THE WORLD
  • I’ll LOVE YOU MORE FOR LOSING YOU A WHILE
  • I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS
  • I’M GETTING’ SENTIMENTAL OVER YOU
  • I’M SORRY I MADE YOU CRY
  • I’D BE LOST WITHOUT YOU
  • I’D DO ANYTHING FOR YOU
  • I’D RATHER BE A BEGGAR WITH YOU
  • I’D RATHER BE BLUE OVER YOU
  • I’D RATHER CRY OVER YOU
  • IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU
  • IF I COULD BE WITH YOU
  • IF I HAD A GIRL LIKE YOU
  • IF I HAD A TALKING PICTURE OF YOU
  • IF I HAD YOU
  • IF I LET YOU GET AWAY WITH IT ONCE
  • IF I LOVED YOU
  • IF I SHOULD LOSE YOU
  • IF I WERE A BEE AND YOU WERE A RED, RED ROSE
  • IF THE REST OF THE WORLD DON’T WANT YOU
  • IF THE WORLD DON’T TREAT YOU RIGHT, COME HOME
  • IF YOU AIN’T GOT IT, GO AND GET IT
  • IF YOU ARE NO ONE’S SWEETHEART
  • IF YOU BELIEVED IN ME
  • IF YOU CAN DREAM
  • IF YOU CAN’T CONTROL YOUR MAN
  • IF YOU CAN’T GET FIVE TAKE TWO
  • IF YOU CAN’T BE A BELL COW FALL IN BEHIND
  • IF YOU CAN’T GET A DRUM WITH A BOOM- BOOM-BOOM
  • IF YOU COULD CARE
  • IF YOU DO WHAT YOU DO
  • IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE I LOVE YOU
  • IF YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT ME
  • IF YOU DON’T THINK SO, YOU’RE CRAZY
  • IF YOU DON’T WANT ME BLUES
  • IF YOU DON’T WANT ME, SEND ME TO MY MA
  • IF YOU DON’T, I KNOW WHO WILL
  • IF YOU EVER CHANGE YOUR MIND
  • IF YOU EVER GET LONELY
  • IF YOU EVER SHOULD LEAVE
  • IF YOU GO, YOU’LL COME BACK, BY AND BY
  • IF YOU HADN’T GONE AWAY
  • IF YOU KNEW HOW I LOVE YOU
  • IF YOU KNEW SUZIE
  • IF YOU KNEW WHAT IT MEANT TO BE LONESOME
  • IF YOU LIKE ME LIKE I LIKE YOU…….
  • IF YOU LIVED IN THE MOUNTAINS
  • IF YOU LOVE ME, REALLY LOVE ME…….
  • IF YOU SAW ALL THAT I SAW IN ARKANSAS
  • IF YOU SEE MY MOTHER

List by Joanna Koford:

  • A Picture of Me Without You
  • After All I’ve Done for You
  • After You, Who?
  • Alone With You
  • Altogether Too Fond of You
  • Always True to You in My Fashion
  • Are You In the Mood
  • Aren’t You Kind of Glad We Did?
  • As I Love You
  • Between You and Me
  • Could It Be You?
  • Dedicated to You
  • Do I Still Love You?
  • Do You Want to See Paris?
  • Don’t Let it Bother You
  • Don’t Let it Get You Down
  • Don’t Tell Me Who You Are
  • Everything But You
  • For You, For Me, For Evermore
  • I Adore You
  • I Didn’t Know About You
  • I Hadn’t Anyone Till You
  • I Know You Know
  • I Love Being Here With You
  • I Love Only You
  • I Love You Samantha
  • I Love You So
  • I Shall Positively Pay You Next Monday
  • I Wanna Be Loved By You
  • I Want to Be Raided By You
  • I Worship You
  • I’d Rather Be Blue Over You
  • I’ll See You in C-U-B-A
  • I’m Afraid I Love You
  • I’m Afraid, Sweetheart, I Love You
  • I’m Getting Myself Ready for You
  • I’m Glad There Is You
  • I’m So Glad to Meet You
  • I’m So In Love With You
  • I’ve Got My Eyes On You
  • I’ve Got Some Unfinished Business With You
  • I’ve Got You On My Mind
  • If I Could Be With You
  • If I Give My Heart to You
  • If I Had You
  • If You Could Love Me
  • If You Ever Should Leave
  • If You Loved Me Truly
  • If You Smile at Me
  • It All Belongs to You
  • It Must Be Fun to Be You
  • It’s You I Like
  • Looking at You
  • Memories of You
  • Mind If I Make Love to You?
  • My Mother Would Love You
  • No One Ever Tells You
  • Not Only Should You Love Him
  • Now You Has Jazz
  • Oh, How Could I Go For You
  • Oh, You Beautiful Doll
  • PS I Love You
  • Should I Tell You I Love You?
  • T’Aint What You Do
  • Thank You
  • Thank You So Much Mrs. Lowsborough-Goodbye
  • That’s What You Mean to Me
  • That’s Why I Love You
  • The Very Thought of You
  • Then I’ll Be Tired of You
  • They Couldn’t Compare To You
  • Tonight I Love You More
  • Wait Till You See Her
  • Wait Till You See Him
  • We Drink to You, JJ Brody
  • When I Lost You, When You Awake, Why Can’t You Behave?
  • When I’m Eating Around With You
  • When You and I Were Strangers
  • Where Do You Go
  • Where Have You Been?
  • Where Would You Get Your Coat?
  • Who Wouldn’t Love You?
  • Who, But You?
  • Why Can’t You Behave?
  • Why Do You Want to Hurt Me So?
  • Why Don’t You Do Right
  • Why Should I Cry Over You
  • Why Should I Trust You?
  • Why Shouldn’t I Have You?
  • Will You Love Me When My Flivver is a Wreck?
  • Will You Still Be Mine
  • Won’t You Come Crusading With Me
  • Would Do Most Anything for You
  • Would You Like to Take a Walk
  • You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me
  • You Can Do No Wrong
  • You Can Have Him
  • You Can’t Beat My Bill
  • You Can’t Have Everything
  • You Couldn’t Be Cuter
  • You Don’t Know My Mind
  • You Don’t Know Paree
  • You Don’t Remind Me
  • You Forgot All the Words (While I Still Remember the Tune
  • You Hit the Spot
  • You Irritate Me So
  • You Keep Coming Back Like a Song
  • You Leave Me Breathless
  • You Make Up
  • You Never Know
  • You Said It
  • You Taught Me to Love Again
  • You Were Meant for Me
  • You Won’t Be Satisfied Until You Break My Heart
  • You Won’t Forget Me

