Sunday morning coming down

In this abbreviated edition of Sunday Morning Coming Down we pay tribute to Mother’s Day. It hadn’t even occurred to me to do so until listening to this week’s Radio Deluxe show last night. In honor of Mother’s Day the hosts played their mothers’ favorite songs.

Host John Pizzarelli played “The More I See You” by Dick Haymes in the version below with the introductory verse because that’s the one Mrs. P. preferred. The song was written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren. John P. didn’t mention the songwriters. He credited Johnny Mandel and Ian Bernard for the arrangements on the Dick Haymes album Rain or Shine (1956), from whence it comes. It’s hard to listen to the 1966 hit version of the song by Chris Montez after hearing this one.

Host Jessica Molaskey played “These Foolish Things” by Ella Fitzgerald, also with the introductory verse. Written by Brits Eric Maschwitz and Jack Strachey, this is Betty Molaskey’s favorite song. I believe that John and Jessica played the recording below from a digital concoction released in 2017 with new instrumental backing provided by the London Symphony Orchestra. “And still those little things remain that bring me happiness or pain.”

I want to add Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You” to this list in honor of my mom, Rivian Johnson. I’m not sure it was her favorite song, but I know she was blown away by it. Thinking Stevie Wonder was well outside the range of her taste, she asked me what the deal was with him after she heard this song on the radio in 1984. It touched her deeply. A number 1 hit all around the world at the time, Stevie wrote, arranged, and produced it. I think he played and programmed all the instruments as well. As it happened, my mom called from Florida to say she loved me just before she died of a massive stroke at the age of 66. She was just beginning to get over my dad’s death two years earlier and still beautiful in every way. I’m certainly thinking of her today.

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