A Beautiful Song: Sarah Vaughan

Five minutes you won’t regret spending on YouTube if you are a fan of wonderful singing (operatic, jazz or otherwise). Sarah Vaughan singing Errol Gardner’s “Misty.” Yes, I know she had the most operatic voice of any jazz singer, and that’s perhaps what first drew me to her, but her way with a lyric, her style as a singer, and that ardent restraint keep me listening.

(And she had a cold, which you can tell–and still gives a performance like this!)

A Little Song: Riverwalk Jazz Streams Courtesy of Stanford

The Stanford University Library has gotten the archive for “Riverwalk Jazz,” a public radio show focused on pre-WWII jazz. Faced with the challenge of how to make this accessible, they came up with a creative answer, namely to become a little streaming radio station.

From their site,

Sidney Bechet, 1897-1959. Pre-war jazz at its best.
Sidney Bechet, 1897-1959.

The radio webcast approach to providing access to archival sound recordings is new at Stanford Libraries. For years, we have been providing on-demand streaming access to media collections, like Buckminster Fuller, Lynn Hershman’s !Women Art Revolution, and David Hamburg’s Preventing Genocide. With Riverwalk Jazz, for the first time Stanford Libraries is presenting audio content from its collections like a licensed radio station. We are excited to consider how to extend this delivery model for more collections of audio and video material!

Nice public service, and given that making the entire archive searchable and streaming on demand by individual song would probably be prohibitively expensive, this is a clever solution.

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 9.27.26 AMAnd if this doesn’t slake your thirst for early jazz, WGBH radio has put up some of “The Jazz Decades,” the late Ray Smith’s weekly hour of spinning albums, while chatting amiably and knowledgeably. Jazz Decades and Riverwalk made a nice Sunday night line up for me for many years. (And if you really want to overdo the nostalgia, you can mosey over to Syracuse’s WRVO and their old-time radio show, “Tuned to Yesterday,” now a podcast, where Macbeth, The Great Gildersleeve, and X Minus One rub shoulders.) And yes, I realize that “Tuned to Yesterday” describes this blog rather too well.