 

 

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New You’s News

debbiedenkelogojpeg2.jpg   Just when you thought There Will Never Be Another You…

NEW YOU’S NEWS (From The Jazz World and Beyond)

  • I WON’T LAST A DAY WITHOUT YOU
  • I’LL STRING ALONG WITH YOU
  • I’M GOING SHOPPING WITH YOU
  • IF I FORGET YOU
  • SOMEONE LIKE YOU (ADELE)
  • WHEN I SEE YOU AGAIN

DON’T STOP/CAN’T STOP

There are lots of YOU-tune titles which contain “Stop” and “You”. To quote the movie The Mask, “Somebody stop me!” Here they are:

Michael Jackson did two: DON’T STOP ‘TIL YOU GET ENOUGH,  I JUST CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU.

A word search for “I Can’t Stop Loving You” leads to this page of 8 tunes with the same or similar title:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=I_Can%27t_Stop_Loving_You_(disambiguation)&oldid=538070160 WikIpedia I Can’t Stop Loving You (disambiguation) 

I Can’t Stop Loving You is a song by Don Gibson, also recorded by Ray Charles, Conway Twitty, Kitty Wells and others

I Can’t Stop Loving You may also refer to:

Now for some lyrics to tunes titled just like this It’s All About YOU contest:

It’s All About You, by…

                              McFly lyrics:

It’s all about you

All about you

It’s all about you, baby

It’s all about you

It’s all about you

All about you

It’s all about you

                                   2Pac lyrics:

Ahh, yeah, yeah

It’s all about you, one time

I’ma say it’s all about you baby, yeah

Haha, for the b!t*@&$  that think it’s all about you

It’s all about you

There are also several Christian tunes titled, It’s All About You, and although we are not including religious YOU-tunes in this contest, here are the lyrics to the chorus of a tune called It’s All About You (Jesus) by Israel Houghton and Cindy Cruse Ratcliffe:

 It’s all about You

All about You

It’s all about You Jesus

It’s all about You

All about You

It’s all about You Jesus

Hmmm…, notice a lyric pattern among the 3 above songs?

A different Gospel choir-like song It’s All About You can be found posted by  Joseph Laniohan

Well known Contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith also has written his own tune called All About You. http://www.music-free-download.net/mp3/Michael-W–Smith/Download_All-About-You–_mp3_935964.html free mp3

This now concludes my blog on this topic. I am counting on There Will Never Be Another YOU, but – YOU never know!! Signing off with my YOUtube for you –  Debbie Denke plays I Loves You Porgy

UPDATE: NEWLY DISCOVERED NEW YOUS NEWS – WHO KNEW?

Recently while researching 1940’s songs (for a ’40s themed jazz trio gig in an airport hangar) I came across these gems from a book my dad left me called,  40 Years of Hit Tunes by ASCAP. The list of tunes which contain “You” in the title seems never ending. Here are some more to add to the list of about 800 by now.

Missed the list:

WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE INFANTRY? (1943)

DIG YOU LATER: A hubba-hubba-hubba (1945)

YOU CALL EVERYBODY DARLIN’ & YOU CAN’T SEE THE SUN WHEN YOU’RE CRYING (1946)

PAPA, WON’T YOU DANCE WITH ME? & THERE BUT FOR YOU GO I (1947)

MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY I LOVE YOU (1949)

 

 

 

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Do you suffer ‘Chick Singer’ Syndrome?

