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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summertime

By George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin & DuBose Heyward
1935

Often considered the finest song in the American musical theater, this is more than a song: It's an aria, composed by Gershwin using the words of original librettist Heyward to mimic the African American folk spirituals of the day. It was introduced on stage in Gershwin's operatic masterpiece Porgy & Bess by Abbie Mitchell, who also performed the first recorded version of it (with Gershwin himself on accompanying piano). Billie Holiday was the first to have a big hit with it, and it has since become a jazz standard of the highest caliber.

Lyrics:

Summertime,
And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high

Oh, Your daddy's rich
And your mamma's good lookin'
So hush little baby
Don't you cry

One of these mornings
You're going to rise up singing
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take to the sky

But until that morning
There's a'nothing can harm you
With your daddy and mammy standing by


Recorded By:

Janis Joplin
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
Sam Cooke
John Coltrane
Nina Simone

Friday, August 2, 2013

There's No You

By Hal Hopper & Tom Adair
1944

A lush, gorgeous composition that helped catapult Jo Stafford's solo career. After leaving the Pied Pipers vocal group and becoming Capitol Records' first solo vocalist in '44, Stafford (or her arrangers) chose this beautiful song to be one of her very first recordings. Perfectly suited to her range and style, it became an instant standard thanks to her and has been recorded by numerous artists over the years since.

Lyrics:

I feel the autumn breeze, it steals 'cross my pillow
As soft as a will-o'-the-wisp and in its song
There is sadness because there's no you

The lonely autumn trees, how softly they're sighing
'Cause summer is dying, they know that in my heart
There's no gladness because there's no you

The park that we walked in, the garden we talked in
How lonesome they seem in the fall
Stormy clouds hover and falling leaves cover
Our favorite nook in the wall

In spring we'll meet again, we'll kiss and recapture
That summertime rapture we knew and from that day
Never more will I say, "There's no you"


Recorded By:

Duke Ellington
Frank Sinatra
Louis Armstrong
Coleman Hawkins
Stacey Kent

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