If you're reading this, then you're probably familiar enough with current technology to know that these days most of us load up our hard drives - and our portable players - with digital music, picking and choosing our favorite tunes from various sources. Just like before, we still sometimes buy entire albums just to get a specific song or two, but now we rip those to our computer and then put the CD away. And sometimes we just buy specific tunes from download stores, simplifying things even further.
But you've heard all that before. What I'd like to talk about is something new that I've noticed about my own collecting methods. It's just a small part of the overall picture, but I'm beginning to think that it's a lot more common that I had suspected. I've found that being able to be more selective about getting specific songs has allowed me to load up on some of my favorites, with multiple versions by a lot of different musicians.
From what I've seen on music blogs and other places, there are a lot of people out there who are doing the same. Please note that I'm not talking about "theme" blog posts where the writer lists a bunch of tunes that relate to one subject, such as a holiday or the opening of baseball season, but rather the same song by different artists.
In my case, these songs tend to be old jazz standards, and I've probably gotten a little carried away with it. For example, I have six versions of the big band tune, "I Can't Get Started," and five of another favorite, a ballad that had a brief rebirth when it served as the theme song for the 1997 Clint Eastwood film, Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil. The movie featured k.d. Lang doing the vocal, but I've always liked a much older version, with smooth baritone Billy Eckstine backed by the orchestra of Earl Hines — "Skylark."