Life After Lockdown: Music Monday

©Lisa Anselmo

It’s Music Monday again! (See track at bottom of post.) We’re starting our third week of “déconfinement.” Where did last week go? Where the heck was I? I’ll tell ya where: Out there. In the world. With the mask-less masses. But more about that in my next post. Monday is about music, about a memory that inspired today’s song—of Sunday afternoons listening to jazz with my dad.

Normally, I record my songs on Sunday, and yesterday afternoon the sun angled into my apartment in a way that took me right back to 8 years old: after church, after Sunday dinner (which we had at 2pm), my dad would often hang out in the living room and listen to his records: Henry Mancini, Stan Kenton, Jobim, the Duke. Sarah Vaughan. Smooth, smooth, smooth. I’d sit with him, and he’d explain the themes and orchestration to me. “Listen to this—” he’d hold up his hand, close his eyes. “Jeez,” he’d say when something really moved him. He taught me how to listen with educated ears—how Ella would imitate instruments when she’d scat; how “Sassy Sarah” had such a huge range that she could do her own duets, singing both the high female voice and the low bass of the man. “That’s talent,” he’d tell me.

My dad wasn’t a musician, but he knew music. He’d been a DJ, managed big bands, had family and friends in the biz. One of the greatest gifts he gave me, I realize now, was his love of music. My mom was a fan of music, but Daddy was a discerning connoisseur. Is it a surprise they’d produce an opera singer?

But this music I’m singing today, this jazzy, Jobim-y, ’60s smoothness is what I was weaned on, and what transports me to those happy, sunny Sundays sitting on the living room carpet, watching the records spin on our old turntable, and sharing the music, and that moment of peace, with my dad.

This song is one of my favorites of all time. I’ve done a mix that nods to the 1960s, complete with the reverb on the vocal track, so you can almost see the Verve label spinning round while you listen.

The Shadow of Your Smile. Music: Johnny Mandel; words: Paul Francis Webster; vocals and arrangement: Lisa Anselmo

Listen to all the Music Monday offerings here.


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Runs in the family

My brother Richard is also a writer like me, and a music connoisseur like Dad. And like Dad, he’s also DJ. You can catch his radio show, The Anselmo Experience, on at 8 a.m. EST weekday mornings!


On the bookshelf

Audiobook recorded by the author. 4.5 stars on Amazon. Click book to buy.


20 responses to “Life After Lockdown: Music Monday

  1. What a treat, a great performance. Thank you! What did you use for the instrumental track, it was great.

    • Lovely Lisa, your singing brings back many fond memories of my parents and their love of jazz, Sarah Vaughn and all the greats. I took my parents twice to see Ella Fitzgerald in the early 1980’s. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. Thank you Lisa
    So nostalgic and enjoyable listening to your voice your Dad would be happy and proud.
    I want to give you another thank you for all your posts over lockdown I am sure I speak for your followers . I always look forward to your posts.
    Merci Pamela

  3. So retro, Love it! The echo behind the la,la,la repeat makes you think old Hollywood. 🤗

  4. Lisa, what a gorgeous voice! I adore this rendition. My dad gave me my love and appreciation of music, too. As our family took car rides through the countryside during the 1950s and ’60s after church and Sunday lunch, he played an Easy Listening station and always identified each and every title when I asked. His mother, father and sister were talented musicians. Dad never studied music but could play anything by ear. Miss him always, but especially when I hear all his favorites. Glenn Miller was a favorite but he loved so many greats. I especially liked “Canadian Sunset.” I so look forward to your posts and music! Brava!

    • We have similar stories around this, it seems. My dad’s favorite was Stan Kenton. Yes this song I recorded makes me cry because it reminds me so much of those days and my dad. I lost my dad when I was young, so these memories are so important and also so well preserved in my mind.

  5. Oh, one of my favorite, favorite songs! You sing it so poignantly. Just the opening gives me chills–I can see the closing scene of The Sandpipers.

    And now, I need to see where my Sinatra at the Sands CD is, to listen to the baritone version.

  6. I close my eyes and I hear the tinkling of two champagne flutes knocking together and see (in my mind’s eye) a wreath of cigarette smoke.

    Things were so much simpler then, weren’t they?


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