NEWS

November 2019

Every time I go away, I seem to come back to a mountain of complicated post and this time is no different. On top of this my Entourage email program has decided to stop working so I can’t send or receive any emails from my main office computer. It could have been ported quite easily with a new IP address but after 27 minutes of the phone to Sky, I was told they won’t supply a new IP address. Thanks for that!

My underfloor heating modem went offline, I presume because of a power cut so I could not activate the heating from the ship. Thank goodness for neighbours.

On 3 July I submitted a Merchant Dispute with Kipling. I bought a soft briefcase in the Cayman Islands and on getting back to England found it to be faulty in that the zips wouldn’t work. There followed weeks or arguing with the brand. There is nowhere in England to send it so it had to go to Germany. More weeks went by for them to write and tell me there was a permanent fault which was irreparable and that they would issue a credit note. I wanted the same bag but that was American stock and I could only choose something from their website. I had bought two bags on the day so did not want or need another bag.

Kipling refused to refund my money so I took the matter to the credit card company that I had used to purchase it. Unfortunately, that was in America and there followed lengthy calls, oodles of paperwork that I had to send back by hard mail so more time wasting especially as they had told me it would take 12 weeks to resolve. I returned to England to find no new correspondence and with no supplied email address had to ring America once again. Guess what they never got the paperwork and failed to mention that to me so I am back where I started which was nowhere!!!!!

With five weeks before the release of the new album, Universal, with their great powers of wisdom decided to put back the release to next year. I was not amused especially as I had spent several months advertising the new release while on Celebrity. I gave out near on 1000 postcards which promoted the new album, arranged 48 radios for the 10 days after I got back to England and did interviews with GQ Magazine, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express while on the ship.

Richard and I have worked on the new album for the last 18 months and were both excited about the release, it seemed a long time coming especially as Universal had already put the album back from Mother’s Day this year but with albums by Russell Watson & Aled Jones – Back in Harmony, Ball & Boe – Back Together, Andre Bocelli – Si Forever (Diamond Edition), Westlife – Spectrum, Bing Crosby – Bing at Christmas, Andre Rieu – Happy, Rod Stewart – With the Royal Philharmonic and Various – Dreamboats and Petticoats Silver Linings all due out in November this year,  dad’s new CD could have got lost in the scrum. So, bearing all that in mind the new date of release is 13 March 2020 in line for Mother’s Day.

Since being back I have had to cancel all the radio interviews that I had put in the diary and they will now be re-scheduled for next February/March. Earlier I the year I had gone into my small studio and recorded a new one-hour radio special with Broadway as my focus to complement dad’s new release. The radio special ‘Broadway Melody” (runs 58 minutes) is in broadcast quality and was sent out to a selection of Hospital Radio and Community Radio stations in September so you might be able to catch a couple of the new tracks before release if you listen in.

You could fill hours playing some of the iconic moments of what has come out of New York. I got the idea when putting together dad’s new album “A Stranger in Paradise: The Lost New York Sessions” coupled with a second disc of The Greatest Hits.
 
For the sessions in New York instead of an orchestra or ready-made arrangements accompanying dad, they chose the songs and did all the arrangements as they went along. The band was made up of just five musicians. The majority of the recordings made over the week were from relatively new musicals, many running in Broadway theatres at the time.
 
However, unbeknown to dad, producer Dave Cavanaugh decided that he preferred him with a bigger sound. He took the tapes back to Hollywood and engaged Sid Feller and Billy May to write brass and string scores for 14 of the songs.

When dad heard the results, he was not impressed and felt that the tracks had been butchered. He made his feelings clear to producer Cavanaugh and the whole project was shelved. This new album sees the first release of all the songs from the sessions in their original un-dubbed form, just dad and some great musicians having a blast in the studio.
 
This album is a journey, from the opening bars of the unmistakable “Stranger in Paradise” to the haunting melody of Jerry Brock’s “Sunrise, Sunset”. The journey is delicious in its voyage of discovery.  Dad has that genius of making each song his own.
 
There are so many highlights in evidence here, brimming with distinguished arrangements and superb production values that conjure up exquisite memories of a polished performer, one with feathery velvet tones and unsurpassed excellence.  Here is superb talent with no use of vocal gimmicks or corny catchphrases.  Dad relies only on his solid music ability and brings to life every song in this repertoire with the ease of a born professional.  Of course, I am biased.
 

