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Cover Songs 2021

Dianne Joy’s arrangements and performances of songs written by other artists are drawn from many genres, eras and musical styles.


DJ's Original Songs

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I'll Be Home for Christmas

"I’ll Be Home for Christmas" was first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1943, with lyrics by Kim Gannon and music by Walter Kent. On December 17, 1965, it became the first “song request” to be broadcast into outer space. It was requested by astronauts James Lovell and Frank Borman on their return to earth after a record 206 orbits aboard Gemimi 7. A day before, the crew of Gemini 6, also in orbit, reported a UFO in polar orbit, followed by a rendition of Jingle Bells on harmonica and bells which they’d smuggled aboard.

The Christmas Waltz

In 1954, Frank Sinatra wanted to release his own version of “White Christmas,” which was a huge hit for Bing Crosby the previous year. Frank wanted a new Christmas song for the B-side (the other side of a 45-rpm vinyl). He asked Sammy Cahn (lyrics) and Jule Styne (melody) to write the song. They argued that another Christmas song seemed ridiculous so close to Bing’s big hit, but Frank insisted. They thought a song in waltz-time might be unique and catch on, so they wrote “The Christmas Waltz,” which has been recorded by several artists since then, but has remained obscure.

Last Christmas

“Last Christmas” was written by George Michael of the synth-pop duo, Wham! Released in 1984, it reached #2 on the UK charts, behind Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” an all-star charity single benefiting Ethiopian famine relief. George Michael sang on that song and donated the proceeds of “Last Christmas” to the cause. The song remained a best selling UK single, finally reaching #1 thirty-six years later.


Michael Bublé released “Everything” in 2007 on his album, “Call Me Irresponsible.” He says the song is about his then girlfriend, Emily Blunt, and he's quoted as saying, “I wrote the song about the great happiness of real love, but at the same time I was making a statement about the world. We're living in really crazy times, and I wanted to say that no matter what's happening, this person in my life is what really makes it worthwhile."

Thinking Out Loud

As the story goes, Ed Sheeran wrote “Thinking Out Loud” in 20 minutes at his kitchen table, along with Wales-based singer-songwriter Amy Wadge, who had dropped by for a visit. He says he composed the melody on guitar, with the vibe inspired by Van Morrison. Released in 2014, the song was the first single to spend a full year in the UK top 40 and, as of May 2020, had been viewed more than 3-billion times on YouTube.

Sweet By and By

Sometimes a casual remark can lead to a beautiful song. In Elkhorn, Wisconsin, around 1868, Fillmore Bennett noticed his friend, Jospeh Webster, seemed melancholy. When asked what was wrong, Webster replied, “It’s no matter, it will be all right by and by.” In a eureka moment, Bennett wrote lyrics and Webster found a melody on his violin. Within half an hour, the hymn “Sweet By and By” was complete.

Heart and Soul

My ankle is healing and I hope to return in-person to DJ's Music Studio soon. In the meantime, my thoughts went back to the simple piano duet of “Heart and Soul” that we played as kids. Composed in 1938 by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Frank Loesser, the song was a hit in the Big Band era and in the 1960s as both R&B and DooWop versions. It’s also in the soundtracks of many movies. 

Heart and Soul

DJ Takes a Tumble

Hello friends. It will be a few weeks before I am able to record any songs for DJ’s Music Studio, as I’m sitting here with my leg up after breaking my ankle. I'm working on some new original songs that I can’t wait to share with you when I’m on my feet again, hopefully the first week in July. In the meantime, you can click on the Ambulance for an account of how it happened, told in the inimitable style of the Bear.

DJ Takes a Tumble.

True Love Ways

On June 20, 1958, Buddy Holly proposed to Maria Elena Santiago on their first date. Buddy wrote "True Love Ways" with Norman Petty, as his wedding gift for Maria. He recorded the song on October 21, 1958, four months before his death, and the song was released posthumously. The photo of Buddy and Maria's first kiss is displayed above Table 53 at JP Clarke's in New York, the spot of that first date.

The Rose

Many songwriters say the best songs begin with a "stolen" line or phrase. Amanda McBroom heard a song with the line, "Your love is like a razor; my heart is just a scar," and it set off a flurry of thoughts about what love is and isn't. Ten minutes later, she'd written "The Rose." It was recorded by Bette Midler as the title track for the 1979 movie, The Rose.

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Chauncey Olcott was an Irish/American actor, songwriter and singer. In 1912, he and George Graff, Jr. wrote the lyrics to "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and Ernest Ball added the music. It has been recorded over 200 times. On St. Patrick's Day 1985, it entered the political arena when Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and President Ronald Reagan jointly sang the song following what was dubbed the Shamrock Summit between Canada and the U.S.


"Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral" (That's an Irish Lullaby) was written by James Royce Shannon in 1913 for a Tin Pan Alley musical, and it was a #1 hit rerecording by Chauncey Olcott. The song was revived in 1944 when Bing Crosby recorded it for the film, Going My Way. That single sold over one million copies.

Flowers on the Wall

Recently, I heard someone say that "Flowers on the Wall" is the perfect song to describe the hunkering down that we're all experiencing during this pandemic. A hit for The Statler Brothers in 1966, it was written by their original tenor, Lew DeWitt. I'm singing a version with some edits that make the song especially covid-relevant.

Blue Moon

"Blue Moon" was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1934. It's a wonderful ballad of romantic longing, covered by artists in multiple eras and genres.

RPAC@Home Concert Series

For years, Okotoks presented a rich lineup of music, theatre and comedy at the Rotary Performing Arts Centre (RPAC). With Covid, this became the "RPAC@home concert series," live streamed on YouTube. I was part of the recent Emerging Artists Showcase, along with Ethan Collister, on February 3, 2021. Please note, the video starts 11 minutes into the show, due to RPAC technical difficulties.

Home on the Range

"Home on the Range" originated in 1872 with a poem by Dr. Brewster Higley, titled "My Western Home." The music was added later by his friend Daniel Kelley. Variations with new verses were added by William and Mary Goodwin (1904) and John A Lomax (1910). In 1947, it became the state song of Kansas. It is one of the top 100 western songs of all time.

Fly Me to the Moon

Bert Howard was a songwriter for 20 years when a cabaret owner asked him for something simpler than his usual style. In response, Howard wrote "Fly Me to the Moon" (originally titled "In Other Words"). It was a hit for many singers, and in 1999 was inducted into the American Songwriters Hall of Fame. In a 1988 interview, Bert Howard said, "It took me 20 years to find out how to write a song in 20 minutes."

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Please note: original songs by DJ are copyright and registered with the Government of Canada's CIPO (Canadian Intellectual Property Office) and SOCAN.

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