May 18, 2015
Mark Steyn: ‘Always wanted to write like that, but could never quite pull it off’
Mark Steyn writes:
Stan Cornyn raised liner notes to the level of art. When I was a teenage disc-jockey, I got out Strangers In The Night, intending to say something about whichever track I was going to play. And then my eye fell on Cornyn’s back-of-the-LP riff, and I thought wow, no point competing with this guy. They were the first and last liner notes I ever read on air..
Songs for Swingin’ Lovers is an absolutely breathtaking album, one that pairs a singer at the height of his powers with an arranger who can meet him where he is, spar with him and eventually spur him on to something even greater.
Seeing a young rocker coming up behind him Sinatra noted, “His kind of music is deplorable, a rancid smelling aphrodisiac. It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people.” A statement I find funny because he was referring to the relatively benign work of Elvis Presley. Presley chided Sinatra for the remark, but it was only a couple of years later that the King and Tom Jones were making plans to beat up John Lennon, on account of his anti-war stance. So it goes.
But I digress, we were talking Songs for Swingin’ Lovers, not beating up some hippie peacenik. You’ve laid out your case for this record, care to elaborate a little?