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Buble: Pronounce it ‘boo-blay’ 

Young crooner appears at Alltel Arena July 12.

BUBLE: At Alltel.
  • BUBLE: At Alltel.

It’s OK if a few Arkansans are wondering who this “Michael Bubble” guy is. Michael Buble (pronounced boo-blay) is just getting to Central Arkansas after making a name for himself on the East and West coasts as the next swing-style crooner in the vein of Frank Sinatra. He sounds a lot like Harry Connick Jr. He’s got a big band behind him. His looks make the females swoon. He takes classic songs for the best singers of the past 50 years and crafts them into his own.

Buble, a product of Vancouver, will perform at Alltel Arena on Wednesday, July 12, beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $49.50 and $65 through Ticketmaster outlets or the arena box office (975-9000).

His grandfather turned Buble on to the swing-era singers, and Buble took it from there, winning talent contests and catching the eyes and ears of talent scouts, and ended up starring in a swing music revue tour of the U.S. Through former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, a classic pop music fan, Buble was introduced to the Grammy Award-winning record producer and fellow Canadian David Foster, who signed Buble to his own label.

But, besides handling the swing-era classics, Buble on his 2003 debut album put his own spin to such pop songs as Stevie Wonder’s “For Once in My Life,” Van Morrison’s “Moondance” and the Bee Gee’s “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.”

“I think all these songs have something in common,” Buble says in a press release. “They have a heart and a soul and the challenge of any singer is to connect with those qualities and make them real for the audience.”

His debut was such a success, he followed it up with two more records in two years. His latest record, “It’s Time,” ranges from Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness” to the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” to Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife.”

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