Lazy River

It’s our first Friday Cocktail Hour of the year. Last week, I was so immersed in the Congress Held Hostage saga that I decided to be abstemious. One drink wouldn’t have been enough and more would have been too many or some such shit.

The full title of this week’s tune is (Up A) Lazy River. I am not big on parenthesis so I’m skipping them. Why? I’ll never know.

Lazy River was written by Sidney Arodin and Hoagy Carmichael in 1934. It’s one of the songs that put Hoagy on the musical map. I dig the Hoagy sammich too.

We begin with the songwriter and his ubiquitous cigarette.

Rightly or wrongly, I’ve always associated Lazy River with Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong. Hence the featured image from High Society and this version arranged by the great Billy May.

Brenda Lee had a substantial hit with the Ardoin-Carmichael classic in 1962.

Rickie Lee Jones put her own spin on Lazy River in 2000.

Finally one for my New Orleans homies: the Swedish transplant Lars Edegran and local legend Uncle Lionel Baptiste. I was lucky enough to know Uncle Lionel. I wrote about him after he died in 2012.

What would the Friday Cocktail Hour be without jazz instrumental versions of the week’s tune? This time, Benny Goodman followed by Zoot Sims.

That’s it for this week. I’d like to propose a toast to the new year: bottoms up, 2023. It’s what Bing. Grace, Frank, and Celeste would want. Never argue with them.

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