Wednesday, August 19, 2009


This wasn’t just elevator music; this was elevator music in the poshest hotel.

It was my sister that introduced me to Mantovani. That was around 1969. I was into Abbey Road; she was into The World Of Mantovani. I called her a square. Who could blame me?

What I have here is Mantovani’s Golden Hits, which is ubiquitous, and More Mantovani’s Golden Hits, which isn’t, but 2 LPs worth of golden hits were not big enough to hold all his top 100 singles, which number 3. Someone at London Records forgot to include Theme From The Sundowners. Oh well…


Games That Lovers Play – I first encountered this song on a single by Connie Francis, but it’s kind of a pop standard. Eddie Fisher and Wayne Newton both put it on the pop charts in the mid 60s
Exodus Main Theme – High drama. This is the theme from the movie of course, which was such a cultural phenomenon. I never saw the movie but I read the novel by Uris, and I thought it was shoddy. Maybe one day I will blog about fiction. It was a hit in the winter of 1961, and there were competing versions by Eddie Harris and by Ferrante & Teicher. Pat Boone did a version that I don’t have and have never heard, and it reached number 61. Presumably he sang it. I have a sung version by Sammy Davis Jr, and boy is it sung.
Greensleeves – The folk classic done with more strings than you can shake a stick at.
La Vie En Rose – French for life as a rose. A hit for Edith Piaf, a long time ago.
Around The World – A bit hit for everyone in 1957. Mantovani’s version went to number 12 in 1957, competing with Victor Young and Bing Crosby. Young wrote the song, the theme from the movie Around The World In Eighty Days.
Some Enchanted Evening – My parents had this song by someone, I don’t remember who, someone with an operatic voice. Well back through the ages it sounds retroactively operatic; I was very young. The song is from South Pacific. Jay & The Americans put it on the charts in 1965.
Swedish Rhapsody – Also done by Percy Faith.
Moon River – Everyone had to do this, and so did Mantovani. Rather perverse, I think, that he uses a kind of cha cha rhythm.
Moulin Rouge Theme – Recorded by Percy Faith as “Theme From Moulin Rouge (Where Is Your Heart)” with vocals by Felicia Sanders. This is from some ancient movie. Don’t confuse it with some modern rewrite
Summertime In Venice – Not to be confused with April In Paris, or Autumn In Vermont.
Diane – A hit for The Bachelors.
Cara Mia – Beautiful beautiful song. A hit originally for David Whitfield, who apparently recorded it in 1954 with Mantovani’s orchestra. Revived in 1965 by Jay & The Americans.
Stranger In Paradise – A hit for Tony Bennett, recorded by many.
Gigi – A hit, of sorts, for Vic Damone.
Deep Purple – Another standard, and a pop hit for Nino Tempo & April Stevens.
A Certain Smile – A hit for Johnny Mathis
The Way You Look Tonight – Another beautiful melody. A hit for The Lettermen.
Love Is A Many Splendored Thing – This is the type of song tailor-made for Mr. M. A hit for The Four Aces in 1955.
Long Ago And Far Away – Not the James Taylor song.
Till – Ah… What would this collection be without Till. Another great ballroom dance. This was a hit for Percy Faith and for Roger Williams in 1957, and for The Vogues (the one that I remember) in 1968.
A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening – I’m sure…
Together – Not the Nilsson song.

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