VP09-DD-JPG

Jazz Pianist Debbie Denke admits to being an occasional chick singer

Do you hand out bad charts? Show up late for rehearsals and/or gigs? Assume the other musicians in the band will schlep your gear and bring the P.A.? YOU, my friend, may indeed suffer Chick Singer Syndrome! (Or at least your bandmates suffer because you have it.) And, not to be sexist here, guys can have CSS too.

The very worst kind of CSS reminds me of the old joke:

Q: How do you know there is a chick singer standing outside your window?

A: She can’t find her key, and doesn’t know where to come in!

  Spotting Chick Singer Syndrome Symptoms

In order to find out if you have CSS you must exhibit at least 3 of the following 13 symptoms:

  • Be late for every gig and rehearsal.
  • Always before you sing a note, start off by saying your voice isn’t warmed up yet or you are just coming down with (or getting over) a cold or something.
  • Insist on getting paid at least as much as the other musicians, even if you only sing half the set.
  • Count on band members to schlep and set up a P.A. just for you, and when the gig is over assume they will wrap the cords and put it all away so you can get off your feet.
  • Never carry more than your own microphone to a gig because of your high heels, fingernails, or delicate back.
  • Don’t know your range or keys you sing in? A sure sign of CSS! Just start singing Summertime and expect your bandmates to follow!
  • Look totally confused when the band plays a standard tune but it is not exactly like the CD you learned it from. Say, “I just don’t get it! I sounded great at home singing along with Michael Bublé or Ella, or Adele, or whoever…
  • During the soundcheck, tell the guy with the controls, “More of ME in the mix!” Memorize and repeat this very important communication with the sound tech.
  • When told you will be given an 8 bar intro, look puzzled and ask, “How long is that again?” and miss your intro completely during the performance.
  • Be sure to cut off the guitarist 13 bars into his solo and come back in at the top.
  • Cause relationship drama when one or more band members gets smitten with you and leaves their significant other for you.
  • You can run out of gas to get places, run out of breath, run to get coffee, but never run out of excuses!
  • If you do bring in music (charts) make sure they are confusing and hard to read, plus insist that for tonight’s gig, they should be a teensy bit lower…no, a little lower than that…no, maybe a little more lower….until you get to some interval like a minor third lower for the pianist to transpose on sight.*

Which leads into this next topic…

       HOW TO (or NOT TO) WRITE CHARTS LIKE A CHICK SINGER 

The worst kind of chart is no chart at all. A person with CSS insists they can sing in any key, or ‘usually in B’, or some such nonsense. We will rate no chart as a ZERO (0) on a sliding scale of Chick Singer Charts to Professional Musician Charts. Next up the scale:

  1. Chart has just the lyrics printed, names the key (maybe), with random chord changes scattered here and there (no telling how long the measures last, or where the downbeats are). Lyric sheets like these may be gotten from the internet, often with lousy chord changes and weak sounding bass notes, probably transcribed for the ukulele or by a guitarist with limited music knowledge.
  2. Like the above, but with a few penciled in directions, such as  “VERSE” “REPEAT” “CHORUS” and “BRIDGE”.
  3. Bar lines are drawn on the lyric sheet, and all chords are included above the words, even during ends of phrases where there are no lyrics below. Tempo markings such as “UP TEMPO” “MEDIUM” (or specifically =120) plus feels such as “SWING” “LATIN” “FREELY” or  “WALTZ” are written in. There may be specific chords indicated for an “INTRO” and “ENDING” with instructions like “TRIPLE THREAT”, “3X”, or “Watch for CUE” & “CODA last X” just to make things clearer. This type of chart could possibly be good enough to hand experienced musicians who are used to backing singers (provided the singer knows what they are doing, how to count off a tune, cue the ending vocally and also with body language).
  4. The vocalist hands each band member a copy of the same chart including the melody written out (plus all the above level 3 directions). Pianists like myself who accompany many singers love to see the melody. Accompanists can then appropriately voice chords to enhance the vocal line, perhaps play off the melody during a solo, understand where the singer is during the music by seeing the lyrics/chords/melody, and just in case the singer gets off track they can reel them back in. Additionally, when jazz musicians can see the melody with chords it gives them an idea for appropriate substitute chords that won’t clash with the vocal line.
  5. A specific chart is written for each band member, with color coded cues, rhythm marks for the drummer, instrumental fills, lines, and punches are fully written out. Intros, first and second endings, correct measure line types, and final endings are all legibly and neatly printed into approximate 4 bar phrases on each line, with new sections starting on the left side of the chart so musicians can suddenly hop to the BRIDGE or find a D.S. or CODA. This totally Type A Chart should ideally fit onto 2 pages max (in case it needs to be clipped down for an outdoor gig thus avoiding page turns in the wind).

