Like Seth MacFarlane isn’t busy enough already with TV and film and acting projects: the Family Guy creator told Jay Leno tonight he’s working on a music album for Universal Republic Records. “I had an offer to do an actual big band album and I took it. I said yes.” MacFarlane said the music consists of “swing arrangements of classic tunes. We kind of deliberately touched stuff that the Deans and the Franks and the Sammys didn’t do yet.” After the announcement MacFarlane took up the microphone and sang “Cream in My Coffee,” backed by The Tonight Show band. (Video below.) MacFarlane’s reps quickly followed up with info about the album. See press release:
Universal Republic Records has signed Television Executive Producer/Actor Seth MacFarlane, the multi-talented creator behind the hit Emmy winning FOX Animated Series Family Guy. MacFarlane will record and deliver a fully orchestrated album of 1940s and ‘50’s classic show tunes, scheduled to hit stores and online platforms later this year.
With his recent Emmy nomination for Music & Lyrics this year, MacFarlane felt that the timing was right to release his debut solo album. A music enthusiast, MacFarlane is known as one of the few showrunners in Hollywood who utilizes a complete orchestra and talented composers on a weekly basis to score his three animated shows, Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show. MacFarlane is also an experienced live performer, having played to sold out audiences at London’s Royal Albert Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall, as well as lending his time and voice to numerous charity benefits.
MacFarlane stated that, “It’s rare in this day and age to have the opportunity to create an album that celebrates the classic, sophisticated sound of rich, lush swing orchestrations. It will be an absolute joy to sing this music, and I look forward to working with the entire team at Universal Republic on what we intend to make an exceptional project.”
The album will be produced and arranged by film and television composer, Joel McNeely. It will include the work of legendary songwriters such as Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Loewe among other talents from the ‘40’s and ‘50’s. All songs have been handpicked by MacFarlane to highlight the work of these great composers.
In addition to showtunes, the album will feature some original material, including the song ‘She’s Wonderful Too’ written by Joel McNeely for an episode of the Lucasfilms television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Composed as a short piece for the show, MacFarlane and McNeely (with the blessing of George Lucas) composed additional lyrics and melodies to make a new and more complete song.
The production process for the album will reconstruct the techniques used in the great recordings of this era by utilizing a live orchestra and a big band playing together in the same room where MacFarlane will sing live. The album will be recorded in the legendary Capitol Records Recording Studio where Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Rosemary Clooney and many others recorded prolific albums. Great care is being given to replicate the same microphones, mic pre-amps and signal chains that those recordings used, and the record will be recorded to analog tape, to match the sound of those historic records.