Welcome to my music blog - The Soundtrack of My Life!

Many of you have asked me “What’s with all the music, Dr. Weiss?” Well, as I’ve told some of you:

I personally call every surgery patient on the evening of surgery just to make sure they are doing well and have no questions that need answering. Occasionally, I would be at the piano and play a song that we had listened to that day. I gradually realized that I wanted to go through all the music that I had played during my life and at least start making a list of the songs that I had recently played.

Well, there are now about 600 songs on the list and I realized that it in a way it represented the ‘soundtrack of my life’! And that’s how I got the idea to record these songs and share them with my patients, friends and family. After I record them they will reside here, for easy access.

Music is truth. It’s honest. It’s really the first social media, where in a way, people could share their souls directly. And isn’t that what the purpose of social media is and why it’s so popular - trying to share who you really are, as completely and directly as possible?

Finally, it has been (and will continue to be) a genuine pleasure sharing these different songs with you and I really appreciate all of your positive feedback!!

Categories

Harry Belafonte as a young man, standing on a boat for an album cover, titled "The Best of Harry Belafonte."

Jamaica Farewell

December 30, 2019

"Jamaica Farewell" is a Jamaican-style folk song. The song appeared on Harry Belafonte's album Calypso. The lyrics for the song were written by Lord Burgess (Irving Burgie), an American-born, half-Barbadan songwriter. It is about the beauties of the West Indian Islands. Many, including Belafonte himself, have said that the song was popular in the West Indies since long before Burgess. It is believed that Burgess compiled and modified the song from many folk pieces to make a new song. [from Wikipedia] The Kingston Trio, who led the folk revival of the late 1950s, took their name from the mention of Kingston, Jamaica in the song, though they only recorded it many years later, in 2006. I have an affinity for this song because of the time I’ve spent enjoying life in the Caribbean - especially in Jamaica. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano [...]
John Lennon of Beatles fame, wearing his trademark glasses.

Imagine

December 30, 2019

In the "Forward" to Imagine: John Lennon in 1988 Yoko One said that John is still singing and talking, and that he was "a wind that never dies." I agree, and have a feeling that his voice will inspire for years to come. He was certainly an inspiration to me when I founded the One World Sight Project to help cure blindness around the world. Dedicated to Christine C. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Related post: We Can Work It Out Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!
Paul McCartney as a young man in a turtleneck.

I Will

December 30, 2019

"I Will" is a song recorded the Beatles, from their 1968 double album The Beatles (also known as "the White Album"). It was written by Paul McCartney. I’ve always particularly liked this song.  Paul must agree, because according to McCartney: "It's still one of my favorite melodies that I've written. You just occasionally get lucky with a melody and it becomes rather complete and I think this is one of them; quite a complete tune.” Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Related posts: Maybe I'm Amazed, Let It Be, We Can Work It Out Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!

The Red River Valley

December 18, 2019

The first version of Red River Valley was probably written by someone in 1870 in the Canadian West, the actual location of the Red River Valley. Although by then part of the cowboy music DNA, one of the earliest versions was sung by Gene Autry in 1936 in the film of the same name. Autry (known as ‘The Singing Cowboy’) was one of the most important pioneering figures in the history of country music, considered the second major influential artist of the genre's development after Jimmie Rodgers. Everyone should listen to this song (check out Autry’s version on YouTube) or, in this case, at least see the lyrics of this song once in their life. What a great song of unrequited love. You can just imagine ‘ol Slim out on the trail by the campfire with a million stars above and the valley spread out below, thinking about the girl who he’d probably never see again.  What a classic! This is dedicated to Stacey R. Enjoy! Dr. Weiss Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in [...]

Crystal Silence

December 16, 2019

In my opinion, Chick Corea is one of the most influential and technically proficient jazz pianists of our generation. He has certainly influenced me greatly ever since I read one of his quotes in a course I took at Berkeley College of Jazz in Boston many years ago. The main advice that I always remember: “Play only what you hear.” I’ve chosen to share ‘Crystal Silence’ with you because of its haunting beauty and its unique and unforgettable chord changes and melody. Also because it’s one of the few Chick Corea compositions that I have the ability to play :-) This version is dedicated to Michelle U. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!

This Masquerade

December 16, 2019

Leon Russell must have known he had written this instant jazz classic as soon as he finished it.  I mean, how could he not? Once again, the chord changes are universal, but the truth of the words makes the song. This song has a special place in my heart because I once hired Leon to play at a medical conference I put together in Deer Valley and he didn’t disappoint (he did go on a little late though!) Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Dedicated to Jerry S and Tom M Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!

Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)

December 13, 2019

"Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)" is a popular song written in 1892 by British songwriter Harry Dacre, with the well-known chorus, "Daisy, Daisy / Give me your answer, do. / I'm half crazy / all for the love of you", ending with the words, "a bicycle built for two". It is the earliest song sung using computer speech synthesis by the IBM 7094 in 1961, a feat which was referenced in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke witnessed the IBM 704 demonstration and referred to it in the film, in which the HAL 9000 computer sings "Daisy Bell" during its gradual deactivation. Again, we hear the same three or four chords used in one of the first ‘standards’. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!

Chopin Valse Op 70 No 2

December 12, 2019

Chopin was yet another child prodigy. He completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland for Paris at the age of 21.  Thereafter—in the last 18 years of his life—he gave only 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon! This beautiful little piece was published after his death. Just think - Chopin could never listen to this masterpiece as we can, because the pianos that we play now were not yet made.  Chopin died in 1849, and it was not until 1855 that Steinway & Sons introduced the first square piano with a new scale that revolutionized the sound quality and was adopted by all future manufacturers. Once the most successful components of the various grand piano designs were established, many manufacturers began patenting their own combinations and changes to construction. In 1859, Steinway & Sons contributed to this evolution of the grand piano with the introduction of their full iron frame with fan-shaped strings and overstrung scale. In my mind, Chopin prefigured the impressionists who revolutionized painting starting shortly after Chopin’s death.  I have the following impressions in my mind as I’m playin this song: a fluttering candle, the [...]

If Ever I Would Leave You

November 26, 2019

On This Day in (November 26) 1933 Robert Goulet  born.  Cast as Sir Lancelot and originating the role in the 1960 Broadway musical Camelot starring opposite established Broadway stars Richard Burton and Julie Andrews, he achieved instant recognition with his performance and interpretation of the song "If Ever I Would Leave You", which became his signature song. His debut in Camelot marked the beginning of a stage, screen, and recording career. A Grammy Award and Tony Award winner, his career spanned almost six decades. Goulet’s version of the popular Lerner and Lowe classic “If Ever I Would Leave You”  was somehow indelibly stamped into my young teen brain during Goulet’s heyday. From my vantage point (as a pre-teen in the early ‘60s) Robert Goulet was the epitome of the perfect role model: handsome, talented, amazing voice, always gets the girl, etc. I remember listening endlessly to the Camelot original cast recording on my parents ‘hi-fi’. He also was pretty lucky in getting to popularize this powerful song. We also have to thank lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Lowe not only for Camelot, but also the broadway classics My Fair Lady, Gigi and others. Thanks, guys! I hope you [...]