Ken Nelson | Strange Kisses

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Strange Kisses

by Ken Nelson

A melancholy ballad in the tradition of Sinatra's saloon songs, "Strange Kisses" is a lost standard from the Great American Songbook. An Italian translation ("Strani Baci") adds international appeal.
Genre: Easy Listening: Crooners/Vocals
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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Strange Kisses (English)
3:59 album only
clip
2. Strani Baci (Italian)
3:59 album only
clip
3. Strange Kisses (English/Italian)
3:59 album only
clip
4. Strange Kisses (Instrumental)
3:57 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Start spreading the news....the Northeast Texas area has its own Chairman of the Board! Ken Nelson hits a high note with Sinatra fans." (NE EXPRESS, May 2002).

Nelson, one of the best known "Sinatra-style" performers, regularly entertains his audience with famous Swing and Big Band Music from days past. Often called "Young Blue Eyes", the big band vocalist and self-professed Sinatraphile has been performing the swinging standards popularized by Frank Sinatra since 1995, when he wrote, produced, directed and starred in an Off Broadway Rodgers and Hart cabaret revue entitled "An Evening With... 'Pal Joey' And Friends" (based on the classic Frank Sinatra musical film "Pal Joey").

"Let's Swing ...A-Ding-Ding!", his hit-filled debut release, is a 23 song tribute to the Chairman's music, available exclusively at select Borders and Barnes & Noble stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth area...and now at CD Baby.com! His latest release, "Strange Kisses", is a CD Baby exclusive from Hobo-Ken Records, his private label.

Now available at CD Baby, "Strange Kisses", Ken Nelson's latest CD single. The song--in the genre of Frank Sinatra's "This Love Of Mine" and "I'm A Fool To Want You"--was written for Ol' Blue Eyes in 1949, but never recorded...until now! Nelson worked with the original composer, Carl Breson, on an update and an Italian translation ("Strani Baci"). Undiscovered for over 50 years, Breson came across the manuscript last year and offered it to Nelson after enjoying his performance at the retirement community where he resides. This long-lost standard from the Great American Songbook had been hand-picked by Capitol founder Johnny Mercer for Sinatra, but it fell through the cracks--literally! Nearly all of Breson's portfolio was destroyed in a flood, but "Strange Kisses" managed to survive! A destined-to-be hit, this limited edition release is available exclusively through CD Baby and at public appearances. In honor of the sixth anniversary of Frank Sinatra's death, "Strange Kisses" will be available May 14, 2004. A portion of the proceeds from each sale benefits The Frank Sinatra Foundation.

Nelson is currently working on a follow-up ("S'more S'wing!") and a Christmas album. He is accompanied by the 22 piece Al Raymond Orchestra on these recordings. The Philadelphia-based big band has previously backed notables such as Mel Torme, Vic Damone, Tony Bennett, Jack Jones and Frank Sinatra, Jr., to name a few. Some of the individual musicians even worked with the senior Sinatra during his hey-day.

Musical arrangements on "Let's Swing...A-Ding-Ding!" are in the styles of the greats-- Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Don Costa and Quincy Jones-- from Old Blue Eyes' years at Capitol and Reprise. Selections include Sinatra's signature tunes like "New York, New York", "Witchcraft", "Fly Me To The Moon", "The Lady Is A Tramp", "Night And Day", "I've Got You Under My Skin", and many more.

"Let's Swing...A-Ding-Ding!" is getting airplay on easy-listening format stations in Dallas, New York, Newark (NJ), Los Angeles, Philadelphia and in other major markets and has received much critical acclaim. Dallas' "Legends 770" KAAM Radio has taken notice and featured Nelson on a number of programs, including Jaan McCoy's early morning "Breakfast Club", where he is often introduced as "Mister Sinatra" by the host. He is a favorite of the station's on-air personalities Jack Bishop and Linda Martin and listeners, alike, and his album generates requests on a regular basis.

Three-plus years after the record's release, it is still generating "ink" for Nelson. In fact, the January 2003 edition of SINGER Magazine (a national trade periodical) states that "...while Ken has mighty big shoes to fill, his CD reveals (him) as a solid substitute for the original Chairman of the Board". The LINK (August 2002) simply states, "one would almost think it was Sinatra himself". Rutgers University's ALUM-KNIGHTS (a publication of Nelson's alma-mater) quotes nationally syndicated radio host Sid Mark ("Sounds of Sinatra") in its Winter 2003 edition as praising the singer for doing "all he can to keep the Sinatra tradition going forward". Mark was a long time friend of Sinatra and his family for nearly fifty years.