Stranger in Paradise: The Lost New York Sessions:

Impossible Dream
Stranger In Paradise
Put On A Happy Face
Hello Dolly
The Apple Tree
If She Walked Into My Life
The Sweetest Sounds
Sunrise Sunset
Walking Happy
I Only Miss Her When I Think Of Her
Come Back To Me
Look For Small Pleasures
The Lady Smiles
Lover's Caravan
Beautiful Beautiful World
What Makes It Happen
The Apple Tree (Alternate Vocal)
The Lady Smiles (Take 5)
Lover's Caravan (Take 2)
What Makes It Happen (Take 5)

 

The Greatest Hits:


Portrait Of My Love
My Kind Of Girl
Gonna Build A Mountain
Softly As I Leave You
From Russia With Love
Walk Away
Yesterday
Born Free
This Is The Life
On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever)
Don’t Answer Me
Honey On The Vine
Wednesdays Child
I Will Wait For You
Georgy Girl
Spanish Eyes
When I Look In Your Eyes
Pretty Polly
Maria
The Music Played
All Of A Sudden
On Days Like These
Two People
Everybody’s Talkin’
We’re Gonna Change The World
And You Smiled
If I Never Sing Another Song

New Mixes on Disc 2.
Three songs have received new mixes on this disc for different reasons. The original mix of ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ suffered from a badly set compressor, so the new mix from the original session reel has rectified this. ‘Pretty Polly’ in its 1960’s stereo mix (first issued on The Complete Singles Collection) had a stereo delay added to the strings and everything else panned to the centre. For this set it was remixed from the original 3-track tape to a more traditional stereo mix. The final new mix is only possible due to new technology. The four-track session tape for ‘The Music Played’ no longer exists, however a true stereo mix of the backing track was made for use on the Spanish language version of the song. New software has allowed the separation of Matt’s vocal from the mono mix, which has now been mixed with the backing to create the first stereo mix of the song. Richard Moore.

As much as I love working at sea it is always lovely to come home, once I have cleared the decks but this time round, I went straight off to Manchester for two days. My gorgeous son Max bought me tickets for Andre Bocelli for Christmas last year so off we went. You can’t knock the man’s talent although to be honest I found the show to be bitty. I, like many others, had hoped his son would make a surprise appearance but that was not the case. The first half was for true classical music buffs but I loved the second half with Bocelli singing more recognizable songs ending on ‘Oh Mighty Sun’, ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ and Nessun Dorma. Brilliant.

 

My very good friends Mike & Ann Haines came on the Silhouette for a relaxing cruise and we had a blast. They own ‘Victoria James’, a wonderful shop in Telford Town Centre filled to the brim with gorgeous home accessories and unique gift ideas including, bath blasters, candles, clocks, keepsakes, jewellery, glasses, photo frames, retro telephones, wall signs, hanging hearts and angels, a personalised range and my favourite the Jellycat family. They have fabulous accessories for your vintage and shabby chic home and gorgeous hand-crafted gifts for weddings, friends and family. If you want a sneak preview pop into their on-line business where you can browse, shop or click and collect in store. victoriajameshomeaccessories.co.uk.

Victoria James Home Accessories is an independent family run business launched in July 2011 by owners Ann and Mike, who carried a real passion for vintage style and shabby chic interior design. The couple had long serving successful careers in Media and Banking but the dream was to take their passion forward and share it with discerning shoppers.

The business began in a retail merchandising unit within Telford Shopping Centre but within a matter of weeks the business had to expand and took permanent residence in its prime location opposite Debenhams in Sherwood Square.

The family run unit’s name was inspired by Ann’s children Victoria and James and this fabulous store offers its clientele high quality home and gift accessories at affordable prices. Victoria James promotes the owner’s strong principles that quality products and personal customer service is imperative to any successful business and allows their story to continue. People deserve a special shopping experience and Ann & Mike are happy to go that extra mile to ensure that is the case with special touches like their fragranced bags with every purchase.

If any of you are in the area on either Saturday 30 November or Saturday 14 December pop into the shop and say hello. The address is Victoria James, 117B The Border, Telford Shopping Centre, TF3 4AE. I will be there from 10.00am – 4.00pm

 

Here’s my schedule.

Work Dates 2019

30 November – Book Signing Telford Town Centre
14 December – Book Signing Telford Town Centre

Cruise/ Work Dates 2020

16 May -30 May – Celebrity Silhouette
30 May – 13 June – Celebrity Silhouette
13 June – 27 June – Celebrity Silhouette
4 July – 18 July – Celebrity Silhouette
18 July – 1 August – Celebrity Silhouette
1 August – 15 August – Celebrity Silhouette
15 August – 28 August – Celebrity Silhouette

Cruise/Work Dates 2021

4 May – 22 May – Fred Olsen Black Watch

Don’t forget to check out our Spotlight feature this month; I know so many of you enjoy them. This month we look in on the ever-popular WHO IS IT THIS MONTH

Here’s hoping that your month is an eventful one, for the right reasons, and that the rest of the year brings you joy.

Much love to one and all. See you next month.

Michele xxxx

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