He also had a way with "lighter" repertoire, in an era (context) when the likes of Romberg, Porter, Kern, Rodgers et al were icons (and what a magnificent era that must have been - oh to be alive when *their* glorious medlodies topped the charts, not some despicable headbanging mother-fucking caterwauler's raspings).
Funny you should mention that Linz, in the UK it just might happen. Apparently, the "crooner" is making a revival in the pop charts :-)
April 09, 2005
The crooner returns to seduce the pop charts
By Adam Sherwin, Media Reporter
HIS tools are a heart-tugging ballad, the crushed velvet tuxedo and a smooth bedside manner. The crooner is making a comeback after Tony Christie sold a million songs for lovers.
Last year Christie, 61, was just another British expat enjoying golf in Spain. He tops the album, single and download charts today after the revival of (Is this the Way to) Amarillo? Christie has sold a million UK singles and albums over the past six weeks. But the Yorkshire-born singer is not strolling down this street alone.
The cool, finger-clicking classic crooner is attracting a new generation of fans.
Frank Sinatra is more popular today than he was when he was alive. Ol’ Blue Eyes, who died aged 82 in 1998, still sells 10,000 records a week. His daughter, Tina, who runs the singer’s estate, said: “He is selling more now than in the 60s and 70s. Dad always said he would sell as long as one generation was playing him and the next generation was listening.”
Sinatra would be at home in the current UK charts. Not only is Christie keeping Elvis Presley off the No 1 slot, a Matt Monro compilation is one of the fastest-selling albums of the year. Engelbert Humperdinck, like Christie granted television rehabilitation courtesy of the comic Peter Kay, continues to “spread the love” on a world tour. Andy Williams presents Music to Watch Girls By and the definitive Moon River at the Albert Hall in June. Tony Bennett, a cool icon to successive generations, takes to the famous Kensington stage next week.
Crooning originated in the 1920s as a softer singing style appropriate for the lush orchestral arrangments of the popular songs transmitted across early commercial radio. Bing Crosby placed his stamp on the sound in the 1930s before jazz singers adopted the urbane style during the swing era. Sinatra, Bennett, Nat King Cole and Pat Boone were prime exponents in the pre-rock era.
Today rock music is middle-aged and a legion of nouveau crooners are supplying the gifts in millions of homes on Mother’s Day. Michael Bublé, the saccharine Canadian singer, is the Parkinson-endorsed leader of the pack. Jamie Cullum mixes I Get a Kick Out of You with Radiohead for a hipper crowd.
Robert Meadmore is a West End stalwart repositioned for the classical crossover market by Mike Batt, the man behind the Wombles and Katie Melua.
Meadmore hit the charts with Patrizio Buanne, the tuxedoed Italian singer whose debut album echoes 50s’ standards. Will Young, the Radio 2 favourite, swiftly moved to the lucrative crooners’ market after winning Pop Idol. Simon Cowell has repeated the trick with the pseudo-classical quartet Il Divo and the television-created vocal band G4, who topped the chart on Mother’s Day.
The greatest beneficiary of the crooning revival could be Britain’s supermarkets, where CDs are becoming a regular feature of the weekly shop.
Adam Cox, the music buyer at Asda, said: “We have had significant success with the crooners’ market. The best example is Tony Christie. One in four Christie CDs bought in the UK are now sold at Asda.”
He added: “The main sales success this year was the build-up to Mother’s Day. The likes of Michael Bublé, Il Divo and G4 resulted in our highest-ever market share on albums. This is indicative of the strength of supermarkets during these key event periods.”