Marlene VerPlanck -
I Give Up, I’m In Love (Audiophile)
Released – October 7, 2014
Indulge me on a little marketing trip down memory lane.
There was a time when Budweiser was the big beer, not some watered-down “lite”or “light” beer. But if Budweiser was the every day beer, weekends were special.
Say it with me – weekends were made for Michelob.
Michelob was brewed just a little longer, was just a little smoother, and had a gold label on its distinctive bottle. So just like Ed McMahon urged us to “Pick a pair of six-packs” when it came to Budweiser, the Friday paycheck went to a cold six of Michelob on the way home.
One of the voices that sold weekends was Marlene VerPlanck, who – after stints with the big bands of Charlie Spivak, Tex Beneke and the Dorsey Brothers, became one of the busiest studio singers in the country. In addition to Michelob weekends, she was the voice of “Mm-mm good” Campbell’s Soups, and on-your-side Nationwide Insurance.
It’s several years later, and Ms. VerPlanck is not only still busy working, she’s still making outstanding music with the big bands. “I Give Up, I’m In Love” is a solid piece of work, with an eclectic choice of standards and would-be standards just a block or so off the main street. Favorites include the Rodgers-Hart classic, “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was,” from the musical 1939 Musical “Too Many Girls,” and “The Way You Look Tonight,” from the 1936 Fred Astaire movie “Swing Time.”
All of this got me buying records from the 60s and 70s, and the best of those that I found was the one generally considered to have gotten Ms. VerPlanck out of the commercial studio, and back to a solo career – 1979’s “Marlene VerPlanck Loves Johnny Mercer.” With a backing group that includes the legendary Bucky Pizzarelli – this one’s well worth it to hear Ms. VerPlanck caress Mercer classics like “Charade,” along with “That Old Black Magic,” and “Fools Rush In.”
“I Give Up, I’m In Love,” with Warren Vache on coronet and Glenn Franke’s Big Band featured on several tracks, is highly recommended, but go ahead and spring for the other one, too. “Loves Johnny Mercer,” with Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar, is very highly recommended.
Highlighted tracks have been added to the radio playlist at 62ndStreet.com.
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And yes, here’s the Michelob commercial, and although there are no credits, it’s the only one I found with a female voice, and so I’ll figure this must be Ms. VerPlanck. Fun facts – the blonde in the commercial is future Charlie’s Angel Cheryl Ladd. And the voice – yeah, that’s Charlie – John Forsythe.