Chick Singer Benefits (besides not having to do as much work as other musicians):

  • Chick Singers relate more directly with the audience
  • They schmooze club owners and get more gigs
  • Singers bring in more tips
  • They have a great excuse to dress fabulously and buy flashy clothes (and write it off their taxes)
  • Chick Singers can chat with customers during breaks and after the gig while they sip expensive drinks bought just for them by adoring fans and visiting sheiks!

Once a Chick Singer begins to sort of know their stuff and realize their value, they can move on to Diva Status!

A Diva gets to blame the musicians for going “flat” while she was singing, taking the tune too fast or too slow, ‘forgetting’ the arrangement, messing up HER intro etc…She gets all the Chick Singer benefits, but gets paid even higher than the other band members and keeps all of HER tips. Divas get to practice the onstage glare, stare, & snap while hissing through gritted teeth, “Follow ME!” at the musicians behind, and then the whip around immediately flashing the audience a brilliant charming smile! On the flyer the former Chick Singer turned Diva gets her name in large print like:

DIVA DARLENE DELIGHT

(and her minions of music)

at The Coconut Lounge Tonight!

Divas can turn on the million watt charm whenever they wish, but never can seem to ‘remember’ how to pronounce the other musicians names correctly:

D.D.D. Flashing her biggest smile: “Ladies and Gentlemen,  put your hands together and let’s give it up on guitar for Misssttterrrrrrr HUBERT FINKLE!!”

Mr. H.F. muttering to himself, it’s herbert feinstrum.…sheesh….

*Disclaimer – In all fairness Debbie Denke works with many talented, kind, gracious singers who know how to work very well with musicians, and she appreciates sharing the stage plus great rapport with them!

Pianist Debbie Denke is a jazz/gospel/church performer, teacher, and vocal accompanist who also sings on occasion. Now and then she succumbs to Chick Singer Syndrome and hands out bad charts.

She purposefully wrote the most misleading CSS chart she could on page 52 of her instructional book, The Complete Church Pianist: A Piano/Keyboard Method with Tips for Inspired Improvisation and Worship. Find out how to write a clearer version of this repetitively confusing etude by Ms. Denke, Praise Hymn on page 55. (Chick Singer level 2-3)

http://www.debbiedenkemusic.com/booksCDs.html

The Complete Church Pianist Text

The Complete Church Pianist CD

The 41 track play-along is available in CD or MP3 format

MP3 available at itunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-complete-church-pianist/id555085975

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make The People Happy

image1“Make the people happy.” My 20 year old self blinked incredulously at my father’s comment to my question, “What makes you want to keep being a professional pianist and what are your goals with your music now?” Frank Denke simply smiled and said again, “I just want to make the people happy!

Dad was in his seventies when I asked him that question, and for most of my growing years he was the house pianist at The St. Francis Hotel, playing in The Terrace Lounge 5:00pm-9:00pm, 5 nights a week, for over 16 years. (On Sundays he was organist for St. Leo’s church, and Monday nights he accompanied choir practice). I grew up hearing stories about his gig at the famous San Francisco hotel; how he would raise the lid of the grand piano when a certain manager wanted Frank’s music to be heard as people entered through the revolving glass doors, and would lower the lid, plus apply the soft pedal when a different manager thought people should be able to converse quietly in the lounge. Dad remembered many people by their requests. If he saw a return customer walk in, or the food and beverage man stroll by, or a door man/bell hop/watchman/concierge was in ear shot he would play their favorite tunes. Homeless men sometimes would sneak up the lounge stairs (before they would be ushered out of the hotel), because they knew Frank Denke with his soft heart would give them a few dollars from his tips that night.

My father had quite a musical history before his gig at The St. Francis. He worked as a pianist for live radio and early TV both as a soloist, and band member with The NBC Orchestra. He supported 4 families as a working musician during The Great Depression. Dad worked under many leaders, some extremely temperamental, and some great ones too: Phil Harris, Xavier Cugat, Ferde Grofe, and Arthur Fiedler. He performed classical symphonic works, played in Latin and ballroom dance bands, wrote sacred church music, and especially loved jazz, but at The St. Francis he was known as a “cocktail pianist”.

                               Two of my favorite St. Francis Hotel Stories:

   Tony Bennett’s Famous Hit:  Every night Frank Denke played at The St. Francis he would get at least one request for I Left My Heart In San Francisco. On one particular night when he was playing this tune he was interrupted by a furiously angry man pounding his fists on the bar and shouting, “I’m going to KILL Tony Bennett! KILL HIM!!

My dad stopped during the tune and approached the man asking him what was wrong. The man replied, “I wrote  that song, and ever since Tony Bennett recorded it wrong every g%&d&@#* cocktail pianist in this city plays it wrong!! 

Dad invited Mr. Cory over to the piano to show him “the right” way to play the tune. It had something to do with the ascending line during the lyrics, “above the blue, and windy sea…” Dad showed me how George Cory originally intended the notes to go, and to this day I am still kicking myself because I can’t for the life of me remember! (But, truth be told, Dad and I agreed we kind of liked Tony Bennett’s interpretation better.)

