Monday, August 5, 2013

You Might Help Pick the Songs...Big Band Music with a Frank Sinatra Style

“The Northern Lights Trio” will be at The Edge Center in Bigfork for the fifth time and will bring special guest Bill Heide. This time they bring a Big Band sound and music reminiscent of Frank Sinarta.  During the intermission, this year's guests might even get a chance to help pick some songs.  This year listeners of all ages can enjoy the  “old standards” from this trio of piano, bass and drums plus the added vocal talents of the special guest, who might make you think that Sinatra has made one more “comeback”. Come and hear why on Saturday August 10 at 7PM. Price $10 adults, $5.00 children.

Ron Olsen will still be at the keyboard of The Edge Center’s Yamaha grand piano, but the show will be a different kind of performance.  Ron says, “we like to go out on the intermission to ‘mix with the crowd’ to take some requests from attendees and maybe play some of these when we return to the stage.”

Ron says, “We will open with Hogie Carmichel's Stardust as this has turned into kind of a tradition for us”. From then on the show will be something that is different from most performances at the Edge. “We plan to stick with the big band genre as much as possible, but may thrown in some C&W tunes and some more recent tunes to add a little variety.” But for those who want to  “trip the light fantastic” there will still be room.

Most of the songs picked for the performance are from a list of 500 greatest big band era music.  You won’t hear the 500, but some you might hear include:

“Stardust”... Artie Shaw performance in 1940 (above)

“Ain’t Misbehaven”…goes back to Fats Waller 1929 (above)

“Someone to Watch Over Me”…goes back to Eddy Condon in 1940 (above)

“Sunny Side of the Street”…goes back to Tommy Dorsey 1944

“Moon Glow”…Joe Venuti and his Orchestra in 1933 image above from:

“All of Me”… First performed by Belle Baker over the radio ( Bella shown above with another of her special songs) and "All of ME " was recorded in December 1931 by Ruth Etting

“It had to be You”…was performed by Ruth Etting (above) in the 1936 short film Melody in May and was first published in 1924

And here are some more songs you might hear plus lots more:

“Just in Time”
“Fly Me to the Moon”
“Lover Come Back to Me”
“Fool Rush in”
“On the Street Where you Live”
“It’s a Wonderful World”

After decades as a bar and supper club performer, Ron is as smooth as silk on his piano or accordion.  Ron adds that, “Bill Heide does a fantastic Sinatra, and he is a blast to accompany on the keyboard.” Add to that sound, the bass and drums from Jerry Hagen and Don Olsen and you get an evening of music that will make you want to come back for more.

Bill Heide, shown above in rehearsal, is the guest singer for the evening, and specializes in Big Band songs and those of Frank Sinatra. Bill says he has been singing all of his life starting with a Christmas Pageant when he was in grade school.  He is a Spring Lake resident where his father opened a store 100 years ago this year. With six decades worth of singing since coming back to Spring Lake after WWII, he has won many contests but says he never made a dime doing the singing he loves.

Bill sings Sinartra songs because Frank sang exactly in his key so it feels so natural.  Image of  Frank Sinatra above.  Bill will open with “All of Me”, and his performance will include “Nice and Easy”,  “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” plus more.

The group’s bass player, Jerry Hagen, who is now an Effie resident, was playing rock-n-roll back in the 1960s and never lost his love for music.  He plays for numerous musical events in the area and is often part of the music for many Edge Center activities.  His switch from rock-n-roll to a smoother genre for this event is seamless as it sounds.

You might say Don Olsen could relate to the piano player. He is Ron’s brother. They started a musical history sixty years ago when they played together in the “Olsen Family Orchestra” when Don was 5 and Ron 10.  That provides lots of practice time and they still enjoy the music.  The Edge performance might even give you a chance to hear Don play the “washtub bass”. Don’t know what that is? Come and find out.

The above photo is of the group at an earlier Edge Performance. And with this year’s show moving to a new sound...big band...Sinatra style with Bill Heide, the evening promises to be a fun trip to an earlier time where life was slower and maybe less complicated. We invite you to try this event at the Edge and we believe you will not be disappointed.

And, if you like the sounds of the Northern Lights Trio you might watch for them at other venues in the area. They all love their music and will play when given right opportunity.  Such an opportunity was at a recent Showboat event in Grand Rapids shown below.  Good weather, the open air and great music...what a nice combination.

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