Song 49:365 is the 1930s classic As Time Goes By, written by Herman Hupfeld in 1931. It found fame in 1942 when it was sung by the character Sam in the film Casablanca and was voted No. 2 on the AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Songs celebration of the best songs in film. I hope you enjoy this piece.
Song 10:365 is another Eric Maschwitz song, with music this time by Jack Strachey, the 1936 classic These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You). Maschwitz was romantically linked to the Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong while working in Hollywood and the lyrics are said to represent his longing for her after their relationship ended and he returned to England.
Song 7:365 is A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, a jazz standard dating from 1939. It was written by Eric Maschwitz and Manning Sherwin in the French village of Le Lavandou just before the outbreak of the Second World War. The story goes that Sherwin played the song on a piano in a local bar with the help of the resident saxophonist. Maschwitz stood, holding a glass of wine, singing the lyrics, but the patrons of the bar were not impressed. In 2002 an attempt was made to find the bar in order to hang a plaque commemorating the birthplace of the song. Unfortunately, despite help from elderly residents in the town and the local tourist office, the bar was never found.
Song number 3:365, here’s my recording of the beautiful George Gershwin song Someone to Watch Over Me. Starting life as an up-tempo number, it was Ira Gershwin who suggested that it would work better as a ballad, and George agreed. The song first appeared in the 1926 musical Oh, Kay!
Today’s song is the 1936 Ira Gershwin / Vernon Duke song I Can’t Get Started (With You). It was first heard in the theatrical production Ziegfeld Follies where it was performed by Bob Hope.
The song tells the tale of a man who is successful in every aspect of his life other than his ability to get the attention of the woman he loves. One of the interesting things about this song is the fact that the Gershwin lyrics broke the mould for ballads at the time, using very topical references: “I’ve flown around the world in a plane … Settled revolutions in Spain … Been consulted by Franklin D … Greta Garbo has asked me to tea”. Frank Sinatra tried to update the lyrics with “designed the latest IBM brain”, but it tends to be the original which is performed by most artists as a result of its charm.
Today’s song is the lovely 1938 song You Go To My Head, written by Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie which has become a jazz standard with some wonderful jazzy chords. It has been recorded by many artists and I think one of my favourite versions is Linda Ronstadt’s on her wonderful 1988 album For Sentimental Reasons.
If it’s your first time on the site, find out why I’m playing one song a day for the whole of 2015 or listen to my October songs here.
Today’s song dates from 1936. There’s A Small Hotel was written by Rodgers and Hart and was included in the musical On Your Toes. It also featured in the 1957 film version of Pal Joey. There’s A Small Hotel has been performed by many artists both as a slow, jazzy number and in a more up tempo version, but it’s Ella Fitzgerald’s version which I know best and which I’ve tried to recreate with my performance.
Today’s song dates from 1933. Written by Arlen, Harburg and Rose, It’s Only A Paper Moon first appeared in the unsuccessful Broadway play The Great Magoo, and then was used in the film Take A Chance. It grew in popularity when versions by Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald were recorded in the 1940s.
Today I’m returning to Gershwin, one of my favourite composers. The song Love Walked In was written in 1930, although lyrics were not added until 1937 for the musical The Goldwyn Follies.
Today’s song is the 1937 classic Once In A While. First recorded by Tommy Dorsey, it has since been recorded by many artists. Sadly it was the last song Bing Crosby ever recorded, 3 days before his death in 1977.
To hear more August songs, click here. If it’s your first time on the site, find out more about why I’m trying to record a piano tune every day here.