August 15, 2017
As I work in south Texas in live performance, I’m also writing the music for several albums which I’ll record over the next 18 months with musicians in Houston and New Orleans. Perhaps you might be interested in knowing about these projects, which include:
A new set of contemporary lyric song, issued as what we used to call a concept album. Voices, steel-string guitar, bass, keys, some percussion, minimal electronics, not jazz-related, not folksy, not indie, not loud. A leap, in my mind, past Fire and Fall Back, which I’d do differently, knowing what I know now. All the songs I intend to use in the new album have been written (12, at last count) and I’m working to chart them.
Tony LaVorgna and I plan to record a series original numbers early next year, many of which will be showtune-like, setting my lyrics to Tony’s music, in the style of the 1950s, but not quite in imitation. Rather, the style refreshed anew. It can be done. Believe me, it ain’t over for that music.
I’m also looking to get some of this music staged with movement and variety performers, several of which I’ve spoken with. I hope to be able to swing a show at some point next year with Houston performers from a variety of disciplines.
That’s all from Cape Kaye-naveral for now. Over and out!

More Repetoire and a Video

August 9, 2017

A few new numbers added to the repetoire (with my fav artist version in parens):

We’ll Be Together Again (Jackie Paris, Sammy Davis)
A Fool Such as I (Hank Snow)
Change Partners (Fred Astaire)
You’ll Never Walk Alone (Christine Hamilton/original ’45 recording)

Here’s the original cast recording of You’ll Never Walk Alone, a delight to listen to.

If you’ve never heard the original cast recording of Carousel (not my favorite musical, mind you), this track, and especially, the singer, Christine Hamilton, a contralto who debuted the role of Nettie Fowler on B’way, are really fine, recorded at the apex of American popular culture.

I Know Why They Call It the Great State of Texas

August 2, 2017

I just love LOVE how Texans are so easy to get along with. In general, but here I’m talking about people in business. Open and friendly and constructive and problem-solving and accomodating and welcoming. Everywhere I go in this state!

My Most Memorable Tips

July 26, 2017
I’m grateful to each and every member of the audience, but here are the tips that have been the most memorable.
— A little girl from Poland who threw all her pocket change into my guitar case (in zlotys!)
— $20 and the purchase of 2 CDs from a French couple after I had the temerity to sing La Mer IN FRENCH to them
— A beggar in the Times Square shuttle who danced uproariously for 15 minutes (no, he was not part of the act) and then, gave me two $2.00 bills
— The produce company lady who asked me to sing “What a Wonderful World” and then gave me a huge plate of sweet fruit and veg to take home
— The man who sat not 10 feet from me didn’t look at me once in his entire hour dinner (it was BBQ, don’t worry, I understand), getting up, dropping in a 20 and saying, “That was just great.”
— The Yakuza who kept me in whiskey and cognac every time I sang in his club in Osaka.
So, you see, all the delightful surprises one comes across in this profession.

Hey There, How About a Few More Super Songs?

July 19, 2017
Additions to the repetoire:
The Dummy Song (Mr. Louis Armstrong)
Bright Lights, Big City (Sonny James)
L-O-V-E (Nat Cole)
Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Age (Red Foley)

Even More Wonderful Songs Added to the Repetoire

July 10, 2017

Additions to the repetoire (with artist associated with the song in parens, at least in my mind):

♦ Someone To Watch Over Me (Gertrude Lawrence)

♦ Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell)

♦ You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You (yes, I know the Deano version, but I like Scatman Crothers best)

♦ Mr. Bojangles (Sammy Davis, Jr.)

Airplay of Richie Kaye’s Music & Mirth CD Exceeds Expectations

June 22, 2017

Based on a recent analysis, webcasting (not terrestrial) stations have played our album “Richie Kaye’s Music & Mirth with Tony LaVorgna” nearly 65,000 times.

This is rather a lot more than we’d known before or even thought possible.

The revenue is a pittance in comparison, believe me, but the popularity of the tracks is truly heartening.

Even More Songs Added to the Solo Repetoire

June 18, 2017

New songs added to the solo repetoire:

  • Time Don’t Wait (Marty Stuart)
  • That Old Feeling (Doris Day)
  • Moulin Rouge (Line Renaud)
  • Danke Schoen (Wayne Newton) — I’m not singing that high, believe me! But with a key change every 16 bars, when you’re not still in your teens, ya gotta start real low if you don’t want to be singing like a castrato by the end!
  • Wish You Were Here (Eddie Fisher)
  • The Trouble with Drinkin’ — Aaron Lee Tasjan
  • Why They Call It Fallin’ — Lee Ann Womack

A New Steel String Acoustic Guitar — I’m Now Playing a Bedell Prototype

June 17, 2017
Friends, let me introduce you to a new love of mine, but I’ll only show you her back for now. Here is the cocobolo back of my new steel 6-string dreadnought. The shop at Bedell Guitars in Bend, Oregon made this fine and subtle instrument as a prototype for its upcoming series.
It called to me as if from angels on high at the Dallas International Guitar Festival. Sean Morrissey of Bedell and J.D. Walker of Guitar Maverick in Keller, TX walked out of the noisy hall with me to where I could really hear it and realized I’d discovered yet another voice.
The boys at Bedell call it the Revolution and I call it the Genius. It is just extraordinary. Played it out for the first time last night on a job. It rang beautifully through a K&K Sound Systems Meridian clamp-on mic/pre and into a tiny Fishman LoudBox Mini. A very new kind of a sound for me.
I’ll have a video with it later on. For audio you can hear right now:
Recorded straight into a Zoom H6 with very little mastering done.
(This image comes from the Bedell website and I hope the company doesn’t mind my using it — much better a picture than I could take myself. I don’t have a good picture of the front to share with you yet.)
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