Welcome to the Nostalgic Ramber

Hans Jeff Borger is heard on WRGE 97.9 FM in Ocala, FL featuring Christian programming.

"The Nostalgic Rambler" radio show previously heard on Gene Martin & Friends has been suspended due to my commitments at WRGE.

Why a blog? I wrote a book "The Little Grownup: a nostalgic Michigan boyhood" which should appeal to most baby boomers. A mass market book? Well, not yet...but the potential is there! (Be sure to buy it at "finer on line bookstores" everywhere!)

The comments presented in "The Nostalgic Rambler" probably won't be of interest to the masses...anymore. If grandma and grandpa and their friends were still alive, then it would be a different story.

I live in the past. My time warp is a comfortable cocoon even if it sometimes drives my wife crazy. The music of the 1940s and 50s, the stars of those days were big stuff in their day, but are now almost forgotten. Oddly enough, I was born in '64 so those iconic years were for the most part over by that time.

Through "The Nostalgic Rambler" I maybe can help share my love and knowledge for those times and things...all at one time important pieces of Americana but now a bit faded in memory.

The woman who did the blog about cooking all of Julia Childs' French Cuisine Cookbook in a year got a sweet movie deal out of her blog experience. I wouldn't mind that but would be happy to know that you are reading this....and maybe enjoying my time warp, too.

Hans Jeff Borger

Monday, April 25, 2011

Everything's Coming Up Rosie (Rosemary Clooney, that is....)

The iconic singers that I admire so much are almost all gone now. One of those voices that captivated millions was Rosemary Clooney. Her silky voice is still around in many great albums that are enjoyed regularly in the world of the nostalgic rambler....me!

For those of you reading this who only remember her for her Coronet paper towel commercials or for her latter years where she was quite hefty and seemed to have a hard time getting enough air to sing, we turn the clock back to when she was a household name.

The heyday of Clooney's singing was her 1950s work with Columbia under the auspices of Mitch Miller. She wasn't too keen on singing his novelty songs but the public adored them. One of her fans was Bing Crosby who recorded with her as well. One of my favorite Bing/Rosie albums is "Fancy Meeting You Here." When you listen to it, you can hear how much they enjoyed each other's company and singing talents.

Rosemary had quite a career, from movies (White Christmas anyone?) to television to recording and concerts. She had a lot of ups and downs in her life including relationships, her weight, and mental state.

Clooney's life and music were ripe for a stage show, and recently I had the chance to see Wendy Hayes do her tribute show to Rosemary Clooney. Wendy's voice has the timbre and warmth of Rosie and when she wears the beautiful 1950s style gowns, it's about as close as you can come to recapturing the magic of that era. She sings many of the Clooney hits like "This Old House" and "Mambo Italiano" as well as selections from her later jazz era, known by her fans as the Concord Years.

It's always fun to be in an audience where people know this music and appreciate it....and it's even better when the artist trying to emulate someone isn't just singing the songs but actually has a deep appreciation for the material. Wendy Hayes puts on a great show.

Wendy has a cd available, although it isn't her Rosemary Clooney tribute. She sings a lot of standards and it's a good listen, too. The illusion was a little bit shattered when I saw the cd cover and saw how she really dresses....no 1950s gown here, but that just reaffirms how good she is on stage to recapture that marvelous time.

pics of Rosemary with the man who put her songs on everyone's lips, Mitch Miller; b/w pic of Rosie with color pic of Wendy Hayes next to it; classic Crosby/Clooney album "Fancy Meeting You Here."

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