Posted on Apr 23, 2020

Here are the first tranche of musical masterpieces. Hopefully this will prompt more of you to share your best song ever and be included in parts 2 or 3. Don’t worry if you don’t have any interesting details about your choice. That’s a job I love doing. Might even be useful for our next trivia evening. 

Allan Vester. Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum
This song has its main melodic line based on J.S.Bach’s “Air on the G string”. It was a forerunner to what became known as progressive rock.
Nick Loseby. American Pie by Don Maclean
According to Nick this has got to be the best sing along song for young and old. The song was originally inspired by the death of Buddy Holly. Maclean who was young at the time of the plane crash that killed Buddy along with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper wrote the song from his memory of the event.
Del Johnson. Ave Maria by Schubert and performed by Celine Dion
There are actually a number of Ave Maria’s by other composers including J S Bach.  Schubert did not write the song as a hymn but as a setting of a song from Walters Scott’s epic poem. The Lady of the Lake.
Ian Holmes. Imagine by John Lennon
Lennon is credited as the songwriter but later said that it should have been a Lennon/Ono song because a lot of the lyric came from Yoko. In 2000 George Michael paid over $2 million for the upright piano the song was recorded on and donated it to the Beatles museum in Liverpool.
Bill Duncan. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
This was the title track of the last album the duo recorded before they split up. Elvis Presley released a version of the song that helped win over many critics who doubted his ability as a vocalist.
Geoff Roberts. My Way by Frank Sinatra
It was 5th on the UK charts for 124 weeks and was released by Sinatra 40 years ago this week. Originally Paul Anchor wrote the English words from originally a French composer.  Also our own Pakuranga Rotarian Graeme Houston has sung a great version on his CD.
Chris Ward. San Francisco by Scott McKenzie
It was the only hit Scott ever had. He found his sudden fame overwhelming, and abruptly dropped out of the music business - only to resurface decades later, as a replacement singer in the Mamas and the Papas' nostalgia tours.
Jeanette Roberts. Stars Fell on Alabama
An oldies song, composed in 1934 following the spectacular occurrence of the ‘Leonid Meteor Shower’, or ‘the night the stars fell over Alabama’.Composed by Frank Perkins, lyrics by Mitchell Parish. Was sung by Guy Lombardo, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Billie Halliday, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra and others. Written in G, it is lovely to play, smooth and enjoyable.
During the mid 1950’s, the NZ Tourist Bureau ran tours to the Chateau for winter skiing breaks. Left Auckland Railway Station after work on Friday night, arrived at National Park at midnight and bussed to the Chateau. Many great nights were had in the lounge playing on the lovely grand piano there and singing this particular song time and time again.  Great weekends, great skiing and great music.  My memory tells me the cost for the weekend was six pounds.
Graham Kearns. I Did it My Way performed by The Three Tenors
They first performed it at packed Los Angeles Dodger Stadium to coincide with the Italy-Brazil World Cup final being held the next day. The audience included one Frank Sinatra. It was broadcast in 100 countries to an estimated audience of one billion people.