Dim the lights, close your eyes, and welcome back a music style that many thought was gone for good.
The soft sentimental sound of crooning is getting a second run. A new generation of traditional crooners is reviving old standards from the Great American Songbook. Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Buble are two notable modern day crooners selling out concert venues and topping the music charts.
The Early Days of Crooning
The crooner style of singing was introduced in America in the 1920’s but really gained momentum in the 30’s and 40’s. By the 1960’s, this style of music was drastically declining in popularity. Some of the crooner icons managed to maintain a following into the 1960’s and early 1970’s but theirs was an older audience of loyal fans. Iconic names like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Nat King Cole have all passed on but thanks to a new crop of crooners their music is still very much alive.
Harry Connick Jr.
Harry Connick Jr., born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1967, displayed talent at a very early age. The young child prodigy was destined for greatness; he was playing the keyboards at the age of three and by age ten, Harry had performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 Opus 37 with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. A renowned instrumental and vocal musician, Connick has released more than 20 albums and has earned more number one U.S. jazz albums than any other artist in jazz chart history.
Cementing his modern day crooner status came after releasing hits such as It Had to Be You and But Not for Me from the 1989 When Harry Met Sally soundtrack. A new generation of adoring fans has overwhelmingly welcomed Harry Connick Jr. as well as the traditional soft sounds of the crooning style. Interestingly, Connick has followed in the footsteps of his crooner predecessors in that he has embraced the big screen and has had great success as a leading man in films and television.
Born in Canada in 1975, this global heartthrob’s vocal talent caught the attention of his parents when they heard him singing White Christmas at the age of thirteen. Michael Bublé was singing in nightclubs at sixteen. A shining star moment for the young performer came after winning a Canadian youth talent contest. Bublé signed with an agent and took on every available gig imaginable. From cruise ships to hotel lounges, Michael was determined to get in front of the people.
Once again, as with former crooner counterparts, Bublé landed television and movie roles as a way to gain exposure into the world of show business. A turning point came in 2000 when Bublé had decided to switch gears and pursue a career in journalism but an unplanned chain of events lead to an introduction to Grammy-award winning producer, David Foster. Foster agreed to produce an album for the aspiring artist and the rest is musical history.
Finding much success with memorable standards such as, For Once in My Life and Come Fly with Me, Bublé has had chart-topping originals as well. Bublé struck gold with his hit single Home, which topped the pop and country music charts. Often compared with the vocal style of the late Frank Sinatra, Bublé is giving a new generation a taste of the true crooner technique.
Not a Passing Fancy
Crooning may have seen its peak in the mid twentieth century, but some brilliantly talented young artists refuse to let the musical style die out. Dusting off and reviving Great American Songbook standards as well as offering up original songs, these modern day crooners are introducing the soft sentimental musical style to a whole new generation.