    Rhapsody in Rotten Cotton Balls:  Whoever said being a cocktail pianist was an easy way to make a living? One night at The St. Francis Hotel, pianist Frank Denke got a request for Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue. Now, my dad could really play a great version of this tour de force, all 31 pages from memory with style! In fact, he was one of the very first pianists selected to play the orchestral version written and conducted by Ferde Grofe. So Frank poured his very best into honoring this person’s request. Clink! The man dropped 1 dime and 3 pennies on the grand. Later that night, another gentleman requested When Them Cotton Balls Get Rotten. My father remembered the chorus and faked the rest, and the man laid a $100 bill on top of the piano!

While on tour, many jazz pianists would stop by The St. Francis to hear Frank Denke (word got out that he was one of “the good ones” to go see). Dad was friends with, and introduced me to Erroll Garner, George Shearing, and Earl “Fatha” Hines. Although they were never formally introduced, Oscar Peterson had heard of my dad, and O.P. told me when we met he was a very fine pianist 😉  Frank was never one to boast, but he had some students who went on to more fame than he did. (It was my mom who told me that dad taught harmony to composer/pianist Vince Guaraldi of Charlie Brown fame.)

Last summer I took my husband and two daughters to visit The St. Francis Hotel so our girls could see where their grandfather was the house pianist 5 nights a week for over 16 years. I told them how The Terrace Lounge was to the left, up the stairs, just through the revolving glass doors. I also told them about the grand piano my dad played, the Japanese waitresses dressed in kimonos, the elegance and the $17 soft drinks from the 1970’s. Disappointment hit me as we saw they had renovated the lounge into a restaurant and removed the grand piano. We looked at some posted history of the hotel behind glass cases. The history talked about the famous actors and politicians who stayed there. (Republicans such as Woodrow Wilson, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford stayed at The St. Francis. The Democrats stayed at The Fairmont Hotel – an occasional after hours gig for my dad.) There was mention of a jazz age, but nothing about my father.

If you happened to visit The St. Francis Hotel during the late 60’s, 70’s, and early 80’s you may have seen a bald gentleman playing the grand piano- dressed in a tux, twinkling blue eyes, with a beaming grin on his face, eager to play your request and make you happy with his music. That would have been my father and musical mentor Frank Denke. I hope he will be remembered!

 

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Amazing Gifts

What makes an amazing gift? (1/6/16) 

Debbie big hair

There is delight in unwrapping a special surprise inside a colorful bag or ripping open wrapping paper decorated with ribbons and bows to uncover a thoughtful gift. Yet there are many priceless gifts that don’t cost a thing (except maybe time, talent, or kindness) which can mean so much to brighten someone’s life.

I am talking about the sharing of your gifts. We all have certain gifts. I feel so blessed by people’s gifts and wish to share this with you on the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as the day to celebrate The Three Kings, Magi, or Wise Men following the Star to bring gifts to baby Jesus.

Below is a list of gifts (in no particular order of importance) which I have received by people lovingly doing something special from their heart. Perhaps you might see yourself here, or be encouraged by this list?

Gifts: Doing someone’s least favorite chore for them, going to a doctor appointment with a friend, meeting someone at the hospital before or after a surgery, holding their hand when they are scared or in pain, listening to someone vent or cry or express happy feelings, knowing what to say (or NOT to say sometimes) by lending a nonjudgemental ear, making someone laugh, writing letters of recommendation, encouraging someone, showing support for their business by posting how valuable it is on FaceBook, traveling to be with someone, giving a friend a ride, loaning a person your car when theirs is broken, helping a person understand legal work or taxes, booking a flight for a busy person, assisting with computer dilemmas, helping a person with organization,  sharing financial knowledge, filling out a form or application on another’s behalf, helping with car maintenance or purchase, taking care of someone’s kids so they can rest or do other things, treating someone’s kids to an activity, bringing a home cooked meal or fruit from your garden, taking and sharing meaningful photos, offering a place to stay, postponing being repaid in full until a person can afford it, hiring someone when you know they could use the work, giving someone a discount, helping someone move or schlepp their gear, going shopping with a friend even though you are not buying anything, helping a neighbor during a natural disaster with their home, remaining calm when another person is freaking out, making someone a personal card or poem, loaning a favorite book you think your friend will enjoy, forgiving someone, being a good example to others. Of course these gifts are appreciated all the more when freely given with patience and a smile: No eye rolling allowed!

Our gifts as musicians and performers can be playing our very best with a good attitude, (even if the house looks disappointingly low in attendance), thereby showing appreciation to the audience who did manage to give their support. I was reminded of this recently when a small club in our city had top notch jazz musicians perform mid week and the event was poorly advertised. The trio gave their all, showed their love of the music, interacted incredibly with each other, had genuine fun, and expressed sincere gratitude to the handful of happy listeners. They probably made little money, but it was a joyful evening nonetheless.