Nelson however, does not consider himself to be an imitator or impersonator, but-rather-an interpreter of Sinatra's music. ENTERTAINMENT SHOWCASE (June 2002) agrees, commenting on his "smooth delivery and vocals" and affirming "the Sinatra style and flair (is) unmistakable, but the voice (is) completely Nelson's own".

"Let's Swing...A-Ding-Ding!" has been approved by the Frank Sinatra estate. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each CD and cassette is donated to the Frank Sinatra Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization which Sinatra started before his death. The Foundation, administered by Sinatra's daughter, works with a number of children's and family charities nationwide. The CD is part of a permanent museum exhibit at the public library in Sinatra's hometown of Hoboken, NJ. Nelson's independent label "Hobo-Ken" (a subsidiary of his Nels 'n Co. Productions) is a nod to that famous city.

Equally at home on TV as on stage or recording, Nelson recently hosted "Frank Sinatra-Classic Duets" for PBS. Produced by Sinatra's Bristol Productions, the program featured interviews with his children (Nancy, Frank, Jr. and Tina) and rare film clips from his late 1950's television appearances with Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Shore, Peggy Lee, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and others.

Lately, Nelson has been including "Frank And Friends" in his performances, paying tribute to Sinatra and his contemporaries too, such as his "Rat Pack" pals, Nat "King" Cole, Tony Bennett and Bobby Darin. The coffee house and supper club crowd really seem to "dig" it!

Nelson's act, appealing to all ages and in all venues, has a special place in the hearts of seniors. He is a frequent entertainer at area senior centers and retirement communities and, for the past five years, he has emceed and headlined the Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant held annually in Dallas.

When not vocalizing with a live band, Nelson sings to CD accompaniment tracks provided by the musicians with whom he records. A certified theatre instructor (currently teaching with the Dallas Summer Musicals School), he has coined the term "edu-tainment" to describe his shows, which often include trivia and background information relating to the songs, their composers and performers in an entertaining, yet informative program. Audience participation is always encouraged!

For information on bookings (or to purchase a cassette), please contact Nels 'n Co. Productions at 3024 Oakridge Drive, Bedford, TX 76021 or phone (817) 571-2303.

Nels 'n Co. Productions is a multi-faceted entertainment provider featuring a wide variety of family-oriented programs including concerts, musical theatre, children's productions and fundraisers since 1989.

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Reviews


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Tom Goodridge, "Legends 770" KAAM Radio

Local "legend" Ken Nelson strikes gold with this "new oldie"...
Local "legend" Ken Nelson strikes gold with this "new oldie", the lost 1949 classic "Strange Kisses". Once again, Mr. Nelson exhibits his flair for the music of that era as he breathes life into this never before released single originally earmarked for Frank Sinatra. Smooth and stylish, Mr. Nelson pours his heart and soul into this piece, stirring memories of the great crooners of the '40's and '50's . I'm sure Mr. Sinatra would be proud! And there's a version in Italian, as well ("Strani Baci"). "Strange Kisses"--share it with someone you love!
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Ethan Nahte', LIVE'N'LOUD

Once more, Ken Nelson has produced a dynamic recording...
Once more, Ken Nelson has produced a dynamic recording of Sinatra material. A song originally written for Ol' Blue Eyes back in 1949, "Strange Kisses" ("Strani Baci") was composed by Carl Breson, with additional music and lyrics added by Nelson for this EP Single release. The limited edition disc includes four versions of the song--English, Italian, English/Italian and an instrumental. Nelson doesn't imitate...he just carries the tradition forward for a new generation. The self-titled CD contains great liner notes, including historical information about the never-before-recorded song, as well as the lyrics, making for an overall splendid package.
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Giovanna M., "MAMMA MIA"

Bocelli meets Buble...Bravo!
"Strange Kisses" ("Strani Baci") is as bitter-sweet as a mocha cappuccino made with dark chocolate, espresso coffee and equal parts passion and pathos. Smooth, sensual, satisfying--someone ought to add it to Starbucks' menu! Musically, it's Bocelli meets Buble...romance, regret done retro. Bravo!
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Dick Clark, "AMERICAN BANDSTAND"

I congratulate you on the quality of your recordings...
Thank you for passing along your CD's while I was in Dallas the other day, Ken. I congratulate you on the quality of your recordings, and the professionalism you displayed in them. I wish you much good luck. Best always. Sincerely, Dick Clark (Dick Clark Productions, Inc.).
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