Sep 272010

And another one bites the dust. Proud Rock Town Haller and RTH’s Official Vancouver 2010 Olympic correspondent, NorthVanCoveMan is tying the knot. Yep, I’ll be getting married next July at a golf course just outside Vancouver. As the goalie on my Beer League hockey team put it I’m “Being Sent to the Penalty Box of Life.”

The future Mrs. NorthVanCoveMan has bookmarked 700 wedding sites, watches Say Yes to the Dress ad infinitum, and is generally running the show…

Your humble NorthVanCoveMan is in charge of exactly one and a half things; signing cheques and music.

I say a half on music, but it’s really closer to two thirds. I get the opening cocktail hour, which will be moderate tempo rock and soul etc., and the “dinner” music, which is taking the form of Dean Martin and Latin Jazz by the Gilberto family. The Dance Party section of the evening is my future wife’s territory and she needs no help there, Lady Gaga be damned.

I’m sitting at my desk You-Tubing Dean Martin and Ella FitzGerald songs, when it strikes me, I have a whole Army of help at my disposal. So HELP A BROTHER OUT, ROCK TOWN HALLERS: What songs am I missing? What uncovered gems are out there in the Dinner Music/Light Rock Zone?

I know I am missing something great? What are your best Wedding Songs?

[Mr. Moderator’s early bachelor party gift: Click here, NorthVanCoveMan (courtesy of Dave “The Hammer” Schultz).]


  23 Responses to “Help a Brother Out!”

  1. Mr. Moderator

    This is great news, NorthVan. Congrats!

    For the cocktail hour, how ’bout mixing in some soul ballads, like “Try a Little Tenderness?” Al Green, Beatles, Everly Brothers, etc always go down easy. Based on your performance as coach of Team Canada in the World Cup of Rock ‘n Roll, we’ll be counting on you to work some Guess Who into the mix!

    Others are much better qualified to suggest the dinner music, but Ella Fitzgerald is my favorite of that genre. I’ve also been getting into the Hoagy Carmichael stuff I’ve bought over the last few months. It’s still in that genre but less “swingin'” and cliched, in my ears, and more folky/down home. If I were in your shoes I’d consider Hoagy’s “A Man Could Be a Wonderful Thing,” or some title like that.

  2. ladymisskirroyale

    Congratulations! Please don’t think of marriage as biting the dust; consider it an opportunity to have a readily available ear to your musical meanderings…

    Like you, Mr. Royale wanted to take care of the music at our wedding, and in a reflection of his considerable love for music, he prepared 5 cd’s worth and of course we went through multiple edits before we came down to the final 8 hours worth of music. These also covered the territory of cocktail hour to dancing. So suggestions – we have them! I could list many more, but here’s a start.

    “Let’s Get Lost” – Chet Baker
    “I Only Want to Be With You” – Dusty Springfield
    “Hypnotized” – Fleetwood Mac
    “This Must Be the Place – “Talking Heads”
    “Baby, It’s You” – The Shirelles
    “So Com Voce” – Thievery Corporation
    “Nuages” – Django Reinhardt
    “Cheek to Cheek” – Fred Astaire
    “I Only Have Eyes For You” – the Flamingoes
    “It’s Your Thing” – The Isley Brothers
    “Tighten Up” – “Archie Bell and the Drells”
    “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” – Barry White
    “Rock Your Baby” – George McCrae
    “Let’s Stay Together” – Al Green
    “Witchcraft” – Edwyn Collins
    “Sea of Love” – the Honeydrippers
    “I’ve Got A Crush on You” – Sarah Vaughn
    “A Perfectly Natural Union” – Barry Adamson

  3. ladymisskirroyale

    Oh, and another one to knock their socks off:

    “Teach Me Tiger” by April Stevens. Perfect for your dance together

  4. Thanks guys.


    I had “I Get Along without you” by Chet Baker, but it may not be such a great wedding song….

    There’s a lot you suggested I don’t know, so I’ll check it out!

  5. Mod,

    THanks for the gift! Have you seen the (relatively) new documentary on the 1970’s Flyers? They use this song in it!

  6. You’ve got to have ‘Deed I Do sung by Blossom Dearie.

  7. Posted prematurely… Other tunes might be, “you’d be so nice to come home to,” “they can’t take that away from me,” “a fine romance.” Plus, ten billion songs sung by Sinatra.

    Or am I not getting the angle quite right? Too soft?

  8. Right on target Cher

  9. Mr. Moderator

    I have not yet seen that Broad Street Bullies documentary. My brother saw it recently and told me it’s great.

  10. Congratulations! Come on in, the waters fine…

    All kind of mellow, early cocktail hour songs but:
    Center of Gravity by Yo La Tengo

    Little Trip to Heaven on the Wings of Your Love by Tom Waits

    You Brought a New Kind Of Love to Me by Francis Albert Sinatra (and Maurice Chivalier)

  11. bostonhistorian

    Paul Anka’s “She’s Having My Baby”, if you want to freak everyone out.

