Jim Speake | Sweet Life

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Easy Listening: Easy Pop Pop: Brill Building Pop Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Sweet Life

by Jim Speake

Easy listening meets Jazz, Swing and Country in these uniquely arranged, classic popular songs, from an eclectic mix of major songwriters including: Neil Sedaka, Stephen Sondheim, Peter Allen, Cy Coleman, Logins and Messina and Whitesnake.
Genre: Easy Listening: Easy Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Sweet Life
3:03 $0.99
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2. The Rules of the Road
2:55 $0.99
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3. You Don't Know Me
3:41 $0.99
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4. It Amazes Me
2:41 $0.99
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5. Your Mama Don't Dance
2:35 $0.99
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6. It Might Be You
3:28 $0.99
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7. Crazy for You
3:30 $0.99
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8. Not the Boy Next Door
2:53 $0.99
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9. Here I Go Again
4:00 $0.99
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10. A Lonely Christmas in New York
2:36 $0.99
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11. Back in Business
2:42 $0.99
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12. I Hear a Symphony
2:15 $0.99
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13. The Colors of My Life
2:49 $0.99
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14. Here's to Life
3:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes


This recording had a long gestation, starting when I was born in Florence Alabama in1945. This was very close to the place where musical magic was to be made, the famous recording studios in Muscle Shoals.
By coincidence, Percy Sledge was born in the same little town where my family and I lived, Leighton, Alabama. He had a major hit with his first recording in 1966, and the “Muscle Shoals Sound” was firmly established.
I had music in my life from an early age, because I sang along with my mother when she played the piano and sang. A track of my first recording session at four, can be found on my first CD, “Jim Speake Sings My Generation.”
It was expected that I would go into the family business of farming. Instead, when I went to college, I earned degrees in Business Administration, University of Alabama and ultimately Landscape Architecture, University of Georgia. If I had followed my heart, I would have studied music. That was a road I did not take seriously until I moved to New York City in 2000.
There, while studying acting and voice, I was lucky enough to meet some key people who have been vital to my development as a singer. At H.B. Studio, I met KT Sullivan. KT introduced me to Eric Michael Gillett. Eric Michael introduced me to Patrick DeGennaro. Patrick introduced me to Lennie Watts and Steven Ray Watkins.
2015 marks the tenth anniversary of my collaboration with these two talented men. Most of the arrangements on this recording were developed working with this same team. It is not a stretch to say that I would not have made this recording had I not met Lennie and Steven. I especially appreciate Lennie’s support through this journey and his introducing me to Paul Rolnick. I hope you will enjoy hearing this recording as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you.

Jim Speake



SONG LIST WITH FULL CREDITS

1. SWEET LIFE Music and Lyrics: Barry Manilow
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano and Backup Vocal), Donna Kelly (Drums and Percussion) Matt Scharfglass (Bass), Kevin Kuhn (Electric & Acoustic Guitar & Banjo), Bud Burridge (Trumpet), Ken Dybisz (Tenor Sax), Karen Mack (Backup Vocals), Rachel Hanser (Backup Vocals)

2. THE RULES OF THE ROAD Music Cy Coleman, Lyrics Carolyn Leigh
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano), Donna Kelly (Drums and Percussion), Matt Scharfglass (Bass), Kevin Kuhn (Electric Guitar)

3. YOU DON’T KNOW ME Music and Lyrics Cindy Williams and Eddie Arnold
Peter Calo (Acoustic Guitar)

4. IT AMAZES ME Music Cy Coleman, Lyrics Carolyn Leigh
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano), Donna Kelly (Drums and Percussion), Matt Scharfglass (Bass), Bud Burridge (Flugelhorn)

5. YOUR MAMA DON’T DANCE Music and Lyrics Jim Messina and Kenny Loggins
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano and Backup Vocals), Donna Kelly (Drums and Percussion), Matt Scharfglass (Bass), Peter Calo (Electric Guitar), Lennie Watts (Backup Vocals), Paul Rolnick (Backup Vocals)

6. IT MIGHT BE YOU Music Dave Grusin, Lyrics Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano), Donna Kelly (Drums and Percussion), Matt Scharfglass (Bass), Peter Calo (Acoustic Guitar), Yoed Nir (Cello)

