Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

“Vo-Cool” Singer Chris Connor At 80

An 80th-birthday tribute to the singer critic Larry Kart once described as “a dominating vocal presence whose music is full of hard-earned wisdom and truth.”

Play Episode (Real Audio)
Chris Connor Album Cover

Photo: Album Cover

Jazz critic Larry Kart once described Chris Conner as “a dominating vocal presence whose music is full of hard-earned wisdom and truth.”

This week on Afterglow we celebrate the 80th birthday of “vo-cool” singer Chris Connor, who jazz critic Larry Kart once described as “a dominating vocal presence whose music is full of hard-earned wisdom and truth.”

We’ll hear some of her earliest recordings with the Stan Kenton orchestra (the hit “All About Ronnie” and “And the Bull Walked Around Ole”, some of her mid-1950s work for the Bethlehem label, her Atlantic sides from albums such as Jazz Date and Chris Connor, her Roulette collaborations with Maynard Ferguson, and some of her late-period music as well.

Also on the program: saxophonist and clarinetist Anat Cohen (music from her recent release Poetica), the lost-legend 1940s progressive big band of Earle Spencer, Diana Krall, Jackie Ryan, and Kenny Burrell.

Music Heard On This Episode

Lullaby of Birdland
Chris Connor — Chris Connor Sings Lullaby of Birdland (Bethlehem, 1955)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Lullaby of Birdland
Chris Connor — Chris Connor Sings Lullaby of Birdland (Bethlehem, 1955)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
I Miss You So
Chris Connor — I Miss You So (Atlantic, 1956)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
The Purple Piece
Anat Cohen — Poetica (Anzic, 2007)

Notes: New release.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
A Case of You
Diana Krall — Live in Paris (Verve, 2002)

Notes: Joni Mitchell song.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Production on Melody
Earle Spencer — Earle Spencer and His New Band Sensation of the Year 1946 (Fresh Sound, 1946)
album cover
Soft and Warm
Earle Spencer — Earle Spencer and His New Band Sensation of the Year 1946 (Fresh Sound, 1946)
album cover
Loverman
Stan Kenton — Hot, Cool and Swingin' (Tantara, 1956)

Notes: New release. This track features Lennie Niehaus on saxophone.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
And the Bull Walked Around Ole
Stan Kenton/Chris Connor — Complete Capitol Recordings of the Holman and Russo Charts (Mosaic, 1953)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
All About Ronnie
Stan Kenton/Chris Connor — Complete Capitol Recordings of the Holman and Russo Charts (Mosaic, 1953)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Lush Life
Chris Connor — Chris (Bethlehem, 1957)

Notes: Billy Strayhorn song.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Everything I Love
Chris Connor — Chris (Bethlehem, 1957)

Notes: Cole Porter song.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Why Shouldn't I?
Chris Connor — Chris Connor Sings Lullaby of Birdland

Notes: Cole Porter song.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Get Out of Town
Chris Connor — Chris Connor (Atlantic, 1956)

Notes: Cole Porter song.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
It's a Most Unusual Day
Chris Connor — Jazz Date With Chris Connor/Chris Craft (Atlantic/Rhino, 1956)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Goodbye
Chris Connor — Chris Connor Sings Lullaby of Birdland (Bethlehem, 1955)

Notes: Gordon Jenkins song.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
The Wind
Maynard Ferguson/Chris Connor — Roulette (Two's Company, 1961)

Notes: Russ Freeman composition.

album cover
Lonnie's Lament
Anat Cohen — Poetica (Anzic, 2007)

Notes: New release. John Coltrane composition.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Something Happens to Me
Jackie Ryan — You and the Night and the Music (Open Art, 2007)

Notes: New release.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Blues in the Night
Kenny Burrell — Round Midnight (Fantasy, 1972)

Notes: Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer song.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Everything I've Got
Chris Connor — Jazz Date With Chris Connor/Chris Craft (Atlantic/Rhino, 1956)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Where Do You Go?
Maynard Ferguson/Chris Connor — Two's Company (Roulette, 1961)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
I Feel a Song Coming On
Maynard Ferguson/Chris Connor — Two's Company (Roulette, 1961)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Angel Eyes
Chris Connor — Chris in Person (Atlantic, 1959)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Blame it On My Youth
Chris Connor — Classic (Contemporary, 1986)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Gone With the Wind
Chris Connor — As Time Goes By (Enja, 1991)

Notes: With the Hank Jones Trio.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
The Days of Wine and Roses
Chris Connor — Blue Moon (Alfa, 1995)
album cover
Haunted Heart
Chris Connor — Haunted Heart (HighNote, 2001)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

View all posts by this author »

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Afterglow:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Afterglow

About The Host

Search Afterglow

This Week On Night Lights

After The Vanguard: The Return Of Bill Evans

Bill Evans After Vanguard

In the summer of 1961 Bill Evans hit a new creative peak with his trio. Then the trio's gifted bassist, Scott LaFaro, died in a car wreck. What happened next?

Read more »

Night Lights is WFIU's weekly program of classic jazz hosted by David Brent Johnson.

More from Night Lights »