PAGE B12 - NOVEMBER 3, 2016 - RANCHO SANTA FE REVIEW
Community Concerts of RSF review: 'Hollywood's Hippest Crooner' BY DANA WHEATON, PROFESSOR OF MUSIC, ORANGE COAST COLLEGE eorge Bugatti’s Rancho Santa Fe Community Concerts program, the season opener, was titled: Portraits of America. Known as “Hollywood’s Hippest Crooner,” the label fit. His show started out with a rousing arrangement of “America” that captivated the audience with a positive mood throughout the entire concert. As he started to sing “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” beautiful pictures echoed on a video screen background. With each song the video became part of his musical travelogue, videos reflecting whatever song he was singing, whether it be a location, what the city was best known for, or the mood of the song, including moments of good humor. He teased the audience with clips from “New York, New York,” “Chicago” and “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” hints of what was to come. Paul Stubblefield on drums harmonized beautifully with Bugatti and sang solo with a soulful rendition of “Route 66.” On bass was Bob Sachs. Favorite hits were sprinkled liberally throughout the evening: Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind,” “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Carolina in the Morning,” plus Jimmy Webb’s favorite tunes, “By the Time I get To Phoenix” and “Galveston.” George particularly enjoyed singing Jimmy Webb’s songs, one of my favorite songwriters because he writes such compelling narratives. Marc Cohen’s
George Bugatti performing at the recent Community Concert in Rancho Santa Fe. “Walking in Memphis” showed that we were going to hear songs that were more recent than the great American standards and learn things like Memphis is the home of Delta Blues. His performance earned big applause and whistles. I did not know that “Stars Fell on Alabama” was inspired by the 1833 meteor shower that had a reported 30,000 meteors an hour falling out of the sky. Back to the blues: “Kansas City” & Paul singing the Joe Turner hit “Flip, Flop & Fly.” George closed the first set with Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman,” a hauntingly
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beautiful song. However, the screen triggered one of the biggest laughs when it showed a 3,000-year-old skeleton found near Wichita and the next picture was of, wait for it, Willie Nelson! The second set opened with the theme from “Hawaii Five-O.” George read the rarely heard, thankfully, lyrics for the famous melody and then, in feigned and humorous disgust, just threw them away. No surprise, “Blue Hawaii” was next, followed by Paul singing “Georgia On My Mind.” The lyric of “Hard Hearted Hannah”
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struck fear in every male in the audience. In anothernever-done-before ` moment, George sang the “WKRP in Cincinnati” theme. The screen reminded us that the late Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, was born in Cincinnati. The rarely heard Dave Loggins tune, “Please Come to Boston” was beautifully done. George shared a memorable experience with Tony Bennett, when he was invited to sing with Tony Bennett during a concert. Bennett said, “He was one of my favorites.” Bugatti showed why, singing “Moonlight in Vermont.” “Chicago” and “My Kind of Town” enjoyed some of the biggest applause of the evening (there are a lot of Chicagoans in the crowd). Bugatti talked about working with Steve Allen and the fact that Steve produced George’s first CD. He said, “you can find it in any gas station in the U.S.,” a big laugh!, though, in truth, his newest release, “A Night for Romance,” is in stores and on radio play nationwide. Two American patriotic classics were the climax of the evening, “The House I Live In” and “Stand Up America.” Appropriately, the audience was already rising for a standing ovation when Bugatti sang “Stand Up America.” What a fabulous beginning for Community Concert’s 17th season! Come join us at the next concert, Nov. 11, featuring the three tenors Tenoré. After all, in addition to the beautiful music, Community Concerts is the best party in town! Tickets and short video clips of each concert is available on the website, www.ccrsf.org.
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