One of the most awesome and unique gifts my family has ever received was being invited into the home of a dying girl.

Alyssa was at the top of her game in 8th grade – she had been the lead in her junior high school musical, a bright star of a sweet 14 year old. The summer before high school she suddenly came down with a terminal brain tumor. Her mom was a piano student of mine, and our families were good friends with their two kids being about the same age as our two daughters. Our church family prayed fervently for Alyssa’s healing, but God had plans to bring her home to His Kingdom. A whole bunch of feelings ripped through my mind upon learning of Alyssa’s illness. Shock. Sorrow. Fear. All these feelings were for Alyssa’s family, but the cancer stirred up some major fears in me. How would her family possibly handle this? If this could happen so suddenly to such a nice family, what if it happened to ours? What if God chooses not to cure Alyssa? How does a family hold onto their faith during such a crisis?

Her family reached out to ours by showing us just how they were living through this by inviting us into their home. My husband and I with our two young daughters cautiously knocked on the family’s door, expecting to find quiet somberness, but instead it opened up to the brilliance of candlelight, singing, laughter, and the fragrant smell of delicious food. It felt as though we truly entered a Holy Place, vibrant with love! Everyone was singing uplifting songs about Jesus with smiles of joy radiating on their faces. Alyssa was lying on a couch with a teddy bear, soaking in the positive atmosphere. I tried to pat Alyssa’s leg and engage her in chipper small talk, but that just seemed to confuse the teenage girl.

Sing! Was the message the family told me without words. Sing about the love and hope of Jesus! I quickly caught on. I watched Alyssa’s mother calmly talking to my daughters explaining what was physically going on with the tumor and how Alyssa was feeling. She was not in pain. Her mom explained the next stages of the growing tumor and how it would affect Alyssa’s body and mind. The family gave us the gift of lessening our fears, an understanding of what to do, and showing us by their example in the months to come how to live through such an event and still keep the faith.

Nine months after Alyssa’s diagnosis she went to Heaven and found her freedom from the tumor on July 4th. My husband and I along with close family friends played music for Alyssa’s Celebration of Life. During her service lots of love, gratitude, sorrow, tears,  and support were expressed, but mostly love.  I held it together well enough to play piano for her ceremony, and then afterwards our family took a long walk on the beach where I allowed myself to cry. The sharing of this journey with Alyssa and her family was one amazing gift.

 

 

 

 

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Extras for The Wedding Pianist: True Tales Part 3

Musicians – here is a post about additional tune requests you may encounter doing that special ceremony!

True Tales from a Wedding Pianist Part 1 discussed the essential tunes a musician  needs to play for a no frills basic wedding, and Part 2 was about a wild encounter I had with a last minute call from the Father of The Bride (scrambling to honor his detailed requests for his daughter’s ‘perfect wedding’). I took a little detour with a blog on Playing the Organ for Pianists (which might happen to you if no piano is available), and am now back on about extra tunes Wedding Pianists may be asked to play.

Besides the music for the Processional, Recessional, and possible music for attendants,  there are other extras which sometimes you don’t hear about until you show up at the event, when someone may say “oh by the way, can you play…”. Of course, it is always wise to discuss these in advance if possible, but have some ideas up your sleeve just in case! Alert – You may need to check  with the Officiator or Reverend about the particular church’s policy on what types of tunes they permit for weddings before leaping to accommodate certain secular requests 😉

Before the Ceremony Prelude Music:

Plan on playing 30 -40 minutes worth of a mix of tunes, beginning 20 minutes before the wedding start time. Let’s say the wedding starts at 2:00pm. You start playing at 1:40 when guests arrive, and plan to keep playing at least until 2:15 because most weddings start late. Pianists/organists have been known to stall until guests arrive and the bride and groom are really really ready, which could leave you playing nearly every tune in your repertoire. You can suggest a theme to the bride from your musical experience  such as light classical, jazz standards, hymns, worship music, romantic show tunes, cultural tunes, pop songs, and maybe throw in one special request of the Bride and Groom right before the wedding start time. Do not let a Bridezilla micromanage all this prelude music. She will not hear it because she will be stressing out getting ready in another room. (I once got a request list 28 tunes long ranging from Were You There Willie Nelson style to ACDC’s Hell’s Bells at a Catholic Mission wedding. I suggested they save the latter for the D.J. to play at the reception).

Seating of the Grandparents and Parents of the Bride and Groom:

Perhaps a tune such as Sunrise, Sunset or Over the Rainbow might be appropriate.

Candle Lighting Music:

This should be something short and sweet, unless of course the candles don’t light as planned…then you must stretch it out forever 😉  Sometimes this is done at the beginning of the ceremony by the Mothers of the Wedding Couple, or perhaps during the middle of the service and is then called a “Unity Candle Lighting” by the Bride and Groom.

