Until recently, I’d never seen the Steven Van Zandt series about a gangster exiled in Norway, Lillyhammer. We’re in season 2 right now and I love it. It’s the reason I selected My Kind Of Town for this space as Little Steven performs it in an episode at his club, The Flamingo.
The town in question is Chicago, not Lillehammer. My Kind Of Town was written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn for the 1964 Rat Pack movie Robin and the 7 Hoods. It’s a particular favorite of mine because it was introduced to me by my favorite cousin. RIP.
Van Heusen and Cahn specialized in writing songs for Frank Sinatra so that’s where we begin:
Marvin Gaye’s Hello Broadway album is a little-known gem. Of course, My Kind Of Town comes from Hollywood but why quibble with the great Marvin Gaye?
Singer-actress Julie London took a whack at the Van Heusen-Cahn anthem in 1965.
Janet Planet is a trip as is her version of this week’s tune. Did I mention that she was Van Morrison’s ex?
Here’s the aforementioned Little Steven live at the Nordic Flamingo club:
What would the Friday Cocktail Hour be without jazz instrumental versions of the week’s song? This time, Count Basie followed by clarinetist Allan Vaché who has a French name but is from New Jersey.
That’s it for this week. I’m dedicating this week’s entry to my late favorite cousin, Katina. It’s what Dino, Bing, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.