Candid. Open. Down-to-Earth. Possessing a gorgeous singing voice, tailor-made for Pop music. Michael Bublé is capturing the hearts and minds and ears of lovers of Easy Listening Music. He is an international success, touring the world eight times, appearing in films, and on television….
But Michael Bublé is no overnight success and he’s not one to take fame and fortune for granted.. not now anyway.
Bublé (pronounced “Boo-blay”), was born in British Columbia, September 9, 1975, into a loving family. Bublé tells interviewer Paul Cashmere that he gre up in a wonderful place in a wonderful country. His father was a Salmon fisherman, his grandfather was a plumber. Bublé spent several years, helping his dad on the boat but he quickly realized that this was not the kind of work he wanted to do.
Strong Family Ties
It was his grandfather who influenced Bublé’s love for melody and harmony and lyrics you can understand. According to Bublé’s official website, his grandfather was his best friend when he was a child. In fact, Bublé says, he knew that he wanted to be a singer and he knew the type of music he wanted to sing, the first time his grandfather played a Mills Brothers record for him. Bublé says that he felt a connection to the standards done by singers like the Mills Brothers, Keely Smith, Bobby Darin, and of course, Frank Sinatra.
He learned the old songs as a favor to his grandfather and won a local talent contest, tho he was later disqualified for being underage. His grandfather gave his performing career a boost by offering free plumbing services to musicians who would let Bublé get up on stage with them and sing a few songs.
By the time he was 17, Bublé knew that college was not in his immediate future, and he says his family was incredibly supportive of his decision. He won the Canadian Youth Talent Search, appeared as Elvis in a Red Rock Diner road show and recorded a couple of albums on his own. One was a present for his grandfather.
Bublé got work in clubs in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary and Toronto, but success was illusive and Bublé was becoming discouraged. He tells interviewer Paul Cashmere, that he wasn’t making any money, after eight years, and that he realized that he was going to have to cut his losses. He says that he was about to seque into a career in the media, when fate took a hand.
Friends in High Places
A performance at a corporate function in Toronto brought Bublé to the attention of Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 2000. Mulroney’s daughter was getting married, and Mulroney thought that would be the perfect opportunity for Bublé to be heard by one of the guests, David Foster. Foster has won a number of Grammys, producing albums for Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston and Josh Groban.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Bublé tells interviewer John Beaudin that even with Mulroney’s considerable influence, it took a little while, but eventually, Foster signed him to his 143/Reprise label then spent several years working on Bublé’s debut album.
He had some help from producer Humberto Gatica and another Canadian legend, Paul Anka. Anka began mentoring Bublé after the two met in 2001, in Las Vegas where Bublé had opened for Jay Leno.
Playing It Safe
Bublé’s first album, Michael Bublé, released in 2003, quickly went platinum. The recording is an eclectic mix of standards, most of them connected to a performer, like Peggy Lee’s “Fever”, and several Sinatra classics including “That’s All” and “Come Fly With Me”, but done with a Bublé twist. He sings a jazzy version of Van Morrison’s “Moondance”, and a super slow version of Lou Rawls’ “You’ll Never Find”.
Bublé says the songs were chosen by Foster, Gatica, Anka and himself, each man contributing to the choices, tho he was the one lobbying for the older songs.
A year later, Bublé was out with another two disc CD/DVD combination that included video of some of his concerts along with more of the old songs, titled Come Fly With Me, another nod in the direction of Sinatra.
Sounds Like… Sinatra
Bublé is often compared to Sinatra, much as Harry Connick, Jr. was when he came on the scene. And, predictably, Bublé is frequently compared to Connick. Bublé says he’s okay with that, although, he says he has no desire to be another Sinatra, that he wants to be Michael Bublé In that, he echoes another of his musical mentors, Bobby Darin. Bublé includes “Mack The Knife” on Come Fly With Me, and is quoted in interviews as saying that he is a big fan of Darin’s.
Bublé says he loved Darin’s versatility as an artist, his ability to jump from country to pop to rock, to folk music so effortlessly.
Steal From Everyone – That’s Research
And there is the sense that Bublé is contemplating doing much the same thing with his career. He tells Tim Cashmere that his second recording, It’s Time, is more his own style than his first song was. It does include standards by Cole Porter and George Gershwin, as well as more material associated with Sinatra, but he also added The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love”, and Leon Russell’s “Song For You”. There’s also a duet with Nelly Furtado on “Quando, Quando, Quando”. And Bublé has included one of his own compositions, “Home”. He says he wrote five songs for this album, but only one was good enough for the recording.
Will Success Spoil
It’s Time shot to Number 1 on the charts in the U.S. and Canada and has sold more than 2 and a half million copies, and, it did appear that fame and fortune went to Bublés head for a time. Until Q Magazine published a scathing story about him. The report in the British publication chronicled Bublé in a night out drinking with the guys. He tells the Toronto Sun that he was embarrassed and devastated by the story. And he says he was “set up” by the reporter. Bublé says he thought the night was off-the-record.
He doesn’t apologize for enjoying the success – well-deserved, he says, after his years of struggling. But he does admit that it went to his head, a bit. He says he was “rude and reckless with girls” and thought he had to be more of a divo, like other celebrities.
Bublé says the article and his family brought him back to his senses. He is quoted in the Sun as saying that his mother called him one day and asked, “ ‘Did you get better-looking or more charming this year?’ And I said ‘I don’t know,’ and she said, ‘No, … you didn’t.’ ”, Bublé adding that his parents keep him grounded.
Because he is a young man, still actively recording and touring, Michael Bublé&
#8217;s impact on music is still unfolding. You will find many references to him around the Web. One of the best resources is his Official Website, MichaelBuble.com. In addition to the usual tour information, latest news and a biography, there is a message board for fans where Michael, his mother and father post messages periodically.
The interviews with Paul Cashmere and Tim Cashmere can be found on the Undercover.com website. The interview with Tim Cashmere is on video and worth every second of your time, if you’re a Bublé fan. On the video, Michael is relaxed, candid and open about his musical tastes, his influences, the direction his music is going, and why he recorded another tune so closely tied to Sinatra on his second album. He also explains why he believes “you don’t touch the Beatles”, and why he thinks even Sinatra should not have tried.
You will find the long interview with John Beaudin on SmoothJazz.com.
There is a short report on Bublé on the Voice of America News website. And an article by the Toronto Sun’s Sherri Wood, done soon after the embarrassing article in Britain’s Q Magazine. Another online article in China’s Business Newspaper, Weekend Standard.