The Song of the Day for September 10, 2012 is The Boulevard of Broken Dreams.
About The Boulevard of Broken Dreams
This song was written by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics) in 1933. It appears in the 1934 film Moulin Rouge and was sung by Constance Bennett.
About This Version
I think it can be said, in all fairness, that The Boulevard of Broken Dreams was the song that propelled Tony Bennett to stardom. In 1950, he made a demo recording of Crazy Rhythm and The Boulevard of Broken Dreams. The great Hugh Martin (yes, I’m biased about Mr. Martin; he and I are from the same town and attended the same college) heard it and was very enthusiastic about the young Mr. Bennett. A bit later, Mitch Miller at Columbia heard the recording and that demo song landed Tony Bennett his contract at Columbia. He re-recorded The Boulevard of Broken Dreams with Columbia and that version was released as a single and was a great hit.
Today’s version was recorded for the masterful Astoria: Portrait Of The Artist, released in 1990. Arranged by Jorge Calandrelli, and accompanied by the Ralph Sharon Trio (with Paul Langosch (bass) and Joe LaBarbera (drums), this version is, for me, more haunting, being sung from the mature man’s point of view.
Mr. Bennett’s rendition of The Boulevard of Broken Dreams was one of the highlights from his Bumbershoot concert last week. This version from Astoria has a similar emotional punch for me.