I was recently in Atlanta to record with my Venezuelan-American musical brother, José Manuel Garcia, at José’s MusicWise Studios. José is one of the best musicians & pianists in the world, virtuosic in classical, jazz, all styles of latin music, and is a world-class composer. We met during our time together at the University of Georgia, and it warms my soul to make music with him again. Irving Berlin’s “Count Your Blessings” originally appeared in the film “White Christmas” in 1955. This was recorded Live on the 1st take.
I’ve always loved this playful love song. Technically it’s a Country ballad in Western Swing style, but I say we add it to the Great American Songbook! Big thanks to L.A. guitarist Matt Hornbeck for joining me again.
Since first hearing this song by our friend Tommy Walker, it’s become a Christmas classic in our house. Scarlette and I wanted to record it for you as a gift this Christmas; we hope you enjoy it, and have a very Merry Christmas for all the right reasons.
Today the world’s best songwriters reside in Nashville, Tennessee. But in the early 1900’s, the most delicious songs were cooked up on Tin Pan Alley in NYC. JUST FRIENDS (1931) is one such gem. Russ Columbo’s original Broadway-Vaudeville style rendition with Nat Shilkret is mostly forgotten, but this great tune is still widely played & sung, a Jazz Standard and beloved member of the unofficial Great American Songbook. Music by John Klenner, Lyrics by Sam M. Lewis.