Crooner’s Corner
Tired of trying to like today’s music? Give it up.

Turn off VH1 and sink your teeth into a puzzle that celebrates the lost art of shaping a perfect note. From the clues, see if you can name the crooner and the tune he or she crooned. Watch out, there are some international ones mixed in there. The ballad knows no national boundaries.

1. The teenybopper’s crooner of choice, he recorded this pointed ditty in 1959. The song was taken from a post-World War I “opera” by a German composer/ writer team. For extra credit, include the names of the composer, the writer and the opera.

2. This mighty Belgian crooner sang cynically of sailors with rotted teeth who “drink, and drink, and drink again, and yet again to the health of the whores” of this port city (which is also the name of the song).

3. A crooning sparrow sang this Gallic torch song about “sweeping up the old loves, and starting from zero.”

4. Dean Martin was flying high on this 1958 hit, but the original Italian version, also a hit from the same year, was sung by a Neapolitan crooner.

5. Though he was not noted for his crooning, this multi-faceted American composer, comedian and producer had a smash hit with this swinging tune about a meeting of minds while “lunching at 21, watching your diet, declining a charlotte russe, accepting a fig.”

6. The ultimate crooner sang this Academy Award-winning tune in the 1944 film Going My Way.

7. Garbed like a latter-day Valentino, this matinee-idol crooner invoked “Blue heaven, and you and I, and sand kissing a moonlit sky” in the title song of the 1953 screen version of a popular operetta.

8. When Alfred Hitchcock cast this cool blonde crooner in the 1956 American remake of one of his early films, perhaps “the future was his to see”: she earned the film an Academy Award for the year’s best song.

9. Since they were both perennial Las Vegas lounge acts, it’s perhaps fitting that this posthumous hit for Elvis Presley was the signature song of another immortal crooner.

10. People have a habit of confusing the unconventional songbird who popularized this pious 1964 hit with Sally Field.

Send your entries to

The Last Word
c/o USC Trojan Family Magazine
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2537
We will also accept entries by fax:
or via the Internet:




Contest Rules
1. We are looking for both the name of the crooner and the title of the song described in each of the 10 clues.

2. Send us your answers by mail, fax or e-mail (see right) so that we receive them by March 12. Be sure to include your name and mailing address on your entry.

3. We will award up to five $30 gift certificates from Borders Books and Music to those crooner-cognizant readers who send us the correct answers to all 10 questions. If more than five crooner-cognizant readers send in the correct answers before the deadline, we will draw the winners by lot.

Visit your neighborhood Borders Books and Music store for over 200,000 book, music and video titles in stock, plus special orders on most merchandise. Serving you throughout Southern California and across the nation.

Last Word Solutions - Winter 1998

Illustration by Eric Palma

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