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When October Goes

Jeff Linamen

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Final color show of the year.

It was a perfect fall weekend here at 321 Division Street. We were treated to chilly mornings and warm, sunny afternoons. Perfect fall weather. Surprisingly, there is still quite a bit of color here, as the wind continues its dance with the falling leaves.

While doing some fall clean up and exterior painting, I took the time to do something I haven’t done in a very long time…. listen to one of my favorite albums.

No, not show tunes. It’s a jazzy, bluesy, smoldering album, perfect for this time of year. In fact, it was one of the first compact discs I bought as a college student– back in January of 1987, when I bought my first stereo system with a disc player.

Yes, CDs were new technology back then and just becoming available in retail stores. There was no internet or digital downloads– cassettes were the still the thing. Finding a store that carried CDs was difficult because the technology was still so new.

I wanted my foray into this new territory to be special. I bought three CDs, which was all I could afford at the time. They were: the John Barry soundtrack to Somewhere In Time, the Stephen Sondheim musical, Sunday In the Park with George and…. Barry Manilow’s 2:00 AM Paradise Cafe.

I know, some of you might be thinking Barry Manilow? But yes, I was a huge fan, and this album (his fourteenth) was a big departure from his previous pop recordings.

The studio recording of this album is somewhat legendary. It was rehearsed for three days and then recorded live, all in one take and released, as recorded,  in 1984.

In addition to Manilow’s solo work, it features gorgeous duets with Manilow and crooner Mel Torme and with the amazing Sarah Vaughn. It plays like a bar set in a dark, smokey jazz club of the past.

The entire song set is really solid but the tune I can’t get enough of is When October Goes. Manilow wrote the music to go with an unfinished lyric by the late Johnny Mercer. It’s a classic.

When October Goes

by Barry Manilow and Johnny Mercer

And when October goes
The snow begins to fly
Above the smokey roofs
I watch the planes go by

The children running home
Beneath a twilight sky
Oh, for the fun of them
When I was one of them

And when October goes
The same old dream appears
And you are in my arms
To share the happy years

I turn my head away
To hide the helpless tears
Oh, how I hate
To see October go

And when October goes
The same old dream appears
And you are in my arms
To share the happy years

I turn my head away
To hide the helpless tears
Oh, how I hate
To see October go

I should be over it now I know
It doesn’t matter much
How old I grow
I hate to see October go

I guess it’s pretty obvious why I’m writing about it now. I hope you enjoy it half as much as I do.

This is one of the few recordings that I highly recommend. A must have for anyone into standards, jazz or blues. You won’t be disappointed.

Our oak trees have dropped nearly all their leaves.

Our oak trees have dropped nearly all their leaves.


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