7. CRAZY FOR YOU Music and Lyrics John Bettis and Jon Lind
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano), Donna Kelly (Drums and Percussion), Matt Scharfglass (Bass), Kevin Kuhn (Electric and Acoustic Guitar), Dave Fields (Pedal Steel Guitar)

8. NOT THE BOY NEXT DOOR Music and Lyrics Peter Allen and Dean Pitchford
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano and Backup Vocals), Donna Kelly (Drums and Percussion), Matt Scharfglass (Bass), Kevin Kuhn (Electric Guitar), Yoed Nir (Cello), Lennie Watts (Backup Vocals), Paul Rolnick (Backup Vocals)

9. HERE I GO AGAIN Music and Lyrics Bernie Marsden and David Coverdale
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano), Donna Kelly (Drums and Percussion), Matt Scharfglass (Bass), Kevin Kuhn (Electric Guitar), Yeod Nir (Cello), Ken Dybisz (English Horn)

10. A LONELY CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK Music and Lyrics Neil Sedaka
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano), Donna Kelly (Drums and Percussion), Matt Scharfglass (Bass), Ken Dybisz (Soprano Sax)

11. BACK IN BUSINESS Music and Lyrics Stephen Sondheim
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano), Donna Kelly (Drums and Percussion), Matt Scharfglass (Bass), Kevin Kuhn (Banjo), Kevin Osborne (Trombone), Bud Burridge (Trumpet), Ken Dybisz (Clarinet)

12. I HEAR A SYMPHONY Music and Lyrics Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland and
Edward Holland
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano and Backup Vocals), Paul Rolnick (Bass and Backup Vocals), Lennie Watts (Backup Vocals), Karen Mack (Backup Vocals), Rachel Hanser (Backup Vocals)

13. THE COLORS OF MY LIFE Music Cy Coleman, Lyrics Michael Stewart
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano), Donna Kelly (Drums and Percussion), Matt Scharfglass (Bass) Ken Dybisz (English Horn)

14. HERE’S TO LIFE Music Artie Butler, Lyrics Phyllis Molinary
Steven Ray Watkins (Piano), Donna Kelly (Drums and Percussion), Matt Scharfglass (Bass), Ken Dybisz (Oboe and English Horn)

Produced by Paul Rolnick for Zevely Records
Musical Direction by Steven Ray Watkins
Artistic Direction by Lennie Watts
Arranged by Steven Ray Watkins and Lennie Watts
Orchestrated by Tom Kochan

Recorded at Dubway Studios NYC, January, April, June and August, 2015
Tracking Engineers: Adrian Thorstensen, Mike Judeh and Chris Camilleri
Mixed at Zevely Records Studios
Mix Engineer and Additional Vocal Engineer: Paul Rolnick
Mastered by Alan Silverman at ARF! Mastering
Graphic Design: Richard Becker
Photography: Glenn Jussen, Lennie Watts
Executive Producer: Jim Speake for Vera Susan Productions

Thank you to:
Jim Boerlin, Penny Fuller, Jennifer Gelfer, Barry Kleinbort, Donna McKcehnie, Alice McLane, David Sabella and Ron Stetson for their generous support.

Neil Sedaka for sending me the music for
“A Lonely Christmas In New York”

Tommy Dose for the arrangement idea for
“I Hear A Symphony”

Notes about Jim Speake:
"Jim Speake" was nominated for a 2015 MAC Award by the
Manhattan Assocaition of Cabarets and Clubs as
Best Male Vocalist!

"Jim Speake Sings'Til the Cows Come Home" was nominated for a 2013 MAC Award by the Manhattan Assocaition of Cabarets and Clubs in the best Musical Comedy Performer Category! Jim and this same show were also nominated for Best Musical Comedy Performance by BroadwayWorld.com.


Quotes about Jim Speake sings Cy Coleman, “I’m A Brass Band”:

By Kevin Scott Hall of the Bistro Awards
“His persona is kind of like Mister Rogers with an easy southern drawl….. his simple, honest delivery brought a lump to the throat….…..Jim Speake’s heart is clearly in the right place and we came to appreciate the songs in his more understated style. And that is the point of cabaret—bigger isn’t always better.”

By Jan Wallman, NiteLife Exchange
“….truly exhilarating cabaret. “

By Stu Hamstra, Cabaret Hotline
“More than simply a cabaret…connection to song, connection to self, connection to audience, true honest vocals... a natural for cabaret—I urge you to see it!”






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