Song of the Day: March 31

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This week’s Song of the Day curator is the devilishly funny and sublime English tenor Hal Cazalet, a NYFOS favorite.  He’s been heard at the English National Opera, the Aldeburgh Festival, Glyndebourne on Tour, Lincoln Center, and Dallas Opera, among other venues around the world. As a composer and lyricist, he has written stage musicals as well as instrumental and choral works. He’ll be performing at the NYFOS Gala on April 5th alongside David Hyde Pierce, Lauren Worsham, and Bryce Pinkham. 

 

“LOVE ME STILL” SUNG BY BETTYE LAVETTE WITH HERBIE HANCOCK AT CHAKA KHAN TRIBUTE IN 2011 (with original also attached)

 

Sometimes this life is a bitter pill…I love you now, do you love me still?”

 

As I was passing London’s legendary Jazz venue Ronnie Scott’s the other night, I asked a man who was playing that night and he replied Chaka Khan. Having possibly noticed my far away look ‘of good times once had on the dance floor’ and feeling he was talking to a Chaka admirer, he tested me saying, ‘if you can name me two of her songs, I’ll put you on her guest list’. It just so happened I was talking to her manager. My favourite dance song: Ain’t Nobody was easy, but I think it was the mention of Love me Still that got me on the guest list to see the Queen of R&B.

 

Brought up into the ‘middle of madness’ of Chicago’s rough South Side housing projects and subjected to the struggles of alcohol and drugs, Yvette Marie Stephens (as she was christened) literally had to sing her way out of poverty. With a career spanning 4 decades with 10 Grammy’s, (22 nominations), 77 million records sold and twice inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame, she must be one of R&B’s most incredible success stories.

 

I hope this song touches you as it did me when I heard her sing it that night. Bettye Lavette sings it here in tribute & I wanted to share it with you as she’s so damn good!

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