Flower Giving Music:

Again, something short and sweet if the Bride and/or Groom  give flowers to the Moms.

Sand Pouring Music:

This music may be played in the background for blended families to show their coming together in certain New Age,  Christian, and more contemporary wedding ceremonies.

Ave Maria:

After communion in more traditional Catholic church weddings this may be sung as the couple takes flowers to Mary, or some weddings have The Lord’s Prayer sung. Always make sure you have the right Ave Maria and in the right key if there is a singer!

I have been asked to play quite a few unusual requests for weddings, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Beauty and the Beast, the music of J.S. Bach followed by Theme from The Twilight Zone for the Groom’s entrance, The Theme from Star Wars,  Joy to the World by 3 Dog Night, and even more surprises like Wild Thing on a church piano for a funeral. I try my best to respectfully honor specific requests the best I can, but sometimes if the wedding couple really wants the music to sound exactly like a famous artist’s orchestrated recording they will bring a CD to play.

A very good resource for downloading last minute music requests is Sheet Music Plus Online http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/digital-sheet-music

For a few dollars you can print the request from your computer in the nick of time. This website has also saved me with obtaining funeral music (which is often planned just a couple days ahead).

For more information on playing various kinds of weddings, the musical parts of the Catholic Mass, how to talk with nervous brides, get cues from wedding officials, and create a professional contract please check out my book/audio method The Complete Church Pianist:  http://www.debbiedenkemusic.com/booksCDs.html

The 41 track play-along is available in CD or MP3 format

The 41 track play-along is available in CD or MP3 format

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Playing the Organ for Pianists

Playing the organ both fascinates and terrifies me! I must admit knowing a bit about this instrument has gotten me quite a few more church and wedding gigs than I would have had if I just stuck to the piano. Perhaps this is because there are so few musicians who are bold enough to play such a powerful and intimidating instrument?

When I was 15 years old my father quickly taught me poor man’s organ from a pianist’s viewpoint (he performed as a hotel pianist 5 nights a week, and then on Sundays was a church organist and Mondays was choir practice night). I don’t think there were many organists available or willing to play 7:00am Sunday Mass in the San Francisco Bay Area, and as soon as I got my driver’s license I drove myself to St. Celia’s  to rattle the statues with my pedal work once a week in the old Catholic church. From then on, I have filled in on organ at various church services, weddings, and family events.

My latest church position is being the pianist/organist for Goleta Presbyterian. They have an impressive 3 manual instrument with a heavenly multitude of stops, pedals, knobs, and buttons. I am replacing a well loved and highly accomplished organist who recently retired – she even has her name affixed to the instrument on a plaque! Although I see myself first of all as a pianist, I need to keep the congregation happy by playing the organ at least part of the time.

For today’s Sunday prelude, I chose my own composition, Pastor Al from my instructional book The Complete Church Pianist: A Piano/Keyboard Method with Tips for Inspired Improvisation and Worship. This piece is a pianist’s ‘no brainer’ because it uses only one bass pedal, the note “F”. I stepped on the low “F” pedal, played the piece, and stretched it out with improvisation until the pastor came in and sat down about 12 minutes later. So far, so good (I was told it was lovely) but God only knows what I will play next Sunday!

Click below to see the music, and find The Complete Church Pianist for more helpful tips!

Pastor Al

https://www.amazon.com/author/debbiedenkemusic

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The Father of the Bride and The Wedding Pianist: True Tales Part 2

The phone rang late one Thursday evening. A male voice on the line calmly asked, “Are you free a week from this Saturday at 9:00 am to play a wedding for my daughter at the North Mission, and do you know the Ave Maria?”

“Let me see,” I said as I checked my book. I was surprisingly available.

“Oh, good. We have a relative who sings the Ave Maria” he responded.

“I will need to know which one, and what the key is. Does your daughter have something she would like for the processional?” I prodded, thinking this was probably a very last minute wedding arranged in an urgent hurry.

“Oh yes,” the man continued. “Do you know a ukelele player who could play Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World  in the style of that very large ukelele player from Hawaii who just died?”

Amazingly, I had just met a ukelele player the day before, and we rehearsed that very same arrangement for a show we were doing together the next night. “I’ll see if Karl can make it a week from Saturday. Will there be any attendants?”

“Oh yes,” the man answered. “16 bridesmaids, 10 groomsmen, 2 flower girls, 3 ring bearers.”

I cautiously added, “Is there something your daughter wants for the recessional?”

“Oh yes. Do you happen to know two trumpet players who could play The Beatles version of All You Need Is Love?”

“Well, I know one trumpet player in the area, but this is sort of last minute, and I don’t know if he is available 8 days from now. This might get kind of expensive. Are you sure you want me to call around?”

“Well, this is for my daughter, and she wants everything to be perfect!”

I had a phone conference a couple days later with the dad, bride and groom. Miraculously, the ukelele player was  available, and the dad said he would bring a CD of the Beatles tune so they could hear the two trumpets for the recessional. They said an aunt would sing the Ave Maria, and since she was a good singer they were sure she could do it in any key.

