Love Me Tender: The Stories Behind the World's Best-loved Songs

Overview

In 1855, Miss Jane Ross transcribed the melody played by a piper at an Irish village fair. Had she not, the world would never have heard “Danny Boy.” If Robert Burns had missed an old man’s quavering rendition of an ancient Scottish country song, New Year’s revelers would be singing a different tune. A sentimental song from a Civil War-era minstrel show morphed into one of Elvis’ biggest hits. Love Me Tender reveals the surprising origins of these and other favorite songs. Some evolved from folksongs, some from ...

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Overview

In 1855, Miss Jane Ross transcribed the melody played by a piper at an Irish village fair. Had she not, the world would never have heard “Danny Boy.” If Robert Burns had missed an old man’s quavering rendition of an ancient Scottish country song, New Year’s revelers would be singing a different tune. A sentimental song from a Civil War-era minstrel show morphed into one of Elvis’ biggest hits. Love Me Tender reveals the surprising origins of these and other favorite songs. Some evolved from folksongs, some from musical theater, while others just came along at the right time. In some cases, a single word made all the difference: Paul McCartney changed “scrambled eggs” to “yesterday” and a classic was born. With stories from all over the world, and from artists as diverse as Bing Crosby, Big Mama Thornton, and T. S. Eliot, Love Me Tender is a delightful read for every music lover.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780711229112
  • Publisher: Lincoln, Frances Limited
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A TUNEFUL TREASURY OF TALES

    You may just find yourself humming along as you're reading along in Love Me Tender: The Stories Behind the World's Best-Loved Songs. Writer, entertainer, broadcaster Max Cryer has a passion for plus thorough knowledge of popular music, and he shares both with us in the stories behind 40 of our top songs. The melodies spring from diverse backgrounds - folk songs, musical theatre, a particular recording or even as in the case of Danny Boy from the tune played by a piper at an Irish village fair in 1855.<BR/><BR/> We find that contemporary songs such as "Moon River" and "Hello Dolly" as well as established favorites such as "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow" and "Auld Lang Syne" have won the hearts and voices of millions.<BR/><BR/> As many know, Andrew Lloyd Webber's fantastically popular musical "Cats" was inspired by a volume of poems by T. S. Eliot, "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." Webber grew to know some of the Cat poems as a child when his mother read them to him. Much later, in 1977 Webber began to think about setting some of the verse to music. By 1980 this was done and he played them for Eliot's widow, Valerie, as it would be necessary to have her approval in order to turn the poems into a musical. She not only approved but gave Webber some fragments of Eliot's work, one of which was an eight line piece, a sad vignette about a once beautiful now aging cat, Grizabella, and eventually "Memory" was born.<BR/><BR/> Cole Porter was, of course, one of our country's preeminent song writers leaving us a string of hits, including Begin the Beguine. He wrote this after seeing a troop of native dancers on an Indonesian island and remembering a performance he had seen by Martinique dancers who were doing a kind of slow rhumba. This composer found inspiration everywhere. So great was Porter's fame that upon his 1956 arrival in Spain the "Customs officer who inspected his passport, shrieked, `Cole Porter! Begin the Beguine", then kissed his fingers and began to sing the song."<BR/><BR/> "Love Me Tender" is filled with such vignettes involving everyone from Marie Antoinette to Artie Shaw, Gracie Fields to Elvis Presley, and a multitude in between. You'll not miss a beat with this treasure of tuneful tales.<BR/><BR/> Enjoy!<BR/><BR/> Highly recommended.<BR/><BR/> - Gail Cooke

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