  12. Thanks cdm, bostonhistorian, that’s a riot, it would have the desired effect!

  13. ladymisskirroyale

    Here’s a couple more:
    “Rockin’ Chair” by Gwen McCrae
    “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young
    “The Look of Love” – lots of versions, but I like Dusty’s
    “S’Wonderful” – another standard
    “I’ve Got A Crush on You” – Sarah Vaughn

  14. cdm, I checked out your selections and…please, more! I only know that nightingale song from the marx bros movies…the others are gorgeous picks

  15. Nice! Let me think about it a bit, but in the meantime, here’s one other. Acuff Rose by Uncle Tupelo.

    Here’s a version of Jeff Tweedy doing it solo:

  16. You Can Have it All by Yo La Tengo

    Romance In the Dark With You by Billie Holliday

    or What A Little Moonlight Can Do, or My Mother’s Son In Law by Ms Holliday (also on youtube)

    Marie’s Wedding – A traditional Scottish wedding song. Van Morrison did a great version of it but I can’t find it on youtube. Here’s a really revved up drunk-sounding version that’s kind of entertaining but probably wouldn’t be suitable until some sort of after party, especially because they drop the f-bomb at the end of it.

    Big Bad Bill (is Sweet William Now). This version is by Emmitt Miller and it’s from the 20s. Ry Cooder did an excellent version as did Leon Redbone. Please do NOT use the Van Halen version!

  17. mockcarr

    This Will Be Our Year by the Zombies off Odessey and Oracle.

    A Kiss To Build A Dream On by Louis Armstrong kills me every time.

    It sounds like I don’t need to recommend Sinatra’s Songs For Swinging Lovers album (except We’ll Be Together Again). I’ve Got The World On A String is pretty good. Maybe Sinatra’s Come Dance With Me is too brassy for the setting, but that album has a bunch of great stuff on it.

    By all means do NOT play The Rest Of My Life by Sloan.

  18. Talk To Me by Little Willie John (this one kills me)

    I’m Shaking by Little Willie John

    And as long as you’re looking for Dean Martin songs, did you check out Ain’t That A Kick in the Head?

    Let me know if you want me to burn you a disc.

  19. ladymisskirroyale

    Disc idea – great. If you can’t find versions of any of the songs I mentioned, let me know and I could burn you a disc, too.

  20. Thanks guys, much appreciated!

  21. This is right in my wheelhouse.

    I could fill up days of Sinatra (I have well over 100 Sinatra CDs). Early this year I guest-programmed a local two-hour Sinatra radio show, with the entire set tracing my relationship with my wife.

    Which makes me think of a late career Sinatra song called “I Love My Wife”. The lyrics read way hokey but damned if Frank doesn’t pull it off:

    (C.Coleman, M.Stewart)
    [Recorded November 12, 1976, Hollywood]

    My thoughts may stray
    My eyes may roam
    The neighbor’s grass may seem much greener
    Than the grass right here at home

    If pretty girls excite me
    Well, that’s life
    But just in case, you didn’t know
    I love my wife

    My mind at times
    May dwell on sex
    If someone’s rating dreams
    Then most of mine I guess are double X

    So dimpled knees delight me
    Well, that’s life
    But just in case, you hadn’t heard
    I love my wife

    Like bait that wriggles
    And it makes catfish bite
    A lady jiggles
    And my eyes gotta light
    Upon so sweet a sight

    And if I shake
    Break out in spots
    Don’t fret, it’s not swine fever dear
    Your swine has merely got the hots

    If rosy lips invite me
    Well, that’s life
    But just in case, you couldn’t guess
    I love my wife

    My mind at times
    May dwell on sex
    If someone’s rating dreams
    Then most of mine I guess are double X

    If rosy lips invite me
    Well, that’s life
    But just in case, you couldn’t guess
    Or hadn’t heard
    Or didn’t know
    I love my wife

    (Years ago, my wife and I were at our favorite little restaurant in eastern Connecticut. It’s near Paul Newman’s Hole In The Wall Gang camp. During the annual fundraiser for the camp, the guest celebrities sometimes came to the restaurant. One Saturday, we were there and at about 9:30 Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger come in. At the time, it was a restaurant that required tie and jacket for men and dresses for women. They were in jeans. By the end of the evening, we and they were the only ones left in the place. I refer to it as our ‘Dinner with Kim and Alec’ despite exchanging no more that hellos and goodbyes to them. Real point of the story is that the night before, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Carol King, and Cy Coleman – one of the composers of the above song, see it connects – had been there for dinner. Man, would I have loved to see Newman’s eyes in person. And meet Cy Coleman.)

    Or stay away from the obvious choices like Frank, Dean, and Ella, great as they are. Anita O’Day to me comes close to being a female Sinatra. You can’t go wrong with Ella but try Anita.

    Chris Connor is another great female vocalist. Check out Sings The George Gershwin Almanac.

    Or Julie London or June Christy.

    Johnny Hartman is the second best male vocalist (no-one needs to ask who number one is, do they?). There’s a classic album with Coltrane (unimaginatively titled John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman) that more than deserves its classic status.

    I’m a big Chet Baker fan as well. Great trumpeter and a very under-recognized vocalist.

    And for instrumental material try Lester Young. Or there’s some stuff he did with Billie Holiday.

    Or some classic Fred Astaire.

    Or if you want more detailed help, you know where to find me.

  22. Al, thanks for the help. Is that the same song that was the theme for “The Mind of the Married Man” show, that was on a few years ago? I think it is.

    CDM, you don’t know how on the right track you are as I am half Scottish Canadian and my fiance is Scottish Canadian complete with a family of sixty that you cannot understand after one drink. So the Scottish thing is right on track. There will be Pipers.

  23. I’m glad these are helpful.

    Van Morrison’s version of Marie’s Wedding is with the Chieftains from their Long Black Veil album. It has a lot more traditional instruments, a more mellow tempo and doesn’t contain the f-bomb.

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