Morgana King

Tomorrow marks the 88th birthday of Morgana King.  What a unique and talented soul this woman is.  I was first exposed to Morgana in the early 90s.  One of her first Mercury (EmArcy) albums was released on CD with a host of other jazz artists like Helen Merrill, Billy Eckstine and Blossom Dearie.  It was packaged in one of those maddening long plastic boxes with the artwork on the top and the disc on the bottom.  It’s a wonder I have any teeth left.  Yes, I was one of those who opened the boxes without a knife.  . 

Later I was turned onto more recent Morgana recordings including the following beautiful examples.

Miss Morgang King with Torrie Zito – Mainstream Records
It’s A Quiet Thing – Reprise Records
Stretching Out – Muse Records

In mid 2000 I was living in San Diego but in the process of moving to Los Angeles.  I learned that Morgana would be at the dearly missed Cinegrill at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for a 70th birthday celebration.  I talked a buddy into going with me.  I was so blessed to be there.  Here’s a picture of Morgana from that day.

I have since learned from the wonderful writer James Gavin in his Jazz Times article about Morgana that this was her Farewell Birthday Show.  This was one time that I was in the right place at the right time.  (James’ article provides a great insight into the life of Morgana.)

Here’s a clip of Morgana at the Hollywood Bowl in a tribute concert dedicated to Billie Holiday.  (Thank you Morganafan for the Youtube posting!)

Happy Happy Birthday Morgana.  (June 4th).  May you be as blessed as you’ve blessed us!

Erwin & Elephants

OhMyYum, yesterday I had lunch with my besties at The Farmer’s Daughter restaurant in Chuckey, TN.  No, you (probably) do not know where it is.  It’s literally in the middle of nowhere in the country.  But oh my goodness is it delicious.  And trust me, I made an absolute pig of myself.  I was in such a hurry I only managed to pop off one picture of my dessert.  Otherwise, I ate all of the evidence.

Coconut Cream Pie

And since Coconut is my favorite, I managed to shove one more thing in my “PieHole”.

Afterwards, I rode through the county in a food coma. Along the way I encountered a Skunk Cow.  This cow was so cute with it’s white stripe running from its head all the way along the center of it’s body.

MOO!

It was either go home and take a nap (not a good idea) or to go somewhere to walk around. I chose to go over to Erwin.  I got out and walked for an hour or more.  My digestive system was so happy.

I’m glad I randomly chose  Erwin.  There is an Elephant Installation in it’s downtown.  From the Facebook link I can see this isn’t the first time.  But, it was my first time.  These elephants are so cute and will be up for auction later in the year.  One might look really cute on my porch.

I LOVE Public Art.  It adds so much to the character of a town.  Los Angeles has its Angels, Chicago has its Cows, Goldsboro NC has its Pigs, Fullerton CA has it’s sheep and Erwin TN has its Elephants.  Fun times indeed.  #CelebrateArt