On the wedding morning I packed my music bag with about 6 keys and versions of the Ave Maria, just in case the aunt was more of a closet singer and needed extra help getting through the wedding, and also threw in a Beatles Songbook just in case something went wrong with the CD.

After an hour’s drive I arrived at the Mission to find the usually well-composed wedding coordinator running around in a frenzy like a sprayed roach. “What happened to the music planning?” I asked. She could only throw her hands up in the air in desperation.

“Do you have something – anything at all – you could play for the recessional? The dad forgot the CD!” she panted.

I tapped my music bag. “I brought All You Need is Love just in case.”

I watched in utter disbelief as the 16 bridesmaids (all in matching gowns, shoes, and hairstyles), 10 groomsmen (in coordinated tuxes), and the 5 kids (in fancy dresses and little suits) processed down the aisle to ukelele and piano. The men looked a bit green, (probably from the night before’s bachelor party), but the women looked stunning. You know they had to have planned the outfits months in advance – why didn’t they consider the music? Oh well… just another day in the life of a wedding pianist!

My next blog will be about the most unusual tune requests I have gotten for both weddings and funerals, how to accommodate people in finding the perfect tunes for their event, and what extra music duties you may encounter beyond the basics as a wedding pianist.

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About Debbie Denke

About Debbie Denke.

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Filed under church piano, improvisation, instruction, jazz piano, keyboard, music, piano, Uncategorized, wedding music

True Tales from a Wedding Pianist Part 1

I like to consider myself first a jazz pianist. But I am also a working pianist, which means I play background music for parties, get employed as an accompanist for singers, will play occasional classical music when requested, perform in a ballroom dance duo, am a gospel choir pianist, and have worked as a professional church musician on piano, organ, and keyboard since the age of 15. I also do a good amount of gigs playing weddings and funerals, which have presented some of the most fascinating experiences for me as a musician!

When experienced wedding musicians show up to play these events, they are prepared to expect last minute and sometimes very panicky changes – even if they attended the rehearsal the night before and thought it was confirmed with the bride and/or wedding coordinator and it was all written down in the contract and the program. The wedding party probably will process down the aisle at a completely different pace, the ring bearer and flower girl may be become shy and refuse to move or could suddenly bolt, relatives could get stuck in traffic and you need to come up with 45 minutes of extra prelude music before the ceremony begins – you just never know!

WEDDING TIPS FOR PIANISTS

The very basic two tunes

For very small weddings, the pianist needs to know two main tunes to play, and they are:

1. The Processional (This is where the bride comes down the aisle). She will either love or hate the traditional “Bridal Chorus” by Wagner, also known as “Here Comes the Bride”. If she doesn’t want it, be prepared to have a couple other suggestions up your sleeve.

2. The Recessional (This is for the bride and groom exiting). The usual is the traditional “Wedding March” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn. Again, have a couple suggestions ready if this won’t do.

Music for the Attendants or Wedding Party

Ask if there will be any bridesmaids, maid of honor, ring bearers or flower girls to process before the bride comes down. Be sure to ask how many (usually they process in the order above, with the children being last before the bride).

TIP: On the day of the wedding, people may get so excited they stand up and you may be in a position at the keyboard where you can’t see a thing. You will probably know if the ring bearer or flower girl get to the altar by hearing giggles and watching the crowd’s heads turn from back of the aisle up to the front and center.

A very popular tune for this part is Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”. This is a simple series of the same 4 measures repeated with variations – a great tune for the wedding pianist to memorize and improvise over for the timing of the bridesmaids etc… Believe me, you don’t want to be reading the 6 page sheet music and stop short or have the party wait an eternity while you finish it! (I saw a groomsman faint and hit the marble steps once while the organist droned on one hot August wedding).

Here are the chords:     D    A    |   Bm   F#m   |   G     D    |    G     A    |   repeat as needed, end on D.

The last wedding I did I must have played and built on this 25 times! When I showed up at the church, the coordinator asked, “In addition to playing this for the 9 bridesmaids, ring bearer, and 2 flower girls, the bride asked me today if you would please also play The Canon in D for 2 sets of cousins, the seating of the grandparents, and also the bride and groom’s parents?” I started very slowly and gradually built this until the kids went down the aisle, then ended high and light for them.

Tips on how to improvise The Canon in D may be found in both my books, Amazing Phrasing – Keyboard (Hal Leonard – comes with a 44 track CD) and The Complete Church Pianist: A Piano/Keyboard Method with Tips for Inspired Improvisation and Worship (CreateSpace – 41 track CD/mp3 sold separately – preview on itunes).

My next blog will contain important wedding ceremony music extras, plus my “most outrageous requests” story from the father of the bride asking for my services 8 days before the Mission wedding!

http://debbiedenkemusic.com

https://www.amazon.com/author/debbiedenkemusic

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-complete-church-pianist/id555085975

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