A Twist of Lemmon

Here’s to Jack Lemmon on what would have been his ninetieth birthday.

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A wonderful actor to whom I’ve already dedicated a post noting my favorite performances, The Magic of Lemmon, Jack was also a self-taught, accomplished pianist and a damn good singer.  In tribute to one I can honestly say I adore without ever having met him, here’s a twist…of Lemmon – a glimpse into his musical side.  I suggest you relax with a glass of wine and enjoy.  He was something!

From the album “A Twist of Lemmon”

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“Let’s Fall in Love”

and on piano “With All my Love”

Sing along with Jack to “Try a Little Tenderness”

On his second album Jack ‘Sings and plays music from “Some Like it Hot.” Following are two of the tracks, “I Wanna be Loved by You” and “I’m Through with Love”

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From The Dinah Shore Show – Jack accompanies Dinah on piano for a couple of tunes you may recognize.

Here’s a clip of Jack playing jazz piano with Bobby Short

I really don’t think one can learn how to do what Jack Lemmon did on-screen – be a regular guy fighting against the odds in such a truthful way that he either makes you cry from laughing or cry from pain.  Nor can one learn to be as cool a cat as what you’ve just seen and heard in this post.  By all accounts he was a helluva guy and I miss him and his incredible talent.  And that’s the way it goes…love-wise.

Jack Lemmon (February 8, 1925 – June 27, 2001)

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29 thoughts

  1. Reading on my phone in bed right now, so can’t listen to the music right now, but on a film note a love him in Fortune Cookie. My mom was, apparently, a big fan of The Apartment. She would watch it all the time. I’ve oddly enough never seen it, but I wish I had talked to her about it before she past and figured out why she liked it so much.

    Anyway, thank you for this post. It enlightened me to a side of a talented actor I didn’t even knowm existed. I will certainly keep my ear out for the musical side of Lemmon in the future.

    1. DO watch The Apartment and I would love to know your thoughts on it. I mentioned that and several of his performances I love in the previous tribute I did. but he was such an amazing talent, able to get to the heart of every character he played. Always so real and touching. Even his comedy had a truthfulness to it that made the heart easily accessible, if that makes sense.

      I hope you get to listen to these, quite good if standards are your thing. Thanks so much for stopping in. 🙂

      Aurora

      1. Oh, I will certainly be watching The Apartment at some point. It won Best Picture, and since I am watching all of those, I’ll be getting to it eventually.

        I am going to be listening to the songs, as well.

  2. Your taste is impeccable, lady. Because Lemmon is simply perfection. Your immense adoration for Lemmon (as is mine) is justified because the man was talented in every way possible – but also so damn LIKABLE. How could anyone not watch a film performance of his or listen to one of these tracks and not just want to ‘hang out’ with this guy forever? Thanks for offering a musical side to him- nice birthday present!

  3. Wow! What a revelation….I always knew Lemmon was a talented pianist but never knew he sang, and “damn good” is right!! His vocal style is sort of a mix between Jack Jones and Mel Torme. Sehr coool. On a side note, the cover photo used on the Try a Little Tenderness video is a still from a scene that was deleted from Good Neighbor Sam ( 1964 ). I’ve seen several still photos of Sam in his famous borrowed polka-dot pjs in a court scene with Edward G. Robinson as the judge. This probably came right after Romy Scheider did that marvelous room-shattering scream during Sam’s nightmare. Perhaps the editor thought the sequence too long and cut it out. Great post Aurora!

  4. You learn something new every day! Had no idea Lemmon was such a talented singer. Makes me wonder why he he wasn’t cast in musicals. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’ve been telling you since we met that he was perfection personified. 😉 NOW do you believe me?

      Aurora

      PS – how cool is that – “I’m sitting in the projection booth”

      1. Yes, I believe you. In my defense, I always loved him. Just not quite as much 😉

        I guess it is 😀 even though i had earbuds, i kept it pretty low cos I’m super-paranoid about sound bleeding through into the auditorium, which is 99.9% impossible. LOL

  5. I had never hear Jack sing before. Talented indeed.
    My favorite Lemmons – MY SISTER EILEEN ( against type in this,aa a sophisticated publisher),
    BELL BOOK AND CANDLE ( as Kim Novak’s cooky brother)
    THE ODD COUPLE ( and what a perfect couple Jack and his friend,Walter Matthau were)
    THE APARTMENT( just so very likeable)
    Airport 77 ( love him in action hero mode!)
    THE CHINA SYNDROME ( Another serious role which he did so well)
    GRUMPY OLD MEN( lovely reunion with Matthau )
    Of course,SOME LIKE IT HOT.

  6. The Great Race is one of my favorites – it’s a marathon of a movie and takes endurance, but it’s well worth it! Lemmon and Peter Falk are hilarious as the bad guys!

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