My dad and I hit the road on Labor Day, a trip that yielded some nice surprises. Not long after we arrived at my aunt’s house for a visit, she handed me a small album full of old family pictures.
Janet and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, and our wedding was in those pictures. This picture, our first dance, was among them.
The only pictures we have from that Labor Day weekend bash in 1987 were taken by family and friends. The photographer we hired was mortified to find, after the fact, that there were no pictures from our wedding. Technical difficulties.
We showed this picture to Evan, our 17-year-old son. He looked at it and said: “Nice amp.”
And now, the rest of that story.
Janet has long had a wonderful gift for handling my many quirks with patience and grace. She needed it as we planned the wedding. Then as now, we had a big record collection. I thought it would be fun to have the music at the reception come from our albums. So we did that.
If I could do it over, we would hire a band instead of renting a sound system with that “nice amp” and tell that clueless music nerd where to stick his mix tapes. They were dreadful.
After hearing what likely was one too many Dave Edmunds song, quite possibly “I Knew The Bride,” Janet’s aunt asked whether we had anything besides “that cowboy music.” Aunt June was right. How bad was it? The Georgia Satellites’ “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” was on one of those mix tapes. Gahhhhh.
By the end of the evening, one of our guests had become so weary of our mix tapes that he went out to his car, grabbed a Springsteen tape and demanded we play it instead. At that point, we turned off the sound system and adjourned to a bar for the rest of the night.
If I could do it over, our first dance would be to something more sophisticated than Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” At the time, I was really into Elvis. Again, gahhhhh.
It would have been more fun for everyone — and Aunt June probably would have approved — had we danced our first dance to this.
“Just In Time,” Dean Martin, from “This Time I’m Swingin’!” 1960. He’s backed by a wonderful big band led by the incomparable Nelson Riddle. Its big horns evoke the nightclub era at its peak. (This rip is from “The Best Of Dean Martin,” a 1966 compilation on Capitol Records.)
Just in time, I found you just in time
Janet has long loved old musicals, and this tune comes from “Bells Are Ringing,” the 1956 Broadway musical. Few songs have a pedigree better than this one. Jule Styne wrote the music. Betty Comden and Adolph Green wrote the lyrics.
You found me just in time
And changed my lonely life that lucky day
This was cut at the Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood on May 17, 1960, the last day of a nine-day session during which Dino was really in a groove.
The LP is out of print but the song is available on “Dino: The Essential Dean Martin,” a Capitol CD that lives up to its billing. It was re-released last year with six tracks added to the original 2004 release.
Please visit our other blog, The Midnight Tracker, for more vintage vinyl, one side at a time.